Mile 14

Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras
Preparing to return to Cedars today for Arm B of Round 4 of Hyper CVAD.  For those of you keeping score at home, this means I’ll have 4 more hospital admissions after this one.  If all goes according to schedule, my last day at Cedars will be December 30.  So, I should be able to celebrate the New Year in style!  Susan came up with the analogy that we’re on about mile 14 of a 26-mile marathon.  Still a long way to go and we have to suck it up.  But we’re still on our feet and covering ground and keeping the finish line in site.
 
Results from the most recent bone marrow biopsy remain encouraging.  This is my 3rdstraight negative Minimum Residual Disease result.  This means that even with the most sensitive instruments, there are no detectable cancer cells in my marrow.  Which indicates that the treatment is working.  It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m cured and it doesn’t change the plan to continue getting treated.  But it’s a good result. 

I feel great today, as I always do on the day I have to go back for admission.  I’ll probably feel pretty crappy again as I absorb the chemo cocktail that is waiting for me. On this round, I’ll be receiving cytarabine and methotrexate.   They are both pretty gnarly chemos, but I usually get through the course in about 5 days…so I should be back home late Monday or early Tuesday.  It does seem like the cumulative effect of all this treatment is making me weaker, but not on a grand scale.  On my worst days, I get a little queasiness and have very low energy.  I get a bit dizzy when I’m standing, but never to the point of passing out.  This is more pronounced during the middle of the day for some reason.  All to be expected as my bone marrow is getting hammered pretty hard by all this stuff.
Susan and I escaped for a few days for a drive to the Eastern Sierras to chase some Fall color.  We stayed in Bishop, saw some lovely yellow and amber leaves, breathed in some crisp fresh air and found some great places to eat…both roadhouses and fancy dining.  I handled the altitude (up to 9000 ft)  just fine.  I’m not strong enough to do any hiking, but I was able to walk around a bit and certainly enjoyed seeing the sights while driving.   It was nice to get away!