Thursday, 4-4-02, and I had my 5th chemo treatment yesterday.
Everything went fine, as always, and this time Casey
came with mom and me, as she's off for Spring Break. She brought the
camera and we took some pics to share with you all.
It gave her a chance to see what it's all about. She got to meet the
doctors and nurses, see the place where I go for treatment, check out the
1000 cranes up close and all that. She watched closely as I got my
blood drawn, got my checkup and got the IV installed and got the chemo
dripped in. None of it made her squeamish at all (she even got lots of
close ups of the action, as you'll see), and she said she wants to be a
We were pretty hungry, so along the way we stopped at Denny's for
breakfast. Mine was huge! I had 2 eggs over medium, 2 slices of
wheat toast, hash browns, about 6 slices of bacon, 3 pancakes with butter
and syrup and coffee. Mmmm, that was good!
We got to McAuley just after 9:AM. First, we got the blood draw.
The nurse (phlebotomist?) wanted to know where the pics were going to end
up, and I figured just my photo album, but I told her they were going to be
on a big billboard on Gratiot Ave, a major thoroughfare in Detroit.
She laughed and said it was no problem then, because she never drives
Gratiot! Anyway, she declined to have her face in the pics ( I don't
know why - she's quite attractive). Anyway, here she is during that
conversation, getting ready to stick me:
(Notice I finally trimmed my beard, since I'm not losing my hair like we
thought I would)
And here's the weekly Buck juice transfer. I fill three test tubes,
and I'm on my way.
Next, I got weighed and found out I picked up 7 lbs in the last 3 weeks,
putting me at 188 lbs. Guess I better slow down a little on the
doughnuts! LOL! Then my temperature, which was normal, then on
to the exam room for my pulse and blood pressure tests:
A couple minutes later, the doc came in for the exam and we had a good laugh
over the new cartoons I presented to him (the ones in my last update).
He said that I was really talented, and I wished later I'd thought to tell
him I thought he was really talented as well, the way he's turned me around
the way he has. Go Doc!!
The nodes are still undetectable, and everything else was good to go as
well. I let him know that I've managed to get off the Neurontins
entirely, so I'm not on any pain pills at all, and feeling fine. It
may have something to do with the fact that my hands and feet are pretty
numb while I'm on the chemo treatments, but hey, whatever works, ya
He mentioned the fairly large weight gain, and suggested I take it easy on
that. LOL! I blamed it on the big breakfast I just had, but got
The results of the blood test were good and we talked about the fact that I
only have one more chemo treatment to go. I asked, "What
then?" He said that after that we'll just keep an eye on how
things develop. We'll watch for signs and symptoms that it's coming
back, and deal with them as needed. "No scan or anything to
confirm?" I asked. He explained that since the scan I had
recently showed nothing to be concerned about he didn't think it would be
necessary. We'll scan from time to time, unless I get renewed symptoms
that it's coming back, but I don't need one right away, as I'm doing just
fine for now. Neither of us said it, but I smell the word
"remission" coming! I can hardly wait!
We'll also be dealing with the blood clot in my leg with continued weekly
blood tests to monitor Coumadin levels, and I expect that sooner or later
I'll get another Doppler Scan to get a look at the clot itself and see if
it's gone or at least going away. I suspect it's going well, as I'm
not having any difficulties with it right now.
I told him I'd run out of Furosemide, so if he wants me to continue them,
I'll need another prescription. We decided to discontinue them for the
moment. If I start to retain a lot of water again, we'll put me back
on. Otherwise, I'm done with them as well. This is getting
better all the time! At this point, besides the chemo, all I have to
take is the Coumadin. I take it as a good sign of my improving
Here I am discussing all that with the doc:
We set up another appointment for 3 weeks later, but that Wednesday was
pretty crowded already, so we set it up for the next day, Thursday, the
25th. With that, we were on our way over to the chemo treatment
area. This time, I remembered to print out one of each of my cartoons
for the ladies that work in that area, and I could see them all smiling and
laughing at them in the nurses' station, so I'm guessing they were a
Casey took pictures of me getting set up with the IV for the chemo, and here
The hot towel gets my veins to open up for the IV. I'd say they look
Next, we stick in the IV needle.
Which is replaced by the IV feed tube.
Oops... lost a little blood. No worries... I've got plenty!
Next, she tapes it in place.
More tape, as she gets me all ready...
And here I am, all set for the chemo flow.
This time, I got the Decadron through the IV, and then we started the chemo
drugs. It takes about an hour, so Casey and mom decided to take a
little walk to look around and go to the gift shop, where Casey got a couple
little cuddly animals.
I was nice and comfortable the whole time in my big easy chair and when the
IV was done dripping we unplugged and were on our way home.
I spent a good part of the rest of the day printing out the envelopes and
cover letters for all my monthly medical bills, and getting them all stuffed
and ready to go. I even set up a document for printing out all the
info on my checks, so all I have to do is sign them now. Here they
are, all laid out and ready to be stuffed:
It's good to be a computer geek!
This morning, I woke early, took a Torecan long before I got out of bed, and
haven't gotten sick at all. I'm a little nauseated, but not too
bad. No complaints at all.
seems to be a big hit so far, and I'm starting to get a trickle of forum and
journal links to add to it. I suppose I'll get more as more folks
discover it. Remember, if you find any good cancer toons, jokes,
forums, journals or links, email them to me (from there), so I can build a
nice place for cancer patients, caregivers and friends over there!
Till next week, have fun, laugh much and the best to you all!!
Next: Doing Great !