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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Back home from cancer center

Marshall's cancer pills arrived Wednesday morning around 10:30, so in effect, after all my agonizing, we barely missed a beat. (Thank you again, Cathy and Dave!)

Marshall saw his psychologist Wednesday afternoon and that was a good visit. We spent the rest of Wednesday relaxing.

The first thing this morning, we got a call from our housesitter that our power went out last night and in this bitter cold that could mean pipes could freeze. We are not on the grid -- we have solar power -- so Gina had put in a call to Pat, the solar guy. But in order for her to put in a call to the solar guy, she had to get to a place where there was a working phone since our cordless phones didn't work. So she had to walk a half mile in subzero temperatures (God bless her!). By 11:00, Pat got to our house and got everything running again. That was a tense few hours.

By the time we heard from Pat that all was well at the house, Marshall was really getting stressed out because this was the day to see the oncologist and get all the test results. We got over to the hospital around 11:30 and had lunch in the cafeteria with another prostate cancer patient and his wife. They drive all the way here from Wyoming for his treatments.

Lab work was done at 1:00. At 1:45 we saw a social worker to see if there were any programs that would help us out in the caregiver area and we learned that we have too much money and are not eligible. I have an annuity that pays me a few hundred a month -- which in the cancer world doesn't even cover the copay for one of the drugs -- and yet it makes me ineligible to get help. Interesting, isn't it?

At 2:00 we saw the oncologist. All good news. The PSA went up a tiny bit, from 1.58 to 2.8, which didn't concern the doctor at all. He said the bone scan showed that there are no new lesions and that the original bone lesions have gotten smaller. He mentioned sclerotic lesions and if I understood him correctly, he said that meant that in the areas where the cancer is shrinking, the space is being "healed." I didn't quite follow it, but he said it was very very good.

The CT scan also came out good, showing no new involvement. Also, all of the lab work came out good and in particular showed that I did no harm by giving Marshall a Metformin pill when I wasn't supposed to.

He said that even though the cancer is not curable, what we are shooting for is to control it as though it was a chronic disease, like diabetes.

Marshall got his quarterly Zolodex (hormone) shot but they are still holding off on the Xgeva bone strengthener for a while. Dr. Flaig said that he thought things were going so well that the Xgeva was not critical at this point.

So we left the hospital in a pretty good mood, stopped and had a late lunch and headed home. Now tomorrow we take Coco back to the vet to see if he needs surgery for the bladder stones and to see if his ear infections have cleared up.


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