I spent most of Tuesday bawling. I didn’t want to go back to the hospital. But more importantly, I didn’t want the cancer to be “back.” Even though It had technically been there all along, as long as my sodium stayed at a normal level withought the help of the Samsca, there was hope the Keytruda was keeping the cancer at bay. With the sodium dropping, it seemed that hope was gone.
On Wednesday, my sodium was 121. So I packed my bag, and off to the hospital I went. The ER was a madhouse and they told me there were no beds open. They said I would likely wait hours, so I was pleasantly surprised when someone came in about an hour later and told me they had a bed for me. It was around 10:30 p.m. by the time they finally got me settled in and gave me a dose of Samsca to bring my sodium back up.
The next morning, my sodium was up to 127, which was pretty good since I’d only been given 15 mg of Samsca (the last time I’d been to the hospital, they’d had to give me 60 mg). When my oncologist stopped by, I asked him if he could go ahead and schedule the CT scans I’d been planning to have as an outpatient. I also asked if I should have an ENT consult since I’d been having a little bit of trouble swallowing liquids. He said he’d schedule CT scans of the chest and neck for that day and we’d see about the ENT consult after he got the results of the scans.
The nephrologist ordered another 15 mg of Samsca for that day and had Case Management start working on getting me the free Samsca for home use through the drug company’s co-pay assistance program.
On Friday, my sodium was 135, so I was ready to go home if I could get my Samsca for home use. Good news!
The oncologist came in early that morning, as usual. He said the results of my neck scan hadn’t come in yet, so I should schedule an appointment with my ENT to talk about the swallowing issue since I was likely going home that day.
Now for the chest CT. The oncologist said the “spots” on my liver had “gotten bigger,” but reminded me he had told me that would likely happen during my first six Keytruda treatments (I just finished number 5). He thinks they should begin to shrink sometime after treatment number 6.
The oncologist thought the sodium numbers were a better indicator of how the Keytruda has been working than the scans at this point. In his opinion, the fact that my numbers are staying up with smaller amounts of Samsca means the Keytruda is likely doing its job.
So, good news or bad? I guess we’ll have to wait awhile longer before we’ll know for sure. In the meantime, I’ll be calling on Monday about the results of my neck CT and to get an appointment with the ENT.
That’s all for now. Thanks for sharing my journey with me. Your prayers and good thoughts are greatly appreciated.