Since it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting I will just review the major events of that time. I did much better the last round of chemotherapy. I did not experience that much nausea or loss of appetite. Two days after I was unhooked from all of my chemotherapy medicines I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Lalani, the pain management doctor. After I told him that I am no longer in any pain we decided I no longer need to be taking Oxycontin for pain. He was quite pleased that I was pain free and told me if he had to give credit where credit was due then he said it was from the chemotherapy working, not the pain block. Marissa and I of course gave credit to God. We were thrilled, as this was now the second hint we had been given that the chemotherapy was probably working. As far as the Oxycontin went I was told to wean myself off of it by substituting a shorter acting pain medicine, Dilaudid, over the next nine days. Immediately after doing this the next few days were horrible. I could not eat, I was nauseous and vomiting, and I had a headache that I could not shake. These symptoms ran from one day to the next and did not let up. Marissa and I attributed these symptoms to be withdrawal symptoms from the Oxycontin. We googled Oxycontin withdrawal symptoms and these matched what I was experiencing. We also learned that withdrawal symptoms from Oxycontin are worse than that of Heroin. Thankfully, by day 4 of these symptoms I was feeling much better and my headache was finally gone. After that I felt better each day and slowly began rebuilding my strength, as I was more fatigued than I had previously been with round 1 of the chemotherapy.
Marissa's mom came on Sunday, July 20, and I was feeling good enough to get out and go places with her and Marissa. On Monday, July 21, we received a call that our name was taken from the free apartment list and that a free apartment was available for us to move into. Fortunately Marissa's mom was here to help Marissa pack, load and unload the car. We moved into our new, "free" apartment on Tuesday July, 22. It is nice and new but very small, much like an oversized hospital room with the same tile flooring. But, we were just happy to be there and save some money on rent. We are still enjoying everyone's cards but we ask that they are no longer sent to our old address on Brompton Rd. as we will no longer receive them.
My parents came on Tuesday, July 22 to be here for my testing and results. They were able to stay at our old apartment as the rent was paid up until Monday, July 28. Wednesday, July 23 began my 10 hour day of testing. It started with blood work, then I had a chest x-ray, and lastly I had a cat scan of the abdomen and pelvis, which involved a 4 hour wait.
Thursday, July 24 I had an appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Trent. He was to discuss my test results with me. My appointment was scheduled for 4 pm. Dr. Trent was running 2 hours behind which of course meant more waiting. We had high hopes that the chemotherapy is working and two doctors hinted that they thought that it was, however we were still a little anxious as we had no concrete results. When we finally met with Dr. Trent we were told the wonderful news that the chemotherapy has shrunk my tumors significantly. I asked Dr. Trent if they were smaller even than he would have thought and he said that yes, it was shrinking the tumors more than he expected. We could not be happier or feel more blessed by this news. We decided to start Round 3 of chemotherapy in Houston since we are already here, but we are planning on returning home for my next round of chemotherapy. We hope to leave for Georgia around August 8 as long as my white blood cell counts are normal. Then I would start chemotherapy there around the 14 of August, and then we would return to Houston the first week of September for another round of testing including a cat scan and then meet with the doctor for those results.
Well, that about sums up the last couple of weeks. We are delighted by my fantastic news, and I could not have asked for a better birthday present. I am on my third day of my third round of chemotherapy. I am feeling pretty good, just very tired. We are looking forward to returning home and seeing our home makeover, getting our dogs back, and of course seeing family and friends. Thank you so much for all of the prayers which we continue to ask for.
At the rate at which I make posts, hopefully next time I write I will be writing from home in Georgia.