Friday, January 30, 2009

A Date with Dr Sheehan

It's been a cold winter and we had to wimp out a couple of days, put our snowshoes down, and go to the gym. Sabine is seen here doing the "strider." I'm usually on the exercise bike in a fantasy world of CNN news and thinking about the Tour de France.

We met with Dr Sheehan this week and went over the "numbers" -- free lambda light chains -- that are the cancer markers. Every 6 week period since spring they have gone up about 50% -- we started with 10,800 of those buggers and after four rounds of chemotherapy they went down to around 100... then 200... then 400 and now we are at 600 and it looks like time for chemotherapy again.

Instead of the Velcade/Dexamethasone combination we probably will be prescribing a Thalidomide/Dex combination. They are both oral drugs and we will know better after the next four week period (in which we get a reprise to find some warm weather)!

Also during this reprise we will be consulting with the Access Clinic in a couple of weeks to schedule Sabine's arm surgery that will bring her connected veins closer to the surface of her arm so that can be a workable dialysis site (a fistula). This surgical procedure will be more complex than the past attempts. The surgical incision will be a lot larger in order to pull this vein-artery connection closer to the surface of her arm. It will also require a general anesthesis and an overnight stay in the hospital. We will let you all know of those dates when we get them.

In the meantime, Sabine has been doing very well. We knew one of these months she would be back on chemo and are thankful for the chemo-free months we have had since last spring!

We are also scheduled to teach the Marriage Course at the Lutheran Church in Mazomanie beginning Thursday, February 19th and for the following six Thursdays. We enjoy teaching the course and are looking forward to passing it on to some young couples in the area who then can continue to offer the course. After all, one very positive (and Christian) thing churches could do would be to help couples strengthen their marriages!

Peace and love to all of you. Keep warm. And remember to "pay it forward!"