Charles and Becky Downey
(my wonderful son and daughter-in-law)
As most of my dear readers know, I'm fighting a serious health issue. It's a CNS lymphoma, which is a tumor in the brain. I've been at home this past week waiting for my chemotherapy to start. I have an appointment with the neuro doc on Tuesday. My current treatment is oral steroids to reduce the tumor. Soon I'll start intravenous chemotherapy. I understand that it will probably make me feel sick. The protocol is to be in the hospital with intravenous infusion of methotrexate for a week on, then a week off, for about eight weeks.
Chemotherapy plays a very important role in treatment. High doses of methotrexate are used, often along with one or two more chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy is given before radiation to the brain. The total duration of chemotherapy is 3-6 months.
Part of me is thankful for this delay in the chemotherapy protocol in order to give the steroids a chance to reduce the tumor. Another part of me is anxious to get going on the treatment so I can get it over with and get my life back.
Meanwhile, since I probably have a couple of days to a week before the chemo starts, I'm planning to do a few things if I feel strong enough. I currently feel pretty weak. Some of that is probably because the steroids greatly reduces my ability to sleep. I'll have to ask the neuro about that on Tuesday.
Monday afternoon I promised to volunteer on phones at the Entenza campaign. I always have a lot of fun doing that. Plus I'm usually very productive. I'm good at talking to people and getting them to come to events.
Monday evening is a gubernatorial forum sponsored by A Minnesota Without Poverty. Ending Homelessness and Poverty: What do the Candidates have to say about Health, Housing, and Jobs?
Gubernatorial Candidate ForumMonday, May 24, 2010
2324 Emerson Avenue South
I'm looking forward to seeing many friends there.
On Tuesday afternoon is my appointment with my neurological oncologist in Woodbury, MN. I'll find out what happens to me next from him.
Tuesday evening I plan to attend a roast for my friend Thomas Snell. I graduated from White Bear Lake High School with him in 1968. I ran into him several months ago on Facebook. Now we're great Facebook friends. I've also seen him in person several times since then, mostly at political events and Chamber of Commerce events. Tom has been with MetroNorth Chamber for quite a few years and is now leaving to go on to other things. The Chamber is giving him a roast. I have got to see that.
I'm looking forward to helping out as much as I'm able with SD53 activities this summer. I hope I have the energy to do as much as I'll want to. It's so important for us to get our DFL candidates elected. In SD53 we have Senator Sandy Rummel, who is up for reelection this year, as well as Representative Paul Gardner from SD53A. We're working hard to get Chris Knopf elected over the current Representative in SD53B, Carol McFarlane (R). Chris is working very hard to obtain the seat. He'll be a wonderful Representative. He'll accomplish all kinds of good things for SD53B. McFarlane doesn't do much and her priority seems to be agreeing with everything Tim Pawlenty says. She's a very nice person; indeed, I graduated from high school with her. However, she's not what SD53B needs as far as representation.
I'm also hoping that I'll feel well enough to help out more with the gubernatorial election. I have no idea who will win it, as we have three outstanding candidates. I like each one of them very much. They are, of course, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, and Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Each of them has many excellent qualities.
It would be great if some of you would come to see me in the hospital. I'll be at St. Joseph's in downtown St. Paul. You can also see me at my apartment in White Bear Lake every other week. Just email me to let me know when you can come.
My home telephone number is 651-777-3464. My answering machine died and I haven't been to the store to get a new one yet.
I hope to see many of you soon.
aka April Knight