September 22, 2010

People have said it’s time for another post in this particular category. They want to know the facts and figures on Tad’s state of health. I know that what they long to hear is that the cancer is gone and this past seven months was all a bad dream. We certainly wish for that! The truth is that cancer still exists in Tad’s body, but we don’t let ourselves dwell on that fact. We see the his CEA count (tumor marker, in his blood) and liver enzyme figures and CT scan images as important factors in our decisions, not as immutable facts. The truth is that cancer cells are dying in his body every day!

Since my last status report around six weeks ago, Tad has had a couple of blood transfusions and iron IVs to build his red blood and thereby cure his anemia, and he feels better than ever in that regard. Shortness of breath is very rare now. He has lost some weight, mainly because the chemo treatments make him feel ill a few days a month, plus he had an outpatient surgery (not cancer related) a few weeks back  and the pain meds during recovery were hard on his digestive system. Still, his weight is holding steady in the 170-175 range (I think he would say his ideal weight is 185-190). His appetite is strong and he has gone back to teaching 10 hours a week, mostly adult ESL with an adult guitar class thrown in for good measure. If you met him on the street, your first comment would be, “You’re looking well!”

We get out to enjoy the environs on a regular basis, even had a nice week-long trip down to see his folks in late August. Life goes on and gives us pleasure every day. We feel lucky to have each other and so many great friends who pray for us, wish us well, offer financial support, even clean the house on occasion. How great is that?

The current plan is for Tad to continue every-other-week treatments with Folfiri plus Erbutux (use Google if you want the details on those drugs), plus he has begun very high-dose Vitamin C intravenously at the integrative oncology clinic in Sebastopol, which will happen weekly for a couple of months. See my post called “Linus Pauling Was Right” for more on that front.

Thanks for your love and support and be of good cheer. Tad is doing great!

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