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