Health Update #2 and Background Information on Dr. L
This is health update #2 for TV and Talk Radio Show Listeners, Hosts, Producers, and Book and Blog Post Readers.
About two months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma that has metastasized to my lungs. I will try to give you some background information below.
Beginning in mid-April, I started receiving a new and promising immuno-therapy drug cocktail. This new treatment appears to cure renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in a limited percent of cases, or retards the growth of the RCC, or places the RCC into remission in another group of cases. It’s likely actual outcome in my case is unknown.
The previous drug used for RCC (and my other alternative treatment) had a survival rate of only about one to two years.
Potential adverse side effects from the immuno-therapy treatment can range from virtually non-existent to severe and life-threatening. Not surprisingly, the side effects are typically auto-immune related and can cause the treatment to be discontinued. About one third of patients are taken off these drugs because of adverse side effects.
Health Update #2 for Dr. L
In mid-April, I received my first immuno-therapy treatment consisting of two newer drugs. Ten minutes into the infusion of the first drug, I felt like I was hit by a truck. Fortunately, this massive fatigue only lasted about 30 minutes and I surprisingly returned to normal. I did not feel any effect from the second immuno-therapy drug at all.
Following the first treatment, I felt what apparently were minor side effects every night. About five weeks later, I’m still feeling those minor side effects.
In early May, I went to the cancer infusion center for treatment #2. Ten minutes into the infusion of the first drug, I felt light chest tightness, then quickly heavy chest tightness, then quickly chest pains, then quickly severe chest pains.
I felt awful. I was in great pain. I thought this is what a heart attack must be like. I always had a good heart and I came from a family with strong hearts. Plus, I have a long history of cardiovascular activity and weight lifting.
The emergency call light cord was pulled and ten nurses rushed to my side within 30 seconds. I admire the infusion nurses for their quick response to an emergency.
They turned off the infusion drip of the first immuno-therapy drug immediately and started shooting drugs into my IV … an antihistamine, then another antihistamine, then a steroid, and finally, a painkiller. My blood pressure had shot up to 234/99 and my pulse to 107. My oncologist later said it was a rare allergic reaction to this drug.
The infusion center protocol for chest pains was to call 911. An ambulance and fire engine pulled up soon and took me to a nearby hospital for testing. Fortunately, I didn’t have a heart attack.
Treatment #2 never concluded, so it didn’t count. The oncologist hopes to try again for treatment #2 in a few weeks and pre-medicate me to hopefully avoid this type of severe adverse reaction again.
This past week I also suffered from very low potassium levels and headaches and another one of my metabolic numbers was off. I’m guessing these were the result of other known side effects.
Dr. L’s Professional Activities
As most of you know, my professional activities typically include:
- Writing new books
- Writing new blog posts weekly
- Being a guest on up to about 500 TV and Talk Radio Shows annually
- Forecasting presidential and Congressional elections
- Giving keynote speeches
- Consulting on related topics
When I feel good, I plan to continue working on many of my activities. I have missed a few blog posts, as you might have noticed. Even though I skipped a few blog posts, I continue to do TV and Talk Radio Shows, except on medical appointment days or days I don’t feel right.
Also, an important project for me is my sixth book that is related to the 2020 Presidential Election and some big issues facing America. I’m behind schedule on Book #6 (the title is still up in the air), but I hope it will be done in July.
As long as I continue to feel healthy enough, I plan to continue doing these professional activities that I love to do. I also hope my activities continue to help America in some small way and I hope my efforts to promote freedom (religious, political, economic, and intellectual) in America and around the world, again continue to help in some small way.
Health Update – I hope to provide additional health updates in the future.
Prayers for Dr. L’s Health
For those of you, who have called, emailed, or texted me with your prayers and well wishes already, I’m very thankful.
If you are a spiritual and/or religious person, I appreciate your prayers that I will be in the small group of patients that survive this type of cancer and I will be in the small group of patients that do not have any more adverse or life-threatening side effects. Thank you for your prayers.
God bless all of you.