In between the last trip to Indy and now, not much is going on. Life is moving forward, creeping towards the surgery this week. Glad it is almost here - Kel is SOOOO happy to be getting 'this damn cancer' out of him.
Last week he had a CT scan to map the tumor in his back and good news is that there are no new sites of metastasis evident (would have decreased the curative potential of the surgery) and the main mass seems to have shrunk a little more (although they only gave one dimension, so hard to really tell).
Bloodwork this last week was less reassuring, but not unexpected. The tumor markers are rising, rising, rising, but without chemo what else would they be doing? Slightly disturbing is also a question of kidney function since Kel has protein, glucose and blood in his urine, but with the surgery the stent will also be removed, which may be the cause of some of those issues.
So the plan is:
Fly to Indy tomorrow (Monday), when my father will also come out.
Meet with surgeon on Tuesday, Kel's mother, father and best friend will also arrive in Indy (it is going to be a lively 3-bedroom suite!).
Surgery on Wednesday, checking in at 7am, surgery to start pretty early (10, I think). Could be a long surgery- I have seen estimates ranging from 3-10 hrs, but Kel's should be more like 6-10 hrs. Oh joy - I am glad we will have many people to keep David entertained over such a long period of time.
I will post as soon as we know anything on Wednesday, but it is going to be a long day, so don't expect much. :).
The following is what sux:
Since the last chemo, Kel has been doing mainly ok, but getting sicker and sicker. His stomach is bothering him more often, he doesn't eat as much and last night he was extremely nauseous. It is strange that he felt better through all of the chemo than he does now, but a lot of it could be nerves too over the upcoming events, and mainly the success of the surgery. Kel is still tired a lot - takes naps most days when he isn't at work, and on days he does work goes to bed early. At least after the surgery he will have a break from all of this while he heals and while we wait to monitor his blood and with CT scans to see if anything new pops up.
The waiting will be torture, but if after a year nothing new shows up chances are high that he is in the clear. Can never be sure, and they will monitor for 5 years, but 1 year is a good mark. Of course, being somewhat realistic, chances are at least 50+% that the surgery alone won't do it and that the tandem transplant will still be needed. We are planning for that (well, planning for 2 months off, at least) - back to hoping for the best but expecting the worst - but hope to be wrong.
Kel has never actually achieved a remission, he has never had his markers normalize, never been off 'treatment' for a long time. During this upcoming post-surgery time we anticipate his markers normalizing for the first time and for some semblance of a remission. The fear will be high every time he gets checked, and it will never be far from our minds, but he - and we - will take the brief reprieve.
Thanks for reading,