Vacation Scheduled

With my health slowly declining, Tina and I decided that it was time for one last big vacation, so we started looking. We originally planned to go to back to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, because we absolutely loved everything about it. The beach and ocean was incredible, the food and drinks were amazing, and the room and the customer service was more than we had expected.

However, Tina started looking around at other resorts in Cancun and when I asked her why, she said she was looking for something new and different. Then she asked me where I wanted to go; I explained that, in the end, this trip was going to be her memory, so I wanted her to make the choice. For me, I am just glad that we are able to go someplace beautiful again, and to be alone with each other, before my health is to the point where we can’t do so anymore.

In the end, Tina chose Hawaii, as we have always talked about going but never did. So, we started looking at the different islands, hotels, packages, flights, etc. and finally decided on the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. We are in the Rainbow Tower, right on the beach, and facing Diamond Head, which is only about two miles away. We leave at the end of February and will be there nine glorious days!

Besides getting away with each other, and enjoying the beach and ocean as we always do, we are also very excited about the humpback whale migration, which is occurring now. We have already booked a whale watch excursion that guarantees that we see a whale, or we get to do the cruise again for free! We are also planning on visiting the Waikiki Aquarium, and are looking at taking a day to go to Pearl Harbor, and possibly Diamond Head, as well.

We are so ready to go! Twenty two days and counting…

Keeping Busy and my Head Up

Waiting to talk with Dr. Phinney has been a challenge, but I am doing pretty good with it. I’ve found that keeping myself busy seems to help keep most of the negativity out of my head. I certainly have moments throughout the day where I start to think about it all, but I try to turn my thinking around as quickly as I can. I worked eleven hours on Friday and then, after getting my haircut, I met Tina at Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. Afterward we went home and watched some TV and went to bed. I slept pretty well last night, with no bad dreams.

I got up at 7:00 this morning and was at work before 8:00. After a long day of database work and some programming, I am getting ready to head home to meet Tina. After a quick change of clothes we are heading over to our daughter Susan’s house for a cookout. After that, if I am not too tired, Tina and I are planning to go to Cinamark Theaters at Franklin Park Mall to watch a movie. We both want to see The Dark Tower, Spider-man: Homecoming, and Atomic Blonde, so we have plenty of choices. We’ll probably pick the one that starts closest to the time we leave Susan’s house, because I am very tired.

Keeping busy has helped and the time is shortening that I have to wait to talk to Dr. Phinney. Prayer has also helped me a lot, as well as thinking of my beautiful wife, wonderful children, awesome grandchildren, and the rest of my family and friends who are behind me and counting on me to fight. Knowing that I am not alone, and have so many reasons to keep pushing forward in this battle, has made it easier to squash the bad thoughts when they creep in. I have no idea what Dr. Phinney is going to say or what we’re going to try next, but I am not going to give up. I am going to fight with everything that I have.

Good Weekend ending with a CT Scan

I had a good, relaxing weekend and did pretty much exactly what I wanted, nothing. Saturday I ran a few errands and got a service call setup for our refrigerator which has a few issues. Fortunately, it is still under warranty, so the service call is completely covered. After my errands on Saturday I played some PS4, watched a couple of TV shows, and took a solid nap.

Sunday was much of the same, without so many errands. After picking Tina up from work I went home and watched some TV, played some PS4 and took another glorious nap. Then Tina and I went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner, and after dropping her off at work, I went to the grocery store and picked up some stuff that we needed.

This morning I am at Flower HospitL to get the latest in a seemingly long line of scans. This is my third since starting chemo back in October of last year, and is becoming a regular thing, every three to four months. After eighteen chemo treatments, I am hoping this scan shows continued progress on the nodules in my lungs and nothing new, but at the same time I am ready for whatever the results are.

I won’t get the scan results until my next appointment with Dr. Phinney on Wednesday, August 16th, but honestly I’m not too anxious about it. After fighting this horrible disease for the past nine months, I’ve adopted a whole new attitude about it. Ultimately, the scan is going to be what the scan is, and there’s nothing that I can do about it. I’m just staying strong in my faith and know that whatever the outcome is for this latest scan, it is what it is.

I’m not going to fight any less or change much of anything based on whether this scan is good news or otherwise. It is what it is, and I’m going to keep doing everything that I can to beat this thing into submission.

Working Today to Rock Out on Wednesday

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.

Weekend Update

It’s been a good weekend so far, and it’s winding down. The diet is still going well and I haven’t had any setbacks, so I’m still excited about weighing in at chemo in another nine days. Hey, at least it’s something to look forward to on chemo day!

I had to work a few hours on Saturday and about an hour today, but it all went pretty quick and easy. I did a little more than my back likes me to do, but that’s just the normal for me anymore. Hopefully losing some serious weight will help with my constant back pain.

I took my youngest son David to the pool hall today and we got some good games in. Well, by good I mean that we enjoyed playing, because I certainly wasn’t playing too well. I’d like to blame my back but to be honest I’m just out of practice, and yet I still feel like I should be breaking and running every table like I used to. Though it’s certainly been quite a long time since I played like that, so I’m not sure why I expect myself to play like I did way back then.

So to wrap up my weekend, I’m going to watch the UFC event tonight and try to get to bed early. I’ve got a doctor appointment in the morning and a long day of work tomorrow, and then hopefully some quiet time with my beautiful wife tomorrow evwning.

Yet Another Weekend

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.

What a Weekend

This weekend started off with me sleeping half of Friday evening and then being up past 2am Saturday morning. I didn’t mind it too much because I was tired and knew that I had to work Saturday evening on a phone system upgrade.

Saturday I woke up at 6:30am, picked up Tina from work, and then went back to sleep until after noon. Then I watched a little TV with Bree, dropped her off for a babysitting gig, then went home and took Tina and Ava to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. It’s always a good time having Ava join us for some quality fun time, just the three of us.

Unfortunately, Bree was not feeling well when I picked her back up, after dropping Tina off to work. I slept a couple of hours early Saturday evening, went to work for about three and a half hours, and was again up way too late. While I was at work, Bree woke up and told me that she had a fever of 103.2 and didn’t feel good. That lead us to the local urgent care on Sunday, where we found out she has strep throat. The rest of Sunday was spent taking naps, running to the store, and staying away from Bree.

Then I was up until after 3am on Monday morning. My sleep schedule is totally messed up and I have to get it right by tomorrow for work. I’m still coughing up major junk, even after finishing the Z-pack, and feeling pretty poopy. Ill be calling the doctor again on Tuesday for another prescription and hope that I feel better soon.

Ready for a Vacation

I have been enjoying the two week break I got from chemo, but I have been working a lot and busy at home, too. With all that has been going on, I am in desperate need of a break. Some time alone with my beautiful wife Tina; some time to just decompress. Time where work isn’t part of my every day and it’s just me and my sweetheart. Fortunately, I don’t have too long to wait.

Thursday after I get off work I am running home to pick Tina up and we’re heading down to Columbus, Ohio and checking into a hotel. Then, after a good night’s sleep without distractions and a nice late start, we are heading to Mapfre Stadium for day one of Rock on the Range. It’s going to be a great night of good old grunge music with Bush, Live and Soundgarden. We saw all three of them a few years ago together and they all put on a great show.

On Saturday we are going to sleep in until we feel like getting up, because day two of Rock on the Range for us starts about 5:00 when we will watch Seether, Papa Roach, The Offspring and Korn. We’ve both seen Seether and Papa Roach in the past couple of years and enjoy their shows. We saw The Offspring together back in 1996 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, and they had a great show, too. I’ve never seen Korn perform live and Tina saw them a few years ago at Rock on the Range, but the soundboard mixing was really bad and she only stayed for a few songs before leaving. We are both really excited and hope they sound good this time.

Sunday is another lazy, sleep in kind of day for us, because the first band that we want to see on day three of Rock on the Range hits the stage at 4:25. The Pretty Reckless is first, followed by Primus and Volbeat. Then, for me, the best act of the weekend happens when my favorite band (since the late 80’s) hits the stage at 8:45: Metallica. I’ve seen them three other times through the years, first in 1988, then with Tina in 2009, then again with my oldest son Mark in 2012. Each show was better than the last and I am so excited about seeing them again.

The best part of seeing Metallica this time is that they have consistently played my favorite song on this tour at every concert, Fade to Black, and I’m so hopeful they play it on Sunday. To be honest, the other reason that I’m excited to see them this year is because, with my current health, who knows if I’ll be around if they come back again in a few years. I’m definitely trying to stay positive, but it’s also important to be a realist.

So, for this weekend, it’s Rock On!

Long But Good Week

It has been a long week, filled with work, rest, family time and a couple of great massages. I worked over 50 hours between Monday and Friday, and I am back at work today. While I am grateful that I am able to work so much, even though I am going through chemo treatments, I am still tired. Actually, I am not sure the word tired describes it adequately. Exhausted seems like a better fit.

But, that didn’t stop me from spending time with Tina and the kids, and I am so appreciative for that. Even after I came home from a 11 or 12 hour day, Tina and I had dinner together and the kids and I got to hang out. It wasn’t a lot of time, but it was quality time, and for that I am grateful.

I also got to squeeze in a few massages! After the one I had last Saturday, which helped resolve a lot of pain that I was having in my mid-back, I ended up hurting myself again Sunday night. I awoke in the middle of night with a sharp pain in my back that went down to my middle back and up into my head. Fortunately, because of my mom gifting me the massages at Massage Green Spa, I was able to get another one on Monday night. That one helped tremendously. I also got a free one at the Victory Center on Thursday afternoon, which was wonderful!

Tonight I plan to play a little Call of Duty with my sons, maybe a watch a couple TV shows with Bree, and get a good night’s sleep. I really want to get to bed early enough so that I am not dead tired tomorrow, and can make it back to church in the morning. After all that He has done for me, I would like to get back to honoring Him and living my life as He wants me to.

A Great Weekend Comes to an End

After a very long couple of weeks, this weekend was very much anticipated, for a few reasons. First, I didn’t have to work on Saturday, so I had a full two days off in a row. Second, chemo hit me pretty hard with fatigue this round, and I was in need of some rest and relaxation. Third, I had a massage scheduled for Saturday night, and I was hoping to get some relief from a couple of pulled muscles in my mid-to-upper back.

Friday night after work I took Tina to work and then came home and watched a little TV. Then I jumped on the old, trusty PS4 and played some Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered (COD) with both of my sons. I do enjoy shooting some people (online, relax) and kicking it with the boys. I went to bed far too late and after picking Tina up on Saturday morning, I went back to sleep for another 4 1/2 hours, or so.

When I finally got up at 12:30pm on Saturday, I did a whole bunch of nothing. I made myself some lunch, played some more COD, and caught up on a couple of TV shows off the DVR. After taking Tina to work, I came home and showered and then went to my massage appointment, and it was awesome! I finally got some relief for my (literal) aching back and felt much better afterward. I highly recommend Massage Green Spa and am so appreciative to my mom for gifting me several massages!

Unfortunately, I felt so good, and had slept so late that day, that I was up until after 2:00am playing more COD with my boys and watching TV with my daughter Bree. After picking Tina up Sunday morning, I came back home and slept until 11:30am. Then Bree and I went shopping together. We hit Costco and Kroger and got some good, healthy rations for the week for all of us. After coming home I made some homemade, low carb pizza for Tina and I to share for dinner, and then I dropped her off to work.

When I got back home I chilled with the kids for a while and then Bree and I watched Modern Family from earlier this week together. Then I went right into The Walking Dead and now I am getting ready to watch the season two premiere of Into the Badlands, before going to sleep.

I wish I had been a little more responsible with my time on Saturday night so that I could make it to church this morning, but otherwise it was a great weekend.