Thursday, 2-21-02. Another day in paradise...
Betcha thought I forgot about ya, huh? Not a chance! I've just
been really, really busy lately. First of all, I've been
getting a lot of rest. On top of that, I've been practicing my
snoring habits extensively. Also, I've been checking my eyelids for
holes a lot. OK, I admit it, I've been asleep. But not without
good, medical reasons.
I got my third chemo treatment on Tuesday, 2-19-02. It went really
well. No problems at all. Pretty much the same as the other
two. I didn't get sick during it, but the day after, like last time,
I had a little episode when I first woke up. Yep, spewed into the
bucket next to the bed. This time was more intense than the last
time, and had me heaving for about 5 minutes straight. It didn't
reach down into my toes, but that might have been because of the blood
clot in my leg stopping it from getting that far.
The rest of the day, after the sickness, I felt a little nauseated and
really not very hungry, though I forced down a few small things. And
I slept. A LOT. zzzzzzz
The next day though, I woke feeling much
better and hungry as two bulls in an eating contest. I started
scarfing down everything in sight. Within an hour of waking, I'd
eaten 2 nuked Sloppy Joes left over from supper the day before, along with
a handful and a half of chips, 2 pieces of pie, a giant bagel with cream
cheese, an apple and 2 bowls of cereal. I washed it all down with a
diet Pepsi and then fired up the coffee pot. (Hey, I SAID I
Anyway, at the doc's office the day of the chemo treatment, I got my blood
drawn as usual, then went in to see the doc. First thing I wanted to
know about was the results of the CAT Scan. He said it was very
good: The scan showed no lumps, bumps, swelled nodes, obstructions
or anything else bad. YIPPEE!!!
He examined me then, and announced that all the lymph nodes he
regularly checks were undetectable - aka: Not swollen either. My
blood work showed that everything's looking really good, including the Coumadin
levels. My weight went up 5 pounds to 181, which is just about a
pound over my regular weight, so that was good too. I still haven't
experienced any hair loss yet, so my beard is still growing and getting
wilder looking by the day!
had a "Scary-Face" photo thread on my favorite forum the other
day. Click the bearded smiley I made above to see my entry.
LOL!! Pretty scary, huh?!
The doc said that he suspects that the clot in my leg has damaged the vein
somewhat, and that's why the clot itself is not dissolving as quickly as
we'd like it to. But it will dissolve. He asked me if I
still have pain in that leg, and I smiled and said, "No. But
then, I'm all doped up on Morphine! I've got a feeling if I weren't,
it'd hurt like hell!!" Hehehe... He got the humor in it,
and suggested we try to wean me off the Morphine and see what
happens. So, as of yesterday, I started taking only one Morphine a
day instead of two. I'll try that for a week and see if I get any
pain. If not, I'll drop the Morphine altogether for another week and
see what happens. With luck, the clot has dissolved enough to allow
some blood flow, and the pain will be gone or at least tolerable.
Meanwhile, I'm out of the wheelchair completely and walking around pretty
well on my own again, though with a slight limp and a little
imbalance. I'm not complaining though! I love being out of the
chair! It shouldn't be too long before I get full strength and
balance again, and then I'll be ready for some serious excursions out into
the world again. You know, movies, mall and stuff like that with Casey
I guess this is gonna be one of my shorter updates, but that makes up for
the long ones that have been the norm the last couple of times. You
gotta achieve some kind of balance in life, ya know.
"Everything in moderation" is a pretty good thing to keep in
I feel great, other than really tired from the chemo and the drugs, but
that's no big deal. The treatments and drugs seem to be working
really well towards a remission that I hope will last for a long time
before it all comes back and I need to treat it again. That last
part is a given and there's no sense trying to fool ourselves here.
Unless a cure is found, this is an incurable disease I'll have to live
with for the rest of my life. I'll have to get some kind of
treatment like chemotherapy or the latest antigen every time it rears it's
ugly head, which is typically every 18 months to 2 years after achieving
remission. I'll continue to do that till my options for treatment
finally run out.
Here's why those various treatment options will eventually run out unless
a real cure is found that eradicates NHL completely: Cancer is a cell
mutation at the DNA
level. Cancer tends to continue to mutate into forms resistant to
the treatments one uses, till those treatments are no longer
effective. So, you try different things till there's nothing left to
In the case of NHL, there's no way to figure out where the actual tumor
is, so you can't just cut it out completely with an operation the way you
can with many other types of cancer. Instead, it stays in the body,
hidden in one of 600 or so teeny little lymph nodes, and you just keep
cleaning up the cancerous cells it creates and throws into the blood and
immune system over and over till nothing works anymore to clean them
up. Once you're finally out of ways to clean them up, it takes over
the immune system completely, you get sick, say your goodbyes and that's
pretty much the end of it all.
It's sad to think about sometimes, but that's the way life and death
works, no matter what gets ya in the end. Some things just take
longer to get ya than others, that's all. We rarely get to pick what
actually does us in or when, and it's usually unexpected. Me, I know
what to expect, so I have the opportunity to make better plans for
it. I figure that's a good thing. So, I'm not really bothered
by it and besides, I figure I've got a few remissions left in me to enjoy
life yet, so that's what I'm gonna do - ENJOY
LIFE - Not sit around worrying that I'm gonna die
someday. I mean, what the hell? That was a given from the very
morning I was born anyway! No sense trying to fight it now, ya
know?! I'm just gonna chill out and enjoy the rest of the ride,
That last link is to another one of the cartoons I've made)
The good news is that new treatment options are coming out every other day
it seems. Zevalin
has just been approved for use by the FDA, and advancements are being made
towards a cure with increased progress at exponential rates.
Hundreds of projects are underway at any given time that study the
effectiveness of different drugs, chemicals and regimens. The Human
Genome Project is proving to be invaluable, as is Stem
Cell Research, so there's lot's of things going on that could really
be beneficial to me and those like me in the same boat. We're
keeping our fingers crossed that an actual cure will come from those many,
For now, I'd have to say:
Things are going great, and they're only gettin better!
I'm doin' alright, gettin' good grades, +
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades! *
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