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  • Writer's picturePastor Gene

Catching up

May 31, 2024

I haven't posted in a couple weeks so there is a lot to catch up on. Since my last post the wall of cards has grown. It brings me so much encouragement to look at that wall every time I leave my house and every time I come home. I can feel the love and support physically and spiritually.

Physically, I am doing well. I have had two R-CHOP Chemo treatments. You can find out more about R-CHOP here: R-CHOP Cancer Treatment (clevelandclinic.org)


The R-CHOP treatment days begin around 7am with a blood draw. Then a short visit with my oncologist, Dr. Letzer and the best research nurse in the world, Madi. We discuss how things are going, where we are in the treatment process and Hawaiian shirts. After the visit I go up to await my treatment. The treatment takes about 5-6 hours. The drugs are administered in order RCHOP. After all the chemo and immunotherapy drugs have been administered, I receive a shot of Epicoritamab. This is the immunotherapy drug I am taking as part of the clinical trial. I will get 12 doses of this drug over 12 weeks. I received the first dose (.16mg) on May 14th. The second dose (.8mg) on May 21st and this past Tuesday evening, May 28th I received the first full dose (48mg). Yes 48mg. This required me to stay in the hospital to be monitored for side effects, the biggest of which is CRS. You can find out more about CRS, Cytokine Release Syndrome here: Cytokine Release Syndrome: Symptoms, What It Is & Treatment (clevelandclinic.org). I had no side effects or complications from the full dose. I will get 9 more full dose shots of Epcoritamab. After the shot they monitor me for about an hour and if there are no reactions, I am free to go home. After the fifth dose I will no longer need to be monitored for the hour.

Physically, the first few days after an R-CHOP chemo treatment on Tuesday are the roughest. Usually, I start to feel the effects early Wednesday evening. By Thursday I feel fatigued and wear out very quickly. I have learned to listen to by body and when I need to stop and rest, I stop and rest. The rough period usually begins to fade by Saturday, but it comes and goes. I rest and drink a ton of water! Some days are higher energy than others. By the second week the extreme fatigue fades, but if I push too much, I feel it. The other big after effect of a chemo treatment is my appetite. Not everything tastes good. I can fix something that sounds good, eat about a third of it and lose the appetite for it. Usually, anything salty or spicy is best. Sweets are low on the list. Believe it or not, a Biggby sweet foam cold brew coffee doesn't even interest me. On the other hand, I'd drive 10 miles for a bag full of salty french fries!

I am blessed. So many friends and family, church family, work family all showering me with so much love, encouragement and understanding each and every day on this journey to kick cancer's arse! Thank you all!

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