CT Results – June 2020

Summary

Thank you all for your continued prayer. Here’s a very brief summary of what has been happening since my last post.

COVID-19 Tests: negative
Nausea: cured
CT Scan: good
Ostomy reversal: in progress
Toe: healing

The COVID-19 tests

In addition to the ferocious interrogation to which I am subjected upon entering the hospital, Ontario Health has decided to award all of us cancer folk regular COVID-19 tests. This may not sound all that bad unless you know what the test entails. Let’s put it this way: I prefer rectal examinations.

You know you’re in trouble when the nurse administering the COVID-19 test asks you to try not to punch her (the nurse seriously said this to me before my first test). It makes sense though once the nurse has driven the 10ft swab up your nose and into your brain as hard as she possibly can. Once most of the gigantic swab is inserted and your cries of pain are at a sufficient decibel level, the sadistic nurse then begins twisting the swab around which only increases the agony. I had no idea there was that much room up there. (It certainly gives some credibility to Homer’s crayon incident.) Both tests were negative, by the way.

COVID-19 Test

Chemo

No more nausea. After 3 unsuccessful prescriptions my oncologist finally prescribed me a nausea pill that works. A single pill is supposed to prevent nausea for a week. I only needed 3 days. It costs around $150 per pill (thanks Trillium) but I’ve taken it before my past two chemo treatments and have experienced absolutely no nausea. I was even able to eat a bit on those weekends. I still somehow managed to lose 10 lbs but I gained it back quicker this time than I did after the chemo weekends when I ate nothing due to the nausea. 

Last month, at my oncologist visit, he told me my CEA marker was down to 4. This is good. At my appointment today I was told my CEA level was now at 1.7. This is great. When I was first introduced to Tony my CEA was over 800. Obviously the chemo is working. The longer the chemo works the longer I get to live. My oncologist was pleased enough with how my treatment is going that he decided to reduce the dosage of one of my chemo drugs to help clear up my spectacular rash. With the creams, antibiotics and reduction of the chemo drug, I think I am noticing a slight improvement of my rash. It is hard to tell though, as my rash covers every part of my body now, from the top of my head to my feet, and I heal so slowly that new flare-ups can be difficult to notice.

My oncologist has also reduced my Grastofil again down to 5 injections per treatment as my white blood cells are still nice and high.

The CT Scan

They let me keep my clothes on! I had to drop my pants right before they slid me into the machine but it sure beats having to wear a hospital gown. My CT scan was last week and I just received the results today. Actually I had access to the images a few hours after the scan was done, however they don’t include the radiologist’s report so it’s kinda useless unless you know how to read the scans. They are fun to look at though. I think I can identify liver lesions now. My oncologist is pleased with the results as they indicate that the chemo is still working. The nodules in my lungs have “significantly decreased” since my last scans and the lesions on my liver have also decreased in size. The oncologist says that I’m in a good place to take a few months off from chemo. We decided to wait and see when my ostomy reversal surgery will be and then take a several month break from chemo at that point. Yes, I will be back on chemo after I recover from my ostomy reversal. I’m doing two more chemotherapy treatments in June (June 12 and June 26) and then hopefully I will have a nice break while I await my ostomy reversal.

Here’s one of my CT scans. I’ll include the report at the bottom of this post. If anyone else wants to play “radiologist” I’m happy to share the DICOM files.

Ostomy Reversal

I had a phone call with my surgeon a few weeks ago to initiate the ostomy reversal process. He has scheduled some tests this month for me to confirm it is safe to do the reversal. First, on June 16, I’m having a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. The way it was explained to me is they are going to “inject dye up the bum” (yes, my surgeon said “bum”) to make sure there are no leaks. Next, on June 25,  I have a Gastrograph which, after scaring myself by accidentally searching for “Gastroscope”, is just a fancy word for stomach x-ray. Then on July 3, I meet with the surgeon for the results and if everything is ok, he’ll book me in for my ostomy reversal. I miss pooping.

Prayer

Thank God that my nausea seems to be cured. I’m also thankful to the real smart people who made the fancy anti-nausea drug.

Thank God that the chemo is still working!

Pray for my poor wife who has had to work extra hard these past weeks since my toe has been preventing me from helping out as much as I normally would.

Please pray that my pre-ostomy reversal tests will be successful. I’m not looking forward to the Sigmoidoscopy but it can’t be worse than the COVID-19 test… can it?

Please continue to pray for my protection from COVID-19.

My toe could still use some prayer. It is still not quite healed (7th week) likely due to the chemotherapy. It’s really annoying and scary as the toddler and the dog show no regard for my toe’s well-being as they frolic haphazardly around the house.

Next

If my Sigmoidoscopy proves interesting enough I’ll try to make a post then, otherwise expect to hear from me after I talk to the surgeon on July 3.

CT Report

 

2 Replies to “CT Results – June 2020”

  1. Thanks for the update John. Glad to see some positive results.
    We continue to pray for you as does our whole church family every Wednesday night and Sundays.
    God bless you and Leanne and your family as you live each day trusting Him.
    Marty and Janet

  2. I’m sorry you had such a rough nasopharyngeal swab done! After swabbing over 700 people, I’ve had numerous comments saying that the hospital staff are way more aggressive than us paramedics were. Hopefully you don’t have to get it done again, as I know it is unpleasant. Hope you continue to heal up and progress in the positive direction!

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