Thursday, November 5, 2009

new website

THis is the last post to this blog although I will keep it active. I have a new site which offers more flexibility and should be easier to use.

be sure to check the photo section.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What a ride.

Sunday was a bad day. I blamed it on alcohol the night before. I was determined to at least give the impression that things were okay because Chris and Tammy were arriving late Sunday night.

Monday morning was slightly better. It was chemo time.

After giving blood, I spoke with my oncologists. Chris and Tammy were present and ready to drill the doctor with questions.

I told the doctor that I wasn’t feeling well and asked if alcohol was the cause. He said not likely and that the nature of the disease typically caused random pain. It became obvious to him that the meds weren’t doing the job so he wrote new prescriptions. He then proceeded to go over the following for everyone’s benefit.

The diagnosis: Pathologic stage T4 Nx M0-unresesectable. Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the head of the pancreas, status post biopsy –disease appears to be T1-2,N2,M1.

Treatments: Gemzar 1000 mg/m2 started 10/19. We discuss other treatments to include cybersurgery but until I have another CT (o/a Dec 14) no decisions will be made.

The third treatment almost wasn’t given because my white blood cell count was very low. The doc decided to proceed but he scheduled me for Neulasta shot on Tuesday. Sounded simple enough.

Steve also came by for a visit on Monday. Having the kids here makes a huge difference in my morale.

I slept l Monday afternoon. When I woke I wasn’t feeling too good but I tried my best to put up a good front.

Steve had to return to work Tuesday morning. Chris and I went to the rifle range. I was able to hang in for about an hour and half.

The afternoon was spent in our lawyer’s office making arrangements for a family trust. I thought I had everything in order. Not so. Not bad but still lots of organizing of information required.

At 4PM I went to the clinic for my shot. The nurse sat me down and explained all the side effects that I was likely to experience. She repeated it many times. In essence she said that I would feel miserable for 3-7 days. My interpretation was “if you want to live, you will feel like you are dying and may wish you could.”

Now get this. The shot cost $7000-no mistake, seven thousand dollars. Fortunately my insurance covers it.

Well it’s Weds; she was right. I feel like sh..

I will put a good foot forward; even plan to fish this morning. My new meds won’t be here until Friday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Tuesday...election day

Sunday was a really crapy day. The drugs didn't seem to work.  I had chemo yesterday and a meeting with the doctor.  I'll have more to report later in the day but I'm headed to the rifle range with Chris and some friends from Lakeway. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Alcohol: Bad

Last night we had dinner with Ken and Suzanne. The meal, company and conversation was great. I made a mistake however of having a Mexican Martini. It cost me. This was the second time I had a drink at dinner. The effect is the virtual clamp on my pancreas  seemed to tighten, i.e. more pain.  I survived the night but I won't make that mistake again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Had a sub sandwich last night.

I have  very little interest in eating these days which probably accounts for the loss of 33 lbs. Last night was different. I had a craving for a Basilotto Special- a family specialty. For those of you that don't know, the Basilotto Special is a derivative of the Basil's Atomic Sub sold by my uncle Mickey at his south jersey sub shop in the 1950s.

I made a big sandwich which in earlier times, I could have eaten by myself.  Steve was here so he ate most of it. Pat also ate a good piece. I ended up with a small section but it satified my desire. This is rather significant because I'm not suppose to have processed foods and raw veggis. I was concern with how I would feel when I woke this morning. Suprisingly, I woke up feeling better than usual. I guess that is why they call it comfort food :-).

I'm off for a walk than a trip to the gym. Still counting on a miracle!.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I called my friend  this morning and he sounded much better. It turns out that the two officers who showed up after my call were his friends.

Another typical morning,however, I do wake up each morning hoping that the pain will be gone or that the nightmare will end. I sometimes believe I am in a dream-a bad dream but then I come to my senses.

Steve will be here tonight  to give me my periodic pep talk. Chris and Tammy will be arriving late Sunday  evening and will be here through Thursday. Chris and I plan to do some fishing and shooting. I know Pat is looking forward to spending quality time with Tammy.

Yesterday's meeting with old friends was great. We agreed to get together regularly. Our next meeting is next Thursday.

It's hard to believe it's almost Novemember.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interesting morning

Started today like most days with a medium level of pain in the pancreas. Within about 30 minutes the pills I took when I got out of bed kicked in and I was ready for the rest of the day.
My typical morning consist s of a light breakfast, read the newspaper, check email and listen to ham radio. Some mornings I get on the air but I prefer to listen more than transmit these days.
This morning was a little different.
I received a call from a friend whose life is in disarray. He called to check on me but I think he was looking for someone who would listen to him. He ‘s getting a divorce he doesn’t want, taking care of his father who can’t take care of himself and will most likely lose his job. It was obvious he was at his rope’s end. I told him he needed to get help immediately. He said he had tried therapy but it didn’t work. I suggested that he call a neighbor or friend but he said he didn’t have any. I asked for his phone number and told him I would call him back to check on him. As I hung up, I could hear him crying in the background.
I immediately called 911 in his home town and asked them to go to his house immediately. They said they would. I will check on him later.
The irony of the situation this morning is he can do something about his situation, I am at the mercy of cancer that has engulfed my pancreas. Yet, he is clearly in more pain.
I guess we all have our problems, some small, others not so small.
I am having lunch today with today with a previous employer when I was doing consulting work. We use to have weekly lunches to discuss world matters. I enjoyed those times and hope today will be one of those times again.
Tomorrow, I am having lunch with my boss when I was president of the radio network. He’s a great guy and showers me with praise for saving the radio station every time I see him. He exaggerates my contributions but it feels good.
Went to the gym this morning which I’m sure will take its toll tomorrow.