During the year of 2004 I was very busy with the completion of our apartment building. The fire codes required that we install 5/8 inch sheetrock on all walls with a double thickness on the ceilings. I purchased a lift that allowed the rock to be lifted with a hand crank to the 10 and 12-foot high ceilings. I hired a local carpenter and during a short period we hung more than 80 tons of sheetrock.
I felt very good and did not notice that I was losing weight. By late August I was suffering with heartburn and decided to start to see a family doctor. In early September the pain in the chest caused me to check in at the emergency room. Heavy chest pains are considered a heart problem by the emergency room staff so complete tests were made including a chest x-ray that had to be repeated because they could not read the first one. The doctors found something they did not like so I was held over in the hospital for a stress test the next day. The end result was a prescription for heartburn.
A few days later I drove to Washington to pick up my wife, Vera, at Dulles Airport. During the drive I noticed that my legs were getting much more numb than during previous trips. To overcome this problem I had to stop after each hour of driving to walk around the car. When Vera first saw me she noticed the weight loss and remembered that her sister had the same look just before she died from cancer.
I was scheduled for a test for colon cancer on October 12, 2004. I had severe heartburn so I asked for an inspection of my stomach using the probe down the throat. When I arrived at the hospital my voice was almost gone. The stomach doctor was worried about this and ordered a CT Scan of the chest.
He found nothing wrong in the colon and the scan showed no problems. I had an infection in the stomach so the doctor prescribed an antibiotic and an antacid.
My family doctor arranged a test with an ENT doctor and this confirmed that the vocal cord was paralyzed. This doctor said at least 20% of the time they could not find a reason the vocal cord paralyzed and set up another appointment in six months.
In mid November I had a sore throat and was coughing up blood. My family doctor was off duty but returned my call. I gave him the symptoms BUT did not tell him that I had just completed taking antibiotics. He prescribed another antibiotic and this seemed to solve the throat problem. The digestive problem got worse and I blamed this on too much strong medicine.
The flu shot was in very short supply and I felt that a shot was necessary in the situation. I checked myself into the ER for an exam and with the hope of obtaining a flu shot. The ER doctor was not pleased that I was there for that purpose and could do nothing about the flu shot. He said that he was obligated to put me through set of tests to determine why the vocal cord was paralyzed. I signed a release and did not complete the tests that probably would have found the tumor.
In January 2005 I was very busy getting the rental operation up and running. I was not feeling well but we thought the heavy antibiotics had destroyed the good bacteria in the digestive system. Vera helped me with yogurt, buttermilk and a soft diet. The health did improve and I was able to increase my activity completing the startup up the apartment rental operation.
By early February the numbness in the legs was worse so I asked my doctor to schedule an appointment with a neurologist because the vascular doctors had determined that the circulation was excellent. This exam showed that I had Peripheral Neuropathy. I hoped this doctor would address the vocal cord problem but suggested an ENT doctor.
By early March I noticed that I could not carry firewood due to shortness of breath and coughing up a little blood was more frequent. I decided to schedule an examination by the doctor that takes care of Vera's ear. He felt that the CT Scan was not enough to understand the problem and asked my family doctor to order another scan that included the brain.
I read the report from the radiologist before my family doctor received it. It said in simple terms that there was something there that they did not see in the October scan. Passing the blame back to my family doctor they suggested a detailed scan to look at this problem. My doctor was upset with the hint that he had not ordered the correct procedure. He scheduled a new scan as soon as I could drive the place. Instructions were that I was to wait for the report and the film.
The radiology report was dated April 1,2005.
ADENOPATHY "There is a large soft tissue mass at the level of the aorticopulmonary window extending into the left hilum. This mass encases the left main pulmonary artery and produces a nearly complete occlusion of this structure. Overall the mass measures approximately 3.5 x 4.5 cm. There are adjacent lymph nodes visible also."
LUNGS "The lungs appear to be well aerated. In spite of the marked constriction of the pulmonary artery and some involvement of the left main bronchi there is no appreciable atelectasis (collapse) or consolidation peripherally."
PLEURA "A small amount of pleural thickening is noted at the right mid lung field. No significant fluid is seen."
A procedure was scheduled to have a lung doctor exam me and take samples of the tumor.
On April 5, 2005 the lung doctor told me that the pathology report was that the tumors were cancer. The type was non small cell squamous type.
A series of tests were preformed on the lungs and they were found to be clear and had a capacity of 80%. (Excellent for a 74 year old man that had smoked for many years.)
During a discussion of things to come I asked about the tumor closing the artery. He told me that if radiation did not shrink the tumor then it was possible to put stint in the artery to buy time.
FOR SURE I STOPPED SMOKING THAT DAY.
The cancer was classified as stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Squamous Cancer. It was non operable because the tumor encased the main artery.
A series of scans determined that the cancer had not spread to other parts of the body.
The size of the tumor required the doctors to classify this as III and the location around the artery made it a B. All other factors made this cancer easier to cure. My health and attitude were also positive factors.
From the first moment that I understood that I had cancer I did not consider curing the tumor a difficult task. The only problem I had was that my wife did not drive and our 1991 Chrysler New Yorker had an electrical failure and there were parts to repair it in the market place.
Our cash flow situation was reasonable but I did not have enough cash to take care of Vera if I did not live long enough to make the proper arrangements. I set up a $200,000 line of credit against the houses and put some cash in Vera's safe deposit box just in case.
I needed a good used car and the local Dodge dealer sold me a used Dodge for $5000 on my credit card. The motor in this car failed before I drove it 60 miles. When I took it in for service they informed me that the engine was no good and it would cost $6000 to repair it. The management took the position that the car was sold "as is" and no help was offered. After they understood that the local TV knew me and that I had a story that connected to Peter Jennings they decided to give me a full refund. I bought a new but small Dodge car using 100% financing and all was well.
Appointments were scheduled with radiation and chemotherapy doctors. The first doctor seen was Doctor Eric Kuehn http://www.wellness.com/dir/2396275/oncologist/nc/asheville/eric-kuehn-mountain-radiation-oncology-pa-md
at Mountain Radiation Oncology located on the first floor of Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. After a brief discussion he sent me into treatment room to exactly locate the tumor with marks on my chest. A form was made to exactly locate my body under the radiation head. I determined that my costs using Medicare would be less around $1500 for this treatment. The first session was scheduled on the following Monday morning.
The next day I met Doctor Christopher Chay http://www.cancercareofwnc.com/content.aspx?section=yourteam&id=33412 at Cancer Care of WNC http://www.cancercareofwnc.com/ located in one of the buildings on the Mission Hospital campus. He offered a trial treatment to start in his building the following Monday morning but had to withdraw the offer because I had neuropathy.
Vera was upset because I was being sent to an outpatient center that Mission operated in the Biltmore section of Asheville. I determined that costs for these treatments and CT Scans would be less than $3500.
Vera was able to pass her oral drivers license tests with me as her translator. Driving instructions were scheduled for three sessions per week. Bank accounts were opened in Vera's name and she learned how to write checks and open her safe deposit box.
Treatments were started in late April 2005.
I asked my sister and a friend from childhood to share the Monday morning task of driving me to treatments for seven weeks.
I felt good enough to drive the morning of the first treatment but did not know if side effect of the treatment would hinder my ability to drive so my sister drove. The radiation was scheduled for 8AM but was delayed due to problem with their machine. The staff was very efficient and friendly and once the treatment begins it takes less than five minutes. The first day they put tattoos so the marks would be permanent. To save time they drew blood for test. This must be done before each chemotherapy treatment to be sure the parameters are correct.
The advanced care center had at least thirty stations for intravenous fluid treatments. The nurses are located in a center island that is the business center for treatments. This place treats all types of patients including many pregnant women that required fluids. The staff was very busy and the whole place was interactive and pleasant place.
I drove my car to the daily (33) radiation treatments except on Monday. I was upbeat with the staff of both groups. I continued to joke that the treatments could not make me sick. The only problem was dizzy spells due to very low blood pressure and lack of fluids in my system. I gained about 12 pounds during the treatments. (I lost a lot of body strength.)
The last radiation treatment was on June 9, 2005.
(Carboplatin, Paclitaxel were given at low levels.)
Two weeks after treatments a CT SCAN determined that the situation was nearly resolved.
Vera looked at the film but I did not want to understand the details of my cancer at that time. The Dr. Chay recommended three more stronger chemotherapy treatments to kill any cells that might remain. Vera completed her driving test and received her drivers license the next day.
I convinced Vera it was time for her to fly for her annual three-month visit to see friends and family in Moscow. She was concerned about the pending chemotherapy treatments. I told her that I had not decided to take these treatments. For years we drove to Washington for a direct flight on Aeroflot but my condition would not allow the drive. Tickets were purchased from Asheville to a connecting flight to Moscow.
Cancer Care let my appointment for additional treatments fall through the cracks. My son, Kenneth, had a massive stroke during this period and taking care of this situation took most of my time. I started the additional chemotherapy a week before he passed on. Before starting I was examined by my neuropathy doctor and on balance it was concluded that taking the treatments was the lesser of two evils.
I drove myself to these treatments. My wife was not aware that I was taking strong treatments. (Carboplatin, Paclitaxel were given at higher levels.)
After my son died the side effects caused me to start losing hair. To hide this I shaved my face and head. I called my wife and she returned home in late August because I was having considerably more problems with dizzy spells and loss of stability due to increased neuropathy that had become worse due to chemotherapy. In early September I had to call 911 because my blood pressure was around 75/50 and I was very dizzy. They determined that the fluids in my body were very low and gave me an IV of water. I learned that coffee and tea did not count when attempting to get water in my system.
In October 2005 I had another CT Scan and the small nodule seen in June was no longer seen and all was stable.
There was a 50% chance that this type cancer would move to the brain. I was offered a trial where the brain would be radiated in the hope of killing any small cancer cells before they became a tumor. You can find this on Google by searching RTOG 0214. Fifty percent of those selected would be radiated and fifty percent would be observed for the rest of their life. I am in the observation pool and therefore have been tested much more than an ordinary patient.
There were four CT Scans and one PET scan in 2006 and everything remained stable. My neuropathy improved after some physical therapy. I was not 100% back with my strength but accomplish all the necessary tasks including some manual labor at times.
I was able to sit in a car a drive at least two hours before my legs and feet require me to get out and walk around a little while. This has been steadily improving.
The CT scan on January 22,2007 showed a 2x6 mm nodular area along the pleural surface of the lung. The radiologist could not be sure that this is a new finding. The cancer doctor informed me that it was not very scary and too small for a biopsy. The doctor scheduled scans every six weeks to keep an eye on this finding. The radiologist opinion was: "No definite metastatic disease identified."
All other medical items were in the GREEN.
On March 7,2007 another detailed CT scan was completed. The small nodule was NOT seen in this scan. The overall impression of this scan was it was a stable examination. All other medical signs remained in the green.
Dr. Chay set the next test for October but for a chest x-ray and the brain CT scan as required by the trial. The results of these tests were positive. For all practical purposes I am considered cured. The next chest x-ray is scheduled for April 2008.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous cells are formed from reserve cells, which are round cells that replace injured or damaged cells in the lining (the epithelium) of the bronchi, the major airways. Tumors formed from squamous cells are usually found in the center of the lung, either in a major lobe or in one of the main airway branches. They may grow to large sizes and form cavities in the lungs.
When squamous cell cancer metastasizes, it may travel to the bone, adrenal glands, liver, small intestine, and brain.
Squamous cell carcinoma is nearly always caused by smoking and used to be the most common cancer. It still makes up between 25% and 40% of all lung cancers.
Many randomized studies of patients with non-operable stage III Non Small Cell Lung Cancer show that treatment with concurrent cisplatin-based chemotherapy and chest irradiation is associated with improved survival compared with treatment that uses radiation therapy alone.
An analysis of patient data from 11 randomized clinical trials showed that cisplatin-based combinations plus radiation therapy resulted in a 10% reduction in the risk of death compared with radiation therapy alone.
ANOTHER LUNG CANCER SHOWED UP IN MAY 2008.
April 10, 2008
Met with Dr. Chay of Cancer Care. A review of the current chest X-Ray and other medical information showed that the cancer that was treated in 2005 had not come back.
Dr. Chay agreed to order a therapy for swallowing and voice at Care Partners. The first appointment was around 20 April. Voice tests showed a little reduction in speech quality but no real reduction in swallow capacity. The first two treatments used heat and massage to relieve the stress on the main throat muscles.
By the third session it was noted that a deep breath to support voice caused a small cough. We both agreed that my cutting of large amounts of grass without a mask was causing excessive Hay Fever. It was agreed to suspend the treatments until the breathing problem was solved. A nurse at my family doctors examined me and did not find any lung problem but did give me prescription for an inhaler.
My physical activity continued normal until May 16. That morning one of my tasks was to move the large container of household garbage up to the dumpster. I had to stop four times to catch my breath. I visited Cancer Care that morning to have a quick check up. They found that my blood oxygen was its normal 99% but it dropped to 87% during a walking test. They sent me to the hospital for a CT Scan type that was looking for a blood clot. They found a large amount of fluid in the right lung.
When I woke up the next morning (Saturday) I noted a shortness of breath during any physical activity. The 'on duty' doctor at Cancer Care first agreed that I should call 911 for a procedure at the hospital to remove the fluid. He told me to rest for a while until he consulted with a lung doctor. We all agreed that I was fine if I remained at rest.
An appointment was arranged with Dr. Hellreich on Monday May 19. The procedure to remove the fluid was a little scary at first but it was painless and took less than 15 minutes. The container of fluid looked like grapefruit juice. It measured 1.7 liters. The lungs were X-rayed after the fluid was removed. I felt good right away and was able to resume normal physical activities that day.
The fluid was sent to pathology where it was determined that cancer cells existed. Non-small cell carcinoma. I met with Dr. Chay on May 22. I assumed that since we found the new cancer early that it would be staged low. It was staged 3B since it was in the fluids. The statistics for survival were again bleak just like the first cancer in 2005. The treatment possibilities were (1) do nothing (2) oral medicines or (3) chemotherapy. I chose chemotherapy.
I was very short of breath on May 26 and went to the emergency room. During tests I could not maintain 90% blood oxygen level without the use of oxygen. An X-ray reveled that the fluids were about the same as the amount on May 22. The ER doctor approved my request for home oxygen and it was delivered that night.
The first dose of Docetaxel plus Carboplatin was received on May 28. All my vital signs and blood tests were 'green'. The schedule was set as three weeks on with one week off for rest.
On May 29 an X-ray found fluids that were about the same as the first x-ray taken on May19.
On May 31 (weekend) I called the 'on-duty' doctor at Cancer Care (Dr. Chay) because I was constipated. He told me to use MiraLAX and if that did not work to use Senekot-S.
On June 2 Dr. Hellreich removed about 2.5 liters (lung three quarters full) from the right lung. He first attempted the lower section but was unable to drain from that area. He moved to a higher location to take all the fluid he could. I became very uncomfortable holding back a cough so he stopped. An X-ray was taken after the procedure. We discussed a procedure of putting powder in the cavity to stop the fluid buildup.
June 4 was my second Docetaxel Chemo with all vital signs and blood samples in the Green. I asked the nurses what to use for a serious non-productive cough that was waking me during the night. They told me to use Mucinex DM as directed. I started taking four of those large tablets per day on that date.
The X-ray taken by Dr. Hellreich on June 9 showed a marked reduction in the increase of fluids. I assumed that the two Chemo doses were working. He did not disagree with my assumption.
June 11 was my third Docetaxel Chemo with all markers in the green. During the final 10% of the drops I became faint. The medical crew started measuring all signs. They gave me some antihistamine and steroids and a bag of water. Later they completed the drops without problems.
Statistics are not on my side to live very long with this type cancer. I did not tell Vera about the little hiccup during Chemo because I wanted her to get to Moscow as soon as possible to arrange banking and to purchase a place to live. She is ALONE here and I doing my best to arrange things so she can look after herself without me here. I took her to the airport and she departed on June 15.
The morning of June 16 I went to Cancer Care to solve some problems. I told the on duty nurse http://www.cancercareofwnc.com/content.aspx?section=yourteam&id=40584 that the Mucinex was working for the cough but I was having a hard time swallowing them plus diarrhea was the side effect that I was fighting with Imodium. They gave me a prescription for Gani-tuss.
The evening of June 16 I felt weak so I called 911 to take me to the ER for fluids due to the diarrhea. The doctors gave me two bags of water and plan to master the problem.
I realized that I was my worst enemy. I was drinking several 300 calorie chocolate flavored containers of 'Ensure' per day. This is a 'no-no' for diarrhea cures.
On June 17 I contacted Dr. Chay's nurse and we worked out a diet to solve the problem.
The X-ray of June 19 showed a REDUCTION of fluids below the level when they were drained on June 2. Dr. Hellreich scheduled a procedure at the hospital using ultra sound to remove all the remaining fluids. He thought that a procedure to put powder in the cavity would not be necessary.
On June 23 Dr. Hellreich used the ultra sound equipment at the hospital to locate the proper position to remove most or all the fluids in the right lung. The amount removed was 1.4 liters and it was not thick and showed no signs of blood. A series of X-rays were taken to show the current situation.
On June 23 I noted that hair from my head and face being lost. I shaved the head and face. This date I also noted swelling in my feet caused by the Chemo. The foot swelling was a SERIOUS situation because it led to a blood clot that moved to my lung later. I did not report this swelling to the doctors or nurses.
Dr. Chay reviewed the total situation on June 25. My general health reaction to the current chemotherapy especially the side effect of diarrhea and weight loss led him to suggest a change of the chemotherapy to Alimta. He also ordered a shot of vitamin B-12 for this Chemo. Pemetrexed (Alimta) is a less-toxic alternative for this situation. NOTE!!!! Later I found a FDA advisor made on September 8,2008 that Altima was not indicated for treatment of squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer!!!!!
Dr. Chay did not make the connection of the reduction of fluid build up in the lung with my assumption that the three chemotherapy doses were shrinking the cancer. Lung cancer doctors must rely on the AWFUL statistic of survival of their patients with this type of cancer. He will wait for future health signs and CT Scans before he can see the future better.
On June 26 my situation improved because my blood oxygen was 99%. Eating normal foods plus Ensure should allow me to build all the weight loss in a short time. My bowel movements were under control.
On June 29 my blood pressure measured about 200/90 with a pulse rate in excess of 120. The body temperature was also elevated. I use 911 again and two quick tests included an X-Ray and CT scan. Dr. Chay was at the hospital and ordered me to stay overnight to start the procedure to remove all the fluids and put powder in the space. The tap was made on June 30 with over night drainage in my room. On the afternoon of July 1 the powder was inserted. Most of the fluids were removed by July 2 but the held me one additional day to test the amount of fluid produced. On July 3 I was released to go home.
On July 4th I spent some time with my daughter Patty. On July 5 the owner of Rockbridge visited and we had a good lunch at the Green Tea Restaurant. On July 6 Care Partners sent a Home Nurse to look at my situation. Good or bad he gave me advise that was in conflict with my understanding of my efforts to build up strength. Bottom line I was too healthy to require home care.
On July 7 I visited my sister to help me work out a plan for taking medicines and eating. The main battle at that moment was a non-productive cough plus no appetite. During that visit my body temperature rose to in excess of 104 degrees. Dr. Chay ordered Augmemtin 875 MG to be taken two times per pay for ten days. He also set up an appointment with his head nurse the next morning.
On July 8 I met with the head nurse at Cancer Care. http://www.cancercareofwnc.com/content.aspx?section=yourteam&id=40578 She was concerned that my situation might include phenomena in the empty space at the bottom of my right lung. Blood samples were drawn but time ran out to complete the lung X-Ray. Visited Verizon to purchase Verizon Wireless so I could be on line from places outside my home and office. That evening the wireless was set up at my sister's house on the laptop. I was portable.
The nurse wrote a prescription for Dronabinol to improve my appetite. This drug is in a class of medications called cannabinoids. It works by affecting the area of the brain that controls appetite.
Overnight the medicine and home cooking got me on the healing side. The X-Ray on July 9 showed a congestive area but did not indicate phenomena. The nurse set my objective to be ready for another round of chemotherapy on July 16.
The next two days I used the privacy of my home to smoke a little medicine to improve the appetite and it worked. It was a learning process that I did not get good at but it worked. The pills did their job later.
My oldest granddaughter arrived on July 11 and departed on July13. I feel like I am wining but it is a tough battle.
I continued to improve the calorie and protein input until July 16. My blood tests showed a major improvement so they were able to start the Alimta Chemo treatment. The Carboplatin caused me stress near the end of its treatments but they were able to quickly recover me and complete the dose. 1st Altima dose.
On July 19 I went to the ER for a series of tests. The ER doctor found nothing wrong and sent me home. That evening it was apparent that something was VERY WRONG. I asked for (Dr. Friedman) and received a direct admission. I credit Friedman's decision and help as LIFE SAVING. He started the medicines before the CT scan confirmed the clots. http://www.cancercareofwnc.com/content.aspx?section=yourteam&id=33411
I was confined to the hospital while they stabilized the clots with Lovenox injections and blood thinners. I was released to home care on July 23.
Medicines at home continued under Home Care that included two Lovenox shots per day plus Warfarin blood thinner in the evening.
I woke up the morning of July 26 feeling great. The blood sample taken that morning showed that I was in balance and the effects of clots and blood Oxygen was much improved. The Lovenox shots were stopped and Oxygen was no longer required. I started to drive and was able to catch up on things like banking etc. I carried oxygen in the car just in case.
I read an article that I found on the internet that gave me some hope that the life could be extended because Talcum powder in the lung produced a chemical that slowed the growth of tumors in the lungs. I found that this study had not received additional funding because Talcum could not be patented and NO treatment has not been approved by the FDA, insurance or Medicare unless a drug has been submitted by a drug company. (lots of money) http://www.ioa.com/~zero/113-Talcumpowder.htm
Time will tell.
The nurses gave me instructions on reducing the vitamin K in the food intake to reduce the amount of Warfarin required for blood thinning. As of August 6 I my range of tests for blood thinning was correct using a 5-7.5 mg dose on alternate days until the next test on August 12.
It was decided to restart Chemo on August 6. I was ready. The CT scans have not yet found tumors. As of now there are no signs of cancer.
The premeds and Altima dose #2
were completed in 40 minutes without any stress. The Carboplatin drops were started and in a very short time a severe stress occurred and it was very difficult to recover. It was decided that my system WOULD NOT allow this treatment. This means I have lost one bullet in my gun to fight the cancer.
The next Chemo on August 27 was without problems. Altima dose #3.
The results of the CT Scan completed on September 3 showed the powder in the lung but no cancer tumors.
The next Alimta dose #4 Chemo on Sep 17 was without problems. I drove myself to this session.
Vera arrived at the airport after midnight on October 4. My brother drove me in the new van to pick her up.
The next Altima dose #5 Chemo on October 8 without problems. I drove to this session.
There was a chest X-ray and Brain scan on October 13. This was part of the trial I joined in 2005. I drove to this session.
The results of the X-ray only showed previous radiation scaring and the brain scan was negative. A physical exam by Dr. Chay found no lymph swelling or any unusual noises in the lungs. Vera and my sister were present and again Chay gave a report that chances for curing this cancer was bleak.
The final Altima dose #6 Chemo was on October 29,2008
A CT Scan was completed November 20.
On November 24,2008 Dr Chay told me that some items that indicted cancer was growing in the lungs showed up on the film. It was decided that we would wait for a PET scan before deciding on the treatment.
The PET scan was completed on December 3 but I did not see Dr Chay until December 15. He ordered another type Chemo (GEMZAR) and the first dose was completed on December 17. http://www.ioa.com/~zero/112-Gemzar.htm
The second Gemzar was on December 24.
Walking from the parking lot to the treatment room is about 200 feet and I was very short of breath. The young lady in charge of taking vitals placed me on 2.5 liters of oxygen. The head nurse examined me and determined that I would be able to continue the intravenous CHEMO (GEMZAR) that Dr Chay had ordered.
The head nurse asked me to continue the oxygen to improve and rest the lungs. She also ordered a breathing machine and medicines to improve the lungs. (Ipratropium Bromide and Albuteral Sulfate) Two times per day.
The side effect of Gemzar was a severe constipation. Cancer Care asked me to take three doses of two stool softeners along with MiraLAX during an eight hour period. This worked to solve the problem.
The next Gemzar (#3) was on January 7 and the side effect was again constipation. I repeated the laxative treatment.
Gemzar #4 was completed January 14. I repeated the laxative treatment.
There were changes in the results of the blood thinner medication (Coumadin) Wafarin sodium tablets. Normally the tests for this medication is every three weeks but weekly during this phase to adjust the dose.
A CT Scan and blood thinner test was completed January 23. Vera departed to Moscow on January 24. My sister drove to the airport but I was able to assist her at the airport using portable oxygen.
Results of the CT scan on January 28 showed the tumors had not increased in size in two months.
Dose #5 of Gemzar was on January 28. The only side effect was constipation.
Dose #6 of Gemzar was on February 4. The only side effect was constipation.
Dose #7 of Gemzar was on February 18. The only side effect was the constipation.
Dose #8 of Gemzar was completed on February 25. The only side effect was the constipation.
A CT was completed on March 4. On March 11 Dr. Chay found that the tumors remained stable (but were not shrinking). Dose #9 was completed this date without problems.
The plan is another dose on March 18. There will be a week rest with the final two doses in April.
I was not able to complete the treatment due to a rapid change in the fight to slow down the rumor. On April 5 I became a full time member of the Hospice family. It will not be long now. I put up on hell of a fight and go out happy. It was good that Vera was able was able to find a house in Moscow.