Treatment 16 update

Treatment #16 has come and gone. I went in last Monday to Dana-Farber for the infusion. Overall things went well. My iron level was low so I did have to get an infusion of that before the chemo infusion. Other than that all the other blood word looked good. Even with 6 months off of chemo and the liver tumors growing, the liver enzymes looked good and my oncologist is still pretty happy with my overall progress.

I did have 2 days of chemo fatigue which was pretty rough. Friday and Saturday I was pretty much toast. Sunday I felt really good, but then it hit me again on Monday which was weird, though I think that was more from my stomach being off. A lot of other patients that are on FOLFIRI say that about a week after infusion they experience some bad stomach issues. Mine wasn’t real bad, but I did feel like crap for most of the day and didn’t want to each much. I didn’t have a lot of issues with diarrhea and had no nausea issues both of which are the main side effects of FOLFIRI.

Feeling much better today. I don’t anticipate any other issues the rest of the week.

Next week should be fun. I’m back at Dana-Farber on Monday for my next treatment. We have a lot going on at the end of next week with baseball games, and field day’s, another followup with my surgeon and birthday parties. Not sure what I’ll do if the fatigue sets it like it did last week. It really does suck. It completely drains my energy. Not fun.

Anyway. Thats all I have for now.

Thank you all for all your support. It means a lot.


Back on Chemo

Its been 6 months off, but I’m back on chemo today.  The infection finally healed up and now we’re back to fighting off the liver tumors.  Unfortunately the liver tumors did grow over the last 6 months, but that isn’t very surprising with that much time off.  We’re still in a good place. The main tumor is gone and the lungs are still clear.
I did have success during the last round of chemo with the tumors shrinking, so now we just have to get back to that.  Today was treatment #16.  As of right now I have 5 additional treatments scheduled.  I’m sure that won’t be the end of it though.  Still a long road to go, but we’re staying on track and heading back in the right direction.
I’ll update again in a few days.  We changed one of the chemo drugs.  Still no more Oxaliplatin, as that gave me some bad neuropathy which is still present in my feet.  Instead we’ve changed to Irinotecan which is another front line chemo drug for colorectal cancer.  Main side effects for this drug is mostly diarrhea. Also more of a chance for losing my hair.  Time will tell on that one. Pretty much zero chance of causing neuropathy.

Wound healing… Slow

Had another post op checkup with my surgeon today. This appointment was an extra one. My visiting nurse was a little concerned with how the wound is healing. Overall it looks great, except for one spot/pocket where it actually got bigger. Because of this my nurse wanted my doctor to look at it. He said the wound is healing great and didn’t think the pocket was too much of a big deal. He said that happens. The outside of the wound is healing a lot faster than the inside. He’s only concerned about one spot near the surface that might heal to fast and not give the inside a chance to heal properly. Overall, he’s very happy. I won’t be using the sponge vac any longer. The visiting nurse will be coming every day to change the dressings and keep a close eye on the healing process.

On another note, he was surprised I hadn’t started back on chemo yet. I told him I hadn’t heard from my oncologists office. He thought he told them I was good to go and will send a message again. If I don’t hear anything I’ll call them next week.

Anyway, thus far things are going good. I’m feeling better and stronger each week. I just wish the neuropathy in my feet would go away.

Post surgery update with surgeon

Had my post op checkup with my colorectal surgeon today and things went well. He was very happy with how the wound is healing. It is still producing fluid, but the infection is healed. I will still need to have the vac pump for another few weeks basically till the wound is completely healed.

Since the infection is gone that means I can start back on chemo. I don’t know when that will happen yet. I have to hear from my oncologists office. That should be fairly soon.

The hospital I’ve had my surgeries at is Brigham and Women’s in Boston. Because of everything that is going on with the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, the hospital (along with all the other hospitals in the area) were put in lockdown mode. So we got stuck at the hospital for a few hours. We couldn’t even use the bridges that connect 3 of the hospitals. This sucked because we parked next door at Dana-Farber. After a while they were letting people leave, but still were not allowing anyone in.

There was almost zero traffic on the way out of the city. As we passed Longwood Ave I looked down towards Children’s Hospital, the road was closed and had a bunch of police cars and a few military Hummers. Crazy. I hope they catch that S.O.B. real soon so things can get back to normal around here.

Awful events in Boston yesterday

It’s been hard not be glued to the TV trying to get all the information I can about the bombings that took place in Boston yesterday. Back in the early/mid 90s I worked for TNT Vacations which is right down the street from the finish line area. I worked most Patriot Day Mondays during my time there and I remember a few times on my lunch break going to the Pru to get some food then hanging out on the side walk right across the street where the 2nd bomb went off to watch the runners. It’s very scary. My heart goes out to those who were effected by this tragedy.

As for an update on myself… I’m doing pretty good. I still have the vac pump attached and its doing its job. Don’t know how much longer I’ll have it. I have an appointment with my doctor on Friday. I’m guessing it will probably be another few weeks.

It’s not painful like the IR Drain was, but it is uncomfortable. Sitting is difficult so I recline a lot or lay down a lot. I can drive a little bit around town to do quick/small errands, but that’s about it for now.

My energy is up and down. I still get tired pretty easily, but I’m learning how to manage that a little better each day.

On a few other notes, yesterday was Kerry and I’s 13th anniversary and today is Thomas’ 11th birthday. And the weather is getting warmer. All good things. 🙂

No more rectum, on my way to saying bye to this infection!

Finally talked to my doctor. He was very happy with how the surgery went. The vacuum pump will be put on tomorrow and I should be able to go home Saturday. What happened is that the abscess/infection was basically stuck behind the rectum and had no place to go. Since there was only about 1 1/2 inches of the rectum left he took it out. This will greatly speed up the healing process. It also means that my colostomy is now permanent. No big deal. I’ve had no issues with the stoma at all. I also should be starting back up on chemo in another few weeks. Things look like they are finally moving forward again. I’m feeling pretty good outside of the discomfort/pain from the incision. Can’t sit straight yet. I don’t mind laying on my sides but after a while the leg of the side I’m laying starts to hurt. So then I have to switch sides which puts a strain on the incision. Ouch! It’s like a domino effect. Only very comfortable position is on my stomach which is fine for sleeping but not so much for tv watching. Lol. Anyway, this wont last much longer. The incision will heal and the pain will go away soon enough.

Post Op

Surgery went well yesterday. Dealing with some pain today which is to be expected. I don’t like when they change all the dressings, that hurts a lot but its gotta get done. I haven’t talked to the doctor yet but so far things are going as planned. Will update again after I talk with my doctor.