The Home Stretch

9 treatments down, only 3 to go.  I can see the end in sight, and it’s about time!  The last few chemo Tuesdays have been pretty rough – I’ve felt pretty sick, and last week I threw up for the first time.  I’m not feeling so great right now, but I took my anti-nausea medicine as soon as I got home (about 10 minutes ago), and I can take it again in 6 hours, so hopefully I’ll be OK this week.

On the upside, the doctor got back results from a CT scan and a pulmonary function test (PFT) that I got last week, and they’re both good.  According to the CT scans the lymph nodes are continuing to shrink, which is a relief.  I’ve been having a little bit of back pain the last few weeks, which was one of the major symptoms of lymphoma at the beginning, so I was a little worried that maybe the lymph nodes were growing again.  The back pain is probably just caused by the Neulasta I’m taking, which grows white blood cells (and every shot of which, the doctor informed me today, costs $2,000).

I took a PFT before beginning chemo so that we could compare my lung function before to my lung function after, since one of the drugs I’m taking (Bleomycin) can cause lung damage.  In a PFT, you sit in a little booth and they have you breathe into a tube in various fun ways, like with slow deep breaths, then short fast breaths, or hyperventilating breaths.  Then you inhale some kind of medicine and do it again.  My lung function before chemo was “super-normal” (I think because I have a freakishly large lung capacity), and apparently the results for my test last week were almost identical to those from before.  So, Bleomycin does not seem to be killing my lungs.

I’m really looking forward to when I’m done chemo and can have more than one good week in a row – as I think I’ve mentioned before, it’s a little tiresome to get into the swing of things only to have that interrupted by several days of feeling kind of gross and tired.  But looking back (and looking forward), I’ve been really lucky – almost every good week I’ve had something to do, usually preaching or high school chapel, and I’ve already got the next two weeks scheduled – high school chapel next week, Sunday Night Thing the week after that.  I preached in Kempton on Sunday, and I loved it.  They had Autumn Weekends after church, and so I got to eat delicious food in the company of a lot of really nice people.  It was a great Sunday.

And today I was excited about “Abbey Road” being released for Beatles Rock Band.  They hadn’t released it when Sylvia came over to play Rock Band at 10:30 this morning, so I put in Rock Band 2, only to discover that they just released 10 Queen songs, which are a heckuva lot of fun to play and sing.  With those plus the new Beatles stuff, I think it’s going to be a fun, Rock Band-filled week.

5 Responses to “The Home Stretch”

  1. Alison Says:

    Here’s me making rude comments on your lymphoma blog. When do the rest of us get two good weeks in a row. I get tired weeks and better weeks too. Sometimes its the evil homework’s fault, but more often it’s my “friends” kidnapping me and taking me to Dunkin Donuts that never closes. Grrr. Just kidding.

    I’m SO glad you are almost through! I’m sorry to hear that treatments have been harder and the back pain coming back is worrisome! Yeah, it matters what’s causing it, but back pain is still really annoying whatever the reason.

    Hey, and invite me over to play Rockband! (oh, wait, I always have homework)

  2. Janice Says:

    Thanks, for the update. We have been thinking of you. We are happy with you that things are looking good….and hope you are feeling better by now…you are in the home stretch now. YEAH!!!. Soon back on with your life, after this brief unexpected interlude.

  3. Becky Says:

    I like you. I hate your cancer. I’m glad that it’s dead and dying. We should do a victory dance when it’s all done, and stick your cancer’s head on a pike by the road as a warning to what awaits any other cancers if they dare show themselves in the area.

    Also, I want to play this rockband device with you in the near future, it’s been too freaking long. Also, the world.

  4. mary Says:

    Hi Coleman
    wish you were here in perth:) you helped us a lot with that counselling. Hope all is going well:)

    Love Mary

  5. Piyush Says:

    Hey man, keep it up… had the same treatment plus the radiotherapy for head and neck.. my PET shows no trace of disease. The troubles are just temporary…. (Lol@2000$ per shot… the whole treatment including the 15 radio would be round bout tht amt in India.)

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