Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Latest Update

I feel like I always start these blogs out lately with "I'm sorry that I haven't updated this in a while", but I really am.  I have been feeling really good lately.  I am still having the breathing issues but it has made me so mad and frustrated that I am now walking 30 minutes in the morning and then after I finish lifting weights in the evenings I am on the treadmill for another 20 minutes doing high intensity interval training.  I am hoping that I can train my lungs to learn how to take more oxygen in again.  After 2 weeks of this I am feeling like I am gaining a little bit of it back.  The only problem is that I start another round of chemo tomorrow which means I will have to take about 4 days off before I try this again.  Hopefully it won't hold me back too much.

In the last 2 months I have been seeing a pulmonary doctor and he thinks that part of the issue with my breathing is that I have developed a slight case of asthma due to the effects of chemo.  This along with some inflammation and the scar tissue on my lungs from tumors is what is causing the breathing issues.  I now have an inhaler that I use twice a day and also an emergency inhaler that helps me get through my cardio and workouts.

I had another CT scan last Friday and got the results back yesterday showing no change from the last scan.  This is great news yet again and hopefully this will continue to be the trend going forward.  The scan did show what looks like inflammation that wasn't visible on the last scan, so I have started a regimen of steroids to see if they help at all.  If this does feel like it helps, then I will do another scan in about 3 weeks to see if the inflammation has gone away.  We have also confirmed that my CEA counts are no longer useful for us to monitor the cancer progress so I will now have to have a CT scan every 8- 10 weeks.  Obviously you don't want that much radiation as it can cause other types of cancers but at this point there are no other options to monitor what is going on.  I have a feeling that I will be on this same chemo for about another 2 - 6 months and then we will have to switch to another drug.  If we change in 2 months then that will be a year and 8 months of me being on the same drug and that is an amazing amount of time to be able to stay on the same drug when you are in the situation that I am in.  On top of that I have had the drug every other week in that time frame with only taking an extra week off twice.  So, taking a new drug will be a welcome for me.

In the meantime, Jenny finished up her spring classes and started right into a 6 week Biochemistry (cross between chemistry and organic chemistry) class. That finishes up for her Friday but for her to get financial aid she had to take two classes this summer and she didn't have any nursing classes as options so her introduction to criminal justice class started last week. She also finished up with her job at the end of April so she could begin school full time so she will have a break during July before that starts. I'm still working full time and working as often as I can on chemo days.

We also got a contract on our house a few days after the tournament and closed on our house last Thursday and moved out last Friday. We still haven't found a replacement yet but our good friend Jennifer Van Gieson has been very patient and helpful with us trying to find it. In the meantime we've moved in with Jenny's parents. We keep joking that we're in the biggest trial of our marriage thus far, a queen sized bed.

I want to congratulate a good friend of mine that I met while they she was going through chemo as well and just found out that she is now in remission, she showed a great amount of courage while taking this disease head on and I'm really happy for her. Another fellow chemo patient is scheduled to have surgery this coming Tuesday to hopefully remove all of the cancer that is left inside of her.  So I ask for everyone to please say a prayer for them to have safe travels and the best of results from the surgery.

I hope that everyone has a great week and a great start to summer.

Tim
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