Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is it witchcraft or science

Good Morning my chemo 13 Homies (For those of you new to the daily blog this is actually a gang site for our posse – Chemo 13):

It’s witchcraft I tell you – pure and simple witchcraft. When I got done with the Intravenous IG thing yesterday I felt a little groggy, but I wasn’t coughing. I went home and I wasn’t coughing, I kissed my bride and wasn’t coughing, I had a glorious steak and I wasn’t coughing, and I went to bed and no coughing.

It must be magic – nothing works that well. I wonder if the devil gets my soul now? I’m not really using it at the moment. With any luck I won’t need for 30 years or so.

Okay so obviously I’m feeling a bit better and this coughing and hacking may be coming to an end, so what does that all mean? Hopefully the rest my little laborious lung will enjoy for the next two weeks will help that lymph node trying to get noticed recede to background and there will be nothing left to worry about. On the 14 I get the CT scan and met with my doc on the 21st– then we’ll know something. After that I’ll get my note from the doc send it the return to work lady in Dover and return to work two to three weeks after that (I’d go back sooner, but you have to give about two weeks lead time for the return to work folks). Then I’m gonna raise the roof at DOL with bad jokes, good ideas, loud laughing, and oh yeah quality staff stuff.

I’m going to take it easy the next few weeks as far as exercise goes. No running and no lifting weights until after the CT scan. I’ll still do the stationary bike and some work with the exercise bands, but I’m gonna cool it with those exercises that really force the air into and out of your lungs until after the scan – to eliminate coughing as an irritatant and replace it with another seems kind of stupid at this point.

I guess that’s it.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Treatment Today

Good morning my Chemo 13 Brothers and Sisters (sounds almost like the beginning of an epistle from church):

Either today or tomorrow I have to undergo a new treatment and should be a blast. I can’t wait. Not only that I’ll get an upgrade in my biology and chemistry knowledge.

Apparently my body has chosen not to make the right antibodies or make the right amount of antibodies – hence this nonstop cough that has plagued me for months. I found out yesterday that I have to go and get an intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) treatment. This URL from a San Francisco TV station is a pretty good article about it all (,

Anyway it’s supposed to take about five hours to administer the stuff. It’s supposed to work wonders in lot of areas including neuropathy (my toes are a tingling over that). Anyway, once this is done I should feel pretty good either immediately, or in week, or somewhere in between.

I always forget that part of this Burkitt’s thing is a corruption of the immune system. I need to find out if that’s a forever thing or temporary thing. I always forget to ask that question.

The goal for this whole thing is to stop this cough that is wracking me from head to toe and may be creating a lung irritation that has shown up on my lung as a questionable lymph node.

What I don’t know and don’t understand – from a biology and chemistry perspective – is what role White Blood Cells (WBC) and Absolute Nuetrofill Count (ANC) has in all this. You see my WBC count is excellent and my ANC numbers are good. IN case you’ve forgotten, neutrofill is the infection fighters your body is constantly making and these little terrors are always spoiling for a fight. I mentioned them in a September blog (

The constant coughing has also caused the muscles around my bowel section scar to be terribly painful. I guess I better tell somebody with a lab coat about that.

I guess that’s it for now. Talk to you guys later.

This sure doesn’t’ feel like a recovery.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

CT Scan news rewrite

I wasn’t satisfied with my last post. This is a rewrite.

Kate and Bill strolled through the liquor store trying to find just the right bottle of wine for the oncologist. They looked at the Italians, Chileans, French, and even expensive California wines locked in a temperature-controlled security locker.

“I’ll pay $100 dollars for a bottle,” Bill said. “After all the guy did save my life, but I’m not paying $100 for domestic wine.”

After about a half an hour they settled on a high quality blended French wine.

“This appointment is a big deal,” Kate said. “It might be the biggest day of our lives. It signals the beginning of a new chapter. What do you think is going to happen?”

“I don’t know punky, I got a bad vibe though. I think they’ll find something – something easy to fix, but …”

“I was thinking they might find something too, but I didn’t want to say anything.”

“What the hell do we know,” Bill said. “If you look at how rigorous this chemo’s been, I don’t see how anything can survive that.” 

“You do look pretty good,” she said.


“Okay you look great.”

“I even have hair growing back in my nose and ears. I’m damn handsome,” he said. “Listen Punky, we’ll be fine. Let’s got to bed. Tomorrow’s a big day.”

Bill and Kate slept remarkably well that night, buoyed by the knowledge he had undergone more than 600 hours of chemotherapy, and previous scans had come back negative.

At about 0500 Bill woke to eight canine eyes boring holes into him.

“Jeepers. Okay, okay, I’ll feed you,” he says to the menagerie of mutts Buzz, Harry, Pearl, and Coco.

The four dogs developed an early morning routine since Bill had been home sick for more than six months. Sometimes he couldn’t sleep, sometimes he needed some cereal, and other times he just wanted a cup of coffee in the quiet house to collect his thoughts and write his blog.

As the dogs snort, crunch, and slurp the hard kibble, Bill sips a hot cup of coffee and drifts into his own thoughts.

Okay if everything is good then I’ll go back to work on January 3rd and work half days for two weeks and then begin my fulltime schedule the third week of January. I should probably write up my plan so the doc has something to go by. Man this cough is killing me. I’ve been sneezing and hacking for almost two months. If I didn’t know better I’d say my platelets are low and this is causing my runny nose, which is causing my post-nasal drip, and that is causing me to cough. It’s been almost 28 days since I got out of the hospital so that can’t be it; my numbers should have rebounded by now. Jesus, give me hand, will ya. I just want this to be over. I’ve been through so much and I’m tired of it all. Sometimes I get tired of being positive, and stoically suffering fighting this shit – I really want to scream, but to who and say what?

At about 0615 Kate’s oversized alarm clock goes off. It’s louder than a civil defense alert siren and the dogs go crazy tumbling over each other in the hallway to be first when the bedroom door opens and Kate gets a visit and a lick from each one.

“Billy! Are you okay,” she shouts.

“I’m fine.”

“It’s going to be okay,” she says.

“I know.”

Bill gets up from the kitchen table, walks to the bedroom, and softly strokes the side of her cheek as she lies there in the pack of love the puppies are providing.

“Do you want a cup of coffee?”

“No I’ll get it myself,” she says.

“Okay here’s the plan,” Bill says. “I’ll take Coco to the vet for her 9:15 appointment, come home, pick up the wine and the toys for toy drive, and meet you at the doctor’s office at 11:20. After we get the good news we’ll go to the toy drive and get some cake. “

Fast Forward to 11 a.m.

Bill walks in the Oncology office and meets a nurse from the chemo suite.

“Where have you been?” she asks. “You look great.”

“I’m in recovery now,” he says. “Today I get the official read out of my cancer CT/PET scan to confirm I’m cancer free. “

“That’s great,” she says. “I’ll talk to you later.”

The receptionist crosses him off her list of appointments and tells him to get his blood work done and the doctor will be available shortly.

Bill goes to the phlebotomy room and they draw four tubes of blood. When he gets back to the waiting area, Kate is already there and they walk to the larger waiting area where a CNA will get them for the appointment.

Shortly is of course a relative term in doctor speak. The 11:20 appointment goes off sometime after noon.

“Mr. Potter,” the CNA summons. Kate and Bill follow her to the examination room where she takes his vital signs. His blood pressure is unusually high.

“I am pretty stressed,” Bill says accounting for his blood pressure.

“Let’s take it again,” the CNA says. “Okay this time it’s a little better.”

“Are my blood numbers in,” Bill asks

“Sure, have a look.”

“Wow. That’s not good,” he says.

“What’s wrong,” Kate asks.

“My platelets are at 54.”

“What should they be?”

“About 150 or better,” he says. “That explains the runny nose. Everything else is low too, but on the cusp of being normal. This is a real surprise.”

The CNA leaves and when she closes the door Kate and Bill see a chemo regimen written in red dry erase marker on a white board hidden behind the door when it’s open.

“Jesus, I hope that’s not for us,” he says.

“It can’t be,” Kate says.

The couple sit a little longer and the doctor comes in with Bill’s four-inch thick file.

“How have you been?” the doctor asks.

“I’m okay.  My legs are still a little wobbly,” Bill says.

“Tell him about the cough,” Kate says. “He’s had a cough ever since he was in the hospital for the neutropenia and C-Diff.”

“She’s right,” Bill says. “I called the doctor and they said it is going around and I should take Mucinex and drink a lot of water.”

The doc says the original cancer Bill came in for is gone and in remission, but there is a small node on the lung that showed up on the CT scan.

“It’s so small we can’t even biopsy it,” the doctor says. “The thing now is to observe it.”

The doctor says it might be an irritation from all the coughing and has nothing to do with cancer, or it might be the early stage of something. At this point he reiterates emphatically that he cannot call it cancer. Moreover it just isn’t acting like a Burkitt’s lymphoma. The doctor prescribes some antibiotics for the cough and schedules another CT scan for three weeks.

Bill’s head is swimming. He wants to scream, laugh, and run away. Fuck is the only word that he seems capable of saying, so he keeps his mouth shut. The farewell gift of a bottle of wine now seems to be a welcome back memento.

Kate is equally stunned.

The unequivocal good news they were hoping for spontaneously evaporates in seconds. All they have left to hang onto is, “It might be nothing.” Even the good news that the original cancer is gone, is cold comfort as they look to another potential life threatening challenge.

"Nothing's ever easy," Bill mutters to himself.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CT scan news

Okay now that I’ve sucked my thumb for a while I guess I’m feeling better now.

The good news first – There are no signs of the lymphoma that started this thing. It appears that the Burkitt’s is gone, dead, kaput. So that’s a great thing. So this whole thing might be over and we’ll know that right before Christmas. That’s a pretty good Thanksgiving treat right there.

The not so good news – The CT scan revealed a lymph node on my lung. It is currently too small to biopsy or anything else so there’s no telling if it’s cancerous or not. The thing is, I have had this terrible cough for about two months now and that may be causing an irritation in my lung and that might i be showing up on the CT scan. So it might be nothing. Then again …

My blood number were also kind of low yesterday especially the platelets which were only a third of what they’re supposed to be. As you may remember I’ve always had a runny nose when my platelet numbers have been low. I’m wondering if this whole thing is a result of a runny nose, post nasal drip, cold thing. Oh and here is the biggest drag – no booze until I finish this course of antibiotics they have me on. Gosh darn it …

So the course of treatment for the weekend is pie, a feast, some football, naps, and some really cheesy crime novels.

On the medical side the treatment is antibiotics, cough medicine, pie, sandwiches from leftovers, some football, more naps, and some really cheesy zombie novels.

BTW I started read LA Noir by James Ellroy (of LA Confidential Fame) and the bodies are piling up faster than any zombie novel I’ve read. It’s quite amazing.

I guess that's it.

See ya soon. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nothing is ever easy

Hey guys:

I'll write more tomorrow. My appointment didn't go as well as I expected.  There may be a problem or there might not be. Only another CT scan in three weeks will tell.  I'm fine regardless. Talk to you later. I don't want to talk right now. I have some thumb sucking to do.

Love to all,


Drinking Coffee

How are you?
Well here we go.  This is it. The Big Day. As nervous as a ...
I'll probably update this thing at about 2 p.m. to let you all know what the doc said. I'm sure it'll be good news.
That's it for now I guess. Nothing to do but have a cup of Joe and take my dog to the vet -- no kidding I have to take my Yorkie (Coco) to the vet at 0915. That'll distract me for sure as I shell out a gajillion dollars for a bad tooth.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

short post today

Good Morning:

Not a lot to report today. In fact, this’ll be a very short posting. Psyched about Thanksgiving though. Think I caught a bit of a cold yesterday. I’ve been traipsing around in my thermal undershirt; back and forth from the garage yesterday in the damp lousy weather. And now I have the sniffles. Damn!

I was just getting over a deep chest cold thing too.

Tomorrow’s the big day. I’ll let you know the good news late in the day tomorrow. Oh regardless of what happens, I am going to have a great day! I am attending this toy drive at the Delaware Psychiatric Center (at least that's what I've been told, hmmmm) and a chef from one of the Learning Channel’s cake shows is going to be there. Should be cool and be for a good cause. After that, a nap.

Well, peace to all,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting ready for Wednesday

Obviously this isn’t a sports blog unless UFC stands for Ultimate Fight against Cancer, but at least two of our Chemo 13 gang are disappointed after their Washington Redskins fought so well against the dreaded Dallas Cowboys and came up a bit short. Truth be told, I was sure Washington was going to pull it off.

Wednesday’s the big day. I find out if I can drink again -- oh, I mean get my scan results. No one has called and said, “Get in here,” like they did when they found the first tumor by a scan, so it’s probably gonna be okay.

I really don’t have much to complain about except my abdomen is still achy from the bowel resection I had in April. You wouldn’t think it’d still hurt, but it does. And of course that gives me something to obsess about. “Is the pain really cancer? Will it last forever? How come it still hurts? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

I’m such a sissy!

Anyway Thanksgiving should be pretty cool this year. I have so much for which to be grateful. This cancer thing has really been blessing in one way it has brought all of you into my life (I know that sounds syrupy, but as my favorite fictional detective Jeremiah Spur always says, “A thing can only be what it is”).

I’m running by the library later to get some books to hunker down for the four-day weekend. Kate and I may not get out of pajamas until she gets ready for work next Monday – that includes when we walk the evil dogs.

I guess that’s it for now.



Saturday, November 19, 2011

new world walking wecord

Good Moring gang:

Things are going pretty well. I walked a new world record yesterday. Close to a mile I think – went all the way to the end of my street, took a left and walked up S. Dillwyn. There was even a hill. The only thing is the damn dogs are dragging dawdlers. I’d walk. They’d stop without telling me. And I’d get yanked back to the spot where they were checking pee-mail. I felt like that dog in the old Foghorn Leghorn cartoons when he reaches the end of his rope.

I know, I know. One would think the solution is not taking the dogs along. That doesn’t work. If I let off down the street without dogs in tow the house would like a WWI no-mans with shredded newspaper, tipped over dog dishes, and other unpleasant left-behinds (behind being the keyword. The truth is theses dogs are running the show and I am just their servant. They let me stay because I haven’t told them the PIN to the ATM card. Once I do my usefulness to them ends.  

I guess that’s it for now. Talk to you later if I survive.

Peace to all


Friday, November 18, 2011

Top ten recovery activities

Top Ten Things Chemo Patients in Recovery Like To Do

10. Walk aimlessly up and down escalators to get the illusion they are climbing stairs

9. Tell people enthralling stories of chemotherapy

8. Tell people boring stories about chemotherapy

7. While on disability, calling co-workers and offer unsought advice

6. Buy wine then be afraid to to drink it

5. Eat ice cream three meals a day to gain back the weight they loss, even though they needed to lose weight

4. Avoid people who say, "Cancer huh? My uncle had that. He died, but you look  a lot stronger." 

3. Obsess about every ache and pain to the point of distraction

2. Avoid Lifetime movies about cancer (someone always dies)

1. Go to the cancer ward to have the nurses tell you how good you look 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scan done -- Nap time


Not much going on.

Yesterday was a weird day. Although the good they put in you for the PET/CT scan are supposed to be side effect-free, I was exhausted by the time I got home. I slept for an hour and a half when I got home and then took another nap at about 3 until I was surrounded by dogs, with eight beady little eyes boring holes into my slumber silently urging me to fill their dinner bowls. I was in fact quite scared they might eat me.

I stopped up to see the nurses on 6B as I was in the area. I really love those people. And it’s not because they tell me how good I look either (okay it is – not really – yes it is). By the way, if you want the best cinnamon bun in Delaware, stop by the Brew Ha Ha kiosk at Christiana Care. They’re great – I give them 4 ½ chemo bag rating (out of five).

I never really noticed it before, but there are gajillion ads on TV about cancer treatment centers. I guess I’m sensitized to it now, but jeepers creepers I had no idea the cancer market was so lucrative. Oh well.  

As you know I copied all the blog postings to a single document and ended up with quite a heap of, er, ah info. I’m going to go through it, edit it (when I’m awake, as you know I love my horizontal consultations) and see what it looks like. I bought the 2012 Writers Market and there are a couple of dozen publishers who will accept manuscripts from writers without agents. I guess we’ll see (stamina and ambition depending of course).

Well ‘tll tomorrow,



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm back

Good morning everyone:

The week off was divine, but I missed. I have my scans today at 0800. That means no coffee ‘till afterward. I should be done about 10. As you all know I have been very anxious about this because it will the tale of being cancer free. The doc will read the results – drum roll please – next Wednesday.

I’ve decided to buy him a bottle of nice wine for the good job he’s done; I plan to give it to hi next Wednesday at our appointment. Now if he says I’m cancer free he get the wine. If he says’ I’m not I get it and I drink it right there in his office.

A fun fact for all. I took the blog and copied it to a word document; guess how long it was? 234 pages 64,000 words so far.

That’s it for now. More tomorrow when I am all caffeined up.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bill's Burkitt's Blog break begins

Good morning my chemo 13 family

Big announcement. – I’m taking a bit of a blog break for about a week (I was trying for more alliteration, but it didn’t work). I’m trying to figure out what to do with this thing, I want to reflect on everything that has happened, and put it all in some context. I think I need to explore this without blogging because it is a twisty messy process. Not only that, I just need a little break.

Regardless my next post is set for November 16th.

Peace to all,


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

an incredibly short post

Good morning:

How’s everyone. Today I’ve decided to hunker down a bit – read a little, nap a little, and take it easy. I’ve been pushing a bit too hard the past couple of days and need to take a little break.

Everything is going fine – Just recharging my batteries is all.

I guess that’s it,


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

return and fear

Hey guys:

Not a whole lot to say today. I’m still slogging along. Feel okay. A little tired perhaps.

My return to work date is tentatively scheduled for on or about 13 January. That will finalize on the 23rd of this month (the day before Thanksgiving), when I go to what I hope is my big final appointment when the doc tells me I am cancer free.

I’m kind of terrified about that – I keep that anxiety pretty close to my vest, but this blog thing is about revealing publicly what I hold privately. I know all the signs indicate I should be alright, but gosh darn it, Murphy is always in the wings (remember Murphy’s law). I don’t know what I would do if the scan came back abnormal. I truly don’t! 

There are far fewer options than you might think. You see some of the drugs in my type of chemo are so dangerous there is a limit to how much you can take in a lifetime. I wonder how close I am to the limits. So if this thing is still hanging around inside of me, the response options might be limited. I f I want any at all. 

I'll cross all those death and dying bridges when the time comes -- hopefully many years from now.

That’s it for now I guess. This life and death stuff can wear on you. With any luck Thanksgiving will be a time for a real celebration and it will all be a dead issue (bad pun, but I couldn’t resist).



Monday, November 7, 2011

slowly geting better

Good morning Chemo 13 Gang members:

Chemo doth murder sleep. I’ve been up for some time and I’m cranky!

Rough day yesterday. I’m not sure if it was chemo side effects sneaking back in, but I just felt lousy. It was either side effects or the Bratwurst, French Onion dip, and chips I ate watching football.

A few of you guys expressed concern I was pushing too hard too soon with the exercise aspect of the recovery. I appreciate that and I will be very careful. Like today I’m pooped, so all I’ll probably do is ride the stationery bike that takes up a large piece of my living room. The stationery bike is pretty benign; heck the bone marrow transplant unit at the hospital has one! Regardless, your warnings are well heeded.

Actually last week was a time for establishing baselines for moving forward. This is the data I compiled.

Before Cancer                                                 Now

HEIGHT            6’1”                                                              3’.5 (I’m only half the man I
use to be) heh, heh,

Weight             255                                                                  225

Pushups            60                                                                    1

Max run             5 Miles (conservative)                                     600 yards

Sit-ups             70                                                                        Not attempted – abdomen not

Walking            No limit                                                            ½ Mile (Sunday’s new world

Bench Press            325                                                             125

This data suggests that cancer beat hell out of me, but that’s cool. I’m still here and the Burkitt’s is gone (I know, I know don’t be counting chickens).  The thing is that most of the chemo recovery is an invisible incremental thing with good days and bad and there’s really no way to measure success on any day. But tracking these things gives me the sense of control over what is still a somewhat uncontrollable situation. 

Do I feel better than I did four weeks ago? Sure. My stomach isn’t doing cartwheels with the frequency it used to; my fatigue is better, but I still need to hunker down throughout the day; and my legs, feet and hands are still a bit off, but getting a little better. Even so it’s still a fight most days although I am getting the upper hand.

So it's mostly baby steps.

I guess that’s it for now.

I am working on figuring our what I’ve learned so far from all this. I’ll let you know.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

no post this weekend


How are you? I won’t be posting this weekend. I’m taking the weekend off.


Friday, November 4, 2011

A run -- if you want to call it that

Good day gang members:

It’s way earlier than I want it to be. I still get a touch of insomnia from time-to-time. I’ve been up since almost 0300; man I hate that.

Well I laced my Asics running shoes yesterday afternoon and went to the front lawn and stretched a bit – calves, thighs, hamstrings, and etc. I was quiet because of the deep concentration. Like most athletes I was visualizing the task before me; the smooth gliding of my legs as I moved along pavement, creating that sense of the ground rolling beneath my legs. I got to my feet and looked down the street and saw the road open before me on the crisp fall afternoon. It was a perfect day for a run.

While me brain was fully engaged, my legs were not.

I started. Each step was it’s own personal torture, as my legs seemed to lag behind the commands from my brain. There was no fluidity of motion; it was almost as if my thighs were asleep. Each breath a struggle. I trudged up the street passing house after house as my heart pounded so loud it echoed in my ears. Thump, thump, thump.

Evens so my goal loomed on the horizon if only I had the mental and physical toughness set aside the leg neuropathy and make it that far.  My limbs burned and I slapped the stop sign that mark the halfway point of my run. I sucked in some air, turned around, and faced the road back to my house.

I stopped for a second marveling at my poor physical condition.

I was off again and as I closed to within 100 yards of my house my legs seemed to find their way and each step became a tad smoother. My breath, though still labored, seemed more in control. I was exhausted -- all for the sake of about 650 yards.  If that far. I didn’t keep track of the time because I don’t want to become suicidal. You would have thought I’d run a marathon by how I felt.

But, there is a huge iceberg of good news in this attempt. Toward – mercifully – the end of the run (and that’s generous, it is probably best to describe it as a trudge) my legs did start to feel “normal.” Does that mean I will gain some ground on these side effects as time passes? Will my lethargy go away? Will my legs, feet, and toes stop tingling. Is this something I can control with exercise? This is all very positive.

It was about as miserable a run I have ever had in my life. It truly sucked and highlighted how far I have to go, but it was also inspiring.

All of the literature from the National Cancer Institute insists that exercise is an important component of any recovery effort – chemo effort too for that matter. Oh well, we’ll see.

I guess that’s it for now!!



Thursday, November 3, 2011

getting fat, zombies or murderers

Buenos Dias:

Okay I solved a little bit of my single pushup challenge yesterday – I didn’t attempt any. Obviously this can’t go on forever, but it was a fine solution yesterday. Instead I went to Pathmark (local grocery store) and bought Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and bananas. Tony and I had a greeeeaaaattt lunch!

I stopped up at the Delaware Department of Labor yesterday. That’s always kind of hard because I don’t have time or energy to drop in and see everyone that’s been so nice to me; that makes me kind of sad. I run out of gas a little.

I’ve discovered one problem with my recovery.  As my sense of taste returns, I am rediscovering food. I love to eat so I have to be careful or I’ll gain back the 30 pounds I lost from cancer. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are around the corner and those are my favorite eating holidays. I also tend to celebrate any day ending in “Y.” I was going to celebrate Wednesday yesterday with a pumpkin pie, but my party pooper little voice stopped me.

I am in the middle of a book crisis. My favorite author is James Joyce – I can’t even say that with a straight face. Of course he’s not my favorite. Have you tried reading “Ulysses” lately?  I once read a column by P.J. O’Rourke that said you should only read books that if the cops find your body at home they’ll be impressed. I tried that for a couple of years and still never got through “Moby Dick.”

The truth is I’ve been on a zombie kick lately and my favorite author of that genre is Jonathan Maberry (actually he lives just over the state line in PA). My other favorite is John Sandford author of all the “Prey” books. I’m reading “Dead of Night” by Maberry, but discovered I had missed a Prey book and ordered “Storm Prey” from Amazon. Now I have two great cheesy books to read – I am awash in literary (I use the term very loosely) cheesy crime/zombie riches. Oh well – I’ll just have to hack my way through it all.

I guess that’s it for now.

See you tomorrow,


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A single pushup -- damn!

Hey Posse:

How’s it going?

Well if I needed a reminder that I am recovering versus being healed, I got it yesterday. It was a humbling experience.

After getting up from a needed nap I decided to try and hit the resistance bands and do a light workout. I hadn’t done any working out since early in this whole ordeal. That’s right, I called it an ordeal. I’m not as positive today as I usually am. In fact I am downright surly.

Anyway, I did a couple of sets of shoulder presses using the resistance bands; I used to scorn those things thinking they were faddish and not for real athletes. Like so many things lately I discovered I was wrong; it was way more workout than I anticipated.

Let me set the stage for you. Last winter I developed this lunchtime workout I used at the department of labor when it was too cold to go out and run. My office is on the third floor and the stairwell to the first floor has five or six landings. What I would do is walk briskly up and down the stairs from one landing to the next alternating between pushups, sit-ups, and leg lifts at each landing. I’d do this for about a half hour or forty-five minutes. Between the stairs and calisthenics it was a heck of a workout.

Well yesterday I got on my hands and knees on the green beat up carpet in my little computer office. The dogs of course thought it was quite a delight to have their dad on the floor with them. After their vigorous welcome I got myself into the front leaning rest (that’s what the pushup starting position is called).

I bent my once muscular arms and lowered myself to the floor. My stomach muscles screamed, my triceps ached, my chest quivered and then it happened – I knocked out a single pushup. There was no second – only a weakness that coursed through my body where strength once lived. I rolled over on my back with my chest heaving from the exertion of a single pushup and had it not been for the canine members of our gang, I probably would have cried. They surrounded me and licked my face with consoling thoughtfulness.

Man oh man! It was truly humbling – a single pushup. Fudge (I use fudge instead of another word that begins with f-u). It’s going to be a long, long walk to regain lean muscle mass and full motor function.

That leads me to another challenge. I look and sound much better than I actually am, but I’ll talk about that some other day. Suffice it to say that the chemo protocol I endured is one of the most aggressive and debilitating there is and my fairly optimistic attitude and stoicism tends to mask the seriousness of it all and the side effects – but I’m not a whiner. Although I’m actually whining, because to paraphrase Leslie Gore, “It’s my blog and I’ll whine if I want to.”

I guess that’s it now,

Surlily yours,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Appointments and walking

Hey Guys:

Well, slow and steady win the race as Aesop said (or at least implied). I’m just plugging along. No great shakes to report today.

Recovering from chemo lacks the drama of being in the hospital for the host of things I was in for over the past six months, but that’s kind of how it goes I guess.

Funny thing though, I kind of miss going to all those appointments. I bet some people get really freaked out when all of a sudden they don’t have to go to the doctor, or get chemo, or get rushed to the hospital for some side effect or other. I can see where it could become addicting in its own way. I bet that Munchhausen by Proxy thing is kind of like that. Being the center of attention and people being forced to listen to what you say – no matter how stupid – could really be its own salve when dealing with cancer or some other high mortality disease.

Now me – I hate being the center of attention. I think I’ve demonstrated that over and over again – I’d just as soon be out of the spotlight as in it. Why I’d no more put myself out there by writing a blog or – never mind.

Speaking of appointments, I go for my PET/CT scan on 16 NOV at 0800 to confirm the cancer is gone. Then I go to what might be one of my final appointments on 23 NOV. If that scan comes back with any cancer on it I don’t know what I’d do. How’s that for a little early morning paranoia?

Walked a new world record yesterday. I went around the block, but this time I made my block a little bigger by going to the second left, which is Hawthorne St., instead of the first left, which is Elm St. By going to Hawthorne I add maybe 150 meters to my walk.

I guess that’s it – oh wait! NO! There’s one more thing. Never mind I’ll write about it tomorrow.

I guess that’s it.

Love to all,