It’s been awhile since I wrote, so filling you all in on the latest:
Per my last post, I had an appointment with a cardiologist on Wednesday before we left for our trip. He was able to get me in to have a stress echocardiogram test the same day. The gist is that my heart is just fine. The doctor running the stress test thought maybe it was just heartburn. So all of that just to verify that nothing was majorly wrong. I feel okay about it, simply because the trip was planned and I certainly didn’t need to be having some major emergency on the road.
So we finally left on our road trip a day late. Relatives we were visiting were flexible with us, and we had a good time seeing them. The entirety of the trip took us through Nebraska, Illinois, Alabama and Texas to see various family members. It was a good trip.
High Blood Pressure
While on the trip I informed my gyn-onc department via the online patient portal that, “Oh, by the way, I’m hearing my pulse in my ears.” A nurse wrote right back, said that was a symptom of high blood pressure and that I should get it checked out. I went to Walgreen’s intending to use the automatic blood pressure machine that is usually there. This particular site didn’t have one though, so the pharmacist came out and did it for me. She did three different readings over the course of time, and in all cases it was very high.
This was Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, so I spent Wednesday interacting with my PCP on the patient portal to get some meds. They also wanted me to go to urgent care or even the ER. I decided no way was I going to the ER again when I’d just been through all those tests that came back clear. And unfortunately by the time I figured out where the urgent care center was they had already closed early for the holiday. (What kind of urgent care closes early?) But my PCP did send in a prescription for me and I started that.
So now that’s a thing.
That particular med hasn’t dropped the BP very much so my PCP has now added in a second one. We’ll see. Because my BP was so high, and above the threshold of acceptability, my last infusion which was to be just Avastin was cancelled. Avastin is the culprit in this high blood pressure situation.
The high BP is causing me to have headaches off and on, luckily not really full strength migraines, but just constant low-grade things. I was relieved with menopause to have my headaches reduced. So this is a bit of a bummer that they’re back. I hope that after treatment finishes that my body will recover enough to not have the blood pressure issue and therefore also not have the headache issue.
Sixth Round with Hyperthermia
While we were driving through Nebraska I had a phone consult with the naturopath in Canada. His advice was to add Doxil back in, and to do hyperthermia for the last round. The CA-125 hasn’t been coming down very fast the last time or two. If the goal is below 10 then something needs to get changed up, and that might mean putting some more of the big guns back in. So I’ll be going back up to BC next week, and hope that that will bring it all back down well.
There was quite a bit of delay and even a bit of push back from the gyn-onc in getting it approved to put the Doxil back in. And because I needed to make travel arrangements, I asked the naturopath to contact the gyn-onc. This had the desired effect, plus some. Doxil is back in, but Dr. G felt blindsided that he didn’t know I was doing hyperthermia or seeing this other doctor. There’s a lot I’ve been doing he doesn’t know about, because his allopathic worldview doesn’t really allow for integrative. It has just seemed simpler to avoid the subject generally. He has known that I was doing integrative, but not the specifics.
In any case, when I was able to talk to Dr. G he wanted to know what else besides hyperthermia would be on the plan, and I said mistletoe, ascorbic acid, and artesunate, and he said, “Mistletoe is estrogenic, and I need to know about this. You can do whatever you want but I need to know about it.” That’s the first I’ve heard of this, so I ran it by Dr. P and he said, “NO! It is not! Let Dr. G do chemo and let me do what I do.” So I’m going to continue on with it. I think Dr. G was just feeling a little territorial. I’ve had three different doctors I respect and trust, and who know I’ve got ovarian cancer, advocate mistletoe, and I’ve been doing it almost since the get-go, so I’m going to continue on.
Resources are getting tight again. So I’ve set up a fundraising site here. If you feel like helping me out, I would greatly appreciate it.
Just a little further…. I’m very close to having my CA-125 be low enough, and to having NED (no evidence of disease), so any little bit will help. As Dr. W said, it’s easier to stay in remission if you’re actually in remission, so that’s the goal!
‘Tis the Season! I wish you and yours a lovely, exciting, and yet also restful season. Joyeuses Fêtes!