Treatment 2 (09/19/2014 Update)

Buckle my shoe

One two buckle my shoe!

Well I started treatment two of six yesterday. And it was a long day. We left the house at 6am and didn’t return to the house until 5:40pm. And I think I laid down and fell fast asleep and didn’t wake up until a short time ago.

We are hoping to do better at managing symptoms this round. The doctor modified the anti-nausea medication I received during the infusion. I also received a shot of another anti-nausea medication shortly before leaving the infusion chair. That medication was more effective; however it causes drowsiness which partly explains the long sleep.

Because of that medication we chose (for the first time) to use a wheel chair to leave the hospital. However, the chair was only used to wheel out our computer bags (which each weigh over 30 lbs). I still managed to walk myself out of that place.  🙂

Treatment two will continue through Saturday (I will disconnect myself from the portable pump on Saturday). And this Monday I will inject myself for the first time at home with a post treatment shot. Last Monday we had to drive back into Ann Arbor to receive this injection. The excellent nurse practitioner at UMHS was able to work with the insurance company and get the prescription approved for a home injection (Thank you Kim). Saving us this trip is very appreciated.

So far, so good. I had to force myself to eat some breakfast today. Usually eating is not a problem for me but this chemo has robbed me of all appetite. And I have to force myself to drink liquids as well. I’m just hoping the anti-nausea medication helps me keep it down.

And the best news of all for me was the CEA level. Two weeks ago my CEA level had climbed to 18. We suspected it would continue to rise given the recurrent disease. However, the important news was that the CEA had dropped from 18 to 11 after treatment one. While this is not definitive it is an indicator that this regimen is working.

Also, the doctor reported that we will do four treatments (two more after this one) and then do a round of scans. We are hoping that the scans will give us more evidence that the treatment is succeeding. If things continue according to Dr. Krauss’ plan, I will likely have surgery sometime after treatment six.

And today I pray…

Thank you Lord for giving me this time on this great Earth. Thank you for giving me so many beautiful people to share my life with. Thank you for my wife and five beautiful children. Thank you my father and mother, and six siblings. Thank you for my wonderful extended family. Thank you for my career and so many supportive colleagues. Especially thank you for the Love you continue to bring into my amazing life.

Thank you for the giving us this wonderful sunny day today. Guide my decisions and actions today so that they may be pleasing to you. Teach me how to share the Love you have put into my heart so that others will experience what I have been lucky to know for so long.

This I ask through Jesus Christ, our Living Lord, King of kings.


Hugs to you all today! And thank you again for your warm wishes, positive thoughts, and countless prayers for my family and myself.




3 Comments on “Treatment 2 (09/19/2014 Update)”

  1. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: I know that chemo can be rough. I’m glad to hear that you are meeting this round with that same faith-filled attitude. Sometimes Rick & I discover that it is only in looking back that we realize how much the LORD carried us through a difficult time.
    I continue to pray for you.

  2. Little brother, george says:

    I was so glad when you said you were well enough for me to visit. I so enjoyed hanging out with you; I always do. I liked our blinds project and project end table. I’ll be looking forward to the next project and visit!!!

  3. Mary Salens says:

    Thank God for the CEA drop! You’re a tough cookie and will manage this horrific regimen of chemo.

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