October 11, 2006
Latest Scan - A New Beginning
Saw the doctor today and as usual it was a couple of tense days waiting to get the latest cat scan results. My blood pressure was 155/88 so I guess that tells you something. As usual I had my questions in mind, based on what the results were, and as usual I expected replies like "I don't know" or "We don't know". And, as usual the doctor came in and his opening remarks shot down my whole preparation. His opening line, "We're going to give you a break from treatment." Say what????? Okay, here's the low-down. The cat scan was still showing no new growth and everything is stable (they forgot to say anything about my kidney stone). He felt I deserved a 3 month break, so will cat scan again in January. If the lesions have grown we would probably start again with just the anti-bodies. Thanks to my help and 999 others, the experimental drug has been approved by the FDA so it is available to everyone now. I guess that means it works. The bad news in all of this is he said that sometime in the future, be it 3 months or 3 years I would have to have a second round of full chemotherapy. Not something you really want to hear. After 13 months of this I kind of felt like a lost puppy with not making my 2 a month trips. But, I do have to go in once a month and have my port flushed out. I guess for the next three months I'll just write one entry as I do want to keep this open. One other interesting point from people reading this (I always wonder how many). I was contacted about a new cancer magazine, CRM, and they want to use excerpts from my diaries in a blog column. Of course I said yes. I may be forgetting something, but this seems to bring everything up to date. Soooo, good health to all of you until we meet again along this dusty trail of life.
October 25, 2006
Mind Games and Llamas
No, the llamas aren't playing mind games. I will say something later about them. It's me that's still playing mind games with myself. It's 3 weeks now that no chemicals are being put in this old body and I do feel pretty good, but I did while getting the anti-bodies. I was always a little anxious going from cat scan to cat scan, but the results were always good so the anxiety level was pretty low. Now the anxiety is more life saving, waiting until January to see if the lesions, or spots in my language, have started growing again. I try to not think about it, but that's easier said than done. I did find out that if I'm off the experimental drug for more than 6 weeks I am out of the program. So, if we have to start the anti-bodies again and use that drug it won't be free anymore. Wonderful. They will continue to track me for several years.
Now for the llamas. One of the readers of this diary suggested I say something about this slightly strange animal. I guess since it's part of my title maybe I should. After moving to this little farm 12 1/2 years ago I got my first two llamas. It was just one of those things you are attracted to so I did it. We went from two to buying two more, male-female pairs. Then we bought three at an auction. Then we had births and at one point had thirteen. We are down to four now. They are a very smart animal, all with different personalities and they remember forever if you do something to them they don't like. The most asked question always is do they spit? Yes, they do, but it's usually between two of them over food. You learn when the ears go back and the head goes up, give them room so you don't catch any of the food splatter. That's not too bad. If they're really mad, they cough up a very smelly green slime and you don't want to get hit by that. The spitting really doesn't happen that often. They're really a very quiet animal most of the time. If they're a little upset over something they will hum. In all these years I've only had one bad mishap. We were selling a young male and Easter, our #2 llama, had sort of adopted this little guy. When we caught him and tried to take him out Easter tried to stop me and I got the green slime, head, face, and one t-shirt that went in the garbage. The buyer finally isolated her long enough for me to get the baby out and Easter never forgave me. Like I said, they never forget if you do something they don't like. It's been fun and educational to have the llamas. Unfortunately, the selling market dropped considerably and we've stopped breeding. Four ladies left and that's just fine for now.
Better stop. I could go on and on about my favorite animal, so let's just say good health to all of you. Until next time . . . . . . .