Halfway done, at least in Europe
I'll start by once again expressing appreciation for all the thoughts and prayers. I can feel the strength and some days/nights, when I feel like I'm near my max, I'm not sure I would make it without your faith.
Dr. Kleef continues to alter my treatment plan, based on how I'm doing. It's good, part of the reason why we came here, the customization. But it can also be tiring. Originally, we were to start in Budapest for 4 weeks, then finish w/ 2 in Vienna. Vienna is where the more powerful treatments occur, immunotherapy (Ipi + Nivo) and other cancer fighting meds (Taurolidin, IL-2), etc.
Upon seeing me for the first time in Budapest, the team suggested we start treatment in Vienna much sooner. So that first week, we were driven 3+ hours to Vienna for 2 weeks. Now we are back in Budapest for one week of full body hyperthermia, bio-chemotherapy infusions, etc. Then we'll do an additional round of immunotherapy back in Vienna for 2 weeks before finally flying home.
The good news is that Dr. Kleef is able to be flexible. The not so good news is that even though there are several markers that show I'm doing better, (including people who've spoke with me via video telling me I seem stronger, better), I'm receiving two rounds of immunotherapy in a row (4 weeks total) which indicates Dr. Kleef thinks I need stronger, more robust treatment to address the aggressive cancer.
I still contend that the blessings my family and I have received, as well as the growth I'm experiencing through this process, by far out weighs the difficulty. But having said that, this experience still remains such a difficult challenge, for so many reasons. I don't wish cancer on anyone, but if you want an efficient and powerful way to strengthen character of mind, body, and spirit, a difficult cancer diagnosis has the potential to do the trick.
It may surprise you that one of the biggest challenges for me is passing time. All of the treatments involve sometimes many hours of infusions, hyperthermia, etc. And sometimes the treatments are only 1/2 a day, so then I'm home all afternoon with the nights being hit or miss. I have audiobooks, watch movies or play educational games on my phone, but when you don't feel good, even those activities are work and sometimes seem to be an irritant. Drawing sounded good so Alicia bought me some paper and color pencils. I'm not an artist, but for these last 3 weeks, I'm really going to force myself to try and do more.
I think that's it for now. I'm fighting, and I'm trying, I'm giving a huge effort, more than anything else I've ever done. Words can't explain. Alicia and I trust in God, know His will in the end will determine my outcome. We are doing everything to fight this and with ALL of your faith and prayers, there's nothing more to do but trust God.