Good News Bad News

March 7, 2012

Well Im gonna get right to it, but first Ill catch anybody up thats not not caught up.  Since the new year Ive been going to CTCA cancer treatment centers of America.  And more specifically every Sunday Ive been flying out to PHX and flying back after my appointments on Monday.  So with the exception of my favorite Ladies birthday celebration Ive either been working or traveling for the past 8 weeks.

Ok Good news the Eerbatux kept the cancer on my  bones in check.

Bad news the cancer in my lung (rt) got worse.

So the plan 8 weeks of  a new drug Methotrexate      http://www.chemocare.com/bio/methotrexate.asp

then more scans fingers crossed

Prognosis is as Ive stated before Im a lifetime member of the cancer club all these drugs can do is keep the cancer from getting worse.  For example keeping a prisoner locked up in jail rather than having him run free.

Good news is this drug comes in pill form so if this works I should be able to take this in that form.  Which is much better than the infusion every week.

So another 8 weeks of travel work travel, Im going to try and do a fly out fly back on Monday so I get at least one day off. My infusion with this stuff is about an hour, 15 min premeds, 30 for meds, and 15 for whatever.

So fingers crossed.

Mike

Give it a sqeeze once in awhile

March 5, 2012

Im guessing at this point just by looking at the title that you have no idea what this one is about. Well here goes. We all have these things around our house or did or our mom did, these things have many uses, mostly cleaning from dishes to bathroom to our car for those of you that still wash your own car. Its a sponge, sponges are actually a living creature, we have synthetic ones now but what an incredible thing a sponge is, it can absorb and absorb and absorb till eventually it must be squeezed out, it gets full. Much like the sponge people are the same way, we can absorb so much be it good or bad; be it information or emotional we can take a lot. But like the sponge we must be squeezed out a release of all that “stuff” must happen. If not we explode, well not literally but we must release this if not just like a sponge we start dripping little bits of whatever’s in us comes out and the least bit of pressure pushes out more. And when life gets too much for us those around us soak up the load the stuff we cant handle but remember they get full too dont forget that. Give them a squeeze let them know that you know and that its appreciated.

It is.

Later kids (all 3 of you)

New Post

February 23, 2012

I know I havent posted in awhile, not much to say just doing treatments and work.  I have a day off on Saturday to celebrate Jenns Bday.  All is good otherwise

Mike

PS I do have something Im working on in my head, let me get it in order and Ill put it out there.

Cancelled flight = Good Night

January 24, 2012

Well I was going to do this from my computer but Myst had other plans. He missed his daddy so I have 14 pounds of feline fur and affection. He is such a handsome little guy. My trip home was eventful but I made it, the short version my flight was cancelled due to weather I guess, went scheduling at the center to get new flight. Got new flight but the driver that was supposed to take me was going to be late due to his previous pickup. So I have an earlier flight but may not make it to airport. My phone is about to expire. But they (the center) impressed me as usual they send another driver that was gassing up cars to jet me to the airport. I made it with plenty of time. It was a nice bit of stress to finish out my first single night backpack visit. It’s nice to travel with the only thing you have is the bag on your back. Zipping thru tsa was nice. flight was half full and a bit shorter think we had a tailwind

But I do have to say that I got home an hour early, got hugs from the kids and some dinner and hot tub time with my girl. And then comfy cozy time watching tv. All in all a good evening how often does a cancelled flight end up making your day better.

More later

Phoenix Treatment 3 (I think)

January 22, 2012

Well well just finished watching Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando Bloom, ironic thing is he plays a blacksmith in this one as well, (The Pirates Trilogy was the first) it seems pirates make for better blockbusters than the crusades, go figure. Well Im penning or typing this entry on my ipad with prob my fav piece of low cost tech that Ive purchased in awhile and I wouldn’t have if the fine folks at logitech hand sent me a 50% of anything coupon. This thing is good but not that good, its a bluetooth keyboard that pairs with just about anything but is designed to work with ipads/ iphones and the case/ cover for it folds into a stand for the ipad. Ill attach a pic if I can figure it out but hey Im a tech savy child of the well lets just say Im tech savy. I suppose youre saying hey Mike “Why do you need a keyboard with an iPad just bring a laptop.” I guess its how you look at it, it affords me the luxury of a keyboard when I want one. And the 2 items together weigh less than a laptop even with my super duper heavy duty ipad case or maybe its even but that otterbox case makes my ipad bulletproof.

Well on this visit Im staying at the center. Its a nice room well appointed, has a fridge med size, microwave, space heater, sleep number bed, a nice tv/ entertainment system has movies and other stuff its pretty cool, desk chest of drawers, bathroom is very hospital like, table for 2 a nice little recliner. Theres a common room and a tv room, laundry, pantry with free coffee n tea a toaster oven and bigger fridge. The coffee isnt bad but Im still in the baby phase of coffee I need it brownish not black but hey its like anything baby steps. The only shortcoming with the room is there is a shortage of unused outlets for cellphones or the crap we all need to charge and if you use the space heater there is 1 outlet in the room. So next time I bring a solution to this small problem but for tonight Mr Tech Savy will find a solution.

Ok well as to the treatments so far the side effects are in full effect, they call it a rash. I call it acne, my chest and shoulders and to a lesser degree my face are a glow with whiteheads, not complaining and I assure you if this stuff does the trick Ill take it. As for the rest of me well my back is still giving me fits, so Ill be seeing a back Dr for it, and Ive given myself a hernia that will need taking care of but for now I can deal. Both of these I think were brought on by coughing or slightly overdoing it while in a weakened state (poor muscle tone, weak etc) But once the cancer is in check we take care of this other stuff one at a time. From what I understand a hernia is a outpatient and depending on my back who knows but Ive been down that road before. Im getting my hair back, facial hair as well but not yet enough to sport anything worth grooming and my head is broke out as well from the rash so I can shave it but the hair on my head is coming back but not full as with all of this time will afford me that. Ah teeth well after talking to the guy that I was going to have make my dentures here in Vegas he did his due diligence and contacted my ENT here in Vegas and Dr Nasri told him that it would be best for me to go back to UCLA to get treated and let them do it because well they’ve dealt with case like mine more than anyone her in Vegas has, I applaud him for that at least he didnt bullshit me and screw up my mouth. The problem is with giving me dentures is theres no anchor points, because of the different bone in my jaw from the graft and the full dose of radiation that my head and neck has already had I cant have implants and theres not much on the good side from which to anchor. So dentures are on a temporary holding pattern.

Hmmmm well other than that Im great, folks at work are seeing a change in me, spirits up, energy up. I feel better and stronger every day, but with the back and hernia slowing me down the rehab will take longer. I feel better, stronger and with less excuse to not do things. Like clean up my garage and paint my house.

A year has passed a year and 3 days to be exact, since my surgery. Its hard to believe time flies, so much has changed, I think Ive aged 5 years, my kids have matured greatly really rose to the occasion, and my relationship with Jennifer has been tested but never faltered and for that I give her all the credit. That old saying behind ever great man…. well its true and fellas don’t think that for one minute Im exaggerating, the love and care of a good (great in my case) woman will drive you to do crazy stupid things, sustain you when all else is exhausted and remind you of just how smart or dumb you are, strong or weak you are and drive you a little crazy (I Love you Jenny).

I am lucky, blessed and well I think lucky and blessed are enough.

I think Ive blathered on long enough, pardon any glaring grammatical errors and give it up to the late hour.

Be well everyone, take care. And if I can get the pic attached it will be kinda cool too but the keyboard is what allowed me to write for so long, (not sure who benefits from that)

Again Be Well everyone
Mike

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AZ visit 3

January 18, 2012

Well it was my 3rd visit and 2nd infusion.  Well good news is my bone marrow biopsy from last week came back negative for disease.  So the cancer is just ON the bone not in the bone, which is the opposite of what you wanna do with regards to flying (in the plane not on).  The biopsy of my little bump on my left side came back with disease which is really just confirming what was already suspect.  So in 6 weeks I get another scan to see if the tumors have shrunk.  So for the next 6 weeks I get no days off, either traveling or working.  Good news I get to rebuild up my vacation time and have a regular schedule.  Just not sure how I feel about this no days off thing but again cancer or crazy schedule.  

One little side effect of this drug is a rash, I think Ive shared that, but the rash really isn’t a rash in as much as acne, my face last week was looking like a 16 year old the day before prom.  Back, chest and shoulders are about the same just bring your own pen and play connect the dots.  But again cancer or pimples….not a tough choice.

A lot of unofficial word has been that the rash is a sign that the drug is working, Dr’s wont say that is official but still sound like good news. 

Ill keep you updated as the weeks go by but it will be fairly un-eventful, good news my luggage will be reduced from a backpack and carry one to just a backpack, clean shirt, skivvies n socks with toofff brush, deo and iPad Im good to go.  Fly in late Sunday and back Monday evening.  Bada-Bing-Bada-BOOM.

Good Night All

MB

c’mon in take off your skin and rattle around in your Bones

January 11, 2012

Hey hey hey

Well Jenn and I went back this last weekend Sunday till Tuesday. We arrived on Sunday evening and grabbed some provisions and started our day bright and early Monday.  We had a appt with and ENT (ear nose throat), my dr here at CTCA wanted an answer to the sore in the back of my throat, he said that it was probably an over exposure to the radiation that I received, he said that cells only have a finite amount of healing and that these have probably reached that point so hopefully some new skin from the graft will help it heal but it could take a long time.

After that was my bone marrow biopsy, I was mildly sedated but I dont remember anything except one time I was yelling ouch ouch ouch.  But Im not even sure that was real.  Finally I had my infusion well it was late it had been a long day.  I settled in for a nap and a that was all, well I hadnt dressed for the day realy all I was wearing was a t-shirt, I usually wear a t-shirt and polo, and carry a jacket well not this day.  And usually as we all do have my phone with me. OH NO not today, t-shirt no phone.  

About halfway thru the infusion of the actually medicine I started to get cold, I mean cold from the inside out.  I have never been that cold in my life, never it was bad I was shaking so bad I thought Id chip a tooth.  The nurses stopped the infusion and got me back to normal.  To tell you how cold I was they had 7 or so blankets on me, a heater this bear paws thing its a basicaly a blow dryer with a long hose that you can put under the blankets to keep you warm.  Well normally that should keep everyone, any one and Id say at least 4 people warm.  I was freezing, I couldnt get them to call Jenn.  I couldnt call her because of all days I didnt have my phone. Lesson learned.  

Well were gonna go back this next week, after they gather all the info and re-plan.  I dont know whats gonna happen will fill you in.  

Have a good week kids

Mike

Phoenix Day 4

January 5, 2012

Ok Im tired gonna make this quick.  Today was all about the chest xray, bone scan and CT and some speech therapy.  Im gonna get my treatments started on Monday. So I pop home tomorrow come back Sunday evening, treatment, a bone marrow biopsy and the Doc wants me to see a ENT to look at my throat.  The reason for the biopsy is that my platelets are still low and Im 6 weeks out of chemo so he wants to see whats goin on inside my bones, Jenn will be coming with this time.  So if the treatments go as scheduled it will be every 2 weeks fly out Sun eve do my treatment Monday and jet back to LV right after that, def a backpack ipad trip.  I love the new lappy but I forgot how heavy theses things are well can get after you hoist it up your back 37 times a day

My day tomorrow is simple massage at 815, get my schedule and flight info and get to the airport.  Its funny Jenn will tell you Im like a chick I always over pack for our trips, but this time I only have a duffle on wheels.  and couldn’t over pack and who’s doin a load of laundry.  Oh well not complaining  this hotel is nice, all the stuff you need. 

Well this room does, it has a kitchenette, microwave, 2 burner stove, dishwasher and dishes nice workstation, couch and king size bed.  I wanna say a 37″ flat screen.  They even have a recycle bin in the room, big thumbs up.  And to go along with the tv a little laminated channel guide who’d a thunk it???  At least their making an effort.  Good shower head another plus and one of those really cool really neat curved shower curtain rods the ones that curve out so the curtain isnt attacking you.  I want one but theyre like $35 bucks and I cant see myself paying that much for a freaking shower curtain rod.

I think thats it. 

Ill take some pics of the facility and post them.  

Phoenix Day 3

January 4, 2012

Well it seems that my Dr in Nevada Dr Manno isnt a quack the treatment plan that they have for me here is the same as he prescribed.  Erbatux is the drug its designed to attack the type of cancer I have squamous cell carcinoma.

As far as where and when I will be treated its gonna be here in AZ, one big factor was that my insurance wont cover radiology or any kind of imaging not so much as a xray.  But when the manager of the business office came in and apologized and said that CTCA would cover all my imaging.  Im glad, and with that I made my decision to get treated here.  Its all under one roof.  I can come out every 2 weeks and get my treatment.  Im sure they can work a schedule that saves me vacation days and only takes a day and half away from me every 2 weeks.

As for tomorrow I have scans scans scans, chest xray, CT, Bone Scan hopefully go home tomorrow cause Im outta clothes, most important Im just bored with the half days at the clinic I come back to my room crash and get up watch tv eat dinner.  Hit the jacuzzi and then bed.  OH and Blog gotta blog.

Its funny I havnt been alone like this in a long time.  Alone with your thoughts, me and my cancer alone.  It doesnt talk much take up much room or even snore but I know its here.  I mean its weird. Not weird just different.

I do have to say that the food at the CTCA is good killer turkey chili, had the fish yesterday salmon with dill sauce and today was turkey meatloaf, fresh lightly steamed veggies and a mix of grains that I cant really taste but goes down good and I know is good for me so take that cancer.  I think tomorrow I dont know what Ill have but its good food.  And there is one staple of the Technicians diet that is a deal breaker the BAC    BIG ASS COOKIE the pen is there for scale.

Im not sure when Im coming home yet hopefully tomorrow afternoon.

M

If anybody wants one put your order in now Ill bring some home.

Big ASS Cookie

Phoenix Day 2

January 3, 2012

Ok well its 1230 and Im done with what they need from me so I have the rest of the day to kill. Ok a few bummers about this is my insurance wont allow them to do any Imaging (kinda important in my eyes) cause its out of network or some stupid insurance mumbo jumbo. But it was nice I got there at 7 they did my vitals, insurance paperwork and put me in my little room with a super tv that had internet and tv an other on demand videos about the place, I just put some music on and chilled. They took sample of the stuff they needed and the Dr that did my intake but he’s not my Oncologist thats in charge of my care, which I thought was a bit of a disconnect but lets see how it goes tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow Ill get the treatment plan and talk to nutritionist, naturopathic person? (I have no clue what that is. I saw a mind body specialist Im not sure what her purpose was, I mean I know but she really didnt sell herself to me as someone that I’d feel comfortable talking with about personal stuff but hey all of you know about it so why not. But like I said she didnt sell it, I mean if your a sleezy used car salesman you got to own that shit, she didnt. Hmm well thats it for now. Im prob gonna take a nap talk to Jenny and then strike out and see a movie theres a theater within walking distance, but they do have a shuttle. That makes the rounds to different places. Well thats it for now. Mike


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