Chemotherapy update on fifth of second cycle of nine infusions for distal cholangiocarcinoma survivor

Valentine's Day is Coming

Feb 9, 2021

( articles / cancer )

My last update was for my eighth round of gem/abraxane chemo (of nine for the first cycle). After my ninth, I got a wonderful break from chemo for over a month during the Christmas holidays. I really took advantage of that time and worked out, ate lots of charcuterie and drank lots of wine, all the while enjoying a wonderful holiday season with Riley, Connor and Denise.

2020 Christmas

We had a guest over the holidays as well, Nana, from Riley’s school. Due to covid, she couldn’t return to Austria to be with her family, so instead she stayed with us and (hopefully) enjoyed the Colson Family Circus!

Cancer Update

After the holidays, I started back on treatment once again (my second cycle). My numbers had increased a little bit due to the time off … it gave the cancer an opportunity to regroup, I guess. The good news is: my numbers have gone back down now that I’m in treatment again. So far, the chemo seems to be holding it off.

Tomorrow (February 10th, 2021) I’ll be back at Saint Vincent’s Private for my fifth treatment (of nine once again). My sixth treatment will be on the 17th and then I’ll get a week off. After my week off I’ll go back for three more treatments (treatment seven through nine) at which point I’ll hopefully get a bit of time off (for good behavior). As far as how I’m feeling, I’m generally very ‘fuzzy’ throughout the day, due to the chemo. It’s sometimes hard to concentrate on very simple things and I’ll catch myself just staring at nothing every once in a while :-/. That being said, I’m trying to keep my brain as active as possible by playing a bit with some new programming languages and databases, playing games with the family and I’ve started playing a bit of D&D again – a lot has changed since I used to play back in the 80’s!

Family Updates

We hope that travel will be a bit more feasible in April, so we’re planning a quick ‘stay-cation’ with the kids in Cork, over the Easter holiday. The one thing that we all love to do is travel, unfortunately this is the worse time to have stage 4 cancer! During a pandemic!

Riley is “heads down” studying for her Leaving Certificate like a champ! She’s been a bit nervous (moreso than an Irish student normally is for Leaving Cert) due to the fact that the Department of Education has not determined yet, how they will end up testing the sixth year students this year. Last year they decided on predictive grades for the first time ever, and it was a bit of a fiasco as there was no real ‘standard’ for schools to follow. She’s still writing and playing music with a local band, and has just recently signed up for a creative writing course as well!

Connor Suture

Connor is in his second year of medical school, and still enjoying the ridiculous amount of lectures and material he’s required to learn. I now know what it feels like when I speak geek (software talk) to my family … he does it to me with medical jargon now! He received a practice ‘suture kit’ for Christmas and has been practicing with that a bit. He’s still seeing wonderful Katie, however with all the covid lockdowns and restrictions they haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together.

Valentine’s Day is on it’s way! Unfortunately, due to covid, Ireland is completely locked down … so we’ll most likely make the most out of an ‘indoor Valentine’s Day picnic’ plan; it’s just currently too cold to go to a park! I’m hoping that I can pull off a ‘romantic day’! We hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day is romantic and amazing!

Denise is my love, my joy, my head chef (I’m learning a bit of baking), my head coach and my Angel! She hasn’t let me feel sorry for myself, and has instead programmed workouts for me every day that I can get out of bed! 💪 I truly believe that the endorphins from working out help me keep a positive outlook. I definitely don’t lift as heavy as I used to, but I still feel physically strong and capable on those days… and I thank my thoughtful, extraordinary and beautiful wife for that. Taking care of Riley, Connor and myself is just too easy for her, however, so she also volunteers with the Irish Cancer Society. She drives patients that can not drive themselves to and from cancer treatment appointments. She definitely has some great stories from some of the patients! Breaking, exciting news: Denise just passed her driver’s exam, which is notoriously difficult to do here in Ireland, so she can now replace the ‘L’earners plate with a ‘N’ew driver plate on the car.

All for now! Peace and Love!