I’ll start off with the good news. The cancer did not convert, so it is still non-small cell! Thank goodness for not-so-small favors.

Our plans have otherwise been shaken up since I last wrote. I planned to start chemo last Friday, but my platelet count was too low, making chemo unsafe. Genevieve and I came around to the idea that it wouldn’t be so bad that we would have to wait another week until my body had time to recover from having fluid drained off both lungs, and from the one-and-done radiation to such a large section of my spine the week before.

Chemo was rescheduled for today, but this time my latest platelet count was even lower. That’s when Dr. Sanborn spelled out the realities of where we are at this point.

I didn’t know that my last biopsy showed that the cancer had gotten into my bone marrow. The cancer is now interfering with platelet production, which occurs in the bone marrow. Without chemo, we can’t kill the cancer in the marrow, and the platelets will continue dropping. That would put me at risk of an unstoppable nose bleed (I had one last week for three and a half hours), or some other bleeding event. However, if it works, it will kill the cancer in the marrow, and I will start to recover.

We had reached a now-or-never moment. If I didn’t do chemo today, there could be no other treatment options.

Genevieve and I agreed to take the risk. Today I had two chemo drugs, including a reduced dose of carboplatin along with Alimta. I’ll have a blood draw each week to see how my platelets are holding up. If all goes well, in three weeks I’ll have the next round of chemo.

Just to complicate things, this Friday I will have a drain put into my chest so that we can drain the fluid off as needed. It’s building up again.

Today is the birthday of the love of my life. When chemo got rescheduled for today, plans for lunch with her son, our granddaughter, and her twin sister were instantly set aside. I felt sad about taking away from Genevieve’s special day. But Genevieve reacted in a way that reminded me again just how amazing she is.

She instantly said, “What a great gift for my birthday!”


Genevieve is the most incredible human being I have ever been privileged enough to have in my life.

Happy birthday, my love.


This post originally appeared on Dann’s Cancer Chronicles on November 10, 2021. It is republished with permission.