Saturday, February 28, 2009

The hardest to learn is the least complicated. . .

I have to relearn my job. There are things that I have forgotten since being out of the office, and it's become apparent to me this week that there is much catching up to do. I just have to make sure I still take it easy instead of throwing myself into the fire and grabbing 10,000 things to do, which I'm very guilty of doing in the past. This time, I come first, the work can wait. Whether the nice folks at BU want to hear it or not.

My throat has started to hurt. The doctors told me it would, and it has. I've found that a few advil a few hours before I eat will take care of the discomfort, but it wears off over time (I can only take 6 advil a day) and the throat starts to throb again. It doesn't really hurt unless I swallow, and even just swallowing water kinda hurts. Damn you Sirens of Radiation Oncology! Other than that, which will be addressed by my radiation oncology team, I'm not really showing any other side effects. I haven't lost any hair, I'm not really burned. but I am tired as all hell.

Tonight Ti and I went out for Mexican food at a really good place near the condo. We got a pitcher of Sangria, some chips and salsa along with fresh guacamole. Dinner was pretty good as well. I miss what we used to do. I'm taking the adjustments slow because I need to be careful. If I get sick, there's no telling how it will be at this point.

I talk to you y'all later. Time for more pills.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm Tired

Chemo made me sick. It made me feel so horrible that I'd just sleep so I didn't have to feel it. I was tired, and the chemicals pretty much wrecked me in ways I have forgotten in order to maintain sanity, but now I have a new enemy. I call them the "Sirens of Radiation Oncology". They're all young, attractive radiologists who lure me into their lair, and when I'm laying down and helpless, they zap me with X-rays repeatedly. These X-rays didn't seem to do much the first few days I was zapped, but they're quickly taking their revenge on me. I am SOOOOOO tired. I can't get out of bed in the morning, I'm tired all day, and even sleeping, which isn't going so well in itself, doesn't even touch the depths of my tiredness.

They warned me there would be fatigue. They just didn't say that I would be this tired. I'm managing as I can. It sucks, but it's only going to be a few more weeks.

The other side effects are starting to show up as well. I have a lump in my lower throat, which is at the top margin of my radiation field. I have rinse for it, which helps, and I'm hoping this is as bad as it gets. I know that won't be the case, but I'm hoping. My back is tender and probably starting to show signs of radiation burns. I dunno, I can't see it.

Ugh. Enough complaining for the evening. Almost time for bed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Walking downhill + Ice + Strong Winds = Ice Skating to Work

Imagine me walking down a hill. Now imagine the hill has lots of icy patches on it. Now add in a very strong, constant wind blowing down the hill. I basically skidded down the hill to the train station this morning. Believe me, it wasn't a "Wheeeee!" moment. It was an 'Oh Sh!t!" moment, as I thought I was going over at any moment. I didn't, but I have pretty much every winter since I moved to Brighton. Once was while I was on my way to the airport and had luggage. Fell right on my ass.

Health-wise, I'm surviving. The radiation isn't killing me, but I think I'm starting to show side effects. It's pretty painless, pretty quick, with the only real obnoxious part being the daily trip to the hospital.

I occasionally feel overwhelmed with my life. It's not one specific thing, and I don't think fixing or removing one part will make the feeling go away. It's a combination of treatment, returning to work, the wedding, and an underlying frustration I have with lots of other small things. One of those is that I have problems sleeping. I'm not sure why, but I can't sleep through the night. It may be the root of all my problems, but I can't convince myself of that, and I've been through too much to think that a good nights sleep will solve anything. The fatigue I've been fighting off since December of '07 is starting to take its toll, which I think is the more likely suspect.

Eh, time to go make the donuts. I'll talk to y'all later.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The last Twinkie. . .

Should I eat it, or save it as a commemorative and decorative food, like the piece of cake a bride and groom take home? I need to eat something when I take my meds later, so until then, it stays fair game to not make it past midnight. Unfortunately the Cadbury Mini Eggs have already suffered their fate and were eaten.

So you wanna hear about my day?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!

I went to work. I cleaned off my desk and answered a few email messages. I ate lunch and met with my staff to discuss my schedule. But not at the same time. I haven't worked my way up to "multi-task" yet.

Radiation is starting to hurt. I was queasy after today's treatment. I think tomorrow I'll eat something before going to see if that helps. Also, the areas where I'm getting zapped are a little sensitive. Feels like a sunburn, which they said it would. I just didn't expect it so quickly. However, due to my ability to encounter ALL side effects of a treatment, I'm not hugely surprised of the sensitive areas. I was just kinda hoping for it to be a week or so before I started having these symptoms.

Over this past weekend, Ti and I did a lot of wedding-related stuff. I bought my wedding ring, we checked out some things at stores we are either registering for or were thinking about for wedding favors, and we also had cake.

Well, enough about me. How was your day?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Big step today

Today was "get my drink on" day. And I have, so far. I was definitely feeling it this afternoon - yes this afternoon - and Ti and I are doing a little more tonight. It's kind of a return to form if you will. That and I have a wedding in three months so I have to get myself ready for all the festivities that come with that: The shower (it may not be appropriate, but if I can, I'll tie one on), the bachelor party, and the days around and including the wedding. This is the payoff for the months of suffering and treatment. This is the start of my return to how life was before cancer.

A band I listen to has a song that the refrain is: "If she don't kill me, the whiskey will", and in my case, I'll substitute cancer for she. Ti doesn't like that so much, as she'd rather be on top of the list of things that are most likely to kill me. At the moment cancer is losing its standing. I'm just hoping for it to be a long moment. Like maybe 40 - 50 years.

Ah well, back to what we were doing before I decided to post. After all, the tequila won't drink itself.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Porkchop Sandwiches!

So I started radiation today. It wasn't too bad; I actually fell asleep a little during the procedure. I wasn't comfortable, they kept turning the lights on and off, but because I couldn't move for about 20 minutes, I just drifted off. It didn't hurt, I don't think. I think I am feeling a little different in the areas that were zapped, but that may just be a figment of my overactive imagination. A ghost sensation if you will. I'm sure in a week or two it won't feel like that because the actual effects of the treatment will start.

It wasn't exciting, and I'm going to have to remind myself that I have to go every day for the next few weeks. Tomorrow's going to be difficult because it's Friday, I just got a new game for my Wii to play, and the appointment isn't until the late afternoon.

To help keep me on schedule, I go back to work on Tuesday, which will get me out of the house earlier, and put me closer to the hospital. So getting to B&W won't be a total pain in the ass.

So tomorrow is really my last day at home as well, which it won't be because I have to leave here around 2:10 - 2:15 to get my ass to the hospital. I won't get home until 5. This doesn't like much, and I've had enough sit-on-my-ass time over the past 6 months. And we have a long weekend, so there will be more sit-on-my-ass-time with Ti.

I'll talk to you folks later. I've got zombies to kill.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ah, tomorrow

Tomorrow I start the last part of my treatment. Today we went and they did the last minute tweaks and adjustments they need for the treatments. Tomorrow, they start zapping me. I'm not really worried or anxious about it. I've been through too much to even flinch at the thought of this right now.

Not much else to report. It's been pretty quiet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best thing ever

Ti and I just watched the best thing ever.

Go there. Watch skits. Laugh. Now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day +100

I made it. Now onto bigger and better things.

If there's a problem, yo, I'll solve it.
Check out the beat while the DJ revolves it. . .

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Manah Manah

Do Do Dee Do Do

Bear with me, I've had a few. Ok, two. But for someone who really hasn't touched much alcohol in the past 15 months, I think I'm doing ok.

Today we learned a few things. First, after spending 6 hours in the Radiology department, we learned that I'll be starting radiation next week. We have an appointment on Wednesday to finish up the scans they need to do to prepare me for the actual radiation treatment, and we're meeting with my rad onc to finalize the details. I'll have between 17-20 consecutive radiation treatments, starting next Thursday. I don't go on weekends, so it's consecutive weekdays that I'll have treatment. As my current onc nurse says, the worst part about the treatment is hauling my ass to the hospital every single day of the week for a month, so I don't expect too much by the way of side effects.

We also learned that most of my restrictions have been lifted. To celebrate, Ti and I went out and had beer and other food. I had moules frites (french fries and mussels), which were quite tasty, especially with the beer I had along with dinner. I really need to work my tolerance level back up. I have a wedding coming up. If two Belgium style beers (well, one was from there) can knock me around a fair bit, I can't imagine what the wedding reception is going to do to me.

I'll also be returning to work soon. Not sure yet, as I just found out today that I can go back, but probably in the next few weeks.

Later dudes. Off to go sleep, it's been a long day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Monday, by Wednesday I'll X-Ray man

Today we went to see the radiation oncologist. We discussed radiation, the downsides, the upsides and what exactly it means. After very little thought or discussion, it's been decided I'm going to be lit up like an X-mas tree for an hour a day, every weekday for a month. I'm not sure what to think or feel about the whole matter just yet. I'm too matter-of-fact about much of my treatment, and while I am a little anxious about it, it doesn't have the intimidation factor that the transplant had, or the possibility of horrible side effects like my chemo.

I'm still reeling from a family fight from over the weekend. I haven't the nerve to call my parents yet to tell them about the appointment today. I figure at this point I'll wait until Wednesday to tell them everything, because by then I'll have more details - we meet with the rad onc team again then. The fight was over the wedding and my mother's increasing involvement in the planning - which wasn't asked for, and was causing problems. I admit I didn't handle the discussion well, and it ended up being a screaming match. I am apologetic for how I behaved and acted towards her, but I don't feel I was wrong in getting angry at her. So the past few days have been awkward, and it ruined what could have been a good weekend of downtime for Ti and myself. She was coming home from a week away for work, and the whole fiasco set a tone for the weekend that made things very tense around here.

The above was written on Monday, but I hadn't posted it because I wasn't done with the post. Recently, many of the discussions Ti and I have had about the wedding have led to very bad things, and to be honest, on these occasions, it would be more comfortable if we were discussing explosive diarhea (as disgusting as it sounds, it is easier to discuss than the wedding at times).

While I did have more I wanted to write about last night, the inspiration has left me and I can't remember what it is I wanted to post. Maybe I'll remember the rest later.