We put more miles on our vehicles than I can count this year. Had to put a $7000 engine on one that blew on the Ohio Turnpike, spent many a dollar at Bob Evans, and many a night at the Red Roof Inn. We probably have spent more time together in the last year, then most married people spend alone together in years.
This last Friday started as many do-very early. I got up at 4am to gift wrap orders, and do my shipping before we headed to Ohio State for Mikes CT scan, and treatment. We left our home at 5am, and arrived to have his port accessed, and blood drawn at 8:30. This was followed by his CT scan, wait to see the doctor, and finally his immunotherapy transfusion. The days are very very long. We usually do the CT scan one day, and spend the night,and get the results the next day. However, Mike is out of both sick time, and vacation time and we had to do the whole thing in one day. They are very accommodating, and the trial coordinator does what she can to get the scans read, and the reports to the Dr so that we can get out at a reasonable time.
The results were well worth waiting for! The Dr is absolutely thrilled with how things are going! His tumor has shrunk significantly since the last scan. She said it measured 5 centimeters x 6.9 centimeters the last time, and is now 4 centimeters by 6 centimeters! Is is nothing short of a miracle. The keytruda is stimulating his immune system, and his body is responding! He is up to 161 pounds, and is eating everything he wants!
He was able to have treatment 17, and we were sent on our way around 4pm. We drove on down the road to Pennsylvania, and spent the night at a Red Roof Inn, before getting up Saturday and driving to West Virginia to spend a few hours with his kids before driving home 6 hrs last night. The schedule is brutal. It is exhausting. It is so worth it!
At treatment 16 they measured his testosterone levels, and realized they are really low. This is common I guess with the immunotherapy drugs, and can lead to exhaustion, lack of muscle mass, and some other side effects. This would explain his exhaustion, and how his legs sometimes feel like they are filled with lead. They gave him a script for some cream, which took the insurance company 10 days to approve. We finally got it approved, and we are looking forward to it helping him to get his energy levels back, and hope it will alleviate his exhaustion somewhat.
As for me, I am starting to physically see the man I fell in love with again. We are starting to plan further out than tomorrow. I am starting to feel like I can do more than slap a label on a box,and throw it in the mailbox with my business again. I picked up a training module I havn’t looked at since March the other day, and actually listened to one of the modules. Grief, fear, and stress have been my constant companions for a year. Hope, love, and gratitude have pushed them down and I am feeling better every day.
This year was awful. Between Mikes dad passing from Lung Cancer, and Mike almost losing his life in May we have really struggled. Through out the year though.. we travelled those miles every 2 weeks. We drove thru the grief, pain, and sadness looking for the cure at the end. We survived on love, and the Capitol One credit card, but we made it to the end of the year. For us, these miles have proven to lead to a miracle.