It's Saturday (March 28, 2009) and I'm under self-imposed house arrest.
Tuesday: Semi-busy day, running around. I had to run into Regional really quick for a blood glucose fingerstick. 167 mg/dL. A bit high for me but I was finishing up my solu-medrol dose pack and steroids tends to make blood glucose run a bit high. If my sugar had been over 180, then I wouldn't have been able to get my PET...I think it's a matter of the fact that they inject me with radioactive sugar water.
We ended Tuesday on a fantastic note. Rob and Pat Willoughby graced my parent's household with their presence and their cooking skills. Just a phenomenal dinner. Nicole also came over with Rylee. Just utterly fantastic food. Indian. Homemade cheeses, lamb, saffron and yellow rice...and so much more great food. Great company.
Christie Gordon also stopped by to drop off a book. "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. Why is it that all the women in the house (Mom, Pat, Nicole, and Christie) knew about the book...I must live in a cave occasionally or something. Anyways...just a phenomenal book. The author is (well, was...he passed away) a virtual reality professor at Carniege Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He was given the opportunity to provide a "Last Lecture" and did so..celebrating life. He wrote a book about it (with the help of a Detroiter journalist). I recommend it!
Wednesday: Woke up with bad heartburn. It was ultimately worth the pain. Luckily it went away by the time I had to go to do the...PET scan was first thing on Wednesday morning. Blood glucose was 89 mg/dL...right where I like it. Pretty boring for the most part. Get injected with FDG (radioactive sugar water). I'll say that it was the first time I ever saw a shielded syringe though...kinda neat.
Then you sit on your butt for an hour to let it circulate. I knocked off about half of "The Last Lecture" doing that. Then you get scanned for a half hour. Then I went home with instructions. The one that stood out for me was avoid children 13 and under (because of the radiation). I thought about running thru a grade school for a split second...that lark passed quickly. Getting arrested is not on my list of things to do.
Finished off Wednesday by going to the Shorewood Kiwanis Annual Wild Game Dinner at the Polish-American Club at 14 and Hoover area. Just great food. Not as good as Rob's...not even close...but different and good just the same. Elk, moose, rabbit, phesant, boar, and venison were just the tip of the iceberg. It was recommended to me that I premedicate myself for the heartburn...did that. WOOOOO. Great idea!
Thursday: Arrived at Regional...got signed in quickly...sticky note on my chart (ironically enough) was to cancel my blood draw and go right to Special Procedures. So I did...Mom had to come with me to drive me home. Got me on the table at 0915 and started working at 0930 (the doc...not me). I thought I was awake for the entire thing, but I thought the time went by pretty quick. Apparently I wasn't...and apparently I'm really a lightweight. A milligram of Versed and I was sleeping like a baby. They wrapped up at 1040 and now I got a med port in my left bicep. Hurts like heck. Discharged with Motrin and Keflex.
Friday: Wooooo! Next chemo treatment! Or so I thought. Arrived at the Cancer Center office an hour early...wasn't paying attention apparently. Or I'm reeeaaaaly eager. Had to run downstairs for a blood draw (the ironic thing from yesterday). Result came back bad. Overall it's not too bad. My RBC, HgB and Hematocrit are decent enough...WBC tanked at 2.3k (the lowest they allow for chemo to proceed is 3k) but even more important is Neutrophils tanking at 37%. Normal range for WBC is generally anything over 6k and Neutrophil normal range is 50-70%.
Dunno exactly what's going on. I'm surmising at this point. Kimmy had a chance or two to check my CBC blood draws while I was in-hospital...she though I might be anemic. Dunno if that's true or not...maybe some truth to that, but my WBC was 6k towards the end of my stay. It's gone down since then. Anyways, I walked out of there with a shot of Leukine instead of chemo.
Have to go back in on Monday, Tuesday for more shots of the same. Basically a growth factor drug that promotes growth of white blood cells. If I had gotten my chemo yesterday, I would have given myself a shot of basically the same thing today, Neulasta. Really expensive drug...$1000 per shot or something obscene like that.
Right now I'm under a self-imposed house arrest. Ain't going anywhere. Just to make sure I don't run into someone that could give me something bad...because that would be....bad. I feel pretty good otherwise. A little achy but they said to expect that with the shot.
I was looking forward to going out and doing things. Dad and I were gonna go hang out with Wally and do some shooting after chemo on Friday and I was planning to hang out with the Hunter's today until my crappy blood work came back.
On the horizon, I have to go back to Regional for shots on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon I go for my second opinion with Dr. Al-Katib at St. John's. Looking forward to that. Things might (secretly hoping I think) change radically from that point.
I am scheduled to go in for a blood draw at Regional on Wednesday as a continuation of the Leukine shots...but that will most likely change after the appointment with Al-Katib.
Oh...almost forgot...the best news! I got a copy of the PET scan results. Don't have the pictures, but I got the written results. As far as I can tell...the only place that the Hodgkin's appears to be is in the mass in the middle of my chest. No lymph nodes appear to be affected anywhere else. So, woe is me for the WBC, but Happy Happy is me for the PET scan results! WOOOOO!
In case you haven't heard, Nicole and Andy and many others have started a fundraiser for me...there is a link on my profile page for more information. I really didn't know what to say when they told me about it on Monday when Nicole set up the three-way call with us and Andy. I'll say this...you guys are sneaky. Managed to keep me in the dark. That's never been easy to do. But so far the response has been incredible and very much appreciated. I've been doing my part...helping with the flyer and the tickets. The flyers should be distributed starting Monday when they get done at the printer and tickets will be available soon afterwards.
And I just realized that I really hate self-promoting...it just doesn't feel right to me. I'm glad I'm not running for political office or something like that. I don't think I'd be able to say "VOTE FOR ME." I'm not that selfish (yet) to think I'm better than anyone else, or that I deserve something more than someone else.
And through it all...my phone has been literally ringing off the hook...you guys have been taking it easy on me today so far. Text messages are streaming in and you guys are gang-tackling me on FB. I can only say THANK YOU!