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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…

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!

World NET Cancer Awareness Day

Today is Worldwide Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness Day. Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog and be a part of my life. Just by doing so you already know so much more about NETs than the average bear.

Steve Jobs of Apple; Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s; and Derrick Bell, the famous black Professor of Law at Harvard,  all passed away from Neuroendocrine Tumor or Carcinoid.  Unfortunately, there are other famous people and numerous not-so-famous people with NET/Carcinoid, that probably don’t know it, yet, due to not experiencing symptoms, or from being misdiagnosed.

You can learn more about this disease by visiting carcinoid.org, and help spread awareness throughout the year by writing the words: “Neuroendocrine Tumor/Carcinoid Cancer” when you contribute to wonderful organizations such as “Relay For Life,” that do not acknowledge this rare cancer.

As for me, I’m still fighting off a cold that has taken advantage of my compromised immune system. All things considered I’m feeling okay after my last treatment, just incredibly tired and run down. I had my usual gamut of follow-up lab work yesterday. On Monday I start my regimen of 3x-a-day injections of octreotide that will last until Kathy and I return to Houston for Round 3 on December 4th.

Take care, and as always, thanks for visiting.

Visit with My Oncologist

I just met with my oncologist today. This was a regularly scheduled follow-up to my first two PRRT treatments. I’ll come back and see him again when all four treatments are complete, probably in late February. He is pleased with how things are progressing, and confident that I’ll see substantial benefit from this therapy, particularly after all four doses are administered.

It’s been two weeks since my trip to Houston, and I’m still feeling wrung out, sick to my stomach, and having to make way too many trips to the bathroom. If this is anything like the first round I should start feeling quite a bit better in another week or so. I was hoping that this time would be easier on me, but no such luck. My doctor today said that I can take more “rescue injections” of octreotide at home to help ease some of the symptoms.

I’m back at the office on a regular basis, working as many hours as I can tolerate. At home Kathy is a saint – putting up with my issues while dealing with her own (including a sprained ankle right now). I’m looking forward to feeling significantly better by Thanksgiving so I can enjoy our big family celebration.

I’ll post again soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Doctor’s Report

Well I’m glad it’s Friday and that I had my fourth and final nuclear scan this morning, so there’s nothing more for me to do before flying back home tomorrow. I really miss my family. After this morning’s scan I drove to another office and met with the doctor to review my results.

The news is essentially this: stable disease. That’s good news because it means that there are no new tumors and nothing is growing or spreading. Not to get too technical, but the MRI report states, “Stable to slightly decreased size of bilobar hepatic lesions.” Again good news which means that my largest tumors in my liver have actually decreased in size ever so slightly. The largest of those tumors measured 4.7 x 4.3 cm before my first therapy in August, and it’s down to 4.5 x 4.2 cm as measured Tuesday, just prior to my second therapy. That’s only a modest gain but progress nonetheless. I’m very pleased that the therapy is working and really looking forward to more dramatic results after the second, third and fourth rounds.

In general I’m feeling somewhat better this time than I felt after the first round. I’m still pretty tired though. Plenty of time to rest this afternoon, then looking forward to heading home tomorrow.