Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post! I'm sorry for not posting an update for so long but there really hasn't been much to write about (which I am very thankful for) and we have been so busy here!
Ben just completed the first administration of chemo on his seventh cycle yesterday (March 3rd). It's still amazing that he continues to do has well as he is. The only side effect he continues to show is increased fatigue, otherwise no increased hair loss, no increased neuropathy - just a little bit of "chemo fog" which usually shows itself as a bit of memory loss.
To help deal with the increasing fatigue, the doctor has been giving more fluids during the last few rounds of chemo - and for this round he has asked Ben to come in the following day (today) for additional fluids. He is hoping this helps ward off the increasing fatigue.
The doctor continues to be very pleased with Ben's overall health. All of his blood counts continue to show those of a healthy man. Only once during round six did his white blood cell count drop a bit lower, but they bounced back the following week.
So, for now - the fatigue is the biggest factor. He now tries to take a couple of breaks during the day - with at least one nap of an hour, but given everything he has been through that seems pretty minor. He has stopped going to the gym as that wears him out too much, but he is still very active around the house, with friends and with our local town activities. His brother and sister in law were in last weekend and stayed with us and we had a great time. Ben even got on our jetskis for a while - and gave me my first lesson....so I was thrilled!
The doctor told us the plan right now is to finish 8 rounds (so three more administrations) of chemo, then take another scan then determine our next plan of action from there. He actually seemed quite optimistic - he even used the words "IF the cancer is still there we can decide how much of a break you might need, or if there is just a small amount, possibly continue a bit more". In the end, he said it will be up to Ben and what the scans show, how he is feeling etc. All of it sounded good but of course until we get the scans it's hard to say. I actually thought the doctor sounded more optimistic then he should - but hey, I would love to have that then the opposite, so we will just see what happens by the end of April.
That's it for now - pretty much status quo (which is good news as far as I'm concerned). We are still just living our normal lives outside of the "bother" of chemo once in a while and just fitting in a few more periods of "down time" and naps.
If anything happens for better or worse I will certainly keep everyone updated, but if you don't hear from me, it just means things continue to move along. I still don't get out here as much - selfishly it can sometimes be very difficult to keep up with everything and I've been so busy with work, visitors and Ben it's hard to keep up.
But, anyone can always reach me on my personal email if you don't see me out here (although I do check in from time to time, I just don't post much anymore).
Take care everyone - you are always in my thoughts.
My partner Ben was diagnosed in August 2010 with non-resectable stage IV intrahepatic CC with 6-18 months prognosis. He was 51 at the time - and he is now 55.
Don't give up!