I received a second good CEA (tumour marker) test result yesterday that seems to indicate that my cancer’s growth has slowed down. After my first 2 treatments the growth rate decreased by 25% and after another 2 more treatments the growth has decreased by 35%. My level is still VERY high but it is moving in the right direction again. I should be having a CT scan at the end of this month to confirm these indicators and I hope to see a possible reduction in tumour size.
I am still relatively side-effect free from the new treatment. I still have a rash but it’s quite manageable. The constipation from my anti-nausea medication seems to counter-act the diarrhea I would normally get from Irinotecan. I have been feeling a little fatigue during the week after treatment—not enough to affect my normal routine but I am noticing it. The pressure in my abdomen is still there sometimes but I don’t really have any pain. Oh and I had to shave my head once again as my hair was falling out with the slightest touch.
I have now had a cancer diagnosis for 5 years. I don’t search out statistics deliberately but I did happen to stumble across one when looking into one of my medications and it said that 87% of colorectal cancer patients do not make it to 5 years.
I’m just happy to be alive.
Please pray that I will continue to beat the odds, Lord willing.
It took a bit of work but I finally started a new chemotherapy treatment last Friday.
Since I don’t have private health insurance I had to apply for compassionate coverage from the drug manufacturer. Thankfully I was approved and that process only delayed my treatment by a week.
The new drug is Cetuximab which is apparently similar to Panitumumab which I was on for 4 years with good results. I was told to expect similar side affects like sensitivity to the sun and they basically guaranteed that I would get a rash.
I also received a referral to a radiation trial in London. My appointment is next week.
Thank God that there are still treatment options available for me and that I was able to be approved for compassionate coverage of the new drug.
Pray that this treatment works and as before blows away my doctor’s expectations of how long it will keep working!
The surgeon who checked in on John this morning was concerned that his abscess had not been drained yet. He said that Monday was way too long to wait and he would definitely push for it today.
Just to give a bit of background, when they insert the tubes through his skin to drain the infected fluid from his abdomen, they use medical imaging for guidance. Apparently the CT scan machine that they normally use was undergoing maintenance, but by using ultrasound instead, they were able to do the procedure this morning. Thank You, Lord! What an answer to prayer. John came back to his room to find lunch waiting for him: jello, broth and orange juice.
It may take a few days for the abscess to be fully drained. By this evening, John said that his pain had already started to subside a little. We still haven’t heard when exactly he will be able to come home, but at least we are one step closer to that happening.
I know our church was lifting us up in prayer last night at the weekly prayer meeting, and many others were praying as well, so thank you! I’m so grateful to the brothers and sisters in Christ who have brought us meals and helped in practical ways (you know who you are). Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Today was Maggie’s birthday, by the way. Daisy’s was last week, and thankfully John was still at home then. Although he didn’t get to be with us in person today, he still joined in watching her open her present and blow out her candles via FaceTime. She was a very happy three-year-old. All in all, it was a very good day.
Great news, everyone! John came home from the hospital today. He is still quite tired and sore, as to be expected, but the surgeon said the stoma reversal went well. Praise God!
I know many of you were praying for John today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! His surgery got delayed by over two hours, and when he woke up about two more hours after that, he texted me to say, “I am alive.” What a welcome message that was. He was able to call and say hi to the kids too. Since visitors are still not allowed at the hospital right now, I’m glad we can stay connected through our phones. Tonight he was tired and in a bit of pain, but otherwise “great,” eating jello and drinking clear liquids. Lord willing, he should be discharged in a few days once he is eating a normal diet and his bowels start functioning again. Our daughters both have birthdays coming up in the next couple of weeks (turning 5 and 3) so it would be the best present of all to have Daddy home. Whatever happens, I know we remain in God’s hands, and as always we are immeasurably grateful for your prayers.
“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
Psalm 33:22 ESV
Thank you for your prayers! I made it through yet another chemotherapy relatively unscathed. As usual day 3 was the worst. I felt a little nauseous and generally lousy. My rash flared up a bit but the medication is keeping it from getting too bad. My throat needed a little bit of my special mouth wash today but it’s really not a big deal just a little uncomfortable. My weight has been mostly stable, hovering just under the 150 mark. My day 3 lack of eating did not have as much of an effect on my weight as last time. I had a little bit of diarrhea on day 5 but I attribute that to late night fried chicken. I am still receiving daily injections from my dear wife which is lots of fun.
Life is good.
Next chemo is Friday, May 3. Please continue to pray for us.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever
Psalm 136:1 ESV