Thursday, May 31, 2007

Latest News

Visited the doctor today and here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to have another endoscope exam to see what’s going on and maybe help me swallow better. Sometime soon after the endoscope exam I’ll start my new chemo, probably late next week. This protocol is also every two weeks like the last one. Initially we’re going for 8-weeks and a cat scan. If it works, I’ll do it for 8-more and another cat scan and so on. It will stop when the side effects become a problem or the treatment stops working.

Sorry the blog hasn’t been updated much. I had to go to emergency on Tuesday because I was running a fever and infections aren’t something they want me to fool around with. I still think everyone overreacts and I could have just gone to bed and been better in the morning but Verva made me go. She wants me to say that the doctor agrees with her about going to emergency (so here I did that) but I think bed would have been better. Instead, it was a 7 ½ hour trip to MDA with IV antibiotics and x-rays and stuff. Chemo has to wait until all sign of infection is over, too.

One day at a time - piece of cake

Friday, May 25, 2007

Not what we wanted to hear

We went to MDA yesterday full of optimism that the CT scan would show improvement but that’s not the word we got. There was no improvement. In fact in some cases it was worse. Dr Ajani believes that if a regimen isn’t working you change it right away so that’s what we’ll do.

We see him again next week and will probably begin a new set of medications – Avastin, Vectibix, and Erbitux. As Dr Ajani says, these are drugs the cancer hasn’t seen and hopefully they will deliver a punch that the previous ones couldn’t.

We stayed down there for over 13 hours to get two pints of blood. I’m walking a bit easier this morning but can’t tell much difference otherwise. Katy says it’s ironic after all of the blood I’ve donated that I’m now getting some of it back.

One day at a time - piece of cake.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Exercise Program

Who would guess that exercise is the treatment for fatigue. Nagma (my physical therapist) gave me a list of exercises that she wants me to do every day and she said that the more I don’t want to do them the more important it is that I do them anyway. When I arrived at MDA yesterday I really didn’t think I could do a thing. Instead, I did all of the exercises she showed me and survived. We’re going to Academy this morning to get a set of hand-weights and then come home so I can do the exercises.

Chemo effects are still with me.

Here’s a picture of Katy and me that Verva took the other night. Katy is now almost 5-months along. I think she’s beautiful.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Reality Check

I think I was a little optimistic about the post chemo effects of the last session. I have been very fatigued – challenge to get out to the mail box and back. Nausea, lightheadedness, pains in my back and chest. It’s Sunday and it’s only marginally better. I was feeling discouraged but as Verva says -- it’s the chemo not me.

This next week will be an information week. I have a cat scan tomorrow but won’t hear the results until Thursday so stay tuned. I also see the physical therapist again tomorrow which should be interesting since I’m so much weaker than when I saw her two weeks ago. I hope I can walk all over the hospital to get these things done and I don’t have to resort to a wheel chair. I’d hate that.

Just to keep life interesting and not let everything be about cancer, I lost my wallet. Now I have that nice bike sitting in the garage, have a helmet to wear, but no driver’s license so no driving allowed. Oh well, it will give me something to do next week, right?

On the positive side, we’re taking care of Sarah and Peter’s cats and dog while they’re away. We both like those animals and enjoy spending time with them. Between us, Verva and I got the lawn mowed and everything is looking good. Katy and Scott will be here for dinner soon, another nice thing.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

8th Session of Chemo

I’m recovering from my 8th session of chemo. It was nice to have an early appointment Monday and to be home by early afternoon instead of late at night. Today is my day of fatigue. Wednesday is not the high point of my week but my stomach is feeling good so I’ll take that. Peter came for dinner last night. We hope to see him often while Sarah is in England. I walked for 15-minutes as assigned and did okay.

Sunday was good. We went to a play at the Alley (The Clean House) and then to dinner with Katy and Scott at their house. Katy is starting to look pregnant and is very beautiful. Celebrated Mother’s Day and spent the night.

Also on Sunday, before the play, I received a 1999 Honda Shadow that belonged to my brother who wanted to get it out of his garage. Thank you John!! Now it’s in my garage and it’s beautiful as you can see by the picture. My intention is to ride it on short trips like to church when I go there for my building project. The rest of the time I’m going to sit around on my little stool and polish it.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Yesterday we went up to see the physical therapist at MDA. We met with a very nice physical therapist and she ran me through a pretty trough evaluation. The results were better than we anticipated. There is still hope for me and she gave me some stretches and assigned a 15 minute walk per day. I have another appointment with her a week from Monday.

In line with this, we went on a 15min walk today to the pool and soaked our feet. Pretty hot out and none too pleasant but the pool felt real good. I’ll have to say though, the 15-minute walk sounded a lot easier than it was.

Last night we went out to dinner with Sarah and Peter and Peter’s dad, Jim. Sarah left for England around noon for a month – needless to say we are all going to miss her –especially Peter.

We’re going to the theater on Sunday afternoon and then we’ll spend the night at Katy and Scott’s due the 0630 appointment timing.

The 8th session of Chemo is on Monday in the morning

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nice Day

I apologize if I sounded down in the dumps last time – didn’t mean to. Today we had to pick up some medical supplies at MDA so we decided we’d to for a walk the gardens at Bayou Bend. Bayou Bend is a very large estate in a very exclusive part of Houston called River Oaks. Turns out it’s only about a mile from Katy and Scott. The weather was perfect and they’ve added a recorded tour since the last time we were there. We walked the perimeter and listened to all the numbered stops. Towards the end I was enjoying more breaks and glad for all the benches.

This is all part of increasing my physical exercise by daily walks, etc. We have an appointment on Friday with a physical therapist for an evaluation. Came home and received a new set of patio furniture that’s much more comfortable for me to sit it. Gave the old set to Sarah and Peter.

We had some help in reworking the three big beds in our back yard – they looked pretty bad. I sat on the patio and watched them work – I like watching other people work.

Day by day - piece of cake

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Saturday after Chemo

Things seem to have changed again. My stomach seems to be giving me problems most of the time now including at night. I’m eating okay but it’s a long, drawn out process limited mostly to smoothies, baked potatoes and fruit. The fatigue is still there but I’ve been trying to get out for a walk once in a while.

We’ve tried to remain active visiting our friends and having friends over. I just have to take it easier. We had a nice morning today sitting on our friend’s patio overlooking Galveston Bay. Weather had a little coolness to it but that’s not going to last. Summer’s coming.

Kids are all coming over for Mother’s Day tomorrow. They’re fixing brunch here. We’re celebrating early because Sarah’s leaving soon for a month in England on her project.

One day at a time – piece of cake.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Chemo #7

I just wanted to make one more comment about the Relay for Life last week. I’m so proud for Sarah for walking/running the entire 26+ miles. My heart’s filled – thank you, Sarah.

After another round of blood work and a visit with the doc, I was released for my 7th chemo session. Got home about 830 pm. Stayed tuned, we’re back on track.

Day by day, piece of cake.