After a long week of chemo, I am back in the office this morning for a full day of work. I don’t mind it, I actually came up with the idea, so I only have myself to blame. While I am tired and would rather be home sleeping, I am working today so that I can have this Wednesday off. What’s so important about Wednesday? For Father’s Day, Tina got us tickets for Metallica in Detroit, which is this Wednesday. So now I can sleep in that day, and then head up to Detroit to enjoy the concert. Best of all, my boss is letting me work 11:00 am to 8:00 pm on Thursday, so I can get some good rest after rocking out all night.
Today at work I am going to check a couple of workstations at the office, finish off a short list of outstanding items, and then I am going to finish installing and start configuring osTicket on our new CentOS server. It’s a great open source helpdesk system that we are going to use to track user computer issues at the office, as well as build a good knowledge base for the users to fix their own computer problems, if they so choose.
If I can get all the way through the osTicket installation and configuration today, I am going to start to work on installing and configuring Zenoss Core, so that I can proactively monitor our internal servers, router, switches, Internet connections, VoIP, and other IT systems. It’s not my ideal monitoring system, but it is open source and free, so we will be using it until we grow enough to allow for me to spend a few thousand dollars on the one that I prefer.
The diet is holding strong and I am feeling better because of it. One of the most important parts of a diet, especially for someone like me, is controlling my portions. I am the kind of person that would typically eat unhealthy food, and to make it worse, I ate too much of it. This often ended with me having heartburn or acid re-flux, upset stomach, and all of the other fun stuff related with overeating.
This time I have been very mindful of my portion sizes, and only eat until I am starting to feel full, because I know that shortly my stomach and brain will catch up with each other and tell me that I am full. I am also eating less often and trying to stick to only three reasonable meals per day. Sure, I might have a low carb protein bar in between meals if I am hungry, but not that often. All of this has kept me heartburn and stomach ache free for the past week.
I am also drinking a ton of water every day. In fact, since about two months ago, I only drink water. Once in a while I may add a Crystal Light pack to my water, but that’s rare anymore. One thing that cancer did for me is to give me an excuse to quit drinking pop all the time. I used to go through an average of 5-6 bottles of Diet Mountain Dew per day. But since my diagnosis, and the surgery in November, I haven’t had a drop of pop. Once in a while I miss the flavor, but don’t have any desire to go back to it.
The best news is that, after only one week of dieting, I am down nine pounds! I am so excited to see the weight loss and it is keeping me even more focused on my healthy eating and I am excited to see how much I will be down when I weigh in at chemo on July 5th. So, while I have almost two weeks until my next weigh in, I am feeling stronger than ever in my fight for a healthy lifestyle, and will not falter in my course!
Sometimes I’m really glad to have the weekend finally come, after a long week of work, and other times I’m just wishing it would be over. This was my six day work week, because I have Tuesday off for chemo, and it was a hectic week at work. One of those weeks in IT where chaos is the normal and you never stop jumping from one task to another.
Typically I would be excited for a day off, but I miss Tina tonight, and am having a real problem sleeping. Even after working about fifty hours this week, I’m still awake, more than 19 hours after I woke up Saturday morning. My brain is whirling about my disease, among other things, and I can’t talk with Tina because she’s working.
Hopefully later today I can wake up and hang with my kids for a little while, for Father’s Day, before they go about their typical daily rituals. Having older kids is great, but I never know what will happen, and this year I really want to see them all. I mean, let’s be honest and say it: who knows how many more Father’s Days I’ll be around for? This cancer thing is unpredictable and I have no idea what it has in store for me.
I know this all sounds negative, and I am not sure what’s going on with me tonight, but it is what it is. I guess I’ll try again to go to sleep, and hope that tomorrow brings me a good day, with more positive thoughts.
It’s been a crazy eight months since I was diagnosed, and it’s been even longer since I took my health seriously. I’m very overweight and it’s causing a lot of problems for me. Mostly my back is affected, but surely bad food and being overweight isn’t good for me in my fight against cancer.
I have finally had enough and started eating better today. I also plan to start going to the gym, though that is going to be tough, since I’m working full time and still feeling really tired all of the time. I assume most of the fatigue is from the chemo, but I also don’t get as much sleep as I should on a day-to-day basis. Whatever it is, I’m going to do my best to meet my goal of two days in the gym per week.
The Atkins diet has always worked well for me in the past, which is why I decided to go that route again. Once I get closer to my goal weight, of 220 pounds, I’ll look for a diet that can help me maintain the weight loss. But for now, I’m going to stick to what I know, and what I know works for me.
It’s going to be a long and difficult journey, but one that will be well worth it in the end.
The colonoscopy went well yesterday. After a long wait for registration, I was taken back and quickly prepared for and taken into the exam room. As always, Versed and Fentanyl did their job and I don’t remember any of the procedure. If you have never had those two drugs, together they make it so that you are very relaxed and have temporary memory loss. Good stuff for a procedure like this.
The doctor came back while I was in recovery and told Tina and me that everything looked perfect; I have healed fully from the resection surgery last November (when they took the tumor and a section of my colon out) and there was no evidence of new disease. Woohoo! Finally, some good news. The doctor even went so far as to say that I didn’t need to come back for three years, unless something comes up on a future scan.
After getting only about three and a half hours of sleep the night before, and only a couple of 20-30 minute naps yesterday, I went to bed at a little after 8:00 pm. I slept great, but unfortunately woke up at 4:30 am today, so I got showered and headed into work to get the day started. Hopefully I will get a chance to sneak out of here a little early today, since I have to be in to work tomorrow for a full day, too.
Tonight I started the prep for tomorrow, when I have another colonoscopy, scheduled for 1:30. While all of the PET and CT scans have been clear of new disease, since my last colonoscopy in October, I have to admit that I’m still quite nervous about it. Not about the procedure itself (thank God for conscious sedation) as much as the results. After all, the last one didn’t exactly go great, as far as test results go.
It’s a different feeling than scanxiety, but it’s still a lot of anxiety all the same. I’m hoping and praying that they don’t find something else that is new or something that didn’t show up on the scans. I’m hoping and praying that they don’t find a problem with the surgery I had last November, where they removed the tumor and some of my colon.
I guess tonight and tomorrow morning all I’m going to be doing is hoping and praying. Something tells me that I t’s going to be a long night tonight and morning tomorrow.
I am so excited about my two week break from chemo! Every cycle I get to feeling almost human right before I go back to get another treatment. This time I might actually have enough time to feel “normal” again. And with no more of the oxaliplatin, I am hopeful that the cold sensititvy and neuropathy will eventually go away and not return!
Unfortunately, this weekend was filled with a lot of work, due to some issues with our VoIP at the office. Outgoing calls work fine but incoming calls are intermittently failing over to our secondary source (cell phone). It started Thursday night about 10:00 pm and has been going on since. I worked on it all day Friday, then again Friday night from 7:00 until almost midnight. I was back in the Saturday morning from 7:30 until about noon, and worked on it through the day Saturday and Sunday from home. To me it looks like an issue with our ISP’s upstream provider, but I can’t be certain (they surely won’t admit it). The whole situation has been very frustrating.
So tomorrow morning it’s back to the grind. I’ve got a couple more ideas to try, that I thought of tonight, and hopefully I can get it working quickly. While we aren’t missing any calls because of the failover, it isn’t ideal for our operations team, and it needs to get resolved.
I have to say though, even with all the work and frustration, I’m still very grateful that I am able to do it. So many cancer patients struggle with the treatments and have the side effects affect them much worse than I do. I know that it is due to God, and my faith, that I can get through this with so few problems.
Another Saturday is upon me, and I’m back in the office this morning to get some work done. Sometimes these long weeks wear me down and this week that has certainly been the case. I feel like I just can’t get enough sleep no matter how much I get. Every day this week has been difficult to get up and going and by the end of the work day, I am ready for bed. The fact is that the fatigue from the chemo treatments is hitting me a little harder and lasting a little longer each cycle. While I know the chemo is helping me fight the cancer, it is also starting to wear me down. In truth, that’s why I have not been updating this blog as often as I would like.
The last PET scan, in January, showed that the lesions on my liver were either gone or too small to see (less than 1 cm). It was also confirmed that no new cancer was found, though the lesions in my lungs were still there and about the same size. This morning I have a CT scan to see if my lungs are clearing up. The good news is that I already have an appointment on Tuesday morning to get the results of today’s scan, so I won’t have to wait 10 days, like the last time. Thank God I don’t have to go through scanxiety for so long like I did in January.
After the scan this morning I’ll be back in the office for the remainder of the day. The good news is that I will be plenty tired tonight and should be able to go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. I plan to make Sunday a nice, quiet day of resting around the house, trying to do as little as possible. I am going to need it because I am working Monday and Tuesday I am back at the infusion center for round twelve of chemo.
My chest has been feeling tight the past few days and my breathing has been getting progressively worse since Friday. Last night I actually had to use my home aerosol machine to do a breathing treatment, just to get my breathing settled down so that I could try to sleep.
Today it seems to be a little better, but that is most likely due to the fact that my wife wants me to go to urgent care and I don’t want to. True, I probably should and will end up doing it, but I sure don’t want to.
I never realized how compromised my immune system would be while undergoing chemo treatments. This will be my third or fourth time at urgent care for the same thing since I started chemo, back in November. That’s not even counting the two or three times that I went to the doctor and not urgent care.
It seems like I am getting sick every couple of weeks. Anytime I see someone at work sick I know it’s coming for me next. Not very fun. Especially considering that this is chemo week. The last thing that I want or need on chemo week when I already feel so drained.
Hopefully they can give me a prescription for antibiotics tonight at urgent care.
I’m back in the office this morning after a good night’s sleep, to make that money to pay off what I did twelve hours ago. Tina and I had a nice dinner last night with our youngest son, David, and then we went home and booked our trip for our anniversary this September: 6 days and 5 nights of Caribbean bliss at the all-inclusive Hard Rock resort in Cancun, Mexico. We were originally planning on a quick weekend getaway in Florida, because of the medical bills coming in, but decided that it will be our 25th anniversary and we need to do something special.
Tina has been wanting to go to Mexico for a few years now and I figured it was high time we do it. I mean, let’s be honest, since I have cancer, we don’t know how many more times we’ll have the chance. Besides, being married for 25 years, especially in today’s world, is certainly something to celebrate! Plus we got a great deal with Costco Travel, including our flights, transfers from the airport to the hotel and back, and the hotel room all for a great price. On top of that, we are getting a $214 Costco gift card in the mail and get $3,000 credit at the resort for extras like couples massages, merchandise from the on-site store, and much more.
Now all we have to do is pay off the credit card we put the trip on and wait another 168 days…