Monday, April 24, 2006

THREE down, one to go!

OR ... Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's all a vicious cycle, really. "They" make me sick so that I'll feel better then, when I really am starting to feel better, we have to start all over again. Sick, well, sick, well ....

I finished my third week in the hospital last Thursday. I have a couple of weeks "off" then, if my blood checks out okay, I'll be back for my fourth and final round on May 4th. This past cycle wasn't as bad as the first two. The nausea was down --- I only threw up twice (You know, I've really lost all sense of modesty in all this --- sorry if it's TMI. I will however refrain from telling you about my bowl movements --- though everybody at the hospital wants to know about those!) and I didn't have to go back in the hospital for a last minute blood emergency (The first two cycles I'd leave the hospital only to have to go back in the next day for blood or platelets. I had a blood transfusion last Tuesday during my stay --- saved me a trip!) and it was "take-out" week at my room (have you ever had hospital food for more than a week?! As my oncologists says "It's Denny's without the salt"! so Mom and I have been ordering take-out from every neighborhood restaurant) though the monotony of being stuck in the hospital for a week is getting worse. I tried to sneak out of the room to hang out with the smokers outside but got stopped by my nurse. So, I watch Martha everyday at noon and occasionally pop in a Muppets DVD (thanks, Catherine!!) but otherwise I sit there staring at the ceiling or watching the construction workers outside my window --- and they're not that cute!

My parents and I took a trip to Indianapolis (nice city, wouldn't want to live there) to visit Dr Larry Einhorn, the oncologist that invented the BEP chemo protocol that I was on last fall and the person many consider to be the pre-eminent authority on testicular cancer (his team treated Lance Armstrong). We had a nice visit and got a good roadmap for the next couple of months (next stop, PET scan and hopefully this will all be over in June). He reminded me how unusual my case is. My cancer is not where it's supposed to be and even when it's not where it's supposed to be it's usually someplace else and it's not there either (okay, it's not in the testicles it's in the abdomen and it's not in the center of the abdomen it's off to the side --- I'm "special"!). Oh, and I've saved the best for last, I had a CT scan done before the trip and my tumor has shrunk from 10 cm in February to 4.8 cm! (while this is very good news I am still somewhat guarded about it --- the cancer came back so quickly last time that there is no guarantee that this will kill the tumor ... Though I am more hopeful than I've been in a while.)