Almost Moving to Maintenance

So yesterday was sort of a big day in my prescribed plan. It was treatment #4 (or 6). After treatment #4 I move to a maintenance plan with only two of the three drugs I’ve been getting — Pemetrex and Pembrolizumab aka Keytruda. The Carboplatin and the Dexamethasone is done, and (hopefully) it’s accompanying insomnia will start to ease up. It was an uneventful day, good news being that Dr. Namakydoust says that the excessive runny nose and mucousy cough (all clear) is my tumors breaking up. If that’s true there is a lot of that going on. I know it makes Bryan nervous, and it can be very uncomfortable when I’m around strangers. I usually explain my situation to anyone I’m with for any length of time. I’m not sure which makes people feel worse – worrying I’m spreading some sort of virus or I have cancer.

Speaking of other people — I’m keeping my circle of contact smaller and smaller. Immunity is still down and I don’t want any more issues. I’ve already noticed that I do have some breathing issues and minor exertion can mean I need to stop to catch my breath. (More on close contact with random strangers later).

Let me try to finish up with the “facts” of the day. We’ve added another drug to my regimen of treating side effects — Protonix for the gerd I’ve developed. All I keep thinking about is getting off all this stuff one day soon! As I mentioned in an earlier post, radiation starts on December 16 and the 15 rounds ends on January 7th. The maintenance treatment will continue every three weeks, but the doctor said I would be too “toxic” if we continued during radiation so we are on hold until January 13. My next PET scan is February 1 and my next MRI is February 21.

I’ve had quite a few funny encounters with random strangers on the rare occasions I’ve done in-person shopping, usually first thing in the morning. I had to buy a new MacBook and it’s just not something I wanted to do virtually. I’ve splurged each of the three times I went to the Apple store in Freehold and got myself a (half sweet) peppermint mocha. The mall is depressingly empty, but at 10 am I appreciate that. So I get on the very short line with a mask on and keep my distance from the person in front of me. Another person walks over and looks at me and I said “yes, I’m behind the woman in front of me ( with some space). Se walks over and gets behind me. Very close. I walk over to the other side. She follows me, again — very close behind me. And a third time, at which point I look at her and she says “I’m just trying to figure out where you are standing. I responded “wherever there is some space”. Her mask-less self finally stays about 5 or so feet behind me. And I’m still more worried about the common cold, another flu or any one of the random viruses that I am highly susceptible to. I respect everyone’s choice to get the vaccine or not, and to wear a mask or not but I would ask for the same respect in return. Many of us are fighting battles that aren’t visible. In some ways it was easier when I was a bald and easily identifiable cancer warrior. I guess I will be ordering online if I do go back to Starbucks!

On a positive note, Bryan and I have always talked about visiting Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. We finally decided it was time. We are heading up there on Sunday, it will be the perfect relaxing getaway before starting radiation.

3 Replies to “Almost Moving to Maintenance”

  1. Enjoy Mohonk – a destination on my wish list as well. Nice place to recharge before radiation. Download the Starbucks App and when you want a treat order and pay ahead so you don’t have to stand in line with people breathing down your neck.

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