A Health Update

Cucumbers, Acorn Squash, and String Beans in full bloom!

The past couple of months have not been my best physically, but the future looks good.  Specifically:

  • The last few rounds of chemotherapy have brought me face-to-face with some of the worst effects “chemo brain” and fatigue.  In reality, I don’t think the effects were a lot worse than the first rounds, but there was something distressing this time in checking out from many normal activities for the two months of the treatment regimen.  The good news is that I have finished my chemo regimens, and pending insurance approval, in the next couple of weeks I will start on immunotherapy with KEYTRUDA.  This treatment should have far fewer side effects and be just as effective, if not more than my chemotherapy to date.  All very good news.
  • This past Sunday evening, after being on the road for one week visiting family and friends, I sort of limped back into New Orleans, completely exhausted and severely short of breath.  I could not walk from one end of our house to the other without sitting down midway to rest.  The shortness of breath results from the battle with fluid on my lungs since this past October.  On April 1st, three liters of fluids were drained from both lungs.  Thanks to the excellent care I receive at Touro Infirmary, this past Monday within just a couple of hours of making the phone call, two liters were drained from just my left lung, which brought immediate relief.  I could take Grace for a walk as soon as we returned home from Touro.  The cause of the fluid accumulation is the cancer and the chemo used for treatment.  My pulmonologist convincingly argued that it was time to install a catheter tube so that I could drain the fluid at home every few days as needed.  He installed the tube this past Monday as well.  Today, with Emma’s assistance, I drained another liter of fluid here at home. The ability to keep the fluid regularly drained will be a huge enhancement to my daily life in everything from gardening, bicycle riding, and just walking around the block.

So although my last couple of months have had ups and downs, I am optimistic for the future.  Over the past few months, the likely need for a catheter and switching to immunotherapy were raised by and discussed with the medical team at Touro Infirmary.  I simply cannot say enough about the excellent care they have provided me over the past two years of cancer treatment.

I remain grateful for my life today and the support of my best friend Emma, and all of my family and friends.  My plans are filled with travel, projects, and lots of gardening.

Life is good and I am blessed.

8 thoughts on “A Health Update

  1. You clearly show how fluid accumulation has been damaging your quality of life. The catheter is a big step in giving you control, and the relief is immediate. Good for you!
    So many times you have praised your care team at Touro. We’re happy to know that you are confident and in good hands.
    in

  2. Robert, so glad to hear from you again. I was beginning to worry about you. I hate that you’ve had to experience the distress of the chemo. I pray that things improve dramatically as you switch to another therapy. As always, you are an inspiration to me. Grace and peace to you…

    dw

  3. Robert, you are truly amazing. These posts are such an inspiration for me to do more to take care of myself. What a gift you and Emma are! My gratitude for your willingness to intimately share your journey is overflowing. May God continue to strengthen and comfort each of you. 🙏✝️💕

  4. Good to hear you r feeling better. I concur, Touro is the very best. I worked there 30 yrs ago! On the cancer unit. Kind, intelligent providers. Be well. I just retired from nursing’s one week ago! Scarey

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