Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One more for the Road

We started this journey together almost a year ago and I thank you all for keeping tabs on me and making this hurdle more bearable. Now it's time for me to release you all in to the wild as I go forward with the day-to-day steps towards my new normal.

To keep you up to date with one last episode of "The Doctors" before we go:

We had a good day on Wednesday, meeting with the cardiologist, picking and poking to find a vein for the CT IV and meeting with the surgeon.  I'm still having issues with my breathing, swallowing, speaking and heart rate and I've been feeling lately like I'm regressing, but Dr. A. summed it up pretty well when he said, "You're not regressing. You ARE getting older."

So for all the mess - the good news is that a lot of what I thought were signs of regression really mean I am on the road to recovery!

The cardiologist says my heart went through a lot of trauma with the tumor and then the surgery, but the medication I am on should keep me in good stead and we should see good progress in 6 to 12 months.  AND the CT scan came back looking good with no concerns from the doctor.

I have had recent episodes of coughing, hacking and quite unsightly and ill timed regurgitation.  Turns out that means my vocal chords are improving, loosening up areas that have been paralyzed causing phlegm and the resultant coughing episodes.  All good! (Unless you happen to be present.). Next up: I start several weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation to help with the breathing. Who would have guessed that the recovery would be the hard part!

We now seem to be on track with recurring doctor appointments, quarterly CT scans and the pending pulmonary rehab.  This will likely be months, if not years, in the making, but we now know what to expect.

So there. Now on to the rest of our lives.

Thank you for having joined the journey and being there for me for this past year - Yikes!  What a 12 months it's been!  Now it's time to go back to just being there for each other as friends and family.  You and a wonderful team of doctors and nurses have gotten me to where I am today and it is with that love and support that I will see this through to new days of good health!

Bye for now!

With much love,
Joe (Mending)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I told you I'd update you today after my appointment, so even though today was a bust I thought I better write something to keep anyone from worrying.

One of the worst things about this whole experience has been the drawing of blood...or, more specifically, the sadistic torture inflicted in search of a vein. A CT specialist dug around for 10 minutes in the tiniest of veins trying to set up the IV for my CT scan.

I finally had to yell "Uncle" when the pain in the digging in the back of my hand became unbearable. (My veins have all either hardened from overuse or chemo or just gone into hiding - I am what they call a 'hard stick.')

When they brought another nurse in to do a little more digging someone from Admin came in to say one of the CT scan machines was out and we would have to reschedule. July 20 will be my next "big day" with 1) a cardiologist appointment, 2) a CT scan and 3) the rescheduled appointment with the surgeon. One guy should not be allowed to have so much fun.

It looks like I will be signing up for some physical therapy - a stationary bike sort of thing - which will be very good for me. If I'm going to be "running in place" for awhile, at least I should be getting some exercise.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The on-going cycle

I met with the Oncologist on June 5.  A net gain of 2 pounds (yay!) and a little more clarity on the pathology report following the surgery in February.

A new term was introduced - positive margins - which means that traces of cancer cells were found in the tissues used in the diagnosis of the pathology report.  The surgeon was able to remove 99+% of the tumor, but some cancer cells were left behind either trapped under healthy cells or mixed in with dead tumor cells and cells damaged by the radiation and chemo.

These margins could now be dead, might remain present, but harmless for years or they might act up and begin to grow.  We will be monitoring them around every three months with CT and occasional PET scans.

This drives the project manager in me nuts!  But, we will deal with it.  (I meet with the surgeon on Wednesday the 13th following our first post surgery CT scan and we will go from there.)

In the meantime breathing and the vocal chords continue to be issues, but I continue to get stronger and had a good week that allowed me to get around my chunk of the City with very few rest breaks!

That is good progress!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sitting by the dock of the bay...

...watching the tide roll away. Not wasting time, though. Just TAKING time.

Sorry for the lack of updates, but it has been pretty much same old, same old for me lately:

Recovery: All the thrills of watching paint dry...but longer
We met with the oncologist on Tuesday, May 1. (I hadn't seen him since December and my last chemotherapy was in how time flies).  

The very good news is that he does not see any need for any more chemo right now or maybe ever.

He said my surgeon felt he got all of the tumor in surgery in February (which we knew from meeting with him) and the pathology report did not evidence any trace of cancer. Of course, now that I'm mobile I'll start meeting with the oncologist on a regular basis (monthly at this point) and he will review his recommendation to hold off on additional chemo with the 'Tumor' Board' at the hospital.

BUT he was pretty firm that they'd bombarded me with about as much chemo as one could take in a lifetime, so with no apparent reason to do so now:...

...he isn't going to schedule any new chemo treatments.  Yay!

That was a major relief. I'm beginning to bond with my new, straighter hair.

Next up is an appointment with the surgeon on the 9th of May to check improvement with speaking and breathing and the monthly follow-up with the oncologist in June. 

In the meantime I was prescribed an appetite stimulant to help me put on some weight and I will continue to work on my breathing and try to strengthen those paralyzed vocal chords (which do have their moments both good and bad).

Enjoy Spring, wherever you are!! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Expanding the story

I met with the doctor last narrative-changing news, but I probably should have posted a note a little earlier for those of you still following the story.

He was disappointed that the return of the diaphragm and shortness of breath have not progressed, but he WAS pleased that I am gaining strength.

Weight loss is a concern - chemo treatments will be delayed until I put on some weight.  After years of dieting and exercise, it's an odd switch to be concentrating on beefing up. In the meantime I will be meeting with the oncologist shortly to see what the next steps for chemo treatment will include.

Also had a very enjoyable visit this weekend with my Mom and sister (Rhoda and Rhonda) who visited here in San Francisco.  It was long over due and good for all of us -

Trying to get on track with the new 'normal.'  Since this is a daily slog, I'll keep the posting to a minimum. Don't see much "news" in the amount of protein shakes I'm trying to keep down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baby Steps

The past several weeks have been all about scars healing, bones meshing and connecting and overall recovery.  I am very surprised that the incision, which was closed with what looked like railroad ties (I swear they used 1/2 inch thick staples to close me up, and a LOT of them) is healing into a "not so bad" straight line scar.

Additionally, the chest bones seem to be healing well and right on target time-wise.  There is also progress on the recovery steps - it is almost embarrassing that something as simple as a 30 minute non-stop walk can be a major accomplishment, but there you have it.

My primary challenges remain shortness of breath, speaking and diaphragm issues which all wear me out.  Turns out vocal chords seem to be closely wrapped up with speaking, swallowing, breathing and coughing, which, because of the temporary partial paralysis of one of my chords, seems to explain the problems I'm having with "speaking, swallowing, breathing and coughing."  The good news is I continue to get stronger so I'm up and about more easily and often.  My vocal chords do kick in long enough for me to recognize my voice for several minutes every day, but I still sound like a soft spoken Froggy most of the time.

Other developments: I am nurturing facial hair and some fuzz on the top of my head. Progress!

Over the last 10 days or so we spent some time in Carmel and a weekend in Sausalito to try and give me a change of pace and opportunities to force me to get out and about and extend those walks.  Glad to say it worked!

Next visit with the doctor is on April 11 when I will hopefully get some direction on future chemo, recovery and maintenance targets.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Do It

We met with my doctor this morning. The appointment had been put off as he had come down with pneumonia last week. Ironic. Life's funny that way.

It was all pretty good news for me today - the x-ray showed that I am healing well, the deflated lung is nearly back to normal and my scar and chest bones are also healing nicely. The pathology report looked good with most everything being negative and a few items being sort of indeterminable, but of little concern (as they seemed to be part of dead tumor cells.) Additionally, there has been no build up of fluid in the chest area.

So far, so good.

He cut the meds I have been taking down to vitamins, the heart-rate stabilizing medication (for a couple more weeks) and sleeping pills (as needed). All good.

Short term prognosis: a few more weeks of healing and gaining strength followed by some chemo-therapy. My diaphragm has not started working yet, which, it turns out, is one of the main causes of the shortness of breath. It might take up to 6 months to kick back in so that's not a thrill, but it is what it is.

Long-term prognosis is five years of monitoring with CAT and PET scans. This type of tumor has a 50% recurrence rate so they will be keeping an eye on that. Any recurrence is usually very localized and treatable.

My next challenge will be to kick-up the activity level in spite of the breathing issues. A lunch out today was an exhausting first step in that direction and there are visions of lots of walks in the neighborhood in my future!

(Turns out in the recovery and medication paperwork, Page 2...which I didn't read until today...mentioned standing every 30 minutes so as not to develop clotting issues. Oops.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

News from the homefront

First of all, it is so good to be home - Two weeks is a long time time to be hospital bound, especially when the doctors and nurses have done pretty much all they can do and you are all just waiting for your chest to stop draining. Second, thanks so much for the cards, notes, packages, food, calls, emails and texts both checking in on me and sending best wishes - they all mean a great deal to me!

The recovery progress is steady, but very slow - I know I am getting stronger as I am up and slowly about more easily and more often. Thompson has set the condo up efficiently with stations in the living room, bedroom and bathroom.  Luis set up a new wi-fi system so I can operate from anywhere in the condo and I am now able to use the microwave for meals.  I feel like a quasi-independent 99 year old!

My biggest challenges remain the shortness of breath, the stress on the vocal chords, clearing and opening up the deflated lung and diaphragm and the occasional rapid heat rate. I have some slight pain and stiffness in my right leg, but am stretching and walking that out daily. All in all, everything seems to be slowly getting better. "Recovery" does seem to make me tired, though, so sorry if I haven't been up to visits or extended phone calls.

Hopefully, this does not sound like whining, but I am just not used to the slowness of being "on the mend." I will see the doctor this week and get a measure of progress from his viewpoint.

Thanks for being there for us and we'll have another update after seeing the doctor later this week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Here's yer hat, what's yer hurry?

Edward and Christine came up and turned Joe's bedroom into
a haberdashery. The guy's stylin' in a variety of hats to suit the mood.

I'm filling in still for Joe here, but trust me, he's getting better every day. Being home has taken an adjustment. Oddly he feels more unsteady on his feet. But I think it's more being back in what would be normal life feeling kinda abnormal.

I know he wants to be back to normal a.s.a.p and it frustrates him that he's not. But he looks great and is back to his old self at least in terms of lists. We've got the meds list, the walk list, the breathing list.

We're adding tasks to the list every day. So before you know it, he'll be back to his old self enough to post an update.

Until then, know that he's doing great and every day there's improvement . Thanks for following his progress. Next post will be from the man himself. Promise!

Monday, March 5, 2012

For Whom the Bell Tolls

With the help of our friend Kipley, Joe finally got home today. '"Finally" actually kinda sums up the trip from the stoop to the apartment too. Poor guy still forgets to take it easy and muscles through rather than stand, rest, walk, rest, etc.

But he's home and now tucked into bed ready to look for our friend Ann on tonight's episode of Smash.

But don't worry, he may not be able to yell for me yet if he needs me, but he's got "the bell."

That bell has a history. My grandfather, who was respectable at the end of his life was a hooligan in the beginning. And about 100 years ago he stole that bell from his schoolhouse in Jefferson City, Missouri.

When I was a kid in the long-ago days when kids could play outside anywhere in the neighborhood and no one cared that it was dark and we were running loose in the street, that bell was used to call us in to dinner.

Later, when my Grandmother was ill she used the bell to call for my aunt. My aunt may have started out channeling Florence Nightingale, but eventually I think she had to suppress her inner Lizzie Bordon.

But Joe's had enough with the hatchet equivalents so I've warned him. Use the bell when you need me or you might end up ringing when you walk.

Kidding. He's a GREAT patient and it's fantastic to have him home. I'm glad the bell tolls for me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Calm seas ahead

They haven't pulled the last tubes yet, so Joe's still in the hospital at the moment. But it's down to the last hurrah there...he should get out tomorrow (possibly even later tonight, who knows?)

We spiffed him up a bit. He was looking a little worse for the wear with a week's growth of beard. (To be honest, with the cap he was wearing, the hospital gown and the beard he looked a bit like the Gorton's Fisherman). Plus he was crusty.

But with a shave and a whole load of wet n' drys he's back to his handsome self. AND he's getting his sense of humor back.

Hopefully....or else I'm in trouble again. Can't tell ya how many people thought a few posts back that I'd uploaded an actual photo of Joe with his butt hanging out of his hospital gown. That was NOT Joe.

THIS is Joe:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Patient Who Came to Dinner

I don't know if you ever saw the movie "The Man Who Came to Dinner," but it's about a dinner guest who injures himself and then just stays and stays and stays and drives the hosts nuts.

I kind of feel like that guy at the moment, the guy who's overstayed his welcome. There's nothing much for the nurses to do for me anymore....I'm done with all the therapy and I'm not on any medication...but until the drainage from my lungs is reduced they can't let me go home.

I'm making progress every day and getting stronger. I've walked the halls many times over. But the voice and breathing are still challenged because the lung hasn't inflated yet and I still have those two drainage tubes. So even though the bad news is everybody is ready for me to go home, the good news is that I should be ready to go home by this weekend.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Update from our hero *

* transcribed by his sidekick
Today I graduated from Occupational Therapy, tomorrow I'll probably graduate from Physical Therapy. I don't think I get a diploma, but I should - I'm star of the class.

Two tubes were pulled on Sunday and today they cut off the oxygen, so I'm only two tubes away from freedom. Still, I can walk around the place on my own now as I'm free of some of the excess baggage.

Still short of breath and my voice gives out, but I'm feeling a little better every day. Itty-bitty, teeny-tiny better.

(Hold on while he coughs. Ok, he's back.)

The doctor is pleased and optimistic about the progress. We haven't set up next steps yet as far as chemo and I don't have a go-home date, but hopefully soon.

(Poor guy's tired so we're going to let him stop now, but he's recovering well and thanks all of you for your concern over the past few months. More later.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

3 Simple Rules

Joe's directive upon entering the hospital:

1. Don't let anyone see him bald,
2. Make sure no one lays him flat 'cause it would suffocate him and
3. Make sure his goods are covered.

So far so good, unless any of you sneeked in and took a peek while he was laying flat and suffocating.

If so, keep the secret. I don't want to get in trouble.

We're not going to wear out our welcome by filling you in on the oh-so-exciting details of recovery. But Joe's doing well, feeling fine and walking the halls.

*Actor Simulation

Don't you wish you were here!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A weight off his chest... in a whole freakin' pound!
Imagine how big that sucker must have been before all that radiation and chemotherapy.

The doctor came in this afternoon to fill Joe in a bit and explain the surgery. Normally I'm squeamish, but it was interesting the way he described how Joe's kind of tumor works. He said it's like spilled glue, it sort of spreads and drips and fills any available crevice. And then he described how he cut it out.

Alright, squeamish again.

But he was really happy that it worked so well and again said that when he met Joe in July he really didn't think that he was looking at a future happy conversation with a patient in recovery. He told us of a patient he just saw today, a young guy who first went to a doctor in August with Joe's same symptoms, but never was given a chest x-ray because, as we've said in this blog before, this diagnosis is so rare that it doesn't even come to mind to look for it.

He didn't tell us what's going to happen to this guy as far as prognosis and treatment, but at least the doctor has Joe as an example that there is hope even when things look impossible.

(Sidebar: Joe's file is VERY thick...I think that those notes are going to be pretty handy when the doctors write up how they did this treatment and the results they received. They seemed to have made every right choice so far knock on wood).

Joe started rehab treatments today including breathing exercises that involve two very different devices to get his lungs back in to shape. We didn't realize it, but they had needed to deflate one of his lungs during surgery so that they could peel the tumor off of it. But they were happy about how well he felt, how little pain he was in and how he could, very slowly, get himself out of bed and into a chair even with yesterday's major surgery.

One last thing to note, but NOT to worry about. If you recall (or if we told you) there was a huge chance that the tumor had impacted the nerves to Joe's vocal chords. There was a chance that his vocal chords would be paralyzed, maybe even permanently. Now, as it turns out, there is a little paralyzation in the middle of one of his vocal chords which will lead to gruffness in his voice as the day wears on. But only for the next couple of months.

The speech therapists that came in today and did their tests (which included stringing a camera up and through Joe's nose so they could observe his vocal chords in action...yikes, we BOTH closed our eyes) were pleased as well that Joe was in such good shape. BUT, if you call him, especially later in the day, his voice will sound very strained and exhausted. They said as long as he isn't "pushing" and it doesn't hurt, it's all right for him to talk. BUT you've been warned. So don't ask "what's up with your voice Brenda Vaccaro?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


It was a LOOONNNNGGGGG day for our Joe, but after 7 hours of surgery, he's out and sleeping peacefully in the ICU. The doctor came out, very tired himself and told us (us being Luis, Debbie and Tina) that he thinks he got the whole tumor, there weren't any unexpected complications and he didn't need to do any of the precautionary vein work that he'd told me and Joe about earlier (so Joe won't be needing turtlenecks afterall).

I'll explain that comment in a later post.

It's a huge relief and I know Joe REALLY appreciates how kind and concerned everyone has been. He really feels loved and has told me that time and again about everything you guys are doing, saying and emailing. And tomorrow, according to the doctor, he will feel VERY uncomfortable, so I'll remind him of all your well wishes and love and hope it helps him feel better. Poor little guy.

I'll keep you all posted.

One anecdote and then I'm off to bed. After he'd filled us in and answered our questions, the doctor asked to be reminded what Joe did for a living and I said Joe's a Project Manager. Debbie added that that meant Joe is very organized and I said, as an example, that Joe had written a stack of cards that I wasn't to look at, but needed to send out in the event that things didn't work out so "well" for him.

And the doctor said, "I wonder what he wrote in MY card?"

:)  More later! What a relief!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pandora's Box

So, we have surgery scheduled for 2pm on 2/22 - Speaking with the surgeon it could be a very short surgery, as in 'What a mess!  There is nothing I can do with this!' in which case they sew me back up, send me home and we look at long term chemo solutions or the like to contain the tumor; or it might be nice and easy and maybe a little bit longer where he just reaches in and picks up the dead ugly thing and we are finally rid of it; or it can be a long and drawn out surgery where he is really challenged to remove, repair and replace things like the aorta and veins.  

Whatever the outcome, we could not be better prepared physically, mentally, spiritually or medically to deal with it.  Exciting stuff . . .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's a date

I KNOW I can, I KNOW I can!
We have secured a date for surgery - 2pm on 2/22.

All pre-op tests looked good enough to make it a go for Wednesday. All aboard...the journey continues.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10, 9, 8, 7...

All of my scheduled pre-op tests are now behind me:

...I got to breathe in a tube in a glass enclosed closet;
...have what felt like a nail pounded into my wrist to connect an IV;
...AND down a root beer float while nuclear drugs simulated my running on a treadmill - a great way to exercise!

Now we wait for the test results and hopefully a scheduled date for surgery.

Happy Valentine's Day to all! Next stop: the Operating Room.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The flurry and the furry

This was a busy week. PHEW...I'm exhausted. Catching my breath is more of a hobby than a normal course of the day lately, figuratively and literally.

First, my PET scan came back showing that the tumor remains localized without any evidence of the cancer spreading anywhere else in my body.

With that behind me we proceeded to complete some pulmonary stress and cardio tests.  My EKG came back abnormal, ugghh, but I suppose with all the radiation, chemo and low blood counts I should not be surprised.

I have been assured that I should not worry and that the very reason this cardiologist is used by Dr. A is that she is very thorough and wants to make sure there are no surprises or issues we need to deal with pre-op. I have two more cardio tests on Monday the 13th and then after evaluation of all of the tests we finally should be able to set a date for surgery.

I had a little bit of rejuvenation this week, which Thompson found quite amusing. While I still do not have a single hair on my head, the hereditary Vargo rhinoceros hair (Grandma's side of the family actually) has returned to its prominent spot on the top of my nose - it felt good to see its return and even better to be able to pluck it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The gory details*

*Don't worry, there's no gore below, just the details of the meeting with the surgeon.
Modern medicine is amazing - I have a CAT scan in one building and moments later my doctor is able to review the results in another building.

Based on navigating from one building to another and his being with another patient this all took a little longer than a "moment," but he really only needed a few minutes to look at the scan, know exactly what he was looking for and come out to the lobby to tease us with joining him in one of the consultation rooms. 

My first question (after seeing "50/50," a movie I should not have seen) was "has the tunor responded to the chemo treatments?" But, unlike the movie (thank god), the doctor came back with a very positive response. So positive in fact that he is no longer sure we will need to remove and replace the aorta, no longer sure we will be replacing or repairing veins and arteries and is now hopeful that the clot that was evidenced in the prior scan might no longer be there.

That was all pretty phenomenal news to me, Thom and Debbie, three people in the room who had a deep hidden fear we might be receiving parting gifts.

Funny aside: When I said to the doctor that I know the operation will be difficult and "I know you won't know what you're doing until after you open me up and have a look," he immediately interjected, "I'll know what I'm doing" and gave me a look. So, the update to you guys is that we don't know the extent of the surgery NOW, but the doctor is having a 3D model made up from this CAT scan and that will give him and us a better idea of what he will find.

While this all sounds really good we will not really know what surgery will require until he has knife in hand, and of course I'll be anesthetized so I'll have to fill you all in later.

The doctor himself was very pleased with the progress that has been made. He reminded us of the condition I was in when he first met me last July and my head was the size of a pumpkin, my neck like a linebacker's and my upper body extremely swollen. He reached out with his hand and said 'Congratulations - I really did not think I would ever be able to say those words to you."

At any rate, the news he gave could not have been better. I will have a PET Scan next week that will be looking to see if the cancer has spread to any other parts of my body (highly unlikely based on recent tests and the 40 hours of chemo I have completed), but he wants to make sure.

And then we set a date for surgery - a very ugly and serious surgery, but the best shot we have to put this all behind us - Yay!

The following day I had the breakdown of all breakdowns. I was alone in the house in a hot shower, following a call from my very pleased Oncologist who had seen the CAT scan, but not even spoken with the surgeon yet.

Apparently that conversation and his enthusiasm about our journey were the tipping point: There were tears, there was moaning and I am pretty sure there were deep primal screams and the pounding of fists - Seven months worth.

FYI: I am a guy who used to hyper-ventilate just visiting someone in the hospital and now for the past seven months I have been needle pricked and poked and tubed and drained and IV'd and Emergency Roomed and hospitalized and radiated and chemo therapied within an inch of my life.

With surgery in the offing I am now in a quasi-conscience-like state awakening from some nightmare. While I wouldn't have thought I was the kind of guy who could pull myself together and get through this, I do know that I gained my strength because I was never alone in this - not ever, not for a moment and for that I thank you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And now we exhale

Had my CAT scan today and afterwards met with the surgeon - He is normally pretty dour and a straight shooter, but today he was almost giddy - surgery is on, following a PET Scan next week and then scheduling of the procedure - feeling good - details to follow!

An incredible day, fantastic, happy result...which is weird to say when a risky, major surgery is the next step. But we were all so scared that he wouldn't get that step. So scary for Joe and so hard to try to act normal for all of us, I know. Debbie and I went for the scan and the consultation and for a minute when Joe was out of the room we both looked at each other and acknowledged how scared we were. Her palms were sweaty, my hands were tingling and burning like they were on fire.

Will fill you in on the rest later. I think we both just want to collapse. This isn't about me, I know, but I was SO worried that this was all happening on my birthday. It felt like it was all some mean cosmic joke.

Best birthday EVER!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Al dente?

While getting my 'boost the white cell' injection following the recent chemo treatment I met with my Oncologist...he was pleased with my recent lab work and commented on the progress we have made since he first met with me (Think Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon ready to burst).

He also indicated that even though we are now through with the "Platinum" level of chemo treatments, he did not mean to say that we did not still have other less invasive chemo options available to us if we should need them for longer-term treatment.

His quote of the day had to be "even if you can't have the surgery, you're not necessarily cooked."

I love these guys!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

mmm, mmm, good

I survived my last chemotherapy session on the 11th with an assist from my friend Debbie who saved me from an awful turkey sandwich with a wonderful tomato bisque and lots of good bread.

I cannot say enough good things about the staff at the Hemmings facility, my current home away from home. They are all amazing in every way (except for their turkey sandwiches).

Next up is a CAT scan on February 1st with an immediate follow-up session with my surgeon to see where we are with all of this and what are next steps will be. Now on to enjoying all of the side effects of yesterday's chemo!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kicking "11" to the Curb

The best part of ringing in 2012 (besides enjoying the holidays with family and good friends) was saying good-bye to 2011. Through conversations, cards and phone calls it seemed nearly unanimous that everyone was looking forward to a much better 2012! 

Just as I am getting back to feeling a bit like myself I have to take a big breath and prepare myself for my final chemo therapy session on January 10. The side effects of these sessions seems to be accumulative and I will be glad to have them behind me.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and will be healthy, prosperous and very happy in 2012.