There's always a catch!

Pretty much sums it up for me...

I love these guys, as bass-ackwards as they are, they are funny!



I'm doing well, thank you!

Well, two days after my "jolt" chemo, I am doing well. A lot better than I thought. Probably a lot better than I deserve!

No puking, no nausea, just a bit sleepy.

Sorry folks, I am just boring at the moment. Drowsy, dopey, and boring, is that to be my epitaph?

I am slowly coming to grips with the enormity of what I am to go through. Still awe inspiring as to what I have, how I have it, and what is being done. I am especially awed at the speed as to which I am being treated. Despite all the gripes folks have about Kaiser (and I have a few too), when the ball rolls, it rolls. I may never beat this, but I sure have a chance at kicking it down the road a few more years.

A few quick observations:
  • The City of Hope folks are almost to a person happy to be there. When I was pre-op, I noticed that they all were happy, smiling and somewhat jovial. And this was on a Friday! Yea, it could have been payday, but I think that you can't fake what I saw. Just the unguarded interaction between colleges was enough to convince me that this was the place to be.
  • The nurses at Kaiser really do care, but they have a much harder task at hand. They see the same folks come in for treatment, and see them slowly decline. It has to be rough. My chemo nurse was very nice, changed my dressing, and gave me a heparin shot. She didn't have to do that, but she cared.
  • Doctors are good, but the nurses and front line people are the greatest.
That's enough for today, tonight I get to make Kristin's day by being her injection target (ouch!).


On the slippery slope to recovery

Well, I had my Cytoxin today. Six uneventful hours. I was expecting more discomfort, but I seem OK at the moment.

Now that I jinxed myself, let me tell you what I was expecting.

I was expecting to be bent over, puking my guts out, while my hair was falling like snow in Alaska. Has not happened yet.


They gave me 2 drugs, in 3 forms, to help with nausia. Gave me one while I was hooked up to the Cytoxin, 2 different pills, and one supository (in case I really can't keep it down).

They were nice, gave me my Heparin dose, changed my bandages, and sent me home with another grocery bag of drugs, needles, and other supplies.

I start Nupagen shots tomorrow, and then the fun really starts.

Gotta fix dinner, more later.


I survived!

As if anyone doubted it, I survived the procedure.

I have a sore neck, and it aches to turn my head, but it is OK. Now I need to figure out how to sleep on my back (again). Oh, stay away from me, I can't shower for two days.

It feels weird that I have these dangly things coming OUT of my chest.

I now have to be even MORE careful when doing things. No lifting (like I have not been doing anyway), keep the area clean, and don't play with the tubes.


I'm sore, the Angels are loosing (bad), and I'm going to bed.


It starts tomorow...

Tomorrow I go to the City of Hope and get my Hickman Catheter surgically inserted. I will be under general anesthesia for a short time. When I awake, I will have a tube dangling from my chest.


Monday is when I get my "mild" jolt of chemo. 30 minutes of Cytoxan chemo should keep me puking for two days.


Then Tuesday, Kristin starts injecting me with Neupogen. She got that special sparkle in her eye when she saw the needle, and found out that I need 2 shots a day. She giggled the rest of the class.


Collection of the stem cells begin on September 3, lasting (hopefully) just 3 days. Then I get a rest.

I should be admitted on the 12th of September, but Meyloma patients are lower on the list of urgency, so it may be later.

Blogging may be lighter for the next few days, depending on how I realy feel.

Have fun, I am...


I'm still here!

No, I have not abandoned the blogisphere. I just have not felt much like blogging. Yes, there have been things happening, but nothing "wow".

Kaiser has been bouncing appointments around like a spazmatic Jack Russel terrier on caffeine. I was supposed to see a neurologist (to calm Kaiser Sunset's fear of my back folding in half) to re-affirm that I can walk. That was moved to next monday. Then it was moved to this wednesday. See what I mean?

I did get to go to the OC Flyers game on Saturday. It was a double header, got there at 7, which is when the second game was to start, but the first game was still going (6th inning). Flyers won, then a 45 minute break, then the second game. Left early, because the girls were tired by 9:45. My great friedns Mike and Gary were there, though I missed Lou (he probably showed up after I left).

Kristin's computer finaly died last week, so we orderd her a new one. Bottom of the like Dell small business Vostro. Came with a monitor (bigger than mine!), Vista Home, and a small(er) harddrive. Works fine. I have been busy setting up all the programs (Firefox, Thunderbird, AVG...). The jury is still out on Vista. It works, a pain in the a** installing programs, but after that, it's OK.

Wednesday had the class at COH for the Hickman Catheter. Joy. It gets installed this Friday. Then things start happening. Self administerd shots, catheter upkeep, chemo jolts, stem cell harvesting, more chemo, then isolation.

Kristin got a sparkle in her eye when they showed us how to inject the Nupigen drug into my thigh. I didn't tell her that my thigh is still numb (probably will be for the rest of my life) from the nerve dammage inflicted on my L5 vertibre.

Sunflowers and Crazy cats

I just returned from the back yard, checking up on my sunflowers and such. This is the time of year when things get scorched, so I am trying to pay attention.

Guess who watched me the whole time? "Big orange fluffy cat" is the neighbor's cat, who likes it here much better than his own house. He proves it by strolling through the house when I have the doors open, squatting on the fence, and watching me do garden chores. This is such his territory that, today, he perched up on the picnic table and didn't move.

Caitlyn made a shopping list, which included:
  • lunch
  • a blue chair
  • a dog to chase the cat
  • dinner at Rubies
What a kid.

Anyway, the sunflowers finally came in, and have started to bloom. These were from seeds from last year, smashed up flower heads, scratched into the ground. I may be a proud gardener, but I am lousy with seeds. Not a bad crop so far. The flowers down below are a bit parched, so I will run the sprinklers for a while.

Heh, that will teach that cat...


Some Kaiser Konfusion...

Today was spent on the phone or waiting for phone calls. That's OK, yesterday was busy, and I needed some rest.

Today's question was about my back. Specifically, my 5th lumbar. That's the one that has collapsed, starting the chain of events that has led us to this point. This cancer robbed my spine of it's calcium, thus making it brittle, mushy, and full of holes. One of the tests I took for the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) showed that bad vertebrae.

The BMT team up in LA was not happy. Not at all. They called me to get the story. I told them that DR. So (yes, that is his name) said it was OK... in fact I go to Disneyland (AHHHH!) and do some rides (NOT THE TEA CUPS!) and in fact I don't have my brace on right now (CALL 911, THIS GUY IS GONNA CRIPPLE HIMSELF!).

Sheesh, I have a mom, wife, grandma, aunt, and now a BMT coordinator that watches over my behavior.

Cancer sucks.

After a better part of the day being eaten up with this back and fourth, they did get to talk to Dr. So, who calmed them down, and they are happy again.

Some of my appointments have moved around, so if you need an updated calender, let me know.

I'm tired, I'll take a nap...


Today's Oncology Appointment

Well, Dr. Lee chewed on me again for moving furniture. My bones were severely compromised by the Myloma, and I am as fragile as a baby bird.

Sheesh, I don't know how long I can go babying myself. Never had to do it in the past, not use to it now, hope I can get back to normal in the future.

On the good side, all my blood tests are good, and I responded well to the Revlimid and radiation treatments.

Today I didn't take my morphine, and I feel fine. I think I will stay off it for now. No pain, all gain.

Dr. Lee wants me to drop down to 200 pounds, which may be possible, but too skinny. We compromised by having me drop 10 pounds (down to 230) and let the other 5-10 pounds drop during the stem cell transplant.

At the moment, I am in remission.

Won't last long, but I am almost normal. Weak bones, but normal.

Well, I better let my bones strengthen with a long nap...


Getting ready for School

Caitlyn is ready for school. Too bad they won't be using the play laptop she has. Pretty cool little toy, can fool the best... until you see the screen. The women folk are off shopping and getting hair cuts.

I, on the other hand, am reading the paper, listening to the radio, and enjoying the peace.

Anyone have a soultion for the one, small fly that is buzzing around my office? AAAARRRRRRGGGGGG!!!!!



Earthquake Damage

Well, not exactly damage, but changes in my general environment...

The crack in the front porch closed.


Oh, and the gourds I have in the garage fell to the floor.


Here it is, a few days after the quake, and not only has life returned to normal, no one even talks about it anymore. Just another non event in our lives.

It shouldn't be that way. I am looking at some things around the house to "quake proof" and seeing that I have done a good job in keeping things in place. I'll do a few more things, but most of it's done.


Still absorbing (coming to terms, getting used to...) the City of Hope news. I have a bit of reading to do on post transplant procedures. That is what I am mostly concerned with.

Up to the point of coming home, things are pretty much taken care of for me. One way to do it, no deviations.

Coming home will be relative anarchy. Such basics as food, air, and water will be my biggest worries. I am not used to living "super clean". I actually like having a bit of dirt (or paint, or sawdust) under my fingernails. It's manly! I even encourage the girls to get dirty, digging in their part of the garden.

Not for a while. How long? I need to figure that out, because late summer-fall is the time to start working on the garden.


Caitlyn is now a woodworker! Just ask her. She helped me put together her new computer desk from Ikea. She used the hammer, screw driver, and the power drill!

Gotta say, she has skills. More than some folks I know. If I can only get her to follow directions better, she could go pro.


Gotta go, lots of little projects to do today.