Oy Vey!!

If it’s not one thing, it’s the other!!!  You will recall two weeks ago Dr. P was excited about my progress until I mentioned occasional episodes of mild double vision. This raised the remote possibility of cancer spreading to my brain.  Fortunately the MRI confirmed that there were no signs of cancer activity, or much of any other acvitity for that matter, going on in my brain.  

Well this morning we met to go over the results of the PET scan I had yesterday.  The hope was that it would show no signs of “hypermetobolic metastasis”, no signs of cancer activity.  The plan was that I then would go off full throttle chemo and go on to just a maintenance regimen.  Well the PET scan showed that the hypermetobolic metastasis in my liver are no longer evident!  Thank you red wine. It also showed that the metastasis in my lungs from the previous PET scan in May all demonstrated significant improvement.  

However (god how I hate “howevers”) there is a NEW hypermetobolic abnormality in my right lung. It was not there in May. It was first evident from my CT scan two weeks ago and has doubled in size over the last two weeks.  It is still not large, but the rate of growth is extremely rapid. It is so rapid that Dr. P doubts that it is cancer. He suspects that it is pneumonia, but it could be cancer. The PET scan cannot distinguish between these two different hypermetobolic  growths. If is pneumonia, it’s great that we caught it so early. If it’s not, Jimmy  will have new issues to contend with.  

So, Dr. P put me on antibiotics and delayed any chemo until November 30.  At that time I will resume my previous full throttle chemo for two more months. Then another PET scan. During the interim, the CEA blood marker will provide an indication of the level of cancer activity. Of course, if it is cancer growing at such a rapid clip, I’ll have pulmonary symptoms  before the PET scan.  Just as with the “brain cancer” scare, I assume this is pneumonia and it’s good to catch it before it becomes a problem to fight with my weakened immune system.  

Such is the life of someone diagnosed with Stage IV cancer with no current cure. You just never know. I could go into an extended period of remission or I could just go poof. The answer is to enjoy and savor the good times and not worry about what I cannot control. We have a plan in place to extend my life, while maintaining a good quality of life. We will continue to work that plan and make adjustments as we go along. As Bobby McFerrin would say “Dont Worry, Be Happy.”

In the meantime I continue to be busy with pet portraits, many for Christmas presents.  What better way to say “Merry Christmas” than with an original Jimmy! Here is my latest, not quite finished.

 

A much loved “puppy” from Colorado, I love her ears
 
 

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26 thoughts on “Oy Vey!!

  1. Oy Vey is right…and I too REALLY hate those “howevers”…thanks for keeping us posted…it means a lot to those of us “out here” who think about you often, I mean REALLY often! We certainly hope to see you this evening at the neighborhood gathering but if there is a possibility of pneumonia, you probably don’t want to be out and about. If we don’t see you we will all send well wishes from down the street. With gratitude and love to you both. P

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  2. Hi Jim,

    We’ll pray it’s not cancer in your lung. The great news is that there is no activity in the brain. Two steps forward, one step back… it’s difficult but it’s still positive improvement.
    By the way, Tracey loved the paintings of Zoey and Lola! We have a perfect spot to hang them. We’re very proud to have a couple of original “Jimmy’s” in our home!

    Stay positive my friend, you are my inspiration.

    Rex

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  3. Ahh Chef Lee’s a spicy meatballs are not to be a missed. That spicy Italian brings that extra zest forward. Jimmy A you are the master of “Pet Portraits” & the newest
    CO puppy has those ears you love to feel. I notice you pay homage to OSU with that beautiful Beaver background color! Thanks for keeping your Family of friends close to so much of the process. You and Lonny know how to “give the Finger” to the Mr Stage IV and that spirit has us in love with Chef Lee & you.

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  4. so, if the chemo has been doing GREAT against the lesions we knew were there, why would this new thing be growing fast? a different cancer? requiring different chemo? nah. i’ll go with the pneumonia.

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    1. That’s what the doctor thinks as well, but you never know for sure. These cancers mutate, that’s why only 8% are alive after 5 years. It works, then doesn’t work, then they try something different and it may work for a while and then cancer mutates again and so on and so forth. But in rare cases the remission lasts for a long time. I think I’m pretty rare.
      But all the mutation stuff aside, it would be highly unlikely the cancer would grow that fast and it ps good they caught it before any symptoms.

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  5. I love the portrait of that much LOVED puppy from Colorado! Very very nice! I know the people who are receiving the Portrait, will love it!!! About the other stuff? Find it, fight it, beat it!!! As always let Patti, or me know if we can do anything to help out. Say hi to Lee, for me. Love ya man moe

    Sent from my iPad

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  6. OY VEY just when you were rejoicing in Wonderful thoughts We really never know Do we
    and maybe it is a good thing we dont know…Greet all the folks tonight I wish I could slip in under the radar and then slip out again…Life remains the same here with so many things to do ..ugh I will get them done I feel like the Little Engine that could……Hugs to you both….Jane

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    1. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but I’m positive with the info delivered. As you know, life had ups and downs and all arounds. Adapt and go with the flow is my attitude. I’m just a vessel in the stream of life, I have a rudder and can make adjustments but have limited control. I’m OK with that.

      Looking forward to seeing you hopefully soon. It’s been usually chilly here for November, dipping down to the mid 30s at night. But it’s supposed to be sunny and upper 70s the next few days.

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  7. Am sorry to hear about lung problem. I’ll say a prayer it turns out to be nothing serious. Latest dogie painting is great. You and Lee stay POSITIVE and enjoy your Thanksgiving. Will continue my prayers for you. Sandi

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  8. It seems like it’s always something with that demon cancer. We have a good friend who lives in Mexico and is a 6-year breast cancer survivor (very active in the cancer fighting community). She goes through the same things periodically but also tries to stay positive and live life to the fullest (she travels a lot throughout Mexico, visiting the various timeshare resorts they own).
    Just keep up the good fight, Jim, and your attitude inspires us all. Can’t remember ever praying for someone to have pneumonia, but if we must ….
    John & Kathie

    PS. Rose Bowl hopes still alive. Ducks just have to do their part this weekend and hope Golden Bears give an assist!

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  9. You have lots of signs, Jim, that point to significant progress–and with its speedier growth, I put my money on Pneumonia. You do a great job living in the here and now, and not fretting about what may or may not be down the road. When the captured Russian spy in “Bridge of Spies” is asked why he isn’t more fretful, or the like, he always responds, “I don’t know; would it help?” So, enjoy that good Pinot.

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  10. I’ve fallen in love again with your latest “puppy”!
    Me thinks you’ve captured the puppy’s “spirit”, her willingness to love and be a great companion…It takes a lot to break a dog’s spirit even when abused. (Thoughts from Ted Andrew’s, Animal Speak) Keep on keeping on Jimmy! Cheers from John and I….on our way to Hawaii soon. Sending warmest Aloha to you and Lee.

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    1. Aloha and Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for the kind words. If we don’t see you before you leave we will see you next fall and please give my congratulations to John for Tour de Tucson! What an achievement. Thank you for your friendship, you have made a positive difference in my life.

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