Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chemo Round 2, Day 9: Wow! What a 48 hrs?

178 lbs (80.7 kg) ??  … I’ve lost 12 lbs (5.4 kg) since chemo began.

Tuesday was ‘blood work’ day and the chance to compare numbers not concepts like ‘fatigue’ … a week after Round 2 is far better than a week after Round 1 when viewed by the numbers.
Reviewing numbers with my oncologist … chemotherapy has been whuppin’ my ass for 29 days and nights …. Who would have thought ‘hearing’ would suddenly change the tide?

Megan jokingly observed the advent of my ‘geezer hearing’ noting in her opinion my intermittent loss of ability to hear the beeping of my thermometer a week or so ago.

Shortly I was noticing intermittent loss of hearing and/or ‘ringing’ in my ears.

Hearing loss apparently is a red flag side effect of CISPLATIN and not necessarily reversible. Soooo as my oncologist phrased it we are "shifting side effect risks" by switching to CARBOPLATIN for round three beginning July 23.  

Time with Patti has been a constant frustration through this past month of chemo … down from at least 3 outings/visits a week we have been lucky to have one … ‘focusing on my cancer’ the absence of caregiving time gets in my head like negative energy.

Our daughter has been a godsend somehow creating opportunity between everything else going on … we had a fun afternoon Wednesday snacking on popcorn and popsicles in front of TV and catching some sun on the back patio … all the time with ‘no lung cancer’ since Patti’s MS dementia and cognitive problems prevent her from remembering.
3 AM Thursday I was awakened by my ears popping, much like changes in altitude … except a headache remained … and frankly a scary headache more like a mild version of the brain metastasis headaches of two months ago.

Rummaging around looking for ibuprofen awoke Megan who suggested adding oxycodone I had left around from lung cancer surgery from March 2012. … next she reappeared with two DECADRON (4 mg) … she had called ‘on call’ oncologist (at 3:15 AM) who suggested adding DECADRON to the mix (it was DECADRON  that had led the first charge against brain metastasis). …. I slept totally soundly until the urge to pee awoke me about 5 hours later.

The 'protocol' was always to re-scan brain and lungs a week or two after chemotherapy was completed ... or about a month from now.

Determined to take control, not live or die by protocol, as offices opened, Megan began calling Andrews & Patel and I calling Oakwood Cancer center … long story made short I have a Brain MRI scheduled for Monday, 4 days from now instead of 4 weeks from now. 

When fighting for MY life – minutes matter. 
Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Hang in there, Patrick! You are a trooper if there ever was one!! Sending up prayers for good-beter results with the MRI. Kudos to Megan for being a trooper caregiver!! And to Patti for giving a distraction...


    1. let's not forget 'you' Jackie, who's support and encouragement has been there since the beginning ... thank you!