Peter’s Update!

A message from at 7:18pm about Jobs, Peter. Comments Off.

It’s been nine months since my last update. I figured it was time to log in and make one.

First, I have a job! (Sort of.) Since October, I have been a substitute teacher in several school districts covering classes from kindergarten through eighth grade in a variety of subjects including: Physical Education, Art, Music, Orchestra, Technology Education, and most recently, Spanish. (If you were wondering, I don’t speak any Spanish.)

In May, I get promoted to a long-term sub, meaning I will be a substitute teacher in the same classroom for the remainder of the school year. Woo! Except it comes with no benefits. Boo!

All the experience I’m getting will hopefully translate into a full-time, contracted job offer for the 2008-09 school year. Wish me luck!

In other news, the cornea transplant has gone smoothly. I go in for my not-quite-1-year follow-up next week, at which we will discuss the removal of stitches from my cornea. (Ew!) Just my luck that this will all happen during the end of the school year, beginning of summer school, and teacher-interview season.


Update – April 2, 2008

A message from at 5:59pm about Dad, Lung Cancer. 2 responses.

On Monday, March 31, we received the long overdue good news from the doctor at Froedtert during the visit — Tarceva was working. But the news didn’t come without a twist.

I had a CT scan on March 18, about a month after I started Tarceva. Before we visit the doctor on the following Monday, we already learned from the grapevine that the CT results were not good, suggesting Tarceva was not functioning, and doctors already reached agreement to give up any treatment. Without seeing the report or films, we really couldn’t do anything.

But I just wondered how the hell was I gaining energy since taking Tarceva if conditions were getting worse. Couple days later, the picture got a little clearer.

The conclusion was drawn based on the comparison to the CT scan done on November 26 last year. That raised a flag. Since November was the end of the first chemo cycle but my conditions were deteriorating during the second chemo cycle in December and January. Besides, I didn’t start Tarceva until February 12 this year. The November CT was out-of-date by three months. Without a valid baseline to compare with, how could one draw an important decision like that? So, I shot them an email, emphasizing the invalid comparison and questioning their decision. Luckily when I was hospitalized in December, they ran a CT on me for blood clot in the lungs and Froedtert got a copy. So, we were told to bring the March 18 films to Froedtert on the March 31 visit. In the mean time, we resumed taking Tarceva.

So, the March 18 films were compared with the December 26 films, focusing on cancer cells. And the March films actually showed smaller tumors in the liver, suggesting Tarceva was working. Suddently it all makes sense. The second chemo cycle actually didn’t do anying toward tumors but wearing me down. God knows how much the tumors has grown and how bad my system has deteriorated during that two and a half months. On the hind sight, my hospitalization in January leading to the decision of giving up chemo might have actually saved my life. Someome up there must be watching me.

We welcome the good news. In the mean time, I continue to build up my energy level. My daily walking distance has increased from about 0.25 miles in February to more than 1.7 miles today and it will keep going up. Also, I am trying a “self-rescue” exercise. After all, the medicine will stop working one day and the only reliable defense is my own immune system.