…and a little bit more of the cancer dies away.

So I had a stressful night with my Devils. They were really stinking it up through the first 30 minutes or so, but Gionta woke them up by scoring his 47th goal, breaking Pat Verbeek’s record set back in ’87-’88. Then they started figuring out how to skate and pass again. Gio got another power play goal, Elias got an astounding goal and Langenbrunner got the gamewinner. The Devils win 4-3. The Rangers lost their game against Ottawa, so Ottawa moves ahead of Carolina (who lost tonight) for the #1 spot in the conference, but more importantly the Devils win their division, earning the #3 spot in the conference. They have now overcome the biggest points deficit since divisional play began in ’74, being 19 points behind the then-leading Flyers on January 7th. In Marhc, they were still 11 points back. Way to go, Devils!

The thing that makes the Devils the best team out there is just that – their teamness. Jamie Langenbrunner gets the game winning goal in the biggest win of the season and is the main reason the Devils become division champs for the sixth time in nine years. They interview him after the game and all he can talk about are the other three goals – not once does he mention his own. They interview Scott Gomez, who assisted on two of the goals and he talks about the other two goals, the fighters on the team and the coaches.

These are my Devils. Like Gomer says in one of their commercials: they’re not playing for the back of their jerseys – they’re playing for the front.

Playoffs begin Friday and we face the Rangers in the first round on Saturday. I’d better not be in the hospital for chemo!

PETs and Pucks

Well, I just got back from my latest PET scan, so now I have nothing going on again until Thursday, when I find out the results and go through the whole MUGA/PFT/EKG/CXR thing like I did at the start of all of this. Hopefully that last round of chemo took care of the mediastinal mass (the one in the middle of my chest). If it did, that means we get to move along to the high dose chemo (BEAM) and get this party started. Until then, more waiting. Meh.

In the good news column, the Devils beat the Flyers yesterday, 5-1. They extended their win streak to 10 games (longest in the NHL this season), Gionta got his 46th goal to tie for the most goals by a NJ Devil and Elias got his 500th point (as well as #’s 501 and 502). This win over the Flyers sets up an interesting points scenario. The Rangers lead the Atlantic Division with 100 points. The Flyers and the Devils are tied at 99 points. All three teams have one more game to play tomorrow. If the Devils beat the Canadiens (who are in their own interesting little points battle, just farther back) and the Rangers lose, the Devils are the division champs and wind up third in the conference going into the playoffs. If the Devils win and the Rangers lose in overtime or the shootout, the Devils still win based on number of victories. Tomorrow’s going to be a very interesting and tense night. Let’s go Devils!

Return of the Squirrel

For those of you who might not have been around for the original Shaving of the Head, I recently put the Squirrel Fur Chronicle page back together. If I can get certain “other web browsers” to behave with my code, I’ll have a nice photo section where you can access this and many other fun pictorial cancer moments. Joy! In the meantime, deal with it. I’m going to bed.

Where Did Little Brian Go?

Today we went and saw the movie Thank You for Smoking. Excellent and funny movie, bordering on hilarity at times. Great acting done by everyone and in particular, there’s one scene where the actor playing the lead’s son does something that was so inherently kid-like that it just smacked me in the face with how old I am now.

In the scene, Nick (lead character played by Aaron Eckhart) has taken his son with him on a trip to Hollywood. They’re checking out their hotel room and the kid’s running around the room like a crazy person and stops by flopping on the bed. This wasn’t a grownup flop, though. Not one of our well thought out, carefully positioned descents to convey tiredness or relief while making sure no vital parts will get bent improperly upon landing. No, no no. He runs full tilt at the bedside and makes no move to jump or brace or.. well… think. He smacks into the bed knees first and the momentum of his lower legs being stopped levers the rest of him into flopping resoundly on the bed.

As soon as he did it, I had two immediate and almost concurrent thoughts:

“He didn’t even think about what that could have done to his knees!”

“That is such a kid kind of thing to do.”

My next thought was something about how old I was getting and I think the fourth thought involved spaceships or something.

The Screwy Looking Site

If the site looks really screwed up to you right now, that would be because you’re using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (aka MSIE) to surf the web. Unfortunately, MSIE sucks and you often get unexpected results. Like you see here. I’m tired now and we just discovered it, so I’ll figure out what’s happening tomorrow. In the meantime, if you’d like to see what the whole internet’s really supposed to look like, feel free to download a real web browser while you wait.

1:08 AM Update: Okay, so I laid in bed tossing and turning for a bit before giving up and coming in here and fixing the problem. I hope you MSIE people are happy with yourselves. Feh!

More Good News

Just got back from Dr. D’s office. My WBC is up to 22,900 and my platelets (which I still have trouble typing) are at 38. And the hits just keep on comin’…

Photos from the SCT

Wow – photos posted in less than 24 hours! Am I turning a corner? Am I unlazying myself? Only time well tell. Click the cancer patient to see the whole set.


Today’s Harvest

Well, today was a long, long day, but hopefully a productive one. My blood counts continue to rebound – WBC is at 7,900 and the platelets are up to 33 (see a couple of posts down for the proper ranges). The best part? We were go for stem cell harvest!

Here’s the way the stem cell counting thing works. Dr. C’s magic stem cell number for me is 5 million. When the harvest is done, it takes a count of 10 million cells to have an actual harvest of 1 million. Therefore, my counts would need to be higher than 50 million to be able to do the harvest in one swell foop. My count? 57 million, baby.

Now, this doesn’t mean they have all that they need, so don’t uncross your fingers just yet. I find out tomorrow morning if I have to come back in for more harvesting. They were able to get the machine hooked up through my antecubitals (that inside part of your elbow where they draw blood), so they didn’t have to insert a line into my neck. Barb took many pictures which we’ll have up here in a bit.

Before the collection, I got another couple of Neupogen shots, which might help boost that 57 a bit, as well as one unit of blood.

Now, I have no problem seeing a big water balloon of blood above my head. I have no problem seeing the line come down and go into my port. I had no problem seeing the blood go in one arm, into the machine and back into the other arm. At some point, I had to move the tubes around a little bit, and that red bllod tube in my arm? It was… warm… That was quite unsettling to me, as we all know that warm = body temperature = HOLY CRAP, THIS IS THE BLOOD FROM MY BODY!!!

I felt I handled the revelation well, though. No screaming, no puking, no crying, just an occasional muffled whimper.

Oh, and I also realized what an idiot I was today. At one point during the collection, I had to go to the bathroom. When you’re hooked up to a huge filtration machine, you can’t just toddle off to the toidy any time you get the urge. I told my keeper and she brought me a urinal and pulled the drapes. Just before she left me to my business, she helped me get off of the stretcher and stand up. Shortly afterwards, the bright light of idiocy shined down upon my bald pate.

You see, I have rather limited hospital stay experience. My first extended stay and use of one of those handy dandy urinals was when my hip was dislocated back in ’94. I couldn’t move out of bed, so they gave me the bucket and I figured out how to use it. Thus it was when I was in the hospital for my last round of chemo. They had given me a strong diuretic in the middle of the night to try to calm my asthma attack, so they lined up a couple of urinals for me so I wouldn’t have to keep dragging my IV pole over to the bathroom. Working from prior experience, I… did my business… lying down like I had when my hip was dislocated. Only today did I realize : If my legs work, I can stand UP and use one of these! SO much easier!


A Comment on Comments

One quick request – I’ve had a couple of reports of people trying to leave comments who weren’t able to, but then I’ve had others who can. If you haven’t commented before (or even if you have), could you leave me a little note at the end of this? I’d suggest either keeping it short or saving a copy before you submit, just in case it doesn’t work – don’t want you to waste your time. If you try and it doesn’t work (keep in mind that it won’t show on the live site until it’s approved), I’d appreciate it if you clicked that “Contact Me” link on the right and let me know. I might wind up asking you a few questions about what happened. Thanks!