A Long-Overdue Update

Well, it has been months since my last blog!  So much has happened, and many have asked for an update.  In my last update, I had just come through the surgery to remove all of the infected hardware.  I’m still without a forehead, but doing very well.  About 4 – 6 weeks after that surgery, I started chemo.  Since my cancer progressed while taking Temozolomide, we’re trying something different this time — PCV.  PCV is a pretty wicked combination of Procarbazine, CCNU (Lomustine), and Vincristine.  Fortunately for me, Vincristine has not shown to be effective against brain cancer, so I’m skipping that one, but am on a pretty regular regimen of Procarbazine and CCNU.  The regimen is essentially one day of CCNU, one week off, two weeks of Procarbazine every day, two weeks off, then start over.  I do that for about 48 weeks, and I’m done.  Due to the missing forehead, we’ll likely take a pause from the chemo in October, to allow the neurosurgeon to reconstruct the skull, then resume chemotherapy after I’ve fully recovered.

The symptoms are quite manageable.  The nausea and vomiting seem to be completely controlled by the medication (mostly Zofran), so that hasn’t been bad at all…just a little queasy.  The biggest problem has been fatigue, and nothing seems to help.  Fatigue caused by chemotherapy seems almost untreatable, unmanageable.  It’s not the “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” kind of fatigue, and it’s not the “I worked out too hard this morning” kind of fatigue.  It’s completely different, and nothing seems to help.  Nothing.  I’ve already completed two rounds, with probably four more to go.  I think it will get worse before it gets better, but right now it’s been quite bearable.

When we restart chemotherapy after the reconstructive surgery in October, we’ll be adding a new technology called Optune.  I mentioned this in one prior blog, but we had to put it on pause due to the infection.  With the infection gone, once the skull is reconstructed, we’ll be able to start again.  This will work in concert with the chemotherapy to prevent any residual cancer from growing or metastasizing (spreading), and does so with very few if any side effects.

The last part of the update is the unexpected career impact.  Just last week, I was informed that this latest recurrence has been ruled by the Air Force to be “inconsistent with continued military service,” and I’ve been medically retired.  I’m on what’s called “terminal leave” at the moment, and for the next month or two, which is essentially time off so that I can find a home and find a job.  Well, I already have the first and don’t plan to seek the second, so it’s just great family time.  I’ll have an official retirement ceremony in September, but for now I’m just relaxing, reading, writing, and speaking.  Stay tuned to see how retired life agrees with me!

~ by MichaelMoyles on July 9, 2017.

5 Responses to “A Long-Overdue Update”

  1. Glad for the update and that you are doing fairly well,considering. I just asked Randy yesterday if he’d heard an update. Enjoy your family time and keep in touch.

  2. Love you , Mike; Continued prayers for you, Angie, and Ellie. Family time is the greatest. We enjoyed seeing Angie and Ellie; you were missed!

  3. Thank you for the update. I heard about your story from Shelly at New Life Church. She worked with you. Keeping you in my prayers. My husband is retired AF and I had a brain tumor earlier this year. Mine was just a meningioma and benign. Enjoy your sweet family and keep us updated.

  4. We continue praying for you and your family; you blessed us greatly this summer at WSS. Jeff & Grace Silliman

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