Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick Update....Media Media Media

Yesterday was the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Cancer Center for the NEW Learning Resource Center and new website ( ).

Here is a link to the A Channel News story ( Click Here )

Here is a link to the CBC News Story ( Click Here ) - the story starts at 43:39 seconds - you can move the cursor to that point and play from there.

Here is the Picture and Article from the Windsor Star:

Cancer survivor Jeff Casey sold his Radioactive Man T-shirts to raise about $9,000 to help start a Learning Resource Centre at the the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre.
Photograph by: Sharon Hill, The Windsor Star

"WINDSOR, Ont. - A day after his daughter Isabella was born, Jeff Casey was diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The 34-year-old wanted as much information as he could find on his form of cancer. What’s a MUGA scan? How does it work? What’s going to happen to him?

“You only get so much time with your oncologist. Even though she spent two hours with me there, I still had 100,000 questions in my head,” an emotional Casey told a small crowd at Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Wednesday.

The centre officially opened its Learning Resource Centres Wednesday, two libraries within the cancer centre where patients can search for information by computer, borrow a book or take home pamphlets with more information.

When Casey heard the Do Good Divas and the centre were working on more resources for cancer patients, he sold T-shirts to raise about $9,000.

The idea for the resource centres started with the Do Good Divas who got pagers for patients so they could move about the cancer centre and still make their appointments. Their idea for an education kiosk grew into a library. The Do Good Divas donated more than $30,000.

The Windsor Regional Cancer Foundation funded a $14,000 video that gives patients a tour of the centre before they even step in the doors. About 2,000 new patients come to the cancer centre a year. New patients will get a letter telling them about a website at that will have the virtual tour or they can request a DVD copy.

Carol Smith, a breast cancer survivor and Canadian Cancer Society volunteer, said knowing what to expect is calming for new patients. Smith said not all the information on the internet is reliable and even though patients get information at the beginning of their treatment, they may forget, have more questions or not be able to absorb all the details.

“Everyone’s overwhelmed,” she said. “You have a lot of questions and sometimes you’re so overwhelmed you don’t read it all.”

The cancer centre found patients wanted improved information and emotional support. Forty-three per cent of patients did not know about available support groups, the centre found.
Casey, an ergonomist, said it comforted him to know more. He was diagnosed Sept. 25, 2008, after finding a lump in his throat. He had his tonsils removed, went through chemotherapy and his cancer is now in remission.

The T-shirts he sold say Super (Radioactive Man) Casey in reference to his power to unwittingly shut down the tunnel border crossing.

During his treatment, he had been injected with radioactive dye. He didn’t realize it made him radioactive until he went to cross the border. One after another, all the tunnel gates went down. He said tunnel traffic was held up more than 40 minutes.

A cousin had the shirts made up and friends and family wore them on his treatment days to show support.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Post

I suppose that not too many people will be reading this, my final, blog post. However, I am writing it to ensure that I get the pictures from the Cancerbration into my blog book (which I will make available to anyone that is interested).

'Cancerbration' was an excellent day - over 200 people showed up, including 70 kids. The food was great, the weather was great...but the bouncy castle stole the show. I didn't realize how much of a hit the castles are - I'm sure we will experience them again.

The cancerbration was meant as a means to celebrate my remission, my birthday, Isabella's baptism and really, to say thank-you to all of those who supported me through the cancer battle.

I am looking forward to getting to the 'New Lease on Life" stage...I'm almost out of the pool.


Jeff "Super Radioactive Man" Casey

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Peter's Page

I haven't written in a long time...and I likely will only write one or two more times - and it will only be to talk about our upcoming "Cancerbration" - Diletta, Isabella and I are having a huge picnic party on June 6th at Jackson Park here in Windsor. The party will go from 11am until about 4pm. We will be providing all the food and drink. Also, for all the kids (and a few of my friends) we will be having a bouncy castle, face painting and other fun things for the kids. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is welcome...we just want to know who is coming to ensure that we have enough food.

This party will celebrate my remission, but will also celebrate Isabella's Baptism and my Birthday (June 8th). So once again, everyone is welcome!

Canon Peter Walker is the rector at St. Peter's Church in Cobourg, Ontario - my home town. He we Diletta and I in Italy and is a person that I love and trust. I want to share with you what he recently wrote in the St. Peter's Parish Magazine for Easter. Quoted verbatim:

What my friend Jeff has shown me

I have a friend named Jeff. He is a handsome athletic young man in his early thirties, warm and outgoing. It was my privilege to officiate at his wedding two years ago. Jeff and his beautiful dark-haired wife made a particularly striking couple. They had the world at their feet and everything going for them.

I knew they were eager to be parents. Last year "they" became pregnant and in the fall gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Isabella. Though they live in another part of the country, I get baby pictures regularly sent to me through the internet. To watch the growth of their adorable child (blessed with her mother's dark hair), from newborn to half-year old, delights me.

I relate this story because just at the time Isabella was born, Jeff was diagnosed with a serious cancer. It gobsmacked him. It completely floored his family and friends. How could this trim, fit, healthy young man be so sick? Whatever happened? All the troubling Good Friday questions assailed us: "Why, what evil has he done?" The news sent everyone reeling, me included: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken him?"

I remembered Jesus' words: "Let not your hearts be troubled". But my heart was troubled! The awfulness of this sickness, the unfairness, troubled me deeply. In the French translation of the bible, the Greek word Jesus uses is rendered "bouleverse"; a much better translation I think than "troubled" because it means totally upended, our world turned literally upside down! That's what I felt, overturned.

What must Jeff have felt? I quickly learned.

From the date of his diagnosis Jeff started a blog. He let us follow the course of his treatment and know how he is feeling from day-by-day. It is, I think, his way of dealing with the disease - and helping others far away deal with his dilemma. His chronicle has captivated me. In the raw outpouring of his soul, he speaks to me.

It never occurred to me that Jeff had a particular gift for expression, but he does. He is a born writer, honest, clear, direct. I follow his regular blog entries religiously. They comprise the journey of a soul: a young troubled soul struggling to keep faith, to "hang on" in full process of treatment. I have wept with Jeff from afar and smiled at his baldness. He is truthful about the meaning of his wife's love, the woman who so recently vowed to stand with him "for better or worse," promising to cherish him "in sickness and in health;" he is also truthful about the meaning of his daughter, the infant who so inspires him to further courage.

Jeff's blog reveals a man of deep character. So with countless others I pray for this young man whose life was suddenly 'bouleverse', upended. I pray also for his wife and daughter, for his extended family, for his doctors and nurses, their healing arts, for his friends and caregivers. We all need help to deal with difficult reality!

Jeff's roller-coaster life careens from pathos to bathos, from setback to success. Hanging on for the emotional ride challenging. Yet, in faith, he has hung on. Today I heard 'good news'. In his blog Jeff writes that it was been 161 days from diagnosis to remission. Such joy! Dare I believe it? Dare I allow myself to believe that his hope, faith, and courage is rewarded? Dare I believe that he has returned to his home and family and is gaining fresh strength by the day? Dare I believe that a new day has dawned? These are Easter questions.

For those who dare to hope and believe, for those who keep faith, Easter comes. Not always in the precise way we want it perhaps, but Easter comes. Alleluia!

Peter Walker


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Pictures....

The ribbon cutting ceremony at the cancer center. The room pictures right below is the main reception area - very nice little area with a fireplace and gran piano.

Diletta, Isabella and I standing in the resource room. We are standing in front of the painting that Dawn Banning donated - very nice!

Check out the progression...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Getting Better

It has been a while since my last writing...and I miss it. But at the same time a part of me wants to stop writing as a way to walk away from cancer. I am a bit torn.

Anyways...things have been going okay. Mentally I am getting a lot better. I find that I am trying to be more positive and I am able to care more for Diletta and Isabella than I have in the past. That does not sound 'right' - but before I was very worried about myself - now that I am not as worried there seems to be more room in my heart and head to think about and care about what really matters...

Physically is a different story...last time I wrote I was taking some time off from physical exercise...I ended up taking a few more days than projected and then I got back into it last Thursday playing squash and I ran out of gas quite quickly. It was a playoff game and after 2 games I was done...he walked over me the next 3. I hate losing. Hate it. But I had nothing left.

After that I went to Chicago with my Wednesday night hockey buddies and we played 3 games, 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday - I was wiped and I am still wiped. Crazy.

My biggest problem is that I don't really have a middle ground for physical activity - go hard or go home. I guess I'll have to stick to lower impact sports and activities until I get my wind back.

Last Wednesday my Grandma threw a celebration party for all of her friends ... This was a party to celebrate the fact that I was in remission and also to meet Isabella. There were about 50 women...and me. Needless to say it was GREAT! Everyone loved Isabella!

Finally, today Diletta, Isabella and I went to the cancer center for the opening of the Patient Resource Rooms. There was lots of media and speeches and a cheque presentation from the 'Do Good Divas' who raised $30,000 for the rooms and new pager system being implemented.

The final amount we ended up giving to the cancer centre is about $8,700 - I am very proud of this and so should everyone who helped me do this. There were about 100 books in the book shelves and a ton more are on order. In addition, they are taking lists of books to the doctors and nurses to get opinions as to whether or not they should be purchased.

I'll post some pictures later and maybe some new videos...


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Your Basic Update...

I think that right after absorbing the good news of being in remission I hit the gym/life a little too hard and fast. After about 2 weeks of being super active (squash, hockey, working out, house stuff, waking up at night) I was exhausted. But not my normal (pre-cancer) exhausted. I was getting a bit depressed and I was finding it difficult to get my energy, I've taken the past 3 days off from hitting the gym and will take the next 4 days off too. This was pretty difficult considering that there was a big squash tournament this weekend - with some good friends and all the people from the league I play in playing. I love to play and compete and hated missing it. But, I am better off for missing it....

Anyways, we are doing great and slowly making the adjustments...

Isabella turned 6 months on March 24th and is now eating rice cereal, a bit of banana, rolling from front to back and back to front, she is able to pick up her soother and put it in her mouth...and is constantly saying, in a very soft little voice "mamamamamamamamamama".

Diletta is starting to get some more sleep now that I am getting up in the middle of the night to feed Isabella. However, Diletta, out of habit, is still getting up...This morning I got up at 5:30 to feed Isabella and then I put her back down to bed...she was still a bit alert and making typical little baby noises...Diletta heard this, got up, went downstairs and made a bottle and brought it back up ... only to realize that this had already just been done by me...

P.S. There is a delay in the blog being sent out...for some reason there is about a 2 day delay...I have researched it and can't find a solution...and there are no responses to my emails.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I thought I would put together a 'numbers' summary of all the drugs, drug costs, tests, time and blog/internet. If you know me well, you know I like to count - hahaha.Check it out:


  • Rituxan - 10,500Mg - and lots more coming!
  • Prednisone - 10 pills @ 50Mg each X 6 sessions = 3000Mg
  • Cyclophosphamide - 750Mg per dose for 6 doses = 4500Mg
  • Doxorubicin - 300Mg - this was given for 6 cycles at 50Mg each. The therapy limiting dose for this drug is around 500Mg - at which point the risk of congestive heart failure increases. This is one of the major reasons for only doing 6 cycles.
  • Vincristine - 10Mg - nasty drug. The first 4 cycles was 2Mg and the last 2 were 1mg each. The major difference I noticed was the tingly feeling in my fingers.
  • Cytosar - 500Mg given in 100mg doses - this drug is given via Lumbar Puncture
  • Mystery Drug - given via lumbar puncture once - I do know that the following drug was taken in addition to it...
  • Leucovorin - 5Mg - These were taken in pill form every 6 hours 4 times starting 24 hours after my 5th lumbar puncture to counteract the drug that was injected. Very odd eh?
  • Ativan - This is a fairly common drug for anxiety - but it is also good for nausea. I tried to take as few of these as I could. Dr. Hamm was reluctant even giving it to me because of its addictive nature...
  • Emend - excellent drug - I started taking this during my 2 cycle and I think it made a huge difference. Mainly for nausea. I took one in the morning on the day of my chemo and then one that night and the next night.
  • Stematil - as needed for nausea.
  • Zofran - taken the day of chemo and the next two nights for nausea.
  • Pariet - to protect my stomach from all the drugs.
  • Kytril - This was replaced by the Emend after the first week.
  • Benadryl - given during every chemo cycle to prevent reactions to the rituxan (and it really relaxed me and made me tired during chemo)
  • Gravol - I took a lot of help with the nausea and to help me sleep. Generally speaking, I took it every day for 10-20 days post chemo. A few nights I took 2 - but that really knocked me out and I was very groggy in the morning.
  • Extra Strength Tylenol - I normally don't get headaches...but I got a lot of them during this.
  • Neupogen -1.6Mg X 30 shots - My second chemo cycle I took 1 shot daily for 10 days ... the 3rd - 6th I took 1 shot every other day for 10 days.

Drug Costs (all are estimates):

Estimated Costs of the over the counter drugs is $12,000. This does not include the Chemo Drugs Rituxan, Cyclo, Doxo or Vincristine...

  • Rituxan costs around $4,000 per dose, I have received 8 so far and will get 8 more = $64,000. I have read that the cost is between $3,000 and $8,000 per 'treatment'.
  • Vincristine is about $40/Mg - I had a total of 10Mg = $400.
  • Doxorubicin costs about $100 per 50Mg - for a total of $600.
  • Cyclophosphamide - 4,500Mg @ about $100 per 50Mg for a total cost of $9,000.

Total: $95,000


3 - CT Scans
2 - X-Rays
1 - PET scan
2 - MUGA Scan
1 - Bone Marrow Aspiration
6 - Cerebral Spinal Fluid (lumbar puncture/intra-thecal)


  • 161 Days - from diagnosis to the day I was told "Remission" - That might be a record?


  • 110 Blog Posts
  • 43 Blog Followers
  • 83 Blog Subscribers
  • 23,684 Page Views
  • 2,228 Number of Unique Visitors to the blog
  • 34 Number of Countries Represented
  • 425 Number of Cities (top 10 cities: 2951-Windsor; 1343 Toronto; 645 Cobourg; 294 Ottawa; 247 London; 244 Whitby; 194 Vancouver; 188 Kitchener; 156 Etobicoke; 140 Burlington)


  • 140 - Shirts Sold
  • $3,974.52 - Money raised from Shirt Sales
  • $4025.00 - Additional Money Donated
  • $8,074.52 - Total Money Donated to the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre for use in the new Patient Resource Rooms


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank You!!!

Hi Everyone...All is pretty good in the Casey household these days! I have been getting back to the gym to workout with a personal trainer, playing squash 1-3 x's / week and I am still playing hockey 1x / week. I am a lot more tired post playing than I am used to - but I suppose that I will get closer to normal as time goes on. My energy levels are waaaay higher - and at times I feel they are greater than pre-cancer. But, more tired post I think I will have to monitor myself a bit more and take it a bit easier...(but I likely won't).

I have a few more shirts that I would like to sell - I have about 10 left over - so if you didn't order one you would really be helping out by donating a bit more money to the cancer center. Please just email me at - Thanks!

I have hired a blog-book designer to help me put all of this into a book format that I can easily load up to blurb for publishing - as soon as I have got that done I will post on here for people to order. The reason I am offering this is that a few people have expressed interest in getting a if you are interested, I will let you know.

Diletta and I are starting to 'move on' with our lives by booking vacations and other plans for the future that we weren't able to 2 weeks ago. It feels great to make some plans, but some decisions have still been difficult because of an impossible-to-get-rid-of feeling that cancer is still around. This will decrease over time - and I can't wait.
Now to the point of this post - Thank You.

Thank you to everyone that prayed, thought, e-mailed, called, commented, smiled, visited, cooked, baby-sat, joked, injected, prescribed, shipped, sent, hugged, donated, and bought for me and my family.

To my Family - Diletta, Isabella, Mom, Grandma, Kathy, Paul, Kahley, Erin, Kym, Brian, Graham, Kate, Marisa, Marco, Melissa, Val, John & Hallie!

To all the medical staff that helped me - Dr. Hamm, Dr. Ling, Dr. Warwarak, Pam, Debbie, Sheila, Donna, Maggie, Anna, Marg, Diane, The chemo nurses, the pharmacy, the booking staff, the blood clinic, Joanne, the registration staff and all the volunteers.

To Everyone that bought a shirt: Fed, Dante, Kristina, Caley, Stef, Don, James, Nick, Julie, Ruja, Tripun, Chuck, Gord, Ange, Abe, Mona, Andrew, Jeff, Cheryl, Graham, Gwen, Bob, Grandma, Marco, Melissa, Bello Metal Recycling, Rob, Steph, Chris, Chrystal, Adge, Susan, Frances, Brenda, Jeff, Laura, Marv, Joe, Moe, Ryan, Josh, Dana, Kelly, Justin, Miguel, Joel, Leo, Rosa, Fab, Dave, Blair, Albert, Lindsay, Melissa, Dave, Dora, Angelina, Anna, Tawny, Tony, Sherri, JP, Chris, Krissy, Dayna, Cathy, Mark, Lori, Shannon, Mike, Deidre, Sabrina, Bruna, David, Gratsiano, Denise, Phil, Justina, Jodie, Connor, Tim, Diletta, Mike, Phil, Syed, Alex, Scott, Nadia, Jamie K, Jamie M, Max, Greg, Ric, Doug, Jenny, Dave, Tanya, Diane, Mike, Steve, Scott, Chris, Gavin, Kristy Lee, Joanne, Mike, Sheri and Andrew.

To everyone that donated Money: Joanne, Jeff R, Brenda, Karen, Austin, Kathy & Paul, Dave, and Abe.

The TCS crew that did a combination of bought shirts and donated money: Kevin, Andrew, Peter, Sarah, Karim, Courtney, Scott, Heather, Tamara, Tom, Chris, Scott, Peter, Craig, Ryan, Steven, Graeme, Marc, Mike, Jamie, Sheila, Denise, Jeff, Mark, Austin and Danny.

All the people that joined Team Casey on Facebook - All 354 of you!
All 84 people that follow the Blog.

All 2,228 people that visited the Blog.

...and anyone else that I might have missed. If I was in contact with you ... I thank you!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Done Done Done!!!!!


I can not accurately describe how it feels. Tears come to my eyes often thinking about what I don't have to worry about - as odd as that sounds. You often hear the term "weight lifted off your shoulders" - doesn't do it justice. I have a new step, brighter eyes, bigger smiles, bigger fight...just an amazing feeling. I was able to go out Saturday and not worry...
I'm an Uncle! Or, more importantly, Val and John are parents! Beautiful baby Hallie Veljanovski was born Wednesday, March 11 at 9:30pm! She was 5lbs 15oz - sooooo tiny. So beautiful! An interesting coincidence...Isabella was born the day before I was diagnosed and Hallie was born the day before I was done with chemo.

So, last Thursday I went in for my last Lumbar Puncture and the 8th round of Rituxan as part of my 8 cycle chemo plan. The LP was booked for 9am and Dr. Hamm was called for an emergency and I didn't get the LP until about 11:30am - kind sucked, but at least I got it done...and I almost didn't. It started with the usual injection of freezing and then she inserted the needle (which I found out is a 20 gauge 3.5 inch needle - WOW) to start collecting some fluid (she collects every time to test the fluid) but she wasn't getting much - a little dry (I think she was joking??)...So she pulled out. She said that she will try again in a different location and that if she wasn't able to get any there, that she wouldn't do it - and that she was ok with that. After all, it is just prophylactic anyways. Didn't matter, the second one worked. But man it sucked getting 2 done.

Then on to the Rituxan...I normally get this drug over about 3-4 hours...We decided to push it and see if we could get it done in 90min - which is normal. We did it slower because of the reactions I had in the past. Anyways, they loaded me up with Tylenol and benadryl and then started the problem. As soon as I was able to get up from the LP I went to the bathroom came back and Joanne was there to visit and try some therapeutic touch. Within 2min of getting back in bed I was asleep! Fantastic!

On my way out a few nurses got together and sang a bit of "Happy Last Chemo" hahaha ... and gave me a little bottle of champagne blow bubbles. It was cute.

My plan was to go visit little Hallie (and Val / John) in the hospital attached to the cancer center...walking out of the cancer center I was overcome with emotion and I cried a little and impulsively, I shot the cancer center the finger! hahahah (nobody saw this - but it made me laugh and still does). I wanted to collapse and cry - but I wouldn't let myself - it was harder than I thought.

I've got a few more posts to write specifically about this journey so I will continue on with the blog...

I couldn't pick a favorite....


Monday, March 9, 2009

1 More to GO!

I can't wait to be done with this shit.

I had a lumbar puncture today and Dr. Hamm used a new drug : mexa-idon'tcare-atose. I went in for my appointment at 8:30 to get blood work prior to my lumbar puncture and found out that I wasn't booked for a lumbar puncture. hmmmm....So, I went up to the doctor's office to see what went wrong and to see if I could get it done anyways...sure enough, my nurse Pam said that I was supposed to get the LP....blah blah blah, I went back down and got my blood work done and then made my way up to the chemo center. I didn't get my LP until 11am...out of there by 1pm. Also, Joanne (social worker) came by to visit and we had a good little chat about living with a history of cancer...Sounds good doesn't it - it is history, in the past, gone, see ya...bye bye.

I am really tired and have a slight weird headache. I slept for 1.5 hours post injection and then took a 1.5 hour nap around 5:30...and now I can't wait to go to bed. The only reason I am still up is to write this - I haven't been able to for the past 3 hours because Isabella was sleeping in my arms.

I have a lumbar puncture and a Rituxan on Thursday - my last treatment until June 4th. Wooooooooooo Whoooooooooooooo

P.S. I think that is the first time I have sworn in my blog - but it is called for.
We had some good weather on the weekend and Diletta and I took Isabella for a walk...she had a bit of problems with the wind and sun...but she loved it!


Thursday, March 5, 2009


This is very overwhelming at the moment and very difficult to put into words. We are very excited, scared, happy, worried....but overall, very happy. It is difficult to just turn off all the worry and anxiety - but I know that eventually it will go away.

So, celebrate with me tonight in whatever way you can!

P.S. There will be a party to celebrate - I'll let you know!



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

.............Still waiting............

Sooooo Cute!

I don't feel too anxious, but I have to admit that the number of times that the PET scan results crept into my head dramatically increased today.

On Monday they cancelled my LP because of this stupid cold. I have been so cautious over the past 5 months - likely overly cautious (if that is possible) - but I slipped a little at my cousin's family get together 2 weeks ago and caught a cold. I hate that this has been delayed at all - essentially it adds a week to the treatment. I am better today, but have had a sinus headache all day - just annoying.

My next LP is on Thursday, the following Monday and then I am not sure when my last one will be...hopefully she will do it next Thursday when I have my 8th round of chemo (lite) - Then I can be done and won't have to go back until June.

I wanted to give all my doctors something special from my family to say thank you. How do you do that? Essentially, I placed my life and family in their hands and they have done a phenomenal job. Words cannot do it justice. If I could say anything, it would be that each doctor, Dr. Warwaruk, Dr. Ling and Dr. Hamm all made me feel safe. I knew when I met each of them that there was something special about them and that I was is the right place to get the right things done. I can't type enough here to get the entire point across...I hope if any of you have a medical issue that your doctors are 1/2 as good as the ones I have had. In addition to my medical doctors, my Social Worker (Joanne) has had a huge impact on my mental well being, which is the biggest part of the battle.

OK - with that said, my hobby is photography and I have a few photographs that I have taken that I really love. The following picture was taken in 2006 at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. I call it "Family of Elephants" - I had 20" x 30" standouts made of the picture and have so far given one to Dr. Hamm and Joanne (the Social Worker). I plan on finding Dr. Warwaruk and Dr. Ling in the near future.
'Family of Elephants' seems too simple, but the point is that the doctors helped keep my family together - and this picture symbolizes that...

Now for some more pics...

Our extended family decided to wear their Casey Kicks Ass shirts to the Super Bowl!

My mom and Isabella - quite the hat!

Not too sure how I feel about Isabella wearing a Juicy bathing suit....

Trying to eat/suck her toes...just like mom!

A little out of focus...but look at those eyes!

Keep your fingers crossed today!!!