Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Been a while since I've posted as really nothing of interest to post-well that's not exactly true, lots of interesting things from sailing and Lisa fun, to work issues I could vent for days on so let's change that statement to read, nothing of health relevance to report-No doctors, no episodes and all good on the health front fro the most part. That said, and maybe they are related, as I seem to have locked into my weight at the 200# mark which is fine, however, every time I slightly tilt over that, and I do not want too BTW as this is my slef imposed cap, I get very fatigued and tired. I seem to tip over when I cant get in the water for a few days and that makes sense-lack of exercise would attribute to both these issues. What did dawn on me however, and I need to bring it up at my next appointment is we have never adjusted my Syntrhoid dosage and from what I understand, that in itself could be the culprit.

A good workout in store for the afternoon and sure that will help!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Degenerative Disk!

Well I must admit I was a little apprehensive sitting in the waiting room this morning as wait I did. Not something I usually do much of with this Doc and then when he did see me getting my vitals he was a little off. He then walks into my tiny exam room and asks how am I feeling...again, I perceived this in what I can only describe as an odd out of character fashion, so up the blood pressure goes! Especially with the odd incident with Kermit earlier this week. Fine I say except I'm a little anxious as to what it is you must have seen in my pictures as you seem somewhat elusive here....He apologized and said he had an issue with another patient and that everything looked good BUT... Why is there always a but? He went on to tell me my scans showed signs of degenerative disk disease with some fusing.......

Oh that's all? Thank god-deep breath Jeff! I KNEW THAT.... You didn't, but I did!

I actually forgot I had a little problem that had developed between C 5 and C 6 and that previous X-rays showed some fusing that explained some of the discomfort I had a few years back but they obviously took a back seat and has not been anything of significance throughout this ordeal. Odd that this is the first that anyone has noticed but fortunately I still take damn good pictures! Granted, this issue is not good and needs to be monitored but knock on wood hasn't been an issue of late so in the overall scheme f things discussed here, if this is all that they see that was worth writing about in the photo shoot! I'LL TAKE IT.

Over and above this, I informed him that I have had a few incidents with cramping on the right side of my neck as well so we need to keep an eye on that to see what it might be related too. Doc thinking if it persists he might send me to PT and in this case, insurance funded masseuse might not be all bad. Woo Hoo-all good this round folks!

Jeff out

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Photo Shoot!

Well today was a round of pictures for me-had a chest x-ray schedule and then a full head and neck MRI-Rather surprised the tech as they loaded my up, I put in the earplugs and headphones and out like a light for a nice 45 minute nap or so. Lot of racket that machine makes but what else I have to do-LOL Post results in a few days but crossing my fingers

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


WTF-Kermit is not something I deal with but boy did we have a throat fail last night with some kind of acid reflux type of issue. The odd, and painful, part was the fact that I was awoken around 2 am with the sudden sensation that I was going to throw up-not nauseous mind you, but some kind of reflux. Very painful to due the stomach acids I assume. I ended up sitting, standing or walking around the house for the better part of two hours as whenever I laid back down, it wanted to go again. Something was brewing obviously and the throat muscles seemed to freeze again. This time however, the seemed to get locked OPEN and could not stop any thing coming up from the belly so sitting up it was-I went through a little belching cycle for about half and hour, hence my Kermit imitation and that seemed to allow it to run its course, but quite painful none the less. Fortunately this morning all is good except for some residual pain in the throat and nose. I'm sure it'll still be raw tomorrow and show up in my scans but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Really? I am? Hard to believe but I'll keep taking them! Thank you all for everything!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Well some 11 hours later, and a very lonely run through the slot as we were the ONLY monohull to go South, we are home. I'm sure everyone thought we were crazy bearing off out of Honalua and setting a kite, but we boogied right along all the way to Lono before hitting the giant hole everyone predicted was camped out. That was a 2 hour float to get through there but as we cleared Molokai and sneaked up on everyone from below, we saw as we approached Diamond Head that much of the fleet was camped out there so things seem OK. We skirted right by many of them before we too were becalmed off the Outrigger and floated towards the finish for another hour and change. We won't know until Friday but bottom line, we surprised everyone I think, got a lot of bigger boys boat for boat, and think South paid after all! A great day on the water by all.

A few days in Lahaina never bad either although no Lucy this year to join me. We had dinner in Honolulu and I flew over Saturday morning to find the Prima crew had gone pretty deep Friday and opted out of the lights so spent the day helping John and raced Kai Mana. Do miss that boat and rumors abound again about the future of that program....time will tell-LOL

Anyway, so glad to have been able to make it again this year and another birthday in sight-WOO HOO-

The first of many many more I trust-Hope you all had a great weekend yourself!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Day at a Time! Mahalo

Well, if there was a common denominator I took from Stef's curtain call last week, it was...


and live every day best you can. The fact remains however, as wonderful an event as it was and whatever the lesson that may have been learned, the curtain will never rise again, so I am in complete agreement with this notion (and even plan on taking my lunch today in the water as we are being treated to one of the best south swells we have had in years.) My outlook has certainly changed troughout this entire experience, yet I too must face the same hurdles in life as the rest of you so this can be difficult I know. The difference is in my perception as I approach the reality of the financial, professional, legal and moral issues we all encounter every day and prioritize how to address them in a positive, sometimes comical, and carefree fashion in order to alleviate as much of the "stress" as possible. Some may look at it almost as if I'm being aloof, but it seems to work for the most part as we are now living every day with a new sense of renewal-a second chance if you will to determine what is truly important.

That said, I feel this is a great time for a divergence in this blog and to take it to another level as I see about getting it out in print. Many of you have suggested I do something more with this experience and I agree-there is a lot of work here on all levels that may be useful to others either for its entertainment value or as a tool for those facing their own journey through the hell of the big C or other issues they may face. That isn't to say I won't continue here in cyberspace as I will and hope these posts still find their way to those that find them useful, or at least entertaining. Granted, I don't need them for myself as much as I did last year fortunately and they may not have the same value to those tracking my journey as they once did either, but I have enjoyed this outlet and find it therapeutic in a fashion so continue they will.

So, as August comes to a close, we can look at the approaching Labor Day weekend as an anniversary of sorts and this will mark the final post that is to be included in what will become a printed form of my journey. Not only was I actually a Labor Day baby back in 1964 and this weekend marks the beginning of another birth week thank God, but the Lahaina Return could arguably be called the real start of my recovery as it was the first event I could fully participate in post treatment where I had enough strength and ability to get back out there!

I thank ALL of you from the bottom of heart for all of your support through this life altering experience, with the keyword being LIFE. I also must admit that I certainly appreciate the feedback even though I laugh and get more than a little embarrassed at the constant flow of compliments you continue to shower me with regarding my mental resolve and appearance throughout and after this ordeal. I truly have no response other than...


and for now, thank God we are all fortunate enough to continue to be able to laugh and enjoy this life together



Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Here is the banner of the program we received as we entered Diamond Head Theater Sunday!

On Facebook, it was billed as "Stefanie's Final Curtain Call"
and what a show it was!

Ironically, it seems there were quite a few people that didn't understand the double meaning here and got quite a shock. I feel for a friend of hers I spoke with the other day that was on the mainland when he saw the post and called her cell, leaving a message apologizing for not being able to make her last show. I can't imagine how he must have felt when he received a return call from one of her friends explaining the true meaning, and he wasn't alone I understand. Outside of these uncomfortable moments, you really couldn't put a better feel good twist on such a not so feel good time.

As I have stated here on more than one occasion, I usually hit the "dislike" button on memorials and have been remiss, if not outright selfish as I have chosen to opt out of my share of services of late. First it was too close to Dad, and then a reminder of my own mortality. In this case however, I simply felt I had no choice for a number of reason and am oh so glad I did. Granted it was certainly quite the dose of said mortality, but this was an event. Kudos go out to her husband Jim as well as her hui of "angels", Katie, Spanky, Mia, Jen and Vanessa to name a few as well as the staff at DHT for organizing and creating such an amazing tribute on such short notice all the while dealing with their own emotion. As we heard time after time Sunday, Stef wanted to put on a performance as the theater was her church. She gave strict instructions she wanted a show of celebration and forbade any tears, and for the most part, was successful in her wishes. Not since Dads memorial have I seen so much laughter at what was ultimately a very somber time but when it happens, that is the way to do it for all. Great job everyone and all my best to her entire family.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too close to home

So sad as lost a childhood friend yesterday and this one just too damn close to home. I grew up with Stefanie Smart and of course knew she had been a survivor for years-the scary thing is, just Tuesday night I was asking about her as I hadn't seen her or her husband Jim in some time. I knew she had re-entered the battle last year while I was going through my treatments as had had a number of conversation with Jim. He of course was devastated as apparently she had been complaining of back pain for some time and when she went in for her annual check up they found it had metastasized into her lower back. I've seen her since and assumed she had beaten it again but thought I'd ask when I was at the club Tuesday enjoying a beautiful Hawaiian sunset with some of her girlfriends. It was here I was told in a very hush, hush fashion that she actually wasn't doing well at all. Apparently not as yesterday as I'm showering after my workout, a buddy of mine was at his locker all freaked out and asks if I've heard about Steph. Oh no! He was having a very difficult time of it and it hit me pretty hard as well especially with his comment of asking if I'm all good and how I'm dealing with it all as "you have it too............"

Well not exactly bud but I got the message and a bit of wake up slap about all of our mortality as this one way to close to home. We'll miss you Stef!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zapologist follow up

Alrighty then-I still stand by all my previous comments on how truly worthless this guy is and certainly the weak link in my team. The rest of the crew down there in the dungeon is still great though. Very efficient, timely and actually quite funny.

I check in with the girls up front all chatty as always and busing my chops about if this really is my scheduled appointment. An inside joke as I tend to "accidently" use their lot and then need to come down and get a validation as it's FREE! I go sit and start watching TV that as always is set to the Food Channel, a staple in these waiting rooms and that still blows my mind as most can't eat. I noticed a nurse I was unfamiliar with, i.e NEW, come through the doors with a clipboard in the standard pose to call a patient, look around then turn around and walk back in. I found this odd as amazingly enough there were only two of us in the waiting room. A few minutes later, I notice said nurse with another peering through the window and then she reappears and calls my name. I'm weighed-still keeping under the 200# self imposed limit thank you, and put into an exam room directly across from the nurses station. At this point I just loose it as they are like little girls-10 eyeballs all staring at me as unobtrusively as possible, and believe me, it isn't possible. I then see the problem, the most horrific photo I think I have ever had taken in my life is up on all the screens-there are 3 old nurses' I remember and 2 new ones and not one of them believes it is me. This picture was taken on my first zap visit right after I finished the chemo regiment so I was as pasty white as I ever have been, hairless and bloated up to a not so solid 235-Jabba the Hut and Humpty Dumpty got nothin on me in that pic but we had a good time with it and yes-new pics were taken. It was quite comical I must admit.

On Monday I posted in reference the episodes I was having with my throat and without a doubt the worst I have had since I was in treatment. Monday and Tuesday were horrible-I couldn't swallow anything without much or all of it coming back up and out my nose. It got fricken painful and I was forcing down with memories of what I did on a daily basis under treatment-both Mon and Pam witnessed this and they too had those memories I am sure-not as bad I admit but it sucked none the less! Yesterday was quite a bit better and last night was great-full meal and everything. I awoke this morning and had a little issue with that first cup of water and pills but not out of the ordinary.

By the time I got to my appointment here, all was good-even water wasn't a problem. (Ironically I had a harder time with liquids than solids, soft mind you, in the later part of this episode) This of course is a double edged sword of sorts, especially with this Doc, as there was nothing for him to see as far as symptoms and he hadn't a clue what to tell me had happened. "Geee Jeff, sounds like you may have had a virus of some sort or possibly some residual damage that acted up with the throat muscles....." Really? Is that the best you can do? Lucy and I got the same diagnosis of Web MD!!!! He then went on to tell me how important it is for me to remember and tell the ENT next week as she really the expert! WOW-now that's another thorough diagnosis.

It got better when he tells me everything looks great and he feels nothing out of the ordinary so he is quite pleased again with my progress. "Umm Doc-excuse me, you started to do your physical and do your thing feeling around the entire throat BUT you never actually got that far as you got side tracked so how exactly do you know you can't feel anything unusual?" We fixed that misstep with the same outcome fortunately however, not a great way to instill confidence.

Bottom line is the good news here is that I do seem to be fine today as well as in his finding-everything looks great and he sees nothing of concern so see ya in 6 months!

I'll take it and gee-you think I can remember to tell the ENT next week! YA THINK-LOL

Jeff out

Monday, August 8, 2011

Throat freeze!

One of the worst episodes Ive had this year that I can recall! Can't swallow without everything ejecting out my nose-a definitive disconnect with the muscles that control swallowing and this sucks! I was told this is nothing unusual as the radiation damage that occurred can have this effect but usually clears after a few hours or a day.

Woke yesterday with a bit of an issue but nothing that was out of the ordinary-laid low, didn't talk much and took it easy on the throat with what I ingested and that usually good. Considering I was racing in the bay on Saturday and had a big week at work, the throat will sometimes just say "'NUF!" and we do what I did yesterday and good enough-

Not this time apparently as here I am Monday morning working out of the house because I simply cant swallow, can't talk and generally uncomfortable so hoping another day of TLC and we are all good-Cant get in to see the doc until my regularly scheduled appointment next week so will just grit this one out and hope everything relaxes soon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Time to catch up

Well TP '11 has come and gone with great success as well as the coveted red hat from Mount Gay!

I may be sleep deprived and my throat is telling me I've had enough but for the most part I again had a great time working shore side as co-chair of Pier Ops (whatever that title meant-LOL). Great to see some awesome boats, reconnect with some old friends, attend their pre-wedding ceremony, meet some new as well as see some local boys shine. Scott Bradley and his new CaZan, a DK 46. with a local crew of friends I race with or against, got to the podium twice for 3rd in division and first Hawaii boat-congrats guys but how will we live with you now AND we get to look at the transom of the new boat for the rest of the season-LOL. James McDowell and his bigger boat Grand Illusion take the whole thing too-good for you and Richard Riley and the rest of the crew!

Now for some well needed rest, a beach day and dinner for Lucy who rates a great thank you for putting up with me and these shenanigans this week (and for my faux pas at last weekend's BTBJ) and then Monday back to the office to catch up on all that I deliberately took a break from this past week to play with the boats and the occasional Mai Tai!

Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 Transpac has arrived!

Time to swap hats for the next few days-Heading out dark and early here this morning as the first boats battling it out mid channel right now bearing down on Diamond Head buoy looking to finish either side of sunrise I'm guessing. With that, I get to put my officials badge and go be a partof this bi-annual event as I again find myself working pier ops-all volunteer work an minimal sleep for a few days (sans the annual Black Tie and Blue Jeans I have tomorrow-another anniversary of sorts so will post after that as well) but always a fun experience. Get to meet all kinds of folks see, and hopefully sail on some really nice boats and even join in a Mai Tai or two. To say nothing of the fact I have some friends out there as well-

Were off-the rest of the world will just have to wait a few days as I deem these as mine!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A small small world

So I have to laugh at the turn of events here today. We are coming into TransPac season with the boats currently racing.(For those of you unaware, this is a yacht race from Long Beach to Honolulu and although I have yet to actually race it, I have been a volunteer for years on this side of the pond and always enjoy my participation) Two years ago, the record was shattered by the pro crew of Alpha Romeo 100 and I had the good fortune to friend some of the crew of this yacht and have kept in touch. As it would happen, the skipper of that yacht, Murray Spence, is in town, not as a race participant this year, but having just completed a 77 day voyage delivering a beautiful 60+ foot catamaran from the Canary Islands to it's new owners here in Honolulu. Pam and I took him to lunch at the Outrigger and caught up a bit-I of course also enjoy his input on the current race going on 1000 miles out in the Pacific as we await the first finishers (who are in no way a threat his previous record) We also got on the topic of my cancer as the owner of Alpha is also a throat cancer survivor. More ironic is as we are talking, he mentions that his new owners wife is a hot shot ENT here in town and maybe I've heard of her.

Hmm let's see here you mean MY DOCTOR Murray? LOL. Hows that for a small world?

Upon us returning to Kewalo Basin to drop him at the boat, said owners are in fact aboard. (I need to mention that I had originally had a 1:30 follow up appointment schedule with her today that her nurse called to cancel last week as she would be out of the office-I can understand that) The husband greets us at the gangway and we are introduced. On the top deck I can see some movement as someone appears to be napping. Sure enough, they roll over and try and focus on the commotion and I say "Hi Doc! Did you really think that I'd let you cancel our 1:30 appointment and I wouldn't find you?" (It is actually 1:30 BTW.) Needless to say the look of confusion registered on her face was priceless although I am not so sure how funny she found it -not sure if that was the fact a patient is at the gangway of her new vessel and she disapproves of such patient/social interaction or the fact I learned she is actually quite ill, as she simply dismissed me by saying my appointment was canceled. The husband caught on pretty quickly and invited us aboard to take a tour and chat for a bit all pretty amazed at how small the world really is.

I never spoke with her again as we let her rest but I am looking forward to my rescheduled appointment. Needless to say I hope she ultimately finds as humorous as we all did as I'd love the opportunity to see this one again. As always, time will tell!

Cheers Murray-thanks for a great afternoon and safe travels!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Throttle Back and Focus!

As you know I have had quite a bit of that real world sh*t on my plate of late and that has apparently caught up with me, so much so that I have actually spent much of this week out of the office, working and resting from home with something I haven't had in some time-the flu (I think.) I certainly prefer this over the days I was home or elsewhere last year, but being sick still sucks!

The combination of the ongoing stress with the work issues I've eluded too previously, an incident with Mom and her health that gave us all quite a scare(seems to have been an anomaly thank god) as well as admittedly quite an event filled 4th of July weekend has taken it's toll and the body put the brakes on so here I am-bored as hell after sleeping much of the afternoon trying to shake whatever bug has infiltrated the system. Congested, feverish, tired and sore as well as the most concerning to no real surprise is the extreme irritation to the throat itself-essentially the feeling of being hit by a train-albeit a much smaller one!

This down time however has given me a bit of a revelation and I have determined, for the best I might add, that I am using some of these recent events as an excuse. Although buckling down in the office to move through this is a good thing and for the time being, manageable, I have also created some personal issues for myself that I need to address and I have allowed all this to get the best of me and lost a bit of direction, making excuses and avoiding what I need to do. There is no entitlement due nor expectations of sympathy so the time has come to throttle it back and re-focus on taking care of my responsibilities and obligations to those who have been so supportive of me or a flu could be the least of my concerns.

Just one of those thinking out loud moments!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

What a fabulous weekend-Full beach day at the club with Lisa and the boys Saturday-fired up the grill for the mombo steaks and burgers that is a prerequisite for the 4th and watched what is arguably the funniest flick I've seen in years with Hall Pass.

Woke up Sunday and headed over to K-Bay to race day 2 of the Kalakaua Cup on Prima, en route to an overall victory I might add! (Unfortunately I missed drinking from the silver cup on Monday)

Then on to the annual McFarlane 4th of July regatta and a SUP tour through the insanity of the Waikiki flotilla for a few hours. What a madhouse!

As neither the race nor the floatilla were on the kids menu we decided on a bit of a change of pace forgoing the OCC party and capped it all off heading out to watch the Hawaii Kai firework show at buddy Elwells home.

Mahalo Mark!

A great change of pace and got to spend it with Lisa after all AND got Max on the SUP as well! Woo Hoo

Friday, June 24, 2011

All good!

Well that 72 hours has turned into 2 weeks of scrambling on the work front-still dealing with Goliath but at least I found a home for production so that monkey off my back and for the by day and we'll do what we have too but for the truly important updates-

I had my oncology follow up last week and all continues to progress in the right direction thank god! Blood work continues to improve and everything else in his mind looking good. No word on the thyroid numbers but I take that as a good sign. We did get a full CAT scan and x-rays ordered before our next appointment in September but nothing popped up in the exam to necessitate that-just wants to be prudent and get some current pictures. I can work with that!

Time for a treat as been over a month since I've been able to make it down to see the Prima crew and do some friday racing-so Im off !

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary! 1 YEAR!!!

Hard to believe but today is an anniversary of sorts-One year ago today was my final treatment! Certainly been ups and downs since then but thank God all is well as a Survivor-Here's to many, many, many more such anniversaries!

Friday, June 10, 2011

72 Hours

That is the amount of time I was allowed to keep my stress levels in check post vacation until all hell broke loose with our company. I won't go into all the details as this is a blog about my health journey but suffice it to say, there is a correlation between the two as to the effect this could have on one's life. It is all I can do right now to not get overwhelmed considering the tactics being employed in what appears to be nothing short of Goliath making a blatant attempt to run us out of business and that certainly is grounds for the immense amounts of stress I feel. God knows I'm trying to take this all in stride but damn it got harder with each curve ball zinged my way this week.

There are a number of issues at risk here that are cause for concern, however, the need to fight to keep the company in tact over and above the obvious financial issues is overshadowed by the need to prevent any interruption of my HMSA insurance policy. I certainly learned the value of that coverage and in no way can I find myself in the situation of having to re insure myself somewhere and get involved with any "preexisting" clauses. I feel like it's a big catch 22 made that much more difficult when someone is not playing fair-nor rational. Quite frankly, if not for the HMSA issue, at this point when I weigh the pro's and con's of what and how things are transpiring, I'd simply walk away and not disturb my peace of mind in the knowledge I was honoring my obligations and say fck it, your nuts and I'm not going to play this game-my health trumps anything you can throw at me so go ahead take your best shot, however, the circumstances simply don't allow for that so this battle continues starring me as David!

Now back to the journey at hand, I was supposed to have a follow up with the oncologist to report but due to the Holiday here in Hawaii today it has been rescheduled- I admittedly am a bit anxious for that considering all that is taking place around me. I'm sure I have nothing to worry about as I feel great but it will be nice to have some assurances all is still progressing in an orderly fashion. I'm also anxious to see what the blood work will show regarding the thyroid but another week to wait that one out as well.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Alaskan success!

Well this past week certainly didn't suck!-Feeling much better than at this time last week when I posted after tossing and turning that first night in Seattle with my brain in such overdrive, but thankfully was able to get on the ship and just shut down the outside world-Woo Hoo! Lisa Max and I had a blast-did our ship thing that I love so, or as Dad referred to it, gastronomical suicide on a sea of whisky, with a sea day to start for some R & R and acclimate to ship life! Went on to play tourist with some shore excursions and explorations of our own-even ran across a Grizzly in the wild (From afar of course) Not looking forward to the business challenges that lay ahead but feeling recharged!. Time to refocus,tackle them head on and move on so as to not let this adversely affect my health as the anxiety I was feeling from the pressure before I left is simply a no-no.

There's our boarding call-nothing like a little 737 for a 5 hour over water flight-LOL. Thank you for everything Lisa-Love you and think we all loved this week but time to head back to reality!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Need to decompress

WTF-what a sh*ty week-probably the most stressful non health related week I have had in some time and that just can't happen. Some curve balls pitched at work that took one hell of a dance to survive, even for the short term and what irritates me the most, it is all completely unnecessary bullsht with someone trying to play hard ball and change the game-it simply isn't worth it when my health cant be compromised by this crap but presents and interesting and challenging situation going forward-I need to decompress and restrategize as this broad wants blood-MINE-and I'm just not wired for these tactics she wants to play anymore, nor should I be as she simply on a power play that no matter how I look at it, makes zero business sense for any of us but I have to let it go for now.

I got the immediate situation solved for the short term and need to chill out-I can feel the strain on my system and not happy about that at all-insomnia as the brain wont stop rehashing the meeting, rehearsing the next one and churning out strategies as to how to make my next move, sore throat that wont go away that not sure what to attribute too and general stress BAD JEFF.-you know better than to let anyone or any situation get the best of you anymore's tough considering the consequences on the business and financial front. Regardless my health needs to take precedence.

Fortunately I am extremely fortunate as what better way to accomplish a complete decompress but to turn the phone off and get on a boat, or ship n this case-I'll be missing the 3 day race back home and wish my Prima crew the best, but I'll let others do the heavy lifting on this one as I sit here in Seattle awaiting the shuttle to Pier 91 for a week blobbing around Alaska with Lisa as she takes her son Max for his first fcruise or his 13th birthday and I get to tag along-thanks Lucy! Maybe we'll find a bear to wrestle-have to be a better gig thatn last weeks battle-LOL

Ill possibly detail all this later-just a journal entry here to try clear the brain but god knows I need this week!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend all

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Sometimes I wonder why I bother-read enough on the web will and you'll scare the sh*t out of yourself as it is a miracle any of us have the ability to survive the day! Apparently though, this really isn't that big a deal as the Doc told me and the meds don't seem to have any major side effects so maybe much of what I thought was just part of my life today is really directly associated with this thyroid issue.

  • Muscle and joint soreness-figured part of the healing, rebuilding and post radiation

  • Fatigue-same answer however have noticed my 2 pm slump bad

  • Weight gain-well the first 10 pounds to 190 was great although it took months-this second 10 to 195-200 I mentioned-it did come fast

  • Irritability-We'll Ive certainly mentioned that countless times since this all started
The list goes on when you look at the symptoms so maybe she is correct when she tells me that I may feel good now relative to this time last year, but what if I could feel even better as these could all be cases of this irregularity so time will tell-I'll keep you posted!

Of course trying to have me remember a daily dose of anything could prove to be the biggest challenge-hell I tend to forget my bi-monthly Humira shot so a daily pill............should be interesting~ Stay tuned

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thyroid? This is a new development-Uuggh

"Although thyroid problems are common in survivors who had radiation to the head and neck, treatment is generally easy and effective."

REALLY? Easy and effective for whom?

My bi-monthly follow up with the ENT wasn't as smooth as I had hoped this afternoon-she lobbed a curve ball my way and although she says it's no big deal-I happen to disagree. No not life threatening and in the overall scheme of things, we'll deal with it, but disappointing none the less as well as a hell of a shock as the first I have ever heard of this potential "common" side effect is NOW? And I in fact do have damage that needs treatment? WONDERFUL! I was informed about the salivary issues but never once any mention of thyroid damage but here we are. Don't have all the details and will be on Google here quite shortly believe me but apparently, my last blood test showed "radiation damage to the thyroid causing high levels of......? " My numbers are 8.5 and 4's to 5's is the normal range so she going to put me on meds to regulate. She'll prescribe Synthroid I believe she said and check the levels next month to see if the dose is correct. WOW!

I know nothing-never had any thyroid issues, not even sure what the damn thing does except it's now busted! Others in the family have to deal with this and I know that like blood pressure meds-once you start, you can never leave...........Grrrrr-time to research-I'll be back

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Wow-so here is something I haven't had to concern myself with for a while-weight! Seems I have reached my self imposed upper threshold. Jumped up this last 5lbs FAST too. Well, having two birthday parties over three days as well as the Easter festivities probably helped that acceleration. I've been steadily cycling through these 5 pound increments from my low of 180 I withered away too, through 185 and hovering in the 190 range that I have grown quite fond of-Am really enjoying all the exercise been getting with the water sports of late and that certainly a good thing. The knees and ankles are much happier, steadily built up the strength where I am comfortable, mobile and effective on the boats and boards and have started to acquire clothing that fits. Even the doctors are pleased and you all say I look great so I'll take it! Now, I jump on my control scale at the club yesterday to see I am suddenly just north of 195!


Granted that is a self imposed limit but I have no desire nor need to tip 200 again. That would be close to a 50% retracement to where I started and I simply don't wanna! I viewed a slide show presentation at the Saturday birthday party I was at and was in a few shots where I barely recognized that larger version of me and just don't like it! Guess it is time to throttle back on the see-food diet I've been relishing for the last few months and not eat whatever I see! That is not entirely true as I am pretty good on what I consume, just have not worried about how much and when but apparently that time has now arrived! Well at least until we get on the ship next month right!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Deaf, Dumb & Blind

Well I don't know about the deaf and dumb part (oh shush!) but the blind............?

So long as I've got myself as clean a bill of health on the cancer front as I am going to get for the time being, it's time to address some of the other secondary issues that require my attention and pay a visit to those doctors as well.

Deaf-no need as not problematic since that one occurrence I had that was associated to my Cisplatin regiment and that has corrected itself as we had hoped upon purging all that poison from my system.

Dumb-well not really I don't think although I still occasionally do seem to have a "chemo-brain" moment but can I really attribute that to all this????LOL.

Blind-without question, age and a whole bunch of nasty chemicals have taken their toll and as much as I have been avoiding the reality-I need to bail on the Costco readers and FINALLY go see my friend Jen Bossart for a real eye exam as things have certainly deteriorated. Even before this whole issue was discovered I had noticed some fuzziness and as I was catching up with my old roommate in San Diego awaiting our Thanksgiving cruise in 2009 he ran into the hotel shop and got me a $10 pair of readers as a joke-Hey they worked! Now however, things are getting noticeably worse. Lisa has actually gotten used to reading me menu items if we are in a dimly lit place and I have become quite accustomed to changing the view size on my 24" screen here to 125% or greater (as it is right now.) Not good and the eye fatigue I am noticing of late by mid afternoon at work is also getting detrimental so guess the time has come to make that appointment.

Additionally as I have spoken often of my constant dry mouth and the need to have a companion with me in the form of a water bottle-on a recent exam, one of my doctors even made mention of visually noticing my mouth being dry. That can have serious repercussions I realize so even though I have ignored the reminders from the dentist to come in for my annual check up, need to address that as the reduced saliva can cause havoc on oral hygene and the bodies natural ability to combat a whole host of nasty issues-Gone are my days of not seeing the dentist for over ten years as was the case prior to being forced to see one before my treatments began. Necessary appointment number 2 on deck!

I have been good with the dermatologist I must admit-unfortunate as the chemo cleaned me up but the psoriasis came back almost immediately so have had to see him to get back on my Humira but the other 2 "specialist" I need to make some time for-next weeks project!

Outside of that, might have to find some time for a massage-maybe even one insurance will cover. For some reason, as much as I am swimming as well as surfing, sailing and on the SUP-my entire neck and shoulder area are abnormally stiff and sore for the last couple weeks. My ENT did say that her patients that do not exercise or stretch the area radiated that the muscles tend to seize or stiffen up as time goes on but she considers me to be quite active so am a little perplexed on this development I must admit-Like I said, probably have to retain a masseuse-DARN!

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

And that's a sweep for now! Woo Hoo

I still absolutely HATE walking into the dungeon, the whole place still gives me the creeps but it was time for my Radiology 6 month follow up down there so off we went this morning. The first thing I notice is the huge ass 60" flat panel that always seems to have the food channel is gone. (Always found it odd as most of us down there undergoing treatment can't eat a damn thing so why make us suffer!) It apparently broke and was donated so Queens wont spring for a new one so this huge wall is now barren shy of the little 15" replacement giving the general feeling of even a more stark barren cold room-YUK! So glad it's no longer a daily requirements for me.

Anyway-here I am in my usual anxious state awaiting another exam and opinion on my scans and although I never anticipate much from this guy as you know, he still a part of my team and I need him to concur with the rest. I get called in and the nurse does a double take-again falling victim herself to not recognizing me-she still has that horrible Jabba the Hut photo they took of me back on my first visit, bald, pale and bloated, clipped in my file. She reminds me she also saw the transformation yet hasn't seen me in six months of further recovery and looking as I do now-"fit and with hair" as she says - LOL.

Now here comes Dr Observant, always amazing at the (dis)connected he has his patients (i.e. ME!) and today no exception. He walks in pickks up my chart and greets me with "Wow-you've lost some weight haven't you Mr Davis?"

HELLO! Seriously? All you remember of me is that picture? You honestly have no recollection of freaking out on me that I had lost TOO much weight when I plummeted down to 180, got thrown back in the hospital and had to suspend my treatments? Not only have I not LOST weight since my last visit, Ive actually put 15 pounds BACK ON! So reassuring. Anyway, enough of the vanity and he goes through his litany of poking, prodding and viewing and then reassures me again by asking when I will be having another PET done. Again have you actually looked in my file? Oh sorry all looks good and since the other two Doctors still seeing you regularly and all looks fine to me, I don't need to see you for 4 months. Again, my goal was to have him concur and he did so I'm happy but between the scatter brained weight and PET comments and now acting like 4 months is good even though it has been 6 since my last does nothing to reassure me and I am so grateful things are going in the right direction as do not want to count on this member of the team any longer than I already have.

Interesting visit, short sweet and certainly not to the point but as I mentioned -a clean sweep on the follow ups and I'll take it! Woo Hoo

Back to the office and the realities of the day!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April Foolishness!

Again! What a difference a year will make! Last year JMW delivered my shirt as I was forced to be an absentee participant in my room at Queens-this year I'm able to make my reappearance with the Boys! Too bad Lucy wasn't feeling well and had to leave early.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks's Day 2011

And a much better one than last of course-to add to my recent posts of events this year that trump the hell out of last....This is no exception. Briefly here as tribute to Karen Winpenny-Thank you again and thank you for having me! Many of you might recall she is the one who came up last year to decorate my room as I obviously didn't make her trolley-This year I did!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2 Down!

First off lets clarify my last few posts as it appears I may have confused some of you with my banter and I've been told I wasn't sounding too happy here lately. On the health front I continue to progress in a positive fashion thank you and as we will get into here below as I had a fantastic appointment with the ENT yesterday. My comments, sarcastic as I try be, relate to the world we all must deal with on a daily basis in general. For most of last year I simply checked out of the day to day operations that life requires to focus on getting healthy-Absolutely nothing else mattered and in many respects that is still enviable-As I have taken to saying a lot lately, "I don't recommend my program" but whether we are referring to my healthier physical appearance I now have or the outlook I try maintain, what I went through and in certain respects still am certainly clarifies and defines what is truly important and gives one a different perspective. That said, now that I am back in what many consider the real world, immersed in trying to make a living, it can be a challenge re-acclimating to the system. It takes a cognisant effort on my part to focus on what can be managed and not let chaos dictate the pace. I am finding many who tend to forget the good deeds and support they offered last year and assume all is back to normal and full speed ahead. It can be overwhelming at times to deal with what equates to unrealistic demands and requirements but I simply can not allow that to absorb me as I am a firm believer that stress is a major contributor to putting many, possibly myself included, into the situation I am emerging from to begin with. Now not that made a tremendous amount of sense but onto the good stuff! My ENT's review of the scans and my exam. "Everything looks wonderful!" The scans are clear and her physical exam were 110% to her satisfaction and she is thrilled-as am I. When I mentioned a sense of separation anxiety from the oncologist, a doctor I saw weekly, then monthly and now whom doesn't need to see me for four months-LOL She laughed to and went on to tell me not to worry about that as I'm stuck with her every 6 to 8 weeks throughout the year. She wants to have eyes on as there are things she looks for that the scans would never show so she wants to be diligent on having physical exams to ensure there is no evidence of such. She also noted that when I really looked at my calender, between all 3 of my specialists, there still is someone looking at me every month. I will have my radiology follow up and review in April, she will see me again in May then voila, there is the 4 month follow up in oncology again in June, back to her in July.........slight gaps the second half but they really still do have a good handle on it and as much as you want to be rid of this, it is comforting to know at this stage that I am still being monitored. 2012 we will extend those visits I am sure but for now, I am VERY GOOD with this set up. That's all for now folks and thank you all for your continued support-It means the world! Mahalo

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Rabbit Hunt is on haitus today

Today is quite a big day and I am admittedly a bit anxious again. I have an appointment with the ENT for her review and take on the PET's so I am doing my best to patiently await this afternoons visit. In the mean time, I have recently been "rabbit hunting" to see what miraculous things I can pull out of my hat!-It seems now that I am back trying to put all the pieces together everyone wants to sink their teeth in and immediately have me fix all that may have been postponed or overlooked last year. Try as I may to go one day at a time to get things back on an even keel on both a personal and business standpoint, the pressure is on and everyone looking for an immediate solution-sorry it simply isn't possible but I will keep hunting those rabbits and as hard as we try not to let it happen, that converts to stress. For today at least however, the rabbit is safe and they all need to just deal with it - I'll go back to deadlines and figuring out who gets paid what and when later as this appointment trumps all!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


OK folks-it has been a while but as I am a little overwhelmed here in the day to day things of life, figure its a good time to take a break and update here a bit.

I mention overwhelmed but at least it is life right. My goal and mantra coming out the tail end of this ordeal is to "control the controllable" where you really focus on the things that matter and you can actually do something about and put the other bullshit to the side. Reality is in day to day life, that is much harder than it sounds although I am still focusing on that. Life will always toss a curve ball though and we just deal with it-that said, as we try get back on track business and financially after the priorities of beating the beast last year that set all that back, it is important to just sit back and breath-stress IS NOT your friend so time for one of those breaks and update yo on the good news.

NEGATIVE! That is the readings from the good Oncologist on my most recent PET scans-he has even gone as far as "released" me until June. Of course before we can really celebrate, I need those same scans to be confirmed with two other physicians but I take this as a huge positive none the less. I must admit, I was anxious as hell going through the scan and awaiting word on the results and the irony is now, after all the hand holding and monitoring, there is slight bit of anxiety that still persists knowing that I am one step closer to not having to be under such scrutiny. It's only 4 months but but I said, I need two more to concur and I'm sure blood work will still be monitored and such but it is a bit of an odd feeling. Believe me, I wouldn't want it any other way but funny how the brain works.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The GAME and the finished product.....

Anxious for my upcoming test of course, but this is what its all about-Mahalo Dan Long!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In celebration of........da Super Bowl Chili!

And the mood is MUCH better-still had a lot of Jack in the house this year to toast Mom not being a lesbian (inside joke from last year's gathering) as we look at the end of this turmoil versus last year when I was staring down the beast and we were drowning sorrows in the unknown! And even if I do say so myself, limited taste buds and all-this is coming along as a damn good pot.

Very nice to have Licia B to be in the house all the way from Vermont as well as a few other Punahou classmates that forgave our malasada duties with Jen Lyons and Blair Thorndike-Thank you all for assisting me. Have a great Super Bowl and many more!

On a sad note however, during my moment of celebration, I'd like to send our best out to the Elwell clan who are currently at Dicks bedside-all our best wishes and prayers with you!