July 31, 2008

What does David actually do?

I hope this doesn’t come across as braggadocio in any way, shape or form? My intent is this; I have shared so much about me personally, but very little about work and what I actually do for a living.

I am a Product Development Manager at EMBARQ. EMBARQ is the local phone company that was spun off from Sprint in May of 2006. We are in markets across 18 States, mostly in rural or smaller communities, however we provide services Orlando, FL, Las Vegas and some medium sized communities in other states as well. We provide local, long distance, high speed internet and re-sell DISH television services.

So what do I do as a Product Development Manager? In a nut shell I am a dreamer, an innovator and an inventor. For the past eight months I have been leading this project to fruition:

It's pretty exciting after spending months and months on a project to have it written up in the Wall Street Journal!

In addition to this project I have eight Patents on file with the US Patent Office and 16 more that are in various stages of pre-submission. Though it might sound impressive, in my opinion, until the Patent Office actually grants the Patent, it doesn’t matter a whole lot (though I do take a little pride in this).

I could go on but brevity is key! In the end I hope this provides another look into the man behind the blog.

July 29, 2008

"WBC" at an all time low....

I just received a fax with the results of Monday's blood test and my white blood cells have run off somewhere!
WBC count: 1.7

White blood cell count (WBC)
- The number of white blood cells in a specified volume of blood. White blood cells form the mainstay of your immune system -- a low number might increase your risk of infection and a high number possibly indicating that you have an infection.

According to today's report, normal is between 4.0 and 10.5. At 1.7 all I can say is Yikes! It's amazing that I'm not more fatigued. Overall, the key is to reach full recovery by August 11th. My red blood cell count is still in the normal range so there is some good news.

By the way, I'm sure you've noticed something looks different around here? Brown was so blah, this place needed a little sprucing up! I hope you like it?

Just a brief update, enough for today!

July 28, 2008

The brick wall

So last week caught up with me on the back 9 Saturday morning. I played pretty good on the front but when we made the turn, my body and brain forgot to follow! I flamed out due to a combination of wicked summertime humidity and overextending myself!

Just to recap last week:
Monday: Chemo treatment #3
Tuesday: Work day, then Tom Petty concert after 3.5 hours of sleep
Wednesday: Work day, 9 hole golf league after 5 hours of sleep
Thursday: Work day
Friday: 1/2 Work day, then 18 hole golf tournament
Saturday: usual disc golf round, then I took Brad to see "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in 3D

So by yesterday, Mary was none to happy with me, and frankly, I can't blame her. However, I have always been this way; I can't just sit around, I have to be doing something. Even yesterday, I had breakfast with a PCa friend, went to Mass and then I went to serve my time under house arrest. I worked on bills, the FLHW.org Foundation business and did a few loads of laundry. Just "took it easy"!

So we reach Monday. I got a great nights sleep, worked out and gave my blood sample this morning. I feel so much better than Saturday or Sunday.

I really don't have a conclusion here? I guess I'll just say this "Mary, I promise the week after my August 11th treatment, I will take things MUCH easier than this week!"

That is, unless Mark calls me with an 11th hour cancellation to the Jack Johnson concert on the 15th!!!!

OK, just kidding Mary.....sort of.....

July 23, 2008

I found a cure for the lack of sleep and Dex:

Yesterday, after getting through most of the day on 3 1/2 hours of sleep I got a call from my good friend Mark. He was quick and to the point, "How are you feeing today? Great, want to go to Petty?"

So last night, along with 14,500+ other Kansas Citians, we attended the Steve Winwood and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show. We did not leave disappointed!
Steve Winwood's voice is still incredible after all these years. If I closed my eyes during "Dear Mr. Fantasy", I would have though it was off the original 1967 recording...it was awesome!

Petty and the Heartbreakers rocked for just over two hours. Here is the set list, one hit after another, after another!
You Wreck
To Her Heart
I Won't Back Down
Even the Losers
Free Fallin'
Mary Jane's Last Dance
Sweet William
End of the Line
Saving Grace
Face in the Crowd
Honey Bee
Learning to Fly
Don't Come Around Here No More

Runnin' Down a Dream
Mystic Eyes
American Girl

All I can say is, thanks Mark for a wonderful time! Tonight, I go to bed early (after my weekly Wednesday evening ball golf game!) and try to catch up on some of that missing sleep!

July 22, 2008

I Don't like Monday's

...and a few others....

"Monday, Monday" -The Mamas & The Papas
"Manic Monday" -The Bangles
"Monday Morning" -Fleetwood Mac
"Come Monday" -Jimmy Buffet
"Stormy Monday" -The Allman Bros.

The Dex won the battle last night! I woke at 1:30, tossed and turned until 2:15 then got sucked into "The Wire" again until about 4:45am. Maybe 30 minute more sleep and Buck and I got up at 6:30.

I am currently attempting to function on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I should go home but have a number of calls to be on at work this morning.

Yesterday's appointment was long. I guess I am just going to have to stop complaining about it and get used to it. Things were running behind again; we arrived at 8:30 and left at about 1:45. We got lunch, ran an errand and returned home just before 4:00pm.

Somehow we found the energy to got see "Momma Mia" at 5:15, it was good. Definitely a 'chick flick' but I really enjoyed it, even the Abba music. You know they are from Sweden, apparently they opened a museum last year in Stockholm. I guess my visit there was a year early!

My White Blood Count returned to normal levels as did most of my others. My red is right on the border line of low but nothing seemed to alarm the doc.

My PSA remained steady at 53.4, at least it has reached a plateau. We were told by Dr. Van, and had read on-line, that it can take 10-12 weeks before we see results. This was just 6 week so we are hoping the tide will begin to turn next appointment (August 11).

That's the recap for my Monday!

July 18, 2008

Ready, set, 1, 2, 3 go!

Monday is treatment number three already. One and two have been, for the lack of a better term, a piece of cake! I have run into a number of people that, based on their reaction, are stunned I'm in the midst of chemo. Not sure what to say? We still have a long road ahead of us, but so far....so good.

The next thing I have to say might be a little controversial, but here goes anyway. I have tried to avoid topics such as this, but this one has been bothering me for quite some time. Remember, it's my blog, I started this and continue it to share what I'm thinking, and what I am going through. Please read the following, agree, disagree...if nothing else just think about it for a minute.

On May 30, 2007, President Bush announced his proposal to double America's initial commitment and provide an additional $30 billion to combat global HIV/AIDS over the next five years.

$30 Billion dollars! What about Americans dealing with cancer, cancer of all kinds?
In 1997 1.4M Americans were diagnosed with cancer. This was in addition to the millions who were already living with the disease, including yours truly.

The total proposed 2009 budget for the National Cancer Institute is just over $6 Billion and our government leaders send an equal amount, every year, for the next five years overseas.

That is all I have to say, I'm not going to present an argument of AIDS vs. Cancer, etc. I just wanted to present this one little position and ask you to think about it.

July 14, 2008

Check point

Nothing eventful to report today. My next treatment is in a week and I'm still feeling great, I have all my hair and am dealing with the metallic mouth.

According to this mornings blood test however, my white blood count is down to 2.9 (normal 10-12 range). This dropped from last week. During treatment 1 wbc dropped the first week and recovered in weeks 2 and 3. This time it dropped after week 1 and further after week 2. I sure hope it recovers for next week.

Overall my combined counts are fine, just a little low on the wbc and red blood cell count.
PSA will not be checked until next week.

The weekend was rather normal; disc golf three days in a row. Friday we had a department event and the managers cooked pancakes for breakfast then I taught 17 people how to play the game. I only walked along and gave guidance as we played nine holes, I think everything really enjoyed the morning.

Saturday I played with a small group but it included one of my co-workers from Friday! We were delayed by rain about half way through but finished in time to drive through a mid-summer monsoon on the way home. Sunday my brother in law Rich put a whooping on me, and even as competitive as I am, it was fun to watch!

Saturday we saw the new Indiana Jones movie, I'd give it a C+. We had most of the family over yesterday for dinner and as I mentioned above I had my monthly appointment this morning. This was for Lupron and Zometa, the chemo treatment is next week.

Back to the grind......

July 08, 2008


I still need to see the movie "Ironman", I hear it's really good. Perhaps this weekend with Brad?

However, the reference and reason for my post is I now officially am experiencing my first
side-effect from chemo; metallic mouth. The best way to describe it is my tongue feels and tastes like it does after you drink something too hot. Everything tastes a little strange, though nothing has been offensive enough to stop me from eating it yet!

Now it's off to lunch..... nothing else to report today!

July 06, 2008

...is on my side.....yes it is.

Today at Mass something reminded me of a stream of consciousness that I experienced the other night while trying to get back to sleep. At some point this blog turned into more of a diary of my life and less of what's going on within me as I battle Advanced Prostate Cancer. I spend a lot of time writing about disc golf, music, books, movies, etc. and it has been a long time since I let you in my head.

So here we go:

I'm one week into my second treatment of chemotherapy. This one has actually been easier on me than the first. No flu like symptoms this past weekend... it was quite unremarkable (a radiology term I can't believe I just used!). I feel better than I have in months and yet it scares me...What if my PSA number doesn't come down? I'm not in pain, in fact it's just the opposite, but I can't help but wonder what is actually going on inside of me.

I guess I shouldn't doubt or question, it's way too early, but this is my blog and I have had that thought a few times recently. I continue to pray, a lot! I pray for guidance, a cure and peace and comfort for Mary and my family. I talk to God a lot at night. Sometimes I sneak in a request for a cure but I try not to push things, he's a little busy and I'm just one mortal man.

Time is what I ask for the most. Time for Brad to drive and graduate and go to college. Time for Meg to get married and graduate from college herself. Time for Mary and I to grow old together......or at least just a little older. I just couldn't get though this without one musical reference. This Stones song just came to mind; "Time, time, time is on my side...yes it is"
And so there it is....short, not necessarily sweet, but right to the point.

July 01, 2008

What the lack of sleep and large doses of steroids do to your mind!

This morning I woke at 1:30, just three hours after falling asleep. When I say I woke, I don't mean I simply rolled over, I was wide awake.

As I began to curse the Dex (Decadron) this one hit wonder, from the early days of MTV came to mind.:
"Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners was the biggest-selling British single of 1982. Remember when MTV actually played videos?! It's funny how your mind works......funny or frightening!

So, what is one to do at 1:30am? I didn't want to turn on the television and wake Mary or turn on a light to read for the same reason. So I reached for my iPod and began to watch "The Wire" - www.hbo.com/thewire My brother Dan told me about this show months ago but I wanted to start with season 1. In anticipation of last night, I used my Fathers Day gift and purchased the first season from iTunes over the weekend. This is great television; a cop show set in Baltimore that is "gritty, tough. real"!

By 4:30 I had watched the first two and a half episodes and thought I better try to get some sleep. I got two.