Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Testing...testing...

2 weeks ago I finally saw the pulmonologist for the first time since August. When they tried to do their pulmonary function test my O2 numbers dropped so low they decided not to, and sent me directly in to see her. Since I hadn't heard from the oncologist about scheduling the cancer scan (that would also show the fibrosis in my lungs) she did it, along with an ultrasound EKG of my hear and an ultrasound of my legs to check for clots, which would account for the swelling in my legs and ankles.

She also started me on Lasix to clear the fluid from my system. That seems to have helped as the swelling is almost non-existent now, and though it hasn't helped my lungs (she had thought perhaps there was fluid putting pressure on them as well) it has made me feel better overall. I've also dropped some inches and some weight, so we're continuing with that. It takes about an hour to "kick in" once I take it and then I spend the next 4 or 5 hours running to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes, but life could be worse!

The P.E.T. scan shows that the tumor in my lung is still about the same size it was in the last scan and still active cancer, but it hasn't grown. The 3 lymph nodes no longer show any cancer at all!

She suggested I try and contact the oncologist and see what he plans at this point; perhaps a continuation of the chemo, but at a less frequent interval. He's out of town this week, so I'll be setting something up with him next week. If I continue with chemo that will mean getting a port implanted in my chest, as I can't do any more PICC lines because of the adhesive problems. The dermatitis I already had has been aggravated by the chemo to the point that even Neosporin blistered me last week-not from the antibiotic itself, but the "base" they mixed it into.

I see her again in two weeks to see how things are progressing.

When I saw her last, I wouldn't have bet money on making it through spring; I feel enough better at this point that I figure I'll make it through the F1 season and perhaps the football season as well (I'm still hoping for another Chiefs Super Bowl win before I "get out of here"), which means I'll make another holiday season as well. This last one was kind of hard, because I was pretty sure I wouldn't. I wrapped all of Liam's gifts myself, not that it would mean anything to him, but...

I also made a point of working my way through all my favorite holiday movies...shared a few of them with those who were passing through as well...spent lots of time with family for both the holidays and my birthday...

And then I hung onto the Christmas tree until last week, when I finally let Dottie take it down before we set the house on fire somehow. It was pretty brittle by then, though still green. A few years ago she found some things that I had actually made back in kindergarten and she's used them each year since; she had me write on the back of them this year, and we marked some of the others we've bought in our travels as to when and where we got them.





So that's about it from here for now...

I hope the New Year is being wonderful to each of you!

alan

2 comments:

robin andrea said...

So glad to see a post here. Thank you for the update. You have incredible stamina and resilience. And yes, I believe you are right about being around for another football and holiday season. Wishing you good health, lots of strength and plenty of good times ahead.

Anji Knutsen said...

Your pulmonologist sounds like a good one. That all sounds positive and it's good to see a picture of you.