Friday, November 28, 2003

Friday evening, home from the hospital. Last round of nasty chemistry should be done. Monday & Tuesday to clinic for hydration.

lots of thoughts and things, but too tired to write. Just wanted to let all know, I am home.

mo l8r

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I'll be in the hospital, getting pumped full of poisions, to try to kill off this cancer.

But I want to remind everyone of something: Give thanks.

In no particular order, I am thankful for:

The gift of life, which my parents gave me.
Sara.
My friends. (who I cannot list, you know who you are, and you know I love you)
all the people who have affected me and caused me to grow into who I am.
Motorcycles, the vehicles that brought me to many of my friends.
My job and boss/mentor
The nursing staff helping me through this
My family
Sara's family
the fact that I should be alive next year.
my remaining testicle.


So when you sit down to eat tomorrow, wherever you are, before you start, please say a little statement, of what you are thankful for. And remember, life is precious. Enjoy every second. And hug the people to your left and right. If they are important enough to be at the table with you, then they are good folks.


Then hoist a wine glass, or beer, or scotch, or water, and say a little something fun, then think naughty thoughts, just for a second. Cause that's fun too.

:)

Tuesday we changed one of the drugs. Manitrol comes after the Cisplatin, and helps me urinate and purge the cisplatin out of my system. But they were out, so we switched to one called Lasiks or something like that. It made me have to pee every 5 minutes, a lot. Very irritating, as I have to get out of chair, push IV pole to bathroom, do business, wash hands, return to chair, sit, cover up, stand up, repeat. From 2-4, every 5 minutes.

Jack came to pick me up yesterday, and he shot quite a few photos. I uploaded some of them to my Yahoo Cancer Boy photo site.

Once we got to the house, I looked at the photos, and realized I do not recognize myself. I am just looking at these pictures thinking "who is that ugly mutt?"

Sara came home from work and we went to Pearl Garden chinese restaurant. I had a little vegetable fried rice with no mushrooms, Sara and Jack shared MaBoo Tofu and Eggplant in Garlic sauce.

Back to the house, and we watched a movie Sara ranted on Netflix. "Magnolia" NOT Steel Magnolias, nope, Magnolia. Verdict? the third worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life.

#3 magnolia. only cool thing, scene of raining frogs
#2 mulholland drive. some art crap, where actors kept changing characters, oh, hell, it sucked
#1 Darkman, some stupid crap from 1990, we kept watching thinking "it HAS to get better" it never did.


Anyhow, We sat and watched this movie LONG after we should have ripped it from the DVD player, microwaved it, smashed it to bits, and poured the remnants into the Netflix return pack to save anyone else from wasting 2 hours of their life.

Slept fitfully, anxious about hospital on Thursday.


WEDNESDAY: arrived at clinic, got all hooked up, took drugs, peed a lot, did not have lunch, felt pretty putrid. Spoke to Steve, he wrote the orders for O'Connor to give me chemo Thursday and Friday, as outpatient, however, he ammended them, and said by mid afternoon, we should re-assess, and see if I SHOULD just stay overnight.

The nursing staff may unofficially think overnight would be easier on me, with less transportation and timing issues, and have everything constant and working at hospital.

Will play it by ear. I am scared, and nauseous.

We pulled the needle out of my left arm at 4 today, and put a new one in my right arm, to make it easier for the hospital.

Great, Spending Thanksgiving in the Hospital. Boo! I will be surly and irritable.

Chemo tomorrow. Chemo Friday.

Hydrate at least Monday and Tuesday, maybe more. Dec 17 Cat Scan Dec 23, Evaluation.

Good news? Sara's Sister Kate was offered a better job today. YAY Kate! YAY! I needed good news.

AND, I recieved a package from my pal Katsura in Japan. He and his wife Eri folded me 50 paper cranes. For good luck. they are beautiful, and I feel honored, and lucky to have such good freinds.



Monday, November 24, 2003

Saturday: Sara played in dirt, then we got my cousin Steve and went to Todai! YAY! 150 feet of all you can eat sushi buffet. I loaded up on salmon sashimi, and was feeling very VERY protein filled, hoping it would build white blood cells. We got to talk to Steve about his new job outside Philly. I believe he is in for a cold winter.

Got to his folks house, and I was not out of energy, but more having a high intensity, sushi-fueled, full on food-coma. Yes, that was some hi-test nap-fuel. Straight home, and I napped while Sara resumed playing in the dirt.

Rebecca came over in the evening, she and Sara went to the grocery and video stores, rented the movie 3000 Miles to Graceland, which had much explosions, shooting, music, Elvis, and Thong Underpants. They had heat-n-eat veggie pizza, I had hot cocoa and chinese leftovers. Sara forgot her wallet somewhere during this adventure, and Rebecca shelled out dough at the grocers. When they got home, Sara dumped a $20 on Rebecca's pile of money, but did not tell her. So now we do not know if Rebecca recognized the cash addition, or just thinks Sara is a skeezy freeloader.

Sunday: I slept late, while Sara went to a meeting of the Santa Cruz Furies, her all girl bike gang. I think they ate waffles. Finally dragging my behind out of bed, I did some laundry, puttered about the house, and kept napping. When Sara came home, I was out of energy, and beginning to get worried about the Chemo Round coming up.

We watched the old Mike Douglas flick "Black Rain" on cable TV. Initially, I did not plan to watch the WHOLE flick, as I have seen it before, and once REALLY is enough. I just wanted to see the first opening scenes where Mikey street-races a Harley Cafe Racer. One of the coolest Harleys ever made, 1 year only, mid-77 to mid-78. and Just like the 1964 Honda 305 Superhawk, the 197 Harley XLCR is on my list of desireable bikes I wish I owned. My pal Jerri Grindle has one, adding her to the list of people whose garages I want to raid. :)

MONDAY! Chemo Day!

Sara dropped me off at 8:30. Perla took my blood, did a lab analysis, and said my white cell count is great, go on in the back and get all infused up.

Mary started to get everything ready, we examined veins, and discussed the Thursday-Friday Hospital situation. Dr. Scates came in and gave a really definite non-answer, so we will worry about the hospital tomorrow. Mary thinks it should be a Thursday overnight and Friday stay. Tomorrow when cheryl is in, we will finalize, and I will know my plans.

Since we are trying to get the needle in and locked till Wednesday, Mary deferred to Diane to hit the correct vein. Diane hit it first try, quickly, and while not painless, it was very fast. I was very happy. I was also very cold. The heat was off all weekend long in the clinic, so I had a blanket on me, and was trying to stay warm.

Today the doctor asked me if I wanted to try Marinol for the nausea. It's the THC derivate. I told him I had no moral issues with it, but I cannot do Marijuana, I am too old, and it makes me feel like the "PO-lice" are gonna want to have a talk with me. And I do not like talking to them.

He laughed, and said we could try anything, but since Atavan is working, I should stick with it.


We started the usual regieme, saline, Atavan for nausea, Kytril in the last bit of saline for nausea, Cisplatin, Manitrol, Etropocide, saline, saline, saline, then Sara arrived to take me home. Did I mention there is a big needle in my left Arm? we are gonna try to keep it there till Wednesday evening. Just add to the vomiting.

During this time I had to urinate frequently, the Manitrol makes sure of that. but afternoon, I could tell I was back on chemo again, it was all yellow and oily looking, and had that skanky chemo smell. Around 2:30 I put in my earplugs, and tried to sleep. Apparently I was successful, when I came to, the nurses were smiling, and said I was snoring.

It's 6pm now, we are home, I am feeling icky. definitely have the chemo back in me I want to barf, I do not want to eat, I have to urinate a lot, my head hurts, and I am cranky.

But this will be the last round, right?

Friday, November 21, 2003

Thursday night OJack visited, we ordered pizza from Metro Pizza on Pearl street. My pal Julia recommended it, and I must report, once again, she picked a winner. I had boring cheese pizza, while Jack & Sara shared a veggie delight with mushrooms and olives, and all sorts of things that veggies like on their pizza. We watched the James Bond flick "die another day" which I have already seen, but must say, cool toys.

Friday morning, slept late, woke queasy, took atavan. I am about 3 weeks out on the last round, most of the poision should be out of my body, right? Well, apparently not. Boo, hiss!

Matthew Buck phoned, he's the character that got me started on my "why is america whizzing away all our potential in favor of corporate sameness" rant. He pushed and prodded, and at 11:45am, I went out to watch a movie. In a theater. With no chance of leaving early, or having barf breaks.

I took water, and had a small unbuttered popcorn. We watched the new Russel Crowe vehicle "Master and Commander of the other side of the world" or something like that. Where they are on ships, chasing about the Pacific. It was a rousing good adventure, with chase scenes, explosions and gore, but no boobies. So it was an OKAY movie, but not a great movie. I enjoyed it, at matinee price.

On returning home, however, I was completely worn out, hopped in bed, and napped most of the afternoon.

Sara returned from work around 6:30, so I got up, a little too quick, and Whoops! There goes my stomach, again. Doh! strangely, no popcorn, just bile.

We were both tired, skipped any Friday social activities, ordered chinese take out from a restaurant just next door to, and probably owned by the same folks as the pizza place. Ate said food in front of the Tee Vee, watching yet ANOTHER Russell Crowe movie, "Beautiful Mind" where he plays a mathematician who gets a little schizophrenic.

Some of the scenes about his relationship with his wife struck a little close to home, he was medicated, and it just parrallelled too much. And wierded me out. He was lucky to have an understanding and loving wife, I am lucky to have Sara.

Saturday! Tomorrow! will try to get out briefly.

There are all sorts of thoughts skipping about my brain, but I cannot sort them out. so I will stop here.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

So my pal Rebecca makes a great point. She tells me if I count stats, and get hits, I should not complain, cause then people will stop reading it, and I will start getting millions of individual emails asking "and how are you doing today?", so stop complaining. Which I wasn't, really, but anyhow, needed to clarify. She's pretty smart.

Last night Larissa came over, and we went for dinner at Aqui's. She is doing a GREAT job as my 'team lead' at work. Basically, she's juggling her normal job, as well as doing my job. Just like Keith, I will never be able to thank them enough for their help. They are on the Honor roll! But dinner was nice. Sara joined us after her Yoga class, then we went outside to admire Larissa's new car. A Subaru WRXSTD I don't know all the letters, but it is a snazzy 4 door with a BIG wing on the back, and a HUGE hood scoop.

Sara drove me home in the Mighty Festiva. no wing, no hood scoop, but still fun. YAY Sara. I vought a passenger side mirror for it off eBay, she did not notice it till 24 hours after I put it on, and I had to point it out. She says she never looks there, so why would she notice? good point! We watched a little television, then turned in early.

My pal Dr. Lionel Hall, modern day genius was supposed to be in San Jose today and call, but I didn't hear from him. Which was just as well. I answered all my snail mail, paid all my bills, filed all my papers that needed filing, and sat around trying not to be sick.

I did eat the pumpernickle bagel Sara SWIPED from work yesterday. It got smooshed in her bag, but was still okay. Actually, it wasn't. I do not like Pumpernickle. I like Onion bagels, Salt bagels, and Garlic bagels. Sometimes, I will eat plain or egg, but that's about it. So I was feeling a little off from the pumpernickle, then later in the day I had a bagel dog, and now I am totally queasy.

Of course I did NOT take any Atavan, so that might explain it, I will go have one now.

Other news? I got an email from someone I do not know who reads my blog. Just for you Jodi, talk about Bike STUFF! :) I am selling my 1999 Honda Superhawk to my pal Mark. I may have mentioned this already. But since I cannot really ride, it seems like a good time to sell off some rolling stock. Also, if you have not read it, Melissa Holbrook-Pierson's book "The Perfect Vehicle: What It is about Motorcycles" is a great way to think about bikes. I quite enjoyed the book, even if she is misled, and thinks Moto-Guzzi's are acceptable machines. They are not, they are evil.

Of course I am already thinking of what to replace my Superhawk with. Jack says a Ducati Monster. Larissa says a Yamaha R6, Joe says a FZR400. Isn't it cool, everyone recommends the bike they ride! hee heee.

So trying to concentrate on motorcycles, not cancer. Cancer sucks.

Next week is gonna be bad, I know this already. Monday - Wednesday, at the clinic. Thursday - Friday at the hospital. Hospitals are bad, they keep sick people there. I am VERY worried about this. On the other hand, I KNOW where I will be for Thanksgiving. :( boo!

And I cannot make it to Texas for the holidays?

I am officially declaring this holiday season a bust. No, non-existant! Do not expect to see me, hear from me, or recieve consumer based giftage from me. I am staying sick with my head on under the pillow.

Good news? Jack is on his way over, and we are gonna hang out tonight and do a bunch of nothing.

Pardon me, it is time to go vomit. then try to keep in an anti-nausea pill.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Okay, either a LOT of people I do not know are reading this, or my mom is hitting it about 50 times a day. I managed to get the stats package hooked up and working, and I am getting about 125 hits / day. Which, actually, encourages me to try to make this a book when I get all cancer-less.

Catchup! I had sushi for lunch yesterday with my pal Julia Green. I did not eat too much, it was soft, full of protein, and stayed in me for a long time. Last night Sara went to Yoga class, and seemed pretty happy when she got home. YAY! Unlike my mom's reports, Sara did not say a bunch of people got all relaxed up and broke tons of wind. Okay, maybe her class is demographically younger? And eats less fried food than the ladies in NE Texas.

I spent most of yesterday evening working on a new business card design for the new house address. Whew, it is done. Went to sleep with Sara, and had wierd dreams. We were in a country bar, some guy was trying to teach Sara the "Chicken Dance" but she was smoking long cigarettes, and every time he got close to her, she burnt his shirt. Kevin Tiene's Daughters Sophia and Fiona were at a table with me, and we were all laughing hilariously. Then I woke up, fortunately, Sara was not smoking.

She went to work early today, cause it is bagel day at eBay. I tried to coerce her to STEAl a bagel for me. Will see when she gets home.

I took my card design to a local print shop around 1pm, and got some made. Cheap. The way I like it. They look fine, and I am set for a while.

I got balloons in the mail from Mrs. Dryer, a pal of mine since before I was born. Who always brought balloons to cheer me up. I do not know why, but my folks keep giving my zip code out as 95126 it is actually 95125. My mailman writes dirty Xs and notes ove the wrong zip.

I feel semi-okay, but very anxious about next week. And it keeps my stomach leaping.

Hair is trying to grow back on my arms, I think because it has been so long since I have had the poision in me. But my 'waste' still smells like chemo. Hmmm. I wonder how long it will really be in me, even when I am finally done.

Flash sent me a link about Lyle Lovett riding Ducati Motorcycles all over the Texas Hill country. it made me homesick. I miss Dripping Springs, but not the Ex.

Okay, I am feeling a little weak, time to post & purge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Just got off the phone with the clinic, and I now have most of the details. Much like a domino drop, every event in the chain is dependant on the previous event.

next Monday, November 24, I go into the Clinic for blood tests. If my white count is high enough, we start chemo round 4.

Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, the clinic will be closed, but we cannot just STOP chemo. So they will check me into O'Conner Hospital Thursday morning. I will take chemo and hydration Thursday and Friday. Chances are extremely high that they will keep me overnight. Since my chemo is considered extremely aggressive, most hospitals want to monitor. Poop. Worst case, I stay over Friday night as well, and hydrate more saturday. UGH.

The week of December 1st, I will take hydration at the clinic at least till Wednesday

Assuming all these dominoes fall, I have an appointment for a CAT scan on December 17th, when they will look at the tumors, hopefully lack thereof.

December 23rd, I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Scates, to go over the results of the CAT, and determine if I am good, or if I need radiation.

If I am good, we will set a schedule to come back and recheck to make sure the cancer is in remission (dead) and I am healthy.

On the 23rd, we will also set up a program to determine nutrition, health, rebuilding after chemo, etc.


SO, this pretty much blows my plans to travel to Texas for the holidays. With so many dependancies, I am not comfortable buying plane tickets.


Okay, that's the news. Now, how do I feel?

I want to put my head in my hands and cry. Flash stated it best. "kinda like an prisoner, on the day of his release, being told 'oops, our bad, one more week!'" Tis is very difficult to deal with. I did not plan on having a week to sit around and wait. I keep thinking about the cancer, and it is not good.

On the other hand, I will be ALIVE in December, and putting heads in hands and crying never solved any dang thing. So chin up, and put one foot in front of the other. This WILL be over. I WILL be alive.


Monday, November 17, 2003

BAD! GRRR! Very Bad!

Sara dropped me off this morning. The doctor's appointment went well, my kidney counts are at 1.1, which is a good thing. Then we went into the infusion room, where I take my chemotherapy. They still needed a blood draw for blood counts.

Guess what? My white blood cell count is 3/4 below where it needs to be. They cannot give me chemo this week.

BAD VERY VERY BAD. I want to cry.

I will email/phone everyone lined up to give me rides, cause I do not need them

The REVISED plan is for me to go back next monday, do another blood count, then start round 4 a week late. What makes this even MORE difficult is Thanksgiving falls on Thursday.

I will spend Thursday and Friday of next week in O'connor hospital getting my last 2 chemo treatments and hydration. BOOO!

and my entire schedule is tossed back another week.

I tentatively have a cat scan for Dec 17. Travel plans are impacted also.

BOOOOO I want to cry. Dang white blood cells.


Sunday, November 16, 2003

Sunday. I hate having cancer. I am ready to be done. To quote George Jetson, "Hey Jane, Get me off this crazy thing!"

Yesterday afternoon I could not get out of bed. I WANTED to get out of bed, but something was not working right, and I couldn't. Rebecca phoned, she was in San Jose, and she WAS going to come over. Okay, I have no choice, I MUST get up.

Sara helped me, I was sort of staggering down the hall, and she put her hand on my shoulder, I don't know why, but it seemed to give me some energy. Maybe just the fact that she has faith in me.

I want to be normal, bed all day is not normal. I will force myself out, and WILL make a batch of OMJ's famous Spanish rice. Not only that, I will do it meatless, so Sara can have some, and anyone else. I begn preparations, and am swaying back and forth in the kitchen, certain I will pass out at any moment, but by golly, I AM going to make this dang rice. I start cutting and opening and measuring and going through the proceedures. We are short one medium bell pepper, Sara will go to the store and get one for me. Just as her pal Keith arrives. He has been visiting, and flies out Saturday night. They both drive to store for pepper, and "airplane food" for him.


CAUTION: EXTREME BARF DESCRIPTION COMING UP! DO NOT READ!

Which is good. Because this is precisely the point nausea overtakes me. I go to the bathroom, and the ordeal begins, again. I know, I have written quite a bit about vomiting, and it is gross. But it is a major part of my life at the moment. And painful like you cannot believe.

I will be standing or sitting, and change position, that is all it takes. Go from sitting to standing, or vice versa, and it triggers something in me. RUN to the bathroom. I have not missed yet.

Squat on the floor in front of the toilet, one hand on the bathtub, one hand on the counter. I keep the toilet EXTREMELY clean, because I know I will be staring in it often. The water starts. In my mouth, I cannot explain it, it is not like spit, and it is not like vomit. it's like all of a sudden, I have a half a glass of water in my mouth. I KNOW it has to come from the saliva glands, but it happens in an instant. I wonder if this is what dogs who foam at the mouth feel like. Then my nose fills with mucus and I cannot breathe through it. I wonder why this happens?

It drips and flows out of my mouth to the bowl, then the heaving starts. Deep in the bottom of my stomach, there is a ripple. A push, and it always moves upward, in waves. By the time it gets to my throat, I can tell if it is dry, or not. Usually the first two or three waves are dry.

I hear a 'gak, gak, ack' sound. I know I am making it, but I hear it, like it was someone else standing next to me. Every muscle between my stomach and my lips tense up and release, in a giant rolling wave. With each heave. Water, flowing the whole time.

Finally, third or fourth wave, and something comes up. If I've eaten, it's food, if not, water, fluid, or bile. Just a little at first, out the mouth, and fine. Then more, the next wave bubbles and gurgles, and has force behind it. Finally, the big one, the one that really hurts. The one where I run out of breath, cannot stop, and it shoots bile into my nose, and I kid you not, out of my tear ducts.

The burning in my sinuses is horrific, My eyes tear up, and i try to blow my nose to get the burning out. But the next wave is already coming. Through the whole process, I am involuntarily spitting, trying to get the stuff out of my mouth. It has to sound just horrible. Ack, garble, whoosh, splash, honk, spit spit spit

This particular time, I only have a glass of sprite in me. It comes out foamy. And does not hurt too bad. Earlier in the day, the eggs and bacon I had for breakfast came up. Forcing bacon bits into my sinus cavity. It is really hard to blow small bits of bacon out of the nose. But I push, because it burns

Finally, it stops. I can tell it's done, because through the tears, the snot, the burning, I no longer feel my stomach rolling. I reach behind me for the toilet paper. The previous homeowner had the paper mounted in front of the toilet. Not next to it. So I kinda reach behind me and paw the air till I get some. I will wipe my mouth, then nose, then the edges of the toilet bowl.

When I am finally settled, I stand up, there is always a cool trickle of sweat on top of my head after I vomit. Lightheaded and weak, I stabilize for a moment. Flush, and over to the sink. First I brush my teeth, really well, back and front, sides, etc. It is extremely important to get all the stomach acids off the enamel of my teeth, else they will rot.

The using anti-bacterial soap, I wash my hands and face. With my blood counts so low, I am very prone to infection, so washing is a must. Then dry off, and continue life till the next round.

This is the really wierd part. Once I am done, I feel relieved, light, and un-poisioned. Just for a few moments, but they are glorious moments. I feel empty.

as I finish, Rebecca arrives, and we talk while I am preparing the rice. Then Sara and Keith get back with the pepper. I now have it all in the pot and cooking. I phone Jack to see if he'd like some, and he is on his way.

I make a HUGE mistake, and forget to phone Kevin Tiene. Kevin is actually the FIRST person who knew I had cancer. We were supposed to have lunch on the day I went to the doctor, and Kevin was calling to confirm lunch JUST as I walked out of the office.

He has really stood with me, like Jack, through this whole ordeal. And I forgot to phone him, cause my brain is not working? I do not know, but felt pretty bad. I did not remember not calling till we were eating.

Next batch! I swear Kevin, Next Batch.

The rice finished cooking, I served everyone up, but only had about 1/4 bowl myself. It was wonderful, but to my educated taste, it was missing the meat. All other consumers seemed to enjoy it.

Not 5 minutes after eating, i felt the tremble, and ran back to the bathroom. Repeat. Oh Sara, get me off this crazy thing. I want to be able to eat and keep my food in for more that 5 minutes.


Well, it is Sunday afternoon, Sara went on a Motorcycle ride with Jack and Rebecca. I am very happy about this, it makes her feel better to get out. We both love riding. I just can't, at the moment.

I had some jello and water earlier, it came out moments before I wrote this. I know I need to drink more water, I will apply myself to a glass in a few. promise.

Tomorrow starts round 4. Hoping for the best.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Saturday afternoon. Raining. Bed. Lazy.

Not that I feel poorly, cause I don't, just tired. Mentally and physically. This morning I wanted bacon for breakfast. I LOVE the smell and taste of bacon. But it has to be well cooked. crunchy, not flappy. Amazingly, my wonderful fiance Sara the Fish-A-Terian (vegetarian what eats fish) does not cook bacon. Nor could I ask her to.

We pile into the Mighty Festiva, and drive about 3 blocks to "Leo's Coffee House" on the corner of Ironwood and Almaden Expressway. Till very recently, Leo's was knows as "Taqueria Almaden" but apparently under new management, with 32% more English spoken, and voila, Coffee House.

Picked as best of best of bay by Wave magazine, Scroll down to "Best Breakfast"

Foolish kids we are, we both order omelettes. Leo's makes FOUR egg omelettes. Neither of us can finish a 4 egg omelette. Sara had Spinach & Mushroom, and reports it was yummy, I had the Three Meat omelette, containing eggs, bacon, sausage and cubed ham. Could have done with a 2 meat omelette, while I like Bacon, I do not like ham. go figure. Rest of it was yummy, and I DID feel I had a protien fix for the day.

So much so that when we got back home, I crawled in bed and slept of my first genuine food coma in months. No barfing (yet) just tired.

Last night we watched a movie. One of the wonderful things Sara brought to the relationship was introducing me to film work of "Beat Takeshi" An angry Japanese man in a black suit and sunglasses that just kills everything. Explosions, Car Chases, Gun fights, but not too much boobs. Still, rates HIGH on the list of factors a movie should have to hold my attention. Even the subtitles are okay, cause he does not talk that much. I'll say this, Beat Takeshi flicks make up for most of those 'art house' movies she makes me go see.

Friday morning I was gonna drive over to the old condo to pickup some mail that was left for us. On the way I stopped at Noah's Bagels for a salt bagel with cream cheese, too much salt. And a Jamba Juice Strawberry Tsunami (small) to wash down the bagel. I wiped most of the salt off, and got almost the whole juice down. YAY!. Picked up mail, saw my pal Margaret, chatted with her for a bit, then got Hijacked by our other neighbor Tom for a while.

Got home, realized I had, indeed, overdone it, and was in bed most the rest of the day. 3pm had a conference call with Keith and Larissa. Yay, they are keeping my team running.

played internet for a while, found this plane, the Southern X2 as a possibly cool, indestructible RC plane. (no need to install the language pack if you hit the link. Trying to get Sara to translate for me to see if I can order it.


What else? Oh, more emails about what a big stinking hypocrite I am. YAY! I want the country to have reginal differences, but I also want cheap stuff from Home Depot. Damn. There is not an answer. We are doomed.

But at least MacDonald's has clean bathrooms.

I have enough rides home for next week's chemo, and will need to line up 2 more for Monday & tuesday the NEXT week (Hydration week) I am already getting anxiety about next week. I am soo ready for this to be over.


Anyone in San Jose need a FREE 4-drawer metal HON brand locking filing cabinet?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Okay, Next week! I need drivers. Again, Sara will drop me off at the clinic in the morning, but I need to schedule folks to pick me up at 4:30 pm every day, and deliver me to my house.

I will be tired, and cranky, and just need a ride home, but will be very apprciative.

If you can, please email me what day works best. Thanks millions.

(oh, and I passed the test, Traffic School, etc., and the wheelie ticket goes away!)

doh.

3rd time in a row IE has crashed on me. I have to post this and move on

thursday, feeling better, did not barf today, ate, and kept food in

last night finished online traffic safety school, will take proctored final test tonight at 8:30pm and wheelie tiket goes away

Sara pointed out there are 2 mac donalds in Beaver Dam

I got really exciteable and changed the oil in my truck this morning, it made me feel good to DO something.

My rant made lots of emails, some surprising.

Small towns are not the answer, they just are not full of walmart home depot office max olive garden bed bath and beyond borders books SAMENESS

someone pointed out they are full of web-footed sister-kissin backwards folks who would rather watch wrassling, than think about what a better life may entail.

someone else pointed out there are no Buddhists, hoomosexuals, punk rock kids, diversity in culture

someone else pointed out that macdonalds food may stink, but they have clean bathrooms.

swell, we export bad food and clean poopers!

after test I will come home, read more of the book TV Party my pals Paul & Dee sent, then go to sleep early.

No plans for friday or weekend, will rest.

better post before it crashes again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

A) My pal Flash sent me some great advice last week, and I have nor replied to him, but once again am reminded how wonderful he is. Thanks.

B) Just typed up a rant to another pal about how our wonderful country is becoming homogeonized and the same, and how it stinks.


You know I like you, so as such, I gotta say, BRAVO!

You are now AWAKE! You see it. You GET it. You are correct.

Our once great country is becoming a pre-fab homogenous lazy pile of crap. 30+ years ago we could send ourselves to the moon using slide-rules and a can-do attitude. Now, we cannot even maintain the fucking ships to go halfway there. We have supercomputers in every home, and we use them to order groceries from the store 3 blocks away. Our kids learn about rap music and basketball instead of math, science and history.

We are shipping our income producing jobs to India and China under the guise of globalization, but really so we can get cheap labor. But these are the high-thought jobs. What happens when the Indians realize they don't NEED us as mid-management? Re-read that, we are shipping away our income producing jobs!

All we really make is movies and crap fast food culture.

What can you DO about it? this is the really sad part. NOTHING. You cannot stop the tidal wave. It is what the Majority WANTS.

All you can do is change YOUR life, and try to change the way you and your pals live.

Being a motorcyclist is a huge part of it.

Breaking out of the consumer culture is another part.

There are some wonderful books about breaking the consumer culture, my current favorite is: "Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are" by Robert M. Lilienfeld, William L. Rathje

Remembering how to THINK. Working on not becoming the same Homer Simpson as the guy next door, down the street, or 4 states away.

Go to LOCAL restaurants for dinner. Avoid chains whenever you can.

Encourage kids to think for themselves.

And for cryin' out loud, TURN OFF THE TEE VEE!

But mostly, hang out with good freinds. (even ones who are sick and don't return calls)

There, add more rant to your fire!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

as I was editing this to put on my blog, I thought about even more stuff. Small towns. I think Small towns are the answer. Last trip to visit Sara's parents, I did not see one stinking MacDonalds IN Beaver Dam, WI. And I am certain there is no Taco Bell in Tatum, TX.

If you want to go out to eat, you have to go to Voelker's Steak House, or Otto's Beer & Brat Garden, or Tatum's Catfish Place.

Local people. Local food. Local conversations.




Tuesday, November 11, 2003

damnit, poo!

This weekend I was feeling almost normal. Well, as almost normal as I get. Sunday morning Sara and I went to Reid and Ruby's annual Pre-Motorcycle Show pancake breakfast. I was able to chat with folks, eat pancakes, and generally have a fun time. Afterwards, we even went to the International Motorcycle Show! I wandered around, saw friends, Sara sat on some really expensive bikes, we watched some super-Motard racing they had in the back parking lot.

I felt like a human!

When we got home, I noticed a funky feeling in the back of my throat. Went to blow my nose, and sure enough, blood. But like the horrid bloody noses I had as a child, just a slight drip, and enough to make a kleenex look scary. Actually, I'd kind of been waiting for this, cause with all the vomiting, I KNEW something was up there. Heck, my left nostril has puffed a little blood every morning when I blow snot rockets in the shower. I do not know why I was shocked....

Monday morning. 8:45. Dr. Scates at the oncology office for my regular appointment. First draw blood, then meet with the Doctor. Yes, my blood cell counts are low. VERY low. This is part of what Chemo does. But still, very low. He tells me other than this, everything seems okay, and I am set for a nice 3rd week off chemo. But they'll give me a little shot to help with my blood cell count. The nosebleed is normal considering the blood counts. Also do not be shocked if there is blood in any discharges (poop, puke, etc)

Little my butt! YOW! I felt the skin of my upper arm bulge as all the fluids went in.

However, I was still feeling fine. Normal. Hydrated and happy.

I drove myself, and by golly, I drove myself to the office to chat with folks. Not really catch up on work or anything, just chat. And clear out my voicemail box, and handle a few little chores. But after light lunch of soup with Keith, I really did leave. I was in my truck at 12:30, headed home.

Well, side trip to the Wal-Mart that is right there to have my perscription filled. (More Atavan for nausea) and found a 2 drawer filing cabinet to replace the 4 drawer metal monstrosity I no longer need. Oh, and some pop tarts.

Either way, I was home by 2 and resting. But feeling good.

Then Monday night a certain queasiness hit me. and I have not stopped barfing, and am feeling pretty lousy. I am fighting to keep down water, and just ate 2 bageldogs. Will hope they stay in. And I hope this feeling passes before the end of the week.

Okay, what does the future hold?
this week off.
11/17-11/21 - Next week is round 4 chemo
11/25-11/28 - Week after is round 4 hydration, for at least 1/2 week
12/1-12/5 - Third week is recovery and exam on Monday

12/8 - onward Fourth week, we start thinking about measuring counts, and doing cat scan to see if we got it all.

so it looks like an icky cancer recovery in bed thanksgiving, but that is okay. Live after december. woot!

ick, here comes the bageldogs!!



Saturday, November 08, 2003

Noticed last night, in the middle of the night, while in bed, not sleeping, that my quality of writing has just plummeted. I feel my brian is not functioning quite up to par, and I have nothing to do about it.

just an observation.

Friday was mostly spent in bed, resting. Friday night Sara and I went to visit Eric & Lissa. Jack & Kevin & eric's pal Chuck all came, Jack brought Chinese takeout, which I have been craving and managed to keep mostly down. We all sat and chatted, unloaded the remains of Eric's bike back into his shed so he could re-re-fix it. It was not so bad.

And he looked banged up, but in great spirits.

At times, it hurt my ears and brain to be around so much going on at once, but for the most part, it was wonderful to be out of the house, and surrounded with friends. YAY

Saturday morning, Mark Alpen came by to put the drawer pull knobs on the nightstands he built. Cool.

Then Joanne came by to deliver Sara's bike she borrowed, we all talked, managed to get them to change the oil on my DRZ! YAY! and went to FLAMES for a late late breakfast.

I had 2 eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage and toast. And I kept all that in too!

Trip to Home Depot to get some sticky goo to re-attach trim on Sara's car. And some gardening bits for her, and a big pot for some Bamboo plants my pal Maya left us. (you do not want to plant bamboo anywhere NEAR your yard, it WILL take over)

Then home, cause I overdid with all the travel, and am in bed, resting at 5:30.

I will spend the evening quiet, and in front of the TV, trying to hold down as much water as I can drink.

When I am sleeping, (sitting in bed pretending to sleep) I have millions of thoughts whizzing around in my head, I should really be writing and recording some of them. Some are quite brilliant. Others are junk

must rest. too tired No spanish rice tonight

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I just don't understand. Yesterday was great. I had beaten the beast! I felt wonderful. Heck, I even got to go OUT to eat.

This morning, I woke up a little queasy. Then I barfed, a lot. Started out as just white fluid, okay, I am pretty sure that's spit I swallow at night. It bubbles up pretty easuly, and does not hurt.

Then it turns to this DEEP YELLOW thick, nasty stuff that burns coming out. I believe that's stomach bile mixed with chemo chemicals.

But why, I was all excited and peeing clear, I thought it ran its course. Apparently not.

I've been really tired and barfy all day. DOH! Hate chemo! hate it.

So I am fighting to keep in water, I am drinking as much as I can, and eating, and trying to keep on the positive attitude. I am so sick and tired of this being sick stuff.


And I still have not been able to go visit my pal Eric Bong! I'll bet he understands. But bah! CHEMO BAD! this is NOT making my mental conditions any happier

Good news? the RM Quiggs spanish rice arriced in today's mail. I have all other ingredients, and if I am feeling better tomorrow, I may try to cook up a batch.




Wednesday, November 05, 2003

today, better than yesterday. the fluid worked. Pulled the needle this morning, and stayed around the house resting all day. Ate a little and did not barf!

I am having a fun playing with my G-3 Mac, it is silly old school stuff, but fun to play "old computers" My pal Beth gave me this vintage G-3 in Beige, apparently it has some memory problem, and barfs up a lot, but still a hoot for what I am doing.

THEN! Tonight! Sara and I went to dinner at Aqui's in Willow Glen with Keith and Ashish. I had a small salad, and drank lots of fluid, and stopped eating when I was full, and it was dang pleasant.

I plan on resting and trying to drink as much water as I can tomorrow.

The vomiting has stopped for a bit. (diarreah now) but, it is easier on the knees, so I am not looking gift horses in any orifices...

it's chilly in SJ, but still feels good with the chemo.

Must rest more. Thank you all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

needled and barfing all day. But retained lots of fluid, and actually felt like eating this afternoon.

Will try to keep in fluid tonight, if I play it right, needle may come out of arm tomorrow.

but feeling sickly now.

thanks agian to everyone for cards & letters and emails.

and Robert for driving hoome today


Monday, November 03, 2003

Last night was not a bundle of fun, but I tried to drink as much fluids as I could. This morning, went in to South Bay Oncology, hoping for a quick hydration, and to run some blood tests. Well, uhhh, the best laid plans of mice and men?

Preface. The nursing staff in the infusion room, where they give me the drugs, these ladies are the best. NO amount of financial compensation could ever be enough for the job they do. They are technical experts with caring and compassion. I am grateful for every one of them. Nurses? Angels, yeah.

I was dry. bad. The first 3 tries, we did not hit a vein with a 'blood return'. That means the nurse has to locate a vein, place the needle on it, drive the needle through the skin, into the vein, then upward, so the tube is lodged firmly IN the vein. If it works, a little blood pumps out of the tube, then they attach an IV drip, and start fluid, drugs, whatever.

Three times. Three strikes. Did I mention I am a big squirmy wimp, and it makes me really REALLY sick to do this?

Three times.

Because I was so dry, we decided the best shot would be to put in a needle that would stay overnight, or for 2 or 3 days. BUT, we gotta hit a vein.

4th try, we get in, but it is slow moving. Not a good candidate for overnight, but will start hydration. A few moments later, Cheryl managed to force it an extra "oomph" to get it positioned for overnight too. Thanks Cheryl. Saved me much more pain repeat tomorrow.

yay and boo. yay, I do not have to re-stick tomorrow, boo, the needle in me makes me so nauseous, I barf about hourly. I cannot control the nausea at all. Pills no longer help.

it is in my right arm, which makes everything hard. But my left arm (3 sticks) is so raw it hurts too.

I took fluid till 2pm, (1500ml) then went home to rest . and be sick

new plan

fluid tomorrow

re-evaluate tomorrow afternoon.


typing hurts. my arm hurts, barfing hurts. I am sad, sick, and tired. i know, 1 more round, plus wearing off this round. I KNOW there is an end.

but it is not easy.

forgive my weakness. Pray thanks for the nurses.

and Sara.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Greetings Campers! Sorry it's taken so long, I hit a big wall on Wednesday, and was not sure I would regain momentum. Not that it has been a particularly difficult week physically, but emotionally, it was a klanger.

Many of my pals here have been helping me get to and from. Sara dropped me off at the clinic every morning, then someone else picked me up every evening. And I sit, from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm, with this needle, dripping poision into me. And I know I am not strong enough to drive myself, I don't have the energy to DO anything, and, oh yeah, there is a lot of vomiting.

It just drains. Wednesday I became very depressed. I just thought "I know the end is in sight, but HOW LONG can this go ON?" come home at night, I do not have the strength to eat, I don't even want to eat. Whatever goes in is gonna just come rocketing out. I do not even mind the puking, it is the bile that really burns when it gets up into your sinuses.

Mark came by and helped move the "big ass desk" into my bedroom. Sara and I set it up, and the room still smells like particle board. But, I have a desk, a REAL desk. Not the computer printer workstand I have been using since 1991. And in moving, I am trying to consolidate, clean up, unload, and get a bunch of clutter OUT of the room, cause it can go in and on the desk now. I also set up the wee G-3 Macintosh computer my pal Beth gave me, so I have DUAL systems. How silly! I like having a mac again, although i cannot find my favorite game "Pirates!"

Back to life. After we set up the desk, I passed out. No energy

Next day, more chemo I kept wearing different hats, and going in every day. My blood counts look good. The hydration therapy is helping. I am taking the chemo, and whizzing it out, and it is killing off all my blood cells. Hopefully those nasty little cancer cells too.

Thursday my pal Eric Bong crashed his motorcycle on the way to work. He broke a collarbone and a hand, opposite sides. I've done this before. Makes bathroom a pain. Can't use either hand, think about it. But his WONDERFUL S.O. Lissa is helping him out, and I know everthing will be fine. I am just not strong enough to go visit, so I feel bad. I mean, I should be picking up the bike from the wrecking yard, and getting it to his place, and helping him pick out new riding gear, and making him lunches. and making him laugh. and I cannot. and that depresses me. You gotta take care of your freinds.

Friday, finally, end of the week. I talked the nursing staff into NOT making me have a hydration pump over the weekend. It makes me even sicker. So I promised I would drink as much fluid as I can. And I am failing. I try, but it is hard.

Sara went out Friday night with Eric's kid brother James & his wife Tara, they went to some punk rock show in Berkeley. YAY! I am glad when Sara is able to get out and lead normal life.

I stayed home and threw candy at punk neighborhood kids. actually, none of them looked like they were from my neighborhood. Who the hell busses their kids all over the city to get free candy?

Then Jack & Kevin came by, we talked, watched a DVD, and I barfed some. It's good to have friends who do not care when you rush out of the room to spew.

Saturday i could not get out of bed. Every sound was too loud. Every movement was too much. Finally, Sara got up at noon, and made some eggs and tortillas. And I ate! YAY! It was pretty much the first real food I'd eaten all week, and I got them to stay down. Yay Meskin Brekkies! Yay Sara! then back to bed

napped the rest of the afternoon. Sara went shopping. I was thinking, "I'd like to try some shrimp fried rice for dinner". She came home, and had bought stuff to make stir freid shrimp, veggies and rice! YAY! Sara is the one for me.

Eating was hard, for some reason, my head just is pounding, and I cannot think. But I am drinking. Sprite. fluids. yay. After dinner, fell alseep on the big ass couch. Our house is starting to have a lot of big ass things. Just a side note.

at 10, Sara suggested I go to bed, and I did. A little more energy, and a little more hydrated.

Sunday morning. She has a ride in Santa Cruz. it is the SC Vampires "Day of the Dead" ride, and many of our pals are going. I hope she'll have a fun time. I took a shower, have my bedsheets in the wash, and finally sat down to try to catch up a little on the weblog.

Do you know that until last year, the therapy I am doing was considered so aggressive, they kept patients in the hospital through the entire course?

What is next?

Monday morning I go in for hydration, fluid only, no drugs. Then have a 1:30 appointment with the doctor. We'll look at my blood counts, my kidney levels, etc. and decide if I need to hydrate during the week, or If I can have almost 2 weeks without needles. During these 2 weeks, the chemo is still in me, it is just running course through my system.

And AFTER these next 2 weeks? my 4th and final round. 1 week of hard drugs. 2 weeks of recovery, then we do cat scans, and look at the cancers. If we got them, I keep monitoring. If we did not, I get to learn about radiation.

chemo has 98%. we are hoping 98%. I am hoping, done in Mid December, then start rebuilding.



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