My numbers were a mixed bag with more being bad than good. Two of my liver numbers got better, but my Bilirubin got dramatically worse. The number went from 1.6 to 3.3 in 2 weeks-I have never had that type of jump. What that means is that my liver is really struggling right now. Throwing more chemo at it would probably not be productive. Also my white blood cells are down. I have a had a tough Cold over the past couple of weeks and that may be driving those numbers down. Again having chemo and driving those numbers down would probably get me feeling a whole lot worse. Basically Dr. Duane decided to give me another 2 weeks off so everything could get healed up. Nov 10th will be my next round. We then will wait 3 weeks before the next round. WE will do scans right before that round to see where everything is at. The plan then is to switch to a pill form of 5FU and then continue to do infusions when my body can handle it. When we make that change, we will go to a 3 week schedule. I reviewed everything with my oncologist at Mayo and he agreed with everything we are doing. He felt as of Sept. 20th that my disease was stable. However since that time I have had no Oxaliplatin and have missed several weeks of chemo. The big picture is my liver is still very damaged from the radiation I had and can’t handle much right now. My Mayo Oncologist said I really need a 4 month break from all treatments to help my liver, blood work and body recover. The problem with that is my disease has always taken advantage of that situation. As of today I feel o.k. I continue to work like normal. I am slowly getting over this Cold. I have outbreaks of Hives every few days and they don’t know why. They started Oct. 9th and are not sure what brings them on. I have an appointment to see a dermatologist next week. I have some pains around my low back and my stomach area that come an go. Today Dr. Duane felt around and couldn’t find anything else but the enlarged spleen that could be causing it. Besides all that, life goes on and I generally feel pretty well.
On a sad note, my friend Charlie from church passed away on Monday. He was 55 years old. I saw him this past Sunday morning at church. It was a weird quirk that I was even at church. I got up early at Karen’s parents place and just decided to come back and catch the 11 a.m. service. When I saw Charlie he looked extremely sick. He just hugged me and told me how weak he was. He admitted to me several months ago that he was getting weaker and weaker-he tried to keep it a secret. Charlie was diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer in May of 2007. He had met Karen and had hung out with my boys several times at church. He was the first person I ever met at Hosanna. I met him the first night I went to Pray for the Cure. He was a source of strength, love and inspiration. I know several of you knew him as well.
This round is another easy one. We are kind of following the plan of what the doctors decided they would do with me. Hit the chemo hard for 6 rounds then lay off it for 2-3 then hit it hard again. The problem is due to my liver functions and low platelets, we couldn’t hit it as hard as we wanted to. Also we couldn’t hit it hard again as my numbers are still off. The Bilirubin today was at 1.6 and it needs to be around 1.2. The platelets dropped back down to 49 and they need to be up around 70 or better yet 100. My white blood cells and red blood cells are all in the normal range. So for this round we take it easy again. Each time will be anyone’s guess on what happens. I am feeling well enough this time, as I did last time, that I am getting a few hours in at work. I go in with the chemo bottle still attached and just kind of forget about it and do my job. My boss and co-workers are all very supportive so it makes things easier. Most of my customers also know hat is going on with my health and they too are very supportive, in fact some keep up with reading this blog.
Last Saturday was one of those weird days that seem to happen in our family. We were supposed to go to our niece’s (Adrianna) baptism. Instead I broke out in Hives and went to Urgent Care. Karen made an emergency appointment for the guys as they were both sick with Colds and we thought they had Step. While they were over at one clinic, I was at Urgent Care getting checked out. Can you guess where all our money goes? The good news is the guys don’t have Strep and my Hives have pretty much cleared up. Challenges… nothing we can’t handle by the Grace of God. I am ready to get off this roller coaster anytime now.
I turned 42 this past Monday. Thanks to everyone for the special cards, balloons, treats and well wishes. I think I had 50 emails wishing me happy birthday (you get that when you are on Facebook). That day I got to work at 6 a.m. and looked toward my desk and noticed things floating around it. I then realized that it was my birthday. I had forgotten all about it. Jeannie, Jeanie, Sam and the rest of the crew at work didn’t let me forget. They had decorated my desk with balloons and cards. I then got a surprise later in the day from Pat. She dropped off more balloons, a party hat and all kinds of treats(cheesecake and brownies) for everyone at Pictura to eat. Pat, as usual, out did herself. She is starting to become legendary at my workplace with her surprise treats. See picture below to get a real flavor for what it all looked like. Karen, I and the guys had gone out to dinner a couple days earlier as Karen and Jaxson had Tae Kwon Do Monday night. Karen and Jaxson really make me proud with their commitment to their Tae Kwon Do. They are now working their way through their Green Belts doing flying kicks around the house. Nothing broken yet…
In an extra special treat, the owner of the Vikings got me the present of a new/old receiver for me to cheer for. Now if they would only bring back Bud Grant…
The battle in the cancer world continues. I now have collected a new pain. My spleen is now so enlarged that it presses into other body parts causing some discomfort. In general my whole abdomen seems to be enlarging and it isn’t because I ate all that good cheesecake Pat brought to me. Not sure what the doc’s will do with all that but I am guessing that they may hold off on chemo again next week. Only time will tell. I have visited with 4 Oncologists so sooner or later the group will figure it out. One Oncologist has been amazingly receptive. Basically I can email her at any time and she gets back to me as quick as 15 minutes sometime-amazing! I sure will miss that once I am healed.
Thank you for all the love and prayers you are sending my way! I’m just loving every day I have to spend with my family and all of you.