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The 8th Infusion That Wasn't: Day 143
Journal entry by Michael March — 5/27/2016

On Friday May 27, we once again went to Johns Hopkins Hospital for a few CT Scans, and another cancer treatment. This was my scheduled 8th infusion. However, today was not going to end on a happy note.

Over the last four or five days, my breathing has become much more labored. I have also been spitting up a little blood during the last few days. Having phlegm is normal with lung cancers, having a little blood in it, is not. I wrote an e-mail to my research nurse at Johns Hopkins, and was told we would have to wait for the scan results.

Well, the scans came back showing I had some inflammation in my lungs. This kicked me out of the clinical trial, because the inflammation might be a side affect of the treatment itself, and it is very dangerous. We were told it could kill me if we didn't get it under control quickly. We left Johns Hopkins with prescriptions and heavy hearts.

I was happy to have my preacher, Larry, there with us. I wanted him there just in case what happened, actually happened. And, it happened.

According to the HopDocs the inflammation should be cleared up by next Tuesday, with the drugs they are hitting me with. Which also means, I should be able to at least breath easier.

On Tuesday I get more scans to make sure that is under control, and we will have a discussion about what comes next. While talking about the CT Scan, we were told the treatment seems to not be working. The tumors are still growing but not too quickly. Overall I am not responding well to the treatment, which is the reason I have been pulled from the clinical trial. This leaves me with only only a few choices. Have chemo or to do nothing and let nature do her thing. Those are my most basic choices.

I am leaning toward doing nothing. I am going to die soon, and I would rather not be sick the last few weeks or months of my life, then to live 2 extra months puking and wishing I was dead. My friends and family have decades to live and I don't want them to remember me dying that way. I don't want to be the person that thinks bankrupting a family is worth another week of life. I want to make sure my wife, Tammy, is left with all she needs to lead the life we wanted to have together after we both retired.

We will have those discussions over the next week or so and I need the facts laid before me, the best guesses from the HopDocs, and a little bit of dumb luck before finalizing my next steps. We may end up going the chemo route until I decide enough is enough. It's not like there are a lot of mentors out there one can go to, to ask that all important question. "After you died, did you regret your final decisions on treatment?"

The only thing I am 100% sure of is my career at NFCU, as a day to day ISD Technician, has come to an end. My HopDocs suggested I go on disability now! It was the first time I saw "that" look in their eyes, and heard the crack in their voices. I have loved working for NFCU from day one. It breaks my heart I won't see my 10th anniversary (March 19, 2017), or have the ability to retire, and I won't see the hundreds upon hundreds of friends I have made there. It breaks my heart to think more than a few people will be upset I was not able to actually give them a hug, tell them it was okay, and to say goodbye. I am not sure how I will end up saying goodbye to everyone, but it will be the hardest thing I will have had to do since I was told my fate back on January 5.

Whatever comes next, and however it comes to pass, it has been a wonderful life filled with laughter, worldwide adventures, good friends, heartaches and good times. I have loved and lost, and loved again and found my way through the darkness that can cover you in this life from time to time. However, when the end comes, it will still have been far too short.

I hope you will come along for the ride and look back at this site..... in the future when the inevitable comes to pass. These pages are merely a moment in time, from a long time ago, at some point in your future. Please remember me, and these moments in time.

With Love,
Mike
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