Cool! At least I'm not on the Lovenox injections, Morphine Sulfate,
Alobuterol, Allopurinol, Ibuprofen and Docusate (I think that's
everything else). So, here we are at 5:05AM, and I'm starting to feel
better already, just thinking about it!
Anyway, yesterday went well, like all my chemo days seem to. We left
the house a little after 9:AM for the ride out to Ann Arbor and got there
just about 10:AM. Mom and I yakked and yukked it up the whole way,
as usual, and it was a really nice, sunny day to be out for a ride.
I went in to get my blood drawn first, and found myself at the back of a
line at the paperwork desk, with a few of people in front of me, so I had
a seat to wait my turn. It didn't take long, and I was on my way
into the blood-sucker area a few minutes later to have another seat and
wait my turn. A couple of nurses were working the needles, so it
wasn't long before I was in the special chair getting my arm tied off,
making a fist, and filling 3 little vials full of warm, red
Buck-juice. The nurse looked around at the gathering crowd of
patients, checked her watch and sighed, "Only 5 more hours to
go..." "Yeah, but who's counting, right?" I
quipped. She snickered a bit, pulled the plug and sent me on my way.
I checked in at the doctors office across the hall, announcing that their
friendly, neighborhood Buckster was there, then had a seat to wait my turn
again. There were quite a few other people there in the waiting
room, but I guess they were mostly there with patients, like mom was there
with me, cause they got me called in pretty quick.
The doc's office is under construction these days. Parts of it are
draped off with big sheets of plastic, there are workmen building walls
and painting and doing electrical work and stuff like that. I was
lost, so one of the nurses led the way through the maze until I was in an
area I was familiar with.
I got weighed and had an electronic thermometer stuck in my ear for a
moment, and then moved on to the exam area for a blood pressure test and
to check my pulse. Everything was normal, and for some reason I
recalled the nurse way back when saying that my pulse was fast (about a
hundred), so I asked what it was this time to compare. I think she
said it was 78 (my memory sucks these days!), but in any case, it was a
lot less than a hundred, so I was cool with that. Apparently, I'm
still alive, and calm again.
The doc came in a few minutes later and flipped open my chart, which is a
now getting to be quite a thick folder full of compiled data and
info. Before we got started with that though, I presented him with
printed out copies of the cancer 'toons I've been making lately. He
always seemed to have a pretty good sense of humor, since I showed him I
have a rampant sense of humor myself and this time was no different.
I'm sure he deals with lots of patients that are pretty depressed, so his
bedside manner would have to be more compassionate with them.
He got a good laugh over them and asked if they were for him. I told
him they were all his to do whatever he'd like, and he said he was looking
forward to sharing them with everyone there in the office. He asked
if I'd made a copy for the folks over in the chemo clinic, because he knew
they'd really enjoy them too, and I was sorry to say I hadn't even thought
to make 2 copies and bring them, but that I'd be sure to get them a copy
Here they are again, in case you missed any. As usual, just click
the thumbnail for the full size version.
I've got a few more cartoons in the works, so watch for them in future
updates. You can also see all my 'toons, including these and all the
ones that have nothing to do with cancer, on my Toon
The doc and I then went over some of the issues, like how the pain is.
I was happy to report that I've no pain, even after coming down off the
Morphine completely. I've also started to cut back on the Neurontins
from 5 per day down to 4 per day, and plan to keep cutting back by about a
pill (300mg) per day each week, unless I experience pain in my toes (or
somewhere else) again. He said that sounded like a good plan and was
glad to hear it.
I told him that the numbness I reported to him some time ago in my left
thumb and forefinger had slowly increased to now include all the digits on
both hands, down to my palms. It's not really a problem, they're just
tingly all the time, and I don't have much of a sense of touch anymore,
other than extremely hot or cold. I can't really feel the difference
between surfaces like cloth or wood anymore. He said he suspects it's
caused by the Oncovin in my chemo treatments and that he'd reduce it
slightly to see if that helps.
Next, I hopped up on the exam table and he checked the nodes in my neck,
pits and groin, reporting that they seem to be holding steady, as he still
can't feel them, just like 3 weeks ago. He listened to my lungs and
heart with the stethoscope and had no concerns pop up there either. So
far, so good! Whip it
We went over my blood work then, and he said it was all looking very, very
good and that one of the levels had hit an all-time high from the time he
first met me in the hospital back in November. We were both very
pleased at that aspect, and I was really digging the news! Lots
of smiling in that room!
He said he'd see me in 3 weeks and headed off to show everyone the 'toons,
while I headed on over to the chemo bar for a round. LOL!
I dropped off the paperwork at the chemo check-in desk and wandered over to
take a closer look at some art I'd been meaning to check out before.
Three large Plexiglas cases filled with colorful, folded, paper origami
birds adorn one wall there, accompanied by a plaque. I'd passed them
many times and admired the colorful pieces of art, but hadn't stopped to
find out what the story behind them was. This time I took a couple of
minutes to see what it was all about.
The plaque explained that local schoolchildren had folded them for their
teacher who was receiving treatment for cancer there at McAuley.
Here's where they got the idea:
According to Oriental legend, it is said that if one is ill and folds a
thousand cranes, the gods will grant the person's wish and cure their
illness. This is what was told to Sadako Sasaki while she lay in a hospital
suffering from leukemia as a result of radiation left over from the atomic
bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. She died before reaching her goal
at the age of 12. She was able to fold 644 cranes before she died of the
cancer. Upon hearing of her death, Japanese school children folded the other
356 so that she would have a thousand. Since then, the folding of a thousand
cranes has grown to symbolize a wish for peace and remission for cancer
Learn something new every day, huh? Pretty cool. Next week when
I go for my blood test, I'll take a picture of them and post it so you can
see them yourself. Meanwhile, you can learn how to make your own paper
origami crane HERE,
and see the a cool picture of the World's Largest Paper Crane HERE.
It's 215 feet 8 inches wide (wing tip
to wing tip), 120 feet tall and
weighs approximately 1750 pounds (800 kilos). Now, that's a BIG
I was still taking it all in when a nurse called me for my turn in one of
the big easy chairs to mainline some chemo drugs, and off I went to hang out
with the bald chicks for an hour or so. LOL!!
I parked my butt near one of the big windows and got comfortable while she
went to get a hot towel for my arm to make the veins pop up so they're
easier to get into with the IV. Next, I downed a couple of the little
pentagon shaped Decadron
pills with some water and she got the IV installed and the saline drip
All the people at McAuley are so pleasant and nice, I just have to tell you
what a pleasure they make the whole experience. We chatted about my
cancer and how I found out and even about hair loss, which I haven't
experienced (yet), which she was pretty surprised about, this being my
fourth chemo treatment and all. She said, "Surely it's thinned
though, right?" "Nope, not at all." I told her. I
explained that I never tried to grow a full beard before and that's why I
thought I'd give it a try, figuring the chemo would end up giving me a clean
shave anyway - it just hasn't worked out that way! It gets longer and
scragglier looking by the week! LOL! Check it out:
Next she put on her blue anti-chemo gown, purple rubber gloves and green
mask with the clear plastic face shield (it's quite a sight!), and started
up the actual chemo chemicals in the IV. Mom and I yukked it up
some more while it dripped in over the next hour or so, and I causally
mentioned I was getting pretty hungry - about 10 times - hehehe!
Afterwards, we stopped off at Ruby
Tuesday for some lunch. I was disappointed to discover that
they've taken my favorite dish off the menu - steak fajitas. The
waitress said I should go to the Ruby Tuesday web site and email a complaint
about it and a suggestion to bring it back on the menu, because they really
do listen to customers about that stuff and work the menu around it.
(You KNOW I did!!) Meanwhile, I had the chicken fajitas (not
nearly as good as the steak, IMHO) and mom had the ribs. We both had a
serious salad bar, which was really good, I washed it all down with a root
beer, and I finally stopped complaining that I was hungry!
Speaking of eating, I guess I'll go put down some breakfast. Then I've
got some cartoons to work on, email to answer and I'm working on a secret
project I'll tell you all about soon! Hahaha! Is the
suspense killing you yet?! LOL!
Next: A New Baby!!