Sorry for the delay again! I’ve been so slammed at work that I’ve been ignoring computer time at home, and suddenly it’s mid-December and I’m on to Chemo Round #2. I’m happy to report a few things…
1) Thanksgiving with the family in Omaha was a great escape. I got to spend good time with the family, eat way too much food (including my favorite, Maria’s, above) and learn how to lose lots of money playing poker. We also took a stab at shopping Black Friday, and managed to score some great deals. As holidays always seem to do, it served as a nice escape from the medical drama.
2) After Thanksgiving I moved into Week #3 on my chemo cycle which is when my blood counts would drop the most. I definitely started feeling it… worn out by the time I dragged myself home from work every day. But I survived!
3) Week #4 started with my second infusion of Avastin for that cycle. Not really much to report on it… so far those infusions are pretty straight forward. I go in for blood work, get the results, if the results are good, we go on with the infusion. Let’s just hope they keep moving so smoothly.
4) The second half of that week I was off to Houston for my monthly checkup/MRI. The weather had just turned to sh!t in Minneapolis, so I was sort of excited to escape. And as you can see below, Houston hasn’t dealt with much of a fall yet, and certainly no winter. It was “cool” at best, but everyone in the city was in a panic about how cold it was. My hoodie kept me happy.
The trip was crammed pretty tightly with tests. Blood work, an EEG and MRI, followed by appointments with Drs. Slopis and Wolff. I flew down expecting a continued report on the existing cancer, and not expecting much change. So when I finally got to meet with Dr. Wolff, it came as a great surprise to me to see him leap into the room with a huge smile on his face. He was like a kid on Christmas as he exclaimed that brightness of the tumors on the MRI were already much more faded. And he pulled both of them up to prove it. They definitely look noticeably different and I was very excited to see it. They’re also not showing any additional signs of growth, which is equally wonderful. And while it’s way too early to tell much of anything, I’ll use this as a good sign and hope it continues.
He also handed me a copy of a movie that has been made about some of the people and patients of M.D. Anderson. As some of you may remember, I was (making poor efforts) to film my life in Minneapolis, along with my experiences with cancer and treatment. Well, the team making the movie have finished their work and debuted it at M.D. Anderson the week before I arrived. I was so happy to have a copy of the movie and watched it that night in the hotel. It’s called The Art of the Possible, and it left me feeling rather lucky to share a screen with some other amazing cancer fighters, and reminds me of how lucky I’ve been to have Dr. Anderson (and Wolff, Slopis, Weinberg, Trusheim) and M.D. Anderson there to help me. So many, many thanks to Casey and Courtney Hayward, and the entire team behind the movie. Once I get more information on how we might be able to get more copies, I’ll let you know.
5) Last night marked the start of Round #2 on chemo. This round will be slightly more intense as I’m now on full dosing with 400mg instead of 300mg. Although it wasn’t a result of the chemo, I spent the day at home yesterday… sleeping for almost the entire day. It was a bit of a reminder of how much this stuff affects my body. Regardless, I started the drugs last night and will continue through the rest of the week. Here we go again!
I’ll keep you updated on how this round goes. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are moving on to plans for the Holidays.