So last time I posted I was really struggling with itchy rash/acne all over my face. I also had really dry swollen eyes and a mouth sore. My doctor suggested that I go off the Afinitor for a few days and then come in to do some blood work. When the blood work came back it showed that my liver enzymes were through the roof. The normal level would be below 50 or 60. My numbers were 600. Yes you read that right! YIKES!! She had me do a liver ultrasound to see if any damage was done and that came back normal. We then did another blood test to re-test my liver enzymes and found that they had dropped to around 200. Hopefully they will continue to go down.
She also suggested that I lower my dose by taking a pill every other day. The Afinitor comes in several different doses- 2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg and 10mg. I started out with 10mg every day and that was just too much for my system. After I started taking the pill every other day my issues with the rash and sore eyes went away. My mouth sore also healed up and I haven’t gotten any more since. I also found a great lotion made by Neutrogena that really helps with the extreme dryness. I still struggle with fatigue but with a little nap in the afternoons it is manageable.
So I know you are all wondering if the Afinitor is working? Well when I got back my scan results my doctor decided to do a CTC (Circulating Tumor Cell test). This measures the amount of tumor cells in your blood. I actually had this test done in September when we moved here. My CTC was 1 which was really good (anything under 5 is good). When my scans came back with new growth my doctor wanted to see what the CTC was in my blood to kinda set a baseline. Sure enough that number had gone all the way up to 196. This means that using the CTC is a great way for me to see if a chemo or medication is working. Well we ran the CTC again a month after I started Afinitor and my number had fallen to 17. My doctor was really excited! So even though Afinitor is causing problems with my liver, it is still killing the cancer. I just need to find a balance or the correct dosage for my body.
I have a lot more to write about but wanted to give everyone an update.