Sunday, March 27, 2011

I raise my head up. There. That's done.

The first half of my day--

10:00 am Wake up. Feel this annoying itch. Sometimes I have a headache. My nose is running. I have a bad cough, which doesn't make much sense since I never sick and have both a runny nose and a cough at the same time. Usually one has followed the other. The itch is really the one, though. First, an electric shock shoots at random spot on my body. Right away the spot itches. I itch the spot. Another spot gets electric shock. It goes on non-stop. Decided to go back to bed for a while. Until the itch goes away.

10:30 am The itch doesn't go away. Why do I have these sharp pains? Why itch? What's up with my nose? Oh yeah, I have cancer. The tumors in my neck make it sore. I'm sore in all kids of other places too. Getting up at this late a time in the morning is embarrassing. So I figure I need to make a mad dash for the kitchen to get some breakfast.

10:40 am Lean up, ready for the mad dash.

10:45 am Still ready for that mad dash.

11:15 am Get out of bed.

11:18 am Get down stairs. Hope to God that Sherri doesn't send a text asking to pick up Maddie from the babysitter early. I see no texts.

11:22 am Throw in two waffles. Go out to the garage for a Coke Zero. Put the same waffles down again. They're much better crunchier. While waiting, send a text to Sher lying to her, telling her that I've been up for a while, feel great and have been waiting for Maddie for like an hour. What's up?

11:30 Sherri writes back that I should rest and Maddie's going to nap at the baby-sitter's house. Basically, she didn't believe anything I wrote. Smart woman. I love them smart.

11:45 Finish waffles. Prepare my daily cocktail: 2 pills to help with the itch even though it doesn't work, two pills to help with the shooting pain and these will kick in at about four o'clock but will suffice beforehand, two oxycodone that used to do wonders for all the pain now only helps marginally, one pill to keep me from getting an infection even though I probably got one, DayQuil. I down the pills first.

11:47 Back at the breakfast table. I lower my head. Too tired. Too tired for everything. Can't do this another day.

12:15 Head still down.

12:20 Pills kick in. Clean up.

12:35 Check the internet.

1:15 check my To Do list. Pick one thing. Put a new phone in the kitchen. Plan on doing that.

1:30 Going to lay down instead. Tired..

1:31 I itch.

2:00 Get ready for the babysitter and Maddie.

2:05 Babysitter arrives with a cranky Maddie.

2:10 Feed Maddie a cookie and grapes. She loves cookies. See the dog itching.

2:35 McKenna comes home. She talks to Maddie. We talk about her day. It was boring. The dog is still itching.

2:50 Sherri arrives. She immediately takes over and thanks me for watching Maddie and how I should lay down because I did a lot. This time I tell her the truth and say I didn't do anything because I had a hard time getting going. She says to lay down. She knows what I did and thankfully, somehow and someway it was enough for her.

3:00 Play with Maddie. She likes to dance. A lot. To the same song.

3:30 Tired. Go up to bed for a nap. Itching still a lot today. Try to hide itching from the dog.

3:45 Fall asleep.

4:15 The sharp pains are back. This itch, man, where did this come from? And my body is sore like I went boxing in the sun. What is wrong with me? Oh, I have cancer.

4:16 The plan is to race downstairs to get my pills. So I sit up in bed. Then I itch.

4:30 Still sitting up. Can't lift my head. I itch.

4:35 Make it to the pills. I'm out of breath.

4:45 Play with Maddie. Tell my wife how I have this huge To Do list and how I'm going to redo everything that needs to be done around the house. Think of the phone. Don't even bring it up. It's not getting done today.

5:15 Think of all the people out there ready to go home. Think about how after five was my second favorite time at the agency since I get to do work without interruptions. I'd come up for air a couple of hours later. Only one or two people are left. I'd walk around not because I wanted to see someone. I didn't want to see anyone because I just loved the sound of an empty ad agency. It's still has energy but it's so quiet.

5:16 Is dinner ready?

5:30 Dinner is ready. After dinner I lay down. Oh, and I itch. Wonder how long.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Party like a rock star at the Olive Garden

I'm getting beat to hell. The cancer is coming at me now in so many different ways that my body just can't keep up. I sleep a lot. I lay around a lot. I don't like going outside for anything. I'm out of breath most of the time.

Starting the year, I had two magic bullets--two treatments that are surefire winners. Bendamusstine is the better of the two. I took it. I can't take it any more. The other treatment is SGN. I don't think I'll last past the first treatment because its major side effect is bad nueropathy. I already have bad neuropathy. For folks in that condition, the drug puts them through ungodly pain and in some cases, paralysis.

So the cancer grows now. Very little will be able to stop it. And it is making me subhuman. The other day I spent a couple of hours itching. Now, I don't mean itching and watching TV or itching and eating. Just itching. For two hours. After that I didn't stop itching but I went on to doing other things as well.

Sherri and I got an email from my mom about our birthdays (sherri's is the 25th, the day after mine. Is that cool or what? I've never forgotten her birthday.). In the note, there was a reference to "days full of happiness" and she ends it all with, "May you have the best times of your lives." Wow. Days full of happiness. I don't understand how someone could write such a callous and clueless thing. And she's my mother. If I can get ten minutes of happiness, it's a good day. If I can get ten minutes without itching and find full happiness at the same time, well, then a celebration is in order. We're going to the Olive Garden!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

44 going on 80

Happy Birthday to me. I'm 44 today but that's just a number. Clearly that's a number.

Thank you for all of your birthday wishes. I know it's been awhile since my last post. I also know I've shut a lot of people out as far as emails and stuff. In particularly Kiki and Brandy. It all got to be too much and right now it's too much.

We're all just worn out. SInce we last talked, I was taking one of only two dependable treatments out there that has shown good results in banging down the many cancerous tumors that have grown throughout my body. At the halfway point, the tumors in my chest have gone down dramatically or disappeared. But that was the last I would see of Bendamustine.

My platelets are at a very, very low level and if Dr. O'Connor were to give me bendamustine or most chemos they would kill me, So he gave me some rituxan once every week for four weeks. Rituxan is a different type of drug in that it isn't considered a traditional chemo. It is a very popular drug with non-hodgers but isn't really used with us Hodgers because we generally don't have the type of tumor this drug would kill. However, Dr. O really looked at my case and noticed that I'm actually more of a tweener. I have both the hodgkin's tumor cells and non-hodgkin's tumor cells.

But even Dr. O'Connor admitted that it's not nearly as effective as bendamustine and quite frankly, I can see, feel and touch my tumors and they're growing. They've taken over my right side. Everything is worse. My itching is bad. My chest pains are back. New tumors are popping up and really I can do very little except scratch my head. Yes, that's an itch. I go from respiratory infection to the next without a break. Last week, my wife said, "I was worried for a while there. And you me. I don't worry about a lot of things." This morning I noticed that I can't live without almost thirty pills. My life now depends on a lot of pills. And even with them, I'm in pain and in danger of dying.

I tell you, I'm just really tired of fighting. Everything is difficult. I'm heading downhill. I feel so embarassed. The cancer is even affecting my dog Nala. I itch constantly now. Every five seconds or so my body would light up with a spark and then an itch. Nobody can do anything about it. Now, my dog Nala itches all the time. She's never had any allergies. And she doesn't have fleas. But she itches.

More than anything, cancer is relentless. It keeps coming after you, your body and your senses. I beg for it to stop many times during the day. I just wish I could feel normal for an hour. I'm tired now. I'm going to sleep. I itch through my sleep. I wheeze. I cough. I twitch because of the growing tumors. And that's when I'm resting. I will post again with a clearer head. But please send me good vibers, pray, do whatever. I would appreciate that. Please don't call my wife about this. She has enough on her mind and day. She knows all of this and more. We're trying. Sorry for the typos. I'm going to bed.