A great deal has occurred since my last post. And so far it’s all been good. Like, really good.
Some roads we walk are dark. But, like Winston Churchill said, when you’re going through hell, keep going!
Unfortunately my latest scans showed a recurrence. So I get to be on the cutting edge of science. In fact it’s rather like I walked into one of my own novels. The treatment is so new the doctors don’t even know exactly what to expect.
I have a gene defect that caused my colon cancer and they are able to drill down even further and identify the exact genetic code. In my case they call it an MSH6 MSI-H. What’s that mean then? Well, I’ll be getting Immune Therapy. Before we had surgery, chemical therapy, and radiation therapy. This new field basically turns on my immune system to fight the cancer. The New York Times has an excellent series of articles here.
Two big questions, one, will it work with my personal genetic error? And two, how long will it work for? In some cases they’ve seen an “extraordinary response”. Is that 5 years? More? Interestingly enough, they don’t know as the drugs are so new. The sobering fact is that it’s likely not curative, but may be. Which is a hell of a lot more hope than chemotherapy which is definitely not curative. I’ll keep you folks updated.
On the writing front I’ve finally started editing the draft of Cloak of War. Hopefully I’m done in under a month. With this launch I’ll be giving all of you, my readers, an advance copy. All I ask is you leave me an honest review on launch day. Think two weeks is enough to read it? Wanna see the cover?
Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. I have a few goals for the year, run a marathon, finish this book, and beat cancer.
Though I’ll be happy just doing the last one!
I’m not a patient person. My wife can tell all sorts of stories about me pacing, staying busy, and generally being very active. I like to get a job, do it right, and move on to the next one.
After almost six months of weekly treatments. I. Am. Done.
I’m not going to wax on about it, finishing the chemo is just one thing that had to be done. Now I can return to my life. Simple enough.
On the writing scene I’ve got a finished novel to edit. Once that’s published I’ll resume work on the third novel about our friends in the Penal Battalion. The Vasilov Worlds are in for a bunch of hurt, and our good friends won’t have any easy way out.
It feels good to be looking ahead. I’ve got so much more to do.
This will be a very quick update. TL;DR – I’m almost done with my chemo and things are looking good.
A quick update on what’s happening these days. In a nutshell I’ve had two chemo treatments so far and both have had some cardiac side effects. So, in a nut shell, I’m still trying to get the right mix.
36 hours after my first treatment I had severe chest pains. Fast forward through an ER trip, ambulance ride, and a day in the cardiac wing and I get a referral to Mayo Clinic. They try another round of the chemo and we have the same thing after twenty five hours. Bummer.
So now for the next round we’re trying an alternate delivery method that will hopefully not have the same cardiac issues. Normally I wear an infusion pump for 46 hours. This time we’re going to try a quick IV infusion. As long as it kills the cancer cells I’m good with it.
That’s the tough part so far. Right now I’m cancer free. They removed it. But, and it’s a big but, there could be a few stray cells floating about. And that’s the reason for the chemo. It’s a terrible sword hanging over me, not knowing, and just waiting.
So I do all I can. I eat well. I exercise as I can when the nauseau and fatigue isn’t too bad. I take a single supplement (curcumin) and I trust in my doctors.
And I pray for my 41st birthday. That’ll be my five years. If I make it without cancer that long I’m considered cured.
As far as my next novel… it’s done. I just need to finish the draft and have it edited. But for now I’m focused on a bigger task.