Personal Update


Having completed cycle four of twelve cycles of chemotherapy I thought it appropriate to bring an update on my situation.  After being diagnosed with colon cancer on December 1, 2008 and having surgery December 16th to remove the cancer I began a treatment regimen requiring six months of chemo-therapy  beginning February 3rd.  I was able to join a study group using an experimental drug Cetuxamab which has shown promising results in my type of cancer.  By the way – as far as the doctors are concerned all the cancer was removed at the time of surgery.  The chemotherapy is recommended to insure the cancer is completely destroyed and hopefully will not return.

Each treatment cycle is two weeks long.  On Tuesday of the first week I spend about 4 1/2 to 5 hours receiving the chemo and other stuff including the experimental stuff.  I receive it through what is called a Power Port which was implanted surgically just below my left color bone.   The cancer staff uses the port to administer the chemo as well draw blood or anything else they deem appropriate.  Before I leave the staff hook me up to a pump that continues to administer the chemo for approximately 44 more hours.  On Thursday somewhere around early afternoon I return to the cancer center where they remove the pump and I’m on my way.  I return the following Tuesday for a couple of hours where I’m given only the experimental chemo.  This completes one cycle.  Four down and eight to go.

The worst part of this journey are the side effects: which are skins rashes, acne on my face, hands and chest, along with small paper like cuts on my fingers.  I’m using some prescribed medications and lotions to help in this area.  I also have a very low tolerance for both hot and cold things – mostly cold.  This requires that I drink liquids at room temperature otherwise it feels like I’m drinking sharp ice chips, which is somewhat uncomfortable. When I touch things that are colder than room temperature my hands tinkle like when you put your hand to sleep.  If I ignore this sensation and continue touching cold, my hand will very quickly freeze up and quit working altogether.  To counter act this I wear gloves both inside and outdoors.

Another side effect is a lack of stamina.  I get fatigued really easy and find that taking a nap can be pleasant.  Most of the time I have a low-grade crappy feeling, but there are a few instances when I feel pretty energetic. A good day is the one following my long treatment where I’ve  been given a doze of steroids to counter some of the chemo.  I seem to be able to leap tall building in a single bound – maybe.  

Linda is really taking great care of me — she is the best.  This experience has taught be in a fresh way how much I love her and how good God is giving such a wonderful helpmate.  

Thank you all who are praying — we literally feel your prayers sustaining us in this journey.  God is so good and particularly  present when we walk through difficult times like this.  We are blessed!!!!

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4 Responses

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Thanks for the update brother. We are praying for you!

  3. “I eat ashes like bread…I wither away like grass…but You will remain” Psalm 102

    Keep fighting, don’t lay down.
    J.Clark

  4. Rob

    I continue to pray for you, thanks for the update, last we talked you were down south. God is so good and I know that HE will carry you and Linda through. May the Lord continue to Richly Bless you both. Your brother and co-laborer. Ed

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