Brief update on my health:

Well, this week wasn’t the news producer we thought it would be. I met with the surgeon today and was encouraged by his approach to people in my situation (short version: he’s not looking for reasons to back out of a surgery; he’s aggressive and informed). That’s the good news, as somehow the oncologist’s office dropped the ball with getting the surgeon the images of the latest CAT scan. I’m again shocked by the bureaucratic circus that is the healthcare system. Eyes wide open now, though. The surgeon seemed to think the likelihood of surgery any time soon was low anyway, but he added he’s eventually see the most recent images. At the beginning of this process, I was told 3-6 months of chemo. The six-month plateau is normative for people in my situation. That means it will surprise no one if I am in chemo the rest of the year. I expected that. If I’d still in chemo next April, that will be discouraging, but this isn’t. Next up (the surgeon ordered this one and it will be done at Mayo) is an MRI, something he prefers to work with. That’s in 2-3 months. All this means that having a serious surgical conversation (i.e., actually scheduling something) will likely only happen in January at the earliest. I’m hoping to have surgery by June or July at latest, as that would mark a year of going through the cancer. But I’d take earlier for sure. The honest answer is that no one knows and cannot guess at this point. So, please continue to pray:

(1) That chemo does its job; separating the tumor from the arteries;

(2) That my nausea and diarrhea are controlled;

(3) That I can gain back lost weight in between chemo cycles. This past week I gained seven lbs, something that had no happened for quite a while, so I know it can be done. It’s important for enduring chemo;

(4) That I can exercise. I have the surgeon’s permission (I have been concerned about ANY calorie loss) because any maintained / added muscle mass helps with recovery from surgery;

(5) That I can be productive in terms of (mostly) writing and prepping some school content going forward. It helps to maintain routine and mental activity.