Saturday, March 31, 2007

Early Saturday morning. I'm getting breakfast together, cream of wheat, yogurt. I get a two day reprieve from treatments. Finished number nine yesterday. Found out that on Mondays, the massage therapist is in the office and I get to have one after treatment. I like that, something to look forward to. I'm heading out to the book store at some point and I think I am going to get Kopp's too. Hope the flavor of the day is decent.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Another day, another treatment. Eight so far. Twelve more to go. The doctor has decided to add three additional treatments just to make sure things are completely cleaned up. The rationale, I only received 50% dosage of chemotherapy most of the time. I am responding well to treatment, having minor skin irritation and noticing some fatigue. April 16th is now my final day of treatment. I'll be glad when it's over.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Today I became a registered member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I am interested in becoming an advocate. I feel it is the right thing to do. I wish I would have been aware of this foundation earlier, but I can do more now, so the timing is right. Don't be surprised if I become involved with fund raising events. Good things can come out of what I've been through.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm starting to feel fatigue. I noticed it while taking a walk with Judy this morning. I felt like I was struggling to keep pace even though we weren't walking fast. My limbs feel weighted down. I had another treatment, six down, eleven more to go. Overall it hasn't been too bad, the technology fascinates me. I'm always asking the technician questions about the machines, the laser beams. It's like I'm getting an education.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What a gorgeous day out. I thought about riding my bike tonight, but that's as close to getting outdoors as I can manage. I am considerably lazy. I'm riding the couch. I had the fifth treatment today, each one gets me closer to the end of the journey. Then what will I write about? I'm sure I'll find things to say.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . The Magic Kingdom is officially open!!!!!

Oh, it seems like yesterday. It's been a month and everytime I think or talk about it, it's like I'm reliving the moment. What a trip it was. I got to show Tim and Julia the pictures last night over by Mom and Dad. We had dinner together, then the picture show. Mom and Dad have seen the pictures, and Mom can narrate pretty good! I enjoyed my time with them!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Early Saturday morning. A misdialed call woke me up. I feel like sleeping all day. I went out for a fish fry with Brian and Ellen after work, then we picked up Margie and met Michael at the movie theater to see 300. It was a brutally good movie, will definitely buy it on DVD. I got home shortly after 9:00pm and was asleep by 10:00pm. Treatment yesterday went fine, it's funny how it has become part of my daily routine. It'll be funnier when it's not part of my day though. Today is going to be a lazy one for me, I just want to lay around, and I'm going to.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Got the third treatment out of the way. I'm starting to get into the routine, it's not so bad after all. For now. The nurse informed me that side effects are delayed, it takes about 10 days. I feel okay, so I will see next week. I'm going to lay low, not do too much during this time. I like lounging, so now's the time to do it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Had the second treatment today. The nurse sat with me and explained side effects. Fatigue and skin irritation are the main ones. I may experience nausea and diarrhea also. I will have blood drawn on Tuesdays and see the doctor on Thursdays during my span of treatments. I just have to get used to my new routine. Patrick mailed me copies of pictures from his camera and copies of the ones taken by the Disney photographer. I now have over 300 pictures to choose from. Be prepared for the onslaught!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not anything like I expected it to be. All things considered, it was nothing. I just laid on the table, the machine rotated around me, and buzzed when the radiation was being applied. Once on top, once underneath. Buzz for about 10 seconds each application. Took me longer to get dressed. I have new temporary tattoos, the old ones replaced, a whole new treasure map. It was all very interesting.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Well I finally got the phone call today. I begin radiation treatments tomorrow. While I'm glad to get things started, I'm nervous and scared. Once I know what I'm going to experience, I will be more relaxed. April 11th is my last scheduled treatment. Is it April 12th yet?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spent the day at a wedding shower. Katie and Jason's. Julie and I are DJing their wedding at the end of May. Katie is Kim's niece. It was nice getting together with the Klugiewiczs. I always have a good time with my second family! Plenty of good food and friends. I'm a bit worn out, not used to the crowds and noise. My leg is getting stiff, swollen from being active today. Tonight I'll be lounging on the couch.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Got all those curls cut this morning. I feel much better about my hair now that it has been tamed. Kim did a nice job shaping it, the cut is more conducive to curly hair, I don't mind it for now. I guess I will have to work with my hair then resent it. I'm grateful it grew back, but does it have to be so darn curly?

Friday, March 16, 2007

No phone call yet. I'm agitated. Monday I will be calling the clinic. I'll have an enjoyable weekend, lots of things to do like laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. No side effects to slow me down at all. Just want to get the ball rolling on the radiation treatments. I'm still agitated.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I remember the first night in Florida, Pat, Toni, Chris, and I went to Downtown Disney and had a celebratory dinner at Fulton's. Fresh seafood. I had a combination platter of Mahi Mahi, Alaskan King Crab, and Shrimp. I usually don't eat any seafood except shrimp, so I was being brave. Pat and Toni shared a platter of Lobster and Crab legs, which creeped me out! Here is a picture of the Lobster. Chris had Fried Shrimp, Scallops. It was delicious and a great start to the vacation. It's been three weeks all ready and it seems like years ago.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Still waiting on the phone call from the radiation oncologist to start treatment. I wanted to begin last week, wondering if it won't be until next week. I am wondering too much, it's picking at my brain, playing with my mind. I have said this so many times all ready, I want to start now, to get it over as soon as possible. The warm weather has passed for now, back to cold days. I have spring fever, badly. I do like having daylight savings time early. Got the oil changed, the tires rotated, and new wiper blades on the Jeep. Getting ready for Spring.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not too much going on. Just working, lounging, reading, watching TV. I still am waiting to find out when radiation treatments are going to start, I figure Thursday or Friday, at the latest next Monday. I'll be glad to get started, then it'll be over. I'm doing fine, feeling good, no complaints.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beautiful sunny day, nice out. I got the Jeep washed, stopped at the bookstore, went for a walk. It's been a good day. Feeling great, the leg's not bothering me. I'll take days like this anytime!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More about the trip: Animal Kingdom is my favorite park. I love the Jamming in the Jungle parade. Everest Expedition is an awesome ride. I love the atmosphere. Pat, Chris, and I went there first, met up with Aunt Christine and Uncle Doug. While walking through the park we saw Lilo and Stich, so I had to get my picture. I have to tell the story of the Iraq War Veteran. Chris and I noticed him while on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. He was in a wheelchair, I first caught glance of artificial arms, hooks for hands. Then he stood up on two artificial legs and walked to the viewing area around the gorillas. I wanted to stare, watch, but couldn't. My heart went out to this guy, his wife, and small children. I didn't notice his face was scarred, his nose missing. Behind him there was a parade of five electric carts with overweight individuals. I was appalled, even disgusted. I wanted to cry for this man trying to make a normal life and scream at the people who were capable of having one but weren't making the effort. I felt my experiences with the cancer and the blood clot aren't so bad in comparison. I also have the utmost respect for this man and none for the current Washington administration. Another fleeting moment at the Animal Kingdom featured the Minnie Girls, three cute Asian girls wearing red miniskirts with white polka dots, black leggings and yellow shoes, just like Minnie Mouse. They were adorable, Chris managed to get his picture with them. We spent the rest of the trip looking for them! More on events of the trip when I recall them...
My Pro-Time is 2.6, Dr Kaiser wants me to continue on the current dose of Coumadin I am taking and have my blood checked again in a month. I finally looked at my body tattooed, I feel like a treasure map, purple Xs on my hips, stomach, and where the lymph node was removed. They are temporary, should last the three weeks of treatment.
Oh yeah, I finally got a Sam's Club card, Thanks to my Dad!!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Just another day, not much going on. I'm waiting for a phone call from Dr Kaiser about my Pro-Time, had my blood drawn yesterday. Want to make sure the blood thinner is working (therapeutic). Hope I don't need to have more blood work for a while, give the old veins a rest. Work's been slow, hope that picks up soon. Daydreaming about Disney, seems like it's been a long time since I've been there. The Jeep's paid off, officially mine now, so that money can be directed towards student loan payments. Feeling good, Really good. After radiation treatments and a few weeks recovering, I plan on getting the bike out and riding the trail along the lake and learning archery. Once the weather turns, I want to start enjoying the outdoors more than I have lately. Just another day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Well, the planning and scans went fine. It was not what I expected at all, no stainless steel, no radiation suits, I wasn't strapped down to a sterile operating table. I had to drink barium for the scan, the contrast material provided the flush of warmth through my body. I wasn't too embarassed during the planning stage, the technician worked on me without too much exposure. I am tattooed and ready. Treatments will start sometime next week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Today's appointment included a physical exam, the doctor explained about the radiation treatments, the technician explained the procedures, and blood work (more needles!). Thursday, I go for another CT Scan and measurements, plotting for actual treatments, that will start sometime next week. I was hoping to start immediately, but that isn't in the cards. What's one more week? I'm beginning to feel like this is never going to end. I just want to get this over with and put it behind me. Plus I'm tired of taking time off from work for appointments.
Just got up, had the chance to sleep a little later this morning. I have my appointment with the Radiology Oncologist today. I'm not sure what to expect and that has me a little edgy. Until I am familiar with the process, I will be nervous. Once again I have the image of stainless steel room, me strapped to a table, and people in radiation suits on the outside looking in, watching. Something out of a bad sci-fi movie. Oh how I wish I were at Disney MGM Studios, dining at the Sci-Fi Cafe, watching B-movies with Pat and Chris again . . .

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The last few days of rest have been good. I put my leg up as much as possible. I'm glad I decided to relax. Not only did I get to Disney, Chris, Pat and I went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. One of my favorite rides was Dr Doom's. Chris and I are on the right. As I recall more events of the trip, I will be writing about them.
I start my radiation treatments soon, have my planning appointment on Tuesday. The doctor will take measurements and I will be tattooed so technicians will know exactly where to place the radiation. I am wary of the treatments, but know this will improve my condition. Having been on my trip, I can do this. The sooner I get treatment, the soon it'll all be over. I just might have to go on another trip when I'm all done. Oh yeah, and when I can afford it!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's already one week since I got to throw pixie dust and open the Magic Kingdom. The euphoria lingers like I'm still standing at the Main Street Station overlooking the throngs of people waiting to enter the park. The wonder of it all didn't end there. We were invited by the Mad Hatter and Alice to ride the teacups later that morning. What a day it was!

Friday, March 02, 2007

How easy it is to get into the vacation routine and how hard it is to get back to the grind. I woke up early this morning and it was snowing, cold, and windy. I was expecting sun, warmth, and another day at the theme parks. Reality sunk in fast. Good thing I have a few days to get into the swing of things. Today I am resting my leg, after eight days of walking, walking, walking. Now it's dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of my next trip to Disney. It always goes so fast.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It has been a turbulent day. Both flights were bumpy, especially the one from Detroit to Milwaukee. I was conflicted about coming home. I had an amazing time at Disney and didn't want it to end, yet I wanted to be home and see my Mom and Dad and family and friends. My trip was incredible, satisfying, and makes me want to live in Florida. Back to the snow and cold. All is good, I am good. What an adventure!