Friday, October 22, 2010


And that is a quote from the Oncologist!

I must admit I was actually a bit underwhelmed yesterday, almost disappointed, as I had myself worked up and believing I might actually be told the words "cancer free" but after letting it sink in overnight I'm now euphoric!

All things considered this is obviously great news and another giant leap towards that ultimate goal. As he said, it is simply too early and would be naive to declare that complete victory at this point. I'm barely four months out of treatment and am already doing things they had warned could be six month's to a year-if ever so guess I can't complain. Granted I still have issues of course but still way ahead of the curve. Further, although everything "appears" to be back to normal and gave the go ahead on the remission declaration, I am still in need of continued, regular and diligent monitoring. My blood work is still not normal, nothing concerning mind you and continues to improve, however not something we can walk away from at this point so he has ordered 60 day check ups on my CBC's. Also, and the ENT mentioned this as well, is I still have significant radiation damage that needs to monitored as well just to ensure no bad guys hiding in any of those blind spots-again nothing to be concerned with but common sense and prudence require attention. Maybe, just maybe, once we go through 2 or 3 more of these cycles and possibly another CT if they deem necessary, we may get that declaration,but in the mean time, remission is nothing to be ashamed of!

With that, it is time to finalize plans for the Hallowed functions that grace our Island Paradise beginning tonight for some 2500 at Aloha Tower. I had this great idea that since we are joining my buddy in his green limousine with the "Kermit" vanity plates, it seemed only proper to dress as....Kermit. Problem I have was when I went to get said costume, the events that have transpired this year have prevented me from the plan. I realized yesterday that a costume that requires a mask....HELL NO. The feeling and memories that went through my head when I put that frog mask on were quite disturbing so there is no way that is going to happen. I had actually kept my radiation mask from the treatment itself in the thoughts of Halloween but it was just too freaky and it landed in the trash last month so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. With that, I need to go finalize my thoughts on an alternative disguise for the evening.

Have a great weekend everyone and I'll be posting something next week after this all settles in a little more and determine where I'm going with this blog from here-10 months of work and cant see just walking away but then again, I hopefully have little else to update.

Again, next weeks discussion!


Friday, October 15, 2010


I figured today would be rather uneventful as the radiologist isn't much for words but he did concur thank god so that's two! Actually he simply looked at the report and the imaging techs notes indicating no detectable problems, asked me what the ENT had said and agreed saying her diagnosis is the most important anyway. He poked a proded a bit, said he was very pleased with my progress and because I have so many other doctors on the case and he has nothing to add, he'd see me in 6 months. Oh and go see the dentist again. Great another appointment but he's right-need to see what damage was done on that front.

Next up however.....oncology follow up next week and that will be all about the chemistry! And then..........PLEASE PLEASE!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1 Down....2 To Go!

Haven't had the need to update mid week but today is worth a post.

Just finished my appointment with the ENT and it was my first review of the scans and x-rays we did a few weeks back. Needless to say, I've been anxious but I knew she was to be the first of the three doctors to review and talk with me as she spearheading this and I was informed she was going to be out of town at a wait we did. Outside of the scare on the reschedule from the radiologist office, I took the fact no one called me in the interim to be a good sign. That said, when she walks in the exam room and asks how I am, I look up from my magazine and sheepishly say "nervous." She now looks concerned and asks why and if I see or feel anything.

HELLO? "No but you are about to tell me what my scans look like right????"

Oops! Guess she forgot about that little appointment she made for me-LOL Hadn't even looked apparently as just getting back into town and trying to catch up. Again, an example of how slammed they are as us lone patients who only have ourselves to worry counting on the docs who simply have too many patients and guess we all start to blend together. Maybe a morning review would be helpful.

Unlike my other experience with a previous doctor you may recall I no longer speak too, in her defense, I know she truly is slammed trying to play catch up after being gone and was actually quite embarrassed, very apologetic and understanding as she quickly pulled up the summary on her computer and tells me that all looks good and then excuses herself to go be a Doctor and actually review for herself. After about 10 minutes she comes back in all smiles. extends her hand and says "Congratulations. They are perfect. No sign at all of the previous tumor or irregularities!"

Irregularities? is that what they are-LOL.

We chat about what to expect next as far as additional scans such as a PET and she says nothing and schedules a simple follow up in December. We go on and just talk story for a while to clear the tension that is leaving my body at this news. She asking me if my hair was this curly and grey prior (uh NOT!) and how odd it is so many of her patients do come back curly. She also again going into the whole "type A personality executives such as you who's entire perception on business and life in general changes during this experience and many wonder why they allowed all the stress prior" and how she hopes I'll be one in that camp as certainly a part of the cause.....I've always laughed at her type A reference to me but can't knock her comment on the perception as I have mentioned countless times how mine certainly has changed and I look at things much differently. Priorities! She even touched on how she not a patient but has changed her priorities and cut back due to what she sees every day. Apparently she has cut back and sees just enough patients to take care of their needs and get by so she can enjoy her life as well. Um just get by? Wow-I get her invoices...we certainly have a different perception of getting by! LOL The lady has been great though so hats off to her perceptions and the invoices been worth every dime as well!

All in all, she has been correct all along this process and is very pleased and happy, however this is not a hall pass and release just yet as we need confirmation from the radiology and oncology departments. Although she has all but closed my file for two months we still have to get through two more doctors who need to concur on this assessment as well as the associated blood work and specific tests that they will need to examine. Then and only then can we say this is over and hopefully "cancer free." For today though, a big relief as this first one, this first hurdle, this was HUGE any way I look at it

Back Friday after appointment number 2 with the radiologist and hoping to be able to report same!

Right now-I'm heading out to Prima for a sunset sail and a beer!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Patterns and Correlations

Another week of no doctors appointments or issues per se,therefore a relatively uneventful week and not a lot to report so again, as I said last post-I'll take it!

I am noticing more and more what I can and cannot, or should not, do and all part of the learning curve. I say there were no issues, although that is not entirely true because the problems I did incur this week swallowing and the associated pain were quite possibly completely self inflicted. I say that as there are clear patterns developing as to when these types of issues arise and as much as I hate to admit it, there is a direct correlation to the type and/or amount of consumption I may find myself partaking in. More and more, I have a pretty good idea of the foods I am able to eat and those that may not be so good.

As an example, an aioli that came with some calamari Friday night and I noticed some spice on the very first bite. The fact I continued to dip into this sauce and found myself almost crying a half hour later.....ummm, whose fault was that? Obviously spice is still a big issue, better, but an issue none the less and if I push as I did here, I feel it. Other foods all seem to be OK in moderation and with enough water have even been able to do things like chips and had some popcorn at the movies for the first time. Moderation is the word though as too many of them, regardless of how much water and it will scratch.

Another pattern forming here with adult beverages...well let's say I have to admit my previous find of Kettle on the rocks seemed like a great idea at the time, no acidity, no carbonation and a slight anesthetic quality, however, I have been altering my opinion as I am noticing that while drinking it, all was good, but problems were inevitable the following day. As I am now able to enjoy certain wines without the acidic sting that was so bad before, and assuming I stick with them without any additional refreshments such as presented themselves Friday, these issues aren't necessarily there the following morning so long as don't go overboard on the quantity. Then of course we seem to develop throat issues as well as all the other ailments associated with your standard hangover-never a fun combo I can tell you. Again patterns are a forming.

Further, as I am learning and trying to be more cognisant of the acid/alkaline balance, I certainly see the rationale to the argument of why some only consume beer and wine and steer clear of spirits as the acidity values differ so dramatically. Here, although we may not completely subscribe to the plan, the theory is sound and monitoring the balance certainly can't hurt.

Finally, hair..........coming back in s l o w l y, curly and gray

All in all however, I'd say we obviously continue to improve as none of these items could have been consumed in any fashion not so long ago. Well that is my input for the week as the anxiety builds with not one but two appointments next week to review those initial scans. the 3rd Doctor will chime in the following week and from there we will proceed to whatever is next on the agenda. Crossing those fingers!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


October is upon us and that means 15 weeks have now passed since I completed my treatment and I continue to feel better and better. It also means I only have a week and a half left until I am to find out the results of those initial scans taken last week. There was one brief incident earlier this week that put quite the scare into me for a moment as I received a call from the radiologist office informing me I needed to call back as soon as possible as they need to change my appointment. HELLO! WHAT'S WRONG??? That was quite a nerve wracking message and call as of course I assume by now he has seen my scans and something must have gotten his attention and concern if he needs to see me. Fortunately it turned out to be a false alarm and they simply need to reschedule as he will be out of town the day of my appointment. Typical of course as the nurse had no forethought that she could be sending sheer panic through the brain of a patient-a simple clarification on the message would have gone a long way in NOT stressing me out for those brief few minutes.

Outside of that, a pretty mundane week to report with no appointments and better yet, no flare ups or irregularities. I'll take mundane thank you! I was also able to participate and complete my first Holo Holo race. 17 hours of racing around Oahu sure can take it's toll as I was exhausted and sore as hell come Monday but a beautiful sail, much of it under a Harvest moon is quite an experience. In hindsight we took the wrong route that cost us the race, but the fact of the matter I was able to do it works for me. Now off to catch part of this swell paying our Islands a visit!

Have a great weekend!