The first thing I noticed today is that I’m losing my hair, in a very fast pace. A single stroke through my hair and my hand is filled with hair. So much for the cold cap.
During the weekend, my gums were sensitive and I was worried one of my molars might be infected. So monday I called the dentist but the office was closed. I then called two other dentists and they were on vacation as well. Fortunately, the fourth dentist I called was willing to see me the next morning. So yesterday, while the rain was pouring from the sky, we went to Landgoed Zonnestraal where the clinic is located. We were very kindly received and I had explained that I have chemo. The dentist was very kind and very relaxed, he explained about his practice and I had a very good feeling right away. He checked my teeth very carefully, took three pictures and showed them to me. He couldn’t find any problems, everything looked ok. Apart from a dental cleaning I was fine! I was very relieved and concluded that the problem was probably from using a regular toothbrush (which the brochure about chemo had suggested). The dentist said I could just use my regular electric toothbrush.
So far so good. Next we had some coffee and tea and went on to the hospital for the meeting with the oncologist. We barely made it there on time, but had to wait for a while so nobody minded.
The oncologist explained to Victor what he had told me last time. The basic problem is that the liver must be treated first because if it stops working, there’s nothing that can be done. The only treatment is chemo and the liver must also work to filter the chemo out of the body. This is why the doctors decided to give me a lower dosage every week, instead of one per three weeks. Then he shared the blood results. They are hopeful, he said. When you started, the key value bilirubin was 50, and it’s now at 40. The tumor protein level had stabilized. If this keeps up, there’s a good chance my liver can function nearly normally again.
He also explained that there are many intrahepatic ducts which transport bile to the gallbladder. Because there are so many tumors in my liver (hundreds), a single tumor can block a duct and stop the bile from leaving the liver. The chemo can help to reduce the tumors and they only need to shrink a little to allow the ducts to transport the fluid out of the liver. Promising news. In three weeks time we’ll see the oncologist again and I hope the results will stay this good.
We enjoyed a nice dinner with friends that evening and I had a good nights sleep.