Health Update from Rich

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and encouragement as we fight cancer.

That’s an interesting phrase, isn’t it? “Fighting cancer.” It’s one I’ve honestly wondered about over the years, only to learn how real the mental battle is. My respect for those of you who have gone before me in this fight is huge!

Good news!
A recent PET scan shows “no hyper-metabolic activity.” This means that the cancer has retreated from the chemotherapy and, as far as a PET scan can reveal, is no longer active in my body. This is a great answer to prayer! We will continue chemotherapy through the end of April to insure that any cancer that isn’t showing up on the PET gets wiped out, as well.

Not-so-good news.
A recent pulmonary function test shows that the “diffusing capacity” of my lungs has dropped about 35% in the past two months, and my breathing has become more labored. Bleomycin is one of the four drugs in my chemo cocktail, and can sometimes be toxic to the lungs. We are unsure at this point whether the damage to my lungs is permanent or not, but will be meeting next week with a pulmonologist to learn more and have some more tests done. In the meantime, we have decided to drop Bleomycin from the cocktail.

Thank you for all of your support. Your prayers, meals, and financial help have been so encouraging! Only 15 weeks to go!