Back At It

My last chemo session was October 28. Today I was back at it.  It’s been an absolutely marvelous break. I’d almost forgotten how much of a annoyance the 3 hour chemo session followed by a 46 hour portable pump infusion is.  It had become a normal part of life, like taking out the garbage!  Not particularly pleasant, but just part of life’s little activities.  Fortunately I have the distraction of nice jazz from my iPhone and very pleasant Chemo nurses to alleviate the unpleasantness of the session. But that pump…well just deal with it Asbell….it’s only  2 days. Isn’t amazing how quickly we adapt to a “new normal.”

The reason for my break was a combination of Thanksgiving holiday closures and the slight possibility of a new very aggressive tumor in my left lung.  A CT scan revealed a very small new growth and the PET scan only a week later showed that it had doubled in size.  Yikes!!  It would be highly unusual for colon cancer tumor to grow that fast. Dr. P suspected pneumonia and gave me antibiotics to  deal with it. But while I’m fighting pneumonia it would be counterproductive to weaken my immune system with chemo therapy. I would have had chemo last week, but the holiday closure Thursday and Friday pushed it back to today.  So Jimmy had a nice chemo holiday. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, showed my work at an art and craft fair, did a lot of commissioned pet portraits (with more in the works) and celebrated the end of  wine crush at a Beaujolais Nouveau tasting.🍷  

But back to the here and now.  The plan is to resume the chemo for two months (4 sessions) and then evaluate and choose the next course. Next week I’ll have the CEA blood work done, which will give an indication of tumor activity, and a meeting with Dr. P.  In about 7 or 8 weeks I’ll have another PET scan. But for now, to business  as it was May-October, sprinkled with holiday festivities, a Duck bowl game, and NFL playoffs to distract me.

Lee and I celebrate the 2015 Beaujolais crush with our wine tasting group, cheers!

19 thoughts on “Back At It

  1. so, I’m not clear. what is your doc saying about the pneumonia? are you still taking antibiotics? can he hear it when he listens to your lungs or are they sounding clear? have you had a chest xray or another scan to see how that’s doing?


    1. I was only on antibiotics for a week, but any chemo would suppress my immune system so he wanted no chemo for at least two weeks. Thanksgiving moved it to three weeks, which he saw no problem with. He was already thinking about taking me off full chemo when this all came up, he is being cautious.

      I had a CT scan and PET scan, so no xRay was necessary. The spot is tiny, it went from 9mm to 20mm. maybe too small for an xRay to pick up, especially among the numerous previously already noted spots in my lungs.

      My lungs sounded fine to the doc and I have no symptoms. Not surprising given the infancy of the infection, if that us what is and that is what he thinks. A “nip it in the bud” strategy. He doesn’t think it is cancer.


    1. Hi Earline!

      Yes I did, spiffy Duck socks and nail polish. Thank you!! The socks are coming especially handy has we have unseasonably cold weather. Down to 30 in the early morning and low 60s as a high…brrrrr. At least it is bright sunshine…I love the sun.
      There was no name on the return address on outside of the box and no card inside. But I assumed it was you and sent you an email on October 22nd.
      Good to hear from you. How is the new house? We’d love to see you guys and show off southern AZ to you guys. Come on down!!


    1. It is to hear from you, Richard. Thank you for your support and encouragement, it means a lot to me and builds my resolve. I learned long ago to be thankful what you have and with those disappointments beyond your control just to “chuck it in the fuck it bucket and move on”. This recent experience has only helped me to further distill this philosophy.
      I most likely will not beat this, only 8% make it to five years. But I’m not going to worry about what I have little control over. I have a treatment plan in place and will adjust it when it is warranted. Instead of worry and being distraught I will maximize my enjoyment and appreciation what is good about my life, and there is plenty.


  2. Your chemo holidays seem to be strong medicine, I think–as well as the gathering of good friends. All will be will. Mindy and I aren’t too far away. We have Death Valley almost to ourselves. Thought of you at Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry about this last note hard to take it all in Will keep prayers going for you “He knows ALL your needs.” Yea. Will arrive on 12/23 Jane

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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