Fast forward fourteen months (March 2023)…
Along the way, I continued being a good patient regarding my other cancers.
Along the way, I dealt with a few bumps in the road that included several infuriating stories that highlight the occasional mindlessness and heartlessness of the healthcare bureaucracy (better shared at another time).
But along the way, lots of enormously encouraging things happened, too:
First, the blood in my urine eventually disappeared and hasn’t shown since.
Second, a case of Epididymitis (a painful, but common post-operative complication from the bladder surgery) eventually resolved on its own–a strong sign that my immune system may be stronger than I thought.
Third, it seemed that I was producing fewer skin lesions.
Fourth, my blood counts “normalized” indicating that my Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is in remission, being treated quite successfully with Acalabrutinib (Calquence).
Fifth, my Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) and Keytruda infusions rendered my PSA levels undetectable.
Sixth, the lesions in my liver shrunk significantly (likely thanks to Keytruda).
Seventh, all those grossly enlarged lymph nodes in my groin, neck, and armpits became unpalpable.
Eighth, I recovered my appetite, weight, strength, and energy I thought were lost forever.
Ninth, my cancer antigens (a measure of what kinds and how much cancer you have) became undetectable.
Tenth, nowhere along the way have I experienced any of the many possible “Oh shit” side effects I was worried about.