No more brain swabs

Nasal brain swabs

I receive an appointment schedule from the hospital about once a month. The schedule includes the date and times for all my chemotherapy treatments, oncologist appointments, blood work and COVID-19 tests. On my latest schedule I noticed that my monthly COVID-19 test was missing. It seems that the regular testing of cancer patients is no longer required. Yay!

My 14th and hopefully final COVID-19 test was on Oct. 4th. I’ve been having monthly tests since May of 2020. It will be nice to be free from that particular brand of horribleness.

CEA

My blood test from Oct. 4th revealed that my CEA level has once again dropped. It was in the 50s in August and then after only two chemotherapy treatments, dropped down to 14.

The CEA level is a good indicator (in my case) of the effectiveness of my chemotherapy treatments.

Side effects

My last chemotherapy treatment went very well. During the first few days post-treatment I worked really hard, drinking water to stay hydrated. This seemed to actually encourage my appetite as well so I started eating a bit. Unfortunately the only thing I felt like eating was hot dogs but the fact that I wanted to eat anything was good and more surprisingly the hot dogs tasted good. Of course they normally taste great but the chemotherapy didn’t affect their taste.

By Monday I was back to work and full of energy. I had my last hot dog for breakfast Monday morning and was able to eat a little healthier food for the rest of the day. This was a great start to get myself ready to battle the diarrhea that I was sure would be coming at any time. I felt so energized that day that I installed my new network rack, something I wasn’t planning on doing until about a week later when the diarrhea finally subsided. Speaking of diarrhea…

I had none. Usually it starts on the Monday following treatment, but it didn’t come. I suspect prayer, the further reduction of chemo drugs or both has something to do with this most pleasant change. I’ve been practically giddy since my last treatment. It is so nice to have energy and to not be restrained by the toilet.

Rash

Speaking of good things… My rash is back! It is everywhere and looks horrible. Just a reminder to any new readers, this is not sarcasm. Rash=Good. The rash is an indicator that the chemo is working.

When my rash is at its worst I am rather glad that we live in a time where masks are required in public. The only problem is that, generally, people don’t wear masks on video calls. My solution to that was to buy the lowest reviewed web cam I could possibly find on Amazon. I specifically looked for reviews complaining how blurry and grainy the image was. A suitable camera was not hard to find. I also now resort to wearing a hat all the time. My hair has almost completely fallen out and my head is covered in my rash as well. I still haven’t shaved my head as it brings me a small amount of comfort to reach my hand up to my head and feel some hair there.

I was a little worried that the reduction of my chemo drugs may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment but this rash may be a good sign that the lower dose is sufficient. 

Prayer

My next treatment is Nov. 5.

Thank you for your prayers. They are working! According to the doctors, I should be dead by now.

I thank God constantly that I am still alive and how He has so richly blessed me in so many, many ways. 

Please continue to pray for myself and my family.

  • Thank God that we have such a supportive church who are supporting us in so many ways.
  • Thank God that I had such a great recovery from my last treatment.
  • Thank God for my rash.
  • Pray that the treatment continues to work.

One Reply to “No more brain swabs”

  1. Glad to hear such positive news John. Prayers are being answered
    and are continuing. God bless you and Leanne and your beautiful children.

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