Or how Xeloda (capecitabine) is working more ways than one.
I had my latest oncology appointment yesterday, and to my surprise found out that I have a new head oncologist. Well two actually Dr B and Dr O who jobshare sort of… Dr H is quite old and has a huge workload in both the private and public sector, so I can see why he might have to cut his caseload from time to time. With being under a public health system you sometimes are at the vagaries of the system. I saw Dr O yesterday and she said I would always see her or Dr B but that if I would rather stay with Dr H she would see what they could do to switch me back. As much as I have liked being under Dr H – Dr O also seemed to really know her stuff aroung IBC and metastatic breast cancer and we struck up a very good rapport, she answered all my questions well and allayed some of my concerns. She is quite happy for me to be a bit of a assertive patient and understands my need to be as much in control as I can be. I got a really good vibe off her and so think I will stay and give her and Dr B a chance.
I got my prescription for my new batch of Xeloda and started them this morning. As all my side- effects are manageable we have kept me at the higher dose. The only signs of hand-foot syndrome have been a propensity for my feet to blister in a pair of new winter boots which shows that my skin on my feet is more sensitive. And last night when I went to a show my enthusiastic clapping left my hands more red and ‘sting-y’ than usual. I had also had a bit of what I thought was a breakout on my face.
I had developed a couple of little pink patches on my forehead and a blistery sore spot above my lip which was definitely not a coldsore- when I showed them to my oncologist at yesterday’s appointment she explained what they were. They were the reaction of precancerous cells to Xeloda. (the joys of growing up in the 70’s under an ozone hole and not caring about sunscreen) These cells would have eventually lead to lead to the more benign basal cell skin cancer which is usually treated with a cream that contains 5 fu the same active ingredient as Xeloda.
In cream form it is known as fluorouracil cream. So I’m getting a two for one deal with my Xeloda not only is it working on my liver met but as the onc says my skin is going to come out of it better as well.
In other good news, the Xeloda is working, even though it was only my first cycle my tumour markers have started to drop already.