Sandi finished up chemo round 2 on Thursday of last week. It's taken a lot for her to recover, and she is still pretty wiped out. Still having trouble with digestion, and figuring out all the myriad of meds, enzymes, and insulin. Pray that we can get this all sorted, and she can eat more.
Hannah connected us with a wonderful person who is herself recovering from pancreatic cancer. She pointed us to a naturopathic doctor (Dr. Hensen), who we went to see today. Dr. Hensen was encouraging, and spends a lot of time finding ways to support people who are in chemo. Sandi will be getting two more infusions each week, now, it seems. But these new infusions will be serious doses of vitamins, and other stuff generally good for you. The idea is to really give her body a boost, and as much help as possible so she can tolerate the chemo better.
One of these IV vitamins is vitamin C. I learned today that vitamin C in your body get turned into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Per Dr. Hensen, H2O2 is toxic to cells and will kill them. Except, normal cells have a mechanism of converting H2O2 into water and oxygen, both of which are beneficial to the cells. Cancer cells, however, cannot do this and end up being damaged, even killed, by the H2O2. The IV vitamin C allows the blood level of vitamin C to be raised higher than would normally be possible, turbo charging this effect. So, it seems the vitamin C will work along side the chemo to the detriment of the cancer. Other new stuff will boost her immune system, including T cells, which also hunt down cancer (and other baddies).
Also, Sandi has been experiencing more pain in the vicinity of the tumor (it hurts quite a bit, actually). This has been keeping her awake at night, so that's a problem. She got some more serious meds to deal with that. Hopefully it will help. The reason for the increased pain could well be that there is inflammation of the tumor, as the chemo hammers away at it. Just 'cause they're cancer cells, doesn't mean they like being destroyed. They will cause an inflammatory response like other cells. ... FWIW, this is another thing the vitamin C will do, is fight the inflammation.
Hannah brought over a wonderful dinner tonight, prepared by Amanda. It is delicious, and we're super grateful. Sandi had chicken, potatoes, and beans. So far so good. Oh, and Elyana gave the dinner a full "Num Num" rating.
And to the people who blessed us last week with tortilla soup and other goodies, it all quickly disappeared. Thank you very much... we don't even know who you are.