Monday, March 16, 2015

Health Update

I wanted to update my readers since so many of you have asked me how I am doing.  Friday was a big day, getting my first CT scan in three months since I was diagnosed.

I drank half the prep solution two hours before the appointed time and the other half on the way to the lab.  The scan was very quick.  One nurse prepped me and as soon as I laid down on the scanner, the nurse radiologist in charge injected the contrast.  I had to hold my arms behind my head which was painful and tiring on worn out shoulders but it didn't last long.

I told LuAnn we ought to see who was in at the oncologist's office so we could ask our questions about the scan and the chemo scheduled for next week.  We asked for Jill the nurse but Dr. Andolina took time to see us.

He said let's take next week off and decide our plan during that week.  That was music to my ears but I didn't want to get behind in my treatments, either.  He said one week was no problem and I needed the rest and he needed the time to decide how we go forward.

Dr. Andolina told us to text him before he left the office to remind him and he would give us an update.  LuAnn texted him around 4 pm and he called before he left the office.  The news is the small cell cancer is much smaller and nearly under control.  He was pleased how the liver and lympth nodes looked  The only problem was there was no change in my prostate gland which was not larger or smaller and I've had BPH for years.  He said that could be the typical prostate cancer and does not respond to the chemo but does respond to hormone injections.

I said that is what my dad had and he took the injections for 10 years at Christ Hospital.  I see a biopsy in my future and I wouldn't be surprised if it is this week.

We feel pretty positive about all of this if I can keep my strength up and keep improving.  Getting enough exercise is a problem now since I am so weak.  The balance between exercise, proper diet and rest is important now and I need to get better at managing it.

That's where I am at today in our battle against cancer.  I do thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and all the consideration and concern you have shown us both.

It's a hard fight but right now I feel like I can do it.  God help me when I can't.

Ed Winkle


  1. My family doctor has on call hours beyond the office. I called for the first time today because of the dreaded C word if you are on chemo. Constipation. It's a 24 hour battle for me each day. My former doctor was on call and I explained the situation. I told her everything stopped after I took the barium smoothie for the scan. I didn't even get my sentence finished and she said that stuff sets up like concrete. Ah ha, just what I thought. I wish someone had told me before the scan! I couldn't even find anything about it on an internet search except for two people's experience. Most said they experienced diarrhea not constipation. Any thing that looks and tastes like wallpaper paste surely isn't going to get diarrhea. I sure did.

    We came up with a plan and I followed it. It produced success. You can't imagine how something so natural we take for granted could make a person so happy. I was taking a risk with the beef we had out at dinner Thursday night anyway and would have avoided that if I had known.

    I think I could write a book about my experience and have a good start with what I've told you here already.

    Today it's going to 70 degrees and I will be out in it. I know winter isn't over so the house will be waiting for me when it cools down again.


  2. Well you need the break, Ed, enjoy it and get your heath and fitness back, so you can blow any remaining sick cells to smithereens!

    Any thoughts about what you'll do with your farm now? Hiring the jobs to do, pasturing sheep that don't require much supervision, planting walnut trees to harvest nuts once a year and wood for the next generations? Any member of your family interested in taking over the farm while you and LuAnn (who also needs encouragements) settle cosily in the farm, maybe watching its land usage change?

    1. We have thought about that a lot. We were late bloomers so this farm came late in life. It's what we wanted 40 years ago but we didn't even know each other then. We have good help with family and neighbors so I am not concerned about getting it out and taken care of. We do have some walnut but mainly ash, oak and maple and similar species. I had hoped to make a real pretty Ohio farm woods minus the wild Ohio grapevine pest but I am too sick to do it right now. We never wanted livestock because we like to travel. I can't do that either right now! I wish I could picture cozy in my mind again but there is no coziness with this disease!


  3. Ed May god be with you and LuAnn. Life some times gives you a rough hand But we as farmers know that every spring we get a new chance to turn the brown soil to a lush green crop. May god bless you and your life become green again. You got a lot to teach those grandchildren