Hello again! I wanted to post a quick update as I spoke to Dr. Butrynski tonight and got some more information, including the next phase of treatment. He called me at 9PM tonight and would have spoken to me all night if I didn't run out of questions.
They decided that the best course of action is to continue chemotherapy for six more weeks and then evaluate again, but this time at Dana Farber in Boston. So I begin round 2 tomorrow and it will go every Friday until mid-January and then we will go to Boston for a few days so they can do all the scans needed and discuss what's next, whether that's surgery (there are currently two that I need...open heart and the one on my vertebrae), radiation or more chemotherapy.
We were almost positive I would be having surgery next week, and though we thought they only thing that would stop that is bad news, we were wrong. The doctor explained that since the cancer has spread to two spots outside the primary tumor, and the primary tumor poses less of a risk than the cancer itself does, he wants to continue to attack and continue to kill cancer cells with chemo. He was happy with the direction things were going, and so am I. I must admit I really don't want this tumor in my heart anymore, and I feel like taking it out is such a big step towards recovery, so I was disappointed that I wouldn't have surgery next week. That might also be because I was anxious/nervous about it and I had prepared myself mentally for it, kind of like studying for a test, and now I will have to do that all over again. Oh well...I am REALLY happy that I will be able to attend my benefit and will not be recovering from surgery over the holidays, so I guess the timing works out better (as if there is ever a good time).
So, tomorrow morning, I get Taxol treatment number 7. I talked to my doctor about how well I have been handling it and he warned me that the effects of chemo are cumulative and this round might not be as easy. I am fine with that...it's a means to get better so a little fatigue, nausea, baldness and neuropathy are much better than the alternative. I think I noticed myself feeling a little worse towards end of the first round so I see what he is talking about. I don't plan on letting it hold me back though...I want to keep living my life, keep going to work and keep on moving forward.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I will continue to update my blog at least once a week with whats going on (it's pretty therapeutic!) and I want to, once again, say THANKS to everyone who is supporting us during this. I couldn't walk this walk alone - not without my wife, my parents, my siblings, my nana, my aunts & uncles, my cousins, my friends, my co-workers and everyone else who keeps the positive vibes and the prayers coming. I am blessed with an amazing family, amazing friends and amazing people in my life...I firmly believe that.