My oncologist surprised me yesterday with a call. I was initially a little worried as I have a scheduled appointment with him next week so I thought perhaps he had bad news that must be acted on immediately. The news was actually good. He gave me the results of my CT scan. My lungs appear to be cancer-free. The large lesion of my liver has again shrunk and the doctor is not even sure the other liver lesions are cancerous; they may just be scar tissue. He also confirmed that the primary tumour has shrunk.
To help the surgeon determine the feasibility of surgery, I’ll have an MRI on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and they will likely discuss my case again at the tumour board next Friday.
I’m not sure if it is actually a chemotherapy symptom but my head has been feeling a little cold as of late.
I met with my medical oncologist today and he went over my CT scan results. I’ve attached the report below in case you like reading that sort of thing. I found the term “palliative chemotherapy” a little unsettling.
God is healing me. I didn’t quite get the cancer cure I was praying for, but He appears to be working through the chemotherapy. The nodules in my lungs are almost completely gone. There is just one little nodule remaining. There are still lesions in my liver but they are decreasing in size. I hadn’t realized how big the largest lesion actually was. There is no news on Tony, just that “the irregular thickening of the wall of the rectum is again seen in keeping with patient’s known primary malignancy.” I still maintain Tony has shrunk, as I am pain-free and my bowel movements seem to have greatly improved.
Since my body is reacting so well to the chemotherapy they are going to let me have another 3 months of treatments with the added bonus of continuing with Grastofil injections.
Being alive is nice, so I can’t complain.
I am very thankful for all those who are remembering to keep us in prayer.
I’m still feeling great and ready to tackle my next chemotherapy treatment which is tomorrow: Friday, May 31. Please continue to pray that the chemotherapy keeps working or that preferably, God would just completely heal me. Actually, just pray for God’s will to be done. His plan is best. As Jesus said at the end of Mark 14:36 while praying in the garden of Gethsemane, “Yet not what I will, but what You will.”
I’ve decided not to be nauseous on day 3 anymore, but just in case my body decides not to listen to me, a little prayer would be nice as well.
I have been going through a Reading Plan in my Logos mobile app on prayer, and yesterday just so happened to be Luke 11:5-13, which is the verse I referenced in my first blog post back in January about praying boldly. I still find it a fascinating passage. It was a good reminder for me to pray without ceasing and to pray boldly.
P.S. Just a warning to all you worriers kind-hearted, concerned people, I may not blog for a while unless something important or interesting or entertaining happens in relation to my health. Chemo is becoming an unfortunate part of my routine, as are the symptoms. I’ll at least try to post an update before my next chemotherapy treatment which is on Friday, June 14.
This post may be a bit on the longer side, but it makes up for my sparse postings this month. In case you just want the quick facts:
Last chemo: similar symptoms as previous
CT results: Thursday, May 30
Next chemo: Friday, May 31
Want a little more? Keep reading.
I had my CT scan today in Cambridge. It was much quicker than my last scan at Grand River back in January. We were back in the van within 45 minutes. Unlike Grand River they made me drink my barium sulphate suspension at home which sure beats drinking it at the hospital and waiting for an extra hour. It doesn’t look very appealing but the taste was acceptable. Well, acceptable enough to drink the 1.5L without vomiting. I was pretty thirsty by that point in the day anyway as I was not allowed to eat anything or drink anything for 4 hours prior to my scan, so it was somewhat nice to have at least something to drink again.
They gave me the contrast dye again. It has a rather interesting side effect while it is coursing through your veins. It makes you feel like you are going to the bathroom. Fun stuff. I found it more disturbing the first time as I was concentrating hard to hold my breath at the correct time and didn’t like the idea that I could be urinating all over their multi-million dollar machine. This time I barely felt the sensation. The CT scan felt routine and I suppose it will be a regular routine for the rest of my 60+ years of life.
The nurse had trouble setting up my IV for the dye injection today. It was weird because I’ve had numerous IV’s in that arm. I get so many things inserted into my arms that I felt it necessary to assign different designations to each arm based on the direction of flow of the fluids inserted or removed. My left arm is my “in” arm which is where I get my weekly vitamin C and mistletoe IV and my right arm is my “out” arm where I have my blood test samples taken bi-weekly. Anyway, I’m not sure why the nurse had trouble with my “in” arm as my veins were clearly visible from the outside but she just couldn’t quite get the needle inside the vein once inside my arm. It was actually pretty cool to see her wiggling the tip of the needle around inside my arm trying to catch a vein. At first, I was a little shocked but since it didn’t hurt I was rather fascinated by the process. After the second needle poke in my left arm and subsequent fishing for a vein she gave up and used my “out” arm instead, catching a vein on the first attempt. I’m really getting used to and tired of being stabbed.
Speaking of getting stabbed… During my last chemotherapy session, I happened to catch a glimpse of the port-a-cath needle that gets inserted into my port every chemo session and delivers my drugs for two days. The thing is huge! My port-a-cath is on my right shoulder so the nurse usually does her prep work on my right side. Often I don’t notice what she is doing due to my lack of vision on my right side but I sure did this time. I’m glad this was not my first plug-in or I might have been a little apprehensive. It is kind of disturbing though, as they really jam it in there. I find it helps to inhale when they insert the needle but it is still rather unpleasant to feel a sharp object poking through my chest.
The symptoms from my last chemo treatment were basically identical to my previous one. I will add that Sunday was probably my best day 3 yet. I ate more, felt less nauseous, and was moving around a little more than usual.
I can’t blame this solely on my last chemo session but I am definitely losing my hair. I hadn’t really noticed as I am not due for my annual look-at-myself in the mirror for another few months, but Leanne took a photo of me on our hike at Shades Mill tonight and I was shocked to see how thin ridiculously patchy my hair has become. I think it is time to shave it off.
One more thing: Sometimes people assume the worst when I don’t post anything on the blog. They wonder if something dire must have happened to me. Let me try to clear this up. If I don’t post, it’s because I am feeling great and/or I have nothing of significance to report. My conscience will not allow me to flood your inbox with daily “I’m doing ok” mass emails. Don’t worry; if I am ever unable to share significant information, mi esposa has access to our blog and will post an update on my behalf.
I actually do enjoy writing these posts; my enjoyment is directly proportional to the number of giggles I hear from Leanne during the proofreading stage (also known as the making sure I don’t say anything too offensive stage). While I started this blog primarily as an efficient way to update the many people who were praying for us, I also hope that people will see how God is working through our situation, how He answers prayer and that He is in control. My CT scan might show new little Tony’s throughout my body or Tony could be gone completely. I’m cool with whatever the scan may show because God is calling the shots, not me.
Thank you, everyone, for praying for us and for reading my posts.