October 30, 2009

Pints for Prostate

I think I found a source for a new event!!

October 28, 2009

The Windy City

Being that Brad had a 5 day weekend last week, we decided in early September to make the most of it and head for Chicago.

I wish the weather would have cooperated but it wasn't so bad. The rain was light and only bothersome as we waited outside the Shedd Aquarium. Brad had never been on the eL, in a public bus or a cab, we did all three! We visited ESPN Zone, the Hancock building, Michigan Avenue stores and enjoyed a dinner at Giordano's. It was a fun three days away and I can’t wait to go back soon.

On a personal note, leading up to the trip I once again had been having hip and leg pain. I had spent a lot time the previous week or ten days sleeping and using a heating pad at night. It was cold and damp out the week that it seemed to be at its worst. Advil helped but the mild pain was rather persistent. When we arrived in Chicago the twenty minute walk to the hotel included a very noticeable limp on my part. Leading up to the trip I had reached the point where Advil was no longer needed but the mild pain was still lingering. The good news is by the time we walked back to the eL on Saturday, it was without a limp. Three days back at work and it's all gone.

Mary thinks the pain may be from arthritis after having chemo, I'm not so sure. She did research on this and found instances where patients have developed arthritis after chemotherapy, specifically Taxotere. We'll have a lengthy discussion with Dr. V on the 9th and go from there.

Fall is here. Although it's not my favorite time of the year, the beauty of the foliage is stunning this year in KC. That is all for now.

October 27, 2009

Something new for FLHW

I am proud to announce the launch of the new and improved www.flhw.org
go check it out when you have a minute!

I owe a tremendous thanks to the site designer, Joyce Hutchings. She's a co-worker from years and years ago at Sprint. Joyce put a lot of time into updating the site and teaching me the basics on updating it as well. I think she did a fantastic job and hope after looking it over, you agree. As I always say, the kindness of friends and strangers never ceases to amaze me, Joyce thank you very, very much!

There are still a few tweaks for me to include but as it stands, it is ready for prime time. Please poke around the site and let me know what you think!

After all this, I'm not done! Up next, it's kind of a secret but I'll just say "Yes, there is an app for that."!

October 21, 2009

It didn't suck....

Pardon the somewhat crass language but in the midst of yesterday's four hour sailing adventure,
Captain Jim responded to a self posed and somewhat rhetoric question "How was your day off?"

We departed Overland Park at 9:30 AM. It was sprinkling with a thick overcast. As we traveled
west and north to Lake Perry, the clouds thinned and the rain stopped. I doubt we have many more
70 degree days in 2009, so when we backed away from the dock at 10:30, we were pleased that the temperature was already a balmy 63!

I'll end the diatribe here by saying four hours later we were beat, but as you can see from the pictures, it was a good beating with strong winds and beautiful blue skies!

Thanks Captain Jim!
Son of a son of a sailor
By: Jimmy Buffett
As the son of a son of a sailor
I went out on the sea for adventure
Expanding the view of the captain and crew
Like a man just released from indenture

As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin man
I have chalked up many a mile
Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks
And I learned much from both of their styles

Son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer

Now away in the near future
Southeast of disorder
You can shake the hand of the mango man
As he greats you at the border

And the lady she hails from Trinidad
Island of the spices
Salt for your meat, and cinnamon sweet
And the rum is for all your good vices

Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings
Its a son of a gun of a chorus

Where it all ends I cant fathom my friends
If I knew I might toss out my anchor
So I cruise along always searchin for songs
Not a lawyer a thief or a banker

But a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer

I'm just a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
The seas in my veins, my tradition remains
I'm just glad I don't live in a trailer

October 19, 2009

I'll be brief...

I just ran across this and thought I'd share. It's a quote from Mother Theresa.

The fruit of SILENCE is Prayer
The fruit of PRAYER is Faith
The fruit of FAITH is Love
The fruit of LOVE is Service
The fruit of SERVICE is Peace

October 14, 2009

Photo's from the 2009 FLHW Golf Tournament

We are still waiting on a few payments and bills so I'll post the financial results in an upcoming blog. I will say that even in this economy, I will be once again humbled!!

October 12, 2009

672 hours of indecisiveness

Two good updates from our appointment with Dr. V. this morning....

First, since we didn’t have to go to the lab, we were in and out of the office in under 90 minutes!
Not that I'm looking for drive thru Oncology services, but this was nice! It gave Mary and I time to share a celebratory cup of coffee and then an early lunch at the Blue Koi.

Second, and most importantly were the results of last weeks tests:
PSA - 101.46
This is up, but only two points.

CTC - Circulating Tumor Cells: 0
This is the third consecutive time since April that the CTC measure was 0

Alkaline Phosphates: 55
Still well within the normal range of 29-110

Testosterone: 10 <

Cholesterol - 155
This is back down from 210 approximately 90 days ago - not sure why it was so high previously

All other blood markers were normal.

Bone scan was stable with no new areas notated

C/T Scan - The only thing notated was a lymph node in my lower right abdominal area which was slightly larger this month than last. Dr. V was convinced that at this time, it was nothing to worry about.

Once we decided we were relatively comfortable with my current condition and that we would maintain the current treatment, we discussed potential future treatments. Dr. V mentioned an upcoming trial that we may want to consider, SPRYCEL® (dasatinib). We are going to do some research on it to determine if it is a viable option. When the time comes that we are ready to begin a new treatment, we will also confer with Dr. L in Houston regarding other potential clinical trials for us.

Dr. V. also mentioned Provenge as a potential treatment in the future. Of course it is pending approval by the FDA, so it is once again a matter of time. Another example of why we must continue to try to manage the cancer by maximizing the time we can gain from each treatment.

So there you have it, as in the past it's really hard to get excited, although we were relieved that all of the tests, with the exception of the stubborn PSA, were stable. We have a reprieve for another 4 weeks, 28 days or 672 hours!

October 06, 2009

Is it just me?

What the heck is wrong these people?!

I have this long sorted story about the inefficiencies and blundering of medical care.
This has nothing to due with the current 'crisis' as described by our elected officials,
but it does say a lot about health care.

This morning I find myself furious to say the least. I was supposed go in for a CAT scan and bone scan today, along with having numerous vials of blood drawn. Late yesterday afternoon Mary talked with the radiology lab to confirm the appointment for this morning. They needed to review the usual list of preparatory questions; "Is the patient experiencing any medical issues, etc. When they asked about allergies for the first time she had to inform them that I had an allergic reaction to the iodine the last time I had the scans. One would think that since the scans were taken at the same facility just 3 months ago, the reaction would be notated in my file, but apparently not. It was at that point and for the first time that we were told I needed to be on Prednisone the night before and morning of the scans. Yes, we had been told I needed to take Benedryl in preparation, but a prescription for Prednisone was never issued, nor mentioned for that matter.

This led to a flurry of phone calls from Mary to the nurse, the pharmacy, and back to radiology to make sure the prescription was written and issued to the pharmacy and the appointment was maintained. After Mary facilitated the situation, I took the Prednisone at 11:00 last night and we went to sleep believing that the crisis was solved. Oh no...not so fast!

Mary followed up this morning first thing by calling the Radiology department at 7:15 again this morning to confirm that I was still scheduled and on track. She was questioned about what dosage the doctor had prescribed. Apparently, it was half the dose that I ultimately needed. Consequently, I took the medication for nothing as the radiologist will not allow the scan until I have the proper dosage, as my allergic reaction can be dangerous. While I appreciate and respect this, I am infuriated that A. the prescription was not issued to begin with and B. It was the wrong dosage.

I repeat, I am furious but thankful I have this outlet.

I am not in the medical field. However, looking at this situation from a patient's perspective, along with other expereiences I've had in the last few years, I cannot believe the way patients get treated. The blatent disregard for my my time, my schedule and ultimately, my health and my life is totally unacceptable. Is it that far fetched to expect that someone could have either
sat us down when we scheduled these tests and gone over this in detail or issued the prescription when we scheduled the scans so that we would be prepared.

So now we will spend most of the day getting my bone scan and then we have to be back at the cancer center tomorrow morning at 7:00 for the CAT scan.

Maybe I'm over reacting. Perhaps whining, a little and feeling sorry for myself. In the end, the results will be there next week when we meet with Dr. V, but that's not the point, is it?

October 04, 2009

It fell upon us....

After having a fantastically mild summer, Fall fell with immediacy!
The leaves are changing, the morning temperatures are in the low 40's and
thoughts of turning on the heat are dancing in my head. It's too early though!

Saturday was BUSY! A quick round of disc golf and then I attacked the fence replacement
project I had been putting off for weeks. OK, before I bore you to death with my fence project
bringing it up has a purpose.

I have said here on numerous occasions that I am constantly amazed by the kindness of friends and strangers. Yesterday as I began the deconstruction part of the project my neighbor stepped through the newly created opening between our yards and announced "Since we share the fence, what can I do to help!" You'll notice the punctuation, is not a questions mark, he did not pose it as a question. So, six hours later, after removing the old and installing most of the new, I couldn't thank him enough. I once again thank God for the people in my life, whether they be family, close friends, neighbors or strangers.

This week includes a flurry of tests. Tuesday I will spend most of the day at the KU Cancer Center being poked, injected, scanned and x-rayed. I'm not sure what to expect when we review the results on the 12th with Dr. V. Once again, I feel great, after all I was able to spend 6 hours in the yard and the only part of me that hurts is my wrist from the reciprocating saw.
So what will these tests bring? Where will they lead us on this crazy journey? The uncertainty at this point can be a bit distracting. Mary and I are doing our best to not dwell on it at this point in time. No decision will be made on the 12th, since we hope to reach back out to Dr. L in Houston before our next decision. So it will be a few weeks and I'm just not sure what options
we will embrace....Stay tuned.

I promised pictures from the golf tournament and though I am waiting for more to come in I've decided just to post what I have for now.
I'll try to post these tonight.