This is probably the biggest update in awhile - so good luck hanging on to the end. Those that make it to the end will receive a gold star and a high-five.
As I left you a few days ago I let you know that Kurtis had a large number of appointments Wednesday, and boy oh boy did he....and now we have a lot of information to share with you and update you with.
Appointment #1: Oncologist
This was a check in with the "main" doc - to see how Kurtis was feeling and how the treatment was working and how Kurtis was handling it so far. We went over what had happened in the last week - blood transfusions + lung drain (I can't spell the right word for it....). Everything went well and we found out a few things:
-The next tumor marker (Beta HCG) draw would take place Thursday (today) to see how everything is working. Kurtis' number right now is about 38,000 so we are hoping for a decrease in that number. This test has to get sent away so it takes a few days, we'll probably know Monday.
-The doc thinks that some of the blood/lung fluid fill up might be related to a tumor in Kurtis' lung that may be bleeding. He explained that the type of testicular cancer that K is dealing with right now creates a lot of blood vessels and is actually "quite fragile" so, they tend to bleed and that is fairly normal for this type of cancer. I know it sounds just two steps away from terrifying, but cancer is a strange beast and if the doc says it's normal, we try to relax. Long story short - if the tumor leaks blood, the blood can't get back into his system and builds up in his lung which makes it so it is hard to breathe...etc. If the chemo doesn't knock that tumor out soon, it is possible that K will have to see a lung doctor to have some kind of drain put in which sounds like more fun than anything he's done (I hope you read that in typical Liz-sarcastic-voice...).
-If this chemo treatment is working, K could be dealing with it for up to six months. Longer than maybe we expected, but as long as it is working, that is what is important.
Appointment #2: Radiation Oncologist
Last time around, K just had chemo and didn't have any radiation, so this is new to us. We had an introduction appointment to get everything figured out. It took a couple of hours and we did a lot of different things. The goal was to treat Kurtis during an "off" week for the chemo which is next week and fortunately, that is doable. A few things need to happen before treatment:
-Kurtis needs a "fresh" MRI since there was swelling in his brain post-craniotomy (Friday)
-A plastic mask needs to be made for treatment to help K stay still while getting zapped (Friday)
-Radiation "education" session will take place to discuss side-effects, etc. (Monday)
-A "dry run" of treatment will happen before the actual treatment (Tuesday)
...so "off" week has turned very much into "ON" week, but we are both happy that this stuff is going to get zapped so it is no big deal. The treatment itself will take 2-3 hours - Kurtis has elected for it to all happen in one round. It will be a very long day for him, but then it is done :)
Appointment #3: Neuro Follow-Up
Everything looks great. Incision from brain surgery looks good and we will go back in October. Yay.
Between the Radiation office and the Neuro office we hit up Chipotle for lunch which isn't all that important, except it was a normal activity. We haven't had a lot of that lately, so even though we were both exhausted and it was just us shoving food down our gullets, it was really nice to just be normal for five minutes.
Today was chemo day and Kurtis has now completed one cycle. He won't have any next week, and will start cycle #2 the following week. Yeeeehaw. Hopefully he will feel better tomorrow than he has on the other "day after" days...
We had an outstanding dinner tonight from one of our lax families - thanks Ruybals! We had a nice visit with them and delicious food to fill our tummies. :)
As you're reading along tonight, I bet at least one of you has noticed that we haven't broken anything lately. And by lately I mean in like three days (although, the Rockies sort of qualify for this past series...eeeeechhh). So, I'm happy to report that today we broke something. Did anyone place your bet on the washer? Well if you did....you're wrong. Those that bet on "magical hair clippers that we only use when Kurtis is about to lose his hair and have really only used one time in Indiana" are the big winners. Congratulations.
So. As you might imagine we had a fun night with that. Thankfully, Sarah and Pat our outstanding neighbors had a clipper so they saved me from being the stylist to a terrible semi-cut haircut.
So, that's it for today! More in a day or two!
Liz, Kurtis, and Chauncey
-Email notes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WarriorCancerSmash