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

The way forward

17 August, 2017
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It might be a little hazy at this point, but our resolve is stronger than ever to press on. After yesterday’s third chemo treatment not going at all as planned, the Thriller has a decision to make.

We arrived at the Clinic and reported to the vampires as usual, so he could get his IV started. Like clockwork, we went directly to the 3rd floor and checked in at the desk for his appointment with Erin, the oncologist’s assistant. After waiting a bit, they called his name, and we went down the same hallway to the same exam room. All seemed as it should be — until the door opened, and in walked Dr. Velcheti himself. We knew something was up.

Unfortunately, Monday’s CT scan revealed more cancer; this time, in his liver. Despite drenching him in carboplatin and pemetrexed twice in the last 6 weeks, the tumors still grew. Chemotherapy was now off the table. I wasn’t looking at Michael at that point in the conversation, as I was trying to keep from crab-walking on the ceiling. What do we do now?

Dr. V. told us about a clinical trial involving a combination of two drugs (I can’t remember their mile-long names at the moment) in pill form, paired with a regimen of IV infusions of the drug Opdivo — a relatively new treatment for several types of cancer. Opdivo alone is the standard treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC for whom chemo didn’t work, but this study involves the other two drugs. Therein lies the choice.

Do we start the Opdivo next week, or choose the clinical trial and possibly wait up to 25 days to begin? And it’s not just the wait; at least two biopsies have to happen, before and after treatment. It was all so much information to take in, I can’t recall everything without looking at the paperwork they sent home with us — which we decided to pass on studying last night in favor of relaxation.

When we went to bed, I think he was leaning heavily towards going for the clinical trial. As he’s still asleep, I’m not sure if he’s changed his mind or not. We’ll find out today and make the call, one way or the other.

So, more travels on different roads, leading to who knows where. Was it this hard for Odysseus? :-/  Regardless, I’ll keep you posted as we go — hopefully with some great news.

#teamthriller

Round 3, coming up

13 August, 2017
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The Thriller is halfway done with his initial course of chemotherapy. Number three of four is this coming Wednesday, and he’s looking forward to getting it over with.

Best news of August, though: no new brain tumors! Victory! The three lesions that remain are smaller now, thanks to the gamma knife surgery back in June.

Tomorrow, he goes to nearby Mansfield for a lower body scan — another important test — to see how his throat, lungs, lymph nodes and other gears are working after two chemo treatments. I’ll be sure to update you here.

For the next few days, I absolutely, positively must go get some work done at school. I have all but abandoned my summer preparations (and admittedly, I feel zero guilt, but no small amount of trepidation), and this music isn’t going to buy itself. School starts Monday the 21st, and I have done next to nothing.

But y’know…some things are just more important than work. Lots of things, actually. Like family and friends and enjoying life.

And food.

Hungry Jax

#teamthriller