Speaking of red sauce - throw some on Lainy and beat me with it - because here it is - another 3 months without a post. Unbelievable how time flies. This continues to be one of the busiest times at work in my career I think so I definitely don't get out here as much as I should.
So - I'm posting here because I still have the synopsis of my partner Ben's journey the last couple of years posted a few posts above.
Since that time; we never were approved for Tarceva (after two appeals to the insurance I went to our benefits partner in my companies Human Resources department - they said I could do a third "peer to peer" appeal where our doctor could talk to a doctor at the insurance company to determine if Tarceva could be a fit. (The cost was $500, but my company said they would pay for that).
Meanwhile - to even get a ruling on a 3rd appeal was too long so our local oncologist in Fort Lauderdale put Ben back on the Gemcitibine/Cisplatin combo; although he goes with about 80% of the dose so it doesn't whack (technical term) Ben out too much. That all started on October 20th.
Since Ben restarted chemo, things have been going fine. He just finished his 3rd round (of 8) today. Overall his mental state, fatigue, etc seems to be under control. At the start of this protocol he went off his pain patch (low dosage 12.5 mcg Fentanyl) and has been without it ever since.
Even now - to look at Ben you would never know he is sick, he looks good (just a bit of hair loss this time), his mental acuity almost seems normal (which it hasn't for a long time) and he is driving again (small trips, etc).
This Monday (12/10), we made our quarterly (or so) trip to MD Anderson to check in with the GI Oncologist who has been monitoring him. We like their radiology department there better so we have scans done there as well.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! The doctors saw the scans and as of now everything continues to be stable since the last round of chemo ended in June. When we reminded them that Ben took the summer off of chemo (about 3.5 months) they were AMAZED. That's what the said - "well that's amazing" no growth and no chemo for that long doesn't happen often. They said Ben was in their very small percentage of "Marathoners". So all that adds up to a Merry Christmas!!!
With all that good news including Ben's well being we are going home to see my family in Sioux City, Iowa for Christmas - I haven't been home for Christmas in 3 years, so it truly is almost a miracle consider last year Ben slept through most of Christmas.
Anyway - that's my update for now; probably should be in the GOOD NEWS section - but I like the continuity here.
I see our Moderators are still all here - and we've added Pamela - what a team; your relentless devotion is truly inspirational.
As always, I'm always willing to share email or talk - just email me from here and I will respond as clearly I don't get out here as often as I should...but who knows - maybe this time will be different (but Lainy keep the noodles wet).