Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

15th - Like a Baby...Only Adult Size

Today marked two months from my first chemo treatment.  I feel like I have matured 10 years mentally, thinking and prioritizing things quite differently than I used to.  It is hard to express at the moment, but I will share with you when I am able.

Treatment #5 of 12 was last Thursday and everything went okay.  I briefly met a new nurse named Ann before falling asleep (for 4 hours) in the treatment chair.  Ann is an instant favorite, as she managed to give me all my infusions without waking me up.  There is still a nationwide shortage of Adriamycin (the "Red Devil" / "Red Angel"), but Dr. Frenette's office received a shipment just in time for me.  I feel better knowing that I am getting the real protocol, rather than a substitute like last time. 

On the subject of the substitute protocol, you will recall me mentioning that I thought it accelerated my hair loss.  Either that was true, or it was just time for it to come off.  After returning from the barber shop today, I got the following reactions from the family:

Stuart - I don't think it looks that different.  Is it soft and fuzzy?
Cooper (3) - You look silly (as he throws himself to the floor laughing)
Peyton (6) - (holding her hands 12 inches apart vertically) You look like a baby...only adult size

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the adventure:

The Barbershop Mohawk

The New Me

They say that sometimes when your hair grows back, it is drastically different than it used to be.  Here are a few possibilities for your voting pleasure...let me know which one you like, and I will do my best.

The "Owen Wilson"

The "Patrick Dempsey"
a.k.a. "McDreamy"

The "Commander in Chief"

The side-effects of the treatments are certainly feeling more cumulative, as many warned.  It just takes longer to feel better after each one.  Nausea, fatigue and the numbness in my feet remain the chief complaints.

I will tell you what though, it is a lot easier to deal with all this now that I know for sure I am getting better.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

8th - Great News

As most of you know, I had an interim PET & CT scan on Monday morning.  Stuart and I went to Dr. Frenette's office this morning to hear the results and got great news.  The scan showed no new tumors and reduced size and metabolic activity in the previously documented areas.  In fact, the radiologist (Dr. Shah) put this in his report; "currently, no evidence of metabolically active disease is identified".  Dr. Frenette's quote was that the results were "as good as he hoped for, maybe better".

Frankly, it took me a while today to get into the spirit of the news.  I have been obsessing about this scan for weeks and was prepared for the worst, so please do not blame me.  I thought for sure that the nurse / assistant in the radiology department forgot to give me the nuclear medicine or something.  As the day wore on though, I realized it was real and I could not feel better.  It is a long road ahead, but I will take that over being in the ditch.

Treatment #5 of 12 is tomorrow and my mind is starting to think about the 50% complete mark (I am still convinced I will be done in 6 months, rather than 8 months).  My next PET & CT scan will be after my fourth cycle in February.

Thank you and your families for your thoughts and prayers, as they have clearly been working and lifted me up so far!  Please keep up the great work.