As of today I have been off Gleevec for 10 days.
Here's what I noticed.
Fatigue - for the most part I would say it is probably about the same maybe a little less. This one is hard to gauge because I was on vacation with family at Disney and we did a lot of running around etc. So I was rightfully tired at the end of the day, but I was energetic during the day. I took vacations while on Gleevec, and I noticed that the fatigue had let up some when my mind was distracted and I wasn't in the daily grind. It is hard to tell if there is any real difference here, for the most part I would say probably about the same.
Muscle pain/spasms - I've seen some improvement here. I still have a lot of low back pain and the pelvic pain problem I have is ever present. My legs in general feel pretty good and I have not been having muscle spasms. I am able to stretch and I am able to stress my muscles with push-ups without any pain.
Skin - Big improvement here, I spent a week in the Florida sun (it wasn't that hot) without any sunscreen. I got a nice tone to my skin color, if I had still been on Gleevec I would have burned because I burned with much less exposure in the past. I've lost the pasty white skin tone and I am not showing signs of easy bruising (I carried a back pack all through the parks, which have been leaving bruises on my shoulders where the straps rub - I didn't get that at all this week).
Puffy eye - I still have some bags under my eyes, but they have gone down quite a bit, much less noticeable than before.
Overall I would say each day off I was feeling a bit better, I'm sure some of it was psychological, but there has been some noticeable differences.
Today my holiday ends and I start Sprycel. I took my first pill a couple of hours ago. So far nothing really to mention, I have some tightness in my chess, probably stress, doesn't really feel like heart or lungs, more like the sternum - I'm pretty sure no one develops a PE or PAH in a couple of hours, I know that takes time to build up when it happens. This pain isn't entirely new so probably not related. Starting to get a bit of a headache, hoping it doesn't get too bad. Going to try and go to sleep and see if I can sleep through it. Hoping for the best with this drug. It was a tough decision given that Gleevec was working on CML, but the side effects were taking a big toll. Hoping I don't go from the frying pan to the fire.
I have blood work every week for next four weeks then I go in for PCR test (was due in Dec anyway). I will see Dr early Jan for results, assuming I have no reason to see her any sooner.
I had a blood draw today for another PSA test. I'm sure it will be elevated, since the pelvic pain symptoms have been really bad. As much as it sucks, I just keep telling myself it is good, everyone says with Prostate Cancer there would not be pain, so all symptoms and signs point to prostatitis. Still very unsettling that the PSA is up and I doubt I will avoid having to get a biopsy if it comes back elevated again. I guess it will be worth it to just get a definitive answer but still very upsetting. Also unsettling that if it is prostatitis they aren't really offering me any options. They're just kind of looking at it as not being prostate cancer and not saying much more. I will live with the pain if it means it is not prostate cancer, but the pain kind of sucks and this seems to be completely isolated from my CML world.
I turn 40 in a couple of weeks, I feel a lot older - on the flip side 2 1/2 years ago I wasn't sure I would make it to 40 (perhaps I should keep my mouth shut for a couple more weeks)!
Hope everyone else is doing well.....