Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Veteran of the Chemo Wars

Hello Everyone,
Today is Monday, which means I got my infusion of chemo and steroids--and because it's the first week of the month, I also got Zometa--bone hardening drugs. As I spent the morning in the infusion center (a large room with about 10 recliners for people to sit comfortably and "get infused"), 3 people circulated through the room. Each person displaying a look of deep concern, or worse yet, panic. I usually sit quietly and read and don't get engaged in conversation but for some reason these people wanted to talk. Each one was early in the process and understandbly scared. I felt like the veteran as I gave advice on such mundane topics as the mouthwash to use to reduce mouth sores following transplant, the ways to try to reduce fatigue, the anti nausea drugs that worked best, etc. As I walked out I realized, "I am a survivor." My step lightened.

Not much news on the numbers front. The white and red counts are stable and gradually and steadily rising over the last month or so. That is a good sign. I won't have any myeloma numbers for a couple of more weeks. I am very much looking forward to having next week off from the chemo as I find that, even though I only receive one dose a week now (compared to 2 for the past 7 months) it is still a roller coaster as I get boosted from the steroids early in the week, only to crash by the end of the week. Throw in a sleepless Monday night and the week feels like a trip to Six Flags. But Sundays are good.

Prostate surgery is scheduled for September 12th. My brother Tom tells me it will be a piece of cake given what I've already been through. His was an open surgery, i.e., an 8 inch incision below the navel. Mine will be laproscopic and thus less invasive. Although I'm not looking forward to another visit to the hospital, I am grateful my myeloma treatment has gone well enough that my doctors feel comfortable with proceeding.

Only a couple of more weeks and Julia goes back to school. Life won't be the same around here. She is such a great kid and we've really had a good time this summer. We often find ourselves watching reruns of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" late at night when I can't sleep. I laugh hysterically and then tell her how stupid it is. She just laughs at me and the show. Catherine sent me an email today with a lengthy piece explaining the new laws governing pension funds--said she thought it interesting. While I did find it interesting all I could think was, "Catherine, you are such a nerd!" She would agree. Susan continues with her busy life, walking her 8 miles day, keeping us all fed, engulfing us with her love and warmth, and generallykeeping the house running (and clean).

I'll check in after I have some news on the myeloma numbers in a few weeks. Until then, please know we love you all very much and that my continued improving health is due to all of your love and support.

Love Dan


Arlene said...

Good morning to all! Sounds like a good day in the Rockies.

I forgot to tell you that I am working with a young lady (one of our Americorps) whose sister is a 2006 Baetcher Scholar. What a coincidence. I would have had no idea what that was If it wasn't for the "Nerd" that is.

Melanie's family lives in Littleton and she will be leaving us and heading home in a few weeks. She is actually Catherine's age and went to college in Wisconsin. She was born in the Denver area. We talked a lot about the area. It has been fun having her here. You guys would love her.

Anyway, be well, and I will talk to you soon.



Ingrid said...

Here I am again, after a loooooooooooooong time.
Yes, sure you're a Veteran at this point, and I hope you're proud of it.

I here in Siena am getting ready for the next Palio. Tomorrow they will have the random assingment of the 10 horses to the 10 contradas, and Pantera will run again. So we will see how it goes.

And talking of Rollercoasters, I just am having a pretty good one with my diabetes, Two days agao, I think it was one of the worst days in my life, at the end I said a prayer thanking to be still alive. So seems after 25 years finally my dear diabetes is getting tougher and tougher, and mor often.

So hang in there Dan, want to know how you're doing in 25 years.

Love you and please give a big hug also to my beloved Susan.