Archive for March 31, 2012

Treatment Day 31…

WOW!  Today was a BUSY day!  We got up a bit before 9am & got ready.  Dawnette’s parents came over & we all went to iHop for breakfast.  It was nice to catch up with them…I’ve always thought that Raymond was really nice, down to earth.  If memory serves, they got married a year or so before Dawnette & I did.  iHop seemed to rush us quite a bit…I know there are others waiting, but jeez!  We ended up leaving after about an hour.

After breakfast, we stopped at Wal-Mart & picked up some groceries for the week.  We came home & put things away & then let Jaz out to go potty.

I added weed & feed to the back yard & chatted with my neighbor, Scott Latta, who was helping his son pull some weeds in our back yard.

We then packed everything in the car & headed to celebrate Dad’s birthday (63!).  When we got to Mike & Shannon’s, I got the pumpkin pie ingredients out & made Dad a pumpkin pie as he didn’t want cake.  While that was baking, Mike made some hamburgers & hot dogs for us for lunch.  After lunch, Dad opened his presents & then we watched some TV.

After a couple of hours, we left & Dawnette dropped me off to The Gents Place in Frisco to get a massage.  Felt really good…VERY relaxing.

Dawnette picked me up & we went back to the house.  She made us a quick dinner & we watched a movie together.

Again, just kinda chilled for the night.  With all that we did, I really over-did it…I was definitely feeling it!  Just iced things down & relaxed for the remainder of the evening.

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 30…

TGIF…need I say more?  Again slept through most of the night.  Dawnette gave me a back-rub last night with oil & I think it just knocked me out.  It was nice to sleep that long.  It’s been rare.

Went to my radiation treatment in the morning & then came home & worked for a couple hours before resting.  Had a small lunch & then worked for a bit & then rested again.

After Dawnette came home, I went out & added weed & feed to the front yard, as well as mowed a couple of swaths of the back yard where I want the St. Augustine grass to overtake the non-St. Augustine grass.  That really did me in…again, simply too much in  a short period of time.

So, I came back in & we had a late dinner & just relaxed.  Watched a little bit of TV & that was really about it…

Very un-eventful day…nothing wrong with that!

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 29…

Well, after today we sit at 1 week left of treatments, so I’m eagerly looking forward to that.

Slept OK last night…seemed to go to sleep right away & slept through most of the night, which is better than I have been doing.   Not really sure why, but I can’t complain.

Went to my radiation treatment as usual & then had blood work done in preparation for chemo.  No issues with my chemo other than my arm continues to be sore where my pick line is.  The skin is getting raw & irritated where they place tape over the pick-line to keep it from moving, etc.  Glad there’s only a week left…no sure how much longer I could keep doing this…I’m looking forward to having 4-6 weeks off.  My blood work is OK, but my white & red blood cell counts continue to get lower, which I suppose is normal because of the treatments.

Went home & stopped at Wal-Mart on the way to pick up some planters for the kitchen ledge.  I transplanted the 5-6 temporary pots that I had & re-arranged some others.  Looks good…takes up the entire ledge, but it looks good.

As usual, even that wore me out, so I rested for a bit & then worked the remainder of the day.  Rested again while Dawnette was on her way home & then got a quick dinner for us while we watched some TV together.

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 28…4 week mark!

Well, just over a week left to go…

Slept a bit better last night.  Had my radiation treatment this morning as usual.   On the way home though, I had the fun of getting a flat tire (front left).  I walked over to Auto Zone & got a fix-a-flat, but that didn’t help. That was tiring enough, but I popped the trunk & got the temporary spare out (WHY does Cadillac NOT include a real spare on a car at this price?). Had issues getting it under the car at the right place, but finally got it & started jacking it up, but it was just too much for me. Luckily we have OnStar, so I called them.

Took Cadillac a bit less than an hour to get to me from 75/Park. I took the time to crank the A/C & music & rest. One of the most difficult things I’m dealing with throughout all of this is the emotional impact. I’m also tired of feeling helpless, not being able to do something as simple as changing a tire. It gets incredibly frustrating.

Anyhow, Jeff from Cadillac came out to put the tire on…really nice guy, very friendly. We had a good chat while he was putting the spare on. He wrapped it up pretty quickly…I took the car to 2-3 places to get estimates for 4 new tires.

Holy crap! Cadillac is proud of the Michelin tires…all 3 places had them, but they were $220+ for each tire. As I needed 4, there was NO WAY I was doing that. I stepped down a notch or two & got Falken 612′s or something like that…40k mile warranty. It was still $700+ out the door…WOW!

Got home & had to rest as I was exhausted. Dawnette came home & we relaxed a bit before heading to church for our weekly home groups.  This week we met at the church to “regroup” if you will & choose a different home group for the next 8-12 weeks.  Played a game where we had to get with everyone in the room to see if they had done something on our hand-out.   It was kinda fun…I was the only one of the group (25+) who liked anchovies.  And one of a select few who don’t own any apply hardware.  There were quite a few other things as well…it was fun getting to know others in the group a bit better.

After home group was over, Dawnette & I were hungry, so we went to Scotty P’s & ordered a burger & onion rings to split.  It was really good…I think they have the best burgers in Frisco.  Anyhow, we watched some of our television shows that we record via the DVR while we had dinner & then got ready for bed.

A fairly eventful day to say the least…

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 27…

Well, still didn’t sleep last well last night. As usual, couldn’t get to sleep till after 2 am. Got up this morning & went to my treatment.

Worked for most of the day…fairly busy day to be honest.  Didn’t rest as much as I really should have, but trying to work as much as possible.

I rested quite a bit on & off in the evening after Dawnette got home.  That’s really about it for today.  Nothing eventful, which is a good thing I guess.

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 26…

Well, the inability to get to sleep right away continues.  Again about 3 am before I was able to get to sleep.  Hot chocolate with some toast seems to help put me to sleep though…3rd night in a row I’ve done it & I’ve gone to sleep shortly thereafter.  Plus, I’ve been using milk instead of hot water.  I’ve forgotten how much better hot chocolate is with milk…SO much creamier!

Anyhow, once I got to sleep, I slept for about 4 hours before getting up to get ready & get to my radiation treatment.  The bowel movements continued, so the morning it was *rough*.  I had 4 bowel movements in a 2 1/2 hour span – I was so miserable that shortly after taking my pills at 11:30 am, I signed off from work for the day so I could rest.

It seemed to help as I awoke when Dawnette called to tell me she was on her way home from work.  When she got home I got up &  made dinner…was in the mood to cook & felt refreshed from the nap, so I made skewered bacon wrapped shrimp (marinated with garlic, pepper, butter & grated cheese), along with stuffed mushroom caps (pruchetta, salami, diced mushrooms, garlic, butter, ham & multiple cheeses) and finally, pruchetta stuffed with marinated carrots (balsamic vinagrette mix with garlic)…it took over an hour to prep everything, so I went & rested for the 45 minutes or so everything took to cook.

Dawnette & I watched a movie & I’m gonna try to get some sleep.

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 25…

Another long night…didn’t get to sleep till at least 3 again…it’s gonna catch up to me at some point.  Once I did get to sleep though, I got about 5-6 hours again.

We went to church in the morning at the Crossing where we continued our message on Authentic Faith.  Worship was very good as well.

Afterwards, we headed home & I relaxed for a bit before Dawnette & I went to Wal-Mart for the weekly fun of grocery shopping.  We finished up in just enough time to come home & put the groceries away before heading back out again to church for weekly prayer.

After prayer, we came home & made dinner & watched a movie.  Later on the bowel movements returned putting me in more pain.  I took my pills & tried to relax & get some sleep…we’ll see how it goes from here…

Treatment Day 24…

This morning didn’t start out that great…I didn’t sleep much last night…was up until at least 3 am before falling asleep.  When I finally did, I slept for about 5 – 6 hours.  But as I got up this morning I had multiple bowel movements, which caused me some serious pain.  I took my pain pills early which helped.  Dawnette & I went to pick up the Caddy at the dealership as I had some maintenance work done.

After that, Mike & Dad stopped over to pick me up so we could go to the auto show.  We picked up Jason on the way.  Dawnette was able to get me a wheel chair from her work which saved me from immense walking…

The auto show is something that we try to do yearly…kinda a Bruno guys outing, though I have taken Hannah in the past, when t she was younger.  She seemed to lose interest in cars as she got older.  Anyhow, we got to the show & Jason got the task of wheeling me, which I appreciated immensely.  Overall we had a great time – I was kinda surprised they didn’t have the 2014 Chevy Impala or the 2014 Chevy Colorado or the 2014 Chevy Silverado (perhaps those will be next year?).  It was a good time though…got to see a whole slew of new cars.

Afterwards, I came home & rested for about an hour before heading out back & working in the back yard.  I worked for about 45 minutes when Rudy came over to watch the Syracuse sweet-16 game & hang out.  We watched the game for about an hour & then ordered a pizza at Luigi’s & went & picked it up.  Got the usual…Large Pepperoni & Italian Sausage…their pizza is the best in the area, bar NONE!

Ayhow, we came home & watched the rest of the ‘Cuse game…we lost…not surprising, given our lack of rebounding, jump shots & intensity.  Oh well, it was a good run while it lasted.

Rudy left afterwards & Dawnette & I picked up around the house a bit before heading upstairs.  An eventful day that didn’t start out well, but certainly improved exponentially.

Pain: 6

Treatment Day 23…

OK, so last night was pretty rough…

After I last posted, I made dinner & we ate upstairs while watching the ‘Cuse game…I fell asleep by halftime when we were up.  Woke up JUST as the game concluded with Syracuse barely eeking out a win (I recorded it, so I’ll watch the rest later).  Anyhow, went to the bathroom & as usual, bowl movements are the BANE of my existence!  Again, I guess it’s because the BM presses along the cancer on its way out causing me ridiculous pain…but it takes hours for it to subside…and the days/nights I have multiple are just downright miserable.

So last night was one of those nights, multiple BM’s all night long….couldn’t sleep at all until about 3am or so.  Even then, it was very uncomfortable, restless.

Woke up reluctantly this morning for my morning radiation appointment & got there a bit early, so I was in & out & on my way home before 8 am!  Stopped & dropped the caddy off to the dealership to take care of a couple of minor maintenance items & got taken home by the dealership.

Worked the morning & had my review from work…got a REALLY good review…nothing “negative”…at the top of the Senior Admins…made my day…nice to “see” the reward of my time & effort…wasn’t really a surprise, but an occasional stroke of the ego is nice…my bosses boss commented that they hadn’t expected me to do much work at all once I was diagnosed, so they were really surprised to see me working 40+ hours per week still.  It’s not easy, and it goes in spurts, but I do what I can.  I enjoy what I do and the ability to work from home.  Not to mention my boss, David, while we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on everything, is probably one of the best managers I’ve worked for.  He’s pretty hands off with me & let’s me do what I want (re: gives me flexibility) which I really appreciate.  Makes me very loyal to him.  I’ve worked with some that micro-manage & I just don’t work well under those types of people.  Anyhow, a good review.

The afternoon was up & down…didn’t do as much work as I continued to be in pain, so I tried to rest, watch some movies & relax.  While Dawnette took Jaz to the veterinarian for his 6 month check-up, I made some more steak strips, did dishes & wiped down the counters.  That wiped me out…so I’m upstairs watching the Road Warrior & resting before (hopefully) an early bed time.

Pain: 8

Treatment Day 22…

Today started out pretty good…though I didn’t get much sleep (couldn’t get to sleep till about 3 am), but I got up & made it out of the house by 8am for the 8:40 radiation appointment.

No issues there, but when I went to my weekly chemo appointment, it all went to hell quickly.  When taking off bandage covering my pick-line, it got tweaked / partially pulled out because of the tape covering got stuck to it.  The nurse got it back in, but the tape residue also cause a severe irritation on the lower part of the bandage, causing my arm to bleed.  She alcohol swiped it as before & then ended up putting a smaller bandage covering the pick-line as usual.  Other than that, it was business as usual with the replacement chemo unit, etc.  Because of the pain, I get to take an extra dose of pain meds, which will make me even more tired for the rest of the day…

I headed home & worked the remainder of the morning & then took the afternoon off to rest.  My arm was really painful around the pick-line.  I just relaxed & watched a couple of movies.  I’m eagerly waiting the ‘Cuse game tonight…hoping we can win in the Sweet 16 & get to the Elite-8!

Thinking of my daughter, Hannah…miss her & love her…hope she’s doing well…I pray for her daily…

I won’t post anymore till tomorrow…gonna rest… watch the ‘Cuse game & eat dinner &  then off to bed (hopefully earlier than last night!)…

Pain: 8