September has truly been a month of unimaginable things.
First: We received news that Merck had agreed to pay for my Keytruda treatments, and I received my first treatment on September 6th, the same day I received my final radiation treatment. So no need to travel to NYC every three weeks to get Keytruda, an experimental immunotherapy drug not yet approved for my type of cancer.
Second: Liz and I flew to Britain for a two-week escorted tour of Scotland, Wales and England. This was a big bucket-list item for us, and I had given up on its feasibility until my therapist told me, “You need to do this even if someone has to push you around in a wheelchair.” So we did it. I didn’t need a wheelchair. In fact, by the second or third day of the trip I was feeling energetic physically and much better emotionally–I was able to enjoy the many, many things there were to enjoy on this trip, whether it was eating sticky toffee pudding or just looking at the stunningly beautiful landscapes of the Lakes district or northern Wales. In Oxford, I took a walk on Addison’s Walk in Magdalen College, the very path where CS Lewis and Tolkien once had a catalytic conversation well after midnight. We loved the trip. I felt as if we were borne up on eagle’s wings through the prayers of many. Thank you! (Should you wish to peruse the nearly 900 photos I’ve uploaded, enjoy.)
Third: We had reduced my main cancer med by 25% for the trip so I would have more energy. I expected my PSA to spike up as a result. I got the result today. My PSA went DOWN!!! It dropped from 3.3 to 3.0. Maybe the Keytruda is working already, or maybe sticky toffee pudding is the secret cure for prostate cancer.
Fourth: The day after we got home, we got our puppy, Gibbie. Who would have thought Mark and Liz would ever have a dog? Much less that it would have been Mark’s idea. But here we are, with a very cute puppy in need of much training. Happily we have a good set of people and resources to lean on for this.
So September has been for me unimaginable–we have to keep pinching ourselves as we say things like, “We actually went to England!” or “I’m getting Keytruda for free” or “We have a puppy????”. And today’s news of my PSA dropping was the icing on the cake. Of course the month isn’t over yet–who knows what might happen tomorrow?
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…be glory…forever” (Ephesians 3:20-21).