Monday, January 6, 2014

Today's cancer center visit

Our first appointment today was with the psychologist. He saw both of us today so that I could better understand what's going on in Marshall's mind. We both really like this guy and it was a productive visit. However, he made it clear that future visits would be with Marshall only and will not include me. I am welcome to call him with any questions, but I won't be sitting in on any sessions.

Then we went to the lab and Marshall had blood drawn for his monthly tests.

Then we saw the oncologist (usually we see the nurse practitioner, but today it was the actual oncologist). We had a lot of questions for him.

The lab work came out right where it should be and the good news of the day was that the PSA -- after two months of going up a small amount -- went back down to 1.58. But Dr. Flaig stressed again that even when the PSA rises a bit, it is not the final say in how things are going. If Marshall doesn't have any pain (which he doesn't) and if his scans come out good (which they have so far), then things are going well.

However, there was that one test called a Chromagrannin which came out very high. The test has been done twice and it's come out high both times. Dr. Flaig said this can be high because of cancer growth or it can be high due to medications that Marshall is taking.

He doesn't want to start withholding medications just to discover if they are causing the Chromagrannin test to be so high, so to be on the safe side, our next visit on February 4 will be a 2-day visit and they will do all of the body scans again just to be sure everything is where we think it is (if that makes any sense). The scans and lab work will be done on February 4 and we will see the doctor on February 6. So it will be a little 3-day "vacation" for us (LOL).

We asked the doctor to clarify for us what the next step would be if the Zytiga fails. He said there are lot of options and we will go over them if and when it becomes necessary. Things change in the cancer world and new treatments are being approved constantly.

With regard to the Xgeva (bone strengthener) that was discontinued in October, they will probably resume that drug when we come back in February.

So that's the story for today.

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