Up and Down and All Around

Fighting cancer is like riding a roller coaster. You have your ups and downs, you have moments of fear and you have instances of exuberance. In my cancer world, the latest moment of  exuberance came with my latest CEA cancer marker number, now down to 3.5!  After rising for two months in a row it’s back down to almost normal (3.4).  This indicates that it is likely my new chemo cocktail is working. We will have a confirming scan in a couple of weeks. In the meantime this was a call for celebration!

Lee selected this 10 year old Pinot Noir from our cellar to celebrate. it was amazingly youthful, with rich mouth filling flavors.

But then there are the downs.  As Lee reported in her last post, I visited the ER due to a rather persistent (8 hour) nose bleed.  I don’t think Lee reported the “high” point of that episode, the cocaine they gave me 😆 to stop the bleeding. The doctor laughed when I asked for a prescription. The “downer”didn’t come untill yesterday when I had the followup appointment with the ENT doctor.  He took one look at the inside of my nose and proclaimed “You have a major problem.” The mucous lining of my nose was almost gone.  If it goes, then my septum would perforate which would dry out the cartilage in my nose and cause it to collapse.  The rest of my life would be filled with pain, disfigurement and nose bleeds.  Oh how wonderful!   

One of the side effects of my chemo cocktail is mucositis. This is inflammation of the mucosa, the rapidly growing moist tissues of the GI tract including your mouth, nose, stomach and guts. The most common variety of mucositis happens in the form of mouth sores and bloody noses.  In my case it increased the sensitivity in my mouth (but no sores), caused nose bleeds and, oh, destroyed my nasal lining. The good news is that the lining can rejuvenate. Of course that requires I cease to use those chemo drugs that caused this, as well has do some topical treatments to my nasal passages. Today, I dropped two of the three chemo drugs I was taking. So we shall see how the tumor control goes with a less substantial amount of poison. The good news is that I jettisoned the drug that requires the 46-hour infusion via a pump that is attached to me for those stinking 46 hours. Yippie!

Regardless of the ups, downs and all arounds of cancer treatment; life, love and fun continues at the Asbell household. My artwork is featured as “Artist of the Month” at Quail Creek and Lee and I enjoyed the 101st anniversary of the Sonoita Horse Races coinciding with the Kentucky Derby.  

Here I am in front of the display of my color infused critter paintings. The elephant painting above my head is one of Lee’s works.

Kentuckey Derby hattery at the Sonoita Horse Races

Racing action in Sonita, that’s my pick at the rear.

my horse looks good standing still

Trackside selfie


24 thoughts on “Up and Down and All Around

  1. I had just asked Lee on my last play with her how it went yesterday. You answered almost immediately afterward. Telepathy!! It really is up and down isn’t it! Wish it wasn’t so, although yes there is a possible upside. You get another “almost” chemo vacation! One thing for sure the doc knows you don’t complain about every small thing. When you say something isnt right they should take you at your word. Lee found just the medicine to get you through your new issue. Take care. Will,talk again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YOU ARE AMAZING! Here’s to living life in the fullest: similar situation for us. We’ve gone thru two treatments now and all is going pretty well. L is now bald, but no nausea, white cell count is good. Only four more treatments to go….
    It will be mid August when we are free again (we hope🤔) and will see you in AZ early January.
    Stay strong, C and L

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your “Selfie” at the races is the best! I’m getting homesick for AZ…loved the races in Sonita back in my day! But we never looked as Glamorous as Lee!!! Back then had horses…(not race horse) and a little Ranchito near River Road and Dodge…It was so beautiful then with Pecan trees…lovely..lovely….It makes me sad driving down River road now except for the fact that it’s a lot faster. On another note: We just opened a bottle of 2008 Gustave Lorentz Riesling from Alsace! I know…I know it’s white but boy is it good. I got the last bottle they had at Cost Co! Cheers! John and Sandy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you had something to celebrate, Jim! On the down side, as a person with thin nasal membranes and lifelong nosebleeds, I have learned to apply K-Y jelly (don’t laugh) when visiting the dry mountains or desert. My Grandma’s remedy for a persistent nosebleed: fold a 5 × 8 piece of paper until it’s 1 3/4″ w × 3/4″ d x 14 layers thick. Tuck between top lip and gums, putting pressure against the nose. Works when nothing does! Ask doctor, good luck!l Love your and Lee’s art!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. it would be a bad time to catch a head cold. lee told me nose blowing is a no no. guess I don’t have to say take care but take care anyway. lee’s purple hat is a knockout. she’s ready for the big one in Kentucky with that. good news on the blood work results! love to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am sorry to hear of the problem from the nose bleed. You and Dr’s WILL figure out WHICH WAY is the BEST way to go with this. My best wishes. Sandi B.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jim, yikes. So sorry to hear you have had such serious chemo side effects. On the up side (which you do so well….inspiring) great CEA and you and Lee look FAB at the races! Quick question, do you have a spot in your queue for a dog portrait? I have been meaning to send Ziva’s picture to you for months. Yikes, real estate! It is Chuck’s Christmas present. J Let me know. Thanks! Laura Eparvier

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim,

    I love reading your blog. I love the paintings. I love you man! Keep up the great work! My prayers to you and Lee.


    PS-you’d probably be ahead of schedule if the Blazers didn’t have to play a 4th qtr.


  9. Jim, your attitude is such inspiration! Prayers continue! Love the hat Lee, and I agree you picked a fine looking horse (so what if it has to stand still to be admired!). Have visited Churchill Downs and Keenland and the derby is on my bucket list!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Jim, I just got this back from Dr Weihs. She is the doctor I worked with at the Arizona Cancer Center. I wanted to forward the information to you to be sure you are still interested in doing this. If you are please send your contact information to Dr. Weihs, Marsha Drozdoff and me so we all have the information. Hope this works out! Laura


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