My Personal Cancer Journey — Pluses and Minuses

This could be an interesting day! I woke this morning with severe back pain in a region of my back that usually does not bother me. Like most old folks I have back pain, but it is typically in the lower back where I have some vertebral issues. This pain is higher up, on my right side, in the region of the right kidney. This is also where, low and behold, my adrenal tumor was found! I hope this is not a harbinger of the growth of this tumor and, worse, an indication that my chemotherapy is not working.

On a more positive note, I have not been experiencing the fatigue that I have been feeling for the past two weeks. I think I can attribute the improvement to the fact that I was given another shot of the Aranesp, the pill designed to boost the production of blood cells in the bone marrow. This pill seems to work magically. My hemoglobin levels are still below normal but they have improved significantly and the effect on my life has been dramatic.

Before closing today, I want to mention the PBS special that I wrote about several days ago. This fascinating chronicle of the history of cancer and cancer treatment, entitled Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies, dramatized the incredible highs and depressing lows of cancer research and treatment over the years. I shed many tears as I watched but I am so glad that I saw the program. If you did not see it, try to find it in the On Demand menu of your cable company. 

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