Friday, August 19, 2011

A Little Help

Hi all! This week's treatment has been a little rough on Tim so I thought I'd help him out by doing a post. Plus he likes to procrastinate which drives the OCD in me slighly crazy. I'm writing this at 12:30AM on Friday so if its a little random I apologize! I took a 3 hour nap this evening (bad, bad idea) and am now wide awake when I should be sleeping, oops! We're not really sure why this week has been so rough as he ate lunch yesterday (and a really good cinnamon bun from the Lewis's with thick & gooey caramel icing on top...yum!). Yesterday went pretty smoothly but he woke up with a pretty rough headache this morning and has been off ever since, even getting sick this evening which really has only happened once before during treatment. Luckily though there is no fever and this isn't anything that some cheerios (or in our case Joe O's), meds and some sleep can't fix (as well as getting unhooked tomorrow). We think (technically I think, didn't know about my medical degree did you?) it may have to do with hayfever as I know I've been feeling that so hopefully we can get him on some allegra & he will be good to go next time.

They did switch up the Erbitux to Vectibix in the hope that it will bring down his CEA. He's also going back to the original dosage which we are also hoping will help. Now its just a matter of keeping the rash under control so he can continue treatment at the higher dosage. We're hoping with it being summer and humid that it will be easier to contain this time but only time will tell!

He has been accepted to a Clinical Trial through Sloan-Kettering in NY that we are pretty excited to have him be a part of. It isn't anything having to do with treatment but will hopefully help someone else down the line. Its testing people with colon cancer & their parents who are cancer-free (through saliva so no traveling or bloodwork necessary!) to see if there has been a mutation in any genes after being transferred down. They are guessing the mutation may have to do with environment and although we will never know the results of Tim from this we are excited that he is getting the opportunity to participate and hopefully give a little more knowledge to the background of this disease.

We also have something we wanted to see if we could get some help with...Tim is having another colonoscopy on Sept 7th. It isn't anything to be alarmed of, just standard operating procedure to go back in & check that the portions of his colon that were sewn back together have still healed in the manner that they were supposed to. I'll try to get a video of him waking up from the drugs to put on here...its pretty entertaining :). But back to why we need help...recently a close friend of ours was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is still at the early stages of the whole journey but it is looking as though he got lucky and it was caught early (which we are all SO excited about). Someone else who is also pretty close to us was diagnosed with colon cancer just last week. Everything is just beginning with that person and we are very hopefully for what the results may be but once again considering they had just had a colonoscopy 3 years ago it was a combination of luck and having the courage to go see a doctor when it seemed as though something was wrong.

Neither of us are really sure how to do this or what needs to be done but one of the things that is so important to us is spreading the word about prevention & early detection. There are so many solutions if things are caught early enough and one of the ways that can happen is to have a yearly physical and if you are old enough or have the family history, to have a colonoscopy on a regular basis as determined by your doctor. Neither event is complicated but it can be inconvenient to find the time to do that appointment and more so it can be scary if you suspect there may be something amiss.

This is where you guys come in...somehow we want to spread the word over the next 2 1/2 weeks to encourage people to get their yearly physicals and schedule the colonoscopy they have been putting off for whatever reason it may be. Just having a doctor ask the right questions every year could help a problem be discovered early on rather than after it has advanced and become a bigger issue. So if you all could tweet, use your status updates, blog, email, write letters, whatever it is that you do, to help spread Tim's story and encourage others to schedule & get their check-ups we would greatly appreciate it. Obviously Tim is getting his, I just had mine & came up clear & even our dog Maddy got in on the action. Apparently she is slightly overweight...guess it runs in the family! :) Plus my mom gives her treats for "being cute," pretty sure I wasn't given cookies for the same reason when I was younger (yep, that's jealousy)... Anyways, its the start of a new school year so why not start it out as healthy as possible? We're hoping to get as many people in on the action as possible but really we have no idea how to track it so any ideas on spreading the word or tracking the progress are greatly appreciated!

Thanks all for the help!
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