Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011

Hello my friends,
It's been a rough couple of weeks. The chemo chemicals that we have been using have become ineffective against the cancer. I had a cat scan last Friday to see where we are.  There have been no changes in the intestinal cancer or the liver.  Alas, it appears the cancer has spread to my lungs with five or six small spots starting to grow in size. Two were there as small specks in the November scan but had remained dorment until recently.  We've changed chemicals and will give the new plan ago for the next six weeks. I had my first treatment on Tuesday of this week. If nothing else the side effects are far less severe. 
   Clearly, I'm not as positive as I have been in the past. I think the Oncologist is struggling a little with why it did not go according to plan. But I'm still alive and intend to give it a good fight.  Am still avoiding crowds and continue to have very low white cell counts. If it ever improves to a safe level I will show up at dance one of these evenings. My energy level has improved since stopping the original chemo chemicals.  All for now

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday 6/16/11

Hello my friends,
The chemo from two weeks ago went very smoothly. I had pretrty much super hydrated my body and that seemed to substantialy lessen the chemo side effects. I've had a good two weeks and got back alot of energy that has been missing.  Alas, I seem to have fallen into a black hole. I was suppose to have chemo this past Tuesday. They did lab work proir to the chemo. My white cell count is now in the critically low range and the chemo was cancelled.  Unforunately my tumor marker numbers have also risen rather substantially. I'm rescheduled for chemo next Monday. I'm doubtful that the white count will be much improved by then. Which means the tumor marker will rise some more.  Sort of between a rock and a hard spot. 
  Some more good news-I've gained back some weight. I hit a low a few weeks back of 210 #'s. That's down from from my weight in October of 265#'s. I'm now back up to 223#'s. Because of the critically low white count I need to contiue my isolation, and wash everthing constantly.  I miss seeing and being with you all, however, they do not want me picking up any kind of bug. I've been very lucky so far.
   Hope you are all well-maybe we'll have some summer weather soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday, 5/30/11

Hi all,
Sorry to take so long, but it's been an interesting few weeks. I had chemo last week(12 days ago). Had some new chemicals which really knocked me down. ended up up becoming very dehydrated and ended up at the clinic twice to receive IV'S of saline solution to rehydrate my cells. Also major problem with the blood thinner. had to quit taking for several days.  Anyway apetite returned about last Thursday and I've been eating alot. My weight is down to 210 lbs. My next chemo is this coming Tuesday.  It will also probably knock me down. I'm drinking a lot of water to try and build up my cell structure before the chemo. There is some good news. The chemo two weeks ago did a number on the cancer and cut my tumor marker numbers in half.  If we can do that again this next week I will be at a new all time low since I started the chemo process. Looks like I'm going to have these past few days as my good week. Still short of breath and low blood pressure. Still have tingling fingers, but the nausea is pretty much gone for the moment, hince the eating binge.  Big thanks to those making and delivering food this past week.  It has been very timely and delicious. Will add some new pictures next update-The new slim me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday may 5, 2011

Hi all,
A little slow in getting recovered this week. Last week was chemo week and back onto the nasty chemo. Actually, it was slightly worse than I expected having been off of it for six weeks. at the end of the session last week I became very sick and disoriented. Forunately some one was available to come and get me. All parties involved (including me) realized there was no way I could stay home alone and take care of myself. The disorientation made it very difficult to walk with out assistance. Anyway, the recovery has been slow and I am just yesterday recovered enough to really feel like getting out of my apartment. I donate fluids tomorrow at the lab, to see if the blood can stand another round of the nasty chemo. I hope so because it feels like the resurgent cancer systems of last week have again gone into retreat.   I can live with the chemo side effects for another four weeks and will do so if the drug is really hammering the cancer. My tumor level had fallen to 200(low point March 7. since then it has risen to over 600. Would really like to get down under 200 in the next few weeks. Sooo1, ervryone start thinking low numbers John!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday April 17, 2011

Hi all,
 Another chemo week behind me. Again without the nasty chemical.  Well, good news and bad news. The good news is the side effects are pretty minimal-yea. The bad news is that my tumour marker has risen from 200 where is was March 7, to 600 two weeks ago and climbing. Hopefully my blood factors have had a chance to recover somewhat. I will go back to the old program that has the nasty chemical, until the white cells are again in the basement. My oncologist is now saying he thinks he can kill off the Intestinal tumour with the chemicals, and we can avoid surgery.  So am going to enjoy the good week this week knowing I'm going to get sideswiped next week.  Nice day today-Actually feels like spring. Spent some time this afternoon with my grandson and his mom. He's six and in Kindergarden. Alas, I've had to avoid  him most of the winter in that he has had lots of illness which his mom also gets. All for now

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wed Mar30

Hi all,
Ok, had the cat scan last Wednesday. Got the results yesterday plus another, albeit smaller, dose of chemicals. The scan was a high contrast scan of the abdomen. It was made in the same manner as the baseline scan we made in November so we could get to this day and be able to measure  our progress. Three things were on the mission plate
1. stop the spread of the cancer cells- Happy to report that no new cancer tumours showed up yesterday-yea

2. reverse the process and start killing off the existing cancer cells-excellent success with the tumours on the liver-They appear to have shrunk to less than half their November size. yea in November probably 40% of the liver was covered with tumours. very good progress

3. Toumor in the small intestine. No progress there and will probably require surgery down the road to remove-this is the mother toumor which is the original starting point.
 Oncologist is dropping the really nasty chemo cocktail. it's the one that is $16,000 each chemo session or $32,000 per month. (ya'll might want to check your medical insurance details before you get to where I am).

My stamina level is getting better each week. Hope to be back dancing in a few weeks if all contiues to go well. Have also noticed that I not longer have those nasty nose bleeds today. hmmmm
Anyway all seems to be going to plan

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Mar 17

Hi all, Last week was suppose to be a chemo week, but Drs. decided the blood factors were too low so we skipped that week. It was great for me to have two weeks back to back. Sort of dreaded this week however.  Anyway this was the chemo week.  Had it on Tuesday instead of Monday. So it's Thursday evening, and I'm just starting to be able to and drink and not throw up. The vomiting actually started in the car on the way home from Chemo Tuesday evening.  Have spent the last two days in bed sipping water and hoping itstayed down. It did not until Wednesday afternoon. Went in to the clinic today to get the pump pack removed. Got an Intrvenous pack of anti nausia goop since all the pills for the same were coming back up. Anyway seem to be on the road to stability at the moment.   I am scheduled for a CATT scan next Wednesday. This is the "see where we are check", which was scheduled for early May. Not sure why it has been moved up.  THe tumour marker this week is 270, so looks like we're still heading in the right direction.  Sorry to miss all the St

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday March 4 2011

Hi all,
Finally going to update the blog. The last chemo session two weeks ago really layed me low. In addition, I picked  up some cold type bug that really added to my misery.  It appears my low white count is border line as to weather or not to drop a chemo session so my bone marrow can play catch up.  Skipping a week sure gets my vote. Will know thjis Monday if we proceed or not.  I could use the break emotionally.  A quick look to give you an idea where I'm at.
  Normal level of tumour markers in a well adult is 5 or less. The Oncologist did a baseline check of the marker on me at the end of October . My marker measured 1475 and rising. I'm still stupified that my Primary care physician of seven years never bothered to check.  Anyway the good news is my marker measured 375 last week. It's been a pretty straight line downward since I've been getting the chemo and I'm still alive.  Still aways to go and the last 370 will probably be the hardest to get down. 
   Big thanks from the old timers from the Norwegian winter dance camp. Your email of greetings was greatly appreciated. Hope you're all home safely by now. Thanks to Susan Brodie of New York for organizing that effort. I really appreciate all the positive energy and prayers being sent my way. 
   Physically, I still have most of my hair and have been able to stablize my weight.  Still very low energy level and very effected by cold air(nose bleed city with that). 
Hats-- so far I'm through my baseball cap, a french beret, and looks like an irish cap my be coming my way. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday evening Feb 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day to you all. Sorry about not being very current with the blog updates. It's been a pretty crummie week health wise. Last Monday was the start of Chemo week. New drugs, really bad side effects. Have been sick all week, with little or no energy.  Have lost another five pounds do to not eating. Read somewhere that 25% of cancer deaths are due to malnoutrision.  I can beleive it. Even with the anti nausea drugs , nothing but water stays down. and I'm not sure of that. It was Wed nite befor I could get some juice to stay down. I'm still not back to normal, so hope this week improves. Go in in the morning for a "finger poke" as they call it. They are doing a marvelous job of keeping me alive, and are monitoring my blood very carefully. White cell count is still in the basement, so may get to skip a week, but Dr is aggressive in his attack on the tumours. Otherwise, for the many of you who I don't see, I still have most of my hair, and am becoming slim and sevelt. My opinion, not necessarily shared by all.  If you have pictures to share send them to my email yahoo acount.  Seems this blog has sent my email address to all the spammers in the world. If I don't regognize your email address or name there is the possibility I will delete your email without reading. So if you sent me soemthing and I don't respond, try again with a form of recognition. I'm not getting out much, waiting for the weather to warm. The cold air intensifies some of the side effects, so pics are appreciated. Received a great short video of the dance weekend a few weeks ago at trollhaugen, and their greetings to me. That was a morale lifter. I think there is a how we doing session coming after a few more sessions. The cat scan a few weeks ago was to quick and with out contrast so not helpful re the chemo's effect. It was mostly a chek on the status of the blood clots in my arm vein and heart.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wed Jan 26, 2011

Hi all,
Another session of chemo behind me. The white cell count was slightly improved but not signicificately in my view. But the Dr was happy, so we forged ahead. The good news was the Tumour marker in the blood continues to fall.  For this I'm very happy. A very good chance that we have indeed stopped the spread and are now focusing on getting rid of the entrenched.  The two weeks off was great. But think I am paying for it now. The side effects continue to be different each time. Nausea much more severe this time around. I lost Tuesday to sleep. I'm amazed how much I sleep after the chemo sessions.  Susan, hope you have a great time in Norway. Please give my regards to Karin and Oolaf, and the rest of the gang.  It will soon be time for another luncheon at the Swedish Postal museum Eh!  Big thanks to Shirley and Lynn for keeping the dancing going at Greig lodge.  Looking forward to spring.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Jan 17, 2011

Good evening all,
    Another interesting day. It was suppose to be the start of chemo number six. However, we did the usual lab work prior to seeing the Oncologist. His reveiw of the lab work indicated a need to stop for a week and take a break. The blood cells were pretty low, near the saftey margin, so we will skip a week this week's chemo and restart next Monday. Ended up going to the hospital for a lung/heart cat scan. There was some indication of a blood clot at the end of the PICC line where it terminates inside the heart. Not a good thing.  Fortunately, the clot is very small, but there.
   On to the good news.  The tumour marker in the blood has been declining for five weeks which is really really good.  also the Dr.s physical exam indicates the same change. He said that on my first visit he could feel the tumours on the liver. He says they have receded and can no longer be felt.  And!! because the nausea side effect was far less last week, I stuffed my face with as much food as possible-results is I've gained back 5 pounds. Looks like my hair is thinning. 
Possibly in a few months I'll be a Yul Brenner look alike-just more handsome??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Jan 9 2010

Well, as you can see the Chemo side effects are finally being reflected in physical appearence. I kind of thought this wopuld eventually happen-one can only wipe ones nose for so long before it begins to move. Other wise I'm feeling pretty good

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Jan 4,2011

Hi all,
sorry to have been so lax in my blog updates. Yes I'm still alive. Yesterday was the first day of the fourth Chemo session.  Blood clots are still a problem. Took nearly an hour to get the pick line cleared enough so that the chemicals could be delivered. I think the chemicals are a little more powerful in that the side affects were far more intense this time around. Had a very sleepless night last night because of them. A difficult day today. The good news is I think we have hit on away to stop the nose bleeds.  Today is the first day with out one.  Tomorrow I will be rid of the portable chemo pack, so hopefully the side effects will decrease over the next two or three days. Last week was a quiet week. I tried eating everything in sight to get my weight back. Alas not to successful. Looked at some lab details testing the liver function for the last eight weeks. So far we are getting some pretty darn good improvement in the liver function. Still have a ways to go.  now estimating that we will do another "PET" scan to make sure there is no new tumors showing up else where, and , to see if we have been successful in reducing the size of the existing tumors. so enough about me.
  Hope you all had a great new years eve. I personally am happy to have 2010 behind me.