A Very Good Email
A lot has happened.
Eric’s 4th cycle of chemo was more intense than even our worst case predictions. There were 3 straight days when Eric didn’t move out of bed except to use the bathroom. It was too painful for Eric to eat. He told me he was in so much pain that he was hallucinating. I felt incredibly helpless watching him lay there in extreme pain, wasting away because he couldn’t eat.
Eric also became severely neutropenic which put him at high risk for infection. At one point we got all packed to go to the ER as Eric’s fever got close to 100.4, the magic number for an ER visit. But fortunately we never needed to go.
Miraculously, after 2.5 bad weeks, Eric started feeling better a few days before his 5th cycle of chemo. Or maybe it’s not so miraculous and I should give the doctors who designed this treatment more credit. Either way, I’m grateful that Eric can swallow again pain-free and has managed to put back on some of the weight he lost when he couldn’t eat. We’ve tried to make the most of Eric’s few good days by spending time as a family. We went out to eat, did normal stuff like supermarket shopping, and even managed to take Bryn swimming.
The latest news is that Eric had a PET/CT scan last week to tell us how well the treatment is working so far. We are waiting for the full results but today Eric received an email from his oncologist with the subject line “Pristine PET/CT” and email body that just said “Congrats Eric!” So, it looks like we are indeed killing Eric’s cancer.
Eric still has to finish up the rest of the treatments (2 more cycles to go) because there are potentially still a few remaining cancer cells that need to be killed off to make sure this never comes back. But mentally it’s huge for him (and me) to get confirmation that everything is working. Physically we’ve also seen his lymph node tumors shrink down to nothing so, even prior to these results, we had every reason to believe the treatment was working. The confirmation from the PET/CT scan is icing on the cake (or hummus on the vegetables since we eat all healthy now).
So, after all these bad emails, we finally got a good one. Cycle 5 out of 6 starts tomorrow. Tweet @mauskopf or #KillEricsCancer to cheer Eric on as he heads into his 5th round of this fight.