This post has been in my drafts folder on my desktop for months. When I went to write an update on my treatment something changed, and then another thing changed, and then another. We’ve hit an insane amount of roadblocks on this journey over the last few months, but we are still here and still fighting in pure #TEALPOWER style.
It turns out my chemo wasn’t working as well as my docs had hoped for, so we postponed treatment and started looking at other options. I even started looking at going to a hospital in the States. Then my docs thought I would be a good candidate for Immunotherapy at PMH – where I would take these trial drugs that are meant to boost my immune system and the theory basically would be my strong immune system would be able to attack the cancer cells. It proved successful with some melanoma patients; hopefully it will work for me. The side effects are very different from chemo and radiation – I wouldn’t lose anymore hair, I wouldn’t feel nauseous – woot! Before going into the program there are a number of tests that have to be done. We were almost ready to start – until we hit a roadblock – we discovered a tumor on my bladder that was causing some bleeding. Looks like I will undergo radiation before I can try Immunotherapy. The process keeps getting pushed, but I am trying to remain positive. I am very thankful we are treating the things that need to get treated before I start the trial program. Because of the bleeding we have been watching my hemoglobin and energy levels very closely. I have had to get a couple of blood transfusions in the process. A good reminder for all of you who are healthy to give blood where you can. It can help someone who is sick in ways you may never know.
I have been experiencing a lot of pain because of the tumors and pressure on my nerves, but the doctors and nurses in Palliative Care are amazing at helping manage the pain. It has helped me so much to continue everyday activities and feel somewhat “normal” again.
So many of you know that before I started chemo, I chopped my hair off – and then I shaved my head to avoid the traumatic hair loss that comes a few weeks after you start chemotherapy. I am very thankful I did this. I bought a wig that looked exactly like my hair before I cut it, but I have only worn it a handful of times. I have been loving wrapping my head in scarves – it’s become my cancer thing – so I wanted to share some of the styles on the blog. No hair – don’t care – Ali is going to rock a headscarf!
Since I have not been in chemo for weeks, my hair is starting to grow back. Soon you will see GI Ali, rockin’ the buzz cut. Ha ha.
That’s me for now. Thanks to everyone who has been coming to visit and are checking in on the regular. Love ya! #TEALPOWER