Working to Pay Off Play Time

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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…

Categories: Anniversary, Cancer, Work

Chemo Tomorrow

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Tomorrow is my tenth chemo treatment. Huh, before that fateful day last October, I never thought I would say that. It’s been a crazy couple of months. I wish I had made better decisions with my smoking and lifestyle when I was younger so that I had a better chance of not having to deal with this, and put my family through it. But, that’s what hindsight is for, and who knows if it would have even made a difference.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that the chemo has been working so far, and that the lesions on my liver are no longer visible. I am grateful that the side effects haven’t been crippling me, like they do for many cancer patients. I am grateful that I have such a strong family to support me while I go through this. I am grateful for all my incredible friends who keep me in their thoughts and prayers and offer their support. I am grateful to my employer for working with me while I endure this challenge in life, allowing me to continue to work.

But with all that said, sometimes I feel like this is never going to end. The constant chemo that gets more difficult each time, with less “bounce back” time between rounds each time. The massive amount of medical bills that are pouring in, while I watch our savings and paychecks get depleted more each week. The strain I see it putting on my family and friends. It’s a frustrating situation that doesn’t look to get better anytime soon.

I’m not going to quit fighting and I’m not going to give in. It’s just that some days are harder to hold my head up high and push forward then others, and today is one of those days. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up with a renewed sense of fight and less pessimism. Either way, I’ll be at chemo tomorrow morning and will keep doing what I’ve been doing.

Categories: Cancer

Long But Good Week

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Family Fun, Work

A Great Weekend Comes to an End

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Family Fun

All Work and No Play…

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Sick, Work

No Sleep Till…

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I only slept about 3-4 hours last night and today is a crazy day at work. I am receiving two new desktop computers that I have to setup and configure for five monitors each. I also need to make some massive changes to our phone system, setup and deploy three new Cisco phones, complete the wiring in another suite that we took over in our building, finish setting up a new employee that starts Monday, move three employees to new locations in the office, and so much more.

No matter how hard I tried to make it not happen, I just don’t see a way out of working tomorrow, for my sixth Saturday in a row. I am really starting to wear down…

Categories: Cancer

Working Another Saturday

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Work

It’s Been A While

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Family Fun, Work

A Great Weekend and Ready for Work

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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.

Categories: Cancer, Family Fun, Work

PET Scan Results Are Back!

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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!

Categories: Cancer