Thursday, January 26, 2006

Barium Up The Bum & Relax That Tongue!

Ahhh yes. is there anything more pleasurable than Barium?

I Arrived at 0730 today. At 0800 I got to drink Barium Blueberry milk....ish thang till I though I was gonna puke. At 0830 I got nekkid, except for the gown, and on the table. After two sticks (I take it for granted they will miss at least once now) I had an IV ready to deliver a nice radioactive warm glow throughout my system. Then I rolled over and............................Uhh! Barium Enema Heaven! Hold those cheeks!

Full Body CT scan, Neck to Pelvis.

After that, it was back to the Cancer Center to have my blood drawn. Only one stick for that.

To make the trip more interesting I decided to wait until I got home before I would release any of that glowing warmth. Hospital bathrooms make me nervous.

On a side note, my arms aren'tooking so healthy. Dani asked a brilliant question: "Can they not use the legs"? I honestly don't know the answer to that.

Yesterday was another visit to the Dentist. We went for four cavities since they all "seemed" small. I couldn't feel half my face for all the Novocaine she gave me. The last cavity was not so small. It was in my wisdom tooth. I have 3 of those, one was lost to a cavity looooong ago. She's tells me it might have gone all the way to the nerve. That's a nice thing to tell a patient as you drill closer to the nerve. I thought my grip was going to break the armrest as she worked that tooth. Luckily, no pain. Except when the "Vibro-tool" would occassionaly bounc off the wisdom tooth and hit my upper tooth that just had the root canal. I signaled this problem and She asked if I wanted the upper teeth numbed. No thanks I signaled (I just wanted this done). And as they worked I kept doing that gag-like reflex because of the water build up in the back of my mouth. You knoew how uncomfortable that can be yes?

well, they had to keep repeating: "Relax your tongue". I have a work zone going on in my mouth and half my face is numb. And they want me to "relax my tongue"?

Relax My Tongue? My tongue was Fucking numb! I didn't know where it was! LMFAO!

My Dentist is lucky she's cute. :D

Then I got an itch. this was when I was home. I had an itch. An itch on my chin. I itched it but it was numb. I could not feel me scratching it but I could feel the itch. I went to the bathroom mirror and visually located the itch region. I scratched. Nothing. I scratched harder, at least I perceived it as harder. Nothing. Talk about freaken Hell! How can you have an itch if you're completely numb? What kind of twisted biological network is this???? LOL! It's funny now but I thought I might go crazy over that itch.



Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm Growing a Mullet!!!!!!

My hair is thining everywhere.....................except the back. I can pull it out with ease everywhere.................except the back. It stopped growing everywhere a while ago......................except the back. I'm not sure what to do, have Dani cut it or let it go? I mean, I think we're gonna shave me bald when my hair starts to fall out in clumps but what now?

Maybe I could get a cowboy hat to go with my Mullet?????


Satan Incarnate

That's me after chemo now. Usually a trip to Whole Foods is all I need. I vent on all the suburbanites and my irritation goes down. Didn't work this time and the worst of it hit Friday night. I took out my anger on my new cell phone that I couldn't figure out, on the mouse to our PC b/c I was having trouble navigating a web site, and the remote control of the TV. Then I took it out, verbally of course, on the person least deserving of my anger: Dani.

God I felt like the biggest piece of shit. Sorry Dani. I love you more than anything.

I couldn't control it. I was angry/frustrated and it was completely irrational. I was sooooooooo irritated. I tried to hide in the bedroom and mope. It didn't work. We discussed it later. It was like PMS. Like i had PMS and a horrible case of sunburn! Like my Hormones were raging but I have no experience with it. I suggested the next time this happens that I leave the apt. Dani thinks I might get into trouble with people on the streets if I leave like that. She would rather leave but I'm not comfortable with that. Why should she leave?

Maybe the next time I go off the deep end Dani could just bring all this up? Maybe that and a slap in the face will bring out the rationale me? Is that foolish/wishful thinking?

Chemo can so suck.

Mark Your Calendar!
This Sunday we went to her friends organic Farm in Maryland and stayed the night. They have a beautiful house and a new barn they should have completed in a few days. We are planning on having our Wedding there so save the Date: 7/1/06, K?

Monday, 1/23/06
Still irritable. Grumpy, not satan like. I'm wondering if it's my "low on the radar" symptoms? I might be getting tired of my leg bones aching, stomach bloat, backaches, nausea, my complete lack of appetite, fatigue, burping, acid indigestion.........whine whine whine. I am mostly upbeat but maybe I'm just getting tired of it all.

Eating with no appetite, and slightly nauseas sucks so much. I really don't remember the last time I ate because I was hungry, or because I would enjoy the food. it's like Oxygen, you don't notice how nice breathing is until you can't. I really miss eating from desire. eating instead b/c I have to. Trying to determine what i might like before each meal can be a trial in patience. If Dani wasn't with me I might easily stop eating.

On a side note - wondering if the burbing/acid indigestion is from my stomach flora being out of whack from the chemo? Gonna try........................for the 2nd time in my life............................Yogurt!

LMAO! I'm gassy, bloated, and have acid indigestion. Who's gonna say I DON'T have PMS? Or maybe I'm pregnant???????????????



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Do you Sudoku????

This crap came from nowhere and was all of a sudden everywhere. Giant displays in all the bookstores, in the Post, etc.I have too much time on my hands. I grabbed a beginners book. Now I'm somewhat hooked.

For those that don't know - It's a simple(?) logic number game. Only(!) using numbers 1-9. I don't know why its so addictive. Except maybe the fact that you can always finish a game as long as you think. Plus, IMHO, there is Absolutely zero reason to cheat.

Check it out if you dare

Trip Report: Chemo#5 & Photos

I'm a little out of it. So 'Scuse.............whatever. It's 11PM, Thursday night.

Wednesday 1/18/06

3:30 PM - The Drinking Starts. Shots-o-Makers Mark (MM)
4:10 PM - Arrive at Dani's Book Release Party, full flask of Makers in Hand
4:10-8:00 PM - Drink some more. Party seems to be full of Networking Org Interns. I spend half of my time in dani's office playing on the computer and Drinking MM & Coke. I'm really stressed about my CT/PET scan. Plus, I f I get chemo I won't be feeling up to drink for a while. So might as well have on last Pahrtay, no?
8:30PM-1:30AM - We get home, Eat, drink, be stressed. Dani doesn't get to sleep until much later.

Thursday 1/19/06
7:30/8ish AM - Oy Vey. Wake after much prodding from Dani. Bless her heart., drink coffee, eat, be miserable and stressed
9:30 AM - Arrive at Hospital.
9:45 AM - Give blood for counts & infection check
10:00 AM - See Doc. Doc approves full force Chemo, SOSO. Schedule CT Scan for next week and will "save" PET approval for after chemo #8. my Doc is leaving G'town for Florida next month. I lose him and his caseworker Nurse. :( I'm not happy about continuing my chemo without an "update" scan. I probably don't need as much as they're giving me. better to continue treatment then to allow the Cancer a chance, no? That's what Dani & I decided and probably my Docs thinking. I just hope the excessive chemo doesn't give me Cancer! LMAO!
10:30 AM - Arrive at BMTx floor. Love this Wing! But no cable in my room, dammit! I also just wish someone could hit my humungous veins! :( The Nurse today described it as they're huge, but they seem to shrink away as soon as I stick you. I call that some smart veins! LMAO! Or maybe they get cold after getting stuck? Everyone knows about shrinkage, yes? LMFAO! I kill me! She stick's my right arm 3 times with no luck. Hits my left wrist on the first time. Doesn't feel great but I just want my drugs.
1:30 PM - 3:15 PM - Get my drugs we're out of there! - Tired, loopy, cranky, short of breath.

Time to go to Whole Foods in our neighborhood and give attitude to all the suburbanites/wannabes. :D

I have new chemo photo's on my webshot page. ;)


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Life Sometimes Sucks

Or at the least is very stressful. Let me start out and say Medicaid saved my ass. medicaid, unfortunately, is a bureacracy. A big one.

Stress Point 1: I've had 4 chemo treatments or 2 cycles of chemo. Each treatment is 2 weeks apart. I need a CT/PET scan before I can continue with chemo. This is standard. They need to know how the Cancer has responded and adjust the chemo accordingly. My next treatment is scheduled for this coming Thursday, 1/19/06. TWO days from now. I've been waiting almost 2 weeks for Medicaid to "approve" my CT/PET Scan. This scan would cost @$7,000 out of pocket. Yes, we were quoted that price. So, lets breakdown the "logic":

No scan -> no treatment.
No treatment -> Cancer gets worse.
Cancer gets worse -> Treatment takes longer/patient at greater risk.
Costs increase for insurance

One of the most important items during chemo is to GET THE CHEMO ON TIME. It's vital, it's crucial, it could even be critical This is causing Dani and I a bit of stress. If I get approved tomorrow I don't even know if I could get an appointment in time.

I don't think about it. Dani does.

We also pretty much maxed credit cards and depleted savings on getting tests and what not for me before I started chemo and before I was approved for Medicaid.

Stress Point 2: The House we live in is going up for foreclosure next week. Dani has a lawyer. DC has the strongest tenent rights in the Nation (Berkley is a strong 2nd. ;) ). We've been kind of Landlordless since September as the lawyers of several parties fought. Dani has been putting her rent in an escrow account since then. Unfortunately, foreclosure sale leaves us with limited options. Someone can "buy" this place for $52,000 cash and give us 3 months to vacate. Dani loses the option for first right of refusal with a foreclosure. She's hoping a couple of friends might be interested in the property so we can stay. It is in the middle of the hottest gentrifying area of DC but the Market is starting to crash. The Condo bubble just burst. Anyway, having to move while I am unemployed/disabled is stressful. I'm a liability and could never sign a lease. God I hate the thought of that.

Stress Point 3: Why is disability so shameful? It will take 3 months for Social Security to approve/disapprove my application. I won't apply for food stamps. Pride is stopping me. Dani doesn't want me to either. Such a stigma behind Food Stamps. This Country can sometimes really suck.

Stress Point 4: My teeth. We need to fix my teeth. Cancer/chemo really plays havoc on teeth and tooth decay. I had 2 root Canals just completed. Today I had two cavities filled. I have 8 minor cavities left and one cracked filling that needs to be replaced. Sounds like a lot but I've had no cavities filled since the 1980's, 1 root canal in early 2000. Anyway, I need those all done and my root canal teeth capped. 200-275 for each filling and I believe it's at least $1000 for a crown/cap. It was already a couple grand for the root canals, I think.

We are stressed.

Positive Time!!!!!!

The benefit for me looks like it's gonna be awesome! I think 150-200 people will be there. The bar is letting us do it on a Saturday for no cost. We have at least One band donating their time. I believe the leukemia/lymphoma society will be there. And the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Americans for Health Care will be there. I would like to plug them here. from their website:

"Americans for Health Care - a project of SEIU, the largest union of health care workers in the country - is uniting working families, small business owners, seniors, health care workers, community leaders, and policy makers to fight for affordable, quality health care that we can all count on. In states across the country, we are building broad-based coalitions of individuals and organizations in order to push for health care policies which ensure:

Quality, affordable health care for all, without gaps in coverage or access;

Care that is cost efficient and medically effective;

A core package of health insurance benefits with choices comparable in quantity and scope to those available to federal employees; and

Financing that is fair and includes employers, individuals, and the federal, state and local governments."

45,000,000 - The number of uninsured in America in 2003.
8.5 million - The number of children in America who have no health care.
1 minute - The amount of time it takes for nearly 3 people lose their health insurance in the U.S.(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Hope to see you all at the Party! ;)

I can't wait to look back at these times with dani and laugh. Life is worthless without a few struggles, no?


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Can I whine some more?

First: can anyone see my picture? I see a "red x"

Second: can anyone see my Favorite Book? I see nothing but the title is: "How to Annoy Me: look for common "favorites" as a way to gauge a potential friend".


Can I whine some more? Thanks.

My nausea started to wane as of Monday Morning. It was nice to wake up and not feel ill. I wish I would feel hungry. I felt ill after eating but it decreased as the day went on and is mostly gone as of today, Tuesday.

My knees hurt. The bones of my knees ache. My nerves in my legs still extend from my body and somewhat from my arms. What the Hell does that mean? It means you might be able to touch my arms but you should really avoid my legs.

I had what felt like an asthma attack last night. Came from nowhere. All of a sudden I was struggling, moderately, to get Oxygen. WTF?????? After a while I popped a Benadryl and it went away.

I'm always tired. I can start shaking from coffee consumption and still be sleepy. WTF?

I feel a little nauseas.

I walked 20minutes, on the way to Dani's work, and stopped into CVS. I was short of breath and tired. I squatted for batteries. I purposely rose very slowly and got a major head rush. WTF?

My side hurt a little. Maybe my kidneys. WTF?

Sometimes, while doing nothing more than playing on the computer, my chest hurts and I'm short of breath. WTF?

I am waiting to get "approved" for another CT/PET Scan. Can't go ahead with more chemo until they take dirty pictures of my innards. Medicaid saved me. medicaid stresses us out. WTF?

Digital Camera batteries are $14!!!!!! WTF?

Don't tell Dani any of this. She worries about me too much as it is. Actually, she knows most of it. She doesn't miss a slight change in my breathing pattern. I wish she would stop worrying so much about me. I'll be done with this crap in no time. Way before our wedding.


Post-Publishing Edit: My memory is going to Shit! I've forgotten a friend was pregnant and I've forgotten about calls from friends. i might have forgotten other things but I can't remember. LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!Friends: Please keep in mind my condition affects my memory.

Thank you.

Backpacking the 'Dacks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my dreams!!!!

Speaking of which, I seem to be having some nasty dreams before I completely fall asleep. Must be part of the insomnia thing.

Wait, this is a bp post, dammit!

Who knows when I'll be able to get back out but I need to plan. i've been looking at my Adirondack (dack) topo's. My goal is for my first post-cancer trip to be in the dacks. It's where I started, it's kind of like "homebase". I have no idea when this trip will be but I need to think about it.

I'm thinking I want to go into The Northern Region. It's relatively flat with tons of Lakes & Loons. A campfire on a lake with Loons singing. That is the quintessential backpacking experience, IMO.

I'm thinking I want to do the Northern Terminus of The Northville-Placid Trail. Then, I could explore some of the Western High Peaks of the dacks if I felt up to it.

I'm thinking I want to do the Cranberry Lake Region of the dacks. There are some really nice loops in there.

I'm also thinking I want to do Nova Scotia. No idea why but it's there so I ordered info.

I'm also thinking about gear. I need nothing for 3 season camping. If I purchased some winter pants then I could bp anytime. Anytime below Alpine/3 ft-o-snow in a night camping. My tent is not rated for extreme winter conditions. Actually, my tent isn't really rated for winter, kind of. It's a 3 Season, 4 Season "convertible". I think that means if it rips apart in a snowstorm the Manufacturer isn't responsible. It's a damn sturdy tent, though. The Sierra Design Orion AST, 2 person.

Dani needs some gear. Boots and a pack. Maybe some rain gear. I window shop online for her. I despise shopping unless it's for backpacking..........Gregory, Kelty, Vasque..........Drooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.............

I really need to get out.


Sunday, January 08, 2006


Thursday, 1/5/05

I get to G'town Cancer Center at 9:30 for my blood draw. I sit in the chair and present my left arm with what I thought was a caveat: "the last draw bruised the vein at my elbow, please don't use that one." Apparently, that was an invitation to the Vampire*, not a warning. As soon as he stabbed me I said "WTF?" He seemed oblivious to my concern. I wondered at the point if they just use veins until they collapse? Plus, what could I do at that point? he had stabbed me already and there seems to be only 3 Vampires. Do I complain and perhaps enrage the bloodsuckers and his siblings? I think not. Complain and all of a sudden they can't seem to hit my veins the first try.

*They seem to be Phlebotomists. From working in Hospitals, I've always known Phlebotomists as "Vampires". They may do more than draw blood but I've never seen it.

Trial 2 - Dani & I get a room and wait for my Oncologist. My vitals are taken and my weight is at a whopping 168!!!!! Remember, I weighed 145 coming out of the hospital in November. I have very little appetite but I eat. Dani makes sure I eat. I try my hardest to eat. However, for some reason I'm concerned that I'm getting "fat".

Oh no, I'm getting "fat". Forget cancer, I might be getting "fat". WTF is up with that? Hair loss and fat. That's what I need to be concerned about right now. ;) So be it. I hope I can get fat while fighting Cancer. I'll be a Fat Bald Phil. But I'll be a thriving fat bald Phil, Dammit!

Up to the BMTx floor and our favorite Nurse, Maggie. Nicest Nurse in the World. And like I said before, they love us. Love our attitude. Of course, I'm not in such dire straits. Can't imagine how depressing their job can be. Maggie is concerned. She remembers missing my vein last time and doesn't want to do it again. Maggie and her Nurse friend, Sabrina, are the "experts" at sticking outpatients. They help out on both Infusion & BMTx floors.

I tell Maggie not to worry and stick me anyway. I tell her to go for the vein she missed last time, it's one of my best. She misses. Chemo veins need to be nice, strong, and straight. I have plenty of them but they seem to "roll" a lot. This makes it difficult for the big Infusion Needles. I tell her to try again but She doesn't want to "hurt" me. I laugh and tell her needle sticks don't really hurt anymore but She doesn't budge. She goes and gets Sabrina from the Infusion Floor. Sabrina is checking out the veins on top of my arms in the wrist region. She's studying them like a Golfer studying the Green before a Putt. I've never had a wrist stick and it makes me uneasy. She says they're great places to stick, easy with less pain, and I might want to consider shaving my arms for future sticks. I remind her that I might not have arm hair much longer and I want to see how it falls out.

She sticks me. She pulls back blood. She flushes. She's causing more pain then I've ever felt. WTF has become my favorite saying this day. So I say; "WTF?". I flex my fingers slowly and cause myself more pain. Again, I say: "WTF??? This hurts more than anything I've had." It's like she stabbed a nerve. She withdraws the stick.

So now I have two very apologetic, stick expert/Nurses by my side. Quite amusing, I thought. Again, They're probably lucky they're apologetic, young, cute Nurses. ;)

Maggie decides they should "Tag Team" Me. :O I'll write about that Episode in Penthouse!!!!!!

LMAO!!!!!!!! Yes, I love amusing myself.

Anyway, Maggie is eyeing my upper left arm. About 2-3cm North of my Elbow. The veins are humongous up there. She sticks me and I spurt blood everywhere. They cap the Geyser and now I get to wait. Dani, meantime, decides to call Social Security. We got a message on Wednesday that they were missing some forms from me for my disability claim. My Case Worker wants me to "pop by". I'm a little busy so Dani calls. She's on automated hold for a few minutes before she is cut off. Dani plays this game for the better part of an hour or so. Apparently, DC SS workers don't like using their phones. Meantime, I sleep. I've become quite adept at falling asleep....................sort of. I mean, I can fall asleep in weird places.........weird for me.

God, I feel ill right now. It's 7:43PM EST. Sunday.....btw.

Drugs come, drugs go in my arm, we go home. 4PM. My vein/arm did not hurt for a change. They pump a huge volume in and the drugs are not nice so it usually hurts. The size of the vein must have helped. I was going to take pictures but my batteries died. Next time, K? :)

Post-Chemo Fun
I "need" Neupogen. My Neutrophil count is 2700/micolitre. Well above the 1000 minimum threshold but my Doc is being cautious. I just hope his caution won't rupture my Spleen. I "debated" this with him but I wasn't really expecting any other outcome. Besides, I hope to become really good at injecting myself so I can put it on my resume.

Extendo-Nerves: My nerves are on edge after Therapy. I'm not talking in an emotional sense. I'm talking raw, physical nerves extending from my body and they are not happy. I can feel them mostly in my arms, sometimes in my legs. Someone explained it to Dani like a really bad sunburn. Never had one but my nerves are raw. Not always, but sometimes. More so as treatment continues. Dani went for a Play bite on my thigh once and I swung before she made contact. Swung in a defensive mode, not play mode. It hurt before she touched me. It hurt even though it was never going to hurt. I ended up hitting her a little too hard. Didn't mean to. And there was no damage. it was just a little harder than I would have swung if I was "normal". Pure instant defense. Caught off guard even though there was nothing to guard against. Makes sense to me but I'm not sure about anyone else. Anyway, I'm on edge so of course we go to Whole Foods! :) We usually put Iggy Pop in the car stereo for chemo day and "Mule Skinner" is our favorite, we blast it several times. Perfect for the trip to the Market and my mood. I'm a complete bastard to anyone who gets in our way or almost in our way. Most shoppers there are rude, snobby, make-too-much-money types so I really enjoy our going there after chemo. I mean, I really enjoy it. you should join us someday for it.

Friday, 1/6/05
Off to Social Security office. It's afternoon. I don't feel well. My nausea has been increasing with each treatment. We assume SS will be swamped and are hoping we can just speak to the Man who called us. We are assuming this is not the way SS works, being govt., so we have a Plan B. Sure enough security tells us we will have to take a number because my Caseworker isn't expecting us. I ask how he could possibly expect us when no one answers the phone? She just smiles and gives more of her speech and we walk away. The room is full. No Problem.

Plan B: Dani goes over and intercepts the Security guard.

Dani: Excuse me. I'm sorry to bother you but my fiance just had chemotherapy yesterday and there's a good chance he might vomit shortly.

We meet with my Caseworker within minutes and I sign my name to three forms. They are all being very nice and apologetic and soon we are out the door.

Nausea: What is up with the nausea? It's new, within the last two treatments. It's not intense. I wake up feeling queasy. I feel queasy after eating. I feel queasy often now. I have no real appetite but that's no big deal. I get indegestion and hiccups like never before. I also feel bloated. That is, if a Man is allowed to feel bloated. I burp a lot to ease my stomach. And sometimes I just burp a lot. Dani suggests the bloating is from the corticosteroid. Why didn't I think of that? My brain is a big fuzzy cloud sometimes. I've taken a Prochlorperazine & Zofran every day since my last chemo. I also pop 6-12 Tums a day. They aren't doing much to help. WTF?????????????????

The Zofran saved me after my first treatment. It's kind of troubling that it's not helping now. Both of us are puzzled. is not nausea????? Might I need to try some alternative nausea treatments if I can't fix this? Might need to get out the brownie recipe if things get worse.


I tire so easily now and don't need to walk in order to experience shortness of breath. My communication skills, verbal, suck ass. Goes with the fuzzy cloud, perhaps. Home stretch..............................

Epiphany, Sunday 1/8/05
Dani & I are invited to her friends, Krissi & Reese, for the Fifth Annual Epiphany Brunch. It involves friends, food and bread with a buried coin in it. For a deeper explanation google Orthodox Greek and Epiphany maybe. Honestly, it's a really neat kind of Spritual event that I can't possibly explain and do justice to. Anyway, Dani was served the slice with the coin. They're great people and we wanted to stay longer but my nausea level was rising. I'm thinking I most likely won't puke but God Forbid I do and I'm not home. I mean, I think sooner or later I will vomit but I'm not sure what i will feel like before it happens. I want to be home the first time it happens. I'm hoping I can predict it. Hoping. I hope that makes sense. Sort of. It's the best I can do.

We leave. we need to donate the coin, preferably to a church. We decide it will be the first church we come across after getting out of Metro. On 16th St. We cross our first Church, a Catholic Church. Seems very appropriate.

We donate the coin and a wad of money from our pockets. We headed home feeling quite well.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Drug Inventory/Schedule

Thursday, 1/5/05

Friday, 12:25AM - exhausted from the chemo but unable to sleep. My 4th treatment, 2nd cycle complete. Next week I need a CT/PET scan to see what's up before I can continue on with chemo. But first, I need to do a drug inventory for my own personal log. More reference, I guess. The scripts & Over The Counters (OTC) are numerous. Before Cancer I might pop a Tylenol or Motrin in a given year.

A. Every Thursday - 2 vials of blood taken (for blood counts):
1. CBC with Auto diff, reflex manual diff
2. Complete Metabolic Panel

B. Every 2nd Thursday - Doctor Appt.
1. Vitals recorded (BP, Heart Rate, Temp, Weight)
2. Visit Doctor, discuss symptoms, treatment.

C. Every 2nd Thursday - Chemo (as long as I "pass A&B)
1. Infusion or BMTx Floor (so far I'm 3/4 BMTx)
2. I hand them my records and they call the Pharmacy. No drugs are made until I personaly report to the Floor
3. I wait 3 frikken hours for drugs. Thank God they have cable.
4. They stick me with a big ass infusion needle - 20-22g. All Drugs will go through this point.
5. Gimee my drugs, dammit!

D. Chemo Drugs
1. Zofran: Given first as an IV by infusion pump to prevent chemo induced nausea
2. Dexamethasone: Corticosteroid given with Zofran (mix) to prevent nausea

3. Vinblastine: first Chemo drug. Given as slow bolos (slow manual injection), in @10min.
4. Adriamycin: Second Chemo Drug. Slow Bolos over about 10 minutes. (Red stuff and makes your urine orange-red immediately :) )
5. Bleomycin: Third Chemo Drug. Given by Infusion pump over 15 minutes.
6. Dacarbazine: 4th Chemo Drug. Given by Infusion pump over 1 hour.

That's a lot-o-nasty chemicals pumped in. I might add up the volume next time. My vein can start to get irritated by the time the final drug starts pumping. Especially if they use a small vein.

My day at the Hospital, From A-D, is about 6-7hrs.

D. Prescriptions - Scheduled
1. Trimeth/Sulfameth: Trimethoprin & Sulfamethoxazole;2 Antibiotics in one Pill. Prophylactic Treatment: Taken every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. Started before chemo and will continue indefinitly. Must avoid long term exposure to Sun or Artificial Sunlight. :(
2. Neupogen: recombinant Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (rG-CSF). Self-administered Subcutaneous Injection of .5ml Saturday-Wednesday after Treatment. Taken to produce neutrophils wiped out by chemo.

E. Prescriptions - As Needed
3. Zofran: Anti-nausea pill. Taken only once so far.
4. Promethazine: Anti-nausea suppository. Taken only once, used so I could take Zofran.
5. Prochlorperazine: Anti-nausea pill. Taken every once in a while. So far, 1 does the trick.
6. Tylenol 3: Used for Post-Surgical pain ("Lymphectomy"). Also used after Root Canal.
7. Vicodine: Used after 2nd Root Canal.

I've listed Tylenol 3 & Vicodin b/c I have a feeling I might be able to use them for chemo pain in the future. With the Docs permission, of course. Otherwise, Maybe I can sell them?

I'm keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeding! :D

F. Over the Counter - "prescribed" by Nurse for chemo related symptoms (As Needed)
1. Tylenol Extra strength: Prescribed early on to combat dailey fevers
2. Benadryl: For itching and Insomnia
3. Tylenol PM: For Insomnia
4. Sominex: Wanted something Stronger for Insomnia
5. Advil: Muscle pain, daytime
6. Aleve: Muscle Pain, for overnight relief
7. Tums: Acid Indigestion
8. Pepcid AC: Acid Indigestion

OK. That looks like a shitload of drugs. But I barely touch any of the "As Needed" far. The OTC's were also prescribed at different times, as symptoms arose. It must be noted that I have to clear any OTC with the Oncologist. I'm gonna pop a Sominex now, However. It's 1:36AM and I need to get up early. I always have trouble sleeping the 1st few days after chemo. And I can't drink alcohol for days after chemo. :(

I'll discuss the fun I had with the actual chemo another day.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Still Shocking. Why?

I should be ready for this. I thought I was. It was mentioned to me before I even started treatment. I've seen it coming for a couple of weeks. My facial hair grows so slow. What I grow in about a week isn't as full as my old 5 O'clock shadow. I have bald spots on my cheeks. My hair on my head stopped growing a while ago, also. And I noticed it's a bit thinner. Dani noticed a bald spot on top of my head. The hair on my arms and legs is thinning. I've even been running my hands through my hair, frequently, to see what would happen.

It's been coming and I've known about it. What's the big deal?

Today, in the shower, I noticed a little extra hair between my fingers. I pulled on my hair softly, gently, and some came out. I did this a couple of times. I just checked my eyebrows - AOK. :D I gotta stop. I'm not pulling clumps out........yet.

Why does it bother me so?

My favorite Artist is Dali. My favorite Dali is "The Metamorphis of Narcissus". I own a copy.

I could not prepare myself for this.

I feel great right now. If you visited me in person, right now, you would have no idea I have Cancer. I didn't know I had Cancer for 6-9 Months. I won't be able to "hide" it much longer. I hate that. I hate the looks that might generate. Think about the last time you saw someone that was bald from chemo.

Anyone gives me a look of pity and I might smack 'em.

I'm sick, not terminal.

Fuck Cancer. It doesn't stand a chance against me.




Monday, January 02, 2006


Wow. Just recovered. OK, not really. Dani was feeling like we shouldn't go to a party b/c I may not be 100% in regards to my immune system. I kind of agreed so we stayed home. Started drinking about 4PM. I haven't been really drunk since October. Mostly because I can't drink. I can't for @3 days after chemo and then it seems like my body really doesn't want a lot of alcohol any other day. NYE would be different for some reason.

Dani started with cheap Champagne. I started with Frangelico in my coffee. No, it was a gift from one of Dani's friend. We gnoshed the entire day. Then we both started in on the cheap Champagne. Mixing it with cranberry, Grand Marnier (GM) and Cranberry. I think we even tried Ginger Ale. I don't like cheap Champagne and the mixers didn't help. Not sure if I like good Champagne but we would find out later.

I seem to be a liquor snob.

I switched to Makers Mark on the rocks while Dani plowed on with the Champagne. Meanwhile, we gnoshed. Dani made an incredible spread of appetizers, cold and hot.

The cheap stuff was gone way before midnight and we only had one bottle of good stuff. We have a crap load of wine but Dani didn't want to mix Wine with Champagne. She's had bad experiences mixing Wine with most everything.

Dani doesn't really care for whiskey but she'll do shots of it if needed. It was still early. First, a shot of GM. Then on to the Makers Mark shots.

Meanwhile, we gnoshed. And I think we watched TV and played a little poker. Mostly, we drank. I think. I don't seem to recall much of that evening. Except that Dick Whats-His-Face looked and sounded like death warmed over. What the hell was up with that?

So Midnight rolled around and we opened the $40-50 bottle of Champagne (I said "good" not "great"). My mature palate would say: "Yum". We finished it and before you knew it I was dancing above Dani (Laying on the couch) too Atomic Dog by George Clinton. The stereo was turned up to max, not sure if any neighbors were around. Needless to say, Dani was kind of shocked. i hadn't really listened to anything funky until now. I had removed Skinny Puppy and Iggy Pop and replaced them with P-Funk, James Brown, and his Bro' Chuck Brown. :)

Dani got up from the couch and we danced the night away. Danced until my legs couldn't move any more. Went to bed around 2. Shut the ringers off.

I think we woke up around 10. Dani wasn't feeling so well. I felt fine.

Moral of the story: Even when mixed, Cheap Champagne is deadly. And Dick should probably retire.