Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24

The scan showed overall improvement, which is good. My CEA level has come down to 11 (from 17) which is also good. I missed treatment this week because of the cold, but will go in next Wednesday (30th) for treatment #6 of this round. In the meantime, I'm on a 7-day course of antibiotics. We're going to stay on the current regime, which is also good, as I didn't want to go back on the oxylyplatin. Kind of nice to have a break, but also still want to get treatment. It's a paradox!

My oncologist and surgeon have contacted the doc up in Seattle, so we're waiting to hear back from him. My sense is that he may want to see more remission before doing the surgery, so we'll hopefully hear back from him in the next few days.

Just waiting, listening, hoping, surviving, surrendering, enjoying each day.

More later,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

January 20

Just a real quick one. On my birthday, the insurance company phoned me. They said there had been a discrepancy in policies (work hours) between two of the insurance offices, or something like that, and that they did indeed approve my disability claim! I told the woman on the phone that it was my birthday and this was a fantastic birthday present! So, thanks to Fred at church for pursuing this for me.

I came down with a cold on my birthday too. Oh well, ain't that life? Anyhow, this may affect my ability to get treatment on Wednesday. Please pray I get over this cold enough to get treatment.

I haven't heard anything yet as far as the scan. I will know something for sure on Tuesday, possibly tomorrow. I will let you know.

Enjoy football games today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 15

"Your surrounding friends will take good care of you."
- fortune cookie

Hi all,

I had treatment #5 last Wednesday and just today feel like I'm semi-normal. This one took more wind out of my sails. My bloodwork CEA level climbed to 17 a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Neville thought he would have seen it go down by now (although last week it went down 1 point, for what that's worth). Since there hasn't been a significant change in the CEA he wants to do the PET scan this Friday (Jan 18), to "see what's going on." This is fine by me.

Again, the prayer at this time is that I'll be able to have the IPHC surgery. (Not that I'm eager to be operated on stem to stern, but as I've been saying, "drastic times call for drastic measures.") This will perhaps increase my odds of a longer survival. Dr. Neville also mentioned possible clinical trials with a couple of biologic drugs they are testing at this time, and that also he would contact some docs up at OHSU who are "interested in these types of problems." I responded well to the Oxilyplatin before, but that's the one that causes neuropathy and I am not too eager to go back on that one. We'll just have to see what the scan shows.

My disability claim was denied so I am looking into appealing it. Apparently I needed to be working 40 hours a week and not 30-35. Didn't know that. We'll see how that goes. I understand getting disability has gotten to be very difficult. Too bad for the folks out there that really need it.

So, tomorrow is my 53rd birthday. Wow, it sounds old and then young at the same time. Depends on what you're comparing it to, I suppose. I am glad to see the sun today and they say more tomorrow, so I will plan to soak some in as much as I can.

I will let you know the scan results, probably early next week.

Have a good week

Sunday, January 6, 2008

January 6

Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.
- Spurgeon

Nice to see snow today! I love how the white blankets everything. It feels so peaceful.

We were able to get away for a couple of days this week with the kids over to the coast. It was good to get away and have a change of scenery for a bit. Though it was extremely stormy, we had a fun time, lots of laughs (usually during meals). This reiterated to me the importance of sharing meals together around the table, not something we take time to do alot as everyone seems to be on different schedules.

Things are moving along. Treatment hasn't been too bad except that the mouth sores came back this week. This makes talking and eating laborious and things don't taste the same as normal. But, I do manage to get the food down and the words out! I've been a little tired and have to remember to pace myself.

The kids are doing well at this time. We talk openly about things and I think this is healthy. Doug is working hard and it has been a struggle on him physically. Please pray for his stamina, both emotional and physical, and that perhaps another less physically demanding position will open up at the hospital. We do need the insurance!!

So two more treatments, next one (#5) is Wednesday the 9th. After the 6th treatment on the 23rd, I'll more than likely have a PET scan the following Friday, Feb. 1. Please pray for these next two treatments, that I can tolerate them well, and that they are doing their job.

I'm just taking things day to day, trying not to look too far ahead, but at the same time, prepare for possible scenarios that may present themselves in the next several weeks. Should I be eligible for the IPHC surgery I would think this would take place relatively soon. One thing is that my son Daniel turns 18 on Feb. 9, and Amy turns 16 on Feb. 29 (leap year baby!). I sure don't want to miss those birthdays. But we'll have to wait and see how the logistics play out.

Your continued prayers and thoughts are always welcomed. I have to say again that we simply could not do this without all the help and support that has been poured out to us from family and dear friends. Everyone has been just amazing!

May the Lord bless your 2008! Take care of yourselves, get your check-ups, eat well, and take time for time outs.

Love to all,