This is kind of a "where are we now" post because nothing really exciting has happened recently, but that is probably a good thing because strangely enough an "exciting" night for us usually starts with a 103 degree temperature and ends with me in the hospital. That being said, things have been going very well for us since the whole swine flu ordeal. We met with the Doctor to discuss our maintenance schedule for at least the next year, maybe longer depending on how we do. This next round consists of me going up to the clinic twice a week, every other week to get a Velcade push. This means they will "access" my port (which means they stick tubes into my skin basically allowing them to draw blood as needed and give me chemo or any other drug), do some blood tests on the first visit of the week to see where my levels are (these are various levels they test in my blood to track things like white blood cell counts and other things I don't know much about) and give me Velcade, which is a very small amount of a drug that is part of my chemo regimen. On top of this I have a long list of pills that I take every morning and every night, as well as a daily shot to keep my blood from clotting. There are minimal side effects which is very nice, the worst part is probably just having to go up to the clinic every other week, but we realize it could be worse. This will be our routine for the next year, and then the Doctor will reevaluate me and we will go from there. Right now, I am in partial remission but the Doctor thinks after about two months of this maintenance program I should be in full remission, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. I am able to move around without a cane on my own now, and I have started to work with a physical therapist who is trying to strengthen my muscles and get me back to somewhere that at least vaguely resembles my old life. This last phase of the treatment is not easy, but it is nice to see the end in sight. With most of the cancer gone it would be so nice to just go back to normal, the way things were, but we realize that is going to take some time and that it will never go back to exactly how it was before, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is good to have the holidays approaching and have a chance to see and visit with family and friends, and focus on the important things in life once again. We have learned throughout this experience those important things are the special people around us, and the relationships we build with them. When you are put in the kind of circumstances we have been through this past year, you realize nothing else really matters, nothing in the world. We are so grateful for all of the progress I am making these days, and we really appreciate all of the continued support, treats, cards, and love that is shown to us every day. Thank you so much to all of our friends and family, we love you more than you will ever know.
Brandon and Katie