Contradictions in life are always assured.
Michele is losing her hair again and feeling stronger today than in the last couple of months.
Today we slept in and then started working in our pajamas.
Her Cancer is both in remission and being treated.
What is in the name?
Hyper-CVAD is the specific regimen to combat the (ALL) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I am that guy that when things don’t make sense, I want to make sense of it. This name can be confusing. Hyper usually means FAST. 😎 Here is a good link that defines the term.
I am going to work on remembering the drugs that are part of this regimen. As we continue this journey, I am finding that more people know the medicines when they are familiar with Chemo.
I like doctors. Their words are careful to not over or under deliver. The words are also revealing to a factual statement of the situation.
ALL is the most common cancer in children and rare in adults. The 5-year survivability rate (The percentage of people that are alive 5 years after diagnosis) for people under 20 is 89% and over 20 it drops to 40%. 6 out of 10 adults diagnosed with ALL die within 5 years. (References for geeks… stats-1; stats-2). Rare does not mean impossible. Statistics can be encouraging as well. 40% survive.
Remission simply means that the equipment to measure for the cancer is unable to detect cancer cells. Our Doctor, Dr. Ghayas C. Issa, says that this “bone marrow born” disease could be hiding somewhere like in a big toe. It is just waiting for the coast to be clear to continue to multiply.
Read that part again. They cannot say it is gone. They can only say they can’t see it.
Much like in golf, you must complete the swing
My dad, a lifetime golfer, would appreciate that I learned that lesson many years ago. When you don’t complete a swing in golf, dreadful things can happen. When you don’t complete a treatment plan in Cancer, it could rise again.
We take days like this weekend and the last couple of days as a sign that when the treatment is complete, she will have more good days. Eventually she will have good weeks and good months. Dr. Issa told us on the first visit that studies found if they stopped when they could not see any cancer, it would come back. The treatment must be swung all the way through.
We have four more cycles to go. The next one to start on April 28th is 5N. It is part of a trial she volunteered to be in. There are three more cycles to complete of the Hyper-CVAD regimen. Then are we done? Nope! Radiation and maintenance schedule lie just over the horizon.
Today airlines are announcing that masks are no longer required on domestic flights. The pandemic will be in our hearts and memories for a long time. The constraints will be lifted, and many will continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons. I hope and pray that we as people will be kind to those that continue to wear them. I hope and pray that the vaccinated and unvaccinated will move forward in harmony. I hope and pray that we understand that we are all on our own journey that requires different “dress” for that journey.
I don’t foresee a time in the future where I don’t have an n-95 mask in my backpack. Much like a raincoat, there are times where it will feel necessary to wear them and then times where we do not. There will be a time when we need to take preventative medicines and times when we do not.
We do plan to live in Hyper speed, the fast version. We plan to be equipped to live out loud as we navigate this journey ahead.