1st Term Report Card

About two months ago I began my chemo treatments. Last Friday I had a CT scan to check on the status of all those nasty tumors residing in my lungs, liver and lymph nodes.  Today Lee and I met with Dr. P to review the results of the CT scan…my 1st term report card.  For this special occasion Lee donned her lucky Oregon Football t-shirt and I wore my lucky electric yellow Oregon watch. 

Go Ducks!
 When Dr. P entered the examination room, he immediately remarked to Lee: “I see you’re an Oregon Duck fan.  I am an Arizona alumni.”  I thought to myself,   “Oh no, my fate rests in the hands of a Wildcat!”  I hopped up onto the examination table, as Dr. P placed his hands on my throat to check my lymph nodes and thyroid gland he noticed my watch ( how could he not?). 

 At that point I sensed a slight squeezing …could this be my end?!?  Luckily Lee shouted: “But he paints cats! He loves cats, even wildcats!”  The pressure was gone, Lee saved the day.

Enough silliness, let’s get to the results.  First the lungs. I have many tumors in my lungs, most are small.  Before I began chemo they measured the two largest tumors for a baseline reference point.  One tumor was 4.7×3.3 cm, it is now 3.8×2.9 cm.  The other was 3.3×2.2 cm and is now 2.1×1.9 cm.  A solid reduction.  The report noted that the numerous scattered tumors in my lungs had a “decrease in size and…development suggesting necrosis”.  Necrosis is death by lack of blood supply, which is what one of my Chemo drugs does. Thank you Avastin!!  The lungs show no new nodules or mass and the tissue looks great.  The lungs earn a solid B from me. 

Next is the liver.  As you know know, the liver processes chemicals including chemo drugs AND red wine.  Thus it is one of my favorite organs.  Of the two reference tumors, one decreased from 4.7×3.3cm to 3.8×2.9cm and the other went from 3.3×2.2cm to 2.1×1.9cm.   In addition my liver is functioning superbly, flawlessly processing the potent, nasty chemo drugs along with a dollop of superb red wine.  I love my liver, what a job!  The liver earns an A-!

The reference abnormal abdominal lymph node is almost back to normal size!  My colon at the point where they glued it back together looks great.  My guts earn an A this term. 

Lee and I are extremely pleased with my first term results. We sincerely appreciate your prayers, good thoughts and baked goods. All of these provide us with fuel for our journey and  empower us with positive thoughts. Thank you!

But we are well aware that this is just a start, a very good start, but still just a start.   Cancer adapts to treatment and usually comes back strong.  Currently there is no cure and survival at five years for my condition is less than10%.  But we will ride this wave as long as we can, it’s a good ride.  Medical science is constantly coming up with new things, the goal is to enjoy life and hopefully hang around long enough for the cure.

Speaking of enjoying life, here are two of this weeks joys: 

While dinning alfresco on our patio, two young hawks join us
On the way to the mailbox a rainbow appeared, a harbinger of good fortune, there were no bills in my mail!


44 thoughts on “1st Term Report Card

  1. A harbinger of great grades & stellar results. Congratulations on all counts and may the war cry of the Mighty Ducks ring loud over the land. That great Chef Lee
    cooking & that El Primo wine mixed with that great love of friendship has that “Pot of Gold” in your backyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking at Dr. P’s hand at your throat and the size of his arm muscle, well, I’m glad Lee was there with you, cats or no cats. And those numbers are good news. You are in good hands, both Lee’s and the one with big muscles.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fortunately for you, Dr. P was not a Beaver.
    Jim, this is great news. I really look forward to your posts. The sense of humor that you both embody surely has a positive effect on your report card. Your good news makes your post even more enjoyable.

    We look forward to sharing a (small?) glass of wine with you and Lee in October, and more good news from you in the meantime. I have a friend who lives in Eugene who is going through the same regimen as you are, and it has been very difficult for him. He has not received his report card yet, but we are hoping it will be as promising as yours.
    Congratulations for a job well done, and we look forward to more good news.
    Buzz in Corvallis

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Dr.P was a Beaver, guess what I’d be painting? However for the Civil War, all bets are off! Honor trumps life!

      We know we are lucky and it saddens me to hear of your friend. I wish him the best.


  4. Nice work Uncle Jimmy. A terrific start. Tip a glass to your next report card. At this rate you’ll make honor role.

    We’ll keep praying for continued progress.


  5. This is wonderful news, Jim. You can only take this process a step at a time and hope for the best. And this big step went very well! Let’s hope the next steps go just as well.

    Although I have absolutely no medical expertise, I do believe that your progress is due to the watch rather than the chemo. So my advice would be DON’T TAKE THE WATCH OFF! In the meantime, why not paint Dr. P a wildcat. C’mon you can do it! It’ll be good karma.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great news…! You are an amazing human being. Love the watch and most of all your cat paintings. Stay the course… We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very good news. We’ll keep praying for continued progress and positive results.
    I think a couple extra tastes and toasts will be in order next week in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
    Love you guys!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Three cheers for A-A-A!!!! Avastin- Attitude-Alcohol . Yep, a realistic positive report. We need to set a date for David cooking Patti and Moe’s scallops so we can serve you a wine that is not 15 years past it’s prime. You have scored a goal.πŸ˜€ Just keep playing this five year game while your friends cheer you on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just read your e-mail. I am speechless! (that as you know, doesn’t happen very often) I do want to say, I am very happy,hopeful,excited, that things are moving in the right direction! Also that Lee, is your WINGMAN!!?? Sounds like she saved you with the Wildcat Doc!

    As always We love you guys,thanks for being Part of our lives Moe

    See you Saturday

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is nothing quite like good and happy news. I was so delighted after our chat at the mailboxes yesterday and then after reading this which provided even more good news, my spirits rose even higher. You are truly proving to be an inspiration to all. As I told you yesterday, keep doing whatever you have been doing as it surely is working. And keep amazing the doctor each and every time you go to see him. At the rate you are going, you are going to survive live to see them find the cure. Keep drinking the good red wine and let it continue to work it’s magic!!! Here’s to you…..Clink.


  11. What wonderful news to keep you going through the next stage. Does this mean that your wine intake will be allowed to be increased as it obviously has contributed to your well being? Lonny and Judy


  12. Jim we are so glad that you are responding well to the chemo. It’s a start. Your attitude and sense of humor (and your liver) are your best allies. So glad also that you are enjoying the beautiful desert. Isn’t it gorgeous. I love the way you can see each individual plant and animal. Nothing is choked or crowded. It’s a treat, especially the rainbows and sunsets! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Good Morning Jim! It is Monday morning and I’m reading your blog..I’m so happy about your results:) Your sense of humor is a breath of fresh air on a Monday morning.. Your blog is never boring and I love reading it..I hope you have a great week and we are thinking about you here in S.L.C. We are very happy for you..



    1. Thanks Cathy, glad you enjoy it! After being retired now for over a year, I’ve completely forgotten how bad Monday mornings can be! Have a good week, Friday is only 4 days away


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