End of Cycle Five!

July 8, 2011

Another Week Down

After getting an entire week off last week (with the exception of lab work) we had a full two days at Vanderbilt this week.  These two-day treatments are only four hours long, but we had additional appointments this week.  Sam got a repeat MRI on Wednesday.  We expect a lot better results with this do-over.  Here is a picture of his previous MRI.

We will meet with the musculoskeletal oncologist next Thursday.  Ten weeks ago, we couldn’t even pronounce the word musculoskeletal.  After the meeting with the musculoskeletal oncologist, we meet with our oncologist.  We should have a better idea of Sam’s progress next week.  Even though we have a long way to go, it’s nice to know that we’ll get some medical insight on how Sam is doing and how much headway he’s made.  We should also learn about the surgery that he will have in about a month.

This will be Sam after his surgery!

Because Sam has had so many scans and has been put through several different machines (all with complicated and forgettable names) in the last few months, he started referring to machines by the food they resemble.  Certain machines are sandwich machines while others are tacos.  An MRI is a Mega Ridiculous Iced doughnut machine.

 This Past Week

The two-day treatments are nice because we’re at the hospital a lot less, but Sam has some pretty bad side effects with this particular set of drugs.

He’s been feeling pretty weak the last few days and it’ll be a couple more days before he perks up again.  As we go through each cycle, we get better and better at controlling the harsh side effects.  Sam also tries more prescription drugs as we learn more about what works and what doesn’t. It’s reassuring to have more confidence as we go through this rigorous process.  It’s also comforting to know that we can alter the drugs in specific ways to maximize Sam’s happiness and minimize his pain. Sam is currently taking two million different medications.  He even takes medication that medicates his medication.

We’ve come a long way since his first treatment.  I think we were at home for only 15 minutes after his initial treatment before we were frantically calling the oncologist’s office asking questions.

Next Week

Next week should be an informative and helpful week.  In addition to the two meetings, Sam should receive a blood transfusion (there’s a chance he might not need one).  A blood transfusion sounds a lot worse than it actually is.  Getting a transfusion takes several hours, but it should really help Sam.  His blood counts get lower and lower each week.  New blood will combat his anemia and relieve him of some fatigue.

The blood transfusion should help Sam’s color. He’s pretty pale these days.


Sam Is Famous!

A couple of weeks ago, this blog was put on the I’m Too Young For This!  blogroll.  Here is what the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation has to say about themselves:

A TIME Magazine Best 50 website and FOX News Top 10 Healthcare Blog, we support a global following and hundreds of  thousands of friends, fans, readers, listeners and members. Since our launch in 2007, we have helped bring the cause of ‘cancer under 40’ to the national spotlight and rallied a brand new crop of activists to give a much needed voice to our forgotten population.

We have a lot of time to read these days and have thoroughly enjoyed reading other blogs and articles on this website.  It’s freaky how similar all of the blogs are.  Sam and I always laugh when we discover that someone else has the same quirky habits or rituals as us.  If you have any free time, we can recommend this website.  The blogs are all impressive.

Every single day, Sam and I talk about how lucky we are.  There’s no doubt that cancer totally sucks, but we can’t do anything about that.  A lot of our days are exhausting and stressful.  Everyone makes our life so much better.  We can’t imagine going through this without the unwavering assistance.  We used to only receive bills in the mail.  Now, going to the mailbox is an exciting adventure.  Our mailbox is consistently loaded down with entertaining gifts and thoughtful cards.  I have to bring a pack mule with me to the mailbox.  Thank you for filling our days with humor and love.

All of the mail weighs down our pack mule.

We are eager about next week’s appointments and expect for Sam to have a stellar progress report.

 

Lots of love,

 

Leslie and Sam

 

P.S.  Senseless pictures:

Brazilian Tarp Hats

We Finally Found Organic Bacon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to “End of Cycle Five!”

  1. Neil said

    So organic bacon DOES exist! I am impressed.

  2. Jim Sobery said

    Congratulations upon “Things About Sam and Leslie” appearing in the highly acclaimed “I’m Too Young For This” website. I’ve read the other blogs in the Sarcoma Cancer heading and consider yours the best. A joint effort is needed to give an outstanding presentation. As Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson solve mysteries in an interesting manner so Sam and Leslie capture our interest while overcoming cancer. Have you considered adding a pair of Sherlock Holmes hats to your growing collection?

  3. Therese said

    Organic bacon… tarp hats… donut MRIs… champion blog… when you guys do something, you do it right! Hoping for great news from all the tests, sticks, pokes, imaging, etc. Thanks for letting us share the journey with you. It’s nice of you all to keep our spirits up.

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