Thursday, October 16, 2014


We went to Dana Farber yesterday. Unfortunately, we had a 9:15 appointment, so we left Meredith at 6:30 giving us 2:45 for a normal drive of just over 2 hours. It took us 3:15 to get there. But once there the day went relatively quickly. Only a 20 minute wait for blood work and then almost no wait at all to see the doctors. We were out of there in record time for a "first day of cycle".

Meanwhile I have been feeling pretty good with minimal to normal side effects. I am very tired on some days meaning that all I want to do is to sleep. BUT - if I drink some caffeinated coffee and get up and start doing things, I seem to be able to have a pretty normal day. The other thing is that I sometimes get quite winded very easily - by walking up a flight of stairs or up an incline. Other times, this is not much of a problem. The third thing is that the bottoms of my feet feel pretty numb. This does not slow me down, but feels kind of weird. And then, finally, my muscles seem to be disappearing. I am getting skinny - except around my middle. The doctors say these are all normal side effects.

But if my body is tolerating the chemo fairly well, it seems that the cancer might also be building up a tolerance as well. There are three main numbers to be watching. From yesterday's blood test, one has been dead level for the last three cycles and one jumped last cycle, but was down nicely yesterday. We are still waiting for the results from the last (and most important) one. Doctors say that I might have reached a "plateau" but that there could be a delayed effect of the experimental drug and we could see more progress. At least (hopefully) things are not getting worse.

Meanwhile, I have been pursuing my "bowling". Not the kind of bowling where you get to wear the really cool "bowling shirts" and cool "bowling shoes". In fact, if you got to wear special shoes, Barbara would probably be into it more than I am. No - this is the kind of bowling where I make bowls on the lathe. I have this set up so that I can do it in either Meredith or FHV.

One issue is that my doctors say that I should not be breathing any dust. Bowling makes lots of dust, so I bought a special helmet that includes a face shield and a fan to blow filtered air across the shield. It works pretty well, except that Barbara says I look like one of those dogs who are forced to wear the "cone of shame" things so that they can't scratch themselves. So now, I feel humiliated. At least my bowl turning skills have improved a bit. I made two bowls today. One came out pretty good, but the other became by second "bottomless" bowl. Fortunately, I got enough good ideas from blog comments that I will be able to find uses for these.

Here are some "Bowling" photos:

Warren at the FHV Lathe
Wearing the "Cone of Shame"