Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello everyone! Long time no talk. ...So sorry about that, but my computer has been down and I really have not had time to sit down and post anything. I do see that Laura has stepped in to make sure you all remained informed. Don't know what I'd do without her.

Well, we've been doing okay around here. Lots of doctors and lots of tests. They found some fluid on his lung and after draining it and testing it, they found that it contained cancer cells. They will make an adjustment in his chemo cocktail to focus on this new development. However, we are going to wait until he is a little stronger and a little fatter before we put him through another round.

He has been experiencing some back pain due to the spots on his spine, so they are going to address this with some radiation on his lower back, starting maybe on Tuesday. In addition to the radiation, he will continue his once monthly Zometa infusion, which is an osteoperosis drug that he began a couple of months ago.

He scored a 100% on his hearing test, so the hearing loss I detected must be of the selective persuasion. I was afraid those nasty chemo drugs had damaged the only ear he has left. But fortunately, I was mistaken.

So far as the tumor in his esophagus is concerned, it is unchanged. It didn't really shrink, but then again, it didn't grow, either. You know me, looking for the bright side, always.

His spirits remain high. Our days are spent quietly conversing about the world that seems to be racing around us. Always on the move to our next appointment or test. It all seems so unreal sometimes. But whatever, we're just along for the ride, so we choose to always enjoy any little thing we can, like snow cones. Kens loves snow cones. He bugs me all winter long about when the snow cone stand is going to open. Well, thank goodness, it's now open! I stop three or four times a week to get him a cherry one, or maybe blue raspberry, and every time, without fail, his face just lights up. Loves those snow cones!

So our plan is to fatten him up again while he is doing his radiation and after he has put on a few pounds we'll start chemo again. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the fact that he doesn't throw up but once a week these days.

I'll try to post in a more timely fashion in the future. Thanks for bearing with me.

Love to all!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hi everyone,

Here's the latest news on Ken:
His last set of scans, taken on May 28th, showed no real change since the last set, which were taken before the 3-weeks of chemo treatments, (1 week of chemo followed by 2 weeks off, x 3), and that's all the more specific the oncologist would get about it. However, some additional problems have emerged:

1. They found that Ken's spine had 'chipped' at L-3
We think this might have been caused by a fall that Ken took one day, when he lost his balance and kind of fell partly into the corner where the fridge meets the wall, and then to the floor. However, he went to the doctor the day after this happened, and the x-rays showed that nothing was broken. It could be a case of the fall causing a hairline fracture, which normal activity aggravated until it finally broke off. It's hard to say....

2. They found some fluid in one of Ken's lungs
They pulled this fluid out on Tuesday, and are having it tested. They want to make sure that there are no cancer cells in the fluid. If there are, it will change the 'recipe' for the next chemo treatment. They should have the results of this test by early next week, 6-15-2010, or so.
Ken may have accumulated fluid in his lung due to too much inactivity. Also, he had Pluracy back when he was 19 years old, and it could be that his lungs are just more susceptible to fluid accumulating, as a result.

Other than all of this, he has been eating well, and enjoying hanging out and watching movies, though he's still sleeping a lot. Just one other problem, in that the last couple of days his back has started hurting him... (it never did, before), so, he's going back to the doctor, tomorrow, (Friday the 11th), to have this checked. It could be that he just strained it, with all the recent travel and moving around for the last couple of doctor appointments, x-rays and other procedures, and such. But, since we know there is a fracture that has occurred at L-3, (part of the vertebrae actually chipped off), it's important to monitor this closely.

After the test results come back on the fluid they pulled from his lung on Tuesday, Ken will get his new treatment plan from the oncologist. It will likely stay on course as originally outlined, which entails another 3-weeks of chemo, (1 week of chemo, followed by 2 weeks off, x 3), but we're not sure when that's going to start.

Thanks to everyone, for your calls and cards. It really cheers Ken up. I hope that soon, by the end of the summer, Ken might be up for a little get-together of some kind, (maybe a little 'customer appreciation' party), so we'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, Ken says "hi" to everyone!

Love to you all,
(Ken's sister)