Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's been one hectic year. All of it seems to be condensed into the months from July to December. I am unaware of things prior to having cancer. Cancer changes you, or you change because of the cancer. Things are different. 2007 will be different. I am different. I am cancer free. I am Me.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Pretty much the same story here. Achy, tired, cranky.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mostly been laying on the couch watching TV and resting. I'm starting to notice slight aches creeping into my joints, my fingertips and tongue are tingling, and I am tired. The hiccups are starting to dissipate, they should be gone by tomorrow. The coming days will be filled with side effects and plenty of rest.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lounging about today, just taking it easy. Going through all my gifts and finding homes for them throughout the apartment. Kind of fun. Tomorrow will be an organization day, cleaning day. I got my Neulasta shot today, so I'm set for the week. Here on out it's going to be resting and taking care of myself. As the side effects appear, hiccups have joined me for the day, I have to work with them, tolerate them, get through them. The worst days will be Saturday and Sunday (New Years Eve). This year I plan on ringing in 2007 by watching some new DVDs and snacking. Nothing too exciting, but since I'm going to be spending it on the couch, it's a good plan. I might run out to Borders and pick up a book to read, even though I have several here I could start. You can never have enough things to read.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. After all, spending time with those you love is the best thing in the world. I got an amazing array of gifts, Thanks so much to everyone. Today I had my eleventh treatment. All my counts were good. The platelets were up, but are still low. I do need to have them monitored. I have to get a shot of Neulasta tomorrow, a check up next week, the last treatment the following week, a check up and CT Scan and Pet Scan the next week, and one last check up the week after that. This has been one hell of a journey.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas is upon us, so let the celebrations begin. I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Feeling better this morning. The headache has finally gone away. Last night I laid on the couch with a damp dish rag across my forehead. That helped very much. So did the Excedrin. The tylenol was just not working. I am doing some laundry, wrapping presents, just hanging out today. Going over by Mom and Dad's for lunch. I'm getting excited about Christmas, just a couple of days away!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Today I am in a bah humbug mood. Still dealing with the ever present headache. I did manage to get out and finish my christmas shopping. Surprisingly, the mall wasn't too crowded. Now to wrap everything. I sure hope my demeanor changes in the coming days, don't want to be a crabass on Christmas. I got a few days to lighten up.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not a good day for me. I still have a miserable headache. The weather is dreary, adding to my glum mood. Slept most of the day and haven't done anything I need to get done. Tomorrow, I have no choice but to get going on things. I just wish the headacher would go away. Thanks Kim for the wonderful tin of cookies and snacks!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Moving slow today. Not feeling all that great, have a whopping headache and worn out. I have been sleeping on and off throughout the day. There's so much I want to get working on, but just can't motivate myself. There's always tomorrow because nothings happening today. At my check up on Monday everything was good except the platelets which fell to 70 from 103. That is a considerable drop, the normal range is 130-140. I have to be careful not to injure myself so there is no shaving this week. Hopefully the platelets will rise by my next treatment, because if they are low, I will not have treatment. Last night I went to celebrate my mom's birthday with my family. It was a really nice time, enjoyed getting together with everyone. I wasn't moving slow then!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today I am feeling all right, the aches and pains have gone for now. I am a little tired out, but nothing a nap can't take care of. I have a check up this afternoon. I am going to go over to Mom and Dad's for dinner. Keeping myself busy, but not too busy. I do need to rest.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I got my haircut today! Something as simple as that really makes a difference. I feel human.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Aches and pains have been dulled with medication, today seems to be the peak. I took a shower, went out to lunch with Mom and Dad (had a really nice time with them today), came home and napped. By tomorrow, I should be able to function better.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My day is going to be spent on the couch. The aches are amping up and I am tired. Not complaining, just going through the next level of side effects until they fade, hopefully sometime between Friday night and Saturday. I am going to read, watch TV, sleep. It's a slow day for me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Feeling completely different today than I did yesterday. The nausea has gone, the hiccups have returned, and the aches are slowly creeping upwards from the ankles. It seems I am back on track with the side effects. I plan on pretty much lounging about for the next few days, going to run up to the grocery store for some essentials, a few snacks. I'm doing all right, still have presents to wrap, cards to write, books to read, shows to watch, and couch to nap on. I'm doing good!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's been an up and down day for me. I was woken up about 12:30am this morning by a wave of nausea and vomitting. The first time that has happened. Not pretty. I remained up until about 2:00am, I did take the additional prescribe nausea medicine that did seem to settle my stomach. I slept until 6:00am, got up, took some more medicine and tried to lay back down. I fell asleep about an hour later and slept until 9:30am. I got up, felt okay, showered, dressed, ate cream of wheat and yogurt for breakfast. Went to my appointment for my Neulasta shot, then finally to the DMV for emissions. There were absolutely no cars when I arrived, pulled right in to the stall, and was on my way within 10 minutes. That has never happened before in all the years I have been driving. Oh yeah, I passed. Currently I'm feeling all right. Not sure what to make for dinner, something not too spicy or heavy. I don't want to push it. The hiccups haven't shown up yet. Hmmmm. Oh the joys of chemotherapy and varying side effects. More writing out christmas cards tonight and TV of course. Right now I think I'm back to the couch and a nap. Considering the events of the early morning, I'm actually in quite a good mood.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The insolence continues . . .yet all my numbers were good, normal levels except those darn platelets, which were at 108, below normal by standards, but good for me. The treatment went well, getting jabbed by the needles didn't hurt this time around and my vein didn't collapse. I did enjoy my animal crackers and juice and actually read a couple of chapters of my latest book, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, a good vampire novel. While it is nice to have my tenth treatment out of the way, I still have two more to go. Right now my mindset is I just want it to be over with. I know it'll be done four weeks from now (getting treatments). It's going to be a long four weeks. Then perpetual recovery. I think I'm going to join a gym, 30 minute work out at lunch time, to gain strength and endurance. That will help with the archery. Right now, I'm smiling. Each day brings me closer to the finish line and my trip to Disney. Now I'm really smiling. I tried to lay down and take a nap after I got home from the clinic, but my mind is working. I am tired, will try again in a little while. Tonight I plan on writing out christmas cards. I keep procrastinating but I need to get them out. It'll be a fun exercise. (Trying to convince myself.) Time to escape to the couch. Have a good day/night everyone :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I couldn't get myself motivated today. I slept on and off until well after noon. I finally broke out of my lethargy around 2:00pm. I ran up to the gas station and filled my tank, I was running low and wanted to have enough to get me to my appointment in the morning. It's an early one. For some reason, I am dreading it. I am getting close to the end, want it to be over. I know that after this treatment, I only have two more to go. I just am not looking forward to battling the side effects again and dealing with the weariness. I can have my animal crackers and cranberry juice snack while getting chemo, that I'm looking forward to. I'm being insolent, I know. Whatever it takes to get through the day. I had dinner with Mom and Dad last night, which was nice. As always, the food was delicious. Tonight I made myself a crab stuffed chicken breast, which was very tasty and mashed potatos, which didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted. I'll have to stick with instant mashed potatos, they never disappoint. Well that's about it for now, I'm ready to lounge on the couch, read and catch some TV before I drift off to sleep again.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Did some running around today, had lunch with Christine at Wendy's, and got some prescriptions refilled. Came home and took a nap. Feeling good, still tire easily. I notice it more when I am sitting still rather than moving about. I am trying to figure out a good balance of activity and rest. Much of the weekend I plan on staying home, cleaning, wrapping presents, addressing cards, reading, watching TV, Christmas DVDs, and resting. Keeping myself busy, but not too busy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Brrrr. Cold. I keep waiting for the temperature to warm up and it's not happening. Brrrr. I'm feeling good, most of the effects from chemo have faded except the fatigue. I do what I can, then take a nap when I can. I plan on hibernating this weekend and rest up for my next treatment on Monday. I'm going to meet Kim, Jody, and Gail for lunch today, then take the car for emissions and get some refills on prescriptions. That will keep me occupied for a couple of hours. I plan on watching TV tonight and hanging out on the couch.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Everything's in check. All the levels are good, stats are good, will have my next treatment a week from now. I like hearing good news. I will be returning to work on January 29, 2007. I finally have an official ending point. Of course I will have to go in for follow ups and check ups, nothing I can't handle. I'm doing some laundry, going to go grocery shopping and rest. I have plenty of reading materials to catch up on.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Feeling better today, the aches are lessening, even though I am still tired. About 5:00pm Fireworks started going off down the street. I had a clear view of them from my living room, dining room, and kitchen windows. They were being fired off by the police station a block and a half away. They were loud, colorful, and spectacular. It must have been the tree lighting ceremony by city hall. I watched them with a huge smile on my face, I love fireworks! Tomorrow I have my weekly follow up at the doctor's office, then a week of rest and christmas shopping until my next chemotherapy treatment. I also need to get my vehicle into the DMV for emissions testing. That's going to be fun.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fighting to stay awake today. It seems like for every ten minutes up, I'm sleeping twenty. Fatigue has set in and I ache from toe to fingertip. Right on schedule. I've been reading a page at a time, catching glimpses of TV shows, mostly dreaming. Not too productive of a day for me. Time for a nap.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Absolute blizzard conditions outside. I've been up since around 3:00am and have been watching the storm grow since. The storm of aches and fatigue is starting to rage inside now, so I'll be heading off to the couch shortly. Every time a car drives past, I wonder why would they be out in the storm. I am home and don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The aches are creeping up on me as the hiccups are going away. I am going to be home pretty much this weekend, especially if the snow starts to fly. My peak ache days are tomorrow through Saturday anyways, so I wouldn't be going anywhere anyways. Didn't do much yesterday, some wash, some cleaning, lots of TV. Today seems to be the same, lounging on the couch and resting up. I like days like this.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

24 hours later and I'm still sitting here thinking to myself, wow. I am thankful, grateful, relieved. It's been a long tough journey. I went and got a Neulasta shot this afternoon then to the bank and grocery store. Shortly afterwards, a thunderstorm rolled through. I watched it out my window. Unfortunately by weeks end it could be snowing out. I like the warmer weather much better. The hiccups have returned, random and sporatic. Feeling good. Wow.

Monday, November 27, 2006

COMPLETE REMISSION!!! I couldn't have asked for better news. When I got to the clinic, the waiting room was full. Not a good sign. I managed to get a seat right next to the aquarium so I spent the time watching the fish. About 30 minutes went by before I was called to have blood work. I was sent directly to the doctor after that. All stats were good, normal. All counts normal, platelets were down slightly, but that was expected. Then the 20 minute wait until the doctor arrived. He opened the door, shook my hand, and told me the news. The scans showed no trace of Hodgkins present in my body. He stated he was surprised by the results because of the minimal treatments (50%) I had received. By then we both were laughing, smiling. I am coming to the end of this journey. I will continue with four additional treatments at 50% to finish up. Today I received the first of the final treatments. January 8th is my last chemotherapy treatment. I am glad, excited, and tired. I believe it has been the support of my family, especially Mom and Dad, and the support of my friends that got me through. I can't believe it, Complete Remission!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I've been stating all along that the reality of it all hasn't sunk in yet. I believe I was wrong, that it has been there from the very beginning. It floats into my conciousness at any given moment, sometimes I dwell on it, sometimes it's fleeting. Even when I'm feeling good, it's there. Today I just want it to be over and done with, so I can return to a normal routine, a normal life. My mind is fixated on what the results of the scans are going to show. I want to hear the words "In Remission" tomorrow. Badly. There is a lingering fatigue that I can't shake now, it's always present. It is a residual effect from the chemotherapy. When I'm feeling good, I'm still tired, sometimes worn out. Today I'm really noticing it. My day will be spent lying on the couch, in and out of sleep.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spending most of my time on the couch resting up. Feeling pretty good, but have been tired the past couple of days. Got out, stopped in by Kim at the salon and visited for a short while, then over to Walgreens for some prescription refills. Talked to Heather on the phone, took a nap, ate dinner, and now going to watch some TV. Nothing too exciting.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! It's sunny and bright out, the weather nice, what a great day to celebrate. This year I have so much to be thankful for. My family and friends have been an integral part of my recovery. I don't have a large enough vocabulary to express my gratitude. I guess the best way would be to state it simply, Thank you. Enjoy your holiday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today I went to work for the monthly social and what a wonderful uplifting time I had. It was so good to see everyone at work. I ended up staying over two hours talking with people. I left there with such a big smile on my face, I'm looking forward to getting back to work. Thanks to everyone at SU for your kind words and encouragement. I work with a good group of people. As you can tell, I'm feeling good. Every day, I am getting better. I am on the road to recovery. Having the support of people around me makes this easier to cope with. I'm still smiling from my visit.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The CT Scans went fine, I had to drink sludge and wait about an hour before the scans were run. The doctor should have the results by my next appointment on Monday, the 27th. Afterwards I stopped in by Char and visited for a half an hour, then came home and ate lunch, followed by a nap. I'm feeling good, taking care of myself. I'm hoping the scans show no traces of the cancer and I will finally have an ending point to this. That is my hope.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Been busy today, dusted, vacuumed, began putting up christmas decorations. Got a call from Patrick about 3:30pm. Went and visited him and Toni at their hotel. We went out to eat at a restaurant by the hotel, I had nachos, looked at Toni's pictures from her trip to Hong Kong and China. I liked seeing how toys are manufactured, very interesting. Afterwards I came home and am watching TV, specifically Singing in the Rain. A classic. Tomorrow I plan on finishing decorating and am going to bake some gingerbread cookies, yum. I'm feeling good, all traces of side effects are pretty much gone. I'm going to continue my hibernation, resting is good for me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Everything turned out well at my check up this morning. All counts are up to normal ranges, including my platelets! They are actually at the highest level since the beginning of treatment. That in itself is great. The strategy to do the 50% dose this time and plenty of rest worked. Of course my numbers will fall during week two, but since the levels are up, it's not such a bad thing. My blood pressure 103/60, temperature 98.5, pulse 88, weight 149. I'm feeling good. While I was at the doctor's office, Jody called and we met up for lunch at the Red Robin by Southridge. I had the Royal Red Robin Burger, which has a fried egg on it. Very delicious. I would recommend the restaurant, plenty of gourmet burgers and sandwiches to choose from. Now that I'm full, I think I am going to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Woke up this morning about 5:00am and immediately noticed my body didn't ache the way it did yesterday. Things are going pretty good, still a little fatigued but getting better. Days 5 and 6 are the worst of the cycle without a doubt. Had lung tests again, my breathing is good, actually my output has increased since the first tests. I don't like the lung tests at all, have to endure them one more time once I am through with treatment. I'll breathe easier when everything is over with. (I know, bad pun.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I fell into a deep sleep around 5:00am, woke up shortly after 9:30am. I felt like I had actually gotten some quality sleep. I threw on some clothes and ran out to the grocery store to stock up on necessities. I can still notice the aches in the joints and will lounge about for most of the day. I will be glad to get through today.
Wide awake and my whole body aches at this point. Late night TV is kind of boring, too many paid programs. Today is going to be tough to get through because my sleeping pattern has been altered. I will sleep when I can.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Feeling the effects today. My joints ache and I want to sleep, worn out. I am still in my pajamas and haven't gone far from the couch. I think I'm going to soak in the tub for a while. In between short naps, I have been reading and watching some TV. Almost time for me to rinse my mouth. Walgreen's has an over the counter rinse specifically for cancer patients and it works better than the expensive prescription rinse I had been using. I am yawning again so I think I'm heading back to my couch for the time being.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I braved the razor today. I was hoping I wouldn't have to shave, but after three weeks of growth, I needed to. I took my time and feel much better now. My face was getting scratchy. The hiccups have gone and now the aches in my joints are beginning to appear. I ran to Walgreens for prescription refills and a newspaper earlier. I have spent most of the day reading. Tonight there's a few things on TV I want to watch so I got my evening all mapped out. I'm doing all right considering the next few days are the toughest part of the cycle. Kim called me after the party to thank me for her gift and the dolls. She really enjoyed the fashion show! That's so good to hear.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Just got back from Kim's house. I went early to drop off her present and the project I have been working on. Since it is her 40th, her family had to have a roast for her. I compiled a collection of Barbie Dolls with fashion statements Kim has worn throughout the years. It was fun to do. I printed up the storyline and a fond memory of meeting Kim for the first time, incorporating her sense of fashion into it. I am sorry I have to miss the actual party but I need to take it easy and rest and care for myself. I don't want to overextend myself. The Doctor recommended I slow down for the next two weeks to let my immune system rebuild itself. Kim gave me a book on Egypt so I have another book to keep me entertained. Got my pajamas on and I'm heading off to the couch to start my evening of rest and relaxation. I'm kind of being introspective lately and actually looking forward to spending this time by myself.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm definitely going to hibernate tonight and tomorrow if the weather stays nasty. Just got back from the clinic. I'm feeling good physically, getting bacl mentally, thanks to Julia. She is such a sweetheart and a good listener and full of wisdom. The hiccups and I are planning on lounging on the couch for the night, baking some cookies, and just taking it easy.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's been a number of hours since I've been through treatment and it's weighing heavy on my mind. I didn't think it would have such an effect on me. The reason I got the 50% dose is to get my cell counts and the platelet count up instead of knocking them down. I handled the 50% doses very well. It is a very rational decision in regards to my treatment. I just didn't think I would go down, I expected the 100% dose or another 75% one. I have been feeling great so it's really a shock to me. Right now I'm a wreck. Everything that's gone on this week has taken a toll on me. All emotional, psychological. It might take some time, but I'll get back on track. Time for some Disney movies, they always make me feel good. Oh yeah, I'll have to talk to Char too, she'll have me laughing in no time.
My numbers were down. I got a 50% dose this morning. I was surprised, but you have good days and bad one too. I guess even though I've been feeling really good, I still need to take it slow and easy, not run so much. I will be spending an awful lot of time resting this coming week. Good thing I have plenty of reading materials, CDs, DVDs and cable to occupy my time. Here I was concerned about getting 100% that it never dawned on me to think I could get a lesser dose. Tomorrow I will get another Neulasta shot to help boost my white cell count. It's a good thing that the weather is finally going to be seasonal instead of wonderful. I'm less apt to head out in gloomy weather.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tomorrow is my 8th treatment. It is weighing heavy on my mind. I could potentially receive 100%, the first time since being hospitalized. I know I have been tolerating each dose better as time has passed, but when I did get the 100% my immune system failed. I am concerned, going to be very watchful of every ache and pain I feel.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I was able to get out and enjoy the nice weather today. I voted, bummed around, went to the bookstore. It was a good day. I'm feeling good so I want to get out and enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Tomorrow I have more running to do in preparation for Kim's birthday party on Saturday. Happy Birthday Kim! Today is the official day, Saturday is the celebration. My next treatment is Thursday, hopefully I will be feeling good to be able to attend the festivities.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ever have a day where you wished you had never gotten out of bed?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not much going on today. Have been lounging about, taking it easy. Have been reading and watching TV. Nothing too exciting. I'm doing well, no noticable effects to speak of. I enjoy days like this. Maybe tomorrow I'll get out, the weather is supposed to be relatively nice. I shall see. I just might be planted on the couch again.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I just noticed this is the 111th entry I have made since I was diagnosed. Wow. I am amazed I have had things to say about my experience. I still feel like it hasn't sunk in yet, that I have cancer. That baffles me. I am feeling good today, got out and met Christine for lunch at Culver's. It's always a good day when I see her. I plan on lounging about this weekend, taking it easy, doing things around the apartment like cleaning. (I can hardly contain my enthusiasm over that.) My new favorite show on cable is Robot Chicken, so I bought the season one DVD. The show is stop motion animation using Barbies, Kens, GI Joes, and other action figures. Absolutely hilarious in content, some may find offensive, not for the young children. It's very topical and twisted. I love it! I don't have any appointments until next Thursday so I am going to keep a low profile, spend much of my time on the couch. I am getting so used to lounging now, it's hard to get up before 9:00am these days. I used to be an early riser, but thats all changed. I will have to get a whole new routine once I return to work. That's going to take quite a bit of effort on my part. Yikes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

White cell count, red cell count, platelet count are all good. Everything normal. I'm feeling good too. I wasn't too keen on getting jabbed with a needle today, luckily the plebotomist was good, it didn't hurt at all. The check up went well and I am scheduled to have my treatment next Thursday morning. I didn't like that it was snowing out and cold. Didn't like it at all. Having a good check up made it bearable. Went to Mom and Dad's afterwards for dinner. Now I'm ready for a night on the couch watching TV and reading a new book I got on Tuesday night. Tomorrow I plan on doing some running around. Last night Kim and Jody came over. Jody hung a shelf she and Carl made in the kitchen and Kim painted my dining room ceiling a vibrant green. It all looks great. I want to add an opaque pearl glaze to the ceiling for a more dramatic effect. Wednesday nights have become home improvement evenings. I have a growing list of things I want to do.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

There was no egg nog flavoring available, so I had a gingerbread latte instead. It was delicious. Nothing better than enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a book. I had gone to Barnes and Noble with Brian and Ellen. I had a good time wandering the store, talking with Brian and Ellen, and of course, the latte. I have been feeling pretty good the last couple of days, mostly tired, sleeping when I can. Today, my joints ache, noticably from the waist down. I feel brittle. I have taken some pain medication, but it doesn't seem to be working yet. I'm just going to continue to rest and relax as much as I can.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I didn't realize just how tired I am. I haven't gotten far from the couch today. I pretty much slept most of the day away and still feel tired. The aches and pains are minor irritations. I feel good, just sleepy.
Five days into this round of chemotherapy and so far the effects have been minimal. My body aches slightly, moreso at night and I am tired by the end of the day. I am resting up, not pushing myself. I feel physically stronger, which helps me tolerate the treatments better. This is a good day, has been a good week. I'll take the good where I can get it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It must be Indian Summer out there. It's sunny, nice out. I finally got off the couch and ran to the grocery store. I got milk, cookies, bread, bagels, english muffins, yogurt, juice, cereal, frozen dinners, and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. More than I had planned on getting, but stuff I wanted. It was nice to get outside. I'm feeling pretty good. The hiccups have come and gone, my body aches slightly, and I am tired by evening , yet still feel all right. I like being able to function.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's sunny and windy and I've slept the morning away. Feeling rather good. Not any noticable aches yet and the hiccups have been less intense this time around. All good. I'm going to get Janet later and meet up with Kim and Sarah, Jody, Mark and Sandy, Corie and Dan, and a few other people for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I am going to have a non-alcoholic margarita, yum!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It has been a good day. I feeling rather well. The hiccups have arrived, but seem rather subdued in comparison to previous visits. Knock on wood. Usually I have them when I awake in the morning, but today they didn't begin until around 4:00pm. This morning I cleaned the bathroom, dusted, straightened up some, but got distracted by the Price is Right so I didn't vacuum. I'll do that in the morning. I went to Mom and Dad's for lunch and laundry. Then to the clinic for a Neulasta shot. It was not busy and I was out in 15 minutes, I love quick office visits. Stopped at Walgreens for some prescriptions. I'm home for the evening, going to lounge on the couch and watch TV, maybe read a book too.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I am chemical today. Had my 7th treatment earlier. Everything is fine, my blood cell counts, my platelets, my weight, my blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. Received a 75% dose. I have my next scheduled treatment in two weeks, possibly 100% if my numbers are good. The week after that I will have the CT Scans again to check my progress. Since I am feeling good, I am not too worried about the side effects. I will monitor myself, take care of myself. I'm well into treatments, want them over as soon as possible. I want to thank the people who have continued to send me cards, I love getting them! Aunt Gail and Uncle Wayne, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Fred, Jill, Eric, and Mark, Mary Cooney. The gifts have been great too. I don't expect anything, so when there's something extra, I am appreciative. Mary sent me a horseshoe from Churchill Downs, very cool!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The last couple of days I've been busy, living a semi-normal existence. I'm feeling good, have no existing aches or pains or fatigue to speak of. It's been nice. Got out and experienced the real world, hung out with friends and family, got to go shopping in Illinois. There were times I didn't even think about being sick or about cancer. The support of everyone helps me have moments like that, where I'm Matt again, just Matt, just me. Me and the world. It's been a long time since I've felt that way, since April really. The weekend I went with Char, Michelle, and Kirsi to the Indiana Dunes National Park for a quick spring break. The weather was beautiful there, shorts weather, blue skies, golden sunshine. One moment stands out the most from that weekend. I was sitting up on one of the bigger dunes, digging my hands into the sand. Char was down on the beach doing yoga, Michelle taking pictures along the shore of Lake Michigan, and Kirsi was collecting stones along the beach. I experienced a moment of clarity, of being of the earth, of being alive in the moment. It was revitalizing, calming. Char, the kids, and I still talk about that weekend. Within a month, I started feeling sick. First a tiredness, then low grade fevers, night sweats, eventually the swollen lymph nodes. I plan on going back to the Dunes with Char, Michelle, and Kirsi next spring, to reconnect, to find the peace within again.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kim called me early this morning and informed me to be at Southridge at 10:00 for some shopping and lunch with Jody at Olive Garden. I got black shoes and had lasagna. It was nice to spend the day with Kim and see Jody. Then we visited my Mom and Dad for awhile. I ran home for a nap and returned to have dinner with them and Mike. Roast Beef, Peas and Carrots, Brocolli, mashed potatos, rolls, and chocolate pudding. Delicious. I had a good day. I'm feeling fine, no apparent side effects to mention. I'll try to keep busy the next few days, my next treatment is Thursday.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gloomy. It's cold, windy, rainy. It might snow. I spent most of yesterday wrapped in my blanket on the couch. I watched Halloween movies on the Disney Channel. How I miss warm weather. I am worried about being outside in the cold. I had a bad headache Friday and Saturday, Tylenol gave some relief, I napped throughout the day. This morning I feel okay, iit looks icky out. Seems I'll be spending a lot of time on the couch again today.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The phone ringing woke me up this morning. I let the answering machine get it. The voice booming on the other end stated he was on his way to patch the plaster where it had fallen. I got up, called him back and got him to delay until 9:00am. I quickly showered, got dressed. The workers arrived and I was out the door. Went over by Mom and Dad's, read the paper, watched some TV. Met up with coworkers for lunch at Applebee's. Home after that, the workers were gone, wall patched and painted. Rearranged the furniture, laid down for a nap and slept for about three hours. I'm doing okay, have a headache now but no major complaints.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I just want to say Thanks to everyone at SU. It was so nice to spend some time together. The Chili was very good! I can't explain how good it felt to be there. Everyone was so nice, I appreciate all the support and encouragement and I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.
Well I'm in a good mood. My check up went very well. Cell counts are good, platelets fell a little, still okay though, feeling all right. Only thing off was my temperature, slightly elevated 99.1. Casey didn't even mention it while examining me. She is encouraged by my progress and how I tolerated the 75% dosage. Makes me encouraged, optimistic. I'm in a good mood.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spent much of the day on the couch in and out of sleep. The body still aches and I'm quite tired. I did get myself together, Jody came over after work, we went shopping and out to dinner. I'm home now, in my pajamas. going to curl up on the couch and drift off. I have a check up in the morning. I needed the rest today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I've been up for a couple of hours now. My body is aching.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fatigue and body aches color my day. I went over by Mom and Dad's to do laundry. Mom must have sensed my discomfort because she made my dinner while I had my clothes in the dryer. Dad tightened the serpentine belt on the Jeep and I was home a couple of hours later, asleep within 15 minutes after that and up about 6:00pm. I have been anticipating a rough time of things because of the increased dosage. Things are relatively the same, following the cycle. Tomorrow will be my "I'm not moving off the couch unless I absolutely have to" day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I am very tired. I have slept most of the day and feel like I haven't slept at all. Surprisingly, my body aches very little. Usually by now I feel like I've been beaten repeatedly. I did manage to get out this morning to meet Mom, Dad and Dave for breakfast. I have to mention that the pepperjack and smoked sausage scramble I had was very good, flavorful and tasty. I had a nice time at breakfast. Then I came home, laid down and slept until 4:30pm. I am going to make myself dinner, mock chicken legs, garlic buttered noodles with broccoli and carrots. Then back to the couch. I'm definitely feeling the effects of chemo today.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Not much happening today. I've been tired thoughout the day, having barrages of hiccups lasting an hour at a time. Went out for a while to Walgreens for refills on prescriptions, K-Mart for some hats and a ceramic planter, and Pick and Save for food. I transplanted on plant that got too big for the planter it was in and napped this afternoon inbetween fits of hiccups. No aches and pains to mention, not doing too bad, just tired.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Here I am getting treatment yesterday. I have gotten 3 cycles (6 treatments) since July. I am feeling pretty good today. The hiccups have returned to visit. I've been busy, went to the bank, out to lunch, home to dust and vacuum. I have a 4:00pm appointment to get a shot of Neulasta and going to dinner with Mom and Dad. I'm noticing a little fatigue and my fingers are tingling a bit. Yesterday, the doctor noticed my hair growing back. He then proceeded to state "I'll take care of that." and laughed. He told me Oncologists have a peculiar sense of humor. I had to laugh with him. I told him I didn't like shaving, it's much easier to wash off my facial hair. We shall see if I start to lose what little hair I have left. One of the joys of chemotherapy. I need to get a knit hat to wear out in the cold, and I hate wearing hats. I have no choice though, want to keep myself as healthy as possible though treatment. Overall, I have been feeling good through each treatment since I got out of the hospital, there has been definite improvement and I want to keep it going.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It went very good today. The cancer is lessening, about 90% according to the doctor. All my counts were good, including my platelets. I received a 75% dose, up from the 50% I have been getting. I got a flu shot also. The doctor mentioned that the area around my left armpit is a concern, but he could not feel a lump or lymph node. He said I may have an infection there, so he is going to monitor it. I had to wait about 30 minutes to get my chemo, it was so busy and only a few nurses. While I was waiting, I was sitting across from a woman with no hair and bedroom slipper on. She got up and walked out of the clinic without receiving her treatment. I wonder if she had to wait a long time also and just got fed up. Afterwards, I went over by Mom and Dad's for dinner, Meatloaf, noodles, peas, squash, and chocolate pudding. Excellent meal! Did I mention I gained weight again this week. Soon, I will have to get larger pants!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A late night post. It's cold and windy, snowed earlier. Brrrrr. I miss summer already. For some reason, my mind is racing tonight, I can't sleep. I believe it's because I will be finding out how I'm doing, how I am responding to treatment tomorrow. Part of me is curious, part of me is terrified. People ask how I'm doing, how treatments are going and I can only repsond how the chemo is effecting me. I have no idea how the cancer is being effected. The enlarged lymph node shrunk almost immediately after the first treatment and that was the only indicator I had. I haven't had the night sweats and fevers either, which to me, is a good sign. Hopefully I will get encouraging news at my appointment.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Not much to say. Feeling okay. A little worn down. Spent most of my day lying on the couch resting. I did get over to Mom and Dad's to eat. That was my day. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, so I plan on cleaning. A good day to spend indoors. I'm trying to rest as much as possible since I have chemotherapy on Thursday. I plan on taking my portable DVD player with me to watch The Fox and the Hound, one of my favorite Disney movies.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Part of dealing with the cancer is the mental aspect. Physically it can be brutal, but it is just as tough mentally. I have plenty of time to think about things. Lately my mindset has been how my life changed in July, how different it is now. I feel like I have stopped while everything else goes on. I'm waiting to have some semblance of my life back, even though I have changed and things will be different. Mom asked me today if I was depressed. My response was no, I just want to get back to living. When I was out on the archery field with Brian and Margaret, I didn't think about being sick, wasn't wrestling with the cancer. I felt alive, exhilarated, wonderful.
Those moments happen often and that's what keeps me going. Today on Ellen, there was some actor who had Hodgkin's. He stated that through his whole treatment he didn't think he was a cancer patient, he never thought about it. He thought about the outcome, about living. I liked what he said.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I had a busy day. I went to breakfast with Mom, Dad, and Dave. I had two eggs over easy, corn beef hash, hash browns, and a blueberry muffin, along with coffee and orange juice. I enjoyed their company, it was a nice way to start my day. I came home, removed the air conditioner, did some cleaning, and relaxed for awhile. Brian and Margie came and picked me up about 1:00pm. We went over to the archery field in Sheridan Park to try out my new bow and arrows. I couldn't pull the bow completely back, not strong enough yet. Brian was able to shoot a couple of arrows though. I like it. I'm going to work on strengthening up. I think I'm going to enjoy archery. Then we picked up Ellen and went to Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Of course I found some books to read. I did pick up Peter Pan in Scarlet. Then we went back to their house for a good dinner.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Today has been a good day. I'm feeling fine, not too many aches and pains. The sun was shining and it was nice out. I spent much of the day resting, on the couch watching TV and reading. I did some cleaning earlier, took out recyclables and the garbage. Pat and Toni stopped by for a visit. We went for a long walk down by the lake then out to dinner to Samano's for mexican food. Dinner was delicious. I really enjoyed spending time with them. Before they left, They gave me a Livestrong t-shirt. How thoughtful and touching. They are so good to me. I am tired now, will sleep good tonight.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I had a CT Scan of my neck, chest, and abdomen this morning. The test itself was rather interesting, lying on my back, arms over my head while I moved through the scanner. I had to drink this sugary, lemony liquid prior to the test. Then I was given a contrast material via IV while on the scanner. The test took about 20 minutes. I'll find out the results on Thursday, my next scheduled appointment. I have a number of days to rest and relax. I'm feeling pretty good, still tire rather easily and took about a two hour nap when I got home. I shared a pizza with Mom and Dad for lunch, it was very good. I had to fast prior to the test so I was hungry. Dad had to put up with me again this morning, I was rather jumpy and on edge, the morning traffic an obstacle course. It got the better of me.. I settled down a bit once we got to the appointment. He has the patience of a saint, I swear.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm agitated today. I was in no mood to be jabbed with needles. The clinic was packed with people, I waited and waited and waited, adding to my demeanor. Finally I was called. The plebotomist was rough, it hurt when she jammed the needle in, adding to my irritation. I was sent right back for my check up. I waited and waited until Anna, the nurse, came. She informed me all my numbers were up, including my platelets. I relaxed a little. I maintained my weight, 103/68 blood pressue, 89 bpm, 98.3 temperature. She told me to enjoy my weekend and return next week for my next round of chemo. I got out of the clinic one hour after I arrived. I had lunch by Mom and Dad, then I came home, I want to rest, take a nap. Hopefully I will be in a better mood afterwards. Christine, I finally read your email. I miss you too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Another day, another round of thunderstorms. I woke up about 4:30am to storm watches, warnings, and thunder. The weather has taken on aspects of Fall. I noticed the colors instead of the green on the way back from the doctor's office. The check up went well, I am doing good, have a series of blood work to complete. The aches and pains are receding, not as bad as yesterday, still tired though. After lunch I took about a two hour nap. I have my weekly check up tomorrow and the CT Scan on Friday. Tonight I plan on resting and watching Lost and Project Runway. Mom and Dad, Thank You!!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One word perfectly describes how I'm feeling right now. Cruddy. I am reaching the worst point of the cycle, where my body aches completely, head to toe and I want to sleep as much as possible. This should last through the day tomorrow and I start to feel better. I'm going to soak in the tub, take some Tylenol, and get some sleep on the couch. A thunderstorm rolled through earlier and it reflected how I felt, I watched it go out over the lake from my front window. Before I lay down again, I'm going to have a chocolate malt. That'll make me feel better.
Not too much going on today. I'm finally up and moving around. The body aches, fingers tingle, and I'm tired. I need to get milk and juice so I'm going to get outside, seems rather nice out. Don't know how many days like this are going to be around, so I should be part of it. Then quickly back to the couch to lounge and rest. I saw an ad today for the sequel to Peter Pan, Peter Pan in Scarlet. Another book I will have to read. It's released on Thursday, I'll add it to my list. Thanks Char for making my morning, you always know how to get me laughing.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Thunder and lightning again. In between this morning's storms and tonight's, it was sunny, warm. I actually wore shorts today. My body is aching and I am beat. Today is Mike's birthday, so Mom made a Banana cake with chocolate frosting. It's a new Monday night tradition, Dinner with Mike, Mom and Dad. A good tradition that I look forward to. Brian picked up the bow and arrows. He tried them out, says I will have to work out a bit. I think archery will be a good challenge and a great strength conditioner for me. When I'm feeling up to it, I will try the bow out, but I imagine the real work will begin once I have gone through treatment completely. If someone had told me I would be taking up archery, I would have laughed at them. Interesting how things develop. I have no plans for tomorrow, the rest of the week is filled with doctor appointments and tests, so Tuesday is going to be a restfilled day. (and maybe a trip to get The Little Mermaid on DVD.)
What a stormy night. Wow, the lightning was incredible. Storms started coming through about 9:30pm last night and kept coming well into the day. I was up for most of the time. The aches are starting to appear and I am quite tired today. I went yesterday to the apple orchard with Brian, Ellen, Tom, Tim, Julia, Scott and Barb. It was hectic, overcrowded, warm, and I didn't find the apple I wanted. I had a good time there, but tired easily, so Tim rode back with me on the hay wagon to the barn. We just sat and watched the madness. Afterwards, we all went and had Pizza for dinner. When I got home, I proceeded to fall asleep and miss the Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives. The first storm woke me shortly after that. I did sleep at times. Today, I am going to do laundry, have dinner with Mom and Dad and Mike, and pick up my new bow, arrows, quiver, and carrying case with Brian. So starts an illustrious new hobby.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

it's mostly about napping and hiccuping today. I awoke about 3:00am, wide awake, hiccups. Stayed up about two hours before laying back down. Slept on and off until about 10:30am. Finally got moving a half hour later. Went over by Mom and Dad's for lunch. The first thing I did when I sat down at the table was spill my milk all over the table, me, the chair, the rug, and the floor. It took a good ten minutes to clean up. I felt so bad, but Mom and Dad took it all in stride. After eating, I attempted to do a sudoku puzzle. I couldn't get focused, couldn't think about what I was doing. I gave up. So much for that or playing a game of scrabble. Sat around, talked for a while, read the newspaper, then went to the bank and stopped for a Powerball ticket. I got home about 2:00pm. I laid on the couch and fell asleep. I'm sitting at the computer, typing and hiccuping. That's pretty much my day, feeling okay, starting to notice a few aches and a little weary. I plan on reading and resting for the evening, nothing to exciting.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My friend the hiccups has returned for a brief visit. I noticed I am a little weak today. Out side of that, I'm doing pretty good. Dad is going to pick me up in about an hour to go to the clinic for my Neulasta shot then we're going to get some food for dinner, my choice. I'm not sure of what I want to eat yet though. I talked to a couple of friends today and got a couple of emails from others. It's nice to hear from everyone. I find that writing this blog is very therapeutic for me, I enjoy writing it and sharing part of my life with those who read it. Well, I got to get into the shower and get ready for the day. I know, it's about time!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It was an adventurous day. I drove to UWM to pick Tim up from work so he could go with me to the clinic. We got to the hospital early so we decided to grab a bite to eat. We never got to eat it. We went to the clinic and they called me immediately. After the lab work, the nurse called us into a check up room. I gained weight, 146 lbs. Good. Blood pressure 104/73, 93 bpm, 98.6 temperature, good. Then we waited for the doctor. and waited, waited, waited. Finally the doctor showed up after 45 minutes. Cell counts normal, good. Platelets down again. Not so good. I received a 50% dose again this week. The doctor explained that the lesser treatments will prolong treatments. He ordered scans and blood work for next week to see how I am progressing. He stated I would have the full 12 treatments because the standard is remission plus two cycles. That means I will be busy through January. Not so good, but if that is the case, so be it. I will endure and prevail. I have a trip to Disney to think about, to keep me preoccupied. After the chemo, Tim and I went to dinner. He is such good company, I really appreciated him coming with me. Tomorrow I have to get another Neulasta shot. I'm a little tired out, been a long adventurous day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Late post. This morning I got up, ate breakfast, showered, watched some TV, then headed over to Mom and Dad's to do laundry and have lunch. At some point, Mom mentioned that I looked tired. I did seem to be worn out and my ankles seemed to be aching. After I was done, I went to the grocery store. When I got home, I unpacked. I decided to lay down for a nap. I spent the rest of the day sleeping on and off. Now I'm ready for bed. I can't believe how tired I am. Tomorrow I have another round of chemo. Hopefully I'll get enough rest tonight.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The highlight of my day has been shaving! Since the beginning of treatment, my facial hair has been easily removed by just washing my face. This last week, I havent been able to do that. So I got out the shaving cream and razor and shaved for the first time in about eight weeks. Since the platelets are low, I took my time and was very careful. As much as I hate shaving, this time it was a thrill.
Today turned out to be another beautiful day. I got up early because I went to breakfast with Mom and Dad, Uncle Boots and Aunt Sharla, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Fred, Aunt Gail and Uncle Wayne, Judy and Dennis, and Aunt Christine and Uncle Doug. Aunt Christine and Uncle Doug are heading back to Florida, so everyone wanted to get together. I had a nice time. I can't believe how noisy the aunts and uncles can be, it reminded me of when the cousins used to get together when we were kids and we were loud and obnoxious! Afterwards, I ran to Target and got a bath mat and a new floor lamp for the living room. I called Tim when I got home to make arrangements to go for chemo on Thursday. Mom and Dad are going to go on a short trip with Aunt Christine and Uncle Doug. Mom and Dad do so much for me, they deserve some time to themselves. I'm feeling good today, no complaints. Come Thursday, I start the cycle all over again. I want to thank Aunt Christine, Uncle Doug, Michael, Linda, Mike, Jennifer and Tom for the latest bunch of cards. It always puts a smile on my face.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It's a nice bright sunny day, I think I'm going to get out and enjoy it. Yesterday was a nice day too. I went out to breakfast with my Dad and Dave, got some prescription refills, napped, talked with Mom, Toni and Christopher on the phone, went for a walk with Tim and Julia, who brought me some delicious apple cinnamon donuts and an apple from an orchard they went to. I'm feeling pretty good, not much happening in the way of side effects. I still tire easily and my strength runs out, so taking it easy and rest are the best thing for me. Today I am going to run to the bank and have dinner by Mom and Dad. I'm off to enjoy the day, enjoy yours.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's Saturday afternoon, rainy. I got up early this morning, showered and went to visit Kim at the Salon she works at. My mom was there getting her hair done. Surprisingly, she was getting her hair colored pearl blond. She looks good! I like it. I stayed for a few hours visiting with Kim then came home. I'm going to read my book and watch some TV, a nice restful day. I'm feeling pretty good, on the upside of the cycle.

Friday, September 22, 2006

What a difference a day makes. I woke up around 5:00am this morning. It was dark, stormy. I noticed immediately I didn't ache. I stayed up for about an hour, then laid back down and slept until a little after 8:00. Had breakfast, showered, dressed. I decided to call in to work to give an update and Christine answered the switchboard. I chatted with her and we talked about meeting for lunch. Even though it wasn't Monday, we went to McDonalds since I had a Big Mac craving. For those of you who don't know, Mondays are all about the Big Mac. It was good to see Christine, good to get out and about for a while. Now I'm home, going to lie down, rest a few hours and watch Project Runway, Bravo has a marathon of episodes showing this afternoon and evening. I feel human today.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Well, the check up went well, my cell counts are up, but the platelets are down, again. Casey explained that this can be expected, along with the total weariness. I am scheduled for my next round of chemo next Thursday. I did laundry and had a good meal over by Mom and Dad's. While pork is not one of my favorite dishes, the roast was good, and the potatoes had sauerkraut mixed in them. They were tasty. So were the creamed cucumbers, one of my favorite side dishes. I got some prescriptions filled and did some grocery shopping before I came home. It has been a full day. Mom and Dad really take exceptional care of me, I don't have the correct words to convey all they have done and do for me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mom's strawberry coffeecake is delicious!!!
Today my enthusiasm is worn. I have been tired most of the week, and feel completely drawn out. I have been running low grade fevers the past couple of nights. I am concerned about my counts tomorrow. I have been resting as much as possible, not pushing myself. I cried a bit this afternoon, worried. It's definitely a struggle, been a down day for me. Hopefully it'll be a better day tomorrow. Mom sent home some chocolate chip cookies and a strawberry coffee cake, a recipe of her own. I'm looking forward to snacking on those tonight, a definite treat. I get to see Casey tomorrow, that makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Currently, I feel like I've been beaten by a two by four from head to toe. The body aches have settled in. I am not very sociable, just want to lay on the couch and rest, and soak in the tub for some comfort. Tylenol doesn't really help, so I have to settle in to the aches for the today and tomorrow, then I'll start feeling better. I had dinner over by Mom and Dads tonight, spaghetti, which hit the spot and warmed my belly. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be in a better mood. I'm off to soak.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The tingling, weariness, and aching have slowly returned for a brief stay. I didn't do too much today, spent most of it flitting on and out of sleep. I did go over by Mom and Dad's for dinner, polish sausage, potato salad, baked beans, and jello. It was delicious, a very good meal. Afterwards, I stopped and got gas in the Jeep. First time I spent under $40 to fill my tank in quite a while. I started reading "Peter and the Shadow Thieves", a sequel to "Peter and the Starcatchers", which is a prequel to "Peter Pan". I recommend these books to anyone who loves to read. Tomorrow I plan on doing some cleaning, hopefully the tingling, weariness, and aching with want to clean also. Tonight I am going to try to win $1,000,000 watching "Deal or No Deal". I certainly could use the money. Oh, to dream . . .

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I had a really nice day today. Brian, Ellen, and Margie picked me up at 9:00am and we went out for breakfast. I indulged and had coffee with my meal. We ran into Mom and Dad at the restaurant. Afterwards, we dropped Margie off at home, then went to Border's Books. Brian, Ellen, and I spent several hours there, of course I found a lot of books to get, settled on three this trip. We went to Southridge, wandered the mall, then back to their house. We spent some time sitting out on their front porch since it was beautiful out. I stayed for dinner, Mom and Dad, and Heidi and Mario joined Brian, Ellen, Margie, Tom and I. I am tired out, been a nice long day, but I'm ready for a nap now. Hope I stay awake to catch the Amazing Race.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In between the hiccups and the naps, I'm feeling okay. I can tell I am worn today, and getting a little achy. Following the pattern. Went over by Mom and Dad's and did laundry, had lunch. Afterwards, I came home, turned on the TV and took a nap. I got up, thought I'd make a quick post, get something to drink, and head back to the couch.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Today I just can't seem to get into the swing of things. I'm definitely out of sorts. Me and the hiccups are feeling all right, it's the motivations that are misfiring. I did finally get into the shower about 2:00pm, only because I have to go get the Neulasta shot at the clinic and wanted to be clean. Otherwise I would be on the couch. Maybe it's the cable viewing that is throwing me. I keep finding shows to watch. My guilty pleasure right now is Project Runway, so I will be seeking it out to view anytime it is on. My thought pattern has been in high gear, thinking about a lot of things. I want to go back to work, I thing I need that structure in my life, feel like I have so much time on my hands and mind. I'll see how the next weeks go and talk to the Doctor about it, even if it's part time to start off. I also think I want to take up archery. It all started back in July when I noticed an archery field over by the clinic. I go by it every time I go to the clinic and I think it would be a good hobby. Even better, there is an archery field in Sheridan park, two blocks from my apartment. I'm still toying with the idea, but am moving closer to the determination to give it a go. Well that's about it for now, will be heading out to the clinic in about 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today's report was good. 114/70 blood pressure, 98.3 temperature, 92 bps, and weight a whopping 142. blood counts were good, except for the platelets again, so I received a 50% dose. Tomorrow I get another Neulasta shot. I'm feeling good, haven't napped all day! I'll probably be asleep by 9:00pm tonight! Oh well, I'll fall asleep watching cable!
I got digital cable today. So many channels to pick from!!!! Survivor starts tonight and I am psyched. I will be going for chemotherapy in a few hours, not so psyched. Right now I am going to lounge on the couch until Dad picks me up and enjoy flipping through the channels. I will post more information later today.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Raining, Raining, Raining. What a cruddy day. I did my civic duty and voted today. I did my civic duty and washed clothes today. Ate lunch with Mom and dad, came home, napped. Feeling good again today, the aches, pains, and tingling have been very tolerable. That's a good thing. Now if only the sun would shine.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Here is a picture of all the cards I have received from everyone. I appreciate all the thoughts, prayers, and good wishes. I will keep the cards up for the duration of my treatment as a source of strength and inspiration. Thanks to Aunt Sharla and Uncle Boots, Patrick, Beth, Julie, and Eileen for the latest bunch! I love getting them!
Certainly is a gray gloomy day. I'm going to have to watch "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" this afternoon. I ran out to the grocery store earlier. Of course it started pouring when I got out of the store. Last night, the heat in my apartment kicked in. I was up about 1:45am and the radiators started rattling and clanking. I was shocked! Actually, the heat is on right now as I type. Wow. Didn't realize it was that cold out. Depressing. I definitely have to watch a Disney movie this afternoon.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The rain has set in, looks like it's going to be a few dreary days. While it is not cold, it certainly isn't warm. I'm already missing Summer. Feeling all right, had a nice day. Went over by Mom and Dad's, played scrabble, had dinner, then home. It has been a restful day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Had an adventurous day. Went to Mom and Dad's for Stuffed Green Peppers (one of my all time favorites). Tim and Julia came over, ate with us, then the three of us headed out to The Outlet Mall in Kenosha. Along the way we rocked out to Disco and 70s music via Tim's Satellite Radio. At one point we were all grooving to "Off the Wall" by MJ, it was rather amusing and fun. Once we got to the mall, I had to go to Calvin Klein, Journeys, PacSun, Zumiez. Ended up making a few purchases. I really needed those pair of shoes. Really. Justification: I'm wearing them to Disney. I had a really good time at the Mall. Now my ankles ache. I soaked in the tub earlier, wonder if I should do it again. I've been feeling very good the last couple of days, but noticed yesterday I have a rash on my neck and chest. I'll keep an eye on it, and show the Doctor Thursday if I still have it then. I sure hope I didn't react to Mr Bubble. Tonight I used some old bubble bath liquid I had been using.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Yogurt and I. Picture taken 09/08/06 9:34pm with my cell phone. Can you tell I'm bored?
Well the medical bills are starting to come in. I am dumbfounded by the cost of health care. I am thankful I have insurance. I can't imagine how someone without medical coverage would be able to afford treatment. The first bill came for my lymph node biopsy. Total charges $12,183.49. Insurance payment $12,083.49. My cost $100. That is my co-pay for hospital stays. The second bill covers my emergency room visit for my intestinal issues and my hospitalization for transfusions. Emergency room visit $5,075.06. Hospital stay $16,631.65, totalling $21,706.71. Insurance payments $21,606.71. My cost $100. The amounts are staggering, frightening. Having a major illness is not cheap. Makes me think of a bad credit card ad. Blood transfusion/Hospital stay $21,706.71. Insurance payment $21,606.71. Out of pocket expense $100.00. Love and support of family and friends, PRICELESS.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today turned out to be a good day all around. Everything went well at the clinic, I will be having my next chemotherapy treatment next week as scheduled. All my levels are up. I did laundry, had a delicious lunch by Mom and Dad, awesome Italian Shredded Beef. Went with Dad to Aunt Gail and Uncle Wayne's to get some vegetables from the garden. Judy and Dennis were there and Aunt Gail and Judy sure made me feel like a million bucks, with their compliments and encouragement. Dad and I stopped at Sam's club, where I got stuff for the cupboards. Feeling good, upbeat. Going to read and watch TV and lounge for the evening.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The last couple of days have been about coping. Coping with the constant aches, pains, and fatigue. It's not unbearable, it just never ceases. I find comfort in sleep and soaking in the tub. I have a new nightly ritual of putting on a CD of 80s music and soaking for a good half an hour in a luxurious sudsy soapy bath. For those few moments, I feel almost human, almost normal, almost. Tomorrow I have my check up, will be interested in my cell counts, platelet count, my weight, and when my next treatment will be. Today I went to Red Lobster for luch with Mom and Dad. I recommend the cheddar garlic biscuits. Ate too much, it was good though.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I've settled into the tingling fingers and weariness stage. The random sporatic hiccups have gone for now. The next few days are going to be hard, dragging. At least I am aware of the cycle of how things go. I have some good books to read andthe new TV season is starting. I'll be on the couch if anyone wants me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It has been a great day. Good eats for lunch and dinner, a trip to Borders Bookstore where I got some interesting reading material, a new Scrabble dictionary. Of course after a short afternoon nap, Mom, Dad, and I played a game of Scrabble, which I WON! It is rare for me to beat my mother at Scrabble. For the record this is only the second time ever. Done gloating, back to my regular hiccuping.
Slept in today, and it feels good, I feel good. Yesterday was pretty much a good day, felt better than I did on Thurdsday, more energy, less aches, and the random sporatic hiccups. Went and got a Neulasta shot, then Mom, Dad and I had Arby's roast beef sandwiches and loaded potatoes for dinner. Slept through much of the evening and settled into bed about 10:00pm. Mom got me up about 9:30am this morning. Showered, fed, going to do laundry, have a delicious lunch of Italian Sausage, Hot Dogs, and Corn on the Cob. The hiccups and I wish you all a great day.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poisoned. At least somewhat. I did gain weight again, up to 137! Unfortunately, my platelet count fell. The doctor decided to go ahead with the chemotherapy, but at a lesser dosage, so I had a 50% round this time. Tomorrow I go for a Neulasta shot. I hope I don't have to get another platelet transfusion. Afterward, I had dinner with Mom and Dad, pork roast, mashed potatos, cauliflower, creamed cucumbers, and choclate pudding. Delicious! Now it's nap time.
It's the morning of treatment #3. I am apprehensive. Why, not sure. Maybe because earlier I went to the bank, deposited my pay check, then decided to get milk and yogurt. Of course I inconvenienced the check out woman who would rather have been conversing with her friends. They put everything into a plastic bag.. When I got home, I went to pull the milk out of the bag, it got tangled up and I lost my grip, it fell to the floor and burst open, milk splattered everywhere. It was inside the refrigerator, all over the outside of the refrigerator, the walls, the floor, me. It seems to be one of those days. Unlike yesterday, which was nice and easy, had dinner by Mom and Dad's, played a game of scrabble.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today I am getting the carpet cleaned. I went to the bank this morning and then to my Mom and Dad's for lunch. My mom made chow mein casserole. I was in the middle of eating when I inhaled and started choking on a chunk of something. I started rasping and my mom came over and attempted to help me. In the process, the chunk became unlodged and I could breathe again. Mom made me scrambled eggs to eat. I had yogurt and ice cream too. Feeling good today. I plan on resting the next few days in preparation of my chemotherapy on Thursday. I want to thank Julie for the birthday card and good thoughts and the Target card! Thanks to Beth for the encouragement and the laughs, I look forward to getting my mail now, it's not always filled with junk and bills!

Monday, August 28, 2006

It has been a dreary day. Overcast, raining, cool. Reminds me of Fall. Sad to see Summer dwindling. I like the warmth, the sunshine, wearing shorts and sandals. I'm sure there'll be a few more days of Summer left. I feel all right, pretty much just fatigued and achy at times. Thursday, I will be getting my next chemotherapy treatment. Yesterday, I went to Brian and Ellen's for Sunday Dinner, Lasagna, which was delicious. Mom and Dad were there and brought a tossed salad with sunflower seeds. To complete the meal there was garlic bread and for dessert, Pistachio torte. YUMMY!!!! Heidi, Thomas and Margaret joined us for dinner, it was nice spending time with the family.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Slept in this morning, got up a little after 10:00am. Actually got a good amount of sleep. Must have been the warm/cool damp night air at the high school stadium. I loved the performance! Not sure on the accuracy of the name "Band of Spies" with music from Mission Impossible, James Bond, and Pink Panther. Margaret played the Pink Panther and got to slink around the playing field. It was a good performance and I was entertained. It was nice to spend time with Brian and Ellen, Mom and Dad, Thomas and Margaret. I felt alive. Then I came home, took my medicine, curled up on the couch and fell asleep. Today, Dad is stopping by to get my wash, I am going to go through my clothes and down-size a bit. Too many clothes. I don't need three pairs of gray cargo shorts. I would like to go to the book store today, but will see. Feeling good currently, so I'm going to head to the bedroom and start sorting clothes.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today I am going to a Fish Fry with my Mom and Dad for lunch. I slept until 8:30am this morning, got up, ate breakfast, did the dishes, showered, and now watching some TV. I feel pretty good today. Last night, Brian and Ellen picked me up and we went to Culver's for ice cream. I got a burger and a chocolate malt. I enjoyed spending the time with them. I again am at a loss how to say Thank you to them for their love, support and caring. Each day I am reminded just how amazing my family is. If it is not storming out tonight, I am going to go with Brian and Ellen to see my niece Margaret in the South Milwaukee High School Band. She is part of the Color Guard. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to go back to the couch and watch some more TV, rest until it's time to go to the fish fry.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I just spoke with Casey from the clinic and I have verified that chemotherapy will be every two weeks. my next scheduled treatment is for August 31st at 11:30am. I'm glad I got that all cleared up. It's interesting how different people decipher the same information.
I GAINED WEIGHT!!! I weighed in at 135.5 officially, up from 133 my last office visit. I am a week out from my last chemotherapy and I didn't lose weight and my cell counts are good. That is definitely good news. I am not sure about the treatment schedule, since Casey stated my next treatment would not be until September, being on a day 1, day 15, day 28 cycle. Her interpretation is I will now get treatment every 28 days. My interpretation was every two weeks. The doctor is being consulted and I will be getting the schedule defined. Basically this past week has been fatigue and body aches, all common effects of chemotherapy. My fingers are always tingling and go numb when in contact with anything cold. I am also now having hot and cold flashes throughout the day and night, always putting clothes on or taking them off to stay comfortable. Yesterday Tim came over, I wanted to do some grocery shopping, Tim wanted to go grab something to eat. On the way out the door, Mom called to invite me to lunch, so Tim and I decided we would go there. Dad came and picked us up from my apartment and go shopping. I didn't bring a list so it was impulse shopping, juices, breakfast food, snacks, water, ice cream. I got cold while in the refrigerated section and couldn't shake it. After checking out, we got to the parking lot, which felt like an oven to me. Within seconds I became weakened, and lost all strength and my body collapsed onto the shopping cart. Dad and Tim had to carry me into the car. I became a wreck, crying and upset over my condition. They got my groceries home, took care of everything, and took me back to Mom and Dads, carried me inside to let me regain my strength. I ended up staying there for the day, having dinner with Mom, Dad, Tim and Julia. They really took care of me. At the office today, Casey explained everything I am going through is very common. As reassuring as that is, I still get frustrated by my limitations.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my days seem to blend into on another, is it tuesday? monday? I pretty much feel like I have been beaten head to toe, little or no strength, and always worn out. I spend much of my time napping, otherwise I am laying on the couch, watching some bad tv, and thinking. Today I was thinking of going to the store for some juice and snacks, but when I went to get the mail, determined I had better stay home. I don't mind the lounging, but it makes for long days.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I had a really nice visit with Pat and Toni yesterday. For the first time I found myself talking about having cancer. They knew when to talk and when to listen. I love them so much. Two more people I can not thank enough for all they have done. Today, Tim and Julia picked me up and we went to the Zoo Ala Carte. Tim and Julia wouldn't let me pay for anything. I had plenty to eat and drink thanks to them. Char's band was playing so I got to see my soulmate, my muse, and hold her and look at her for a while. I love her unconditionally. The best part of the day, Julia bought me a stuffed giraffe, named "yogurt". Yogurt is the softest, cutest stuffed animal! I like holding yogurt, keeps my hands busy. All in all, it has been a really great day. I am now going to take a nap!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fatigue has definitely set in. I have been sleeping most of the day. I never did get off the couch and out the door to go shopping. Dad stopped by with food for dinner. Originally I was going to go there for lunch, but couldn't keep awake. Pat and Toni are coming to visit shortly, so I'm trying to stay up a bit.
Yesterday was indeed a good day. Heather did stop by for an entertaining visit, my parents and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Fred dropped by with a fish fry and homemade zucchini bread. Delicious! My random sporatic hiccups have turned into the persistent every six second hiccup. Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated. I have held my breath, tried sugar, drink water fast with a butter knife touching my forehead, breathe slowly. It is an inconvenience. I wonder if I hiccup in my sleep. Slept well, in my bed last night. Comfy. Going to take a shower, then eat breakfast, then head out to the store, need toilet paper and drink coasters and snacks to munch on. It is Saturday right?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Good Morning. It is a good morning so far. Got up around 8:00am, fixed breakfast, oatmeal, yogurt, milk. Did dishes, showered, dressed and ready to face the day. I still have the random sporatic hiccups, more annoying than anything, but not a major issue. Right now things are quiet. I noticed that my joints are tired and achy, so I try to flex a lot through out the day. Going to take out the garbage and recyclables. My friend Heather is up from Missouri and planning on stopping in today for a bit, looking forward to it. I talked to Mom on the phone, she mentioned going to a fish fry. Yum! Seems like I got a good day ahead of me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The plaster fell off the wall over the front windows and onto the couch. Luckily I was at lunch with Dad at the time. He picked me up at Noon to go to the clinic for a neulasta shot, a white blood cell booster. It is good for two weeks, no more daily injections! I am feeling fine, except I have the random, sporatic hiccups that have lasted all day long, stopping and starting and nothing makes them go away. annoying. I tried the teaspoon of sugar, which is tasty, but not successful. After the clinic visit, Dad and I went to the Old Country Buffet for lunch. I had, Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatos, Cowboy Potatos (fried potato slices and sauteed onions), Crab salad (which was disappointing), Lettuce salad with cheese, sunflower seeds, Thousand Island dressing, macaroni and cheese, country fried steak, green beans and carrots. I stuffed myself between hiccups, so I didn't grab dessert. Then I came home to nap and found plaster. The guys from Katz properties were here within 30 minutes and cleaned the place up, scraped the wall. They are going to stop in tomorrow to check to see if the ceiling is leaking, it is raining out. Then they shall repair. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. I did nap some after they left. Now I'm off to take tonights round of medicines and lounge on the couch some and drift off to sleep. Hiccup.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I am a molotov cocktail. I had chemo this morning. The whole thing took about 3 hours from lab work to check my blood, to sitting with the Nurse Practioner, to receiving treatment. Dad spent his time doing crossword after crossword and talking with me. It is nice to have someone there with me, makes the time go by. I read the August 2006 National Geographic and did a crossword myself. They did adjust the medications to a 75%-100% ratio. Not sure which of the four chemos were adjusted. Afterward, Dad and I stopped at his home, picked up my things, and came home to my apartment. HOME. My parents, worked incredibly hard to clean the place up, Jody and Kim helped clean the kitchen. There is nothing I could do to let them know how grateful I am for all they have done, all their love and support. I am feeling fine, tonight is about resting and relaxing. Take things one step at a time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lots I want to talk about today. Flashback to Thursday August 3rd. I went to the clinic for bloodwork to see if I could have chemotherapy the next day. Not good news, my white cell count fell, my platelete count fell, my red cell count was down, and I was running a 101.3 fever. I was being admitted into the hospital for transfusions. That night I received plateletes. On Friday, I received two pints of blood. every day I was receiving shots to boost my white cell count. I was hospitalized until Tuesday August 8th. I missed my niece Heidi's wedding on the fourth. I woke up from a nap about 4:25pm that day, the wedding was in progress, and I cried. I have improved each day since, been able to eat more and more, have less and less mouth sores, normal bowel movements. I still tire easily, but am working on increasining my stamina. Sometimes I push myself too hard. On Monday the 14th, I went and had lab work done, all my levels had increased dramatically. Originally I was going to be monitored this week to see how I level off on my counts. Then Casey, the nurse practioner called and said we could schedule chemotherapy for this week instead of waiting until next week. I will be getting my next round of chemo tomorrow, Wednesday, August 16th. Another step in the right direction. The doctor has adjusted my medications so hopefully I will not be body slammed by the side effects this time around. I want to thank everyone who sent me cards, letters, and birthday wishes this past week, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Fred, Aunt Gail, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Sharla, Uncle Boots, Mike and Wayne from Texas, Katherine, Mary Beth, Doyle, Mark. I have been hanging all the cards and notes and letters on my door at home as inspiration. Went shopping today at Target with Dad, bought a messenger bag to carry all my things to chemo, notebooks, reading materials, dvd player and dvds, etc. When we were checking out, there was a guy in line behind us with the robot voice. Why am I so fascinated by that? More words when I am so inclined.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Today, I got some good news. My white cell count is on the rise. I didn't receive a booster shot today, first time in 15 days. No chemo yet. Need higher numbers. Will be going to the lab again on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully then I will get back to treatment. The Nurse Practioner Casy called and informed me I do not have to continue taking the augmentin antibiotics in the mean time. More good news.

Yesterday was my Birthday, 42 for those who inquire. All of my family helped me celebrate with pizza, sundaes, and malts. I love them all!!!!

When I got back from the doctors office today, I was surprised to find cookies had been delivered from people at work to wish me well and Happy Birthday. Christine of course picked out Disney ones! Thanks to all of you at work for thinking of me, Christine, Michele, Judy, Jan, Barb, Ellen, Dianne, and Kathy.

I had my first real meal in weeks, chicken cordon bleu, baked potato, potato pancakes, beets and apple sauce. It was delicious!

My dad has been working incessantly on cleaning my apartment. Soon I will have a safe, sterile environment to recoup in besides my mom and dad's house. I can not thank him enough for all that he has done for me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spent most of the day resting. Feeling all right, just tire easily. I have to work on endurance. Every day finds my hair receding more and more. Soon I shall look just like my Father, Handsome :) Speaking of my father, he has been the most incredibly supportive person this whole entire journey. Has been there for me at every turn. Mom has been equally there for me as well. I truly would be at a complete loss without them. I love them to no end.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

just a brief update for today, will have more details soon. I have been in the hospital since last week Thursday, August 3rd. Low cell counts, platelets. Had a platelet transfusion, blood transfusion and the old abdominal pains. I am out of the hosptial now, resting comfortably at my parents.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wednesday: Fentanyl, the pain patch I wear has one major side effect. Drowsiness. supposedly gets better with time, I get sleepier. My temperature is inching up throughout the day. edging out at 100.9 101 I'd be calling the Doctor. Tim stopped by with a present from him and Julia. It's a 68 piece Art Kit, watercolors, oil pastels, color pencils, markers, crayons. Julia calls it Art Therapy. Thursday: took a shower and am now losing my hair. Where's that Art Kit? I have a lab appointment later today to check my cell counts and fluidity. If everything goes okay, I'll have chemo tomorrow as planned.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am feeling pretty much the same, trying to get more rest, having difficulty with fluids and food. Feeling this way is bad enough, but then add 90+ temperatures and it can be terrible. I have interstinal ulceration, a side effect from the chemo. One day soon, I hope I write some upbeat news.

Monday, July 31, 2006

How would you like to spend your Saturday evening at your parent's home on the floor doubled over in pain? I did. I have this knot in my stomach that just will not go away. Doctor directed meds like magnesuim citrate, senekot, prune juice weren't helping with the constipation. I am up all night running to the bathroom. yuck. Little relief on Sunday morning, same knot, same pain, same discomfort. I managed to get through most of the day with some sleep, little fluids, and waning energy. By evening, I had no energy left, couldn't sit, stand, eat. A call to the clinic, some brief questions and a directive to go to the emergency room. Dad and I headed to St Lukes. After getting checked in, reviewed by the nurse, we waited, waited, waited. Finally the Doctor appeared and did a thorough examination. He believed I either had severe constipation, or blockage. Xrays and rectal exam showed no sign of constipation, in fact, my bowels were clear. He explained I do not have an obstruction either, but trapped gas. I didn't understand. He told me about the effects of chemo in the intestine and needed to see a CT scan. I was given intravenious fluids, which was fascinating to watch it spread through my veins. Morphine to ease the pain and discomfort, then expected to drink 24 ounces of ooze. An hour or so later I was carted off to the CT scan. Results will be in today as I head off to the Doctor's office once again.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday was my first lab appointment. My white cell count is very low. I have to get Neupogen shots Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are to boost the white cells. I have a lab appointment on Monday. I haven't been sleeping, so I got a prescription of Ambien. It was recommended that I stay secluded from public places and small children. I decided to stay by Mom and Dad's for the weekend. They have been so kind and good to me. I am tired, achy from the shots, and now constipated. It never ends.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I called the clinic promptly at 8:30am. The nurse took my information and told me that she would talk to the doctor and call me back. Mind you my mouth has been burning non-stop since Tuesday. 11:30am and no phone call. I called back. The doctor wouldn't be in until 1:00pm. I would be first priority. I tried to go to the grocery store with my dad, but it got to be too much. Finally I got the call about 1:15pm. They wanted me to come to the clinic for a check up and urine sample. Dad and I got there by 2:00pm. I had several exams and four new prescriptions and was out the door about 3:30pm. Walgreens didn't have the one prescription I needed and a storm was raging outside. The pharmacists did an admirable job tracking down the prescription to 76th and Cold Spring Rd. more driving, more burning. We stopped back by mom to let her know what was happening. Ending up eating some food before heading out. The freeway was backed up. I finally got to Walgreens around 5:00pm and had to wait 20 minutes for the prescriptions. I finally made it home a little after 6:00pm. Mouth is soothed. It was a long miserable day.
7:05am no sleep, no work. I tried. Drove about two blocks and had to turn around. I need some kind of help. I will be calling the clinic first thing when it opens.
2:10am no sleep yet. my eyelids hurt. I just got out of the shower, let the water run over me. I believed it made me feel good. I want to thank Jill and the boys, Steve, Aunt Gail and Uncle Wayne, and Christopher for making me smile and really feeling good for a while. I'm off to the couch. more later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I left work about 11:30 yesterday, my mouth hurt too much. I called the clinic, talked to the nurse, and she told me to come in. I went, waited, waited, waited, finally they called my name. I was given some triple elixir to combat the sores. It numbs my mouth for about 5 minutes. I went home, tried to sleep some, didn't happen. I started cramping in the early evening around 7:00pm. Constipation. With the help of Barb, Dad, and Milk of Magnesia, bless them all, I was able to go to the bathroom. For several hours. I haven't slept much, so I'm staying home from work today. My mouth is still sore. Every two hours I rinse with the elixir alternating with the salt water rinse.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've been wondering when the reality of all this would sink in and I realized it's been there from the beginning. The realities are the strange, infuriating, uncomfortable, aggrevating side effects that can certainly push one to the edge of insanity. One mouthful of oatmeal, followed by an ice cube. Cold things are good. Hot food not so good. I know these are all just things to deal with while going through chemotherapy, but sometimes it is just a bit much. Maybe it's the lack of sleep today or the fact I'm at work when I would rather be miserable at home. I'll get by, good days bad days. My reality.
Mouth is on fire. I am developing sores. I am drooling constantly. I can not sleep because my mouth is burning. This is going to be a rough day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

well, my sense of taste has gone, everything is blah. another gradual side effect to contend with. I also noticed how tired I get through the day. I left work about 2:00pm, went to my parents and took a nap before having dinner. They have been so good to me. Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic toast. Of course it all tasted the same. Yet, I can taste the salt in the salt water rinse I have to do four times daily. Figures. I'm going to see the movie Clerks II tonight with Mike and Erin. Hopefully I won't get the hiccup outbreak during the movie.
This morning I am feeling fine. I am at work, day dreaming, waiting for 3:30 so I can head home. I had a good evening, nothing too dramatic happening. I have a rash on the side of my face and neck, the erratic hiccup, and the tip of my tongue is now sensitive to hot and cold food and liquids. Weird little side effects or my own imagination?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Last night was filled with random, erractic outbursts of hiccups. If I yawned, I would hiccup. If I took a drink of water, I would hiccup. As a matter of fact, I have them now. Sometimes it is one hiccup. Sometimes it is numerous. Side effect? I'll add it to my list. Other than that I am feeling fine. The weather is nice today so I'm going to get out for a while, go for a walk. Enjoy the day.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

it's about 5:35pm. I am feeling fine. There has been no signs of effects on me to this point. I had lunch with Mom and Dad, then dinner with Brian, Ellen, Heidi and Thomas. I am going to take a nap now, rest up a bit, since I took my medicine like a good patient. If anything occurs, you'll be reading about it.
Early Saturday morning. So far the side effects have been limited. I did have some intestinal discomfort Friday evening and a few bouts of diarrhea. I have been documenting these effects in a small notebook to show the doctor/nurses. I'm keeping myself hydrated and am going to start reading the pack of information provided by the clinic. I feel all right at the moment, no aches or pains, no noticable effects. I will post updates throughout the day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Get ready for a long posting. much has happened, much to talk about. First off, I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage IIB nodular. In stage II, cancer is found in two or more lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm. My treatment will be ABVD, a standard chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's. I will receive chemotherapy once every two weeks. Standard treatment is four to six cycles (which equals two chemotherapy sessions). ABVD stands for the four drug combo treatment. Adriamycin, which is red; Bleomycin; Vinblastine/Velban; and Dacarbazine/DTIC. All of these have side effects that range from hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, aches, rashes, fevers. I have been prescribed a number of drugs to counteract the side effects. Emend, to prevent nausea, taken on the day of chemotherapy and the two days following; Allopurinal, to clear out my system all the waste product from the chemotherapy (ie: dead cancer cells); Bactrim DS, an antibiotic; Diffucan, an antifungal; and Compazine, for nausea. My Dad picked me up at 11:10am. The appointment was scheduled for 12:00pm. The drive took about 20 minutes. We arrived in plenty of time. Too early. I checked in and began to wait. wait, wait, wait. Soon it was 12:25pm and I had watched the waiting room clear out. Glad I had my Dad to converse with. I was getting agitated, anxious. I checked at the front desk and the receptionist informed me I was scheduled for 12:15pm and I arrived early. I just didn't want to be lost in the shuffle. about 12:40pm I was called. The nurse took my vitals and said the doctor would be with me shortly. He came to see me about 1:00pm. He wanted to explain things and get me into treatment immediately. I was taken into the treatment room about 1:30pm. I don't know what I was expecting, but I didn't expect to see a wide open space with recliners and chairs. Patients sitting next to each other getting treatments. My head was thinking sterile empty rooms, radiation suits, and big needles. This was much more relaxed. The nurse came over and started my IV, commenting on how nice my veins were! I was given an intravenous nausea medicine before I started with a test dose of the Bleomycin, which some patients could have severe reactions to. I didn't react. Then I was given the rest of the medications. While this was going on, the nurse explained the medications, the prescriptions, and provided me with a notebook with detailed information about the drugs, side effects, ways to treat them, dietary, and contacts. lots of information for me to read. Dad reviewed and pointed out things to me. He also got me a fruit cup and a muffin from the cafeteria to munch on. The whole thing took about three and a half hours. I haven't noticed any effects yet. While I was waiting in the main lobby, I noticed a man of a different ethnic background wearing a proud tshirt. His cell phone rang. He answered it. He had a robot voice. I was intrigued, fascinated, but I didn't want to stare at him. I did eavesdrop though, just to hear the robot voice. Amazing technology. Everyone say "Yo" in a metallic robot voice. Truly amazing.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am taking it easy today. Trying to rest up, but the phone keeps ringing. It was Christmas in July at work today. The company provided shredded beef and rolls. Employees brought in lots of other food. There were three different queso/salsa dips, taco roll ups, crab salad, potato salad (which I provided), cheese tortellini, chicken tandoori, and lots of chocolate desserts. Food days at work are great. I stopped at Target on the way home and bought new underwear, socks, shorts, and t-shirts. I figure the clothes I wear during treatment will be chemo-clothes and after it's all over with, I will not wear them again. Tonight I am going to lounge on the couch and relax. I'll watch Big Brother and read. Tomorrow will be filled with many adventures and activities and needles.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The one thing that has overwhelmed me this whole time is how much people care. Janice, a woman I work with brought me a Tinker Bell knapsack and good wishes. Judy, another woman here at work brought me Bamboo plants. My brother Brian and his wife Ellen brought me part of his birthday dinner, complete with dessert. Mom and Dad often send watermelon home with me, often treat me to Blizzards and Shakes, Cards from My Aunt Sandy and Uncle Fred, Tim and Julia, Pat and Toni. My friend Mark gave me a beautiful crotcheted afghan. Kent has gotten me a large insulated mug so I keep myself hydrated. The list goes on, the hugs, the well wishes, the prayers, the support.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I am RADIOACTIVE. Thanks to the CT and PET scans. They were rather interesting tests. The technician first tested my glucose level. 94 mg. Normal is between 80 and 120. She inserted an IV to give me the PET scan liquid. I also had to drink this sugary lemony tasting liquid. Then I had to wait about 35 minutes to wait for the liquid to circulate. I almost dozed off. Then she came and told me the test would begin. The CT scan was first. I was hooked up to an IV containing a dye. The machine was like two large donuts with a bed that moved through the donut holes. The machine rattled and hummed and made noise while I moved through the scanner. I imagined it being a futuristic Disney ride. The technician told me the dye might make me feel flush when administered. It did. My crotch got all warm. Geez. I was expecting my face, neck. The test took about 15 minutes. Then it was the PET scan. The machine was quiet and I just moved through the machine for about 30 minutes. The technician played Genesis. I had to have my arms over my head the entire time. It seemed to go fast, it was over and I could head home. Now the wait begins until Friday.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I need to prepare for tomorrow's PET Scan. The rules are as follows:

24 hours prior - No exercise or heavy lifting.
12 hours prior - No caffiene or smoking.
4 hours prior - No food.
Drink water, keep hydrated.

I kind of like the 24 hour rule. Not liking the rest of the rules much.
It's 4:10am CDT. I am miserable. Night sweats, fevers, aching lymph nodes, little sleep. This is what I go through most nights, but not so bad as tonight. I fell asleep around 11:00pm, was awake by 12:30am, drenched and achy. Took some Excedrin and tried to get some more sleep. Tossed and turned and got some sleep until about 3:00am. I've been up since, covered in a sheen of sweat. I'll drag myself into work this morning and see how long I last. There's not much else I can do. Keep myself hydrated, get rest and sleep when I can. On nights like this, not even popsicles help. Today is going to be a rough one. I'm definitely going to be cranky.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Today I'm all about staying cool and resting. I've been reading a book, watching some Disney favorites; The Lion King; Beauty and the Beast; Fun and Fancy Free, and napping. I'm going to try and conserve my energy much of the next week for treatment. I know this isn't the most exciting post, but I'm going to have days where not much is happening. Yesterday I went to Bastille Days downtown for a number of hours, walked around, saw the air show, ate good food, and enjoyed myself. When I got home, I was beat, exhausted. So today is a lounge day. Tomorrow I'm back to work after a few days off. Funny how I'm not looking forward to it! Well, I'm off to the couch again, going to throw in Peter Pan and have me a dreamsicle.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Having time to rest and relax gives me opportunity to think about things. I've been thinking a lot about Carol, a woman I had the pleasure to work with until she retired. Carol was the general housekeeper at work. She was the kindest, sweetest, and one of the nicest persons I have ever met. Through the years as I got to know her, we became good friends. We talked about our lives, the world. I am one of the first people to arrive at work in the morning. This always gave Carol and I the chance to converse before the day got to hectic. When the weather was nice, we would go sit on the loading dock, coffee in hand, and just appreciate the morning. It was a simple pleasure that we both enjoyed and shared together. Carol had battled cancer throughout her life and one day she informed me her cancer had returned. She would be going for treatment and working part time. This went on for a number of months. While the treatment was rough, she handled it with grace and dignity. Her cancer had spread and she was terminal. She was given a matter of time. She decided to retire from the job and continue with treatments. On her last day at work, the company gave her a huge luncheon. I bought her a gift, a book to write about her life, her memories. Everyone has a story worth telling. I saw her several times after she retired, and we always shared a smile, a laugh, and a hug. She past away last fall. I was out of town on business and I missed the funeral. Carol touched my life, taught me to enjoy the smallest moments. On the day of her retirement, I was lucky to have one of those moments caught on film. The picture of Carol and I still stands on my desk.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The bone marrow biopsy was definitely an interesting experience. It really didn't hurt, but there were some wild sensations. I woke up this morning not feeling very good so I wasn't looking forward to having the test done. Dad picked me up promptly at 9:00 and we were on our way. We got to the office, I checked in, and we sat in the waiting area. We had coffee, talked, and waited. I noticed a woman who looked familiar but I couldn't place her. She looked at me the same way. It wasn't until I was laying in the room after the test did it come to me. The nurse called my name, took me back to the room where the bone marrow biopsy would be done and administered a shot of Demerol to relax me. About 20-25 minutes later the technician came in. I was relaxed and the procedure started. she numbed my right hip area and began collecting samples. I felt no pain. I could feel pressure at times. The technician explained what she was doing as she went along. First she collected fluid samples, which created an icy prickly sensation that ran from my hip, down my buttocks, into my thigh. very interesting. Then she collected bone samples. That created a warm rippling prickly sensation that went straight though my groin area. Another interesting sensation. The test was over. I was bandaged up and had to lay on my back. The office had also scheduled an echocardiogram for today. That technician came in, set up his equipment and ran his test. It was pretty much an ultrasound of the heart. It took about 15 minutes. The echocardiogram was done to have a record of the function of my heart because treatment may cause damage to the heart and the doctors needed a reference point to monitor the effects. After the technician left, I started thinking about the woman in the waiting area and tried to figure out where I knew her from. The first mental image that came to me was of Club Marilyn happy hour buffet late 1980s. That was it, her name was Vanessa and I worked with her at Kemper. The nurse came in told me I was all done for the day, I could get dressed and head out. The woman was gone from the waiting area so I didn't get a chance to say hello. Now I have a few days rest before the next test. I am tired so I'm going to take a nap.