A Great Weekend and Ready for Work

I had a great weekend, filled with plenty of rest, family time, and even some work. Friday evening we all celebrated Tina’s birthday and had a great time as a family. I fell asleep not long after 9:00pm and slept until almost 10:00am the next morning. I think all that sleep was due to the emotional dump that I had after the doctor appointment that morning and having just a little less on my mind.

Saturday I stayed home and watched some TV and did a little work from home. Believe it or not, I also took about a two hour nap! Then, after taking Tina to work, I came home and watched the Bellator fights with my oldest son Mark and his girlfriend Michelle. Unfortunately, sleep didn’t happen so easily Saturday night and I was up until after 4:00am, though I’m not real sure why.

After picking Tina up from work at 7:00am on Sunday, I watched a little TV and took a nap. Then I got ready for the day and, after dropping her back off at work, Bree (my youngest daughter) and I went to my office and moved some employee’s computers and phones to new locations. I’m so glad that she went with me to help because she saved me a lot of crawling around under desks with my old, bad back.

Then we came home and I got a few things done around the house and now I’m laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep. I hired a new web developer at work on Friday and tomorrow is his first day, so we have a lot to go over. I’m excited that I’ll have someone to do the bulk of the programming for us so that I can go back to working primarily on the hardware stuff, which I truly enjoy.

PET Scan Results Are Back!

Tina and I went to see my oncologist, Dr. Phinney, this morning to get the results of the latest PET scan. I’m not free and clear, but overall it was really good news! Quite honestly, I had prepared myself for the worst and was quite taken back by what he said. I was literally speechless, and anyone who knows me knows that isn’t easy to do to me.

First off, there is no evidence of new disease, which means the cancer has not spread any more! But to make things even better, the three lesions that were on my liver are no longer showing up on the PET scan. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are gone, but they have at least shrunk down to below 1 CM in size, which is the about smallest size the PET scan can show.

The nodules in my lungs look as though they may have grown about 1 MM, however Dr. Phinney was quick to point out a couple of possible reasons for that. Firstly, they may have actually grown, which he thinks is unlikely. Secondly, the most recent scan was done at a different facility, with a newer and more technologically advanced PET scan machine, so they may just “look” bigger. Lastly, because nodules and tumors are hard to measure with a great deal of accuracy, and it is up to the interpretation of the doctor reading the scans, they may not have grown at all. Basically, he said that a nodule that one doctor may read as 8 MM may be read by another doctor as 9 MM.

So, all in all, it was a great appointment with some incredibly good news! I am going to continue on the same chemo regiment, every two weeks, for the next three months. After that we will do another scan and see what everything looks like.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been thinking of me, praying for me, supporting me, and been there for me throughout this entire ordeal. The war certainly isn’t over yet, and I need to keep my nose to the grind and keep moving forward, but as far as I am concerned we won the first battle!

Our God is truly an awesome God!

Round Five is Done, Now It’s a Waiting Game

I got the chemo pump disconnected this afternoon, and now all I have to do is manage to wait until tomorrow morning to get the results of the PET scan. Fortunately, I have a very busy day today at work with meetings and an interview for a web developer position that we are trying to fill. Then I am planning on going home and taking a nap, because I am very tired, and well, naps are good.

Later tonight I am going with my oldest son, Mark, to see a movie. Then I’ll go home and hang with my awesome wife, Tina, for an hour or two before I try to go to sleep. So, my time should be pretty well filled between now and tomorrow morning. I just hope that I can sleep tonight, because I have a lot on my mind, and I have a very full day at work scheduled for tomorrow after my doctor appointment.

Round Five Is Underway and Scanxiety is Getting Worse

This morning I went to the infusion center at the clinic for round five. Each round is bringing more fatigue and once again I slept through half of the morning at the center, leaving my poor wife, Tina, to read her book while I slept. I am so grateful that I have such a strong, loving and understanding women like her in my life.

After we finished up at the center, about 1:00 pm, we went home and I picked up my convertible to go to work. On the way I stopped and got my free haircut at Great Clips. That is such an awesome thing they do for cancer patients and it really helps to cheer me up every time I go in. And yes, I remembered to leave my tip with the stylist today.

I decided that I was still really tired and was going to take the day off, to get some rest, and as I checked my work email on my work cell phone I saw an email from my boss needing help on something immediately. I scrapped the idea of heading home and instead went to work. I helped my boss with what he needed, scheduled the remaining interviews for the new web developer that we are looking to hire, and worked on a couple of other items.

I left work about 5:00 pm and headed home to get some sleep. My youngest daughter met me at the door and offered to make me dinner, so after settling on some Mrs. Grass soup, I went upstairs while she cooked my food. After eating in bed, and watching a little TV, I finally fell asleep around 6:00 pm. I woke up again about 9:30 pm and it was evident that I was pretty wide awake, so I headed downstairs and did some work from home.

I am getting ready to go back to bed, so that I can work tomorrow, but I find myself thinking about my appointment with Dr. Phinney on Friday. In essence, I have 50/50 odds that the chemo is either working, or that it is not and we need to look to the next type of chemo treatment. Not really good odds if you ask me, and the wait is driving me crazy.

I am trying to remain positive, trying to give my worry to God, trying to be the good soldier. But I have to admit, the closer it gets to Friday morning, the more scared I get. Is the chemo working? Is it not working? Is the cancer growing and spreading from the chemo (yes, that is actually a possibility)? Are we going to get good news or more bad news? How will what we hear affect my beautiful wife’s birthday, which is also Friday?

Friday can’t come soon enough. And yet, at the same time, I kind of wish that it would never come at all.

Monday is Here Again

After a very good and productive Saturday, and a quiet and relaxing Sunday, the work week is here. I got a great night’s sleep, thanks to being tired and with a little help from my good friend Lunesta. I picked Tina up from work at 7:15am and was in the office before 8:00am.

I have a long day of work ahead of me, including setting up interviews for later this week, for a web developer job. I also need to call SonicWall about an issue that we are having with our firewall. Then I’ve got some programming that I have to do myself, to continue on a project that I’ve been working on.

And then, after work, I get to go to Kistler Ford and pick up our new 2016 Ford Edge Titanium Edition! I am really excited about getting this new car and I can’t wait to go to the dealership tonight. Today is going to be like what Christmas Eve used to be for me when I was a kid!

A Great Start to the Weekend

Today was an excellent day! It started with me picking my beautiful wife up from work at 7:00am and enjoying some breakfast with her before she went to sleep. Then I went to The Victory Center at 10:00am and got an incredible massage. I had awakened with a kink in my neck and the therapist worked it out completely.

After my massage I headed to Miss Cue South and met my oldest son Mark, and his girlfreind Michelle, Derek and his wife Marisol, and we played some 9 Ball until just after 1:00pm. I love to shoot pool because it is truly a release for me, and losing only three games in over two hours of play certainly makes it more fun (well, at least for me).

Then I went to Kistler Ford and talked with them about our 2013 Ford Fusion and getting into a new leased vehicle. I ended up finding a beautiful 2016 Ford Edge Titanium Edition available and am heading back Monday after work to pick it up. It has heated and AC front seats, heated rear seats, memory seating for the driver seat, remote start, perimeter alarm, Panoramic Vista roof (HUGE sunroof!), a Sony 12 speaker sound system (that totally rocks!), and comes with the Sync3 8″ touchscreen system that includes navigation and live traffic updates. The best part? We don’t have to pay the last three monthly lease payments for the Fusion and we are going to save $100 per month on the lease payments with the new Edge!

After the dealership I went to Costco and picked up a couple of essentials and also the PureGuardian Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier for our bedroom. Tina and I have both been waking up with our noses very dry, and since we already have the humidifier on our furnace turned up to the highest setting, we are hoping this helps.

After getting home and taking a short nap, I took Tina to El Salto and we had a nice, quiet dinner together before she went to work. Then I went home, got a few things done around the house, and am now getting ready to go to bed. It’s been a long but productive and good day, filled with fun, some good deals, and some awesome alone time with Tina.

Scanxiety is Setting In

Many people will think that I misspelled the word anxiety, or not understand what I meant when I typed it. But scanxiety is a real word, at least in my world. Scanxiety is the anxiety that happens when a cancer patient has to wait for the results of their latest PET scan. I had my PET scan on Monday, and have to wait until next Friday to get the results. Eleven days, each of which can feel like an eternity.

I read an interesting take on scanxiety on one of the cancer related web sites that I tend to look at when I am looking for information, hope, or even the cold hard truth. It read:

“People often don’t realize there’s a difference between general anxiety and scanxiety. For those of us with scanxiety, it’s not about what might happen, it’s about what already did happen. Telling a person with scanxiety to “just let go because worry won’t help” or “the things you worry about will never happen” can not only be confusing to us, but they can be damaging. You have to remember that the things that cause our scanxiety already happened. For us it is not so much about worrying; instead it’s about remembering.”

When I read that I found so much truth in it. I am a man of strong faith, one that puts my whole life in God’s hands. I know that He is in charge and is in control of my future, not me. I know that I can take anything to Him and give it over to Him and He will take it from me happily. I have turned over the results of the scan to Him and know that whatever happens, it is His will.

But that doesn’t stop me from worrying about the results and how it will affect my family and me. It doesn’t stop me from wondering if I am going to be one of the blessed ones who gets more time on this Earth with my family and friends or one of those that gets called home early. It doesn’t stop me from thinking I should be getting my affairs in order and get my will, living will and power of attorney completed or updated. It doesn’t stop me from being scared that I won’t see my children get married, graduate from college, and raise their families. It doesn’t stop me from thinking about how lonely my dear wife is going to be when I am gone.

I hope and pray that my scan shows promise, gives us more hope, and the strength the keep on fighting this wretched disease. But the next eight days are going to be very difficult to get through and I haven’t even hit the half way mark yet.

So yes, scanxiety is a real thing, and it is a real bitch.

The Victory Center

I went to The Victory Center today at lunch for my intake appointment. After much paperwork, I sat down the Program Director, Penny McCloskey, and we went over all of the programs and benefits that they offer. I was simply amazed at everything that they provide for cancer patients and honestly really moved.

Everyone that I met today is a cancer survivor themselves, so they really get what I am going through. I could tell that they were genuinely excited about the programs and services they offer and truly cared that they could help me through this tough time. I was then shown around the facility and introduced to everyone there, from the executive director on down.

Before leaving, they wanted to get me scheduled for my first few services. I was already scheduled for a massage this coming Saturday by the lady that booked my intake appointment on the phone, so I decided to try a couple of their other offerings. I signed up for “Healing Touch,” which is the western world’s version of Reiki, an energy-based approach to healing. I’m not totally sure I believe that it will work, but I have to give it a try. I also signed up for flexology, which is healing through the pressure points in the feet. Who knows, that might work, too 🙂

So, if you live in northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan, and are unlucky enough to have cancer, I recommend that you give The Victory Center a call and set up your intake appointment. I think that you will find that you will be glad that you did.

PET Scan, Work and Play

I went this morning for my second PET scan, so that we can see if the chemo is working or not. The procedure itself isn’t too bad, though I am a big guy to fit in the little tube. The diet they require the 24 hours before the test kind of stinks, but I lived through it. Though I have to admit that was the easy part, because it’s going to be a long 11 days to get the results, that’s for sure!

I made it to work earlier than I expected and have been cranking out the work since. It’s kind of nice to have a short day, especially considering that I worked 6 hours on Saturday and 5 more on Sunday. Well that and I am VERY tired today. Not sure if it is the chemo, the lack of rest and relaxation this weekend, or a combination of both. I have to admit that I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight.

After work today Tina and I are meeting our oldest son Mark and his girlfriend, Michelle, at the mall to watch Underworld: Blood Wars. It has been a really well done series so far and I am looking forward to seeing where they take it in this sequel. While most critics have bashed the movie, I don’t typically take a lot of stock in what the critics have to say, because most of the films that I enjoy are not for mainstream audiences. That and I have enjoyed the series so far and the trailers for this one looked good, so I am optimistic.

Bad Sleep but Good News

I fell asleep last night about 10pm and woke up this morning just after 4:30am. I’ve been coughing the last few days and pulled a muscle in my back, which has been keeping me from getting a good night’s sleep since. Today was no different when I apparently rolled over in my sleep, because I quickly awoke with a sharp pain in my back.

Unfortunately, I am going to work this morning, after I pick Tina up from work at 7am, to make some changes on our core router. That means that going back to sleep is probably not going to happen anytime soon. The good news is that my mom and dad offered to treat me to a massage, to get that muscle worked on, and I have an appointment today at 2pm at Massage Green Spa. I’m hoping and praying for some serious relief from the pain when my appointment is done.

I also called the Victory Center this week and found out more about their services, which are free for cancer patients and their immediate families. They offer massages, reflexology, reiki, exercise programs, counseling, and more, all at no charge. What an awesome thing for people in the Toledo area and I have an intake meeting scheduled for next Wednesday at 1pm. They already scheduled me for a massage next Saturday, too.

Once again, it’s nice to see organizations providing free or discounted services to cancer patients. God is definitely shining His loving light down, I just need to remember to open my eyes and look for it.