Aloha my friends!
We're getting ready to leave this morning for our trip to Long Beach, CA to visit Rick's family, then we leave on Thursday for the Big Island of Hawaii, so today is the last of any "cancer talk". The trip will be mostly a "no cancer" zone, especially once we board the plane on Thursday.
I had a CAT scan on Friday and after hanging around Dana Farber all day waiting for the results, at 4:45 I learned that my cancer is stable. Woohoo, the horse has been corralled a bit (the head is out by just a nose), the clinical trial drug seems to be at least somewhat effective, and I can go off on vacation knowing that things are generally good. I will stay in the trial until the next scan - which will be in about 8 weeks. The scan did show a 4% increase in my tumor load. But fortunately, my load is small so 4% of not much is still not much. My tumor markers stayed steady at 101 (normal is below 38 and it was 101 two weeks ago) but my CEA actually went down from 0.8 to 0.5 (normal is below 2.5). If this number is meaningful at all, it would seem to indicate the drug is doing something good. Dr. Chen was on vacation and I didn't address the question with her PA. Next time.
So now this blog will, once again, become a travelogue. You can look forward to stories and pictures of our LA/Long Beach/Catalina Island adventures followed by our nine days in beautiful Hawaii. Our son Ron and his lovely partner Christine will be joining us in Hawaii, so we expect to have a fun time and do a few things we might not do if we were there on our own. One big experience will be witnessing the Ironman Competition in Kona on 10/13. Many of the world's finest athletes will be competing and this is probably the biggest event in Kona each year. Fabulous beaches, the volcanoes, the scent of plumeria, Kona coffee and beautifully-presented food - looking forward to it all. And we'll try to take in a little of the old authentic Hawaiian culture. This is, I believe, our sixth trip to the islands so you know we love Hawaii and will enjoy every minute.
I think I'm going to try parasailing!!!