I went to see my oncologist last Thursday. The visits are now every three weeks. The tumor markers in my blood seem to be going down, which is a good thing. This is what I wasn't expecting: Dr. K told me that we should continue with the Xeloda since it seemed to be working. I thought: maybe in a week? But, Dr. K said to start on Saturday.
So, I am on my fourth cycle.
It was really interesting to see the progression of my hand/foot syndrome. It got progressively worse during my off week. Who would have known? Well, my nurse did, and she told me that that is very common for it to get worse during the off week. The bottoms of my feet got redder, my skin starting peeling, and more brown spots formed.
The skin around the nails of my big toes also got a bit infected. Don't know why. They got really red, and I pressed on one side and yellow stuff came out. They kept hurting and any time I bumped my toe it hurt an awful, awful lot! But it was refreshingly, fascinating to see the yellow stuff come out. Just saying. I've been putting an ointment on it, and it seems to be getting better.
Another thing to be thankful for: it is colder and I don't have to expose my bare feet anywhere!
Because of the medication, I was told not to use a pumice stone on my feet. When those first brown spots started appearing on my feet, I began slathering lanolin on my feet (morning and night) and putting socks on. It helped to keep my feet smooth, despite not using a pumice stone. But, the Xeloda is building up in my body and is now wreaking havoc on my feet. The lanolin used to make such a difference, but now the skin rubbing off when I walk or wear shoes can't be helped.
My hands are also super dry. The tips of my fingers scratch smooth surfaces when I touch them. I hate that feeling. When you look closely at my hands, they ain't so pretty. I've been slathering lanolin on my hands before going to bed and putting socks over them. I look very interesting before I go to bed.
This is my new reality, and I am trying to keep flexible and adjust. When it comes down to it, I am thankful for the Xeloda. Because I am able to take the Xeloda, I don't have to go through intravenous chemotherapy. That is a good thing.
I can also be thankful for this cancer because it has brought me closer to Jesus.
Today, I am going in for a CT. Please keep my in your prayers.