Thursday, May 29, 2014

There's hair up there

I looked in the mirror the other morning. That's an experience I mostly try to avoid, since over six months of chemotherapy have left me looking more like an aged, wizened chimpanzee than the virile young dude I still imagine in my mind's eye.
But as I gazed at my visage, I noticed something, well, not exactly new, but unexpected.
It's been several weeks since my last chemo-bomb, as my blood counts--both white and red--were too low to go any further with that treatment the last time they tried.
"Your bone marrow is pretty beat up," explained my oncologist.
And so, we waited. And we worried, because the chemo was doing a pretty good job of holding things in check, despite the unavoidable side effects that occur as a part of the package.
Meanwhile, because of the extended interruption in my chemo cycles, I started to actually re-grow some hair.  And while I gamely pursued that all-important task, the brains at Northwestern Memorial Hospital took a closer look at some earlier biopsy results.
They came up with some interesting news. Some good news, even.
"This is as good as it's gonna get," said the cancer doc in charge of an experimental program.
While I'm not  even close to being able to explain it all in scientific terms,  the tests studied mutations, genes and dna, then mixed in a double helping of good luck to reveal that I'm a good candidate for a clinical trial that will hopefully attempt to use targeted therapy to block the cancer and prevent further growth for awhile without the cell damage and nasty side effects that occur with the kind of big-time chemo I've been undergoing.
"We're excited," said the doc.
Me, too.
So now we wait some more while the i's are dotted, the t's are crossed, and the exact medical protocol is determined.
"Go home for awhile," said the doctor. "Rest. Try to gain some weight. Get stronger."
She headed for the door of the examining room, then turned back to us.
"And grow some hair," she smiled.
Will do.
I'm grateful, of course, for all the fantastic things those smart guys up there in Chicago can come up with. But I also know that the real solutions lie in another sphere altogether.
So thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for your positive thoughts and continued prayers.
God is good...all the time.
And so are you.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, John, you know we are in your corner rooting for you to win. Big time. Hope the new treatment is a success. Warm thoughts and prayers sent your way.