Monday, July 6, 2015

It's been so long...

Hi friends and family,

So here's what you may have missed previously on Cancer/Fashion:
  • Late April (just before his birthday) Jim started to feel a dull abdominal pain on his left side.
  • After a couple of weeks of different antibiotics, Jim went in for a CT scan to see what might be going on.
  • On May 21, our GP (general practitioner) told Jim the results of the CT scan seemed to indicate he might have colon cancer that spread to his liver. Jim's routine colonoscopy was scheduled for the following week--we weren't able to do it any sooner to confirm whether the scan really did reveal cancer.
  • On May 29, the colonoscopy (and biopsy) confirmed a large tumor.
  • The following week, June 5, we had an initial meeting with an oncologist who thinks Jim has Stage IV colon cancer. There was a slim chance the multiple growths on/around his liver were enlarged lymph nodes or something other than tumors, so we scheduled a liver biopsy.
  • On June 8, we met with a surgeon who scheduled an appointment to remove the large tumor in Jim's colon.
  • The liver biopsy on June 11 seemed to go well, but Jim became noticeably jaundiced and was in a lot of pain. A follow up ER visit provided a bunch of pain killers and not many answers, until we ran into the doctor who performed Jim's colonoscopy (he happened to be on call at the ER the day we went.) He recognized Jim and did some digging around--he came back and let us know the liver biopsy confirmed cancer and that the ER blood work showed that Jim's liver was not functioning well (hence the jaundice.)
  • At our scheduled oncologist's appointment the following week, we were told Jim was nearing liver failure and needed to be checked into the hospital ASAP for immediate chemotherapy. He was at the hospital all weekend for 48 hours of chemo. The scheduled surgery for his colon tumor was cancelled. Jim had a port installed into an artery (for future chemo) instead.
  • For the next week, Jim dealt with many sleepless nights, ongoing pain, and some significant weight loss.
And that's what you missed over the last six (or so) weeks.

We've set up this blog as a way to stay in touch with family and friends so you can know the latest about Jim's cancer treatment as well as his ongoing health updates. This past July 4th weekend, Jim's oldest brother Bernie came out to visit, hang out, help, and keep Jim entertained and well-fed (with some of his favorite cookies, no less ;-) While we were sitting around chatting, we brainstormed potential blog names. "Cancer Fashion" was a tongue-in-cheek way to poke fun at Jim's current weight loss and jaundiced appearance. If you know Jim and his brand of comedy, you'll appreciate this title.

We had a great weekend, and Jim's energy levels have been up ever since. At first we were worried that having a guest would tire him out, but Bernie's visit really energized Jim.

This week we're going in for chemo Round 2. Not sure if Jim will experience the same ups and downs with pain and energy loss as before, but we'll see.

Stay tuned...more soon!


  1. Well Jim, me ole mucker me lad you ain't doing things by half :-) I've seen Chemo at work and know she can be a right bitch but the longer you hang out with her the bigger and better the pay off. Sending big hugs and positive vibes xxxx