Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Met with Dr Einhorn this morning to discuss the PET/CT scans. Well...the really good news is that I am apparently now classified as being in remission. Dr Einhorn seems to be extremely happy with the progress from the chemo. The even better news is that I am done with chemo for now and Dr E did not talk about that being in the near future. I will still be on the Avastin until around May - that is the med that prevents formation of new capillaries and, therefore, helps prevent the cancer from spreading. Since the cancer is not completely gone, it will surely be necessary in the future to undergo further treatments of some kind. Dr E is talking about a med that is taken as a pill but he hopes to hold off until next year or even the year after.

For now, no chemo means that I will get a chance to recover from the nasty chemo and should be able to regain my strength and stamina. Right now my BP continues to be high. Dr Forkin added another BP med today. Dr E wants me to get it under control quickly because he postponed my Avastin infusion that was to be today. Apparently, the Avastin is probably the culprit causing the high BP. But, he doesn't want to postpone it for more that a week or two.

For now, what a relief to know that the chemo has done its job.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

more scans

Yesterday was another PET/CT scan. From these scans, Dr Einhorn will be able to tell me something about progress so far when I meet with him on Wednesday. Hopefully, there has been good progress and I will not need additional chemo for now. In any case, he will advise regarding progress and next steps. Each day has been a little better for the last few days. BP is still running high and I am once again getting headaches - but not as bad as earlier. Yesterday, I sent the past week's BPs to Dr Forking and I hope to hear from her regarding changing BP meds or dosages.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

better each day

Good news - I have continued to feel better each day. We made a trip to the outlet mall today. We needed to exchange a suitcase that broke on its first use - the trip to the Dominican Republic for Abby"s wedding. Wouldn't you know that the latches worked just fine when the store clerk tried them. But, she exchanged the bag anyway.

My BP appears to still not be completely under control. It has kicked back up after just a very short time of being lower. Will see what Dr Forkin says. Still having some headaches - but less often and not nearly as severe. PET/CT scan tomorrow. Will see Dr Einhorn Wednesday to find out about the scans.

Jill's mom went home Saturday. She and Jill got a lot done while she was here. They got all the tubs emptied from the living room. And, Julie is gone right now. She is helping to chaperone a mission trip by a group of high school age kids to New Orleans. She was to help drive one of the vehicles - a Ford Expedition. Quite a large vehicle for her since she only drives her VW Jetta.

Last night we hosted our euchre group. It was a great success and all the food seemed to be a hit - but it sure wore out both of us. We didn't do loads of cooking - but there was quite a bit of prep for things like meatballs/sauce, antipasto tray, homemade quacomole, etc. We were both really tired when the night was over.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

last chemo for now - we hope

Last Thursday, I had what I hope will be my last chemo for a while. Unfortunately, it has reached a point where every chemo infusion kicks my butt. This one was no different. The blood work before the chemo showed that my blood counts were quite low. In fact, the hemoglobin count was only 9 versus a normal range of 12 - 14. That would explain the issue of lost energy. The Friday after chemo wasn't too bad - but Saturday, Sunday and Monday were pretty rough. As usual, got a little better each day beginning Monday. Today, Wednesday, I am finally able to get into work. Have been having splitting headaches. Dr Einhorn scheduled me for a head MRI just to ensure that the cancer had not spread to my brain. I got a call Tuesday afternoon to confirm that my head was completely clear. Dr Forkin adjusted my blood pressure meds since the BP was pretty high. BP started to finally come down on Tuesday. Next Monday I will have a PET/CT scan and will see Dr Einhorn to talk about progress and next steps.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

one more tomorrow

I guess I better write a post today before my chemo tomorrow. I am feeling a little better. Got into the office around 10-ish and plan to leave shortly - about 2PM. Still not even close to fully recovered from last week and I expect tomorrow to end up killing another weekend. But, the good news is that this will hopefully be the last chemo for a while. We will see what happens with the tests and scans in a couple weeks. Jill's mom is supposed to arrive today - so I might get a little pampering for a while. Jill has been a real trooper the past week or so when I have felt so bad. But, she has her own energy issues. Will be nice to have some help for her for a while.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

this one hit hard

This particular long chemo infusion really hit me hard. On Friday, I was feeling OK and cooked sauce and meat for lasagna - which was delicious. It was nice to have both kids here, along with Brett's girlfriend Arielle, to help so that we could make and eat a big lasagna. But...shortly after, I started to get hit by the chemo on Friday night. Ended up sleeping 21 hours on Saturday and about 14-15 hours on Sunday. Didn't eat much and felt generally pretty crummy. Finally started to come out of it a little on Monday but I was not able to get to work. It seemed to help when I could eat a little - but food just didn't appeal to me at all. On Monday night, I had a little of the leftover lasagna. Tuesday, I needed to get into work for a meeting so I pushed myself to eat more. I did make it to work by noon and lasted until the end of the meeting around 4:30. But, went straight to bed and napped until about 7PM. Finally tonight, I am feeling a little better. I expect that I will be able to get into work tomorrow - just sitting around gets old very quickly. But, I get another short chemo infusion on Thursday. Hopefully, this will be the last chemo and I will get a chance to recover a little more fully.

Friday, July 6, 2007

another long day

Well...yesterday was another very long day of chemo. At the meeting with Dr Einhorn first, he indicated that he thinks there is a good chance this may be the last chemo treatment. That would certainly be nice. It would be great to have enough time to really recover before getting slammed again. It wasn't too bad other than being very tired - not sure if that was the chemo or sitting in the chair for 7 hours. Slept until around 10:30 this morning. Don't feel too bad right now. Not sure I would want to drive downtown to work - but OK since I am just sitting around. I set an appt to see Dr Forkin on Monday. Dr Einhorn thinks my BP is running a bit high and wants me to talk with her about maybe adjusting my BP med. Apparently, the avastin that I am getting and will be getting for a year has a tendency to elevate BP. Next PET/CT scan is July 23 and I meet with Dr Einhorn on July 25. I imagine we will discuss status and next steps. The last PET/CT scan was after two chemo treatments and this will be after a total of four. So...I hope there will have been considerable progress.

We had a very busy July 4. I grilled steaks, burgers and brats. Also put pouches on the grill filled with potatoes & onions and peppers, onions, celery & garlic. Jill made potato salad, sweet corn & sliced cucumbers. It was very delicious - and very tiring. We haven't prepared that kind of meal in quite a while. Glad the kids were here to pitch in a little help - and to eat it so that we could make a good variety. Can't do that kind of thing with just the two of us.

Looks like Brett and Arielle are staying until around Sunday. So, we are going to make lasagna tonight. Hopefully, my energy will hold up so I can be helpful with the prep and cooking.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

up and down

The past few days have been filled with relatively minor ups & downs. Started taking a few over-the-counter drugs for sinus congestion and cough. Had headache off and on - but I think it may have been from the sinus congestion. Have made it to work both days so far this week. Tomorrow is July 4 and Brett is home with his girlfriend, Arielle. They got here late last night. We are playing a small cookout and, hopefully, a somewhat relaxing day.

Then, Thursday will be another long day - full day chemo infusion. Depending on how I feel, I may just take off Friday for a long weekend. After this long infusion and a short infusion next Thursday, we'll see what makes sense for the next steps. I will have had two more infusions since the last PET/CT scans. Those scans were after just two infusions. So, hopefully, the next scans will show good improvement.