Another Journey Update…

Sorry I have not posted in a while, but I have been trying to figure out how to word things.  Then I thought, that’s stupid, why don’t I do what I always do, just say it like it is.

Well, Sandi and I spent the day together on Tuesday.  It was nice spending time with her, but it was at doctor appointments.  Spending any time with Sandi is great, even if it is at doctor appointments.

The day started with my radiation therapy.  She came back to the room and saw the exam being performed.  Radiation therapy is going well.  I have three more sessions (I will be done next Wednesday).  The pain from the mass is getting better, but not sure if it due to the doctors increasing my pain meds or if the radiation therapy is doing its job.  I have not felt any decrease in the size of the mass, but that may not happen until after therapy is done. 

We then went to see my oncologist.  He was very happy with my weight gain.  Up to 177 pounds now.  I have gained 45 pounds since the beginning of August.  We discussed starting me on a new drug (think Huey Lewis, “I Want a New Drug”).  The drug is Vectibix and we will see what it can do for me.  I will be on it for about two months and then we will do a CT scan to see if this new drug has made any difference.

The it was off to lunch.  We met up with our niece, Kristen, for lunch at Bravo.  We had a nice lunch and visit with Kristen. 

Next stop, the surgeon.  I really like my surgeon, but he can be very direct.  I like people that are direct, you know where you stand with them, but it can be painful sometimes.  He told us that he would do more harm than good if he performed surgery right now.  We did look at my latest CT scan and it looked pretty ugly.  My entire abdomen is just full of cancer.  He pointed out some of the tumors as well.  He seemed a little puzzled about next steps and noted that he is not giving up on me yet.  Yes, very comforting words.  One good thing is that he is also happy with my weight gain and so we are going to get me off of the TPN treatments.  Sunday night will be my last treatment.  We will then see if I can self-sustain my own weight.  It is also nice to get off TPN as Sandi and I would like to take a trip for our anniversary and we were not going to be able to do that if I was still getting TPN treatments.

Anyway, the nutshell is that radiation therapy is going well and will be ending soon.  Getting off TPN.  Chemo will be starting in about a week and a half.  That’s the update.  Thanks for reading!!

New Game Plan…

I have had many discussions with my oncologist over the last week or so.  I have challenged him to be more aggressive with my treatment and he has responded.  One item that he keeps coming back to is my pain.  He is on a mission to rid me of pain and I appreciate that!

As noted in an earlier post, some new masses have been found.  One of the masses is a couple inches below my belly button and is superficial.  I can feel it and it freaks me out.  Anyway, this particular mass is causing the most pain.  We have talked about radiation therapy in the past and it is not really an option for me, as my cancer is not contained in one tumor or one area.  However, since this new tumor is superficial and in an area we can “get to”, we have chosen to do radiation therapy on this single tumor to shrink it and alleviate the pain.  Wikipedia has a good write up on radiation therapy here.

I spent about three hours in a radiology oncologists offices today getting worked up and mapped out for the treatment that I will be receiving.  I start my radiation therapy treatments tomorrow and will have 10 sessions/treatments.  At that time, the tumor should be under control and the pain should also be under control.

While I am undergoing radiation therapy, I cannot get chemo.  So, when we are done with the radiation treatments, I will start chemo again.  I will be getting a new drug, called Vectibix.  It has some nasty side effects, but at this point, we need to be aggressive, so I need to look past the side effects.

That is it for now.  Radiation therapy for the next 10 days and then starting a new chemo drug after that.  Keep praying!!

REFUSE TO LOSE!

Back to the grind…

Well, it is back to the grind, again.  Had a CT scan last week.  Results showed continued growth.  There are a few tumors that have grown from about an inch to an inch and a half.  There continues to be mild growth in the abdomen.  Gettin’ tired of these CT scan results. 

Started chemo again on Friday.  It hit me hard for the first five hours or so. Harder than I remember in the past, but got through it.  Will be having chemo treatments every two weeks, starting on Sept. 16th.  My oncologist is putting me back on Erbitux again.  This is the drug that gave me the very bad chemo rash.  Great.  My face gets to look like it went through a meat grinder again.

Met with my surgeon today.  At least a minimum of six more weeks on TPN.  Guess I better get used to this, even though I don’t like it.  He still wants me to gain more weight.  I have gained aoubt 20 lbs. in the last three and a half weeks.  He is happy with that, for sure.

Anyway, here we go again.  Will probably get another CT scan in about 2 months to check porgress.  I will continue to keep you all posted.

I want a new drug…

I want a new drug
One that won’t make me sick
One that won’t make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new drug
One that won’t hurt my head
One that won’t make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

–Huey Lewis

Yep, in the great words of Anonymous, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”. If you ask for new options, they will give it to you.

My chemo visit went well today. The time with the oncologist was good. We reviewed the results of the CT scan. He was quick to point out that there was a little growth. I think he was dissappointed to see that. I was also, but we then discussed that there are areas that are stable. That being said, we discussed the treatment options available to us. We have decided to put me on weekly chemo. I don’t really like that, but it is a good, aggressive stance. I have been taken off of all my drugs and am only on two new drugs. Well, almost new. I am back on Camptosar. We have also added Erbitux to the mix. One of the side effects of Erbitux is skin rash. Kinda like acne. Great, I get to relive my teenage years again!! Just my luck. It can be severe. One of the guys that I have been e-mailing (we both have stage IV colon cancer) said he got a severe rash on his face, chest, and neck, because of Erbitux. They are working adjusting his dose, so the rash is not so severe.

So, I am feeling great right now. Probably the best I have ever felt after a treatment. Again, not too happy with the weekly chemo treatments, but that is the approach right now. So, buckle up, here we go again!!

Rough week…

sickofit.jpgLet me start by saying, I don’t mean to complain. I am not feeling sorry for myself, but I am just sick of this cancer thing!!

This was a rougher week than I had expected. I am about half way through treatments right now. Six down, six to go! However, I thought I knew what to expect when my chemo weeks came around. This one caught me sideways.

The night of chemo was about the same. The second day was a little harder than normal (whatever normal is anymore!). Much time in bed that day with nausea and fatigue. Day three, I am usually ready to go back to work for at least half of the day. Not this time. Day three was rough. Again, much time in bed and in my big, comfy chair, under my favorite blanket. Too fatigued to do anything at all. So, I missed one more day of work than I usually due, and that gets to me. The great thing is, that my bosses at work are VERY understanding and supportive. They have been since hour one of this journey. I still hate missing work, though. It is therapy at times and keeps my mind on things other than cancer.

The bright light for this week was Tyler Alfriend. My buddy was able to go home for a few days and enjoy being somewhat of a normal teenager for awhile (again, whatever your definition of normal is). He enjoyed some friends over, had some wings, and played x-box. Great to hear the good news, Tyler. Will visit you when you are back in for chemo next week!

Anyway, not complaining, as many people are going through worse things than I am, but I am still SICK OF IT!! My next big event is my CT coming up this Thursday, March 6th. We are praying for the cancer to be gone!!! Refusing to Lose!!

Chemo — Session #2, Round #4

Just a quick update today.  Chemo hit me a little sideways last week, that’s why I have not posted in some time.  Sorry about that.

Chemo was a little rougher this time around and I am not sure why.  I was fighting nausea for a few days, but my meds helped me to combat that.  My biggest issue this time around was fighting fatigue.  I have not had energy for a few days now, but am still functioning some how.  I worked Friday and today, but was tired.  Still cannot feel my toes.  That is getting old!!

We are also going through our genetics testing.  My body doesn’t seem to want to produce some proteins, so we are going to try to figure some things out.  We get results in late March, so I will update you then!

I have a few posts to get to this week, so bear with me.

Keeping the faith and refusing to lose!!

Chemo – Session #2, Round #2…

Well, round two was this past Wednesday. The affect of chemo usually hit me on days four and five, but this time, it hit me on days one and two. I did ok during the treatment, but when I got home, it started to hit. Days one and two were filled with bouts of nausea and fatigue. Meds helped with the nausea, but the first two days were still not fun.

Thursday, we had a follow up appointment with my surgeon. It was a good visit. I really like my surgeon. He is very personable and very good at what he does. We discussed my progress to date and he seems to be very pleased. We discussed my chemo regimen and he agrees with the direction we are heading with that. We also discussed the next surgery and he is not sure that one will be necessary. He is taking a wait and see approach. I am going to say this is an answer to prayer, as I really do not want to go through another surgery. However, the wait and see approach is not sitting well with me. Right now, the cancer is not spreading (per the results of my last CT scan). So, since the cancer has shown no signs of growth and new chemo drugs being administered, he is going to wait and see how the results of my next CT scan turn out and then we will make a surgery decision than.

Anyway, I am doing ok right now. Looking forward to a good week at work and at home with the family. I love my off-chemo weeks!!! Oh, I still have my hair!! For how much longer though???