Recombobulation Area - Update 8/22/16

It's been a bit since I provided the down low, the 411, the info, with what's going on. The short answer: not much unexpected. That's good. 

The longer answer is...longer. Not bad or dramatic, just longer.

The past month and a half or so has been exceptionally busy. We went to 3 weddings, 3 weeks in a row. Julie threw a shower and bachelorette party for her sister (wedding 1) the weekend before wedding 1. Julie stood up in the first two weddings, 1 and 2. The first and last, 1 and 3, were in the midwest. 2 was local. We could drive to 2. We slept in our own bed that night. Those are not normal wedding experiences for us. The weekend before 1 I took my 2nd dose of chemo pills. Balancing the schedule of taking the 17 pills (as opposed to my normal measly 12 daily for the trial) throughout the day, while traveling, by far presented the biggest challenge.

Julie's birthday was the weekend after wedding 3. It was so nice to be home that we mostly relaxed and enjoyed the simple pleasure of actually being home. The night after her birthday, we got some friends together for a small cookout. The weekend was the beginning of exhaling from the prior weeks. As General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee would phrase it, it was a chance to recombobulate.

I was scheduled to begin taking my 3rd round of a year of 5-consecutive-day-a-month chemotherapy pills Wed-Sun of Julie's birthday weekend. However, I undergo blood tests weekly for the chemo and the clinical trial. Certain markers need to fall in certain places for me to receive the ok to proceed with chemo. Specifically, the chemo drug diminishes my immune system. It's trial and error to find the correct strength of chemo pills that leave me back in an acceptable zone after a month. The second dose of chemo was much stronger than the first dose. So, in accordance, it reduced my blood platelets further than they could rebound in the given time. But after a week longer they were good. That prompted a slightly less strong 3rd dose of chemotherapy a week later as the search to locate the sweet spot continues.

I also had an MRI a few weeks ago. The MRIs are important (duh) in this case in particular because a neurologist needs the images to actually see the subject of the efforts (and the clinical trial requires them). Usually, so I'm told, the first MRIs look fairly messy when taking this specific clinical trial drug. After surgery and radiation and chemotherapy there is a lot of swelling in there. So, rather than representing some grand proclamation of status, it simply provides the new baseline of the post-surgery picture going forward. Such was the case with me. It's usually not until the second MRI that any progress may be seen. I think that next MRI will happen in October or something. I'll find out more the next time I encounter my Dr.