• Karen

New year and new hopes

Rainbow over Tucson's Catalina mountains

First off, we wish all of you a happy New Year. We hope 2021 will be a healthy and prosperous year for all of you. I’m sure 2020 will be a year we will never forget! David and I are very thankful for all the support and love we’ve received the past two years since his cancer diagnoses, and we feel fortunate to have weathered the COVID storm thus far.

David received his 19th IV of Keytruda on 12/30/20, and his CEA tumor marker came down a bit (from 5.8 to 5.1), which is always welcome news. We also had a telehealth visit with Dr. Sipos, his neurosurgeon, to discuss whether he thought David's balance has improved enough for David to ride his bike without risking a serious fall. The bottom line is that it would be risky at this point for two reasons. One is that the steroid David had to take to reduce inflammation in his brain when he had the six brain tumors, as well as the steroids he got with each dose of chemo, reduced his bone density, so a fall could result in broken bones. The other is that the steroids also reduced David's muscle mass and strength, so exercise, even walking or the balance PT exercises David does weekly, fatigues him greatly and makes his balance worse for a couple of hours. So if David rode the bike for more than a brief amount of time, he would likely become fatigued and have worse balance, increasing the risk of falling.

To help improve David's muscle strength and enable him to lose the weight he gained from the steroids, we have ordered two Catrike 559 recumbent trikes, which we should get in February. Our hope is that the 559 will enable David to exercise vigorously without the risk of falling. We'll keep you posted!

1 comment