Monday – Brunch with friends. The perfect way to start any week, I think.
Tuesday – First day of school! Parker is excited to have fun new school supplies and the same teacher as last year. Grant goes back reluctantly – he is unimpressed with new binders and pencils, but he has done his reflection on the cancer book and completed the math review packet. Dave has worked all summer but it’s different, of course, when the students are there. I went back to work last week and am excited to see the building teeming with kids. I have the best teaching job on the planet. Once again I would like to say how much I love what I do. Also, part time? Perfect.
Wednesday – The day reality sets in and we realize that we have to do it all over again for 190 days or so.
Thursday – Scan day for Dave. This scan feels huge to me. Almost as huge as the very first one. Dave has been off of systemic chemo since early June so it will let us know what, if anything, has been going on. We know his liver tumors have been under attack from the Sirspheres, but this will let us know if the lung tumors have remained stable. The usual requests apply here for positive thoughts, good vibes, prayers. Dave will have a PET scan or MRI in the next few weeks to determine how effective the Sirspheres procedure was. Also, Sammi comes home!
Friday – Sam has an appointment with the orthopedist to check on her arm and hopefully have the cast removed. She will be very happy to be known as just “Sam” on campus instead of “Sam, the girl with the purple cast”. I am hoping she will stick around for the weekend, but I don’t want to put any pressure on her. If she wants to head back to campus, then that’s a good thing too.
Perhaps the most annoying two syllables in the english language? You are telling me to relax? Do you know what is going on in my life right now? No? Okay, then hush.
After Dave’s appointment this morning, I attempted to drop off Sammi’s MRI CD at the orthopedist’s office. They wouldn’t take it. They wouldn’t talk to me because now Sammi is 18. Frustrating but I tried to be understanding. I asked if I could just leave it and perhaps the doctor could take a look and let us know if there was anything we needed to do before my child heads off for three weeks. Nope. Eventually after some sighs of annoyance and a few glares, the receptionist went back asked the doctor if there was anything they could do. Because they “know me”, they gave me a wink and a nod and said “we saw something on the scan but Samantha should be fine to head off on vacation as long as she wears the splint.” As I was leaving, the receptionist told me to “relax”. I kept walking. Had I turned around, I might have thrown something at her.
Dave’s appointment went fine. We now have a new plan of action. I feel like it is aggressive which I like. He is going to start on a third line treatment called Vectibix. It is infused for an hour every other week. Many of the side effects should be more manageable than those he is currently experiencing. There is a dreaded side effect that involves a skin rash, but I am hopeful this will be minimal. In addition to the Vectibix, Dave will also go in on Monday to meet with a radiation oncologist to discuss Y90. Y90 is a procedure in which they inject microspheres that find their way to the liver to radiate the tumors. (Okay, obviously I didn’t go to medical school but this is my basic understanding of the procedure!) For me, it is a relief that we have two ways to attack the cancer right now.
Tomorrow is graduation. And then All Night Grad Party. I will be there from midnight to 5AM, if you are looking for me.
I tend to think of songs that relate to events or words. Today we got an email from Dave’s doctor that told us a little, but overall I felt like we didn’t know very much. So naturally this is the first thing that popped into my head…
Anyway, on to the real news. The brief email Dave got said that his lung tumors were stable (good news) but that the liver tumors had shown growth (not such good news). In the whole scheme of things, I think we are feeling relieved. I was happy to hear that there were no tumors in any new locations. It will be helpful to read the actual scan report and see all the details. We will go in on Thursday to discuss treatment options. Dave is dreading some of the available chemo drugs and their side effects, but he is also in the slim margin of people who don’t lose their hair on his current regimen. So, hopefully he will again be able to defy the odds and escape some of the ickier side effects of any future drugs.
On a different medical note, Sammi’s wrist is still given her trouble so she goes in for an MRI tomorrow. The scheduler at the radiology place was an angel. The only available appointment was Friday a few hours before graduation but I took it because I didn’t really have a choice. She called me back later and had saved me a better appointment time for tomorrow at a different location. She could have hung up and not given us another thought but she didn’t. Small kindnesses.