To: Family & Friends

Date: June 13, 2013

Subject: Chemo round 7 (we’ve crossed the 1/2-way mark)

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–

Happily there hasn’t been too much of note to report. I just came off the bottle to end my infusion for my 7th round of chemo this morning.

We got the formal report from the PET scan and it supported the initial findings – no areas of cancer are visible to the scan anymore!

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean I can skip out on the rest of the treatments (though I think I might be able to negotiate one or two off the end – or at least lower doses). I don’t yet know what the next steps will be, probably some maintenance (occasional) chemo with lower doses and regular PET scans. For now at least, it doesn’t look like any additional surgical procedures will be needed at the conclusion of the treatment, but we’ll see what the results of the next PET scan (probably will be in Sept.) show.

I was able to get in to see my surgeon the day of my 6th infusion. He shot me up with lidocaine and went in right then to remove the remaining stitch material (and some scar tissue) from my ostomy takedown site. So far, no reoccurrence of the irritation there, so that’s good news. What was frustrating (and painful) was having an open wound again for 2 weeks, but it’s pretty much all healed up again now.

I’m back up to my normal fighting weight, and now need to break myself of the “eat everything in sight” habit. I knew that milkshakes and fries at every meal probably wasn’t sustainable, but it was nice while it lasted. Keeping my strength up is getting a little harder with each round as the fatigue lasts a little longer each time (and cuts into days I feel I can work out). I’m trying to stick with 4 workouts per treatment round, but lapsed to 3 in round 6. Of course, those were offset a little by two rounds of golf last weekend. :)

The side effects from the chemo are lingering longer each round, as expected, but my weight gain plus a slight dosage reduction has made them reasonably tolerable. I am starting to get a little cabin fever, but that will soon change as my travel schedule starts to kick in. I’m looking forward to the extra week between treatments (for vacation in MN) after round #8.

I finally posted on my website about my diagnosis:

http://alexking.org/blog/2013/05/31/cancer

The feedback has been very supportive, and I’ve heard from several folks who have gotten tested as a result. It’s been nice to have it all out in the open and not have to side-step around scheduling issues, deciding how much to tell someone, etc.

Here’s hoping my next update is just as dull as this one. :)

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