Monday, January 7, 2013

Third Round of Chemotherapy

When I was at the NIH three weeks ago I had a CT Scan to determine if there had been any changes as a result of the chemo and radiation I’d received. It appears that the spots on my lungs have not enlarged or spread and a cancerous lymph node in my neck has shrunk to half its size. I don’t know if the treatments will beat this back farther or how long I’ll be stable, but it is clear to me that the support of my family and my community and the magic of the NIH and U of Michigan medical teams has made this possible.

The next two weeks were a blur (actually a blur of chemo smack down followed by a vicious upper respiratory cold), but I’m better now, ready to return to Bethesda later today for Round Four.

I’m beginning to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except that I’m more like a Lazarus figure and I don’t wake up every morning in Punxsutawney, PA. During my first week back home I felt like I was in the Valley of Dry Bones (see Ezekiel 37).

The last time I was at the NIH I met a man with metastatic prostate cancer who had been making the trip every three weeks for forty-nine consecutive times. He was on a first name basis with the staff and seemed slightly manic—but who wouldn’t be after forty-nine trips? Could I do this?

So far the side effects from the treatments have made me quite ill for a week after I return home. I’ve been working in Ann Arbor with Barry Jaffe, a wonderful therapist, to reduce my aversion to chemotherapy.


Unknown said...

Dear Karl--I'm sorry I missed you over Christmas. Somehow I thought you had another week before you went back for another treatment. Keeping you in my heart and prayers daily. Please please please let me know if there are any small or big ways we could be of help. XXOOOO Joe

Cameron VSJ said...


I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?