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.