One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (Guest Post from Amy)

jim and amy final3I wanted to give our Fierce Hope followers an update since it has been a little while since Jim has written. As you recall, we got some pretty good news at his last oncologist appointment, finding out that the tumors are shrinking and his CEA levels are coming down. This is a big step forward for Jim, and it gives him motivation to keep going with the chemo.

Since that post, we have had a chance to actually see the scan that showed the shrinking tumors. It looks much different than the one he had before starting chemo. The tumors in his liver are indeed shrinking and his lungs look much better now too. However, in spite of this good news, he still has too many tumors in his liver to be eligible for surgery. This was a big disappointment for us. Jim had really hoped he would be able to have liver surgery, since statistically that could prolong his life. But for now, he will just continue with chemo and muscle through the side-effects because we know it is working. He is having a lot of pain and numbness in his hands and feet which is a normal (and, sadly, permanent) side effect from his type of chemo. He is pleased, however, that he is not losing his hair and his anti-nausea meds work relatively well. He still feels rotten while on chemo, but at least it is working.

The chemo is working. When he can get it. This past week he came down with a cold. He felt really lousy for a few days so he had to cancel his chemo treatment. All subsequent appointments have been rescheduled and we are hoping to get back into a routine this week. Chest colds are scary now because of everything he went through with the pneumonia. He says he is feeling better, but I still don’t like the sound of his cough. He goes for chemo tomorrow and we will be asking the nurses if he needs to be seen by a doctor. At least he has not been running a fever. We take all the small blessings we can get.

So, one step forward with shrinking tumors, but two steps back with no surgery and an illness slowing his treatment. We do try to celebrate all forward momentum, but setbacks can bring anyone down. We are finding that it is impossible to live the cliché, “live every day to the fullest.” No one can really do that. We are human. We have ups and downs. We do cherish the great moments that we have and celebrate the small successes. We continue to be surrounded by the love and support from friends and family and that keeps us going. We take the next step in our journey next week as we get back into a house of our own. Thank you all for being there for us!

With Fierce Hope,

Amy

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