I've got a good feeling about this

Friday, September 18, 2009

Help fight ALS

A good colleague of mine has ALS, sometimes referred to as "Lou Gehrig's" disease. If you can find it in your heart and wallet to make a contribution, please visit his ALS webpage and make a contribution to research fighting this horrid disease.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I had my portacath removed this morning, and other than a CT scan and bloodtest in May, I'm done with any treatment. Finally.

It's become harder and harder to write for my blog, as I'm sure many of you've noticed over the last month or so. Writing for a blog (at least for me) followed this path:

1. Wow, people are really interested in me! I'm special! To paraphrase Sally Fields, "y'all really like me."
2. Wow, people are really interested in me... Uh Oh.

It became really hard for me to be totally honest with what I was going through for a variety of reasons. I think that some things are best left private, and this changed as my treatment began to show the light at the end of the tunnel. I also began writing more for Constant Reader (to steal Stephen King's idea) than for myself.

I liked the convenience of keeping people informed about what was going on with me, but I miss the personal side of it. I think that email, though not as intimate as a written letter is still better than standing on a soapbox and shouting "Woe is Me!" to the world. A phone call is worlds apart from a blog or email.

So I began to only post the bare minimum to keep everyone informed. But it just seemed too sanitary, clinical. And fortunately, I don't have those clinical worries anymore.

So, this will probably be my last post here unless I find a different use for the blog. I'd like to thank everyone at the Academy for honoring me by reading my blog, whether it was a daily event (Mom) or a more casual thing. It sure helped me get through the last 8 months.



Monday, March 20, 2006

Bloodwork back to "normal"

Today's lab tests showed my bloodwork has gotten back in line with what they expected, especially my white blood cell count. I feel the best I have in months, and actually enjoyed shoveling the snow on our sidewalks today. Which is good because we're supposed to get an additional 12 inches...



Thursday, March 16, 2006

Getting Better every day

My post treatment life is getting better every day. I can eat almost anything now short of ice cream, with none of the cold effects. My feet still have a little bit of neuropathy, but it's diminishing daily. Just feels like part of the foot is asleep and tingly. The only side effect is that my stomach is still pretty sore. I think it's because after 5 months of meager eating, I'm eating full meals, and it's not used to that.

I hope my blood work looks better on Monday, as I don't want to have to do any more meds etc. I still have a lingering cold, but nothing out of the ordinary. My fatigue is a bit better too, and I'm sure that as I get more exercise, eat more, and continue to get good sleep, that'll resolve itself.

I never could have made it this far without everyone's help. Literally hundreds of people either sent words of support, prayers, and financial assistance. Thank you all! I'd be remiss if I didn't single out two people however: my wife, and my sister. Lesley, you were there to hear me complain every morning, to listen when I got a bit manic, and to give me a tremendous amount of support when your own hands were full. I can never repay you for it, but I love you for it.

Jen, I know this has been the most difficult year in our lives, and you were always my rock. You never hesitated to give me a swift kick in the pants when I needed it, or a tender kiss and hug when my fears were overwhelming. You instantly became a single mother for 8 months, and did a wonderful job. You never let me see your fears, and never let me take counsel from mine. When I hit rock bottom, you were there to lift me up. I have one goal in life, and that's to make it up to you for the last year.



Monday, March 13, 2006


Last night was the final chemo dosage for me. I had bloodwork done today, and it wasn't that great. My white blood cell count (absolute neutrophil count for you medical geeks) was .6, a significant drop from the previous week. All it really means though is that I have to watch out for infections for a bit longer, since my body's ability to fight them off is reduced. I don't know why the sudden drop, but I'm not too worried about it. I go in for weekly blood tests, so hopefully the counts will jump up as the chemo agents work their way out of my system.

The sense of relief at being done with treatment is immense. I'm still fatigued, but that too will pass. I won't feel completely free until my CT scan in May, and my colonoscopy in October, but I feel pretty good right now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Four days and counting

Only four days left til i'm done with the chemo drugs. I feel pretty good now, though fatigue is still an issue. I think it will take me a good month to get all the drugs out of my system, and my blood levels up to normal. Then it's a matter of exercising enough to build my strength back up. Chasing the girls will help with that... ;)



Saturday, March 04, 2006

The finish in sight

I'm almost halfway through this final round of chemo. It's been no better or worse than the previous from a physical standpoint, but from a mental one, much tougher. I just want to finish and put it all behind me. I'll have routine bloodwork done the next four weeks, and have my portacath removed on the 29th. Then I have a big layoff until May when I meet with the oncologist again, and have a CT scan done.

I'm down to 167lbs now, and though I used to hate being overweight, I hate being this skinny. I'll probably put a lot of the weight back on since I eat so well, but I'm just too skinny.

I don't know how patients with more serious cancers deal with this, where they are perpetually on chemo. I don't know that I'd have the strength to undergo a permanent chemo regimen. There's not much alternative, but when I read about folks in their 70's who have been on chemo for years, I simply shake my head.

That's the insidious thing about cancer. Other than the obvious symptoms, I was in no discomfort, no pain. I could have blissfully went on living in complete ignorance until it killed me. I'm sure it would have manifested itself in other ways at it progressed, but it's hard to reconcile what the cancer was like compared to the treatment.