Monday, August 25, 2008

Too Much Information man

Sunday, 24 August 2008, we went out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. After telling the waitress that he wanted Chicken Chow Mein and egg drop soup, Kyle told the waitress that, “Daddy has a tumor in his butt.”

The waitress looked shunned for a moment while I very quickly explained that I had colon cancer and I was doing well. She finished taking our order and left. Then Marjorie and I explained the concept of "over sharing" to Kyle.

Lunch was good (I even ate a little) and we tipped the waitress very well.


So I thought chemo was going well, but I was wrong, terribly wrong.

Wednesday morning, just as the pump finished, I started getting queasy. Then it was downhill from there: nausea, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea - all of the fun stuff. I finally managed to keep some food down on Saturday, 23 August 2008, and I even had a little energy on Sunday.

Seven more treatments to go and so much to look forward to!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Day Monday (revisited)

Monday, 18 August 2008, was indeed a BIG day: Kyle started Kindergarten and I started chemotherapy. Overall, the day went pretty good. We had a small rough patch getting Kyle off to school, but chemo went much better than I expected.

The day started off badly. While getting Kyle ready for school, we couldn't find his medi-alert bracelet. (Kyle has asthma and he wears a bracelet that lists his condition, his medications, his doctor's name, and his doctor's phone number.) Normally the bracelet sits on a shelf in his room when he isn't wearing it. Alas, it wasn't there this morning. After searching the house thoroughly, we said we would fine it later and headed off to school:

When we picked Kyle up at after-school day-care we learned several things:

1. Kyle likes school
2. Kyle made "lots" of friends
3. Kyle already has homework (read a story every night)
4. Kyle's medi-alert bracelet got left at day-care last Friday
5. There is no school tomorrow, 19 August 2008, because of Tropical Storm Fay

Chemotherapy was probably not as much fun as kindergarten, but it was better than expected. After a quick check with my oncologist, Dr. G, I went to the "treatment room" where I sat in a comfy recliner, got a nice warm blanket, drank a soda, and had toxic drugs dripped into my veins for over two hours. They then hooked me up with a pump (literally), and sent me home.

The good news is the side effects of the chemo are pretty minimal so far: "pins and needles" when I drink cold liquids and a little diarrhea. No bazooka vomiting, no loss of appetite, and no hair loss (that I can see anyway). Additionally, I got a fancy manbag for my pump:

Of course, this is all I know about manbags:

So maybe chemo wasn't so great afterall.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Big Day Monday

Monday, 18 August 2008, is going to be a big day: my son, Kyle, starts Kindergarten and I start chemotherapy. Somehow, I think Kyle is going to have more fun than me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Power Ranger Port

Yesterday, 15 August 2008, I was back at the hospital for an outpatient procedure to turn me into a Power Ranger.

Okay, not really a Power Ranger (cool as that might have been). Instead I had a Power Port installed.

The port will allow my oncologist, Dr. G, to deliver the chemotherapy to my system more efficiently. Instead of sticking me with an IV and having the chemo go up the vein in my arm, then into the heart, and then to the rest of my body, the port basically sends the chemo straight to my heart. This will prevent long-term damage to the veins in my arm and it also means less needle sticks (and frankly, I've been stuck with enough needles already).

The port itself is under the skin on the upper left side of my chest. Right now it's very sore, so if you feel the need to punch me in the chest, please aim for the right side.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bag man

Warning: the following may be too much information (TMI).

In addition to the scar that runs from just below my sternum to just above my, ah, "equipment", I also received another souvenir: a temporary ileostomy.

Me and my bag

Ten inches on my colon had to be chopped out to remove Frank. The spot where my surgeon, Dr. M, reconnected my colon needs about six months to heal. So, I'm not allowed to "use" my colon for that time. Since I still want to eat, the good doctor rerouted my small intestines to my stoma bag.

Yes, it's a pain and yes, it's gross. However, it's temporary and I will do whatever is needed to be cancer-free. Even pooping in a bag.