To: Family & Friends

Date: April 15, 2013

Subject: 3rd round of treatment today

This was originally an email written to my family and friends on the date above. I decided to make these public in the event they may be helpful to someone in the future who is embarking on a similar journey to mine.

Hi Everyone–

I had my 3rd round of chemo today. My parents are in town so my dad came and hung out with me for this treatment – the first one Heather hasn’t attended.

The “off” week last week was excellent. I’ve been working on a project with my team and we made a lot of great progress on it. This week we’ll do an internal beta test with hopes of doing a release next week. I feel really good about what I was able to produce.

I was able to work out again towards the end of the week (Wed-Sun), and my weight is continuing to come back. I’ve regained about 20 of 30 pounds that were lost. I’m also getting closer to lifting the weight amounts I was using before the weight loss.

This past weekend started some golf buddies coming over to watch the Masters on Friday and Caitlin’s soccer game (I hope to help teach her to be a little more aggressive) Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon I watched the Masters, did some work, and played Legos with Caitlin (my parents brought more of my childhood stash on this trip). On Sunday we watched the Masters as a family and grilled dinner, then Heather and I went to go see things blow up in the GI Joe movie.

We met with a different oncologist last week as well, and decided to make the switch to him as my primary doctor for cancer-related stuff. We felt more comfortable communicating with him, though there aren’t any significant deviations planned to the treatment outlined by our original doctor. We did decide to do my next PET scan in late May after my 5th treatment so that there would be 4 treatments with Avastin before we saw the results – then we skipped the Avastin this time (more below). I think we’ll probably stick with the late May PET scan date, but things are certainly fluid as everyone reacts to the latest information.

This morning I met with the oncology PA. She seems to have been in the department for a while and is well spoken of by the doctors. When we met her we agreed – very sharp lady. My blood levels were up a bit in areas they were low in before, so that was nice to see.

There were some changes to this week’s treatment. I was given some additional anti-nausea drugs as well as magnesium and calcium. The latter are thought to help with the neuropathy and cold sensitivity.

The one odd thing that happened last week was a re-opening of the corner of my ostomy wound. It wouldn’t scab over firmly and just kinda oozed and wept a little for the last few days. It was getting uncomfortable and felt like it had during the initial healing.

In my 2nd treatment I was given Avastin, a drug that can have a side effect of “undoing” healed surgery (it’s job is to cut off the blood supply to tumors). However, it’s supposed to be OK to take 4 weeks following surgery and we waited 6 weeks to be safe.

I met with the PA and Dr. this morning and showed them the area. They decided we should skip the Avastin this week and give the area time to heal. After my chemo infusion, I met with a surgical PA to get their opinion. The surgical PA poked around at it and scraped out a black thing that she thought was a stitch. Her opinion was that this was due to a stitch that didn’t get absorbed and was being expelled by my body. She did not think this was due to the Avastin.

Since she cleaned up the area and pushed out the stitch-like-thingy, it has felt much better. It doesn’t hurt like it did this weekend when I sneezed or tried to make a golf swing. :)

I may go in for an additional surgical consult with the surgeon who did my abdominal procedures later this week, we’re in wait and see mode on that.

I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m handling the nausea better this round. So far so good. The cold sensitivity is already making itself known as it’s been snowing all day. I’m hoping for a manageable treatment week.

I’ve got streaming baseball, Netflix and Amazon video to keep me company during my downtime this week – I hope to remain entertained.

This post is part of the thread: Cancer – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.