Sunday, November 23, 2008

Round 2, No. 1

Thursday went well, and thank goodness for steroids. That got me through Friday. Different story this weekend. It was not unexpected that a body already compromised would feel the effects of chemo. And so that is the case. I am hunkered down with tylenol, ativan, and old movies, gathering my strength to take a bath.

It is gratifying to see the food calendar filling up. I am still fighting weight loss, so don't be afraid to splurge on those calories. There is a time and place for low fat and low carb, and this isn't it.

I'm gearing up to prepare my Thanksgiving thankfuls. There are definitely some different angles this year. If they're not too cheesey, I'll share them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Treatment

I got the green light to begin the new chemo regimen, and so it happened today.

Here is how my appointment with Dubovsky went:

Dubovsky: How do you feel? You look great.
EA: I feel about the same as last week, maybe a slight improvement. I started driving this week.
Dubovsky: Congratulations on driving. I know that's a big step for you. Any questions or concerns? You look great.
EA: I still cough all the time. I'll celebrate my "one solid year of coughing" anniversary next month.
Dubovsky: I'll talk to Scheinberg about an inhaler, you should consider putting in a whole-house humidifier, and cover your nose with a scarf when you go out. Any other questions or concerns? You look great.
EA: How are my counts? How is my vitamin D? Do I still need to take baby aspirin?
Dubovsky: Counts look great. Vitamin D is a little low but well within normal range. Stop baby aspirin on Tuesday. You look great. Chemo starts as soon as you can walk down the hall and get the IV in your arm.
Dr. D's dictation: Blah blah blah she looks great.

Boy, all I can say is his other patients must look like s--t.

Love to all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A week since my last posting. The days between reaped a step forward in my treatment plan and the start of pulmonary rehab.

I had a productive meeting with Dubovsky on Tuesday. We decided upon the treatment regimen. It will be full doses of carboplatin and alimta, beginning as soon as I am feeling okay. Alimta is a newer generation chemo, only takes 10 minutes to administer, and I am not expected to lose my hair. There will be a minimum of two doses, and up to four, depending on what I can tolerate. The doses will be 21 days apart. This combination is less toxic than what we had been contemplating, but stronger doses than what I have received previously. We are meeting this Thursday, and if I am up to it, treatment will start that day.

The rehab is basically cardio and weight training in a gym. My favorite activities in my favorite place. Right now, I require oxygen to participate, but the therapist, as do I, think it will be great for me.

The problem still is the "feeling okay" part. I just don't. There is the low grade fever that plagued me daily for 5 weeks, and that still comes and goes. It came to my attention that the drip drip cough cough that I have been experiencing could be as simple as a sinus infection. I started on some antibiotics yesterday, which already seem to be helping, albeit the fever persists. But I am waiting, patiently or not, for the day when I "feel good." That magic moment when I can smile spontaneously, eat without feeling like it's a chore, and drive a car.

Still putting one foot slowly in front of the other.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Beautiful Morning!

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Lung Cancer Awareness run/walk today. It was wonderful to be with my family, old friends, new friends, work colleagues, survivors, out-of-towners, and even my doctors. Everyone was represented. Next year we will do it up big, with Team Dream t-shirts, and maybe even custom water bottles. We will be raising some serious awareness. In the meantime, congratulations to Brigette for placing second in her age bracket. She looked like a rocket streaking by.

As for me, I am dragging butt in a big way. I can't seem to get back to myself, or even close. Now that I have spoken with people who have had surgery to remove a lobe, not even their full lung, I am hearing that 3 months is a more realistic recuperation time. I spoke with someone today who had 2/3 of her right lung removed and subsequent chemotherapy and she said it took her a year to truly recover! And I am still facing more treatment. I am on the verge of making a decision on the chemotherapy regimen. That decision will likely come this week. In the meantime, I have signed up to begin a 24 session pulmonary rehab program. It is 2 1/2 hours a day, 3 days a week. Maybe pushing myself through this program will help. In the meantime, I have a difficult time getting the energy to leave the house, but I am bored to tears, literally. And...... not only did I miss a bunch of fun stuff tonight, they probably won't even be making fun of Sarah Palin on SNL.

I probably should have some cheese with this whine, but I guess I'm entitled.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Television Debut

No Hollywood screen test for me, but the dogs looked great. In fact, when they heard themselves on TV, they all had to voice their opinions. Plus, the cool action shots reminded me of better days.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

We have been through years of life experiences together: high school, college and beyond; camp, including getting yelled at really bad by Larry for you-know-what, which was mostly my fault; broken hearts, marriages, and babies who are now teenagers; water skiing, snow skiing, and camping; losing some loved ones; many, many more good memories than bad. But now, instead of discussing the current recreational drug of choice, we are comparing chemotherapy regimens. Instead of comparing travel notes, we are assessing treatment centers. And talk of food is not about the latest restaurant, it is how to get those calories in when fighting nausea. We are reloading all our prayer guns, in between our disbelief, as we help Mindy embark on her own journey through and beyond cancer.

Sending my love, along with the love of so many others.