Good afternoon, everyone! I hope this message finds you relaxed, smiling and full of life. We are here for only a short amount of time. Don’t waste a second by living in regret and anger. Some things are out of our control, but we can overcome just about anything if we help each other out. God works in amazing ways.
For our journey, we have had a slight deviation off of our current course due to a change in symptoms. Many of you weren’t part of this journey when it all started. Mostly because we didn’t share much the first go around back in 2009. We just thought it was a small blip in the journey of life, and Andrea and I were just beginning to start our lives as a married coupled. Almost 7 years later, we are stronger because of it, but who knew we’d still be staring this thing down?! Long story short, my initial symptoms back when this all began in 2009 was hemoptysis (or coughing up blood). In other words, blood is somehow leaking into my lung which should not happen.
Unfortunately and to our dismay, I began the same symptom of hemoptysis last Wednesday night. The amount produced is much less than before (about 1/4 of a teaspoon), but it is still worrisome and very problematic for my current course. Since it was late at night and non-life threatening for the time being, I decided to just tell Andrea and few other people. Nothing could be done that night so I decided I could start notifying the entire medical team in the morning to see where we would go now.
I didn’t waste any time the next day. I called a few physicians, texted a few others, and emailed a few others with the recent development. Through God’s good grace, every single one of the recipients responded quickly. The main goal of all the communication was to see what Dr. Ravi wants to do going forward – immunotherapy as we spoke about or something different. I wanted to get a local pulmonologist on board and up to speed. Lastly, I wanted the rest to know the update and the plan. I spent the next 1.5 days organizing and scheduling this new circus act. After everything was in place, I decided to take the rest of the week off to spend time with my family, especially on Valentine’s Day. It was well worth it, but I do apologize for the short notice to all of the amazing supporters we have!
Going forward, Dr. Ravi wants to sideline immunotherapy and start on chemo. He wants me to do Gemcitabine and docetaxel again. As far as side effects go, it was my worst regimen. It landed me in the hospital as severely neutropenic. It won’t be easy, but I can do it with your help! Bring on the fevers, flu-like body pains, possible thrush/mucositis, peripheral edema, etc.! Small price to pay for a lifetime of memories with my amazing family.
For now, I have my baseline CT scan this evening at 7pm. I have a consult with a pulmonologist tomorrow morning followed by a follow up with my headache clinic to see if we can get these headaches under control somehow.
We should get the CT results tomorrow morning when in consult with the pulmonologist. From there, we’ll decide where to go in regards to additional consults – mainly one with thoracic surgery and one with radiation oncology. Dr. Ravi doesn’t think there is a need to consult with them. However, should we need them in the near or distant future, it would be nice to have them on board already instead of having to spend an entire consult doing an initial consult and HPI later in the game. I’m just trying to be proactive as always.
Pending the CT scan results, it would be my understanding that chemo would start at the beginning of next week. Bring it on!
My prayer requests from you are all over the board right now. I just pray for peace and tranquility in these difficult times. We pray for answers, definitive answers one way or another. We pray for swift reaction times from those that have control to get any plan underway. Most of all, we pray for the continued ability to keep living this beautiful life and making amazing memories as we weather yet another storm. We are stronger as a couple and family because of this, but it certainly takes its toll over time.
We love you all so very much, and we so very happy that we can rely on you always and forever. Have an amazing and beautiful day. There won’t be another day exactly like the present one so please make it count in a meaningful and positive way!