Batting .1000 questions for the week of 5-21-13/5-24-13, congrats to DAVID "READY FOR TEH WEEKEND!" MARALDO, he went 5 for 5, and won the HELEN BACK CAFE Pizza Group Lunch!
What is the license plate # on Geico’s Maxwell the Pig’s VW Convertible, in the hail damage commercial?
What MLB team has the newest stadium and the worst record?
Miami Marlins (Marlins Park 2012)
What date was Memorial Day traditionally observed on prior to being moved to the last Monday in May?
What do the films Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction and Little Fockers all have in common?
Harvey Keitel acted in all 3
Where did Sick Puppies find their current drummer, Mark Goodwin?
Here is my Cancer Blog:
Cancer isn't funny at all, but you have to find moments to laugh, I hope the Korean family on the other side of the curtain weren't offended.
I guess I'll start this with my "Open Letter to Cancer"
Wednesday 6-16-10 thru Friday 6-18-10: Over the past weekend I found new strength in Robert Nesta Marley. Something about the songs on the Natural Mystic CD has made me feel better, mind and body.
Wed: Lunch with a writer friend of mine (Mr. Lyon) ,at Shades on the Loop, always starts the chemotherapy trip to Houston on a good note. Jumped on the plane and 2 hours later I'm sitting in the back seat of Jones' cab (my Nigerian by way of New Orleans now Houston driver). We ask how each others weeks have been, he asks about my wife and kids and the oil, we once again agree that corporate greed will be the downfall of this great nation he now calls home. Jones you're a true American, it's a pleasure to call you my fellow countryman. So to the hotel (thanks for the Marriott points Bob, my father in-law) to settled in, order palatable Chinese takeout, and watch the Yankees lose to the Phillies.
Thur: Up at 5:30am, shuttle to MD Anderson, at 6, with South American driver who chats up Brazil and the World Cup. 6:30 labs, which means wait for my turn to give a few vials of blood to check levels (red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, sugars...etc...), which all levels are good again this week. 7am breakfast in cafeteria. 7:30 up to bed unit for the big stick and 6 hours of poison pumping fun. The best part of the chemotherapy is they start off with a steroid, BENADRYL and something else. The Benadryl straight into the vein means it's time for a 2 hour nap. Well rested watched BP's Tony Hayward tell congress “I wasn't part of making that decision”. After chemo it was onto 3pm meeting with Speech Appraiser Brad (GREAT guy who gave me loads of info and what to expect), he was more concerned about swallowing and making sure I strengthened my throat muscles prior to and during radiation. I'll be doing those exercises for the next 6 months to a year, he was another one who made the comment “but you're healthy and should be able to eat all the way through”. If I'm so damn healthy fellas then WHY am I traveling like this to come see you? Enough sarcasm. After the hospital, my friend Dan the MexiCAN (if your need commercial kitchen gear he is your man) was in town doing business and so we grabbed dinner and he gave me a lift to the airport. I had a feeling of disappointment when I called Jones and told him I didn't need my lift to the airport, we agreed to catch up next Wednesday. Dan and I had a good meal, conversation and then were singing Marley tunes on the way to the airport where I proceeded to leave my cell phone in Dan's rental car. He is shipping it back to the station COD, thank God. Sitting at the airport I felt naked without my phone, cause even pulling the cancer card with a security guard (non-TSA) she still couldn't direct me to a pay phone or a telecommunications device I could use. To serve and protect my ass. Flight home uneventful and was on my couch by 11pm. Sorry for length of this update...so I shall wrap it up. The acne rash I've been told is about average, my hair is coming out with the slightest tug, my finger tips are numb as I type (neuropathy spelling?) but my mind and spirit are still strongly INTACT! ONE LOVE to all, except you cancer you know how I feel about you.
I'm sitting here waiting for my appointment with the audiologist after #5 of 6 weekly chemotherapy treatments. Saw the Janis Joplin loving mellow Chemo Doc this morning and he and I agreed that the lump in my left neck lymph nodes has gotten MUCH smaller! Walnut sized to a pea size. Hurray for the poisons working their magic. He also called off the acne causing chemotherapy for today, thanks Doc. I'm way to pretty to have this mess on my face.
Audiologist appointment went VERY well, she said my hearing is PERFECT. No you read that right, MY hearing was perfect. Strange, I thought I'd ruined that years ago. The treatments since they're in such close proximity of the ears/inner ear they will be testing for hearing loss throughout the rest of chemotherapy, radiation and so on.
Well over the past week I've had Chemotherapy grab me by the short and curlies...the good news about that is the S-n-C's came falling out with the slightest touch. Hair is now coming out in clumps, time to trim what my daughter like to call the long squirrel tail on my chin and prepare the entire head and neck area for total baldness. This will be the first time in over a DECADE I haven't had facial hair. The shitty days (flu like body aches times 10 and tornado stomach) are increasing, start feeling bad Saturday afternoons, don't get feeling much better till Tuesday. But with more good news, the nurse said take “ it's okay to take those Loritabs they gave you for pain”...they work as good as Dr. Robert Marley's medicine, but I'm more of a naturalist.
Going through all this crap, KNOWING I'm coming out the other side in a few months CANCER FREE, while walking past and sitting with those who won't/don't have the confidence of the success of their treatments, makes me feel quite selfish. If you can help someone less fortunate than you, with the slightest of efforts on your part, and you don't, log off here right now. I don't want someone like you reading anything I write or listening to anything I have to say. Traveling through this has made me truly enjoy life much more than I ever had. Not like in my past I haven't given life a full body oiled up rub down. But I guess my point is yes do the things that make you feel good, but as you do...make that single mother on the airplanes life just a bit easier by carrying her extra bag so she can put the stroller at the bottom of the jetway and get her, her other bag and toddler into their seats with less hassle. You'll feel good and she NEEDS the hand.
Now to step off the soapbox, I've made my way to Houston Hobby Airport, (of course thanks to Jones my super speedy knowing when to leave the interstate to avoid traffic Nigerian cab driver...who wasn't going to let me pay, forced the cash on him anyway) I'm feeling good like I said in the previous post...Mind, Body and Spirit are all moving to the rhythms of ONE LOVE, and the ONE DROP. Heading home tonight to the arms of my wife and kids...now that's LIFE. Or what makes life worth living.
Cancer, welcome to round 5, I'm the heavyweight standing in front of you with lead filled gloves and the strength of 1000 lions in his eyes...yes those are the ropes across your back and in the coming rounds those ropes will turn into the canvas then the stretcher then the bottom of a pine box....heed my warning.
Friday 7-2-10 at 5am:
It's been raining the entire time since I landed here in Houston on Wednesday afternoon thanks to Hurricane Alex. It must have been a good omen that Alex stayed well to the south and made landfall in northern Mexico. Why is that a good sign? Well prior to chemotherapy treatment #6 of 6 I saw the Janis Joplin loving mellow Chemo Doc and he said “We're done”. WHAT? Since last week when he felt that the lump in my left neck lymph nodes had gotten MUCH smaller, the acne rash has begun to spread all over my head, neck and chest area and the neuropathy in my hands and feet has started to linger. He canceled my last chemo treatment and said it has done its job. I hope he understood the whole French kiss thing, I was rather excited.
So I spent the day arranging the next step in killing off cancer. That step is radiation. I'll be coming back next week for fittings for my radiation mask and dental stint. The dental stint is a mouthpiece used to keep my tongue out of the way when they shoot the radiation at my tonsils. The mask is a huge plastic mesh cage molded to my head, neck and shoulders. The mask is used to strap me to the table to hold me absolutely still while getting the radiation treatments. I find myself enjoying spitting lately, like a baseball player, probably because I've been told that the radiation will most likely damage my saliva glands during the process.
To answer the question of “So how are you feeling?”. Well as mentioned earlier the neuropathy in my hands makes it difficult to type, write or even open packages of food...etc... The neuropathy in my feet has me shuffling/walking VERY carefully in fear of falling and looking like the actual jackass I am. Neuropathy is a numbness in the extremities. It feels like my hands and feet have fallen asleep permanently. The acne rash is drying out the skin on my face and itching like HELL on my chest. But the good Joplin chemo doc, and his Scottish assistant Mary, promised it will clear up over the next 3-4 weeks and that I'm still a handsome young man. I think it was the overly excited Frenchie I landed earlier that drew the compliment. I'm looking forward to losing the BIZZARE dreams that have crawled into my head over the last month with chemotherapy.
Now is a part where I'd like to say THANK YOU to my family and friends who have stepped up and said “if there is anything I can do to help just ask”. Some of you I have asked and you have delivered. Those of you who I haven't asked for help, please know that your offer is good enough to help with my confidence of knowing you're there for me. A couple of people who have this easy are Bob (my father in-law) thanks for arranging the hotel every week. Charlie (my oldest brother) you just don't know how much you mean to me, I'm so proud to have a son named after you and hope he turns out to be a man just like you. To all others who eased this fight thank you too. I just felt the need to highlight those two.
The person next door in room 626 is listening to Fox News at a grotesque top volume, oh and is now getting in the shower. So this makes me want to get up myself, pack, grab some of that “free continental breakfast” and call Jones to get me to the airport.
Have a wonderful week...spit in the grass like a big leaguer if you have functioning saliva glands, stop with your negative thoughts and actions (cause there are plenty of people who have it worse than we do), help someone less fortunate than you, smile, laugh, love and most of all LIVE!! And as for you cancer, scary...isn't it...when you're so unsure of your future existence? ONE LOVE TO ALL.
Monday 7-12-10 at 4pm:
Here I sit realizing it has been WAY TOO LONG since I've updated this journal. Sorry for the delay, but the neuropathy (numbness) in my hands and feet make typing a bit problematic. Well the neuropathy in my hands makes the typing hard, cause I can't type with my tootsies. So let's get right down to it...
Last Monday 7-5-10:
I drove to Houston...for this trip as I had appointments Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I ran into the torrential downpours of rain as soon as I hit Navarre (20 minutes into the drive) and drove in that mess till I found myself in the soul sucking traffic HELL known as Baton Rouge, LA. It took me and hour and 15 minutes to go 10 miles through Baton Rouge...EEEeeegatz. The good news is I burned a CD called Bob and Bruce, filled with Dylan and Springsteen songs, and that kept me going. Finally got to the Springhill Marriott, my Houston home base, and crashed.
Spent the morning in the dental clinic at MD Anderson getting fitted for my dental stent. Sorry for the misspelling of stent in my earlier postings. I enjoyed a decent 1 ½ nap in the waiting room as one of the dentists was out that day and the others had to cover for her. No worries as I really had no where else to be. When I got into the chair to have my impressions made we had a room FULL of people. There was the head of the dental division, shadowed by a young Asian dentist who actually did the impressions, an assistant and the giggly young college student who had LOTS of questions. When she got around to asking about what I do for a living the tone in the room seemed to lighten and everyones smart-ass button was pushed.
Had the morning off and slept till 10am, which I haven't done in YEARS! That afternoon got final fitting of dental stent. Just a small adjustment to the wax version of what will end up being a hard plastic mouthpiece. With my new wax piehole protector in hand I headed down to the radiation department. That's where Dr. Irvington (I call him Dr. Irvington cause he grew up in the same village I did on the Hudson river) and a Dolph Lundgren looking Doc gave me another going over...fingers down throat, neck feeling and over all poking around in my gobbler. Then Dr. Irvington went over the LIST of “worst case scenarios” of side effects of radiation treatments. The good news he gave me was I won't completely lose my saliva glands, just low production but that will come back in time. After we finished with the examination we headed to get fitted for “THE MASK” with Mustafa. They, the docs, Mustafa and another guy whose name I didn't catch, told me to take my shirt off, get on the table and shove the stent into my mouth. I was laid out on a machine, with arms lashed down to keep my shoulders in place. Then the group proceeded center me with lasers on the table and and mark my face and torso with magic markers. When all looked good they took the WARM WET plastic mesh and slapped it over my face and shoulders. It was a very strange feeling to have these guys molding this goop to every contour of my head and neck before it dried. After it cooled and hardened into my new Spanish Inquisition outfit a scan was done and Mustafa told me I did great. The strange part was after taking it off and having a look, the nose of the mask didn't seem nearly large enough to be my Roman Schnoz. Took the wax dental stent back to the dental lab, headed off to find dinner and call my dad to wish him a happy birthday.
I will post a picture of "THE MASK" next week, when I start treatment.
Early morning...had to check in for CT Scan by 6:45am. This CT Scan was done so the chemotherapy Doc can see how well the chemicals worked. He and I will meet next week to discuss the progress. I was done by 8:30am and headed back to hotel for more of the “free continental breakfast”, 2 yogurts, 2 Cheerios and 2 milks hit the spot. I then moped, and napped, around the hotel throughout this VERY rainy day. I'll admit this was the first pity party I've had since all this crap started. I should've gotten off my whiney ass and written this update instead.
Woke in a much better mood. Had morning educational class with other soon to be radiation patients. Very informative, and the nurse REALLY stressed that hydration and continuing to eat are the keys to make it through radiation treatments. When I say eat, that means taking nutrition in orally across the treated areas which will become more and more painful as the treatments go on. After the class was done it was the final going over by the ENTIRE group of radiation doctors who all work together on the course of action. After the last doctor shoved his fist down my throat I gassed up the truck and hit the road at 12noon, knowing I needed to be through Baton “soul sucking traffic blows” Rouge by rush hour. It was 3:45 when I saw the top of the Baton Rouge bridge over the treetops. I was traveling at a swift 80-85mph and had thoughts of breezing right past Louisiana's capital. That's when I rounded the curve only to see the brake lights. This time it only took 45 minutes to travel the 10 miles to get me through town. Didn't stop till I got to Mississippi where I needed gas, a bathroom and 2 more bottles of water (keeping hydrated). Next stop was my driveway at 9pm, GREAT to be home with Kathy and the kids.
I have this week off from Houston. Next Monday (7-19-10) will start 6 straight weeks of daily, Monday thru Friday, radiation treatments.
At this point I want to thank SO MANY of you for your thoughts and prayers for me, my wife and family. Kelly the “Rawkstar” thanks for the new Bob Marley and Led Zep t-shirts I shall sport them proudly. To Randy, my brother's trainer, yes we will have that cold Budweiser next year when you're in Destin. To Ted and the staff at the FWB Chamber thanks for all of your supportive words and thoughts.
Hey cancer...here we are halfway through your demise...that tightness you feel around YOUR neck is chemotherapy with a piano wire choking you into oblivion.
I'd like to repeat what I said earlier, smile, laugh, love and most of all LIVE!! ONE LOVE TO ALL. Those are roses, give them a whiff.
Tuesday 7-20-10 (more indepth update coming soon)
First day of radiation...This is the mask they use to strap me to the table to shoot the radiation into me.
I haven't been in much of a mood to update this page, but I'll repeat “the neuropathy (numbness) in my hands and feet make typing a bit problematic.” The tingling is getting worse it seems...as I've said and a “wise old man” has told me, “this too shall pass”. So here is what the first week of getting my face shot full of radiation has been like...
Last weekend 7-17 and 7-18-10:
My wonderful wife and I drove to the soul sucking traffic HELL known as Baton Rouge, LA. Spent the night with one of my greatest friends Twisted Rob and his family. Things that stick out about seeing them were beer can chicken is good, Dawn is a GODDESS for putting up with all of Rob's crap and their kids made me miss mine even more.
Picked up my dental stent and fluoride kit (daily treatments to protect teeth from radiation) in the morning. That afternoon we headed down to meet the lovely ladies of the radiation clinic. Sameera and Rebecca are the two who will be zapping me most of the time. This was a “dry run” day. I flopped on the table of the machine, which looks like an OPEN MRI, then they strapped down my head and neck with that confounded mask. It wasn't as bad as I thought. There is a stereo playing in the room to keep people calm. I was rather excited when one of the girls asked if I liked Johnny Cash, I emphatically said YES! Then after 10 minutes I realized I was strapped down, by my face, to a radiation machine with “Ring of Fire” playing in the background. IRONY DOESN'T EVEN CUT IT FOR AN ADJECTIVE.
Rest of the week 7-20 / 7-25-10:
My appointments are at 3:15 every afternoon, and they last about 15 minutes. When they're running early they call and say come in early and we'll get you in. Sure why not, gets me outta the 2 bedroom prison known as “the apartment”. The music selections during treatments has improved, two days were Led Zeppelin's “Houses of the Holy”, then moved onto a reggae CD I've burned to help me throughout this crappy ordeal. I've been “resting” too much...spent most of Saturday lying around the apartment. Haven't been sleeping all that well, I think it's because I'm being too lazy during the day. This is going to change, well because my wife is flying home to Florida, and my dad and brothers, who are coming to stay with me, won't let me be such a wussy.
Today Sunday 7-25
Had to drive Kathy to the airport this morning...she didn't make it easy (emotionally), cause without her I'm nothing. Spent the late morning driving around the area looking around for things to do. My plan this week is continuing to eat healthy solids and start walking around the museums, near my apartment, for exercise. Something we were gonna do yesterday, but blew off cause attitude was miserable.
In review, my throat feels tight, not sore yet. Must take good care of my teeth. MUST exercise to improve neuropathy and mental state. The mask isn't even on my face when the positive vibes of Marley, Toots, Peter Tosh and Playing for Change are in my ears.
Cancer...you landed a few blows to my head both physically and mentally this week...but what you shouldn't forget is I'm the youngest of four boys and I've been hit A LOT harder by tougher than you...and here I am still kicking your ass.
Although this update may seem a bit negative PLEASE remember to smile, laugh, love and most of all LIVE!! ONE LOVE TO ALL.
This is how I'm going to look at my situation right now...I'm a 1/3 of the way through radiation treatments!!! Yesterday finished up week 2 of 6 of daily, Monday thru Friday, radiation treatments. I had the enjoyment of two-a-days again, something I hadn't participated in since high school football (which made me quit). I got 2 treatments on Thursday so I can finish my schedule on Friday 8-27-10, instead of having to wait through the weekend for my final zapping.
Let's answer the question everyone asks “How are you feeling/doing?”. Well I'm feeling okay, again the throat is still tight not painful. My mouth is constantly dry and more oral hygiene has taken on a somewhat fanatic paced. My blood sugar has been running high and should see a doctor about that early next week. According to my Wednesday weekly appointment with Dr. Irvington I've lost another 5 pounds, clocking in at 263. I don't know how I've lost weight cause I'm eating and lounging around like a teenager on summer vacation. He did say I need to drink more water, I thought I've been doing pretty good, but he's the doc so more water it is. The neuropathy in my hands and feet continues to linger on and is really starting to annoy me.
Speaking of being annoyed...I can't seem to find a Yankee game on TV to save my life. There are 8000 channels on this TV in this apartment, BUT the YES Network is one that is not subscribed to. Crap.
On a positive note, the crew of therapists that are giving me the treatments are AMAZING. 3 girls in there 20's who make sure that I'm comfortable and the music is right for each of my daily zappings. This week I've moved on from the reggae CD I burned...now the echoing guitar of The Edge on my U2 “Nice Bits” CD (a greatest hits compilation I made myself) has helped my mind wander out from underneath that dreaded mask. The really nice part is Sameera, one of the therapists, keeps the volume spot on. She said to me on Thursday you have to turn U2 up.
Cancer...I've watched 3 people ring the bell this week. (the bell hangs in the radiation clinic and when you're done with your treatments you ring it) That joyous sound has to reek havoc over your black soul-lessness. Numb hands may annoy me for typing this update, BUT having numb hands means I can punch you harder, I can pummel you till my fists bleed and it doesn't hurt that much...many people have written, texted, called...etc...and repeated this back to me “keep kicking cancer's ass”, so here I am with size 15's pointed in your direction.
Having my dad here this week has meant a lot to me. We've had a chance to really talk about things and not hold back. Having him here while reading the book “Sh*t My Dad Says” has made me laugh. My dad just wants to do what is right and you gotta respect that in anyone.
As I've said a lot lately smile, laugh, love and most of all LIVE (NO REGRETS)! Be kind to those less fortunate than you, help out where you can and pass on ONE LOVE TO ALL.
“The honeymoon is over” that's what Dr. Dolph Lundgren and Dr. Irvington told me in yesterdays weekly appointment. That's how they described the pain in my mouth and throat. If you want to know what the pain is like, chew up and swallow a couple of double sided razor blades. Maybe that is a bit strong but swallowing hurts like hell. With the radiation doing it's damage to my saliva glands and tongue, trying to keep my mouth moist has been a challenge. I have special sprays that help keep things lubed up as much as possible. The focus now is to make sure I continue to eat enough and drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated. Trying to figure out how to get the “greens and beans” protein mentality down my throat. So for now high protein smoothies and loads of neck exercises (which my brother Brian has been making sure I'm doing).
What keeps me going now is that after tomorrows treatment I'll be at the halfway point.
My brother Brian has been here all this week and has been a tremendous help. Except for the fact he has me watching “In The Heat Of The Night”, yes the show with Carroll O'Connor as the sheriff. But I gotta say we did have a blast at the Astros game on Sunday afternoon. We wheeled up, parked across the street from the main entrance, found a guy on the corner selling tickets (3rd row behind the Brewers dugout) and walked in only to realize our seats were right there in front of us. So we ended up parking about 300 yards away from our seats. Good game, good day and good idea that we left in the bottom of the 8th to beat traffic.
As far as the radiation treatments are going themselves, spending that 15-20 minutes under that mask each day reminds me of how far away my wife and kids are. It gives me time to think about how unfair this shitty disease is. I've got to get Sameera and Rebbecca (radiation therapists) to play the reggae CD from now on, it seems to keep my mind in a more positive place.
Cancer...with your clinging to existence my pain level continues to rise, good for me those doctors keep telling me they have all sorts of pain meds. So soon enough I'll be at your funeral laughing my fat ass off.
This thing called life can be a short ride...so strap in and throw your hands in the air and scream your head off as you head over that first hill and toward the many twists and turns this SOB is gonna throw at you. Love life, be happy and most of all ONE LOVE TO ALL.
I apologize to those who were expecting a more timely update, BUT I've been quite busy the last few weeks...let's see, forcing protein shakes down my horrifically painful throat, eating pain meds, pumping bags of fluids into my veins and sleeping till I wake with a mouthful of what is like Elmer's School Glue.
What unlucky SOB has had the pleasure of hanging with me over that last few weeks.
Well after my brother Brian left, in came big brother Jeff for 4 days which I spent not eating or drinking, mostly just sleeping. Which is why when my best friend David got here last Wednesday we spent the first 4 hours over in the IV unit getting 2 bags of fluids pumped into my dehydrated now skinny ass (247 lbs). I can't go on like this, I don't have a supermodel constitution. What I found disturbing about having David around was he used to cheer me on in beer chugging, and other weird contests, not to finish off a high calorie protein shakes. Then having him dish out what meds I was to take every morning and evening, again very much the way things used to be. Last week I found myself feeling better, blame it on...David's company, the extra fluids, the excitement of the idea that my wonderful wife Kathy would be here Sunday morning or that on Friday my oldest brother Charlie, the bad ass LA/Global power broker, texted me and asked if I wanted company the next day. Charlie never shocks me anymore. He had been back and forth between LA and NY earlier in the week and flew the red eye to simply spend Saturday with me. He got to the apartment around 7am, we visited for a few hours over fresh coffee then I nodded off (pain pills). David came out of his bedroom to find me and Charlie duel snoring. We talked more, we napped more and then we agreed that the stories that will be spawned from this whole strange trip will be relived over many glasses of wine at the ranch in Paso Robles.
Sunday morning had David and I saying goodbye and he was headed east on I-10 for the next 8 hours and I was on my way to the airport to pick up the love of my life. Kathy moved right in as I nodded off on a chemically induced nap, she did laundry and ran out for more “SHAKES”. Having her here truly motivates me to heal to get home to my life.
On the medical front, Dr. Irvington likes what the radiation is doing to the tumor. But he has scheduled more lube jobs in the IV unit for fluids Friday and Monday evenings. I have 10 more zappings before I'm done. 1 tomorrow Friday (20th), 1 on Monday and then 2 a day Tuesday thru Friday. After that it's all about healing/treating the side effects of cancer killing.
A dear friend of mine once told me “you can stand on your head in a bucket of sh!t for two weeks, so you know you can make it through this” truer words have never been spoken.
Cancer doesn't hurt, but treating it DOES. I'm starting to think the pain comes from cancer throwing it's claws into any bit of flesh it can reach. Well realize this cancer you're nails are getting a trim and that fluffy thing is a pillow being tightly pressed over you face.
Remember “NO REGRETS”. Enjoy every second your life, it's yours to do with what you want...ONE LOVE TO ALL. I'm off to find a Gatorade and pain pill.
I am truly sorry for the extremely long delay on posting this update.
I've been back home in Florida for a month now. I imagined I'd be further along the healing process than I am. I've been back at work for a few weeks now, doing the boring office stuff and was on the air here and there. I REALLY can't wait to be back on the air full time, that will mean life is back to normal.
To answer THE question “How are you?”. My voice is just fine. The pain is getting less and less as time goes by. The skin on my neck which was lit up like a 3rd degree sunburn is back to normal and is really nice and soft with no scarring. The neuropathy in my hands and lower legs is STILL in effect. My throat is tight but again the pain is waining. My energy levels fluctuate like a menopausal women's temperature and emotional state. So to answer that question with the short answer I like to use is... “I'm getting a little better each day”.
Cancer you have stolen from me. And there 3 things, that I tell my kids, that are not tolerated in my house. That is a liar, cheater or a thief. What I mean by this statement is there are things I can't do or enjoy because of cancer and the fight to kill it.
I'm Italian/Irish by heritage, which means I LOVE to eat. I've been existing on Boost Plus and Ensure Plus drinks for the past 7 weeks of my life. The reason I'm writing this update is because tonight I tried some more solid food. Tonights menu was mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC. Opened it and well it didn't smell that great (side effect). Told myself go ahead and try it, it didn't taste. I mean I didn't taste what I know it should taste like. Then the texture of it was a bit strange, I can deal with the texture difference but it's the smell and taste changes that SUCKS. I'm a fat guy that LOVES food, or maybe, and I hope not, used to love food.
The circus is in town” is a statement that should be fun for a guy with two small kids. Well the circus was in town this weekend and today was the last day. I grabbed some tickets for this afternoons show for all of us to go. My wife and kids got home and I was shot down with the energy level of a banana slug. They went, I didn't. Life moment STOLEN. FU cancer.
Also, because of the radiation, most of the hair on my face and neck is gone. Small price to get rid of cancer. But I'm gonna miss my beard. I have one tiny circle of hair on my right cheek and the bottom of my right sideburn.
Thank you for listening or should I say reading my pity party. Like I said earlier, I didn't expect the healing process to take so long.
I'll find out next Wednesday how all of the treatments worked. I fly to Houston next Tuesday for my follow up appointments. Full blood work up, CT scan and appointments with Speech Therapist (not just to check voice but all in mouth workings), Audiology (see if I lost any hearing) and Dr. Irvington (to see how the radiation worked). I'm keeping my hopes in check, readying myself for any news they have.
Cancer I feel that next Wednesday night my outlook on things will be A LOT different. I hope to be calling family and friends with the news of your demise. Realize this, even if the news isn't the best, I still plan on taking you fishing with Fredo (The Godfather if you don't get the reference).
As I sit here and whine about my troubles, I want you to remember...enjoy those foods that make you happy (cheeseburgers, shrimp, ribs..etc...), go to the circus with your kids and feed peanuts to the elephant, smell the roses if they're handy, LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH as much as possible...ONE LOVE TO ALL.