Okay, So This Is Weird…

So Barb and I are getting dinner ready tonight (well, she’s getting it ready and I’m getting it from her) when the doorbell rings. I open it up to discover one of Hartford’s Finest standing outside. Apparently, one of the sons/grandsons of the former occupants of our house has a warrant out for his arrest and our house is still listed as his current address. As if it weren’t bad enough we’re still getting the family’s mail, now we’re getting their arresting officers as well.

I explain the situation as best I can, owing to my increasingly poor memory and recollection of names. Plus, I get the thought in my head that maybe this guy’s not a real cop. Maybe he’s some kind of scam artist in a cop suit trying to pull something on us. I don’t even see a cop car in the immediate area. Is that supposed to be a police issue Geo across the street? Wouldn’t his uniform fit better than that? And it’s raining out – shouldn’t he have his hat on with one of those little shower cap things?

It’s hard to think about conspiracies and cons and talk about another subject at the same time, at least for me. The conversation runs around in circles for a couple of minutes before we get back on track and I remember that one of the owner’s daughters works at a place still in the area, so I give them that info. He thanks me and turns away from the door. As he’s walking down our porch steps, I suddenly realize there had been another officer just off to one side of the door who I hadn’t even noticed. Gotta start paying more attention, but hey – I’m tired and weak.

I lock the door and turn around to go back to the kitchen and tell Barb what just happened (she was on the phone when the doorbell rang) when I hear the name of the person they’re looking for again. In a voice much deeper than Barb’s. I get back to the kitchen to find that there were even more than my two cops – the others had gone to the back door to watch for runners and question Barb, who took them pretty much down the same path I did, just with less stumbling and wandering about. Turns out I didn’t see the cruisers ’cause they were in our driveway, cutting off the escape.

What a night.

Oy Vey

Well, it’s back to the 3AM wakeup call for scratching. The itch had gone away during last week’s treatment, but I think I recall the nurse mentioning that they were giving me a steroid as one of my pre-meds. Probably so I’d be looking forward to the next treatment. You know what? I’m still not.

I came to the realization the night before last that I’ve been taking this cancer thing extremely lightly. I mean, yeah we joke about it and I don’t let it get me down and we have a good attitude and all of that. But I realized that night that in my mind, I’ve been thinking about this as I would a cold or the flu. Think about when you get a cold. Assuming you’re not one of the whiny types, you think to yourself that you’re only going to have it for a limited period of time. That you can still work and function like a normal person, you’re just a normal person who talks a little funny and looks like hell.
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Well, I made it through the week. Went to the doc’s office for another couple of hours of hydration this morning. The labwork this time showed only a small amount of blood left in my urine, so it appears that everything’s flushing and healing as it should. I’ll be extraordinarily happy if the bathroom breaks can be extended to a couple of hours at least. This morning I was still at an hour and a half and I’m dead tired.

Turns out, an hour and a half is just enough time for me to lie down in one position, not move, go to sleep and eventually get into that deep dream state. At which point, I have to wake up and go to the bathroom. Over and over.

After the doc’s office, I went in to work to finish up on one of our websites. I was able to get all the things working we need to have working, but I was quite out of it as I sat there typing away. Now I can get two days of (hopefully) real rest, not having to do anything or think about that site. I can just lie in bed and ponder this uncertain future of mine. Oh joy.

First off, I think the Neulasta has a depressive effect on me, ’cause I sure got into a funk after this shot. While in the funk, a little bit of my future started connecting together for me. Namely, food.

With ABVD, I had a lot of time where food tasted nasty. To be more specific, my mouth tasted horrible, which transferred onto the food I was eating at the time. Now with the new stuff, there’s more of a health concern to the eating. Once the stem cell stuff starts, I can no longer eat in restaraunts (for the time of the treatment, not forever). Partially, this is to keep me away from crowds, but mostly, we have to be sure of how my food is cooked. Everything has to be cooked through and through. If there’s any vegetables or fruit to peel, Barb has to do it so I don’t soak up the insecticides and such. All kinds of stupid little rules to keep me alive. Suddenly I’m the boy in the bubble, just without those killer jogging shorts.

I dunno – I’ll ponder the implications more over the weekend, but the immediate future doesn’t look too rosy. Maybe the cancer’s finally eating through my cluelessness…

Warmed-Over Death

Well, I’m slightly more rested (only having to make bathroom trips every hour and a half), but feeling beaten down from the Neulasta. I got more hydration yesterday, but the labwork was still showing some blood coming through, so I have to go back for even more today.

At the moment, we’re not sure what’s going to be happening next to me. Well, we know that I get this hydration today and some bloodwork on Monday, but chemo-wise, things might be changing. After the way the ifosfamide (the “I” in “ICE”) treated my urinary system, Dr. C’s thinking we might need to try something else. He’s mulling over the options and will be talking to Dr. D soon to come up with the new gameplan, possibly something that doesn’t involve the ifosfamide.

I am so ready to be done with this.

A Night to Remember

Well, as usual I spoke too soon in harassing my chemo. One of the drugs is really hard on your bladder and it jumped up and bit me last night. A word of advice if you’re going through ICE chemotherapy – however much water you’re drinking, add five gallons. Starting around 9:00 last night, I suddenly had the bladder of a squirrel. This meant that about every five to ten minutes I’d have to get up and go to the bathroom, urinate a tiny little amount, deal with 20 or 30 seconds of intense pain, then go sit back down and wait for another five to ten minutes to repeat. No, I didn’t get much sleep last night. I wound up getting about an hour and a quarter this morning, as Barb went in to work a little late to keep an eye on me.

I gave the doc a call and they had me come in right away to pee in a cup. I did what I could, and the results came back with blood evident. That meant that instead of two of my ICE drugs, today I only received one. I also got a lot more hydration today to help push everything out. Once I went into squirrel bladder mode last night, I stopped drinking water. I was afraid that if I was only getting rid of 3 or 4 ccs at a time, that adding more water to the mix was insane, if not dangerous. Turns out, I don’t know how bodies work.

So I got rehydrated, I got some specialized pills to hopefully take away the pain and I get to go back tomorrow for more hydration and that damned Neulasta shot. Dr. D. saw me in the hall today. He just smiled and said “You said you wanted harder chemo!” before giving me the rundown on what my stupid body is doing and how we’ll fix it. First step – getting some sleep!

Day Two is Done Too

Well, there’s one more day in the books. I felt okay this morning – mostly sleepy-tired from waking up hungry at midnight and reading comics ’til one. I have a bit of a funny taste in my mouth, but more like I ate something weird than that persistent “My tastebuds are DEAD!” feeling the ABVD gave me. So far, this ICE stuff isn’t so bad.

When I passed by Dr. D’s office this morning on the way to the infusion clinic, I stopped and said hi. He started laughing and said he couldn’t help but smile and laugh when he saw me ’cause I was always smiling. He said I was tough, but I told him he just hasn’t given me tough enough chemo yet. That got me an exhalation of air with a bit of eye-rolling thrown in for good measure.

It’s amazing how fast this stuff takes hold of you. I came home feeling pretty good, checked my various emails, read a little bit of hockey news, then started writing this. Now all of a sudden my body’s realized it should be tired RIGHT NOW. Wheee doggie. I guess that’s my cue to go downstairs and lay down on the couch for awhile.

But How Do YOU Feel?

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how I feel after this chemo. Well, my initial thought is that I am a badass yet again. I feel tired, but not nearly as tired as I felt near the end of the whole ABVD treatment thing. Say, maybe one half to three quarters as tired. My second thought is that this is just day one of three days straight, which means that if this is half as bad, I’m really going to be hurting on Wednesday. Hoooo boy.

Oh, and now that I’m on a three day in a row course, you’ll more than likely be getting three days in a row of posts! Of course, that third day might just be something along the lines of “hiosfgorgehiosgigbhoiewhihiogohwahif” as I flop my limp hands against the keyboard, but if I can still click the submit button, it’s getting posted, baby!

Day One Done

Well, I’m done with a looooong day one of the new ICE chemo. I wound up outlasting everyone there. They had one lady left, but she arrived a couple of hours into my treatment, so I beat her too. Yay me. I was there from 9:30 until 4:00. Holy cow!

I got some good work on my current cross-stitch project, but it’s going really slowly ’cause of some small screwy stitches that I have to do. I’d show you my progress, but it’s a gift for Barb and I think she knows about this site.

Ellen (one of the nurses) asked if I was doing the Rosie Greer thing. I told her I’d seen a lot of the book and couldn’t bring myself to spend so much time on something so ugly (though that director’s chair is pretty sweet).

And now it’s time for me to go lie down for a bit. Watch some TV, play a game, watch some TV – I’ve got the whole world in front of me there.

Here we go again…

So it turns out things are really rolling on the next phase of my cancer killin’. I got a call from the transplant coordinator around noon that they had sent all of the information over to Dr. D.’s office so things could be set up for me to start the ICE treatments. Around 2:30, I get a call from Dr. D.’s office asking if I can come in and get some bloodwork done that afternoon. I close things up at work for the weekend and head on over to see Vampirella. As she’s drawing my blood, she says “I guess they wanted you to get this done today so you wouldn’t have to come in so early on Monday.” Ummm… pardon? Turns out, I was already on their schedule to start bright and early Monday morning. Time flies when you have cancer.
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The Big Update

Okay gang, here’s the results from the latest doctor’s appointment. There’s a lot of information to cover, so feel free to start skimming to the good stuff if I start to ramble, which I probably will.
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