Whelmed

25 September, 2017
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Not overwhelmed or underwhelmed, but somewhere in between.

Another pothole in the Thriller’s path appeared over the weekend, and landed him back in the hospital. It seems that since he started the Opdivo, he’s coughed/choked more. Of course, this isn’t a complete surprise, as Opdivo’s side effects include worsening cough, and even worsening of the cancer for a time.

But something in the way he was coughing, combined with his weakness and complete loss of appetite, suggested there might be other chicanery at work behind the scenes. As it turned out, there was.

A CT scan revealed that part of his right lung had collapsed. The delicate, sponge-like material of the middle lobe couldn’t withstand the weight of all the secretions this disease (and emphysema) produces. We asked the ER doc what he thought, and he said he wouldn’t advise going home. He called Dr. Velcheti and reached his colleague, who said “bring him in.” So, after an interminable wait for an open bed, they transported him to the Cleveland Clinic, and that’s where he is this morning.

Last night was rough; he got very little sleep, apparently, and he’s hearing more wheezing in his lungs. We meet Dr. Stevenson (pulmonologist) at 11 this morning to discuss the path forward. I hope I can bring the Thriller home with a nebulizer and some meds and get through this thing so it doesn’t upset the Opdivo schedule. Last night before I left, we were told by the nursing staff that Opdivo treatments were on hold till they got the pneumonia issue sorted, because it could be fatal at this stage. I understand that, and I’m glad they are once again exercising caution.

So the whelmed factor is not a deal breaker. In fact, it makes us more determined to sailor through this and get on the other side so the Opdivo can happen on Wednesday.

That’s the update from the high seas today. Happy Monday, fiends! I hope all is well with you.

#teamthriller

New theme song

7 September, 2017
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Move over, MJ. Here’s the Thriller’s new anthem:

 

The vocal cord repair surgery didn’t happen. Turns out both of his vocal cords are paralyzed — not just the one. So if the injection pushed one cord towards the center, it would have cut off half his air. If both were pushed to the center without his being able to retract them, well…yeah. Not so good.

However — we still have three remaining Opdivo treatments that will hopefully lessen the cancer’s buildup around the nerves that control his vocal folds.

We don’t lose hope around here, y’know. He gets knocked down, but he gets up again. You are never gonna keep him down.

Aaand now you’re singing it. :-D

Love to you all once again,

#teamthriller

Fast-tracked II

2 September, 2017
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I don’t know whether he called in a favor, pulled rank, traded baseball cards or flashed that million-dollar smile, but somehow, Dr. V. turned the 2nd of October into this coming Thursday.

The Thriller will have medialization laryngoplasty next week, either by injection or implant, to hopefully alleviate the suffering he’s endured on account of his left vocal fold paralysis. (Be sure to check out the before-and-after video clips at the bottom of the page.)

We don’t know what this will mean in the long run, but our hope is that he will finally be able to cough and clear his throat properly so he can regain some energy and return to his daily routine. As it stands now, he has very little appetite and must spend a large part of the day confined, as moving around stirs up congestion he’s unable to clear.

As has happened on a couple of occasions during this odyssey, we’ll be frustrated and disappointed, only to be pushed to the surface again by a hopeful turn of events. This definitely qualifies as one of those moments. Thumbs up to the Amazing Velcheti, who used his magic to somehow make a hole in Dr. Bryson’s busy surgery schedule, and especially to you, fiends, for holding us up in thought, words and prayer.

Much love,

#teamthriller   #prayforhouston

Thunderbirds are go, regardless

29 August, 2017
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Well, the Thriller wasn’t chosen for the clinical trial. It was a random selection process; they put his name in the hat and drew someone else’s. Boo.

A small setback, but I swear the man is made of titanium. He processed his disappointment, and now he’s ready to tackle the Opdivo treatment without the added experimental drugs. Today is the day — off to Cleveland this morning to begin.

We are kept afloat by all your support. A special shout goes to my sister Mavis, who has in almost every other way dropped her own life to be there for ours. That’s something you never pay back, because the cost is too high. When you look up information about someone with the spiritual gift of service, her picture is there.

And thanks to all of my fiends who subscribe to this little blog about nothing. You’re the beast! I will keep you posted on the Opdivo progress.

Much love,

#TEAMTHRILLER

Fast-tracked

19 August, 2017
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A quick update for you, fiends.

Thursday afternoon, the Clinic called us and said that the liver biopsy for the clinical trial was set for the 24th, and that we should come in the day before to get all the papers signed and lab work done. Zoom! And here we thought it would be up to three weeks before we heard anything.

Now the remaining puzzle piece is whether or not he is chosen to get the Opdivo + the experimental drugs, or just the Opdivo alone. We’ll find that out on or before the 29th, when his first treatment is scheduled. We are on top of this. Laissez les freaking bon temps rouler. :-D

Progress for #teamthriller