One third

I am 1/3 of the way there.

4 of 12 chemo treatments done.

My tumor is 1/3 of its original size in volume.

I just ate 1/3 of a tub of ice cream to celebrate.

I had a CT scan (now with contrast!) on Thursday and Dr. Klein called me with the results on Friday. He was excited. I was excited that he was excited.

See how excited Dr. Klein is!

See how excited Dr. Klein is!

My tumor has shrank by 1/3 of its size. He said he would show me the first CT scan to compare it with this one. He said that originally, my tumor was “huge”. That’s a quote. That’s the word he said. He never said that to me before. My 2nd opinion doctor told me it was large…and he’s seen a lot of tumors. But no one used the word ‘huge’ before.

But its not ‘huge’ anymore. It’s 1/3 the size of ‘huge’. It’s a little less than ‘hug’.

Dr. Klein also told me that I don’t have any blood clots – that the shrinking tumor has allowed my vascular system to open up…except for one spot where it is still pinched. So I’m not out of the ‘Reduced Blood Flow’ woods yet. But I won’t have to have any surgery or treatment for blood clots if things continue to clear up in this way.

This is all good news. Sorry – great news. This news gives me renewed strength to keep fighting the good fight.

Remember – the size of the tumor is not an exact sign of me being cancer free. I still have to pass a PET scan and be PET NEGATIVE. That will mean I’m in remission and cancer free. I’m not sure when my next PET scan will be. One step at a time…

The next step is for me to get my ‘port’ put in on Monday. That way I won’t have to get chemo in my arms which causes me discomfort and phlebitis. And is also a huge pain in the ass because – although my attitude has improved – I am sick and tired of getting IV’s put in my arms. I think my veins are onto this whole process and they are making things more difficult as things continue.

And some more good news – which isn’t really news because it was always a fact, I just didn’t realize it – My last chemo is October 1st. Which means I’ll be done with this whole process around Thanksgiving. For some reason, I’ve been telling everyone that I have chemo until November 1st. Because apparently one of the side effects is reducing the patient’s ability to tell time.

October 1st is last chemo, then rest period, then radiation, the Santa brings presents to good girls and boys.

And here I’ll say sorry for the downer posting last time…it was my birthday and I felt sick as a dog and I was more focused on the part of me that felt like crap rather than the part of me that was getting better. I’m going to have those days when I hate this process. And I’m going to have those days when I see nothing but blue skies ahead. It’s a boxing match…some times I’m up against the ropes.

Me - Every other Thursday through Monday

Me - Every other Thursday through Monday

Today I’m having a blue sky day.

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12 responses to “One third

  1. Hey buddy… it’s really great to hear this news!
    Belated Happy Birthday…

    Rick

  2. Yea! 33-1/3% rocks!
    My niece loves having her port; it’s made treatment so much easier. Know that there are a couple of different numbing creams you can use before getting poked and that it helps to keep your own supply in case they forget to send some up when you go in.
    …and happy belated birthday!

    • Thanks for the su-port. Its going to be weird having it…but everyone says it is extremely helpful. My friend who beat melanoma said that the day he rolled over and didn’t see his PICC line in his arm was a great day, but having the PICC line was an amazing help. So, I’m looking forward to making my life easier and looking forward to getting rid of it at the same time. I’ll ask about the numbing cream (at home I just use an ice cube for the Neupogen…low tech…)

      • I just remembered the name of one of them: EMLA. Sometimes prolonged use can cause a slight rash, which I why I mentioned there are a couple different types; you can switch off if one gets to be a problem.
        I don’t know where all they can place a port – the only ones I’ve seen are near the ribs, linked toward the heart, I guess – so the area is more sensitive than other injection sites? I presume you’re braver than a 4-year-old 🙂 , but I figure as much as patients have to go through… the more pain you can prevent, the better.

      • If you presume that I’m braver than a 4 year old then you presume too much!

        Does she use the cream every time she has to get an IV? I heard, with the port, it is about the same type of poke as an IV poke but with much less hassle then having to find a vein every time. I grill the nurses before they stick me about how good they are and
        I’m starting to develop my favorites. I’ll know tomorrow and I’ll be sure to ask them if I need the cream.

        My port should be above my ribs in my upper chest but because of complications with my tumor they may put it below my ribcage. Not typical, but not unusual (or so I’m told). I’ll find out more tomorrow…

  3. I’m so glad the clots are not there. As for the ice cream, come down here and I’ll buy you one third of a frozen yogurt. Don’t worry, I’ll eat the first 2/3 and you’ll not only prevent your 1/3 weight gain, but you’ll only owe me 1/3 of a treat!

    Hey furry man, seriously though, great news. Barry Gibbs would be proud.

  4. That is awesome news! I am smiling thinking how happy this must make you and Jen! You can kick the other 1/3 in the butt and show it the door, we are all barracking for you!

  5. go dickter! go dickter! go dickter!! You can’t tell, but I’m doing a little cheer dance for you too. Notice I kept up the 3 theme. well sort of.

  6. Glad we’re on an upswing! Keep slogging away, the world is pulling for you.

  7. Glad to hear the news, man. Congratulations on chipping away at that thing.

  8. Yay! Yay for 1/3 done and Yay for October 1st and Yay for no more huge.

  9. I’m going to eat 1/3 of a container of ice cream to celebrate too! Because this news is just THAT great!

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