Monday, November 9, 2009

VGPR - Very Good Partial Remission

Today is Monday morning, November 9th and I am at the Huntsman Center starting cycle #4 of my low – dose chemotherapy. I have been off all my cancer meds for the last three weeks and I feel great. I’m sure that is about to change as I start a new cycle of treatment, but there is no other way of killing the beast. So I guess I will just have to do as some of my Idaho in-laws would say, that is, just cowboy-up and deal with it.

The reason for the break in treatment was that I completed three cycles of treatment and could not start the forth until I re-tested (bone marrow biopsy, etc.) and had a visit with Dr. Zangari. Fortunately that process took a few weeks and I got a brief break from the chemo. However, that all happened last week and I am back in treatment today. The visit with the Dr. on Friday turned out to be all good news, not perfect, but overall very good. My Myeloma markers have all improved so I asked him “Am I in complete remission because I would really like to tell my daughters that I am”? His reply was “Let’s just say you are in a very good partial remission”. I thought at the time he was just giving me some weasel words to appease me, but I found out this morning from my P.A. that VGPR (Very Good Partial Remission) is actually one of the categories they use for defining a patient’s level of remission. They are:

Partial Remission
Very Good Partial Remission
Near complete Remission
Complete Remission

So even though I have a ways to go, things are all moving in the right direction and I am optimistic that sometime over the next 9 cycles of chemotherapy we will beat this monster into submission and get to complete remission.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kentucky Rendezvous

Worth the Wait
Have you ever counted the days and just prayed that nothing would interfere with your carefully laid plans? Our family hadn't all been together for over two years, thankfully in October we gathered at the Halversen's home in Northern Kentucky. Two important events in our lives brought us together. Ethan, Jennifer and Gary's youngest son was baptized. Thus far we have not missed one of our grand children's baptisms, a record we plan to keep intact. Lia, Kelly and Tyler's oldest daughter, had her seventh birthday that weekend. Serious excitement. A few of the clan encountered some germs, they shared, passed it on and yet we managed to have a wonderful time together. Fall in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati was picturesque and the weather was delightful. Thanks to the Halversens for their hospitality - can't wait until December in Wisconsin!!

Gary and EthanApparently we were early......

Ethan anxiously waiting to get started

Dinner after the baptism

The men and some of the girls ate an amazing amount of ribs - Tanner not surprisingly ate the MOST!!

Ethan and Jaxon were so entertaining, their small plates turned into flying saucers and their napkins were masks....they told tall tales - great fun to witness.

Decorating individual cakes for the birthdays - Ethan just turned eight the end of September

Ethan and Lia opening gifts

Lia, a true Wisconsinite with her Packer's shirt

Ethan with his comforter and chocolate!


Jennifer took those of us who had never been to Cincinnati on a tour.

Are they adorable or what?

Enjoyed the ride - it was a gorgeous day.

Kelly, Maggie & Tyler with the Ohio river in the background

Family Photos- everyone's favorite day!?

Great backyard - and exceptionally good looking family


The Kings

Standing - Lia, Lauren, Annie
Audrey & Maggie sitting

Jaxon, Tanner and Ethan