Things have been moving at warp speed over the past two weeks and there is so much to catch y’all up on! Last time I was getting ready to meet with radiation oncology and kind of bummed that it looked like my family would need to settle in Houston over the holidays to get this treatment in. I was trying to have good spirits about it, but it was a tough pill to swallow.
Well, that consult with radiation oncology went better than I could have imagined, and instead my doctor designed a plan that had me start this past Monday, December 14 and has me finish up on Wednesday, December 23. So I get to head home to Austin that day and be with my family for the Christmas holiday, which is really special to us. And, to add to my fortune, my dad offered/insisted on driving the 1700 miles from upstate NY to be with me in Houston, allowing my husband and daughter to continue their routine undisturbed. Since we’ll be reunited for Christmas, I really don’t mind spending this time apart with what feels like everyone where they are supposed to be.
Radiation has been tougher on me than I expected. I need to keep up with my anti-nausea regimen or pay the price. And I spend a lot of time asleep or somewhere between asleep/awake as I watch TV on the couch. My dad is an excellent caretaker; he’s attentive and takes feedback well. We’ve been bonding, learning about times in each others lives we don’t know much about.
In a continuation of my amazing luck, I got a call at the beginning of this week that I got a slot in a new trial. It’s a highly sought after spot because it is a new immunotherapy drug and this is the last one at the current dose. After I start there’s a safety period to see how I and the others in my dose cohort tolerate the drug before opening up slots in the next and final dose level. I love that the timing works out that I am already here in Houston for the screenings I need to go through to finish qualifying for the slot. I am a little sad that it means I will need to spend time in Houston the week of New Year’s, I was hoping I’d get to recover from radiation a bit longer, but it is not worth giving up this slot for. And this trial has a very low time commitment from me – after the initial infusion day I only need to stay one more day for a blood draw and then I can head home. I’ll need to do weekly visits for this first round, but then that’s it, I just show up for infusion every 3 weeks. This will be so much easier on my body than the travel required for that last trial.
Oh, which reminds me that I should mention my travel fix. I made it clear in my last post that I was not going to be driving myself to Houston, I was going to find another solution. I did indeed, something my lovely host Jacki suggested ages ago and I always ignored. It’s called the VonLane bus, a luxury bus that runs between the major cities in Texas. Currently they won’t sell seats next to each other and masks are required, so it feels as safe as possible in this climate. This isn’t an ad or anything, I just wanted to share the info for anyone curious.
That brings us to a close. My joy this week has been my incredible fortune in so many areas. I’m trying to appreciate every bit of it, including that today is my day off from radiation treatment. I hope you are all experiencing good things as well, my friends.