Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday Was Interesting

Before I forget, there's a new little navigation bit at the top of the page that includes a "joy store". It's just some tshirts I've designed. Please look, buy, enjoy but keep in mind I only make a dollar or so off anything you buy. So don't buy anything, "just to help me out."

This week, Thursday, Kristin and I received the results of the abdomen MRI I had last week. The cancer has neither grown, nor diminished. What that means, essentially, is that the chemo I'm on is kinda working. I've been on a combination of Vectibix and Oxaliplatin. The doctor believes it's the Vectibix that's currently keeping the cancer on my liver in... shall we say stasis. So I'm going to remain on that drug for as long as my body will handle it and as long as it keeps "working". The Oxaliplatin, however, is pretty much in the process of killing me. My most resent platelet count is down to 70,000. An average count is between 150,000 and 450,000 per microliter of blood. So, in order to save my bone marrow, they're going to take me off of the second drug.

Side note: If I'm reluctant to hug, shake hands or get too close to you lately or in the upcoming weeks please know that with my platelets so low I can become sick very easily and it could be life threatening. I'm just trying to stay out of the hospital.

My oncologist, Dr. Andy Monticelli, thinks I'll be able to stay on Vectibix for anywhere from three to nine months. At some point along that timeline either my body will stop tolerating the drug or the drug will stop doing it's job because the cancer will have become tolerant of the treatment. There are some other options at that point that we can try. I'll probably try them.

I've said this before but, given the option to continue or not I don't really feel like I have a choice. I've had so little time with Kristin. I can't give up one more moment any drug, or poison, can give me. Right now, if Kristin was not in my life I would probably choose to quit the treatments. I'm tired of being sick. I'm tired of being sore. I also think some people are tired of me being around. There are a few, I'm sure, who wonder if the cancer's really as bad as all that... since I'm still alive and all. It is. I was supposed to be dead in August of 2009. Please do not come up to me and say something silly/stupid as, "Well, you know, doctor's don't know everything." Of course they don't. But they use the facts they have and years of results to estimate the time you have left. It's a charity to allow us to better prepare for what's coming.

So, I'm still here. I'll be here as long as it continues to work and Kristin chooses to put up with me. I know I'm a burden on her. I know that's a little worse every day. But she loves me like no one else ever has. To paraphrase some lines from the television show Dead Like Me: I'm not ready to stop being loved yet. I'm not ready to stop putting mustard on corn-dogs yet. I'm not ready to stop scratching my puppy behind her ears yet. I'm not ready to stop being annoyed by both major political parties yet. I'm just not ready to stop reading comics while I'm in the bathroom just yet.

The same Thursday, this past one, as the MRI results I was also able to fulfill a bucket-list item by opening for one of the best songwriting, touring, bands of all time, The Lost Dogs. It was a great experience made possible by a lot of people. I had promised full videos of the four songs we played sometime over the weekend. But I'm having trouble with the video so you'll have to settle for this wonderful little clip from the drummer, Matt Grubb.

Also, also, wik: I feel like I should mention this. I don't really want to, but I'm up a creek without any pants on. We're broke. Still waiting on Kristin's first unemployment check. Not sure how we're going to cover my co-pay for chemo this Wednesday let alone our rent and my insurance this month. If you have any extra, and not many of us do, we could use some help. We really could. If you can help please feel free to mail us at :

Aaron, Kristin & Belle
PO Box 72047
Eugene, OR  97401

Or you can click here:

Anything helps. Even a little encouraging note or gift card. Thank you for your prayers!


Ali said...

The last time I went to the docter my platelet count had dropped from 117,000 to 40,000. It's very scary! Just take it easy!

Linda A. said...

You're awesome, Aaron.