Sunday, January 31, 2010

This One is Not a Rant

OK - I've had my rant and feel a little better. Now it's time to fill
you in on what's happening medically in the last week.

First off the insurance company finally approved my PET scan but too
late to keep my appointment for last week. So it has been rescheduled
for this Friday.

I did have my second esophogeal dilation (throat stretch) on Thursday.
This one was done from the top instead of having to go up through my G
tube. Just like last time it went smooth and was successful. Minimal
issues afterwards other than a little bleeding a a sore throat. I
don't know what the sizes mean but the doc said he was able to go from
a size 9 to a size 11 dilator. I interpret that to mean he was able to
expand the opening 20%, which sounds pretty good to me. Still no food
or drink or meds via mouth though. I am scheduled for the 3rd
procedure this Thursday and the doc said that after that one we will
schedule a swallow study to see what good we have done. Just like any
muscle if you don't use your swallowing muscles they "forget" how to
work and have to be developed again. So that will be the next step in
the process, although the study and the therapy are with a different
department and doc.

I've been given the go ahead to start the Nexavar again. To refresh
your memory, this is the drug that inhibits the growth of my tumors. I
have been off of it since going into the hospital in November. I
sometimes refer to it as cheemo because people understand that term.
But it is technically referred to as a targeted therapy because it
targets a specific growth pathway within the tumor cells. It is in a
new class of drugs called Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKI's). Unlike
traditional cheemo it is not administered by IV in a hospital but
rather in pill form. (Another couple pills to go through the tube). I
decided to start it Monday, mainly because it is Feb 1st and that is
an easy date to remember when someone asks me. Let's say a prayer or 2
for minimal side effects this time.

Speaking of prayers - this Wednesday, Feb 3rd, is the feast of Saint
Blaise. Saint Blaise is the patron saint of illnesses of the throat,
supposedly because as a bishop he helped a young boy who was dying
because of a fishbone stuck in his throat. The catholic church
celebrates his day by having the traditional Blessing of the Throats.
2 candles are blessed, then held against your neck in a V shape by the
priest while a prayer is said asking for prevention of illness to the
throat. Obviously I wIll take all the help I can get so I plan to get
my throat blessed. If you want to join me come to Queen of Apostles
church at 7pm on this Wednesday. There will be a short prayer service
followed by the blessings.

So that's the plan for this week. Bless the throat, stretch the
throat, then scan the throat along with everything else.

I'm hoping for a good report from Puxatawney Phil on Tuesday, we could
use an early spring!

Until next time.....
Be Well - Be Blessed

1 comment:

  1. You are a trooper Ken. You get the hang tough award for sure.