Monday, December 25, 2006

Well, it is Christmas Day, and I am doing well enough. I have had many difficulties with the severe allergy to cold, as I like to put my reaction to Eloxitin, but that is the way it goes, and if things don't get any worse than that, then I will have it made. I approach, in about 50 hours, my nineth cycle, which makes things nice, as I only have three left after this. I am looking forward to the end of this whole thing, though I think my oncologist might want to see me for a bit after the last cycle, as my platelets have been down lately, and he is wondering why. I have little idea about this, which is not surprising, and though the readings have been down somewhat, they have been well over 90,000, which is not that bad. But we shall see just what happens at the end of chemo, and go from there.

My health has been good for the last three months, which I am grateful for, as it makes things much easier to deal with. I have, in fact, few complaints about the chemo, and can only hope that this thing works, so that I don't have to go through anything else. I must hope that it works, and continue my life as I would normally. That should be rather easy in most ways, though I cannot promise it. I can hope and pray that it is so. And so, gentle reader, I am again thankful for your attention, and will chat more later.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Well, guess what? It has been less than a week since I posted here. I am sorry that I have not posted more frequently sometimes, but there is not always anything to report, either, so I don't. But this is an interesting week, in that Thanksgiving is coming up, and I thought I would post here, and share some of what is going through my mind.

First, I am thankful to be alive. I do wish things could be different just now, but I live, and that is significant. I can touch people's lives, which helps me and them both. That is important.

Second, I have friends who care about me. They can help me, I can help them, and all are happy. I am glad and thankful for the people in my life, and need to guard against that thing which most of us need to watch very carefully: taking them for granted. They will not always be around, and that is the most important thing to remember.

Then, there is the church I have found. Back in September, I was riding my bike here in the Twin Cities, and found this church which I started attending, and it was a good decision. The people there know when I are there and when I are not, they care about what is happening, and they are wonderful people to be around. They are loving in ways which, I think, many people have forgotten how to be loving, and they show it deeply. They love God, which love goes very deep, and they prove it in their response to each other. I love that.

There is also the roof over my head. Without that, I would almost certainly be far less comfortable than I am, if I would even be alive just now. Life is hard enough without the difficulties of living on the street on top of everything else, and having even a room is better than nothing.

And then there is the staff here. It is a controlled environment, but that only helps a person stay connected. I have more than one friend on the staff here, and they care what happens to me, which helps a lot. Loneliness is a problem for people of all walks of life sometimes, and to have people you can talk to readily is a wonderful thing. I have no job just now, and the people I have around me help me keep my sanity together. Thank God for all of my blessings, and never let me forget them!! And thank you, gentle reader, for your kind attention yet again to my writings.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It has been a while since I posted last, but there has been little enough to report. Things have been going well enough, and I have begun my seventh treatment cycle!!! That is good news for me, as I have passed the halfway point of my series. I am excited about that, as I am tired of all this malarchy of having to go in and get hooked up every two weeks. But we hope this is working, and that things will not get worse later, so that I will be fine.

Cold seems to be the hardest thing I have to deal with just now. Every time I get a treatment, it takes me at least a week to get over the Eloxitin, which is a pain, as things are harder to do with cold stuff, such as the meat I should be eating. But if that's the worst thing that comes my way from now on, I will have little enough to complain about. All else is good, and my psyche is in reasonable shape. I am keeping myself together, and that is the good part of this. I am not going to let this thing get me down, and I also know that there are those out there who have bigger things to deal with than I do, which makes me think that I have little enough to complain about, in any case. So I will survive this thing, and get through it. Things are not so bad just now, so keep your spirits up, gentle reader, and that may help me keep mine up, through the contact we have here. And, as always, thank you for your kind attention.

Friday, October 20, 2006

It has, again, been two weeks since I updated here, so I thought I would come in and do some writing. I am doing well enough just now, and believe that my bout of sickness was, indeed, something I caught from somewhere, or something I ate, though I doubt the latter. I am feeling quite a bit better now, a month after that happened, and have done things to keep myself up, mostly having to do with things I am eating, or at least trying to eat, which are good for me. Earlier this week I picked up some fresh strawberries, a bunch of bananas, a few pears, three kinds of juice, and some milk, and made me a fruit smoothee. It was quite tasty, and helped me keep my strength up. I try to eat better, and have had good luck with a lot of that, as well, and simply drinking juice from the last purchase helped me this morning. Of course, I had to let the juice sit out all night, so that it was warm, but that is a small thing to do to get the digestion settled and have things ready to go.

My oncologist asked me Wednesday, first thing, about the nausea and vomiting, wishing to monitor that situation, and I don't blame him at all. Things such as that concern him at least as much as they concern me, and that is good. My health, after all, is what this whole chemo thing is all about, and sickness is not a part of health. It shows a lack of health, and that is a sign that something is not as it is supposed to be. So we work together to discover what is going on, and he tries to help me get through this thing in one piece. That makes me feel good, and I like him for it.

I will get disconnected again this afternoon, and am glad about that, as I don't like the pump with me. I have to remember it is there, and can't just move around like I am accustomed to do without it. It is simply one more thing I have to remember, however, and that is not necessarily such a bad thing sometimes, though who knows. But I get along, and that is what must happen. I cannot forget it, and that means that I am still on the chemo, though with the next treatment I will be halfway through. This is my fifth treatment just now, and the halfway point will be reached two weeks from today, when I am disconnected. Hey!!! I am looking forward to that, but more than that, I am looking forward to January, when I can put this thing completely behind me, and not get it again, I hope. That will be a happy day for me, trust me!!! Well, I guess that's all for today, so again gentle reader, I thank you for your attention, and hope that you have gotten something out of this. I hope you have a good day.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I was reminded last night that it had been two weeks since I had posted here last, and there is a valid reason for that, though we are not completely sure what happened to cause that reason. I was quite sick two weeks ago today, and could not stop vomiting all day. And that unfortunate event was repeated at least once a day, and mostly only once a day, quite fortunately, over the next nine days. I could only stop last Sunday when, having gotten tiered of that series of events, I went to the Emergency Room ans was given some medication which helped me stop. I am glad I went, and wish now that I had gone sooner.

My oncologist says he does not believe that this bout was caused by the chemo, and he may be right. I feel good this morning, though a bit drained and weak from the last two weeks, so I must take it a little easier just now. But I am, in general, quite okay at the moment, and hope that continues. I am receiving, as we speak, another infusion, my fourth, of chemo, and it is going well so far. Things are proceeding apace, and I only have eight more treatments to go after this one, from which I will be disconneted tomorrow afternoon. This disconnect will occur a bit later than usual, as the oncologist wanted to wait for my complete bloodwork to come back before he started my treatment, but everything is fine in that department, and things went forward steadily after they started, around 1300 hours yesterday afternoon. Just now I am a bit hungry, but that can and will be taken care of shortly, so things are okay for me.

In general, my spirits have been kept up by those around me, and that helps. I have people I can turn to for what I need, and I have met a couple of new people who are willing, every so often at least, to talk to me, and see how I am doing. That helps, especially when one is sick. We do not always feel like talking to people in that situation, but it is a necessary point to ponder: We need each other, to exchange ideas, to bounce back from being down, to share our triumphs and tragedies as it were. So, gentle reader, if you face what I face, hang in there, and learn to share what you are feeling with someone, be it a loved one, a friend, a professional, someone who will listen. That is the most important thing one can do, and you will be most benefited as you reach out and touch someone, however far away from you they may live. Call someone, write someone, however you do it, just make contact with another human being, and find a source to get the support you need. I have, and it has helped me greatly. Well, thank you again for your kind attention, gentle reader, and I will chat with you again, and sooner than I did this time. Forgive me for my delay, and hang in there!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Time passes, and things progress. LIfe continues, and side effects worsen, at least slightly. I am developing a sore on my lower lip, and the diarrhea has been a bit worse this time. But all in all, I am doing well enough. I have found someone who has been there before me, and have begun a dialogue with her, which was interesting. I met her at her church, which I began attending a week and a half ago, and we had a chance to talk some before the service Sunday. It should be interesting to see how things developed for her, and get things into perspective thereby. My side effects might be lesser or greater than hers, I do not know just now, but we shall see. Things are well enough for me just now, however, and for that I am truly greatful. I can beat this thing, and many people are pulling for me to do just that, which helps. I love the people I exchange messages with, and I think they love me, which helps a great deal in and of itself. I want to win this battle, and I shall do all in my power to do so. Here's praying it is enough. And as always, gentle reader, thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Colorado was, indeed, marvelous. I had a wonderful time, and saw many fascinating things. In fact, when we first entered the park at Yellowstone, after clearing a couple of stretches of road construction where they were improving the roadway, we saw a small herd of buffalo on the road ahead, and had to stop. There was something interesting there, however. There was an RV type vehicle on the other side of the road, and the driver began creeping forward, essentially herding the buffalo in our direction. One huge beast passed at most a car *width* from me, on my side of the car, and it was cool to see the animal so close and not be in danger from it. We also saw elk, moose, deer, and many beautiful things in the park. I will remember Yellowstone for a long time.

In fact, I will remember this entire trip for a long time. I enjoyed myself greatly, and so did my friend, though there were problems along the way, caused in part because we were both tired. We worked things out, and all is well. So just remember, gentle reader, that if such things happen with you, simply work them out, and go from there. It pays to do so, and all will be fine.

I started my second chemo this morning, and all is going as it did last time so far. I feel good, and my blood counts were good, so I am fine from that standpoint. And that is the thing one must remember: they monitor your blood counts on a regular basis, to keep on top of your health. They know what they are doing, so cooperate with them. They care for you, and will not let you down if they can help it. I know that, and though six months is a long time, things will end eventually, and that will be good for all concerned. And so, gentle reader, since that is my report, I thank you again for your kind attention.