Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I had my follow-up with my surgeon today. He said that because there is no visible cancer, technically I'm in "remission." It's not "cancer free," but it's headed in the right direction.

He's going to talk to my oncologist at Georgetown this week and they will decide my dosage of chemotherapy for the next 3 months or so. I imagine that the dosage will be reduced from what I had over the winter because back then I was trying to shrink tumors. Now, I'm just trying to kill some cancer cells that may or may not be in me.

Not there yet...but inching closer. :-) Strike that... :'-)

Something to avoid...

If ever you find yourself in a situation (maybe at the grocery store or at the zoo) where your internal organs are trying to settle back into their proper places, I've discovered it's best to avoid something. That "something" is having immodium stop you up so gas builds up and can't escape. This causes your intestine to over-inflate and push your other unsettled organs even more out of place. It hurts, I mean, I mean a hell of a lot!

Stick it...

Yesterday I gave myself my last shot of blood thinner in my belly. As you know from earlier posts, the chemo caused a blood clot in my lung. So, from February until now, I had to give myself a shot every day. I was supposed to go until Labor Day, but the clot is gone and the scare of it re-occuring after my most recent surgery faded. So, I'm done! :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008


I went to the movies last night (Hancock was decent) and during the previews they showed a short film:

(Gotta love any film that starts with Christy Turlington!) :-)

Before last night, I didn't know anything about this. "Stand Up 2 Cancer" was formed to help raise money for cancer research. On 5 September at 8pm, all three big networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) will broadcast the same fundraising show.

More info can be found at:

On the right-hand side, click on the orange "+ more" and you get an in-depth press release on what it's all about.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

3 miles...

This post is mostly for me. Next March, I want to run the "Scope it Out" 5K race instead of walking it like I did this year. Well, I started training for it, now. I figure if I post my training data, it will keep me motivated to do better. Right now, I can only walk the three miles, but I should be cleared for some light jogging in a couple of weeks. Then I'll have to battle through the fatigue of chemo, but...oh well...

20 July -- 3 miles -- 48 minutes
21 July -- 3 miles -- 49 minutes
23 July -- 3 miles -- 46 minutes
24 July -- 3 miles -- 45 minutes
26 July -- 3 miles -- 44 minutes
27 July -- 3 miles -- 45 minutes
28 July -- 3 miles -- 42 minutes
1 August - 3 miles -- 44 minutes
2 August - 3 miles -- 43 minutes

(break for lifting weights and softball)

16 August - 3 miles - 44 minutes

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Medical appointments...

Yesterday, I made three medical appointments. On monday, I have a routine appointment to have my I.V. medi-port flushed with saline. That happens every month when I'm not on chemo. Then on Wednesday the 30th, I meet with my surgeon for a follow-up visit. He'll be able to tell me when I'm cleared to start exercising again. Then the following week (the 6th), I meet with my oncologist to discuss when I'll be starting chemo again and for how long. That's all I know for now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The water weight is all gone...

I finally lost all the water weight I gained from surgery (about 25 lbs.) That's the good news. The bad news is that I didn't stop and now I'm down 10 additional lbs of muscle. This just sucks! In the past 10 months, I have lost 75 lbs. 15 with this surgery...15 with that chemo...etc. Besides Jared from Subway, who loses 75 lbs in 10 months???

I got on the scale last night and found that I was down 5 lbs more than I even thought. I immediately cooked a box of pasta-roni (700 calories) at 1am. I almost threw up eating it. My body is still not back to normal from the surgery, so I can't eat much. That doesn't help. Plus, it will be another two weeks until I can lift weights and run to make me crave more food. It's killing me! I cannot gain weight unless I am active and I'm not allowed to be.

I think I'm going to spend 23 hours a day in the gym once I'm cleared...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Feeling sad tonight...

It has yet to sink in that I no longer have any visible cancer in my body. (I still have to do 2 or 3 months of chemo to kill off any stray cancer cells.) But, there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel for me. And just as I'm feeling pretty good, I attended my Arlington softball team's game tonight. It was nice seeing everyone for the first time since my most recent surgery.

My coach, Randy, came up to me and told me that his wife was diagnosed with cancer today. I got a lump in my throat. I remember how I felt when the doctor told me back in December. It's such an overwhelming feeling. Somehow it's almost easier to have it happening to you then someone else you know. You don't feel as helpless when it's you. I feel so badly for them and their kids. :-(

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I am *almost* walking totally upright today! I've been off the pain meds for the past three days (thank god...I hate drugs). I think yesterday's big walk really helped loosen things up in there (hopefully, not in a bad way).

By the weekend, I should be stir-crazy enough that I'll want to do things. So, if you have an opening for me, let me know!

I'm glad I feel a little better today. It gives me hope that I'll be ready to play in my season-ending softball tournament in about a month. I'm going to have to push myself pretty hard to be ready, but I think I can do it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Out of breath...

Because of the incision around my rib cage, it's difficult to breathe. Each breath is painful, so I take small breaths. I am sick of this, so I just went for a walk somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 miles. Man, was that hard! My feet are swollen and numb due to the water weight and my hips hurt on each stride due to the water weight, also. Painful fat is so weird!

I'm giving myself until the weekend to build back up to my 3-mile route around the neighborhood. I can't stand this and exercise seems to be the only way to fix it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I see London, I see France...

Yesterday, for the first time in a week, I was able to put on my underwear. I had gained so much water-weight and my whole body was so swollen that I couldn't fit into them before. A couple of days before that, I started eating small amounts. Over about 6 days, I had one banana and a cup of applesauce. That was all I could manage without gagging. I'm still queasy around food, but I'm getting better.

I'm still in pretty much pain...but things are easing up ever-so-slightly. Hopefully, by next week I'll be well enough for visitors, leaving the house, or at least talking to people on the phone.

This surgery has not been easy at all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quick update...

Sorry for the delay in posting since I got out of the hospital on Saturday, but I have an excuse. Sometime between entering the hospital and leaving, I GAINED 20 pounds of water weight. The docs said "it's normal." Well, this is my fifth abdominal suregery and the only time I've gained normal can it be?

Anyhoo...This water weight is painful. Of my entire year of crap, this is the worst of it so far. From my incision to my toes, I looked like Mike Myer's character "Fat Bastard. I could barely stand in the shower yesterday. Without seeing it, you can't believe it. (I almost wanted to post a naked photo because it's so unbelievable.)

Finally yesterday, one of my nurses gave me some advice and I was able to drop a couple of pounds. So, now I'm only bloated from my incision to my knees. The painful part is at the incision. Not only is my rib cage area (and liver) healing from surgery, but they are being squeezed in there so damn tightly because of all the liquid. So, I feel pain with every breath.

Don't's only pain. None of this is long-term.

Please...only good *thoughts* for now. No calls. I need to rest. Texts are okay...but only to say things. Don't ask questions...