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I’m sitting on the front porch watching the boys throw a football – priceless. It is incredible to be home. The chaos of three kids, school, sports, and household tasks whirls around me. It’s amazing to be alive. The surgeon told me I wouldn’t have made it a week without the surgery. That week was up 8 days ago. Eight days of hugs and kisses and laughter and “I love you”s and snuggling on the couch and holding hands. Amazing. I owe so much to God.

Monday I started a new targeted therapy called Tafinlar or Dabrafenib. It’s another oral therapy which targets a genetic mutation in the tumor and is supposed to have fewer side effects than what I took before. So far I have these painful sores on my tongue which makes it hard to eat, but otherwise it’s fine. This drug also has shown effectiveness against brain tumors which is good since I’m in the position of having one or two tiny new (5mm or less) nightmares up in my head where they don’t belong. So if the drug doesn’t get them, we will zap them again. I seriously despised that one hellish hour but am thankful to God the technology exists since it worked on me last time like a charm – it killed the tumors and I had no side effects like seizures.

I know what you’re thinking, I went into heart surgery knowing I’d have to still deal with the brain again. Hey they’re just one or two tiny tumors. What would you do to stay with your family?

I am healing slowly. I am tired and I can’t drive until the surgeon clears me Oct 11. Fortunately he only spread my ribs and went through the side of my chest to get to my heart, he didn’t have to crack my chest open. I’ve got a few nice scars to add to my collection and the hole where they pulled out my chest tube is still oozing. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far in fluid from my kidney problems, 5 or 10 more to go. Good times.

I return to the oncologist Tuesday to talk about adding another drug to fight the Mel, Mekinist. These drugs have been shown to work better together than separately. BOTH of these drugs were FDA approved this year, but neither is a cure. I cannot stress enough how important melanoma research is. Dad never had a chance to take any of these. Happy Birthday Dad.

Peace to you all,
Amy

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