Last Friday, I had a CT scan and X-Ray for the first time since the chemotherapy started. I’m starting my third (three week) course today, so Friday was the end of my sixth week.
This morning, I met with my oncologist to discuss the results. The largest tumors I have originally started out at 5cm, which put me right on the line between stage 2 and stage 3 – and the hope was that they’d have shrunk to 3cm or below by now. As the doc told me a couple of weeks ago, if they were still 3cm or larger, we’d need to start talking about other options (i.e., more chemo and/or surgery). If they got to below 3cm, it meant I was responding well to the therapy. So, that is the metric – 3cm.
Yesterday we went in to get Chris his CT scan and chest Xray. It was specifically scheduled at this time–at the end of the 2nd round and just prior to the beginning of the 3rd round–to determine if the therapies are working. They compare the first CT’s with the new CT’s and see if the tumors are shrinking as they expect. If they are not, then they look into several options, the most common including a 4th round of chemo, radiation, or surgery.
Tuesday at 6am is a pretty fucked up time to have to be anyplace. But at a hospital to have surgery to remove a testicle through your groin has got to be one of the Top 10 Worst Places To Be At Any Time of Day. The procedure at least has a totally awesome name: Radical Orchiectomy. Sounds badass, right?
The Totem Pole Entrance
We didn’t sleep much the night before, and then were out of bed at 5am to shower, dress, and head in to the Day Surgery wing at Northwest Hospital (aka “The Totem Pole Entrance”). You know how dark it is at 6am around this time of year? Darker than a coal miner’s lunchpail. And it was raining. And we were tired. And grumpy. And scared. Dammit. Continue reading
Last week, my brother’s partner’s mother passed away suddenly. That was the first thing that hit, and it was significant but distant from where I was sitting–mostly just feeling empathy for Tim and my brother Ken. But two days after they flew from their home in San Fran to Oklahoma to tend to the funeral arrangements, my brother was admitted to the hospital. He has had issues in the past with pancreatitis (sp?)–I went to stay with him for a while back in 2010 when he was recovering before–and this seemed the same. His situation proved more dire however, and he was transferred to a larger hospital in Oklahoma City where his condition has worsened. Continue reading