Saturday, December 19, 2009

Test Results 12/17/09


I returned back to Seattle late Thursday evening from Houston (MD Anderson) after meeting with Dr. Araujo on Thurs AM to review my test results, and talk about the treatment plan for 2010. Not much change in the tumor shrinkage department to report. From reading the scans she couldn't see any change in the tumor size from my last scan. Not all bad news though. We have no spread or new growth which is great, and she feels really good about my continued ability to handle the chemo along with what she labeled as "control of the disease." My brother in law Tyler, has been to Houston twice with me during this process, and he is always really good at asking the tougher questions (Thanks BIG T!) for me. We wanted to get a better idea on how long we should expect to do the chemotherapy treatment(s). Things can always change, as this is an aggressive form of cancer, but for now I want to let everyone know that I will be doing the chemotherapy "until otherwise something changes." The particular type of tumor that I have doesn't respond well to "not" having chemotherapy blast away at it. Other people who may be in the same spot as I am with other types of cancer-as far as having their cancer under control might be able to get off the therapy and move on, I cannot do that right now as we really want to get more time under our belts of having the tumors (a)not grow or spread (b) continue to shrink/disappear. For now I am staying on the current chemo drugs that I have been taking, but may switch the chemo types during the year depending on our continued level of progress.

So: Is it disappointing to know that I have to do chemo for what may seem like a long time (years?) YES! But I'm also encouraged with my progress considering where I began last year. Also, I got the chance to spend some time with other cancer patients this trip in what I told everybody in the room at the time felt like "A scene out of the old TV show MASH" Sick people laying everywhere looking like we all had maybe walked through a minefield with IV's, bandages and blood access lines on everyone of us.....(I was happy with the big laugh I invoked from the crowd at 10 o'clock PM at a cancer hospital from people who I'm sure could always claim to not be in the mood...haha.) There were several younger gentlemen that had reached stage 4 cancers, they talked about their numerous years in chemo, radiation, stem cell transplants (3-5 years of chemo) and were subsequently bragging to the rest of us about their remission status. So, although I thought the bragging was a little much, I did take a quiet mental note on what they had achieved, and realized to myself that this is a bigger picture haul then just being cured in one year of chemo-but certainly achievable with the right focus and faith........As always the continued prayers are such a blessing from all of you. Chemotherapy begins again Monday, and this round (round 13) will end on January 1st.....

Anyways that's my update for now, I get to hang out with my Niece Riley all weekend so I am excited. Little kids bring out a ton of Joy in all of us, so its off to the aquarium!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I can't believe its December!

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to shoot a quick update out on the blog. I have finished 4 full rounds of my second dosage level of chemotherapy. I am headed to Houston on Wed AM with my brother in-law Tyler, for a series of tests, and a meeting with my primary doctor on Thursday morning. Hopefully I will be on here on Thursday evening with some more great news. This has been a tough year to say the least, and I am looking forward to a great 2010! So far so good on how I am handling this current dosage, it consists of 10 days of chemo in a row, with 9 days off in-between. The major side-effect is usually a bad case of "the runs." I have been fortunate to not experience that yet, nor any issues with nausea, mouth sores, or weight loss (I think I'm the only cancer patient in the world to gain 20 pounds during this process, hahaha.) I'm trying to get up enough guts to ask the doctor "how long do I have to do chemo for?" but I'm not quite there yet! I think I can at least get comfortable with asking "what can I expect in 2010 as far as chemo treatments?" Its easy to be scared sometimes knowing the full truth and wondering how that would effect your long term outlook on the whole situation, but I'm at least ready to ask the sort-of truth for the near future, haha.

We are now at almost a full year from diagnosis, and 11 months of treatment. I have some big decisions to make over the next few weeks with respect to job, living situation, etc. Please keep me in your thoughts as I try and make some of these tough life decisions. The support continues to be tremendous, as I continue to hear from so many people both from my past, and current life on a daily basis. Its cool to see how many people reach out to you in tough times like this. I hope to have great news on progress, as well as a better idea of the total plan for treatment for 2010 the next time I post later this week. Again, I have tests Wed. of this week, and meet with the doctor THU. AM. Please root for great news! All of your prayers have continued to be such a blessing!

Thanks Everybody!