Today has been a good day overall. It’s interesting to me that I seem to have three sections of my day. The morning, afternoon and evening. This morning, my morning was rough. I slept about 6 hours, which was great, but I was really really weak, and I was really sore. I am learning that just laying around all day really isn’t good for me. I have joints that hurt and sore back and hips, but find that when I get up and move around, then I am able to relieve the soreness. So, that is getting me up and moving a little more.
Today was my first Dr appointment. Which meant I was going to have to get out of the house. The Apt was at 12:30 with my Oncologist to talk Chemo. I was really nervous and having a hard time calming myself down. I was afraid he would see me, and tell me that I was healthy enough to start Chemo, and I didn’t know if mentally I could do it. We got there 30 minutes early, and just sat around, and I let my mind get more and more agitated with worst case scenarios. My heart rate climbed to 120 while I sat in the chair, and my Apple Watch reminded me again and again I had a high heart rate, and I wasn’t moving. Dr Samuelson arrived and we started to talk next steps. He could see how weak I still was, and together as we talked through everything, we decided to start Chemo in 3 weeks. November 12th. This put my mind at ease. We are going to try Immunotherapy. I will get treatments once every 3 weeks for 12 weeks. Administered via IV, which take about 3 hours. Then another drug every 2 weeks for a few months. Immunotherapy is effective (all relative) for this type of Clear Cell Cancer that I have. Side effects are fairly minimal. Possible rash, diarrhea, fatigue and a few others that are less than 5% of the people that get. The job of the Immunotherapy is to boost my immune system to really high levels to then start to fight the cancer. In the last few studies, they have seen 10% to 15% of the people who do this therapy become cancer free after 6 months to a year. So, quite a bit of hope! I won’t loose hair, and I will be able to get the treatments, and feel fairly normal immediately after.
So, amazing news for me. A weight had been lifted from that moment as we talked about it. It’s not perfect and I know there will be bumps in the road ahead. There always are, but the glimmer of hope is wonderful.
It’s now 2pm, and I have my home health nurse coming over to change my Wound Vac. You will remember that on Friday when my wound was changed it was horrible. Pain up in the 8 range and just took forever. After this appointment with Dr Samuelson, I needed some energy, so we stopped by McDonalds and I got a quick burger so that I could have some protein, as well as take my pain medications, praying I wouldn’t throw up. I didn’t. I kept it all down. We got home just in time. After the horrible experience on Friday, the Nurse had suggested we call our Dr and get a prescription for some liquid lidocaine so she could numb just a little bit of the wound to help. So, we picked that up right before going home. I had my pain meds, and then has she dowsed the wound with lidocaine – it helped a ton. But, it still hurts. Tearing any kind of wound still has pain, but oh man was I able to bear it so much better. I got up to a 6 in pain level, but was not going pail or sweating like crazy. What a blessing. So, once that was done I was feeling up to moving around a little. I had energy like I had not had in over a month. Alicia mentioned to me, Wow, there is the Nate I know. For about 30 minutes I was feeling really good. Then got tired quickly and took a nap.
This evening we had Family Home Evening as a family. My mother’s parents arrived to see me. It was so great. We had family home evening together, and Alicia’s Aunt and her husband stopped by. We talked for a while and just had a good evening. It’s 10pm right now. I am starting to get tired and am ready to go to bed. But man am I happy at my progress today.
My Oncologist told me today that I have to measure my progress in weeks and not days. Because when I look at yesterday, I don’t see very much progress, but when I look back at 1 week ago when I got home, I have made some great progress. So, we measure success and strength by the week, and not the day.
Well, I am signing off. Here are a few pictures from the day’s activities:
My Grandparents, Verle and Glora Call – They will be with us for a few days.
Cami’s Ice Cream and Donut shop – our Family Home Evening treat.
Alicia’s Mothers sister. Terry and Linda Spallino.
A member of my congregation and friend gave me this plaque a few days ago. I figured today was fitting to post this picture as now I know what might lie ahead in my Cancer treatment. I can now always remember:
What cancer cannot do:
Invade the soul
Conquer the Spirit
or steal eternal life