Monday, November 11, 2013 at 12:24PM
So instead of getting my 60th round of chemo, Dr. Lenz had a different plan. After emailing with him back and forth during my trip, lamenting about my lung issues and wanting to focus on the issue head-on, Dr. Lenz put together a comprehensive plan to get to the bottom of my breathing. As usual, his planning and care was beyond criticism – the man is an incredible leader and so, so smart. So he checked me into Norris, and during the next several days (I was there from Monday through Friday), he set me up with meetings and tests with pulmonologists, cardiologists, hematologists…you name it. Everybody working together to determine why I was getting so short of breath and everybody working together to restore me to my old self – pretty awesome. I don’t know how many doctors attended to me, but it was somewhere above half a dozen. Obviously, I felt like a VIP and the best news is, we got a few answers and made some good progress. First off, my heart. It’s great. Second, my blood. It likes to clot but we’re pretty sure that Pierre isn’t totally to blame about this breathing stuff. My hematologist believes that there’s inflammation in the lungs and that’s the real culprit. Next, my lungs. Other folks on the team gave me some antibiotics, thinking maybe I also had a bacterial infection in my lungs that had been flying under the radar. The antibiotics were super helpful and totally cleared up the stupid cough I had, so I think they were right. Finally, my breathing. An awesome palliative care doc suggested I take a tiny bit of morphine when walking a bunch and that it would relieve the shortness of breath somewhat. And, of course, it did. How did I get so lucky to have such incredible, devoted doctors taking care of me? Who knows, man. But I’m grateful. I left the hospital feeling better, but knowing I still had a ways to go. But, slowly but surely, this lung thing has been turning around. I’m needing the wheelchair less and less and able to walk farther and farther. I am feeling supremely confident that I will be back in my old fighting shape very, very soon. I also believe a part of my recovery, which has been nothing short of miraculous if you really want to know, is the fact that we switched chemo regimens on my 60th Round. I really wasn’t feeling Zaltrap and I believe – although who knows if I’m right (come on, I know I’m right) – that Zaltrap really weakened me and played some part in my lung drama. Saying farewell to Zaltrap was a dream and switching up my cocktail seems like just what the doctor ordered. And in my next post, which will officially catch you up on all things WunderGlo, I’ll let you know how the momentous Chemo Round 60 went.