Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Houston Results, Rounds 5 & 6

After many weeks, it is certainly time for a long awaited update. After Round 4 of chemotherapy Marissa and I were scheduled to return to Houston for testing. “Gustav” had just passed through Louisiana and was headed to Houston, this made planning for travel slightly complicated. After checking and double checking that MD Anderson would be open and that Houston did not receive much damage, we left for Houston on Tuesday, September 2. We decided not to travel our usual route of I-10, as much of it was closed, we would instead travel on I-20. Traffic was not too bad, but we had a horrible time finding a hotel that night. We stopped in Mississippi and after initially stopping to find a hotel at 8pm, we had to continue driving until well past 10pm, as all of the hotels were booked solid along the way. It was pouring down rain and eventually we had to take what we could get. We arrived in Houston on Wednesday, September 3.

Thursday, September 4 began my long battery of tests. Around 11am I started the tests with lab work and a chest x-ray to follow. At 4:40pm my abdominal and pelvic cat scans were scheduled to begin. Last time I had to have a cat scan it was a ten hour day so I was definitely dreading all of the wait time. However, this cat scan was scheduled at a MD Anderson building across from the hospital and when we arrived we were 1 of 4 people waiting. Marissa and I left there by 6pm which was much better than the previous time.

Friday, September 5 we were to meet with Dr. Trent at 11am. After two long hours of waiting for him, we received the news that we had been praying for. The chemotherapy was working even better my 3rd and 4th rounds of chemotherapy than it did my 1st and 2nd. Overall my masses had shrunk by 30%. Marissa and I were so excited, as was Dr. Trent. He also told us that I would be continuing the chemotherapy for as long as it continued to work so well. This was not the exact news that I wanted to hear, but I still felt tremendously excited that all was working so well, which makes enduring all of the chemotherapy a little easier and definitely worth it.

We left to return home immediately after our doctor’s appointment. This time however, we decided to stop sooner to find a hotel. We arrived home on Saturday, September 6. We used the rest of the weekend to run errands and prepare before my 5th round of chemotherapy, which was scheduled for Monday, September 8.

My 5th round of chemotherapy was not an easy one, and the following week was even worse. On my “good” week Marissa and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary, and I just enjoyed feeling so well. My one “good” week goes by entirely too fast, and before I know it, it is time to start my chemotherapy again.

That leads us up to this week. I am on my second day (Tuesday, September 30) of my 6th round of chemotherapy. I have begun feeling worse sooner this time. After this round of treatment we are scheduled to return to Houston yet again, for more tests. We will be traveling the week of October 13, and hopefully will be able to return home as quickly as we did last month, especially after this last hurricane, “Ike”, we are not sure what shape we will find Houston to be in.

We are rejoicing in the wonderful news I received. We thank everyone for their continued prayers, and we pray for continued blessings this next visit to Houston as well as into the future.