Monday, March 14, 2005

Planning the next steps.

Recovery is a slow process, but I feel like I'm making progress, however modest.

This morning, Judy and I met with my oncologist, Dr. Evers. My blood levels are all normal. My weight is low, but not alarmingly so. He reiterated what he'd said before about what good news the pathological complete response is. He was also, though, careful to emphasize that there is still a significant risk of the cancer returning. To minimize that risk, we'll have some additional chemotherapy, then quarterly scans and check-ups for a couple years.

The therapeutic target is to remain cancer-free for two years after diagnosis.

My target is more like 50 years after diagnosis, but I'm willing to start with two years.

My surgery was three weeks ago. I understand that 6-8 weeks is a standard recovery time, so I'm half-way to 6 weeks.

We've scheduled chemotherapy to start at the 6 week mark, so it will be the week of April 4. Then I'll have three weeks off and have chemo again the week of May 2. If past is prologue, I ought to start feeling myself again a week or two after chemo finishes.

Although it will be two years before my doctors will breathe a sigh of relief, we're going to celebrate our victory over Cromwell so far with a big party. If we keep the current schedule, we ought to be able to have the Victory Party in late May. The kids have asked if we can rent a moon-bounce for the party and I can't think of one reason why not.

Tomorrow I get the sutures out of my forehead!


Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, I'm happy to hear the sutures are coming out and with the big victory party to plan your
recovery should go quickly. We will continue to keep you in our prayers for the next 2,5,10 years or as long as you need us.
Keep fighting the good fight!

1:39 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Hang in there, Jim! Remember, any progress is good progress. May your recovery get easier every day.

Meanwhile, hooray for losing the forehead stitches!

1:44 PM  
Blogger bonnie said...

Hooray!!!!! Suture free and a victory party. I am hoping that jumping on the moon walk will bring back the kid in you, as well as bring laughter to your own kids. I know the hill is steep and the steps are small but you are making the journey valiantly and you are winning a little every day. Keep up the good work. The prayers are continuing daily.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Pat_N said...

It's like you've crossed the finish line and the cooldown lap is longer than the race. Just go at your own pace. Hopefully you'll be up to full strength for the next biggest Irish feast day, St. Brendan, May 16th.
You and your care givers are in our daily prayers.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Kita28 said...


I'm so glad you're feeling incrementally better and better and can't wait to celebrate that victory.

Sending love and prayers your way in a constant stream,


3:59 PM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

It seems like the worst is behind you - I truly hope that the next two years and beyond is extremely uneventful (healthwise at least).

I also hope you are making lots of wonderful plans with your loved ones for the spring and summer and fall, to enjoy the fruits of your recovery.


7:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

Jim, you look great, though you understandably still feel pretty beat up. Progress, even if slow, is good. May it continue and your spirits and strength rise with each passing day. And then a return to strong spirits another day.

Love, Tom

1:01 PM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

4:01 PM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

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4:01 PM  

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