For the last three weeks my lab results have placed my Amalase and Lipase results squarely in the normal range. And while I am thrilled by the results, and have had a beer and rum and coke as a result, I am still being reminded that there are other challenges that irritate me. 

Which makes me wonder when are we ever satisfied with where we are and what we’ve got, and how much can we actually tolerate along the way before we break?

My thyroid and my cortisol levels are off and we are keeping a close eye on them. My hemoglobin and iron levels are still low but I did have a bit of a positive jump last week so that is promising, yet my energy levels are still quite low. My eyes continue to be super dry and I’m getting closer to cataract surgery.

And ain’t it grand that I am whining about such simple challenges now. Everything that causes emergency room visits seem to be under control, and that is a nice feeling. A very nice feeling.

So am I a whingey greedy guy to ask for all the side effects to take a break? 

Maybe I am getting picky, but when I compare the Jim of today with the Jim of five years ago I definitely don’t see whingey. As a matter of fact my tolerance level for so many things is off the charts in comparison to what I believe I could handle before this journey began.


Today, and for the majority of the last eight months, the daily feeling of having what feels like a hundred mosquito bites has plagued me. And I’m damn itchy.

We thought my skin irritation would have disappeared after the end of Temsirolimus but it’s only gotten worse. From what the Oncologist said less than 10% of those on Nivolumab have a skin irritation...and wouldn’t you know it I get to carry the torch. I have an appointment to see a Dermatologist in May, but till then it’s an antihistamine (Rupal) in the morning, Steroid (Dexamethasone) after lunch and antihistamine (Benadryl) before bed. To compliment this process I use a fancy skin cream twice a day and my lovely Tracey puts a dab of Cortical Steroid on each bump. Oh and I walk around in shorts and no shirt as any touch irritates the little red bumps.

Actually, side note, the other day Amanda brought a girlfriend home and I was doing dishes in my underwear...poor kids, they won’t be able to un-see that. They learned that cancer affects us all!

I could mention a bunch of other things that are a result of the chemo, steroids and Immunotherapy but for now I’ll park it there as I’m sure I’ll find time to whinge about them in the future. I mean educate.

Instead I’ll cap it by saying it is infinitely amazing to me how much resilience you can muster up if you have the right frame of mind. And even while your level of issue may be reduced you can still genuinely and fairly attempt to get to a point where you have zero side effects.

With the right frame of mind you can celebrate on one hand and still push hard for a better spot. One does not negate the other. 

Anyways, in my case, the way I see it, I get to take my clothes off even at the dinner table and my wife rubs cream all over me daily.

Beat that you issue free bastards!

Bang a Gong

Brilliant Article