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Home Again

I’ve told Kathy that we’re not leaving home again for a two week stretch unless it’s for a vacation in the Mediterranean or the Virgin Islands. It’s just too long to be away for this medical nonsense. Fortunately my fourth and final treatment next month is only a four day trip.

Kathy and I were thrilled and surprised when we got back home late Saturday. The kids had decorated the outside of our house with Christmas lights and baked lots of delicious Christmas goodies that were arranged on the counter. Kathy cried. I ate fudge.

I’m feeling much better than I did after the first two rounds of therapy, although I still have almost no energy and generally feel beaten up. My appetite and queasiness both come and go. I’ll be heading back into the office for a few hours Wednesday through Friday this week. Then I have the luxury of being off until January 3rd, which will afford me lots of downtime to recuperate. Our families are being great to us by celebrating the holidays on New Year’s weekend instead of this weekend so that I can enjoy them more.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year!!

Ready to Head Home

I had my final post-scan today, and we got our hotel room swept with the geiger counter. Everything is a go for us to return home tomorrow. Kathy and I are both anxious to get on that plane and get back to Gilroy.

The therapy on Wednesday went pretty well. I had the expected pain, flushing and overall discomfort with the amino acid drip. The radiation infusion went off without a hitch. It only took three sticks to get two IVs started, which is a great batting average with my arms.

Yesterday I felt better than I did immediately following my first two treatments. Today, not so much. I’m feeling queasy, tired, weak, and dealing with lots of flushing. The supposition is that all of this is brought on by the cancer cells getting fried and thereby releasing more of the hormones and other junk that make me feel lousy. I know I will start to feel better in a couple weeks, but for now this is miserable.

I’m three quarters of the way done with PRRT. There’s no question that all of this is more tolerable knowing that it’s having a positive impact. As I’ve stated before, however, I really look forward to getting that last treatment behind me late next month so I can really begin to recover without getting knocked back down.

I’ll be sure to post again sometime next week when I’m feeling a little better. Take care.

Good Report

Kathy and I met with the doctor today at Excel Diagnostics and the news was good. The various scans show that my tumors are responding to the therapy, with some of them shrinking and some stable. There are no signs of new tumors. My bone scan was negative. My kidney and liver function are fine. My blood markers that indicate various levels of cancer related junk are trending in the right direction.

All of this will help to slightly soften the blow of tomorrow’s therapy, which I unfortunately know is going to make me miserable. Right now I’m just looking forward to getting this done and getting back home. Kathy, as always, has been a trooper and continues to support me and tolerate all of my nonsense. With a little radiation these next few days I’m certain to light up her life.

More to follow post-therapy…

Weekend Fun

We had a great time last night at Santa’s Wonderland outside College Station, TX. We took a hayride through the amazing light display shown in the pics and video above. Texas did not disappoint, with the enormous lighted state flag, the mobile-home sized “HOWDY”, and of course, the well-appointed longhorns. After taking in the sights we had some good old Bar-B-Q at Ruby’s.

Today we just relaxed around the house and took a good walk. I got a Team Texas photo of Scott, Russ, Mary and Steven sporting their Brian’s Carcinoid Warrior shirts. Tomorrow morning we’ll do some laundry, pack up, and say goodbye to our wonderful friends as we move to the Residence Inn for week 2.

 

Scans are Done – Hello Weekend

I’m very happy it’s Friday and that this long week of scans and tests are behind me. The last two Octreoscans were completed about 2:30 this afternoon, and now Kathy and I have the next three days to just relax and hang out.

Tomorrow afternoon/evening we’re going to head over to College Station, TX with Mary & Russ to check out  Santa’s Wonderland – A Texas Christmas Experience. Of course everything is bigger and better here in Texas, blah, blah, blah, but it should be fun nonetheless. I imagine that here Santa has 10 reindeer and that they’re longhorn.

Of course we’re somewhat holding our breath until we meet with the doctor on Tuesday. I’ll post more when we get the results.

Have a great weekend!

2 Scans Down and a Bunch to Go

We’re huddled in Houston where it was a brisk 47 degrees today, a full 60 degrees cooler than our trip in August. This time I asked for the blankets while I was in the scanner for 20 and 30 minutes at a time.

Today’s scans were a renogram, to make sure my kidneys are functioning well to flush the radiation; and a bone scan to check for mets. Over the next few days I still have an MRI, CT, and several Octreoscans which measure the uptake of the radioactive material by my tumors. It took four sticks to get my IV started today. UGH! I hate IV’s. I have a bunch of lab work tomorrow morning and I’m really hoping they can find a vein on the first try. We’ll get the results of everything when we meet with the doctor next Tuesday afternoon (the appointment got switched from Monday).

Kathy and I love the staff at Excel Diagnostics. As miserable as all of this is for me, the people there really make it okay. We get big hugs like we’re old friends and we laugh and joke our way through the day. Thank goodness for friendship and humor. Speaking of which, we had a wonderful time today meeting Candy, a kindred spirit who has been going through all of this right along with me. A pancreatic NET from SoCal, she had surgery similar to mine at Cedars nearly three years ago and started PRRT here about a year ago. Done with her therapy, Candy’s back in Houston for some follow-up scans. She has been a constant source of inspiration for me, and someone that Kathy and I have both leaned on. We get to spend more time with her tomorrow and we’ll all grab some dinner together.

Mary & Russ are great hosts and we feel right at home here. It’s great to have a place to just relax and unwind in the evening. I think if we had to stay in a hotel for two straight weeks during this I might go crazy.