Saturday, September 29, 2007

The hair caper

So the iggy on my hair is that I have none on my upper lip or below my lower lip. I used to be able to grow a nice beard and goat-tee, not unlike Mr. It above. Not so much now. I also estimate that I have lost about 20-30% of the hair up on my dome. It was sorta thinning before, but now that it is shaved, when it grows back, i can see some major spots and thinning. Same with the rest of my beard. Also, I am not growing those onesy twosey Andy Rooney's along the eye brows. My slight uni-brow too, has ceased and desisted, so it's not all sour grapes. Any other part of my body where clothing rubs up against it (outer leg, upper quad, etc) is also bald or uber-thin.

I am fine with this, but I definitely feel bad for the ladies out there that have to go through this. I could understand how tough this would be for them.

The hair deal is obviously always there (along with the intestinal issues). From here on out, just assume that I am having issues with both (the milk of mag is the bomb, but a little caustic :)

Keep in mind, the blog is for friends and family, but it's main intent is still to document "all the little things" that I am going through so that others can gauge what they can expect and when. Atleast what degree a 31 year old dude, went through.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In the outer banks of North Carolina

Last Friday, the wife and I hit the road with the 5 kids and the au pair to head on down to Corrola, NC. For those that do not know, this is one of the northern beach towns in the Outer Banks. Weather so far has been beautiful, the kids have been sleeping great and I was able to get out on a friends boat yesterday and had fun. The hot wing mouth is over for this past treatment and I am feeling much better. I was not able to schedule the follow up PET scan prior to leaving, so this means it will be sometime the week of my treatment #5, then before it.

I plan to post again before we leave. Have fun working everyone, because I am not :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My first pet scan from back in July

Here are two views of tissue in my body. The brain, heart, bladder and kidneys will or are supposed to light up. But the extra portion above my heart is not. The diagnosis from these results by the radiologist has it as (with my vernacular in parenthesis):

"Multiple foci of hypermetabolic (increased abnormal) activity within the anterior (front of my body), superior (above or higher position) mediastinum (area between the upper portions of the lungs) and left supraclavicular region (lower neck) corresponding to adenopathy (node enlargement) seen on CT scan. No abnormal uptake anywhere else."

On the next Pet Scan, we would expect the bad area to shrink or be completely gone. This will confirm that the chemo is working. Should it not be shrinking, they will alter course.

Update: By the way, the mediastinum is not to be confused with Gloria Steinem, the unltra-feminist. Although my mediastinum is pro women's and human rights, it stops well short of condoning the entire feminist doctrine. With that said, my Cerebral Cortex is a totally different monster. He will say and do just about anything to get into a girls pants. On dates he has sung the praises of neo-conservatism to young MBA coeds, only to flip it around 24 hours later in a dialogue with a women's studies major on the subtilties of Camille Paglia's work. A true "wolf in sheep's clothing", he is never to be trusted :)

What's the most conservative part of my body? Without a doubt, the VERY utilitarian "greater arse" area. Functionality over style.

Live blogging from Treatment #4

Yo yo yo everyone. This starts the live blog from #4.

09:40am Jonny McRed has his port tapped (feeling like a keg) and they are bringing back my blood results. Waiting for the #'s on the whitey's at this time.

09:50 Senor White Blood Cell is doing fine. Still low in comparison to normal peeps and low for most chemo patients, but fine for a hodge patient who isn't getting Neupagen or Neulasta. Sitting here with my Babers Mcschlabe. Say hi babers: Hi. Getting some Aloxi and prep drugs at this time. Say hi Senor Whitey: Hola.
10:45am The cool-aid has been dripped (Adriamycin), and Vincent too (Vinblastine). Mr Bleo Dicaprio is headed down the pipe now. Holla.

11:06am We are setting a time record here. The Bleo is done and now it's time for the Billy Bad Arse. Dacarbizine. Starting to feel icky just thinking of him. RRRRRR.

11:17am Sending a shout out to Kelly and Matt in Boston. They are up in Mass, checking out the live blog. Maybe you two should get together ;)

11:42am The Dac is still flowing and i am getting a bit queezy (yuk). About a quarter way through it. RRRRRR.
12:30pm All done. Feeling a little yucky but heading to Chick-Fil-a nonetheless.

1:53pm At home, chilling. Going to post my First Pet Scan from back in July shortly. Will set up the next one sometime tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The arse dragging has subsided

I have been feeling better since Monday evening. I pounded warm gatorade for 72+ hours and took meds prophylactically just to be ahead of the normal wear and tear. Didn't sleep alot, but didn't try another Ativan to help out either so, it's my fault :)

Next weds is my 4th treatment (a third of the way there) and then I can get a PET scan done to identify if the mass has shrunk. We believe it has, since I can no longer palpate the top of the deal just above my left clavicle. It's always good to see it on a PET scan tho. I will post that as a pic along with my ORIGINAL one that I am picking up from Winchester Medical Center.

Here is an EXAMPLE (NOT MINE) of a PET Scan. I will post this as soon as I get it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

As goes Jonny McRed's toungue....

....goes the rest of my body. Like clockwork, when I could no longer taste anything other then intense heat, the rest of me starting dragging. Around mid-day Friday, my mouth started to incinerate and I started dragging arse. I have taken more Kytril for nausea, Milk of Mag for my stomach and napped a lot more this weekend then the last time. I am trying to keep up with liquids, but I seem only to be able to tolerate smooth room temperature fluids like sweet tea or milk as opposed to sodas, juices or water. Trying some luke-warm Gatorade now. I also know 100% what people mean by using Ativan for sleeping. I was having a hard time sleeping, so I took one. Man does it do the job, I was dead to the world. I'll save those for special occasions.

On a good note, football is in bloom today. Looking forward to my fantasy team and hoping the skins don't suck eggs this year. My official count down is on for treatment #4, subsequent Pet Scan #2 and our vacation to the outer banks of NC.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Live in treatment #3

I am here getting my push/drips. Going a little slow, but it's going. White Blood Cells are at 1500, but we are moving onward. ESPN is playing in the back ground, so i am fine :)

I'll keep pushing updates.

1:20pm ET: So far so good. Got a couple of small naps and haven't been chatting with everyone. I will be back online at home after some grub and a nap. Shout out to MelisB for swinging by the home to say hi yesterday. I was late getting home or I would have let her rub my dome for good luck. Her old man is clean shaven, so she would be used to it.

4pm Long day. Treatment #3 is over and I have some more info. We will push on regardless of WBC and only use neupogen if I get sick. Also, we will do a PET scan after the NEXT treatment (treatment #4, cycle #2), instead of the halfway mark. So I should know much sooner if things are working.

Feeling ok so far and had a late lunch. Going to catch up on some work and then take a nap.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Labor day weekend

It didn't start out well, but it's getting better. Friday night I was on a conference call for an outage at work that involved 5+ members of our team. No fun. Didn't get to bed till late and it preoccupied my mind throughout the night, so I didn't sleep well. On Saturday, I got up with the kids and all was good. Kids were fun and Pops and I were able to let Jess and my Mom hit the stores. I know they appreciate that. Later that night they, in turn, allowed Pops and I to check out the local dirt track speedway here in Winchester for the first time. It was fun. I was disappointed at the "no alcohol" policy :) , but we had a good time. I have never been to a dirt or paved track that DIDN'T allow you to BYOB as long as it was in cans. Curveball. Anywards, it was fun. My older brother, Adam, came. The three of us had a blast. I will post a pic of him, when I get one. He too is bald, but is used to it. He has shaved it off from time to time due to some male pattern issues :) I ain't far behind by no means, but he is definitely leading the way. Anyways, we are both bald and my old man has his closely cut, so we looked like white supremacists. Not exactly what we are going for, but it goes unnoticed out here in the valley :)

Today we went to a huge outdoor flea market that we frequent enough to know most of the vendors. Outside of my youngest boy Jack going ape (see caption), all was well and the weather couldn't be nicer. So we shall chill the rest of the weekend. We plan on heading down to my in-laws' pool and relaxing a bit tomorrow (albeit with 5 kids). Thanks for all who comment on the blog. I love reading them and it lets me know that people are reading the posts. However crazy they be :)

I am still feeling good and got my fingers crossed for treatment #3 on Weds. I am thinking good thoughts on whiteblood cells. My friends Shane and Atika are being induced at this time, so I am waiting by the phone for the news. We are thinking about you guys. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.