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.