First, I need to apologize for taking so long to post this. Life has been pretty crazy and pulling this post together has been difficult because of the details. Still, here it is. Trip four of my PRRT Cancer Therapy. 😀
Well, I have returned from trip four of my PRRT cancer therapy which I hope is my final treatment. At least for a long time. 🙂 Again, I will post my experience at Excel Diagnostics, my reaction to the medicine, my expenses to the best of my ability and anything else that I can think of that might help others on this Net and Carcinoid Cancer journey. I have also written: a basic intro to prrt – Read More, about trip 1 – Read More, about trip 2 – Read More, and trip 3 – Read More and I will eventually follow up with a real summary but for now this will give you an overall idea of my experience. I also intend on posting on local restaurants and hotels so that people who have chosen Excel Diagnostics for PRRT will know a bit more than I did. 😀
I Will Miss My New Friends
So, it sounds crazy but I really did make friends at Excel. You see, not only do you go there 4 times but they are intimately involved in your treatment. You cannot help but get to know them and if you have a friendly bone in your body, you end up making friends. 🙂 The best part is that they really care AND your time there isn’t spent just silently laying on your back. 🙂
It seems that as a result of the first 3 treatments, my solid tumor masses have shrunken by about 30%. Yes!!!! It seems to be working!!! I was told when the tumors begin to grow again that I can get up to 2 more treatments. The average time PRRT works is about 3 years and then tumors may begin to grow again. So, follow up scans are very important.
My Reaction To The Radiation
So, this is my worst reaction so far. I was vomiting and had diarrhea as a result of the radiation. My dose seems about the same as the other trips… well, maybe a slight bit more. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it or if my body has reached it’s limit with this treatment. Either way, trip four has been rough. What’s even worse is that the problem seems to have continued at home. I’m still dealing with diarrhea and some vomiting. As of the publishing of this blog post, those symptoms are gone.
My Finances for Trip Four Of My PRRT Cancer Therapy
My finances for trip four were not much different from my finances for the previous trips. Here’s a breakdown of what I paid out. All together it was roughly $12,000 with about $8,000 for the actual prrt itself and the rest was travel, lodging, food and so on. I’ve made detailed my expenses extensively in posts 3, 2 and 1 so, I thought that I would skip that this time. I hope that’s OK. 🙂
Our Harrowing Journey To And From Texas
I hate, hate, hate, hate needing to navigate the airport in a wheelchair. You are helpless. Seriously, it is so frustrating. Somehow, we ended up getting to the airport late but with plenty of time to get through. Usually, the people helping us get through with our wheelchair hustle to make sure we catch our plane. Not this time. She couldn’t be bothered. Nothing but I leisurely stroll behind my wheelchair. She was in control and there was no way I could make her hurry. I hate wheelchairs. When we got to the TSA she waited in line rather than using the entrance reserved for people in wheelchairs….no matter how many times I asked politely. The TSA moved me around like luggage and literally ignored me as if I didn’t exist when I would tell them that we needed to rush along because we were going to miss our plane. They actually put me last because I was a “hassle” because of the wheelchair. When we got through our “assistant” continued her leisurely pace all the while proclaiming “Don’t worry, you’ll make it. We got plenty of time.” Well, we didn’t make it. We missed our plane. :/
The Wrap Up
For me and my loved ones, this has been quite an journey. I was diagnosed at the beginning of 2013 and tried desperately to find direction and guidance from the medical profession which, for the most part, was unsuccessful. You can read about my cancer story here and the update here. So, we went it alone. I researched it, we prayed for God’s wisdom, got the information and made the choice for PRRT. We did this all without any advice from doctors. It shouldn’t have to be that way. Well, it was a good choice. My tumors are about 30% smaller and I am stable for about a year now. I think the average amount of time is 3 years until the prrt stops working. On top of that, my quality of life is so much better. I have more energy and can actually live and not just lay on the couch.
I will write a more of a detailed write up about my travels to Texas and my experience at Excel Diagnostics. I will say upfront that my treatment at Excel was excellent and I felt very cared for when I was there.