Monday, May 11, 2009


I'm at bottom. Or at least the bottom that comes before the stem cell transplant. I get out of the hospital tomorrow and that may help. I can get some sleep. In addition to my abdomen pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue and the chest pains that remind me with almost every breath that the lymphoma is still there, I now can add toothache. 

Believe it or not, it's not uncommon to have teeth problems with this type of procedure. Of course, I'm not actually at this type of procedure yet. I have ten days to get to that point. So if the tooth continues to bring pain, I believe it gets taken out. This is another side effect to the side effects and all of them endanger success, which causes me to stress, which causes more side effects and the vicious cycle keeps going. 

Tomorrow I go home from the hospital. And not alone, either. I will have an IV backpack and a bundle of shots to keep me company. Somehow I have to give myself a shot once a day. I was facing a pretty depressing scene the next week until I broke down and asked Sherri to fly back down here. She just flew back up to Chicago for Mother's Day and now I'm asking her to come back down to Houston. Tough to ask a pregnant women with two of my own kids at home to come do this but I need help. 

Still, even with her, it's an ugly scene. I will be in a hotel attached to an IV in a back-pack, without very good cable, in Houston, feeling miserable, having a hard time even walking around and trying to make myself worse by giving myself a shot in the gut. With a toothache. It was supposed to be ten days of waiting for my blood counts to reach bottom. I didn't know I was headed there too. 

Above is a depiction of how I feel. Cancer eats away at the body. The treatment eats away at the human being in all of us. 


  1. Let's go bud! It's time to kick ass.

    I know you're tired and feel like crap but I have seen how intensely you can concentrate your keen intellect (even on a 14th round fantasy football pick). It's time to bring that laser focus and single-minded sense of purpose to this battle.

    You are in the home stretch. Be positive and know that you are getting better. Don't think it, BELIEVE IT!

  2. Your friends's time to kick ass. I'm so glad your wife is on her way. This is not a path to go down by yourself. I'm going to be one of your cheer leaders. You can do this and I know you will.

    Jane( mom on the hodgkins forum)

    My son's been down this same path.

  3. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
    - Germans?
    - Forget it, he's rolling.
    It ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough ... (long pause)
    ... the tough get going. Who's with me?

    All of us here in South Carolina are with you, sending strong vibes your way. Stay strong and kick some cancer booty.

  4. No, No, No. This is not the Herlehy I know. The man who goes to the mat to tackle another headline for Follett, the tenacious and committed man who pushes through yet another round of revisions on the Stubb's product brochure and who knows how to inspire the Lutehran's like none other.

    You may be down, but this thing doesn't stand a chance against you. You WILL crush this thing. You will defeat it in a valiant fashion and send it back to hell where it belongs. It will regret the day it ever exposed itself on an x-ray. Bye. Bye and adios.

    Time to hunker down and believe each and every day that you ARE stronger than it. We know it and you know it. It's go time!

  5. Michael,
    Carrie Seanor gave me the link to your blog a while back and I've followed it closely. I've known you for just a couple years and my only previous, active foray into this blog was in the "send Michael a joke" section where I contributed all of one joke (albeit the funniest joke ever told). Nevertheless, just by reading your words I feel like I have pretty good insight into the type of person you are and I'm compelled to tell you. You are a tremendously skilled writer and your words reveal not only your wit and perspective, but your fight and your seemingly endless reserves of strength. Somewhere deep inside you, deeper than your current feelings of despair, there is the will to persevere. I hear it in your words. It's there. It's loud. And it's strong. It's so strong in fact, Yoda would completely freak when he sensed it and immediately name you a Jedi of Perseverance. No training necessary. Seriously, Michael, you have it. Tap into it. You can do this and you WILL do this. You WILL win. And then, this summer when we cross paths at some godforsaken soccer tournament that our kids are in just west of Dubuque, we'll sneak in a cooler of beer and toast your health.

    Be strong and know that you are far from alone.

    Bob Driscoll