Many of you have heard already because good news travels fast but as of Thursday July 10th I am officially Cancer free!!. I had a PET scan on Monday and met with our oncologists Thursday and she delivered the good news. The scan showed absolutely no areas of concern and all the areas that had been glowing before looked normal now. We feel very fortunate to have this news and begin to close this chapter once again. She also gave me the green light to return to work August 1st under certain restrictions and I am chomping at the bit for that day. Currently my focus is on physical fitness and trying to improve my lung function which seems to be the only thing holding me back.
It feels as though the thick black cloud that has been lurking around us for 7 months now is finally blowing away!!
It’s TEAM ROC time!! For all those returners you know this means it’s time to start running after work and getting ready for the Champion the Cure Challenge 2014. For those that weren’t with us last year that are following this blog I encourage you to check out EMMC’s website: www.ctcchallenge.org/ and head to TEAM ROC: Run Over Cancer! Through this website you can join our team, make a donation without joining, or just check out our progress. At the home page, look on the right hand column and click “see all Teams”. Scroll down to find TEAM ROC and check us out. THE BEST PART OF THIS FUNDRAISER IS THE MONEY STAYS LOCALLY!!!!! I am excited about being part of this event again as a Survivor and I definitely will be participating in the 5k. Yea my pace may be a bit off from last year but my mind and spirit will be stronger than ever. I’ve had some of the best support anyone could ask for and hopefully we can get everybody together and give recognition to all you great supporters!! Call or text with questions or post them to comments and I will do my best.
Met with my Oncologist on Friday and everything is still looking great. My blood work came back about the same as it was on May 23rd in Boston but all counts were in the area they are supposed to be at this point. The best part; I feel great. Really getting some normalcy back now. My weight is up to around 187 and I continue to be very active during the day. Jogging really serves up the humble pie though as my lung function just isn’t there. My hope is that with a lot of work and physical fitness I will greatly improve lung function, but my fear is that the surgeries in December took their toll on my left lung(as I can feel that one is much different than my right). The previously infected and injured right thigh is still recovering and now is constrained to just flexibility issues. That just means I gotta suck it up and push through the pain a little more than before.
I was hoping to get the green light on returning to work soon but I was told at least another 30 days. I will have a PET scan around the 3rd week in July and as long as that comes back clear and blood counts continue on the track they are on, my Oncologists indicated she would clear me for work around August 1st. Very excited about getting that part of my life back on track.
No news is good news right? Right! On Friday we were back in Boston for my 30 day check up and everything went really well. My immune system had held up on its own and improved a little bit through the week and the team down there was really happy with the progress we had made in the last month. Based on my current strength and immune system they lightened up on some of the restrictions. Basically we are going back to the same precaution level as was in place during the high dose chemo. Public interaction still kept to an absolute minimum but now allowed to be around visitors without gloves and a mask. We can have healthy visitors that have not been recently subjected to any viruses and I can be in vehicles, houses, and around small groups. Take out pizza made it’s way to the acceptable food list and fruits and vegetables are ok if we know where they came from and wash them thoroughly. We were very happy with this news and hope that the next 30 days of recovery goes just as well.
My hip has hit a bit of a plateau in terms of improvement but I am very able and move well now. I still have the sensation that I am nursing a torn glute, but they gave me the green light to start jogging if I can handle it so that is the plan this week weather permitting. Still having random episodes of nausea/headache/restlessness in the evenings but they are becoming less frequent.
All my blood work counts help up really well through the week and they were about the same on Friday as they were on Monday. Everything is moving in the right direction; leg getting better each day, more energy most days, more strength, and immune system holding and gaining slowly. My oncologists was pleased with the progress and she has extended our appointments out to once a month instead of twice a week. I will still have blood work taken every week and they will check the counts to make sure we are still on track but less clinical appointments are a good thing.
We head back to Boston on Friday for the 30 day check-in. The appointment will be exactly like the ones I have had at CCOM(blood labs then doctor) except it will be at Dana Farber. There shouldn’t be any surprises or changes to my recovery plan other than possibly lifting a few restrictions.
Still improving with my hip and getting around really well. The daily improvement has slowed from what it was last week and now it just feels like I am recovering from a major injury. Blood chemistry came back very good today with improved counts from last week and I didn’t have to get a neupogen shot. This is very good news since it looks like my own system is building without the helps of the neupogen booster. Neutraphils almost to 2,000(up almost 50%) and hopefully I continue to build my immune system with no setbacks. Had an unpleasant full body breakout of hives this morning and while at CCOM which was convenient so the Doctor could see them, but we still have no answers as to why I have had these hives since starting my first chemotherapy in 2012. Stevie and I were hoping the stem cell transplant would re-write whatever it is in my body that makes me get hives but unfortunately this is not the case. Benadryl and cooling my body temperature are the only things that make them go away and we are quite familiar with this process. Back in Friday to see my oncologists and I’ll post then.
I am finally starting to see some significant improvement with my right thigh/hip. I am getting around much better and the chronic pain is gone. Now it feels like I am nursing a torn hip flexer and upper IT band injury. Had a blood draw and clinical at CCOM today; not much news. Blood chemistry looks good….I did drop a little from Monday(which was high due to the neupogen shot) but nothing they are concerned about. Because my counts are holding where they are, I am able to switch one of my medications I have been taking twice a day seven days a week to a different medication that I will take only once a day three times a week. These small victories mean a big deal. The weather is getting better and I’m able to get around more so still no public places but I’m very positive about the direction we are headed in.