Eleven Down, One to GO

Today I had my 11th chemo session.  It is a beautiful clear sunny day and for the first time in 6 weeks I was able to snag a lounge recliner with a view of the mountains, no doubt a birthday gift from the chemo gods! A nice view, nice jazz and a nice two-hour snooze after the Benadryl kicks in.  For some reason I have been sleeping for the majority of the chemo session for the past several months, but no complaints.  For this session they had to increase the dosage of Avastin.  After my weigh-in this morning before the chemo infusion, just like in a prize fight, it was determined that  I had gained 10% of my body weight since chemo started so more Avastin was called for.  Its a great thing to have been able to consistently and gradually gain weight while undergoing chemo treatment.  I’m doing well, thanks for that extra push from my birthday cake!!  Adding more Avastin is a another birthday gift from the chemo gods since it is the drug that is killing my tumors.  Happy Birthday Jimmy!

So in two weeks, October 28th, will be the last of my initial 2-1/2 day chemo  infusions from my initial treatment regimen.  While I’m excited to reach this milestone, it does not in any way indicate my lack of future treatment.  I will most likely have some form of treatment until I cry “uncle.”  In about ten days after my last session is completed, I will have another CT scan to determine what exactly the bad boys are up to.  At that time we will decide the next course of action.  If my lung tumors are teeny weenie, they may want to radiate them to finish them off.   If my liver tumors are small enough they may want to microwave them to dust.  They may want to just be on maintenance chemo with just Avastin, which I call chemo light.  Or they may suggest just staying the course for the next six months under the current regimen since it’s been effective with minimal side effects, although those side effect are cumulative. In any case there will be some decisions to make, but the time is then not now.

I continue to do well.  On a monthly basis they test for my CEA number which is a marker/indicator of malignant tumor activity. Normal is 3.4 and under, so  I’m dang near normal.   My current number is 3.7!  My immune system, kidney function and my beloved liver function is all well within normal.  I must admit I was a bit of a naughty boy imbiber at my birthday party, but what can I do when there are 15 different wines on the counter that require my educated palate.  A toast to my liver!!

Last week I was able to complete these three commissioned pet portraits.  Thank you Dana, Janet and Stan for allowing me the honor to render a Jimmized painting of your furry loved ones, it provides me with fun and joy.

Charlie lives in Denver. For some odd reason she is a Ram fan, go figure!
Bonnie is a very pretty mule who lives in Michigan. Bonnie loves her mints and is a Detroit Lion fan  which may explain her occasional  frustration and stubbornness, but then again, she is a mule!
Zena lives in Battle Ground, WA. She just loves Christmas and can’t wait until she gets to wear her holiday necklace!

16 thoughts on “Eleven Down, One to GO

  1. a lovely blog. looks like your oncologist did open the good stuff in your honor. it’s going so well! those three pets are so nice. did you know you could paint like that before you moved down there? did lee know you could? I sure didn’t. amazing.
    love, marian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know I could paint and after my first could of classes I KNEW I couldn’t paint. Then I just stuck Cotty in the middle of a landscape she had us all paint. That was the turning point, paint what I love in the manner I love to paint with whimsy and color. Lee has helped me a lot with technique along with a a couple of other artist teachers.


  2. What great news with the great results from the chemo. You’ve had that right attitude all along and it sure seems to be paying off. Keep up the great work and keep painting. Those results are great too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Mr Jimmy A you have us entranced with great numbers & dinning room table art per excellante! That fine palette has the mixing for the tastes of living life to the
    fullest. You & Lee share that & it makes us feel that happiness & love. Thank you both for all you do for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jim and Lee,
    I read this post and turned to Buzz and said…this is such pure proof that ATTITUDE is a huge part of healing. You are BOTH amazing the way you grab all the goodness of each day, take what life offers each moment, see the humor in all things, and express your gratitude and love for friends, family, ducks, and this planet. You both offer such inspiration for me.
    And Jim…YOU are the ARTEEST! Your paintings have such vibrance and joy and pure happiness in them! Way to go!
    With love and gratitude from Oregon where the fall colors are sensational, the sunny days in the 70s, and blue sky (at least for now) cloudless!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. More great news. Love it! And yes, the weather has been most excellent. For this year, already a record number of days over 90 and 80 … Maybe 70 as well. (Arizona North???)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Jim!!! I am excited for you! Your blog is great and absolutely does wonders for me in NYC. Thank you. Keep it up! Now that you’re in AZ, have you switched your allegiance from the Blazers to the Suns?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your continuing great CEA results, Jim–and on your weight gain. I had to go off Avastin for my ablation but I am back on it now, for the last two chemos. Your spirit is good, your circle of friends sound terrific, and your artwork is right up there with Van Gogh. You are rocking this treatment stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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