Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Again

Yesterday around noon I left the hospital.  What a beautiful fall day on which to finally get a breath of fresh air.  I got to spend a couple hours in a chair on the front lawn watching the boys play and enjoying great fall colors around the neighborhood.  A nice reprieve from a week in the hospital.

We were told by Dr. Grossmann going into last week that the side effects from the IL2 would set in quicker the second time around.  And true to his word, I started feeling rather poorly from the first dose.  Thanks to a great medical staff and their attention, I received the first 8 doses on schedule (one dose every eight hours).  After dose eight, the nurses and the doctor felt it best to wait for a bit.  We ended up skipping two scheduled doses and then Thursday afternoon receiving my ninth dose, which would be my last.  This dose packed the most punch.  A couple of close friends that happened to stop by for a visit that night got to see me at my worst, but also helped immensely by being there.  Thanks to a good nights sleep (thanks to an ambien sleeping pill), by Friday morning I was feeling much better.  Friday was a day for monitored recovery and then I was released to go home on Saturday.

Now we wait for a bit.  We won't know what the next treatment step will be until after I have CT scans done the first week of November.  These scans will show us whether or not the treatment is being successful, i.e. tumor is reducing in size.  If the IL2 is working, then it is likely we are in for a couple more rounds of the same.  If it isn't we'll consider other options. 

Special thanks to go out to all those who took care of the kids so that Allison could spend time at the hospital.  And continual thank to everyone's thoughts, expressions, and prayers of support, they mean more than we can ever say.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week 4

I am back up at HCI for another round of high dose IL2.  I checked in Sunday night so they could start me on antibiotics and fluids.  Then Monday morning around 9:00 AM they hit me with my first dose of IL2.  Since then we've received 3 more doses (1 dose every  8 hours) and I'm due for 5th dose in a couple of hours from now. 

The drug side effects have kicked in sooner with this second round compared to the first round.   Because of that it is anticipated that I will not receive as many doses as the first round and they will probably spread them out to try to better combat the side effects. 

We appreciate the many people that are helping out in many ways, especially those watching the children so Allison can spend  a good part of the day here with me. 

It was great to have two weeks off prior to coming back up here.  I got to be home for Cameron's birthday party. 

The plan going forward is to do scans near the end of week 7.  Based on the results of those scans we'll determine whether we continue with the IL2 treatment or consider some other alternatives.