March 29 Saturday

Dearest Freinds, Family, Amigas, Compecinos:

Today I am on Cycle 6 of the treatment. As usual, it started yesterday with my 6 hour infusion of chemicals, then continued today with a half day tomorrow with my Chemo-on-the-Go pack (that’s the real stuff). I should be done with that tomorrow. Right now I am feeling good. I went back through my notes on the previous 5 cycles, many of you who have worked with me know that I like to make binders of all knids of stuff and I have, as usual,  one on my chemo.  Well, comparing my feeling today with what I have experienced previously on the days-after, and I seem to be more sprightly (as Kathy said) today than normal. No aches or pains. No nausia. Up to 32oz of water already by noon (gotta push the fluids), so I am optimistic that the next three days will continue this positive trend.

In looking at my standard lab results, most readings are within normal range. Two values that are on the low side are red blood cell count, and white blood cell count, both of which are hovering at or slightly below acceptable thresholds. This is to be expected, though, since the treatment I get attacks those cells as well as the cancer cells. I don’t know if it is to the same degree, however. In any event, in response to low white cell count, the Doc lowered the level of concentration in my chemicals from an 80% to 70% solution to keep my body functioning at a level that keeps the treatments going – he doesnt want to knock me down entirely – just a kick in the pansts will do nicely :o) Fatigue is the biggest thing I deal with and even on good days I have to rest about 90min sometime during the day.

On a more positive note, every 6 weeks the Doc orders a particular lab test that traces what are called “markers” for the cancer. Since they can’t really directly monitor the cancer cells themselves, they use the presence of these marks as indicators of the degree of cancer I am dealing with. The normal reading for these markers is <=34. On my base line test back in January, before treatment began, I had a reading of over 20,000, which was disheartening.  My next test, which was Mid Feb showed that after 3 treatments they had come down to 13,700. The latest test, March 6, showed a further reduction to 2,000. Without getting too optomistic, this seems to indicate good progress so far in controling this unwelcomed guest. Coupled with my lack of pain (its so much better than in October November December) and no problems with other organs so far, my outlook is positive at this point. As I said, I don’t want to get to high or too low during these days – I just appreciate the good days when they come and keep a positive outlook.  I know it had better, since you all will hold me accountable if I stop believing. Next CT scan to get a picture of the darn thing will be mid April.

I am glad to see so many of you accepting my challenge to do something for yourself. You all have given to others (your job, family )for a long time, now including me, Its time for you now , too – Phil tossing the baseball around with me like he did in younger days, Marsi making HUGE afghan blankets – Janet taking long walks along the beach to soak in the fresh sea air and enjoy the outdoors –  Lee -Ann off in hawaii – Marsi just back from there – Jeff going CRAZY on the Aztecs Tournament Run -Ron building another kick-butt remote controlled hover drone (wow – don’t lose it!) – Mario golfing as well as golfing and then meeting his friends on the tee box – Tony and Lynn getting a chance to move closer down from Temecula (we know how much he likes clearing things out as part of these moves). Keep it up!

For my part, I continue to read and relax. Playing my favorite old-timer board games with guys as far away as Portugal, and as close the Utilities ( Erik and I had a game earlier this week where he flamed a couple of my Shermans with a German 88MM OUCH!) If I can hook up with Bresnahan, I am thinking of taking up painting too – that should be a hoot. And I am getting closer to being able to play my clarinet again. If I do, I will back out on the Prado in Balboa Park and for those who stop by, I will play your favorite song, as long as its Limbo Rock :o)..

Take Care, Lots of Hugs,

Love to You All

Alex

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11 thoughts on “March 29 Saturday

  1. Jen C says:

    Happy to hear the markers can tell the tail that the chemo is working, think of you and Kathy often. One of my daughters has been home from UC Davis this week; I took a few days off to allow for mother/daughter adventures and time to fully appreciate each other company. Working on the ranch today and organizing my new garage/art studio 😀 Sending continued healing energy your way.

  2. I’ll take the trajectory of those results! And, given your comments are coming faster post treatments, I’ll consider that a very good sign. Now, stop cheating on Scrabble and distracting her with your requests (“Kath, I need some water [cheat, cheat]. Oh, how did I miraculously manage to get all those points from that obscure word????”) and let Kath win. Love you!

  3. The Avery's says:

    Hi Dear Friend thanks for a GOOD report,keep up the good work Alex,so many of us are pulling for you. Love Hazel XX

  4. Kristen says:

    Wonderful heartwarming news! Made my day. What do you have in mind for painting? Let me know if I can help : )
    Kristen

  5. Vic Bianes says:

    Happy to hear you are doing much better my friend. I too will take up your challenge to improve. Will focus more health and family. When your up to it, I would enjoy crashing your get together with Bresnahan. I see him periodically for lunch to catch-up. I will continue to keepy you in my thoughts and prayers. Vic

    • Hey Vic:
      Thanks for the positive vibes. You still doing well at the big water wheeler? Hope so. And you need to do something fun. Greek went on a four day two wheeled adventure south of the boarder. What’s in your plans? I thinnk you need a week in Napa Valley, or possibly Seattle. I know. Tell the Authority you need to do some watershed management research and you are flying up to Portland to talk to the water authority up there about their crazy release of 35m gallons of water after some teenager relieved himself in their reservoir. Just good research for future San V management, don’t you think? :o)

      Take care, my friend

      Alex

  6. Rod says:

    Alex, You’ve come a long way Baby. Great to hear you’re kick’n this thing in the ass. I’m also taking your advice, spending time enjoying the great outdoors and enjoying time with the family. Took a super fun 4 day motorcycle ride into Mexico and met a lot of great folks.

    You’ll have to give me a heads up when you’re going to be back playing in the Prado. I’ll definitely come by to hear you play and I’ll buy the drinks…
    Keep on keep’n on Alex,
    Rod

    • Hey Rod:
      4 day motorcycle ride into Mexico? Outstanding! Now, don’t hurt yourself, you know you are getting up there and all that heat and pounding will take its toll on an ol’ time bean counter like yourself! :o) Kidding. Nice to hear you are having fun.

      I’ll let you know when I am back at the Prado – will be aiming for May – and you can definately buy me a drink, ’cause after you’ve heard my tunes, a couple of shots will go down nicely..

      hand in there, my friend,

  7. Rod says:

    Excellent Alex,
    I just read your April 23rd posting and am so pleased to hear the continued good news. You’re one tough dude. See you in May at the Prado.

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