Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bedside manner...

In the past few days, two of my friends have asked me if I would mind talking with their friends who have cancer. Both of them are around my age, play sports in my alumni league, and could use some encouragement. Of course, I am happy to talk with them. If either of them are reading this...hi! :-)

It feels weird being the one to be offering the encouragement instead of the one receiving it from all of you who read my blog. But, it's a nice feeling. It'll be even nicer when these two girls go into remission and take over my role with "patients" of their own. Keep the pattern going, until that day when cancer goes the way of Polio. (Btw, you know where the vaccine for Polio was discovered, right? That's right...the University of Pittsburgh! :-) )

I wish there was no one for me to talk to, but since there is, it's nice to help...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Competitive eating...

You know those guys who win the hot dog eating contests by downing 60 in 3 minutes or whatever? Yeah, I could down MAYBE three in an hour. MAYBE! Probably not.

This week, I lost a couple of pounds. I wasn't sick or anything, I just got lazy. You see, for the past 8 months or so, I have been focused on counting my calories every day. I have to make sure I get 2000 a day. This week, I probably averaged 1200-1500 or so. If I don't make an effort, I forget to eat. I could go a week with eating a total of three or four meals and not even feel the slightest bit hungry. I get thirsty, but my entire life I was never hungry.

If my grandma would not have constantly yelled to me in the yard or the basement to come eat, I would have graduated high school at 75 lbs. (Instead I graduated at 110 lbs.) The same is true today. When my mind is focused on other things, I don't even think about food. If you couple that with the fact that I hate the taste of food and hate eating, it makes eating meals a big chore.

My task at the grocery store is to find the smallest amount of food with the highest calorie content. I don't want to have to eat a meal for more than 10 minutes or I get sick of eating and quit. So, small quantity is the key.

Any ideas on foods I might want to try?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Well, I'm not a wimp...

I emailed my doc and told him that I was sleeping for about five days after my treatments. He said that is WAY too much and insists that I stop treatments for now. So, I'm on a break from chemo! I can start going out to dinners with friends or whatever, soon. It's been a while since I left the house much. We'll play it by ear as to when I'll start back up for my final chemo treatments.


Back in August when I started my chemo again, my doctor said he likes to do 6 months of chemo with his patients. I had already done 3 months over the winter, so that would be 3 more. Cool. But, no. He said he wanted to do a full 6 months more with me just to be sure. I couldn't argue that.

He did, however, say that I could take a break in the middle if it got to be too much. No way did I ever think I'd take him up on that. The last thing I want to do is push back my end date (currently 30 January). But, I just emailed him today asking to take that break. It probably makes me a wimp, but the last couple of cycles have put me in a "chemo coma" where I just sleep for 5 or 6 days after treatment. I'd like to do my next cycle (next week), take a break, and then finish the final 5 after that. It would be nice to have the holidays off from chemo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Basketball tonight...

Tonight is the first college basketball game on the ESPN networks. Duke is one of the teams playing. If you remember, last December, I had tickets to see Duke play against Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden. But, it was the day after I was diagnosed, so I wasn't in the mood to go to the game.

I think it's appropriate that tonight's kickoff game is part of the "Coaches vs Cancer" tournament.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tomorrow is chemo # 6 out of 12

I know I should be happy that I'm about to be half-way finished with chemo. But, the truth is I'm just sick and tired of this whole year. Literally...SICK and TIRED.


Monday, November 3, 2008

No scan today...

You know, I have not had a procedure done at Georgetown were there wasn't a problem. And I have not had a procedure done at Johns Hopkins were there WAS a problem.

I showed up at Georgetown for my CAT scan this morning and they didn't have my orders for it. They asked if I had them. Now, maybe my doctor gave me the orders, but that was over a month ago and I have chemo brain. Why should a patient have to be responsible for hand-carrying paper orders? There is a computer at everyone's desk at G-town. Why aren't the orders on the computer? At Johns Hopkins, I don't have to do anything except show up.

An option today was to wait around a couple of hours for my doctor to arrive and then try to get new orders. I decided to eat a donut and go home instead. I have a call in to Johns Hopkins to get my scan done up there sometime. They know what they are doing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CAT scan tomorrow

At 7:30am, I go to Georgetown for a CAT scan. This is my first scan since being declared in remission. We have to see if any cancer returned. I know I'm on chemo, so the chances are minimal, but it's still kinda scary.

I meet with the doc on wednesday to talk about the results. Wish me luck...

Barely noticed...

Over the weekend, I was in South Bend, Indiana for the Pitt vs. Notre Dame football game. The game went into FOUR overtimes. It was insane. It was the longest game for both schools ever. Very exciting.

One play stood out to me more than any. Although, I bet not many even noticed it. After Pitt's last touchdown, they kicked-off and Dan Carafo made the tackle. Why do I like that play? Dan Cafaro is a cancer survivor.