Tiring Day

Yesterday was sort of an adventure. We drove to Scottsdale, about a 2 hour drive, to meet with the oncologist running a clinical trial of a lung cancer treatment. From here to there is all Interstate and there are a few areas where blowing dust is a concern when there are high winds, and yesterday was quite windy. If you don’t know about blowing dust in these parts, Google Haboob Arizona and look at the pictures or videos – that will show you what it looks like. So we left early to give us enough time that we wouldn’t be late for the appointment, which was at 1pm. We have cruise control in our vehicle, which Steve had never used before, so he was like a little kid with a new toy! Cruise can be useful on the Interstate by keeping the speed constant and conserving fuel.

The drive was uneventful, with one stop for lunch – we packed snacks and sandwiches. But it was scary to see how many people were driving while talking on their cell phones – including big rig drivers. A couple of the big rigs kept drifting into our lane, so we were quite happy to get past them. And of course there were all those people driving way faster than the speed limit. The worst part was driving on the loop roads around Phoenix; so much traffic going well over the speed limit and changing lanes with no warning and weaving in and out of the other cars on the road – white knuckle driving at its best!

The staff at the oncology office were pleasant. The oncologist we met with was probably younger than my kids – not necessarily a bad thing but weird all the same. He explained the trial, asked me a bunch of questions, gave me the once over, and said he didn’t think I qualified for this trial. From my medical records, he said he saw that my tumors had shrunk, even if it was just a small amount, and he thought the regimen I’m on now is keeping things in check. This particular trial is for people who have been on the platinum-based chemo therapy, but whose cancer has progressed. And he thought that waiting and doing the CT scans every 2-3 months was the thing to do. If nothing else, he confirmed that my disease is under control at the moment, and that we are doing the right treatment for now. He also said that the CEA levels didn’t necessarily reflect what was going on with the cancer. I’m sorry I didn’t qualify for the trial in one respect, but having a second opinion was helpful.

The drive home was also uneventful – we didn’t get inundated with dust storms and we didn’t get blown off the road. By the time we pulled into our driveway, I was exhausted! The dogs were so happy to see us – we were gone for 6 hours but they acted like we’d been gone for days! They ran circles around us and each other; ran in and out the doggie door yipping and whining and barking. It was quite the greeting! Then they spent about 10 minutes chasing each other around the back yard. They are such goofballs! So they had their dinner, and we had ours, and it was an early night for both of us.


Depression is a strange creature. It can come out of nowhere, take the wind out of my sails, slam into me knocking me off my feet, and then disappear as fast as it appeared. There are days when I don’t want to even get out of bed. Those are the days I’m glad we have the furbabies, because I am responsible for their breakfast while my partner is up on the roof. Then he gives them dinner. I wake up each morning to a little furry body curled closely into mine and another one at my feet. What a wonderful way to wake up!

Today, I had to drag myself out of the house to the gym; the last time I went was a week ago. I knew I would feel better if I went, but the chemo knocked me on my butt last week, and I couldn’t shake the fatigue. I told myself yesterday that I needed to go, but could not overcome the inertia to even get dressed until mid-afternoon. Chemo causes fatigue, and feeling fatigued makes me feel overwhelmed, and that makes me feel depressed.

So today I did go to the gym for the cardio workout class. I felt pooped but energized afterwards – if that makes sense. And I think the last of the fatigue and depression are gone for now, so I expect to feel good for another two weeks.

My oncologist had mentioned on the last visit that he thought I might qualify for a clinical trial up in Phoenix, but then said maybe we should wait for the next CT scan in 3 months. But then on Friday I received a call saying I should set up an appointment to meet with the clinical trial people. So tomorrow we will drive to Phoenix to meet with them. It’s a 90 minute drive give or take depending on the traffic, and all interstate. I’m so glad we have a newish vehicle to go in! So today we topped up the tires, the fluids, and gas, and will embark on a new adventure. I don’t know if I will qualify for the trial, and I really don’t know much about the trial so we both have lots of questions. I hope the trip will be worth it.