Saturday, June 22, 2019

Travel Adventures

Barbara and I are getting ready to leave for a trip to Europe in a few hours. We will be on a Baltic Cruise with Overseas Adventure Travel. This will be our first time out of the country in 6+ years and we are very much looking forward to it. We are also a bit nervous because we have to travel through security with my blood thinner syringes. The web site says that is not a problem, but you know about Murphy's Law. Not to mention the TSA.

Before leaving, I thought I would update my faithful readers on the cancer front - which is in fact what this blog is supposed to be about. I have now completed two cycles of the Melflufen treatment - and the results are mixed. So far, the treatment seems to be holding the main indicators steady. The doctors tell me the disease is "stable" which is good. I, on the other hand, was hoping that the treatment would be knocking the disease down a few notches, but who knows? Maybe that will happen in the future. I am sure it will not help much that they are skipping a cycle so that we can go on the trip.

Once piece of good news is that I have arranged for some of my treatments to take place in NH. On the previous study, the treatments all had to take place at Dana-Farber, For this new one, I need to be there once every 28 days to get the Melflufen. I am then supposed to get blood tests weekly and get treatments only if warranted. I have arranged to get the blood tests at Lakes Region General Hospital which is less than a half hour away. Then if I need treatments, I can get those at Lakes Region as well. So far, the only treatments I have needed is for low white blood cell counts - a condition that is remedied with a shot that I can give myself.

It took a lot of negotiation to get this all set up - weeks in fact getting all parties to agree on the plan. But as of yesterday, I got the final approval and we are good to go. The most difficult thing to arrange was to get the treatment part, and the fact is that I probably won't need it. But still, it is good to have a backup.

We will get back from Europe on July 8. I get my next dose of Melflufen on July 10 and then I should be able to stay in NH for a full month. Hooray!

The other complication is that we have been wanting to replace the carpet in our bedroom. Barbara decided that if we are doing this, we should also have the room painted and that it would be good to get this done while we are away. Sounded like a good idea to me. Until she announced that the walk-in closet would have to be emptied - including taking down the shelves - which of course was my job. We also had to empty the bureaus, take down the lights, etc. What a mess. Especially while trying to pack for the trip. About half way through this process, I started trying to convince her that the old wall color was really nice and that we would never be able to duplicate the soft texture of the well worn carpet that we have been nurturing for the last 20 years. She did not fall for it.