Thursday, January 29, 2009

#6 - DONE!!!!!!



Today was a loooong Freakin day. We got to the cancer center for 8:30 I was told that I could go right in to room #2 and that would be where I was going to stay for the day. I didn't like that idea - I think that the last place you want to be treated 'special' (for whatever reason) is the cancer center. I was also very nervous and anxious - I'm not sure if that is because it was my last major chemo or if it was the LP I was about to get....I was actually verklempt for a bit (not a big surprise for me).

Dr. Hamm got in around 9:40 and started on the LP right away... I'd like to say that it went well, but it didn't. A small procedural error was made on the first one and we had to do it twice...CRAP. The first one hurt quite a bit, but she aced the second one and was able to extract the fluid and inject the chemo drugs. She told me that I would likely get the results from the test today...good.

The rest of the chemo went pretty much as usual, but I was very very nauseated and tired from the drugs I took for the nausea.
I have to eat at lunch so that I can take the prednisone and hospital make me nauseated (like right now thinking about it - seriously) - so I ordered a chicken delight!



I was able to sleep in the afternoon a little but was still very nauseated. Tonight, I was feeling a lot better but now I am getting very very tired and I feel like crap. I am struggling getting this blog done....

But one last thing....back to the Cancer Survivor Park pictures...I kinda feel that I am in the last little square right now - almost outta there. I think that as soon as I can get the positive PET results I can dive out!

Lots more pictures below...ciao!




Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good News....

My CT scan and Gallium scans are both normal - no evidence of cancer - this is great news! We can't hang our hats on this, but it is still very good news. The really good news will come when I have the PET scan at the end of February...I should get a call within the next 2 weeks telling me when my PET appointment is, and it will be in Hamilton.

My schedule for the next 2 months....due to my symptoms of the past 3 weeks (headaches, nausea and chest pain) I'll be having a Lumbar Puncture tomorrow morning before my chemo (UUUUGGGGG - I HATE LP's). This will test my spinal fluid for evidence of cancer and at the same time I will get some chemo drugs. The chance that the cancer is in the spinal fluid is very very small, especially since it was negative the first time, but she wants to rule it out. Also, it means fewer LP's in the future.

My next 2 rounds of Rituxan will be in 3 weeks (Feb 19) and 6 weeks (Mar 12), then after that I will get Rituxan every 3 months for 2 years with the first one on June 4th.

Feb 23 & 26, Mar 2 and 5th I will be getting the Lumbar Punctures with chemo - and I have to get blood work done each day to make sure that my counts are good.

I also asked about my sperm to see if it would be OK to get pregnant again...and apparently it won't be until after I am done with the Rituxan. However, she is fairly confident that the drugs will not have long term effects...so I guess that is good.

My blood work is all good to go for tomorrow.

Finally, some pictures...a lot of pictures! Thanks to everyone who sent them - I very much appreciate it!!!!


















































































Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2 Days....

Today was better than yesterday in terms of symptoms...and I found myself thinking about what I was going to do when this is over...so many ideas! This got me to thinking about how positive it is that I was thinking this way - without even trying to.

I got quite a few questions for Dr. Hamm tomorrow; I have to find out about my blood counts (which I'll get done first thing in the morning), my CT results, Gallium results, I need to find out about my schedule (when I'll get the Rituxan and Spinal Taps), when the PET scan will happen, what other testing I will receive and I have to ask her about LTD.

So tomorrow's blog will be a bit longer with what I hope will be a lot of info and lots of pics....

If you have a shirt, take a picture(s) and send em to me...

Ciao

Monday, January 26, 2009

3 Days....

3 Days until my last chemo...wow. I'd like to say that time has flown by, but it hasn't. Mind you, I can't imagine what it would have been like without Isabella.

Today I had nausea on and off and a headache all day - man that sucks.

I'm having mixed emotions about being done chemo. I want to make sure it has worked and I wonder if I (we) have done enough - enough drugs, enough nutrition, enough exercise, enough positive attitude? It bothers me that I'll never really know it is gone - only if it comes back will I truly know. That is such a weird feeling - and I'm still working on figuring out how to deal with it.

Unfortunately there was another mix up with the shirts...I have a majority of them, but there are still some missing...I'll drop off or mail the ones I have tomorrow. Sorry for the delay people!

If you have shirts...you owe me a picture by Wednesday!

Ciao.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

I had a great break and spent some quality time with family!

Today, is kind of weird. I have a headache, nausea, my back hurts and I am very very tired. The tiredness is apparently typical around this time though - which seems odd. My blood counts are dropping, but it shouldn't make me tired...

During my 'week off' - I did expect to get a call from the doctor with results...but no message was left - so I guess there was anything significant. No news is good news? Ug. I guess I will find out at my next appointment with Dr. Hamm - Wednesday.

Tomorrow (Monday) I should be picking up a lot more of the shirts and will either be mailing or dropping them off over the next 2 days. If you ordered recently, it will still take a bit of time. So....If you have one, be sure to send me a pic of you in it so that I can post it on the blog - see if you can be a bit creative...

Ciao.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week Off

I had a particularly crappy day on Friday - for some reason I was feeling kind of depressed. Sometimes stuff just sneaks up on you and you can't control how your mind runs with it. I spent the day at home lying around with a headache and feeling nausea on and off. I take Ativan when I get nausea and try not to take more than 2 a day, Friday I took 3. Really, it wasn't that big of a deal and I was able to get through it better than past bouts.

Saturday was much different and I was feeling physically and mentally much better (...and I didn't take any Ativan).

Today, I have a lot of pain in my low back and some in my chest. It is only present in my bones and I can tell that it is from the Neupogen. It is a weird pain of pressure in the bones that causes pain, especially when I sneeze or cough - crazy. But this is a good thing because it means that it is working.

In light of this, I am taking a week off from my blog and Diletta, Isabella and I are going to visit some family. I'll leave you with a whack load of pictures from Saturday...might be a bit of overkill, but the pictures are super cute.



Ciao.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No Results...Blog Publishing....Book Idea

The symptoms are all the same...tired, nausea, headache, fingers tingling and of course, the constipation.

I left a message 2 days ago at the cancer center asking for them to call me back with the results of my Gallium and CT scan's. Dr. Hamm had said that they would call me and tell me...I guess no news is good news? B.S. - I want to know. I'll call again tomorrow morning.

I've come across a way to publish my blog in hard copy and am quite excited about it. www.blurb.com . Seems like I could get an 8" X 10" hard cover, 200 pages for about $60 (softcover ~ $44). They even have a list of professionals that can help you with formatting, language etc. I figure that I will do this for myself at a minimum, but others have already expressed an interest in getting a copy, so I could have a 'cheaper' version done. The next question is at what point should I get it done? I suppose that I will just know...

The other thing that I have been thinking about lately is a book for cancer patients on how to deal with the treatment / chemotherapy / radiation / psychology / physical activity / etc. The format could be a top 10 list from 100 different patients of how they best dealt with it all. For example; how to swallow pills you don't like the taste of, what prevents nausea, how to get rid of constipation, and many other things, some of which you have read about during my experiences. I guess it could be a patients guide to dealing with cancer...

Ciao

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Isabella's First Swim!

Still no luck with the Prune Juice...and man that sucks.

Today was another bout of nausea combined with a few run ins with headaches and for some reason my finger tips are very tingly today.

Ok, so I finally figured out how to upload video from my video camera...easier than I had thought (the last video was from my point and shoot camera)....and YES, I need to work on my video skills!

Enjoy...


video

Ciao!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lazy Monday....

I had a very lazy Monday - but I guess that I have a good excuse!

After yesterdays positive blog - I hate to bring it down. But, after how good of a weekend I had my head and soul are doing great and really make days like today easier.

I was extremely tired today...spent most of the day on the couch. I started the day with a big dose of prune juice to help get rid of the constipation. DID NOT WORK. All I ended up with was a rumbling stomach all day... Ug.

Today I also got hit with nausea and minor headaches....The ativan did NOT seem to work for the nausea...hmmm....

But hold the presses....We took Isabella to her first swimming lesson! WOW - she did so well, no crying, not scared...it was great. I took video, but haven't made time to get it on here yet...maybe soon.

Also, I didn't quite realize how important it is for people to hear the better parts of my days, as was the case this past weekend. I thank everyone for all of their emails today - it helped me realize how right my aunt Kym was - people are living thru this with me and need to hear my good stuff too.

Ciao

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hockey Sunday!

The symptoms have been well managed this time - the drugs seem to be working well. However, I think I wrote too soon about the constipation - seems to have crept up on me (I'll do the prune juice tomorrow morning). I am a bit concerned about how the symptoms may surface tomorrow...or over the next couple of days because I will be done with the Emend and Zofran. I am still taking the Pariet every day and the Neupogen shots every other day...

I had a good day today and was able to play some pond-style hockey. 3-on-3 (my team had 4 - to give me breaks) and the games were only 8 minutes. It wiped me out but I felt great! My lungs/chest/throat seem to be sore and congested, but that is likely just because of the rapid influx of oxygen today.

I am sure that I will sleep like a baby!

I would like to thank all of you who read this blog and send me messages. I have had tremendous support and I truly believe that it has helped my psyche and my soul. I believe that I will be a stronger person at the end of this. I have heard people say, long after they have gone through chemo, that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. I'll believe that when I get there....and I will!


Diletta brought Isabella by to watch Dad play hockey....she pretty much slept the entire time.
If you look close, you can see the steam coming off my head...the guys were all cracking up how much steam was coming off.

Me, Todd, Brad and Scott.

Ciao!