Tag Archives: radium 223

Peace Pie and other musings…

So the World Series is tied one all, fitting to send it to San Francisco.  I won’t lie; I’d LOVE the Giants to take it at home, which they have not done in their previous two wins.  However, I don’t want to appear greedy, so as long as they win…

Ha, well, nothing greedy about that.  I will note that this contest has brought out the small sports fan in my eldest, or maybe it’s Buttercup who appreciates the Giants, although last night’s game was hard to watch, once Jake Peavy allowed two Royals on base.  But now these teams have gotten a rout from each of their systems, so perhaps the following contests will be closer.  (Albeit with a San Francisco victory sealed at the end…)

But what does that have to do with peace pie?  Not that much, nor does peace pie correlate with the recent news that Radium 223 is not currently being manufactured, in Norway by the only company that makes it.  I accompanied my folks to Sacramento yesterday, where we learned that no radium treatments are being offered anywhere in the world.  The doctor’s assistant wasn’t sure why, but we discussed other options, like Xtandi and Ketoconizol, which is an anti-fungal that just happens to work well for prostate and bone cancer patients.  Dad will make an appointment with his oncologist to map out the next step, however I’m hoping that Bayer can sort out the Norwegians in a timely manner.  Radium 223 would truly best serve my father at this time, and time is a most precious commodity.

Still, I hear you rumbling, “What in the hey does that have to do with peace pie?  Is it some autumnal thing, baseball related, or Buttercup’s favourite dessert?”  Actually, it’s what happens when I have too many fireflies flitting in my brain (thank you Laura!).  My brother visited with the folks last weekend, then asked me what we were all bringing for Thanksgiving, which was his way of saying, “Hey sis, start a thread, will ya?”  I complied, noting that we would bring Grandma’s fruit salad, homemade cranberry sauce, and peace pie, with perhaps some vanilla ice cream for said peach pie.  Note the error?  I didn’t, but my beloved little brother did, answering what in the heck was peace pie (ya hippie!)?  I countered that I would also make some deviled eggs, they had to have an attitude, to which my sister replied how much she loved our family, big smiley face icon included.  And I answered that yes, at lease we are entertaining.

Then Mom asked why we had a lease?  And on it goes…

I said that’s what happens when I’m not writing, my spelling goes right down the loo.  Which is somewhat true, in that WordPress and my email provider, as well as Word, note the misspellings, but not the erroneous miscues.  Peace pie, at lease, the list is endless.  Similar to Radium 223; we assumed that was the next step, but maybe not.  Assuming is a tricky deal, not always for the best.  Maybe it’s best to be like Buttercup, hording the remote, ready to change the channel if the Giants get wonky.  And at least (not lease) Buttercup doesn’t care how I spell peach pie or at least.  She just wants to eat the pie, peaceful or not.

Dad wants pie too, and while ice cream is tasting good again, he prefers Cool Whip.  I also know he’d prefer radium over other treatments, just as he and I and Mom and my hubby and probably even Buttercup would prefer SF to win the Series at home.  But what we prefer is at times irrelevant.  All we can do is wait and see.

And eat the peach and peace pie with great big spoons.  And cheer on the Giants to perhaps another World Series championship!

The Radium 223 Road Trip Part One

 

If my life were longer, say another couple hundred years, I’d write a novel based upon this entry’s title.  But even if I live to my nineties, most likely the last few days will remain as a memory, barely touched on within this and the accompanying post.  So many things happened over the last few days that snatches will waft through me, until as Julie Brown once said, I can’t recall them anymore.

But obscure pop culture references aside, I want to recount a few tidbits of my recent days, because while life is meant to be lived in the here and now, what we pass along to others matters too, be it in the confines of doctor’s offices or over ice cream, or even when alone, conversing with a creator who made the whole kit’n’kaboodle.  At times, time is frozen, like the sign at a Bakersfield liquor store, advertising the sale of film, sandwiches and picnic supplies.  When I saw that sign, I had to pull out the phone, capturing that piece of a bygone era.  Who sells film, or even notes its sale, anymore?

(Later I learned that no, they don’t sell film.  But I’m glad they still have the sign.)

When Dad saw his oncologist a few weeks back, radium was already on the proverbial treatment table.  His visit to the UC Davis Medical Center last week was the preliminary step, introductions between Dad, Mum, me, and a very personable doc who thought Radium 223 was Dad’s best option, assuming Dad isn’t anemic.  Radium 223 is relatively new, approved by the FDA in early 2013 after very promising trials.  It’s infused right into the bloodstream, going straight for the bones.  Fatigue and diarrhea will be the main side effects, but Dad was optimistic, especially after hearing that the next treatments were Jevtana, the bully-chemo-cousin to Taxotere, or another hormone pill that probably wouldn’t do Dad much good, coming too close on the heels of his days with Zytiga.  We might consider Xtandi later on, well after his encounter with Radium 223 is over, but right now Radium 223 will be enough to ponder.  Dad won’t be radioactive, the doc noted with a smile, so hugs are strongly encouraged.

After the low-down was discussed, we were sent to the lab, so Dad could give blood, to make sure among other things that he’s not anemic.  This has become so much of his life now that he doesn’t flinch, even made the doc laugh when Dad said they could poke him wherever they wanted.  “You’re at a university hospital,” the doc slyly smiled.  “Don’t go saying that around here.”  We all chuckled as Dad was called back to give blood.  Mom nibbled on a granola bar while I considered my next activities; we all had miles to go before we slept.  Dad wasn’t in there long, and slowly we approached the main entrance.  The facilities at UC Davis Medical Center were excellent, and everyone was pleasant and upbeat.  As usual Dad was his charming self, which I know bolsters not only his health, but the rest of us too.  Several times the doc noted this wasn’t a curative therapy.  It’s solely to give Dad, and us, as much time as possible.

And again Dad noted that he felt he had another couple of decades.  What more can we ask for?

While my parents had to navigate Sacramento freeways to get back home, I took another route, not one returning me to Silicon Valley.  The Central Valley was my destination, so we didn’t linger long, saying our goodbyes, which are temporary, for Dad will be back in Sac in a few weeks, possibly sooner, depending on the results of his labs.  If his white blood count and platelets are normal, and he’s not anemic, the first infusion of Radium 223 could take place ASAP.  These treatments will continue every four weeks for six months, unless his PSA skyrockets, in which case this option will be dropped.  But the doc noted that PSA’s are no longer the be-all end-all markers of prostate cancer.  In the last five years, PSA’s have mattered less, as long as the patient is feeling well.  With bone cancer now in the picture, not to mention Dad’s COPD, a host of ailments hover.  Dad himself said that prostate cancer isn’t usually what kills, and some men live for years with the condition.  Dad’s thinking another twenty of those years, and we’ll take it day by day to see.

Day by day is all any of us have, whether we’re seventy, forty-eight, or twenty-two, with another life eager to enter the world.  My next stop on the road trip was to see my youngest’s best friend, the mum-to-be of Master Z.  I was also on a quilt-delivery mission, but that destination was at the tail-end of Highway 99.  Before I closed my eyes on that day, Bakersfield, California was awaiting me.  I hugged and kissed my parents, walked to my car, then started the engine.  Pulling out of the UC Davis parking garage, I made my way for US 50, which would take me to 99 South, for Fresno the sign said.  I smiled; many cities and small towns between Sac and Fresno, and a few more separating Fresno and my final stop for the day…