Monday was round 12!
This marks the end of the aggressive treatment section of chemotherapy. Over the next few days I will have the distinct pleasure of drinking a few more bottles of barium and then going in for another scan. My numbers are still looking very good. My oncologist is anticipating the scan results will continue to show improvement. Once we have the scan results I will meet with Dr. Saroha to come up with an extended “maintenance” chemotherapy plan.
This week has been odd. I am not sure why. My energy level has been lower. Nancy will tell you I am doing too much. She may be right. I am in that odd place where you feel good enough to do somethings but once you do it drains you to the point of not functioning well.
My neuropathy is not getting better. I can feel the numbness spreading up my legs. It is now past my knees and it feels like my entire lower legs are asleep all the time. My feet hurt most of the time and I find it hard to stay stable while I walk. My fingertips are numb. I cannot feel much of anything. Typing is difficult. I used to be able to type with decent speed and fairly good accuracy. Now I can’t feel the keys. It is hard to know exactly what is going on when I am banging on the keys. I was helping my Dad put together a cart for his lawn tractor and I could barely thread a nut onto a bolt. I did it, but it was painful. That project took twice as long as it would have back in April. I am still learning to adjust to my new pace in life. Each time I meet with Dr. Saroha he asks how my neuropathy is doing. When I tell him he smiles a gentle smile and says it will get better over time.
Over the course of the past six months I have received two informal confirmations that the treatments I am undergoing are the correct mode of attacking what is going on in my body. When I was first in the hospital a good friend gathered all my relevant information, including diagnosis and proposed method of treatment. He then went ahead and started calling a few other hospitals asking what they thought. The word came back that I would be receiving the exact same treatment if I was under their care. A few weeks ago we sent of reports, scans, diagnosis and multiple other reports to another cancer treatment center. Nancy and I were hoping for some “magic bullet” or some special treatment that would cure what is going on. Instead we were told my doctor was doing exactly what they would be doing for me. In some ways that was disappointing…in others encouraging. It would have been nice to hear, “We can cure you.” It is reassuring to know that my oncologist is doing what these others would be doing. I have always had the utmost respect and trust in Dr. Saroha. This just seems to be one of those times in life when multiple opinions would be a good thing.
On My Own
For the past six months I have had a visiting nurse come to the house and “take me down” when it was time to detach me from my chemo pump. They were wonderful people. I watched the process and it seemed like something I could do myself. If I am going to be doing this maintenance chemo for the rest of my life I would rather be a little self-sufficient if at all possible. Dr. Saroha gave me the green light to be trained on how to remove the needle from my port. This round was the first time I “took myself down” without supervision. I had completed everything and was heading upstairs when there was a knock at the door. My nurse was there ready to help get me detached from the pump. I opened the door and laughed, “Sorry, you are a little late…I just took care of that myself.” He looked confused for a moment and then said, “I wish more of my patients were like you.” That felt good. I need help these days…lots of help. If there are things I can do on my own I want to step forward and take care of it myself.
God is Good All the Time…All the Time God is Good!