Treatment 7 of 12 (9/20/12)

We arrived at U of M at 8am. Blood work was completed quickly and then we proceeded to the doctor’s waiting room.  We finally saw the doctor around 9:45am.  He reviewed the blood results and talked to us about the next few weeks…

My platelet count was 64. Unfortunately, that is lower than what the doctor would like it to be.  The platelets help with blood clotting in case of a cut/injury.  With a low count I run the risk of an uncontrolled bleed. Given this risk the doctor has eliminated the oxaliplatin from the mix of chemo drugs I will receive today. The good side of this change is that the oxaliplatin side effects should also be eliminated.  I suppose that the bad side of this adjustment is that I will receive one less cancer fighting drug today. In any event, the side effects of this drug included neuropathy (tingling / numbness in hands and feet), cold sensitivity, and jaw pain.  I certainly will not miss these side effects. He has also will lower the amount of this drug on the remaining treatments.

The blood test also shows that I have a low Neutrophil count.  This means I have an elevated risk of infection. Extra precaution was advised; including washing hands, using hand sanitizers, and avoiding sick people.

My CEA level has increased as well (hovering between 8 and 9).  As you may recall from a previous posting, the CEA level is correlated with tumor activity.  The doctor assured us that CEA increases could also be a result of receiving chemo, so tumor activity is not the only cause of increases.  In any event the doctor has scheduled a PET and CT scan to be done on 10/1/12. Hopefully these scans will show no evidence of any further tumors. And hopefully I won’t be too anxious about these upcoming scans and potential results.

The other news received today is that my doctor is relocating to Los Angeles California.  He will be leaving U of M in a few weeks. So my last visit with him will be on 10/4/12, when we review the scan results.  My doctor assured us that his colleague is a very good doctor and that he will take good care of me throughout my remaining treatments. We will probably see the new doctor on 10/18.

I will be on the pump until Saturday afternoon and probably sleep away Saturday and Sunday this week.  Hopefully I’ll feel good on Monday (working from home) and be back to work on Tuesday.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support throughout this journey.



Treatment 6 of 12 (9/6/2012)

half way done with chemo!!!

As you may have read in my previous post, I requested prayers for my 3rd cousin from Tennessee — 16 years old Taylor Filorimo (Tay). Tay battled Renal Cell Carcinoma for three years.  Tay passed away yesterday at 12:54pm. She was at peace and was surrounded by family and Love.

While I never met Tay personally, I did a lot of Praying for her over these past months and I spent time learning about her from her Facebook postings.  I felt a connection with her given that we are both cancer victims and that we are family.  Tay has endured a lot during her fight. Like any cancer patient Tay spent a lot of time in the children’s cancer center. Unlike most cancer patients a significant portion of this time was spent visiting and Loving the other children. She had a huge heart and opened it up to all the other children fighting this ugly disease. And she Loved to Love them every chance she had.

While I am saddened by Tay’s passing I am greatful that she is not suffering and is now in heaven with our LORD.  Please join me in praying for Tay’s family — that they will find peace and Love during this sad time.

This treatment marks the half-way point for chemo for me.  I’ve been lucky managing the side-effects and lucky to rebound from the treatments in a relative short time.  And the side-effects have not been too debilitating! I will spend this weekend sleeping and resting and hopefully make it back to being productive on Monday. And then feeling a little better with each passing day up to the Treatment 7 of 12.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

God Bless Tay’s family and friends.

Shes A Hero (MP3)  — Tay’s Song!!!