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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
So I have been really busy at work, working 11 straight days as of last Saturday. Most of those days were 10+ hours and most days I came home to eat and sleep as much as I could. I had Sunday off and, other than catching Kong: Skull Island with my son Mark and his girlfriend Michelle, it was a day of being lazy with a lot of sleep and general rest. Then I was back to work on Monday.
Tuesday was chemo and afterward I tried to sleep for awhile, but that didn’t happen right away. I caught up on some TV shows on the DVR and then about 6:00pm I fell asleep. My sweet wife, Tina, woke me up at almost 8:00pm with a great dinner, and I was then awake until well after 3:00am today. Because of my lack of sleep, the effects of the chemo, and a lot of work over the past two weeks, I took today as a sick day and decided to get some more sleep and general rest.
The good news is that I only have two days left to work this week and I also have a massage scheduled at Massage Green Spa for Saturday at 8:00pm. So I’m almost there, and with some good rest today, I think I can make it.
Well here I am at work on another Saturday, the fifth week in a row. Last night I was really bummed out about working today after working a full week, comprising of well over 40 hours, because I wanted to relax and catch up on some rest. Yup, I was really bummed, until I thought about it this morning, after a good night’s sleep and with a clear head.
Why should I be saddened about working on another Saturday? I mean, my boss was kind and understanding enough to let me work every other Saturday, to have every other Tuesday for chemo treatments. Not to mention that I am feeling well enough, even with the poison that is pumped into my body every other week, to actually work and maintain my work for my company and my financial responsibilities for my family.
So, instead of feeling bummed out about working another Saturday, I am grateful that I am able to. I am grateful that I am feeling well enough to work, and that I am seeing good results from my chemo treatments. I am grateful that I have an incredible amount of support from my family, friends and co-workers. I am grateful to God for helping me through this and giving me the strength to do what I have to do.
So it’s been a while since I posted anything, and I’m not really sure why. It’s not like I didn’t have anything to say, I guess I’ve just been busy with other stuff. I’ve been trying to get a lot done at work, including wrapping up a couple of large projects, hiring and training a new web developer, and taking care of the usual break-fix stuff in the world of IT. As a matter of fact, I am at work now on a glorious and wonderful Saturday morning, when I would prefer to be at home sleeping.
In the evenings after work Tina and I have been spending a lot of time together, going out to dinner, binge watching a couple of Netflix shows and getting some shopping done. It’s a lot more than I usually do after work, but I love to spend time with her and it’s been helping me keep my mind off the whole cancer thing, even if just a little.
Speaking of cancer, I finished round six of my chemo this week, and the symptoms are steady and mostly unchanged. The cold sensitivity is probably the worst, because touching or eating/drinking anything even remotely cold causes a problem for me. The best way that I can explain it is when eating/drinking cold things, it is what I imagine it would be like to drink liquid Icy Hot. First the cold is almost unbearable and then it burns. When touching anything cold, my hands tingle like they are going to sleep, then they burn.
Anyway, enough of my whining. I’ll try to do better with the updates, because it really helps me to get my thoughts out and clear my mind.