Treatment 9 of 12 (10/18/2012)

It rained most of the way from Marshall to UMHC. We arrived around 8:15am today (15 minutes late).  Blood draw and port hook up took about 35 minutes (much longer than normal).  Then after waiting another 45 minutes in the infusion area we were told to go back down for yet another blood test. We were over 2 hours late getting into the chemo area today.

Meanwhile, I received an email from my doctor.  My platelet count is down once again – which means I will not receive the oxaliplatin once again.  So, if this treatment turns out to be like treatment 7 it will be a little easier on me (oxaliplatin was withheld in treatment 7 for low platelet count as well).

The other news the doctor shared with me is that my CEA level has come down as well.  It was 10.1 in the last test and today it tested as 6.3. That supports the doctor’s theory that the rising CEA was most likely related to the chemo and not to tumor activity.

I will be traveling to Seattle for the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) 2012 conference.  Because of the travel Treatment 10 is scheduled for 11/15.  So I will go without chemo for a couple weeks.  The break from chemo is definitely welcomed.

As you all recall, I still have the small nodule in the lower lobe of the right lung to wonder about.  The follow-up CT scan is scheduled for Monday 11/12 at 7:30am.  Unfortunately I will have to wait until the Thursday 11/15 appointment to hear the results of this scan.  And the results will be discussed with my new doctor (as you recall Dr. Fakih is leaving UMHC on 10/19).

So, hopefully this treatment will be easier than others. And the 11/12 scan will show that the small lung nodule has disappeared altogether. And Treatment 10 will go on as planned. And we’ll find that the cancer has gone to remission.

It’s hard to believe but as this Halloween approaches it will be one year dealing with cancers.  Last Halloween we found the testicular cancer and went through the first round of cancer challenges.

Other updates:

Between working and social activities I’ve had a busy couple of weeks.  Two tiger games, two of Bryce’s football games, and a play at Wayne State University.

Next week-end we will be going to Chicago to the musical Kinky Boots, being produced by my cousin Jerry Mitchell.  We will have dinner with Jerry and this is an opportunity for my son Anthony to meet a Tony-award-winning producer / choreographer.  Seeing the musical will be fun but having time with Jerry and Tony will be really special.

And as I mentioned above, Connie and I will be travelling to Seattle Washington on 11/4.  We are looking forward to the trip.  Connie will do some relaxing and homework during the days and we’ll enjoy the evenings together. We’re thinking about going to the Seattle football game on Sunday 11/5.  We also want to visit the Space Needle and Pike Market.

Thank you all for your continued Prayers and kind words.  Your support is GREATLY appreciated.

Love and Light to you!


Treatment 8 of 12 (10/4/2012)

Today is treatment 8. We saw the doctor today as a follow-up for the PET and CT Scans done on 10/1. The scans show a small nodule (3mm) in the lower right lung.  This nodule is too small to determine if it is cancer or not. It could be that the nodule is related to congestion / inflamation or it may be another solitary tumor. The tumor that was surgically removed on 6/1/2012 was also in the lower right lung.  That nodule was 14mm when it was first detected and 18mm when it was removed.

The prognosis for this nodule is to watch it closely — I will receive another CT scan in six weeks.  If that CT scan shows growth in the nodule the recommendation will be another lung resection surgery to remove the nodule and determine if it is cancer or not.  If it is from congestion / inflamation it will likely not be present in another six weeks. If the nodule turns out to be cancer I will stop the FolFox chemo treatments and a new treatment plan will be developed.

Today’s treatment will include a reduced amount of oxaliplatin. I will likely have the side-affects similar to previous treatments; so I expect that Saturday and Sunday will involve a lot of sleeping.

I know you all are praying for me and I know that God has a plan for me.  And I’m confident that God’s plan will prevail and it is exactly the best plan for me.  The only frustrating part of this is I don’t know what God has planned, then again few of us actually do know.  None of us can see what God sees and therefore I surrender my life to Jesus and trust that he will help me be the best servant I can be.

Today, instead of requesting your prayers for me, I request that you pray for my family, especially for Connie and my step children.  Connie and I were married on 7/11/2009 and we were excited to begin a life together.  Our plans are to see our children graduate from college and begin lives of their own and to spend quality time spoiling future grandchildren. Cancer was NOT part of this plan. It was especially not part of the short-term, five year plan!

Connie and her children already had to deal with cancer once in their lives.  Connie’s first husband Bruce battled cancer for three years and succumbed to the cancer on October 7th, 2005.  This was a very stressful time for Connie and her children and I ask you all to pray for them, on the anniversary of Bruce’s passing. No one should have to deal with this ugly disease; but having to face it twice is an unfair twist of fate.  I really feel bad that Connie and her children are now part of my battle with cancer. I’m very happy they are here with me, but I am saddened that we all have to live with a cancer cloud looming over us.

So please pray with me that Connie and our newly blended family receive God’s love and feel God’s peace in our hearts and souls, in spite of the cancer challenges. Amen