From my perspective, today was a good day. The PSA went up only two points (from 33 to 35). The NP (nurse practitioner) said that meant the chemo was working and the PSA was stabilizing. We should now see it head downward. We go back on December 18 for the next test.
All of the lab work was right exactly where it should be, so that's good news. He lost 13 pounds but that's because he has been in so much pain that he can't bring himself to eat.
She said the new pain Marshall is having is from a radiation "flare." And even though the radiation oncologist told Marshall he would not experience any side effect pain from the radiation, the NP said it happens quite often. This type of radiation flare usually resolves itself within 10 to 14 days after the last treatment but it could take as long as 6 weeks.
So she stressed that we need to stay on the morphine/Dilaudid regimen for a while to get the pain under control and when the pain starts letting up we will need to wean Marshall off of the painkillers. I tried to get a feel for how we will know if the pain is letting up if we keep him pain free with morphine. She said we will just know. (???)
Now, that was my perspective. Marshall didn't really think any of this was good news. He was in one of those depressions while we were in the doctor's office where he pulls his hat down over his eyes and won't participate in his own doctor's visit. If he is asked questions he gives one-word answers. This puts me in an awful position because I have to answer questions for him and I have to absorb everything that is being said and hope I don't make any mistakes. I should be used to it by now but I hate it.
We've decided it's time for a good family visit so we are arranging for Marshall's daughter and grandkids to come and visit in early December. We only have one guest bedroom, so it will be like a big slumber party!
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