Today was my 22nd Chemo session. This has become part of my new normal. No aniexty, no worries as I know only too well what to expect. First I pee in a cup to make sure I’m OK for my portion of chemo poison today. Then I pick out my lounging chair, fluff up and position my pillow. Select my music for the three hour session, today it was Kenny Barron. AZ Oncology has a very nice staff, cheerful, suportive and caring…who could ask for more. A nurse rolls over her little cart, I unbutton my shirt to provide access to the titanium port inbetted under my skin that allows the chemo drugs to surge directly into my artery (thus saving the veins in my hands and arms irreparable damage). The nurse tells me to inhale as she plunges the needle into my port. That’s my only discomfort, and it ain’t much. After steroids and Benadryl (to combat side effects) the 5-FUc and then Avastan are added. However I’m out like a light in about 10 minutes. You may want to try “mainling” Benadryl sometime, it’s a GREAT sleep aide! Of course they periodically wake me up so I can verify when they change and add a new drug/poison to my IV. The wrong poison and it could be no more Jimmy! All my lab numbers are good, my body is taking the chemo poison in stride. Life goes on, a good thing.
But in the colon cancer world, it’s not always “Life goes on”. I read a couple of other colon cancer patient blogs and this morning I read of a young woman, only 29, whose life just ended. She was 26 years old and 17 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. I can only image the terror she felt as she endured surgery and chemo during her pregnancy . Fortunately her baby is healthy, but now without a mother . When colon cancer attacks young people it is a very aggressive cancer. Current conventional cancer treatment did not slow down the cancer for this young woman. Her “Hail Mary” attempt for life was to be involved in a trial using immunotherapy . Instead of using poison, immunotherapy uses altered T cells to trick your body’s immune system to attack and destroy the cancer cells. No side effects and quick cure…if it works. There has been some limited success with immuthrophy primarily with lung cancer, luekemia, prostrate cancer and melanoma. No success with colon cancer…yet. Jimmy’s cancer strategy is to hang around long enough for a perfected immunotherapy for colon cancer. I know it will come.
In the meantime, how about a vacation? Next week Lee and I are heading for Kino Bay. Kino Bay is a sleepy little town sitting on the eastern coast of the Sea of Cortez, about a 5 hour drive from our home in southern Arizona. Our friends, Patti and Moe, rented a beach house right on the bay and have invited us to join them. The sound of the ocean, fresh seafood plucked from the bay and good friends make for a much needed and anticipated recharge.
Of course no posting would be complete without examples of my artistic endeavors. Below are two gorgeou fluff ball kitties, Abby and Gracie. They live with their human in Colorado Springs. You can see from Gracie’s expression she just got caught violating a house rule. Thoughts of kitty prison, limited pets and treat reduction are all over her face. However Abby is stoic, she knows that if the human punishes them, the human will immediately feel guilty and lavish extra pets and treats to make amends! Poor human, she doesn’t stand a chance!