Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Cancer Report 03
The picture on the right is a bit of a joke. It was taken today, the 7th of January 2009, in approximately the same location and pose as a similar photograph taken in September, 2008.
In the 2008 photo I weighed about 185 lbs, having dropped nearly fifty pounds (!!) from my weight before I was diagnosed with cancer. That is, I was diagnosed in June, 2008, meaning I lost about 10 pounds per month. Then things sort of settled down and I think my weight stayed about the same, although it has continued to drop but at a much slower rate.
The last visit to the physician I weighed 171 and he thought I'd dropped enough weight, telling me it was time to add a few pounds, which I've been trying to do. Just prior to taking the photo I weighed myself on a balance-type scale (ie, that is, an accurate scale) and my weight was 174. that's when I got the idea of posing in the same place as I did for the September photo, the result of which you can see above. And just for kicks, I went back into the blog and pasted the above photo onto the end of the report in which I posted the original. ( ie, 'Cancer Report 02' dtd 28 September 2008 )
I've got a major medical conference coming up in a few days and I've got a hunch it will contain a bit of good news, in that the tumor appears to be backing down; the chemotherapy is working. I know I'm feeling a bit better although I don't have much appetite. I'm doing some exercises, trying to improve my physical condition so I can spend more time in the shop.
There's no 'cure' for Multiple Myeloma -- in the long run it always wins -- but if the drugs can keep it from spreading... and if I can endure the drugs... there's a good chance that I will be able to slowly resume my usual activities, although at a slower pace than before. Then too, cancer is a very tricky little bastard when it comes to adaptation. Given enough time, the tumor will get used to the drugs, develop a resistance to them, and begin to grow anew. How long that takes is anyone's guess but it's virtually a sure-thing that it WILL happen -- that's what this brand of cancer is known for. When that happens they will begin experimenting with a mix of new drugs and increasing the dosages of the old ones. The ability of the cancer to develop a tolerance to ANY drug is a given; what they need to find out is how well I can tolerate the new drugs & higher dosages.
All in all, it isn't a very happy picture but it's a step up from a funeral notice.
What I'm hoping for is a bit more TIME. I need time to finish the projects I've started, and to get several partially assembled engines out of the shop.
NOTE: 8 JANUARY 2009:
One of my physicians called this afternoon. He had just received the computerized output of my blood tests from Monday, the 6th. The results were more than he had hoped for and he was giving me a sneak preview. -- rsh