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Walking With the Bakers


Chemo #3 is Done!

Written by Roger Baker.

Wow - eleven weeks after the previous chemotherapy, at last, chemo #3 is done! Maybe now I can get some traction into these things. Chemo #4 will be the first week of October.

For those who haven't caught-on, the chemo runs are every 28 days until I reach the finish. If I make it through the projected 24 runs (two years) the next step is to try pausing, along with a series of monthly MRIs until the docs say otherwise.

The chemotherapy is in pill form, which I take late and night and try to sleep through. Capsules are like swallowing 3 X 22 gauge rifle rounds (sizewise). It's not bad, and I take a few other meds with it to minimize discomfort. I can handle this MUCH better than the month (August) that was 100% IVs. That treatment just sucked (even though it apparently did me a lot of good.)

So, for me, pain is turned way down (when I start to hurt I take the pain meds right away). Fatigue, normal for both chemotherapy patients and MS patients is normal for me, too. I can work at my desk about 2 hours a day in the monring, and perhaps an hour at night if I have been "good". Problem is that there are so many temptations dragging me from my bed, like watching Matt play baseball or Michael at fencing, and just doing simple shopping. The ten minute project becomes a two-week project. Nonetheless, don't take this is report as negative, because it isn't. I can walk, talk, think (if rested), and be with my family. That's really all that I want.

My hair is growing back, too - almost look normal now, hair is covering the scars of surgery. My hair has no grey in it, either - weird and a very nice gift! Thank you, our Creator! My mustache retains its grey, I suppose, to preserve my dosage of humility.



And now, a message from our sponsor...

Written by Roger Baker.

Picture of Roger, post-surgery 3 weeks. I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to update you. But here is the latest.

About 8 weeks ago (mid-June) I discovered my pain in the surgical area becoming more painful (inside the brain.) I became increasingly uncomfortable. Big x-rays from the NIH confirmed that I had a growing leak of what I think was a mix of blood and brain-fluid building up in my skull. By the end of the third week, the surgeons decided to drain everything.

What was supposed to be a drill-drain and a 90-minute surgery went much longer. I was hospitalized about a week while starting to slowly straighten out and lose the pain. I was released but have a lot of drugs going in via IV every day. I have a semi-permanent plug on my right arm that allows me to hook-up IVs of drugs easily. Good thing, too - I have five dosages of various drugs going in every day, plus other fluids to clean the line and disinfect it. Call it a lot of liquid via the veins. 


An Update - More Chemo, Less Weight

Written by Roger Baker.

Ok, please accept my apologies - no posting for a full month! Shame! I feel bad about that. But to start, let me put a positive spin on this: I came through session #1 okay, a six-week drill of radiation and chemo that really did a lot, and then a nice 4 week break from the discipline of the treatments. We've started round #2, and I can share details.

The first round managed to get me slowed down dramatically - six weeks of the combination of the treatments really had results, though. No detected cancer from MRI three weeks later - that's a fantastic result! The only downside is I have about 10 ml of fluid on the brain now, so I need to take it easy and take more meds (more meds? really?) The chemo dosages go for 5 days, then I get a 23 day break. At the end of 28 days total, we're back to the start of the cycle and we do it again.