It has taken a real effort to start this blog entry. The roller-coaster emotions of cancer treatment continue, I am not exaggerating when I describe it as difficult. However, we remind each other every time we get down that it beats the shit out of the alternative.
We were very excited when the 18 week MAI chemo program had beaten back the 2 main tumors in the abdomen, and evidently erased the 2 metastasized tumors in my lungs. There was a break of about 8 weeks, during which I had some dental work done that could not have occurred during chemo. Instead of having expensive tooth reconstruction that will soon be submitted to a crematorium, I had a tooth removed and am letting that gap in my lower back tooth line be the solution. Then a CT on Dec. 16 showed that the tumor on the right side, pressing on the iliac and femoral veins had grown 1cm. The next day, Dr. B started me on a new outpatient chemo program with Doxil, which is similar to one component in the 18 week MAI regime. Doxil is another form of Doxorubicin coated in lipids to allow for slow release into the bloodstream.
This Christmas, Peggy was able to get all her chicks into the house. Tommy & Zoe flew in from Healdsburg, Gini flew in from Seattle, with a shorter trip, Leigh & Chris and Tipsy & Jackson, had the house bursting at the seams. The times spent with the children were wonderful. We fried a turkey for dinner Christmas Eve, had a huge rib roast for Peggy’s birthday and collapsed on our anniversary. Tommy & Zoe brought another card game to teach everyone, except me of course. Most of you are aware that from a celebration planning perspective, I’m a lucky man. Peggy’s birthday (I won’t say which one) is Dec 26th, and our 39th wedding anniversary was Dec 27th. All those expensive presents (that’s my story & I’m sticking to it!!) are bought at the same time to be doled out over 3 days, and it’s impossible for me to do that classic husband thing and forget our anniversary, or her birthday (still not saying which one).
In the traditional “Santa Cookies” baking session, Tommy honored me with a 2nd Row Cookie, looks just like me… KNOCK-ON!!
We also visited my sister Leigh in Section 60, the wreaths placed by Wreaths Across America create a stunning visual.
After the holidays, I did notice the “Say hello to my little friend!!” tumor was starting to pooch out on my right side, you can see it sitting there. On this past Tuesday, we met with Dr. B & Marissa to review blood work and an echocardiogram I had the day before. When I showed him my new little ‘pannier’ (bicycle saddlebag), the whole game changed. He cancelled the chemo session I had scheduled that afternoon. There was another CT this past Friday and we meet with them again on Tuesday, the 21st. The multidisciplinary tumor board in Baltimore is meeting to plot a new course of treatment, and also to search for a clinical trial that I may qualify for.
The meeting this past week was rough, I did ask the question however, lofted from a deep pit of discouragement, what would happen if I dropped out of treatment efforts. How, or what would be the process of my death. To my surprise, he answered the question.