As they say "no news is good news", but after a little prodding by Anna and my mom, I figured I'd post an update to share some good news.
Since the last update at the end of January, maintenance has been much, much better. No inpatient hospital stays and I only go into the clinic once a month for blood counts and once every three-ish months for chemo. The chemo visits can sometimes be a little rough; mostly because I feel completely back to normal, so it's much more of a physical and mental whiplash than before.
Anna and I escaped the cold in February and spontaneously booked flights to Ft. Lauderdale for a long weekend to officially celebrate me entering maintenance. We had some great food, did a boat tour of all of the mansions and yachts in the Millionaires Row and had plenty of beach time.
My work flew me out to San Francisco for a quick visit in March, which was my first time ever in California. It was so nice to meet my coworkers in person, who I had never seen outside of my laptop screen. They also recently renovated the office, so that was fun to check out as well.
Anna successfully knocked out of the park her largest event for work, the Mira awards, which was in-person for the first time since the pandemic started. She did a truly amazing job that took many months of planning by her and her coworkers.
For Anna's birthday present, she wanted me to take swim lessons since even though I grew up a mile from Lake Michigan, I went 27 years of my life not knowing how to swim. So after about 5 lessons, I can now successfully backstroke and kinda freestyle swim. Now, I'm way more comfortable in the water and won't drown.
The Evusheld injections I received seem to be working wonders. In April, our friends met up to celebrate a couple of our birthdays and, unfortunately, almost everyone there ended up getting COVID, including Anna. Anna ended up being fine, had only minor symptoms and tested negative a little over a week later. Thankfully, I never tested positive nor had any symptoms, though I did have to cancel a Denver trip to see some friends, out of an abundance of caution. A few weeks later, we also went to a family friend's wedding in Ohio, where a few people ended up catching COVID as well, including one person at our table. But thankfully, again, I never had symptoms and tested negative. 🙏 The team at AstraZeneca who made Evusheld needs a big raise (but I want a word with their marketing department who annoyingly didn't brand it as Evushield, since that would make too much sense).
Our highlight so far this year, though, has been our trip we took the week of July 4th. We flew into San Diego, California and stayed there for about 5 days, including the night of July 4th. We were able to enjoy some amazing food, watched the fireworks, lay out in the sun on Coronado beach and fell in love with the city. We then took a road trip up to Santa Barbara and spent the night doing a little wine tasting. We ran into Billy Baldwin at the winery, who starred in Anna's favorite TV show Parenthood, but we played it cool and he had no idea we knew who he was.
In the morning, we took off for San Francisco taking the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at Big Sur along the way. We spent a couple of days in San Francisco, where we did some sightseeing of the Golden Gate Bridge, saw the entire city from the top of the Salesforce tower and ate some delicious food in China town with some friends - including Brady and Megan who did the same trip from San Diego and we were able to meet up with while we were there too! I was even able to stop by the office for an hour to see some coworkers who were there for a get-together and also met up with my cousin who I hadn't seen in several years.
Finally, to close out the trip, we flew to Minneapolis to visit my brother, Tim, sister-in-law and my nephews. I was able to catch a couple of my nephew's baseball games, toured their beautiful new house and spent some time in their pool showing off my new swimming skills. It was a nice gradual end to a long, busy trip.
Later in July, we celebrated Anna's sister's 21st birthday in Louisville. The next weekend, I was graciously invited to come with to Anna's annual summer vacation on Lake Cumberland, which was a ton of fun.
This last month, Anna's been busy with a couple of big work events which have gone extremely well, as expected. We also went to Newfields to check out the Lume's new exhibit of Monet and Friends with Anna's parents and saw John Mulaney. My work continues to go well.
In between the trips and other events, Anna and I have enjoyed several concerts this summer. It really has felt like between my health issues and COVID, we're back to how life is supposed to be for a 20-something-year-old couple. However, I'm still reminded that my immune system is very much still depressed and that I'm very much in active cancer treatment. I've had a cold I picked up during our California road trip that I still haven't been able to shake. I went into the clinic a couple weeks ago to get an IVIG infusion to hopefully boost my immune system, but that hasn't seemed to do much. But, hey! If a little bit of a cold is the worst, then I'm pretty happy all things considered. 😊
My parents on the other hand, haven't been doing so well. My dad has bladder cancer and, while he doesn't have to do chemo, his treatments have nevertheless landed him in the hospital a couple times in the last month or so. This last time it was for some clots in his lungs, so very glad they were small and he's now on blood thinners to hopefully prevent it from happening again. My mom on the other hand had appendicitis while traveling in Maine, where they found appendix cancer. So now, she is having surgery this Wednesday. If that goes well, then she won't have to do any other treatment. They're both staying with us right now, since she's having the surgery in Indianapolis. I'd really appreciate if everyone can keep them both in your thoughts and prayers.
Overall, though, it's been a truely amazing summer and I'm looking forward to making more memories with Anna the rest of this year. We have a couple of weddings later this year and are also spending a week in Folly Beach with Anna's family. I also recently booked my flights to São Paulo, Brazil in November for a work trip, which will be my first time ever out of the country, so I'm very excited for that. As far as treatment, I should only have two more chemo visits to the clinic left and, in March, will be completely done with treatment. 🙌
Again, thank you all for your support. Until then, no news is good news. Happy Labor Day!