Today was chemo session #4. At this appointment I met with Dr. Duane, my Oncologist, and he laid out the game plan going forward. I will have two more chemo sessions (#5 and #6) and then will have a CT scan. The results of the scan will then be shared with Dr. Sielaff, my Liver Surgeon. If Dr. Sielaff sees a lot of improvement he may recommend surgery sooner than later. That would mean a Liver surgery sometime in early January. For me to be surgery eligible the tumors would have had to be reduced in number. I currently have 12 surrounding the entire Liver. If the number was miraculously reduced to 4 or 5 and they were mainly based on one side of the liver, then he would elect to do a Liver Resection (i.e. cut off all the tumors and the affected areas of the Liver). If the tumors reduce in size but not in number; this is still a good thing but then they won’t be able to do surgery and I would continue with chemo. From what I remember there were 2-3 bigger tumors, 5-6 medium size tumors and 2-3 really little tumors. After I have Liver surgery, I then will have 6 more rounds of chemo to continue to clean my system. Any way you slice it, there is still a long road ahead for me and I am just so thankful to have all of you along for the ride.
I am just happy to be alive and witness the historic election last night. Whether you were for McCain or Obama, there is no denying the historical significance of what happened. I am much prouder to be alive during this time period vs. 60 years ago when we as a country had to be ordered by Congress, the Supreme Court and the President to treat all human beings the same regardless of skin color. I can’t believe the voter turnout-maybe 80% of us in MN alone! We all need to pray that the right choice was made last night as challenges abound for this country.
One very funny election night note: I was telling Karen that I just heard on TV that Barak was favored by a 3 to 1 ratio in over 70 countries across the world. Upon hearing Obama’s name, Brenden who was sitting at the dinner table piped up, “Dad who did you vote for?” This, in itself, Karen and I found hilarious because we never talk politics and he is in Kindergarten. So I told him I voted for Barak Obama. He gave me a disappointed look, shook his head and told us in a loud voice he voted for John McCain. At this point Karen and I were rolling in laughter as we didn’t know he knew what a President was, what it meant to vote, much less the candidates names. So we pressed the young politician further. “Why did you vote for John McCain”. He very proudly answered, “Because he has a cool name.” He then said, “I just like his name as it sounds like a race car driver”. Sarah and Pete got him into Nascar so he is into race car drivers and their names. Karen and I then took the opportunity to teach Brenden about how great it is for him to grow up in the United Sates where every person has the right to vote and let their voices be heard. We explained that people around the world in other countries were not as lucky or as privileged as we were to have this honor. Throughout the rest of the night I needed to get him election updates to see if his candidate was winning. Can we say Brenden Baty for President in 2048?
Now it is time for me just to rest and deal with the chemo side effects. They feel like they are kicking in a little harder compared to the last round. My throat felt weird by the time I got to my car today. One of the side effects is sensitivity to cold drinks. I believe that is because the chemo drugs kill off all fast growing cells. Your mouth, skin, hair and cancer cells are some of the fastest growing in your body so they are the first to get knocked out by the drugs. Also I lose some feeling in my finger tips and touching anything cold hurts. Eating some things, even if they are soft, actually hurt my jaw when I bite down. I usually get a little bit of a runny nose for the first day. Fatigue and nausea settle in on day 2. The beautiful thing is that by day 4 a lot of these side effects begin to wear off or go away. All of them are tolerable but I look forward to day 7 or 8 of each cycle because by then most of them are gone.
Again thanks to all of you for taking the time to read, comment, send well wishes and pray for me and my family during this long journey. We are all doing well.
Still standing strong in Lakeville,