If you’ve been following my “situation” somewhat you might be thinking that it’s been awhile since I’ve had an MRI. If you were thinking that, you’d be correct. My last MRI was a post-op MRI in July. That MRI was to assess the state of things at that time. But I haven’t had a scan since and I haven’t had one since I’ve started this infused treatment. Generally, so I’m told, which could proceed pretty much everything I report, this treatment…so i’m told…doesn’t really begin to show effectiveness until after the 4th infusion. About two months. About eight weeks. Sometimes up until the 4th infusion, after only 3, the situation on the scan may even look worse than before. If the cancer advances a little before the treatment can take hold a bad scan after 3 infusions could provoke an action that may neither be advisable nor necessary after 4 infusions.
Well, that’s a bit of a conundrum. A bit of a rock and a hard place. I received the choice between a scan after 3 infusions or a scan after 4. I chose… after… 4. From what I’m told, a somewhat worse looking scan might almost be expected after 3 infusions. In that case we would probably just proceed as planned anyway. In the case of improvement, though somewhat unexpected so soon, we would just proceed as planned. Really, the only situation in which we might deviate from the plan is if something catastrophic appeared on the MRI. Rather than attempting a scan early I based the need for a scan on how I feel.
More or less I feel fine. I mean that’s all relative to the situation and a matter of perspective, but more or less I feel fine. It seems like my reactions to the infused medication mirror my reactions to chemotherapy, even though the infusion is immunotherapy. Issues with weight and appetite, strength, coordination, and some fatigue. Most noticeably it causes nausea later into eating. That would not be overly concerning except that I’m kinda a lot scrawny to begin with and my muscle mass has gone down significantly since my last surgery.
I’m working on addressing some of the things though. I work out a good amount. I try to eat smaller meals more often. Unfortunately surgary things taste really good but sugar likely feeds cancer so I try to minimize sugar. I’m also trying some CBD to help with eating. CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol. Two parts of Marijuana are THC and CBD. (It’s especially important to read “or so I’m told” into anything that deals with CBD or Marijuana.) The THC is what gets a person “high.” CBD is non-psychoactive. (Now I’m way out of my depth.) While a small amount of THC might be necessary to help the CBD work, it’s generally not enough to get someone “high.” The fact that the body has an endocannabinoid system is pretty convincing, I think, that CBD is entirely natural. Another unfortunate thing (it seems like there is quite a lot that’s unfortunate about cancer) is that it seems like an unnecessary and closed minded stigma has resulted in a lack of knowledge around something with the potential to be so helpful. “But marijuana is mind altering,” some could argue. SO ARE MOST MEDICINES I would counter! AND CBD DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A MIND ALTERING COMPONENT I would add! ARGH!
I digress. Breathe. Calm. Hopefully at my next doctor’s appointment my hulking physique has put on some weight. My next appointment and infusion are both October 1st. That infusion is my 4th so I will probably have an MRI later that week or sometime the next. Sometime before my 5th infusion. That’s when the effects of the treatment start to become apparent…or so i’m told.