Had another CT scan yesterday prior to infusion #5 and results were good. About another 20% reduction in the primary tumor in my chest. We don’t have access to these radiology images, so I took a pic of it on the screen at the office. That’s an unofficial measurement you see on the image. It was over 6 centimeters when this all started, so things are going in the right direction. Keep showin’ us the shrinkage.
Big change in my routine yesterday was the omission of the primary toxic drug called Carboplatin. Done with that gnarly stuff. Now taking Pemetrexed only. Should not be be feeling so weak or sick in coming weeks as a result. We’ll stick to this until it quits working, and will then switch over to the PD1 immunotherapy drug. Could be 6 weeks. Could be a year. Just gotta wait and see. I also committed to having a port installed into my chest in 3 weeks to make these infusions a bit easier. Cut out all the IV mess – sore veins, bruised arms, etc. More on that in a few weeks.
Lucky for me I’ve got some diamond support. For example: The 2015 CHHS Tigers Baseball team. These fellas threw a MW my way the other day. My buddy David Miller, who I’ve known since I was 7 years old, his son Andrew is a Diamond Tiger (he’s just left of center in the white shorts). They had just shaved their heads in support of a fine org called Vs. Cancer, which was founded by former UNC baseball player Chase Jones, who is cancer free after battling stage 4 brain cancer while he was freshman. Big thanks to these dudes. Felt great getting some love from my high school and proud they are involved in supporting cancer patients. And a shout to Chase for winning his fight! Go Tigers. Go Heels…except when they play UNCW of course. Got us but 1 run in extra innings last night in Wilmington. Dangit.
Completed a 4th infusion yesterday with the good company of my longtime friends Dave and JC. Dave treated me to a veggie burger at Al’s Burgers on Franklin St. prior, and JC treated me post to a beer after at Top of the Hill. Thanks to these fellas for sitting in and making my day better. Things went smooth for the most part. It was the last time I will have the super toxic Carboplatin drug drip. We’ll taper down to only the Pemetrexed for weeks to come, possibly 52+ or more weeks of them. It’s gonna be a long haul. If the Pem quits working or gets me feeling too sick, we’ll go to the PD1 immunotherapy drug that I spoke of so much weeks back.
A nice fella sat across from us that had a chemo port installed in his chest and he may have sold me on getting one myself. He’s had it 10 months and was very pleased. No painful IV installs, which has been a big problem for me. Quick and easy hook up to the chemo drip machine. The port will be a bit of a display while in the sun with a shirt off, but my white, skinny bird-chest has been that for years anyway, so big deal right?
Sat on the back porch tonight with my Pop. Maybe 5:30 or so. Sun sets directly in our back yard this time of year. Beautiful scene. Creek is flowin’. Green grass is poppin’. Flowers bloomin’. Commented on the many birds feeding on this squirrel-free rigged feeder, naming what we saw, listening to the hundreds of calls in the trees. We actually saw one on the feeder we didn’t recognize (it was a Warbler, we haven’t figured out which type). Pops has been a bird watcher since before I was born, and as many of you know, I dig birds too. My bro and I know a good bit about the animal world b/c of our upbringing and respecting nature. Thanks to my Dad for this. For tons of reasons, but for one, it makes 30 minutes in the backyard with him that much more enjoyable and interesting. Every time.
Sitting there breathing it all in, including the pollen too unfortunately, I thought about home. I’ve been here for almost 4 months now – December 1 is when Christian told me I have cancer. I’ve had wicked good support from family and friends here. Jo Ann and Dad have been amazing. Mom flew cross country in the freezing temps to see me for a fun week and I’m gonna head her way soon. Friends and neighbors I’ve known 25+ years stopping by with food, a hug, a joke, whatever. We’ve weathered the very cold winter (as these parts go), and this health mess so far, and it feels energizing and comforting to be sitting at home with my Dad as the sounds and sights of Spring are kickin’ in. There is no other feeling like it.