Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wed evening 12/22/10

Greetings to you all.  I am so happy to have this last chemo behind me. Finished this afternoon with one more return visit to the infusion center tomorrow morning. The side effects this time around were the worst so far. I totally lost Tuesday to sleep all day and night.  The physical side effects are I hope going to fade soon.  Forced myself to eat some pancakes sometime in the early hours this morning, then back to sleep for awhile before my last session today. I originally thought I was going to have this week off, so was surprised Monday morning with the chemo news.
  Anyway, I will have my first how we doing results in mid January. Dr is optimistic, and I admit it's easy to get into that mode. On the other hand to get to enthusiastic could lead to a real downer in January, so am trying to stay rather neutral about it.  Still have all of my hair, though am trying out various head  coverings. May ask for votes on your part. I think I can add pictures to the blog.  Suggestions so far range from the Scottish bonnet to the biker head scarf/bandana.  Now would be a good time to add your comments regarding head gear in the event I need to keep my head warm. Right now it's a struggle to keep my fingers, toes, mouth and nose warm. I wear socks all the time, gloves most of the time and am suppose to wear a scarf outside to cover my mouth and nose.  reminds me of being dressed by my mother when I was a child.
The good news is my clot factor has returned to a pleasant range(no more bloody noses for awhile).  Hoping to have dumped enough of the side effects to be able to enjoy Christmas with my grandson. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

monday dec 20, 2010

Hi all,
O.K. today was the first day in session three of chemo. have two days of chemo with the pump pack. then two days of side effects.  We're adjusting downward the amount of daily intake of the snake venom. Guess the initial level was to much. My clotting factor is up to 4.9 today.  needs to be down in the three plus.    We're approaching on of my how are we doing deadlines. (mid Jan).  However, must say That I am feeling soooo much better.  Interesting, my clot factor is very high, yet I'm still having a problem with the PICC line blood clot.  Hopefully over time  the snake venom will prevent any additional clots adding to the one that's already there and hopefully reduce the size of the clot over time.
  I wish you all seasons greetings.  and many thanks for the positive thoughts, prayers, food, rides to and from chemo sessions, and emergency room runs when necessary.   I am going to lick this thing!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mon Dec 13th, 2010

Hi all,
I wish you all a happy Saint Lucia day today. I had high hopes of waking up in the wee hours hearing the fine Santa lucia music and getting hot chocolate and lucia buns this morning.  But I guess as the next best thing, I got togo get my finger poked to see how well the snake venom is working-or not.  A nice rainy weekend, if you like that sort of cozy stay at home kind of weekend.  This should be a very quiet week for me. No more Drs all week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sat Dec 11,2010

Hi all,
Saturday evening and A day not at the treatment center-yea.  Chemo side effects are with me as a reminder however, and they called last night to up my snake venom intake. Can't sneeze now with having a bloody nose-somewhat inconvient. On the upside. son, grandson and I did get our Christmas trees yesterday and mine is up-sort off, otherwise all is as well as it's going to get at this point. Lots of Dr stuff on Monday  however.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Dec 9, 2010

Another fun filled day at the Cancer Treatment center.  Went in to have the empty pump pack removed, which was done successfully.  Then the debate began as to whether to pull the PICC line out.  Fortunately none of the nurses had an answer as to what would happen to the blood clot that was still there. So twas decided to ask the good Dr. Am home waiting for the call to go back or not. Apparently the episode Monday afternoon has made be famous in the treatment center(at least amoung the nurses who weren't there but have heard about it).  So, not sure what's next. The portacath requires some surgery to install. I sort of hope to get in one or two more chemo treatments  before we move to the portacath.  I do wonder what would I have done had the clot broke free in the middle of the night . Oh well, it didn't so at least I now will know what's going on and would haul myself to the E.R.
More tomorrow

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Dec 8 2010

Good morning all,
Survived the night and all seems to be well. The blood thinner seems to be doing it's job.  The side effects are kicking in pretty good at this point. The pump pack will be done around 1:00 tomorrow, and so will end session 2. Hope to be back to normal by Monday or Tuesday.  It cheers me up to see so many people following along on the blog. Hope I'm not boring you to death(oopps-bad choice of words there perhaps).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday December 7 2010

Hello my friends,
I started yesterday with my second round of chemo. It got off to a rocky start with a plugged up PICC line. They finally cleared the line with a clot dissolving drug and all went well fir the first 5 hours. At the end of the session with 15 minutes to go  a small blood clot broke off and plugged the vein.  Instantaneous  arm pain, swelling of the arm and rapid accummulation of blood in the arm. Fortunately, the Dr and staff were still in the building. Another application of the clot dissolver and things begin to slowly return to normal. Was sent to local hospital E.R. for ultra sound of the arm vein. Was there last night from 6:00pm to 10:30pm. Long story short. I have a blood clot that has formed around the site were the PICC line enters the vein. Treatment includes blood thinners.  The blood thinners were sufficient to allow the finish up today of yesterdays  chemo and the installation of the pump pack which continues until Thursday.  So I will be sick Friday Saturday and Part of Sunday. We will have to decide next week what to do about the clot and the pick line. I'm all for removing it and having a portacather installed.  Big fear of course is that while I'm home with the pump pack attached that another clot breaks off.
  Sorry if this all sounds unpleasent, but that's the way it is today.  next post will be Thursday when we remove the pumppack and hopefully make a decision about the PICC line and associated clot.
Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

wed, Dec 1-10

Good evening,
  Sorry to miss the dance class last night. All my perkiness of the prior two days caused me to over extend.  Around 2:00 yesterday I needed a nap. alas, it lasted  through the night with a few food breaks.  Combined with the long Dr's appointment, it just wasn'r my night to go out. I had thougth the Dr appoinment was only for an hour. took 2.5 hours. lab work to be done, clean up the PICC line site, actually had one of the more extensive physical exams than I've had since the Heart surgery. Anyway all appears to be well, and most of my side effects are going or gone. Next chemo is Monday Dec 6. It will be a repeat of the first with 5 hours of infusiion at the center and then a pumppack to go. The pumppack contains a nice package of chemo that continues to supply chemo to my system 24 hrs a day for two days.  The chemo really doesn't bother me so much, and the side effects are tolerable. But I feel so much better. Hope something positive is happening.
    Lets talk diet. I've read through severall books on what we eat and cancer. That said I'm ready to start the conversion. So any tasty meal hints involving brown rice, seaweed, grains would be most welcome. Looking forward to trting out Susans seaweed soup receipe.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, Nov 28, 2010

Good afternoon or evening,
   Yesterday day was good, today is even better. I have some sense of uphoric high about today.  Went grocery shopping,  and actually began to think about being around at Christmas, in a form that would allow me to be more than a slug.  All this is a good feeling(only thing that was missing was the "sound of music playing in the background")  To be honest, I felt better today than I have since July or possibly prior.  Susan's comments have made me think about how much fun I used to have at the winter dance camp in Norway, the friends made, the food, snow, dancing, and the weekend festival in Kongsberg.  She is right, I do want to get well and return. I guess it's a ray of optimysm on my part. My recent thoughts have not much gone beyond the end of the year, so good to look out there. So, lets all keep up the cheery thoughts about London, Scotland, and Norway.  It's been a great day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Nov 27th

Yahoo, Feels so good  to not be totally sick to my tummy. Actually a good day today. Had a cheeseburger and it tasted soooooo gooooood. Probably the first meat I've had in week and weeks.  Seem to be bouncing back fairly quickly at this point. Still very tired and low energy, but no pain in my poor tummy. My nose, mouth and finger tips are another matter however.  Still all very tingly with cold- so no DQ milkshakes yet. Just happy to be interested in eating again. Thank you all for the comments, tidbits and help with the blog. For some reason, I can no longer see who my followers are. It all showed up last week , but this week a blank page. Beleive it has something to do with security. I think it's actually the Apt's security system, which blocks all known social networking sites as being?? No one knows why they're blocked , we just know they are.  I will be at my son's tomorrow so will access from his computer. If I get to see my followers it will confirm  my suspicians on mr K-9.
    I must admitt I'm reveling in the heavy rains we're having. May go for a walk in the rain tomorrow-just because I can(one of life's little joys we should all take advantage I suppose).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Nov 26,2010

Ok, I survived yesterday, but it was ugly. Spent all day and night in bed sipping water. Liz was correct, the day after was terrible for chemo side effects. I think I'm on the mend. Had a waffle for breakfast this morning which helped(and it stayed down)  Guess I need to find out from the DR if the 2.5 days of continus chemo is what made it so bad or will is always be that bad? Any experieced folks out feel free to chime in here.  Soon as I think I can hold down a milk shake I'm off to the DQ.  Hope the chemo is worse on the cancer than it is on me. 
   Alice, could you add a comment on how to leave comments. Apparently there are some who wish to but not able to .  Another fun day, but getting some food in.

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22,2010 First chemo

Yes!!!!  First chemo is behind me. Have a pump pack on that will continue to pump chemo into through Wednesday afternoon. Will then give it all a rest for a week and a half.  So far so good. Gave me lots of anti nausea medication so hope that will all work.  Big thanks to Gail and Shirly for being my taxi service today. I didn't know what to expect, so they were kind enough to get me there and get me home.  No snow helped us all.  Those of you who have been there could help me with a question That kind of came up for me throughout the day. There were about 50 people in the room most of the time getting chemo. Sort of a continous changing of the guard. Health wise, I thought I looked great in comparison to what I was seeing.  My question became, did the other people look bad because of the long term effects of the chemo, or did they look bad because of the cancer? Guess I'm curious because if and when I start to look that way I will want to know which is causing the effect. My Dr is a very upbeat positive Dr which is of course what I want. But I want to know if I'm wasting away from what?? if it comes to that. All hypothetical of course.  Anyway , great to be on the road to doing something about it-for me kind of a euphoric feeling. Possibly by Wednesday night a little less so.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 4 Nov 20 2010

Hi all,
The hospital visit this morning went well. They replaced the bandage etc over the picc line and there is no sign of infection which is the big worry since it's a direct line to the heart.  It appears I'm all set for Monday's first chemo.  The R.N. this morning was most helpful and informative.  I learned alot about my form of cancer in the liver, the treatment plan to expect and she gave me a very positive outlook which is very helpful. Sort of wanted to say, wait, wait, tell me more, but we were done.  Spent the early afternoon napping; and then spent the rest of the day with my son and grandson. My grandson plays a mean game of "mousetrap".   Unless something dramatic happens tomorrow, next post will be Monday evening. Guess I get to come home with a pump pack that will keep on pumping the  juice to me for a couple of days. So hope you are all well.
Maximize the good things in your lives.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DAY 3 November 19

Hi all,
Long day today. Had a PICC line installed today. Those who've been there done that know how much fun that was. For those who havn't had the pleasure, it's a semi-fixed small tube fixed in the upper arm that goes straight to the heart vein in your chest.  Monday will be the first day of Chemo. The PICC line allows a quick hook up and by sending  the goods directly to the heart vein it is big enough to absorb the goods with out impenging the tissue around it and a litttle quicker absorbtion of the stuff(this is all heresay to me). I will be at the N.W.Cancer center inVancouver most of Monday. Arrive around 10:30am and there until 5;00. I am allowed to have visitors while the process is going on, so if you're not doing anything on Monday and want to chat, I will be available. Send me an email an I will send you the address. Not that i expect anyone. I think chatting with some one getting Chemo is probably as much fun as watching paint dry.
  Thank you to those unidentiefied blog followers who have dropped off the page. only one left yet to get to know. Thank you to the rest who have i.d.'d themselves. 
  Also apologize for sending the masse email in the open. Have been advised how to do that with blind email address. Hope you all don't hear from my cousin who is  a retired Nigerian Army General who needs a little help in getting some funds out of his country!!

I go back to the hospital tomorrow for some "clean up work"
ummm, wondering now what that means. They mentioned that  when I was still a little stupid this Morning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 2 in the adventure

Good evening. It's November 18, 2010. A quiet day. Thank you for the responses and kind thoughts. Am receiving some interesting information on non traditional cancer treatment and am surprised at how many people seem to know the whereabouts and availablity of medicinal smokes.  I suppose if nothing else works might as well go out laughing and with a big smile-huh.  Also surprised at how many of my friends and associates have already had bouts with cancer-I just didn't know.  For those following this blog whom I don't seem to recognize-my apologies, but  who are you??
Big John

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day one in my new adventure

Hi all,
I will use this blog to provide a place for friends to check on my status. I'm sort of overwhelmed with emails so think a blog will be the best way to tell all my daily progress in the new journey.  It is Wednesday evening November 17th.
  Iwill have a PICC line installed on Friday and my first Chemo session on Monday. That will probably hold down any thoughts of over eating on Thanksgiving. Since I'm new at this blog stuff please bare with me. It's my understanding you can leave me notes and we can all stay tuned in. It's my intent to try to continue life as normal(much as possible anyway. So I will launch this blog. Please pass it around to anyone you think might be interested in what's going on with me.
big john
a.k.a. John Campbell