Chemo, Tooth, San Fran, Houston, oh my!

Posted by Casey on May 23rd, 2010

Where to begin? First, my apologies for the long delay in updates. As has been the case lately, work eats up a lot of time, and by the end of the day chemo has me exhausted. So at night instead of being social I’m either sleeping or watching Glee (or Nurse Jackie, or United States of Tara, or……. too much tv).

So what’s happened in recent weeks?

I had been on my standard chemo cycle, and completed round #7 earlier this month. Unfortunately, that same week I received an annoying reminder of my jaw radiation that I had over 12 years ago for osteosarcoma. As some of you may know, the radiation not only destroyed my skin and gums, but also the roots of the three teeth that were in its path. And in the years since then I’ve lost two molars, and each time they pulled the tooth there was very little left of the roots. Well, I was having some pain in the third tooth (the second bicuspid for all of you dental nerds). I went to an oral surgeon for an x-ray and there were hardly any signs of roots for the thing. Obviously I needed surgery, but when he went to pull the tooth, pliers in hand (and around my tooth), it took the slightest pull the yank the thing out. There was nothing holding it in. Still, I had to deal with the annoyances of the surgery, plus extra antibiotics and gargley mouth washes since I’m already on chemo and really shouldn’t be having surgery of any kind.

The recovery was basically fine, but this little interruption did cause a bit of delay in the chemo cycle. Given the risks, my doctors decided it best to hold on two Avastin cycles. As a reminder, Avastin’s job is to cut blood supply to the tumor. Obviously cutting blood supply to a healing wound would not be good! So I should be going in tomorrow morning for Avastin, but instead will just be getting blood work to get me set for chemo round #8 next week.

In the meantime, life has been zipping by. The weekend after the tooth excitement was Mother’s Day weekend. Mom and I flew out to be with Jill & Ben (and Ruby). It was a short getaway for me — only three days — but still nice to be out there. Mom was able to spend a few extra days. We got to spend some time out in the beautiful weather, including a round of frisbee golf in Golden Gate Park. I hate to brag, but I seriously kicked ass. I had the highest score! When I threw a frisbee right at mom’s back… fifty feet away, to my left (not even in front of me)… I knew it was going to be bad. Seriously, I am horrible. But we had plenty of laughs!

I flew back on Monday for a couple days of work and then was off to Houston that Wednesday. This was one of the shortest visits in time spent actually in tests. It was pretty much just blood and an MRI, followed by visits with Dr. Wolff and two student doctors (one of them actually Dr. Wolff’s daughter!). All tests turned out well. The MRI showed no changes since the last one in March — a good sign. With the tests going so quickly I was able to spend a bit of time relaxing — dinner with my friend Mark, a screening of How to Train Your Dragon (which I recommend), checking out some new restaurants, and of course, ice cream at Amy’s. I’ll be going for a much more extensive series of tests in July.

And now already a week has passed since I got back! This week was back to the busy world at work. But I was able to also spend some time finalizing an upcoming vacation with Jill & Ben. We’re going to spend about 10 days in Paris next month! I cannot wait for the getaway. With few small exceptions, it seems the only time I’m away is for medical reasons, which is NOT vacation! So we are counting down the days!

Hope you are all doing well!



18 Responses to “Chemo, Tooth, San Fran, Houston, oh my!”

  1. Nancy Bristow

    Was so great to read your update Casey. I also keep up on your progress with your mom’s cousin Ann Staiert. God Bless, and enjoy Paris. Nancy

  2. I’m so glad to hear you are doing great and looking forward to what will be a fantastic trip to Paris! Bon voyage!

  3. Steven Warren

    Paris! Ooo-la-la, mon ami! How wonderful for you! And thanks for the update… Things are sounding good.

  4. Glad to hear you’re getting away for FUN. Take lots of pictures in Paris, can’t wait to hear about it. Miss you! xoxo

  5. Mary Plisiewicz

    Hi Case, glad to hear things turned out good in Houston. Wish I could of seen you when I was in Iowa but of course California is much more exciting. I was happy to see Dennis and Don. Praying for you and wishing the best.
    Lots of love

    Aunt Mary

  6. Casey! So glad to hear that you are catching up on all the important trashy TV! I hope that you will be around the first week in July – I will be in town and would love, love, love to see you.

    Stay in touch,

  7. Casey – Glad to hear all good news – except for the tooth thing. Amy’s Ice Cream is delicious – with or without them! Enjoy Paris with Jill and Ben….y’all deserve it. Love to you all!

  8. Cousin Ann

    Hope you have a chance to make a day (or 2) trip out of Paris to the countryside….wonderful vineyards and oh, so good wine!!! Have a great time!!!

  9. Uncle Steve & Aunt Trina

    Have a great time in Paris with Ben and Jill, so glad to hear things are going well. Hope to see you soon!

  10. Erik and Jen

    Have an awesome time in Paris. You’ll love it.

  11. Hi Mr. Casey – thanks for the update and hope to see you soon, it’s been months since you, me and Josh agreed to do something together.

  12. Laura & gang

    so glad to get your updates-Wow, Paris! Pics-lots of them!send ‘em our way! Have an amazing time :)

  13. Pari’! Pari’! that’s so exciting, casey. and i’m happy to hear that your treatments/health are going along without too much glitch – crappy tooth aside.

    would love to see you, cook for you. seriously.

    xo, julia

  14. Karen Andrews

    So happy to hear about the stable scan – yay!!! Sorry about the tooth, though, that sounds awful! Have a great time in Paris – we went there on our honeymoon so it holds a special place in my heart :)

  15. Did the tooth fairy leave you big bucks under your pillow? You deserve it. Sure do miss you. Would love to give you a big hug. MaMa PT

  16. dave+katie

    Thanks for the update Casey! It’s all great news – except for the tooth, but it’s hockey season, so you’ll get a lot of street cred with the skaters. We miss you so much – and hope you have a short layover in NYC on your way to Paris!

  17. hearts and stars.

  18. jordyn scherad

    hey casey! i hope your doing ok! i really miss you! im sad your not coming to the wedding:( darn! but have fun in europe!!! txt me wen u can 16187429806!!!