It’s been a few weeks since my last blog post, so I wanted to provide a brief update. The good news is that life has been rather uneventful – no trips to the emergency room, no new side effects, etc. Let’s face it, we were due for a break!

Last week was not only the Labor Day Holiday but also a scheduled break from chemotherapy to allow my blood counts, etc. to recover. As a result, as of Monday morning I was feeling better than any time in recent memory. My appetite has been good and my energy level afforded us an opportunity to take our puppy Humphrey with us to walk around a local art fair this past weekend.

This week, however, I’m back to week #1 of my treatment schedule starting with a doublet of chemotherapies (paclitaxel and carboplatin). For me, the carboplatin results in greater side effects, particularly stomach upset, decreased appetite, and fatigue. My typical four week treatment “cycle” looks like this:

Week #1: paclitaxel + carboplatin
Week #2: paclitaxel only
Week #3: paclitaxel only
Week #4: holiday/break (no treatment)
Lather, rinse & repeat

Before this week’s chemo appointment, I had time and energy to visit with another one of my social media connections for the first time (@BursatilBiotech). She traveled from Argentina to New York with a relative for vacation and we had arranged a brief meeting in the morning while she was in town.

@BursatilBiotech and Michael Becker

My next chemo break falls during the first week of October. At that time, I’ll have my periodic imaging procedure to see if the cancer is continuing to respond favorably to the treatment. Based on improved air flow to my lungs, I’m hopeful for some continued good news.

In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy with my mission to raise awareness for the human papillomavirus (HPV), its direct link to six cancers, and the available vaccines that can prevent HPV. For example, my guest editorial on the topic appears in this week’s issue of BioCentury and is freely available to view on their website by clicking here. In addition, last Thursday I did a television interview with CURE Today and you can view the first segment on their website by clicking here. I’m so very grateful to these and other media outlets that have provided me with a platform to advance my mission!

Most importantly, today is another gift that I will truly treasure…as I get to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday. Happy 17th birthday Megan!!

5 thoughts on “Calm

  1. Good to hear from you. Last night at 3:00 am I was awake and praying for you. I reread posts and wondered what your status was bc we had not had a post for a while.

    My prayers continue to be for complete healing for you and a long and healthy life for you and your family.

    You keep fighting and we will keep praying and believing for a miracle.

    Btwy, we have another connection besides Cytogen. Our daughter, Amy, is quite good friends with Sharon, a friend of Laurie’s.

    It was good to hear from you today.



    PS. Happy Birthday Meghan.

  2. Thanks for the update, Michael! Glad you get a break, and I hope it continues to let up a bit. I am cheering for you always… keep up the fight my friend. Happy Birthday sweet Meghan xoxo

  3. Megan turned 17 in a NY minute, right? Seems like yesterday she was just a baby. That’s my wish for you as you fight this battle. I wish these phases go by in a NY minute and you look back as a winner to rejoin your normal life again. Hugs from my family to yours, including Humphrey.

  4. Michael, thank you — and congratulations — for all you are doing to share your story and raise awareness of the need for HPV vaccinations. Undoubtedly, you have already saved many lives. I am a fellow member of the HPV Oropharyngeal cancer family. I went through my original treatment about one year after you did. In my blog you will see a story that somewhat resembles your own. You are now in a phase I am not yet in, and who knows if I will be in it. This stuff is hard to predict, isn’t it? Therefore, your sharing is immensely helpful to me personally. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and your positive energy is a model for all of us. Thanks again! — John

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