Friday, May 20, 2011
I love the smell of dacarbazine in the morning. Actually it is 1:37am and, as far as I know, dacarbizine is odorless. But this is an epic dawn in my fight against cancer, here from my hospital bed, I feel as if we landed on enemy shores ready to do battle. Ann and I arrived in Houston on Thursday, catching a plane after Gwen's pre-school graduation (she was awesome). My Dad came with me for my surgery the first week of May, but Ann is joining me for the first round of BioChemo while her Mom and Don take care of the girls (to which we will forever be in their debt). If we think I can take it without my awesome wife/advocate/thinker-of-smart questions then we'll be looking for volunteers for the next vomit comet. Yesterday Ann and I caught up with Dr. Patel. She said things were on track for treatment and also that my harvested tumors were pouring over with active T-cells fighting the melanoma (which will hopefully grow enough to replace all my current t-cells). That is a darned good bit of news. Combine that with my eye having almost no issues after the radiation treatment at home and i'd call yesterday a birthday party in lab report. Then last night I checked in at MD Anderson, the first time I've ever checked into a hospital. But first I had to get a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) that goes from my left arm to my heart intravenously. This allows me to get all the drugs without any more needles, but boy that one needle was fun. I'm actually going to keep it in while at home for two weeks because getting another would be that bad. It's the biological equivalent of plug'n'play and having it is great for the many servings of the five main drugs and the dozen or so other drugs to treat the side effects of the first five. I still get pills and shots (in my belly fat - really?) but most is plug'n'play. I am getting drugs the whole five days, 24/7, so I am married to this machine all this week non-stop. The machine doing the pumping, pictured here, is pretty amazing looking, especially in the dark. I'm calling it the CEWP, the Cancer Eradication Weapons Platform. From that platform the chemo agents go out to kill the cancer and the biologics go in to start boosting the local militias. When I turn out the lights it blinks and beeps like a command and control center, deeply involved in a dead-of-night military operation. It's going to be a long fight, but the boys are on the beach.