Scans and Infusions

My seventh and eighth infusions were wonderfully unremarkable! The only drama was no results from my early morning blood draw showing up in my medical record. Those results are required before the infusion could begin. I called Trish, my oncology case manager. She put me on hold and called around, discovered that the blood chemistry machine that serves all the labs at Kaiser Interstate was non-functional. She also discovered that someone had driven my blood (and doubtless others) to the big central lab. Happily, the results came up as Kathy, the nurse of the day, was finishing the pre-infusion questions. So the eighth infusion proceeded in a wholly unremarkable way 😊

The MRI of my brain confirmed that the radio surgery had killed the melanoma cells in my brain. One of the two remaining pockets of dead cells is completely gone and the other much smaller. I like the idea my brain healing!

The final event of the day was CT scan of my torso, looking particularly at the melanoma nodules in my lungs. The conclusion is that the nivolumab (trade name “Opdivo”) has stopped the cancer. There are no new nodules which means the normal metastasis of the very aggressive melanoma is not happening. Neither are the nodules growing. Of course, I would like them to be smaller, something the two med treatment accomplished but with terrifically impacting side effects (see January-March posts).

The next steps will be to slow the infusion cycle from every two weeks to every four weeks with scans every three months. If all goes well, Dr. Mashru will pause the treatments after the April scans to see what is happening.

I deeply appreciate the prayers and encouragement of so many. I continue feeling fine with no effects from the cancer or side effects from the nivolumab. Now if I can just get my grades done . . .

Sherry, Cyndee and I spent a week at Clydehurst Christian Ranch in the mountains of South Central Montana. It is the place where Robert Redford filmed “A River Runs Through It.” I found my curiosity, which is always huge, kicked into an even higher gear with all the beauty and all the stories of people. As I was doing a pre-marital with Erik and Cynthia tonight, my eyes went once again to a cross stitched picture which a friend who sees my soul made for me many years ago.

16 thoughts on “Scans and Infusions

  1. Hi Gerry,
    The news that your brain is healing and the lung cancer is static brought a smile to my face. I’m still praying the lung cancer goes away completely, but I’ll praise God for the news we have!

    • Thank you, Aaron. I continue to love and serve the Lord, enjoying every day the strong body and spirit that I have as His gift.

  2. Gary, I think about you and wonder how I can find out how you are doing. But I never have tried. So, tonight I thought I’d just do an internet search and found this site. I’m thrilled to read of the progress. THRILLED! Me? I’m still leading “ITEM.” I’ll be 75 in January and we are in transition mode to a new director. But I’m not going anywhere. I’m stepping aside not out. I have been back into reading books on apologetics focusing on cultural hot buttons and listening to apologetics podcasts. I am doing some speaking on these issues both at home and now in Africa. Reminds me of the TV show, Answers for a Thirsty World, when you’d come on as my guest and we’d talk about some of the hot topics back then. Again, SO THRILLED to hear the good report! To God be the glory!

    • Thank you, Stephen. I get the newsletters, so I am up to date with much of your world. Blessing to you in your transitions

  3. Oh Gerry, praising God with you that your treatments are going so well! This is the best news. I’ll continue to pray!
    Also, that is a special cross stitch. 🙂

  4. Gerry, the Kansas group from Clydehurst has been anxiously awaiting this fantastic news. I will let the rest of the group know and I will continue to pray for your healing. Thanks for your teaching at Clydehurst. Our group has discussed it several times since we returned home.
    God bless you,

  5. Praise God. I’ve been waiting for an update and am thrilled by what I read. Blessings to you. Thank you for spending time w us.

  6. This is INCREDIBLE NEWS, Gerry! The treatments have been so draining at times, but you have consistently shown how much God’s strength can sustain us. Knowing that all of those hard days were effective and the cancer is healing- that is so much to celebrate!

    • Hi Liz. Yes, so much to celebrate!! You saw me almost at the low point of the side effects, but happily those days are gone.

    • Thank you, Susie. Things are going well, I am very glad to say. In all our busy, we need to get together and pray

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