Got the good news yesterday that the new chemo regimen has managed to shrink Maggie's tumor. This is the first time that we have seen an actual reduction in the tumor, so it is very exciting news. Since sarcomas are very fast-growing, you can tell pretty quickly if the drugs are working.
We get the next look in three weeks. Although I'd love to see a further reduction, I'd be very happy with stable disease (i.e., no progression) as she is essentially healthy otherwise.
A few weeks ago I was at a dinner which included one of the propaganda ministers...er, media relations experts for MoveOn.org. In the midst of his other idiotic drivel, he mentioned that Republicans would be surprised when Democrats started attacking McCain on his war experience. He claimed that was going to be a major part of the Democrats' strategy. His reasoning was that it had worked for the Republicans with Kerry.
For obvious reasons, I took this as the baseless conjecture of a political hack. The idea is so daffy that I thought he was joking.
If they are truly planning on taking this tack, watch for a McCain landslide in November. This has to be one of the most foolhardy approaches I can imagine.
Note to Democrats: When one of the biggest challenges facing your party is the perception among swing voters that you are vaguely anti-American, trying to hit a guy who was tortured in a POW camp is probably not the way to go.
Also, if you are going to send out somebody to try this strategy, try not to have him sound like a complete idiot. Fighter pilots in 1967 were dropping laser-guided bombs from 35,000? (Laser guided bombs were not deployed in Vietnam until the year after McCain was shot down.)
Yeah, I know I skipped Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. Look, if you want to know something about each President, read the bios like I do. I can't be writing essays every week on these guys.
JQA marks a bit of a turning point in the Presidents. He was the first President not of the Revolutionary generation (although he was alive during the Revolutionary War, he was just a boy). At the end of his term, Jefferson and Adams were dead (both on the 4th of July, 1826, within hours of each other), leaving no signers of the Declaration alive.
I am kind of relieved. Although they were all clearly imperfect men, it's hard not to get the impression that the first five all shat marble and were demi-gods. Although Monroe was not quite the intellectual match for Adams, Jefferson or Madison, he was still an impressive guy. In case you didn't know, that's him holding the flag in the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware. He was also simultaneously Secretary of State and acting Secretary of War during the War of 1812 (which I know understand for the first time in my life) and he personally rode out at the head of troops to reconnoiter the arrival of the British in the Chesapeake. Can you imagine Condi riding in a tank in Iraq?
Adams followed through on Monroe's focus on foreign affairs and I have been enjoying the ride, but I have to admit that I am looking forward to Jackson, who, at the very least, was a certified nutjob.
After Jackson, though, the going gets heavy. Check out this post-Jackson lineup:
Disappointing news on the MagDog front today. The tumor has grown again, which means that the current cocktail of chemo is not having an effect.
We are switching to a new drug (doxil - a liposomal form of doxorubicin) tomorrow and we will check in two weeks to see if that works. There is another chemo option beyond that. If neither of these work, we'll have to roll the dice with radiation therapy. Radiation is better targeted and is generally more effective at killing large amounts of tumor, but the radiation can also damage surrounding tissue and we are talking about the heart here. If we get to the radiation option, we are making the gamble that the side effects will be low.
It's a bit of a blow, but Maggie is still otherwise normal. Her heart and lungs are fine and she is not in any obvious discomfort.
Sadly, this is not an April Fool's post. I wish it were.