Sunday, October 14, 2007

IGGs Dropping

Yes, the new chemo regime seems to be working. After one cycle, the IGGs dropped from a high of 5700 down to 2900! I haven't discussed the numbers with Rifkin, just received the lab report on Thursday. But when I see him in 2 weeks, I'm sure he'll be ecstatic. So, I guess we'll be sticking with this cocktail for awhile. The results from the clinical trials were quite encouraging and I'm glad to see I've landed in the responsive category. It makes the rough days a bit easier to handle knowing it's working.

I also saw my orthopedic surgeon on Thursday to review the MRI results. (yes, there continue to be too many days where it feels like all I do is go to the doctor. A reminder that before all this nonsense started I took my good health for granted) Anyway, I would call it good news/bad news. There is nothing so acute on the MRI that would call for any surgical intervention. So, there's nothing that can be done, other than some physical therapy to give me some temporary relief., which I'll start that this coming week. On balance, I guess I'm relieved that there isn't another back surgery on the horizon.

Otherwise, life goes on and for that we are thankful.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Light the Night tops $26,000!!!!

Yes, the Light the Night contributions to my team have now exceeded $26,000, and donations are still coming in! The generosity of this very wide community of family and friends is overwhelming. The final push came from John Sadwith, the executive director of Colorado Trial Lawyers on the day before the walk. John saw that I had not yet made my goal of $10,000 and appointed himself lead fund raiser for my team--all without my knowledge. I know from the varied sources of donators that John must have managed to get word out to a number of lawyer organizations on both the plaintiff and defense side of the fence, and whether he had compromising pictures or other articles of blackmail, I don't really want to know. What I do know is that it must have taken John the better part of 3 days dogging people to up the ante, and ante they did!!! Thank you John and thank you to everyone who contributed to this very worthwhile cause.

You may remember that John was the one who set and met his goal of getting pictures of well wishes for me, from every continent. Talk about a type A personality! But what a big heart.

On the health front, I stumbled my way through the first chemo cycle, but most enjoyed last week's break from the drugs. Round 2 started yesterday--2 weeks and then another week's break. Unfortunately, it is starting to feel familiar.

Of course, I hope people don't think I'm so incapacitated that I can't mediate anymore. Not so. I continue to schedule and conduct mediations and it seems workable with the chemo schedule. I'm certainly not ready to slip into the shadows.

The MRI results are not good. My back is a mess. Of the 24 vertebra in the neck, back and lower back (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar--not the sacrum or tailbones) only 1 is normal. All of the thoracic and lumbar are or have been fractured. My back was in bad shape before diagnosis, and seems to be the site most affected by the cancer running through the bone marrow. I see my spine surgeon later this week, although I am skeptical that there is much that can be done at this point. Another kyphoplasty? (cementing the vertebra). I hope not and am not really interested in another back surgery, unless the spasming goes crazy like it did 2 years ago. I seem to remember that I had 11 or 12 fractures about 2 years ago, when I had my last MRI, so it looks like I've added another 10 or so. When did this happen? I am totally confused. I am resuming physical therapy and have committed to going to a yoga class with hopes that some stretching and massage will relieve some of the muscle pain. Don't worry, it's nothing like what I went through 2 years ago and I feel like this is something I will learn to live with. Just another complication from this nastiness. I had a nice chat with a woman at the clinic yesterday, in the infusion room. She was hunched over and had great difficulty getting in and out of her chair, walking, etc. In other words, much worse than I am. No matter how bad things seem, there is always someone you can find who is worse off...or better off. It just depends on where you want to look. I think it's easier to consider myself blessed and not look over the fence for comparisons. We'll leave it at that.

Susan is out of town at a funeral for the son of some good friends. Catherine has moved in during Susan's absence to assure that I don't burn down the house or something like that while in a steroid rage. The family bops along with a strong constitution and won't let me get away with much anymore, but they are also, in a subtle way, very protective.

Well, that's all for now. Thank you again for all your support and most especially the huge contributions to Light the Night.

With deepest gratitude,