Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Short Vacation and Now We Hope to Maintain the Downward Trend

On Monday, Susan and I returned from a fabulous week with our friends Sigun and Joe Coyle in East Hampton. They have a beautiful home, with a pool, that is only minutes from the beach. We spent our days poolside or beachside. Sigun also prepared numerous culinary feasts for us and we spent the evenings eating, drinking Joe's fine wine and talking. It was so good to get away (my first trip out of Colorado in almost 2 years). The trip was also made possible, once again, by Susan's cousin Eileen. Given my back problems I was very reluctant to travel. So Eileen used her frequent flier miles and purchased a first class ticket for me. I used my miles to get one for Susan (didn't have enough for 2 tickets). The trip was fine and I was no worse for the wear when we returned. My, how things have changed. But this questions looms: Does this short visit with the Coyles constitute a vacation if I haven't worked for the past year?

I saw Dr. Rifkin on Monday and have officially gone onto a maintenance schedule. My dosages of velcade and steroids remain the same, but my schedule is now once a week for three weeks, and then the fourth week off. My IGGs are now 1338, down from 1415 about a month ago, and, for an even better perspective, down from 7500 in April 2005. It has been rough at times, but we have made much progress.

The hope now is for the maintenance dosage to be sufficient to at least hold the IGGs if not continue to reduce them. If they hold, then I'll undergo the prostatectomy in mid to late September to get the prostate cancer removed.

I am generally doing well even though I still have the reactions to the steroids: 'roid rage (the family runs for cover on Mondays and Tuesdays) and also the sleeplessness. But all in all I am doing so much better than a year ago that my spirits remain high.

Catherine is enjoying her new job and seems to learning much about finance and investment. May I be the beneficiary of that knowledge! Julia continues to sell coffee in the local coffee shop and both are having a relaxing summer. I think Julia is experiencing some boredom, however. She has been threatening to shave her head, just to see what it feels like. I had that experience only last year, but she doesn't seem satisfied with my verbal description of what it feels like to be bald headed. We'll keep you posted.

Susan is doing well also. She's entertained and fed many visitors this summer. She also continues to make new friends. While in a bookstore in East Hampton she found herself engaged in conversation with two other customers and before we left, she managed to exchange phone numbers with them so they could discuss new books for their respective book clubs. She is a wonder and seems to attract friends more easily than anyone I've ever known.

I do hope that everyone is having as fine a summer as I feel we have enjoyed. My best to all of you. Love, Dan


Arlene said...

Welcome back Dano!

spike said...

Great news all around Dan! You survived the Titans, the decline continues, and a family tradition may be carried on by the next generation. I believe a shaved head is somewhat of a Patterson tradition isn't it?
Thanks for update.

Dan's Mother said...

I think I remember a song about going down,down,down.If there isn't one we'll have to write one. You and Tom get out your guitars and start. All I can say is I am happy,happy,happy. Love,Dan.s Mom

Brother Ted said...

"To every season there is a purpose," and this season is sure looking better than it was a year ago. What an amazing journey you have been on as you have walked this difficult pathway. Enjoy all the hard work, family, friends and love that you so truly deserve. From my perspective bald or shaved heads look great, besides hair grows back unless you are like me and it just keeps thinning and showing up in the sink or tub. Love to Susan, Julia and Catherine.