I’m getting closer! Last week my liver function number was 67, and this week it’s down to 36! Normal is between 0 and 33, so I’m almost there. This week’s number is good enough to drop my prednisone dose to 10mg, and it puts me on track for infusion next week. The only changes I’ve made are taking 2 doses of Aleve each day to manage low-level pain, and I’ve been a complete teetotaler for the past few weeks instead of having an occasional glass of red wine or dark beer. I do miss my nightly glass of red wine! Oh well, small sacrifice if it’s making a difference. I’m hoping the lower prednisone dose will let me lose my steroid “moon face,” get my tastebuds back, and decrease the sensitivity in my teeth.
I started with a new physical therapy practice last week, and my exercise regimen has doubled. The therapist is hooking me up with a hand specialist for a consult to see if they think any improvement can be made with my left hand function. She’s also given me contact information to have my left foot/calf brace re-evaluated for one that might allow for more ankle movement. All of this exercise has me feeling good!
I also had my first acupuncture appointment last week and go again today. It went really well! She used 15 needles, including 4 in my right ear for PTSD, for the trauma she said I’ve been through with cancer treatments – interesting. She put needles around both elbows and ankles, and I think there might have been one on my left shin. I was very comfortable and relaxed throughout the appointment. I had been having terrible cramping in my right foot and ankle almost nightly that would wake me up and get me out of bed to do stretches and massage. The last time that happened was the night before my first acupuncture. I haven’t had any of those episodes since! The other change I’ve noticed is that I’m dreaming a lot more. I’m anxious to discuss those changes with her today.
We hosted a Super Bowl party with friends and family. The planning and preparations were fun, keeping me busy with games, a points pool, and Philly food (cheesesteaks with Amoroso rolls and whiz, soft pretzels, and Tastykakes). Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the Eagles won!!!
The first ever Melanoma Support Group meeting is in the books! Patients and caregivers came, and our program was well-received. We’re on our way! This makes me SO happy!
This week I’m on the dreaded PET scan diet for 3 days – low carb/low sugar. I’m always sick of eggs and strawberries (only fruit allowed and limited to 10/day) after these 3 days! However, I seem to have a better attitude about it this time around because I know I needed a diet reset. My weight has been slowly creeping up since Christmas, and this will start the decline that I hope to continue. Once I lose the 8 pounds I’ve gained since Christmas (already halfway there), my goal is to lose at least 14 more.
The PET scan and brain MRI are both scheduled for this week, and our fingers are crossed for no new surprises. As long as my tumor load stays low, we’ll continue to have hope and wait for the next research breakthrough that might finally get me into remission. Cheers!!