• Karen

Keytruda cycle 8 started & PCP visit

The male Costa's hummingbird that was hanging out in my yard until recently. Now he's moved on to cooler climes.

David got his eighth IV of the Keytruda immunotherapy drug on Thurs. but didn't meet with Dr. Brooks or Linda. He'll see Dr. Brooks the next time he gets Keytruda (in three weeks), and then he'll ask Dr. Brooks how many cycles of Keytruda there might be. We don't know if the plan is to keep getting Keytruda as long as David doesn't start having autoimmune or other problems, or if the goal is to get a specific number of cycles.

The blood tests that Dr. Brooks did showed that David's CEA tumor marker is 3.0, which is what it was last time. That is slightly above the high end of the normal range (2.5), but it doesn't appear to be increasing, so that's good.

David also saw Dr. Oh, his PCP, this week. She had some blood tests done, most of which came back fine. But David's cholesterol is now high, which is surprising because he has always had very low cholesterol. His blood sugar is also high; it's now in the middle of the pre-diabetes range. He has had problems with high blood sugar before, but the steroids he was on before the brain radiation treatments lowered it a lot. Apparently that benefit has worn off, probably because one side of Keytruda is high blood sugar.

So, now David has to be very strict again about not eating sugar and simple carbs (bread, pasta, crackers, chips, pretzels, and so on). That's tough for him, but he's done it before and is determined to lower his blood sugar. Given that COVID-19 mortality is associated with diabetes and the fact that David wants to get rid of the weight he gained while on the steroids, avoiding these foods would be good.