It has been over a year now and most people know I have cancer. Will try to keep the beginnings short and hopefully keep up from now on. It started in October 2018 when Patient First saw something on a chest scan. In December 2018 I had a biopsy on my lymph nodes as the PET scan lit up when the pulmonary doc got the results. There was a nodule on the bottom right and a smaller one on the top left of my lungs. On 12/19/18 Dr. Giessel said it was non-operable lung cancer and I would have to do chemo. I was sent over to the Virginia Cancer Institute to Dr. Gonzolas. Because this was the kind of cancer that could spread to the brain I was sent to Dr. Sahni over at the Gamma Knife Center. There were 7 nodules in my brain. I was scheduled for the gamma knife procedure on January 10th. They got all the nodules and none have come back to date. I go every 6 months now for a brain scan. Still have my brain - LOL. So we started on dealing with the lung cancer. The MRI and biopsy showed it was not in the bones. I lucked out and had the markers where I could go the immunotherapy, Ketruda, route rather than cancer. However, I had such bad side effects - legs swelling, could not eat, pain, etc. that I had to stop that. I was doing that every 3 weeks. It did shrink things but the side effects were too bad on me. I went thru hell through June I guess. Ended up in the ER 3 times, had to get iron infusions, fluids due to dehydration and other fun things. At one point they thought I had c-dff but it was colitis. I worked during this time but was able to telework since I was in so much pain and my immune system sucked.
I started chemo on October 7th. Went pretty well. Was supposed to have chemo every 3 weeks. After the second chemo, they did another scan and found a nodule on the adrenal gland above my kidneys. A biopsy showed cancer cells. So, they had to switch to a different, harsher chemo. Had the first treatment on January 7th. Been pretty sick but not like the Keytruda. Today is January 16th and i am finally feeling almost human again. I have my next one on January 27th.
So that is the quickie version to date. I kept working until I retired on January 1, 2020. We lost dad during all of this - February 2019. It has been a long road but I am still kicking. I have some hair thinning but still have some...more than some guys I know - ha ha. This chemo is supposed to be a big hair losing chemo but we will see. I did cut my hair short so I will embrace it if I get bald. Everyone always said I looked like my dad. :-) I will try to keep folks updated at least on a weekly basis from now on.
I can't end this without saying how many friends and family have helped so much. I won't list them as I don't want to leave anyone out. You know who you are and i love you so much and would not have made it without you! - heart -