A Great Night’s Sleep!

I’ve been feeling worse and worse the past few days. I’ve been coughing up a lot of junk and generally feeling like I got hit by a bus, with my whole body aching. After working yesterday I stopped at Kroger to pick up some dinner for Tina and myself, as she was also not feeling well and had called off work. I got home dead tired and laid down about 5:30 for a quick nap before grilling the steaks and steaming the lobster.

The next thing I know, I wake up at 10:45 because I had to go to the bathroom. After taking care of my business I went back to bed and decided to go back to sleep. Tina woke me a few times through the night but otherwise I slept really good until 9:00 this morning. It has been a very long time since I went to bed and basically slept fifteen hour straight.

I woke up with the same cough, but feel very well rested. Hopefully the extra sleep gave my body a chance to fight the nasty sickies and help get me feeling better soon. I’ve got chemo this week and the last thing I need on top of that is to hbe sick.

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.

Seeing a Difference

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!

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.

Time to Start Living Healthy

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.

Clean and Clear!

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.

Did Someone Call Roto-Rooter?

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.

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!