We did some last minute planning and booked two weeks in Hawaii - so off we went! We spent 5 days on the Big Island and enjoyed seeing a coffee plantation and visited a chocolate factory (I always thought that chocolate came in a gold Godiva bag!). It was so much fun, I loved it! Then we flew from Kona to Maui in this little 9 seater airplane just above the waves. They weighed you and your carryon bags before you boarded, it was a hoot! We did little on Maui other and eat great food and enjoyed the pool. We were able to put down this terrible disease for just a few days and enjoy life again like the good old days. It was great to visit Hawaii again. We look forward to our next visit.
Relative to our continued cancer battle, we arrived home, did a quick turn, and headed to Charlotte to see Dan's second opinion oncologists, Dr. Edward Kim and Dr. Katie Mileham - the new scan showed some growth in the original lung turmor but thank God no where else. So unfortunately our "chemo holiday" must come to an end. Following a week of discussing our options knowning it was time to intervene in an attempt to stablilize the growing tumor, working with our Charleston and Charlotte oncologists, the consensus is Dan enter a clinical trial in Charleston and take a course of oral chemotherapy. Dan's new oral chemo regimen will begin on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. He will receive an improved version of the oral chemotherapy drug Tarceva, called Dacomitinib. The clinical trial's focus is on minimizing the side effects of the strong chemotherapy medicine. He will receive the actual chemotherapy drug (not a placebo). Dan will take the Dacomitinib chemo pill daily for the next eight weeks, along with an antibiotic (or placebo) designed to lessen the common side effects of the drug (primarily severe skin rash and diarrhea). Our new trial will require weekly check-ins at the Charleston Cancer Center including blood and skin cultures. The "new" Pfizer Dacomiinib chemotherapy drug has shown some promise in stabilizing tumor growth among advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. In the meantime ... Dan has apparently re-injured his left knee (ok most will not remember his knee surgury back in the late 60's). Tomorrow we're going to Charleston for an MRI of Dan's knee and will meet with a orthpaedic specialist on Thursday to review / discuss options. When it rains it pours! I thank all of you who have listened and gone through the last week and a half with us, it has been very difficult.
Somewhere during the last week and a half I turned 55! Hard to believe and I thank you all for the cards, calls and Facebook messages. And news flash ... as of April 30, 2013 I am officially retired from American Airlines, so I think we need another retirement party!!! Most importantly Dan and I will be eligible to enroll in the new American Airlines' health care plan at the end of this year. This is of value since it will likely remove a lot of the risk associated with continuing with Dan's "Kodak" COBRA coverage. Secondly, our love of, ability and world of travel have multiplied having achieved retirement status. We'll now be able to fly on most airlines which should make our travel planning much easier. Who knows, the good Lord willing we still just might get Dan's South Pacific Cruise "bucket list" item accomplished later this summer!
Sending our love, good wishes and God's blessings to you and yours ...
Dan and Martha