PET Scan #2 – Results

IMPRESSION:

1. Marked interval improvement with no more lung nodules, minimal
residual liver metastases, and marked improvement in osseous metastases,
with all seen metastases having decreased activity compared to prior.
2. Interval decrease in size and FDG avidity of the left breast mass
and interval resolution of the right breast mass.
3. Scintigraphically resolved lymphadenopathy of the left axillary and
supraclavicular lymph nodes.

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NICU Days/Nights

Baby (“Luigi”) spent 2 weeks in the NICU, mostly learning to stay warm and gain weight. It was a very exhausting time because after I was discharged I had to split my time between my other 3 kids (“Mario”, “Peach”, “Rosalina”) and “Luigi”.

Hormones, stress, and lack of sleep all contributed to odd eating patterns and ketones that stayed low.

I’m hoping by 4-6 weeks post-partum things will even out and stabilize.

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Keto in the Hospital

Trying to eat keep while in the hospital wasn’t easy.  Even the “carb-controlled” menu was full of high carb things.  The only good thing about it was that it have carb counts for the menu items.

Most of the time I would order a cheeseburger with no bun.  Breakfast was difficult because I don’t like eggs.  However, I was able to get meal voucher, and was able to custom order food from the cafeteria!

One thing I noticed was that my post-partum glucose and ketones were much different than when I was pregnant.  Glucose was a little higher, but nothing to stressed over, and ketones were much lower.  I’m guessing it was related to hormone being “out-of-wack” from just having a baby.

 

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Hair Loss, cont.

So, the other day I decided it was just simply time to cut off my hair.  We got my older two kids involved, so it would be less scary for them.

We went over rules for using the hair clippers:
1)  Be gentle
2)  Don’t push hard
3)  Go slow

My middle kiddo had trouble remembering #2 and would say “Don’t stab Mommy”.

It feels really weird not having hair, but I am keeping my head covered for now.  Soon we will go look for wigs, and we’ll let the kids have some input as to what to get.

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Ketogenic Diet

Research shows that cancer cells really like glucose, so by eating a low-carb/high-fat diet you are depriving the cancer cells of glucose. Your body produces what is called ketones, and that is another source of fuel for your body. There are so many yummy foods that you can still eat and thrive on.

I’m interested to see what my next round of imaging will look like, after having been eating Keto, in combination with the chemo.

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Moving Forward

Yesterday (Thursday), I had my 2nd round of chemo and I also met with my oncologist.  So far things are improving, and we are still pleased with the care I’m getting.  In fact, my oncologist has sent out some of the biopsy samples for something called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).   NGS is a very new technology that can help find specifically targeted treatment for cancer, specific to the patient.  She mentioned it because she didn’t want us to worry about it if we got letters from the insurance company saying they wouldn’t pay for it.  She told us that the hospital would cover the cost (this is the advantage of having care at a major academic/research institution).

Also, we discussed timing of chemo and delivery of the baby.  Given everything we decided to have the baby a bit on the early side.  This would put delivery at just shy of 35 weeks (around Sept. 6th).  There are several advantages to this, and of course some downsides.

Advantages include:

  • knowing when baby will be born (not risking going into labor before the scheduled induction date – other option was just shy of 38 weeks, right around Sept. 27).
  • being able to get chemo right after the baby is born (chemo in the hospital).  they want to time delivery to be about 3 weeks after a chemo infusion.  Chemo is every three weeks right now.  The reason for the 3 weeks is to give me time to recover from the chemo.
  • having time to rest and recover after baby is born before starting the next phase of chemo and medications.  Having the baby early would give me to recover (3 weeks) and be ready for the next phase.
  • baby being a little bit smaller, so delivery would be easier on me (it has been decided that I don’t need to have a c-section).

Disadvantages include:

  • baby needing to spend a week or two in the NICU (UC Davis has a really great NICU).
  • me needing steroid injections to help baby’s lungs get ready for birth.

 

Oh, and apparently cancer thrives on sugar, so I’ve started eating Ketogenic.  This lowers the amount of carbs I eat, so the fewer carbs the less sugar.  There are some really fascinating studies out there as to how well the Ketogenic diet helps in treating cancer, especially when combined with other treatments in addition to chemotherapy.

I am grateful that my oncologist and other doctors are open to my suggestions and input, and that they support me with my choice to limit my carbs and eat Ketogenic.

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More Hair Loss

Talked to the kids last night about loosing my hair. The baby is too young to understand, but my older two needed to know about it. My middle kiddo “Peach” didn’t seem too upset by what I told her. I did tell them that when the time was right I’d let them cut my hair off (with clippers) if they wanted. “Peach” said, excitedly, “Ooooh, I’ve never cut a grown-up’s hair before!”

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