Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Lena has a Bone Marrow Biopsy. She was nervous about this one because they are going to stick a big needle in her hip and get bone marrow out. She just had all the prep work done. Lena commented that the Nurse was really hot. I agreed. He was quite the manly specimen. They made me go back out to the waiting room and she went in. This should not take as long as other stuff we have done.


She is done and the brought me back. She was out like a light. She moved a bit and I said hello. She looks up really sleepy and said "are they done?" That made me happy that she did not remember anything ect.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good news!

I finally tracked my chemo treatments, starting with first scheduled one on May 11th. I had been really worried that they would completely clash with what I had already scheduled for the summer and that would mean that I was either really sick through the whole thing, or unable to go completely. But not so! They all work out perfectly! Even my Grandma's birthday that is mandatory attendance works out to me coming back to a treatment (so that means almost the full two weeks since the last one). And the same with my birthday. And it looks like the last one will be on October 12th. So way before Nik's birthday and Christmas. That is a plus. Cool.
I tried most of the day yesterday to do my own update here, but it never worked out. So here I am to try again.

I did not feel well most of yesterday. I expected the contrast stuff to make me at least a little sick, but it was not what I thought it would be. I had a pretty bad stomach ache all day. I decided to go into work and got there around 3:30. It was later than I had hoped, but I did not want to leave the girls short handed. It would have been tough.

I went in and out of pain and sleep during the evening, kind of ate dinner, and stayed up way too late. I am feeling better today, but I still have not eaten much. I am really tired. Really. I wish I could go home and sleep. But no such luck.

This port thing is really weird. It is a very noticeable lump under my skin and it still hurts in a couple places. Plus it itches and I don't want to touch it.

This sucks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

PET Scan

Well we arrived at Radiology and they stuck me in a corner Lena changed and she was gone. I dont know where she is or what how long it will be but I will just sit here like a good boy. I like the outpatient area better!


They made Lena drink the gross Crystal Light stuff again. That was the worst part. She did not have to drink as much and it did taste slightly better this time. After a couple hours she came back to me in one piece so I cam happy. Now we are heading over to the Heart and Lung building to have the EKG...

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Port is in! and it is purple

Lena just came out. The doctor said every thing looks really good. She now has another 2 inch scar just below the clavicle and there is a bump there. She says that they did not put her completely under for this one. She said it was really weird. During one part is was really painful for her. They gave her a little card and a bracelet that she can wear to tell everyone she has the port in. She should be coming home in about a hour or 2.

Just went in

There was a lot of prep work for this one is took quite a while to get her ready. Lena said numerous times "I dont want to be here anymore!" Poor girl! She just went in and it should take around an hour. I went down and got breakfast while she is in there and thought I would update you all while I was at it.

The start of a long week for my sweet wife

Well it is 7am and we are starting the first of many tests and procedures this week. Today Lena is getting the port in her neck it is mainly for when she starts chemo they will not have to prick her with and IV every time. As we pulled up to the IMC I said to Lena "I am sad that we are not going to see our friends at the out patient" Lena looked up at the Deathstar and said "I am going to get sick of this building" Lena seems to be in good spirits I think she is getting good at this Hospital thing and her nerves are much better. We will keep you updated...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

So, where was I?

Ok, so starting at the end of the second bullet:

* I can return to work after the PET/CT and EKG. I hope. They don't have to put me out, so that is good. Then Thursday is the Bone Marrow Biopsy. I have to be put out for this, so its another day off. Also, I can't exercise for 2 days before the PET scan. It uses sugar build up to trace where tumors might be, and exercise builds up sugar in places that could be deceiving. This is not a really big deal, I am not an exercise nut, but I have been trying to go on short walks to work up to the 5K. And with no exercise Sunday and Monday, then being put put Monday and Thursday, I think my week just may be walk-free. Bummer. Then there is just one week till the 5K.

* Speaking of the 5K: my doctor wanted to start my chemo on the 8th of May. For just a second I thought that would be fine. Then it clicked. That is the day before the race, and I would most likely be sick still that day. I don't want that. I want to be in the race! So I told him I needed to reschedule. So now my official first day of Chemo is Monday May 11th. I hope they have all the rest of this stuff figured out before that.

* I also get to attend a Chemo Class before then. Nik is coming with me, but it is not until closer to my treatment. I think it will be good and bad. It will answer a lot of questions, but I am willing to bet it freaks me out at the same time.

* The type of chemo I am scheduled to have (and will if they stick to the Hodgkin's diagnosis) is called ABVD. It stands for the 4 drugs I will be given. I have them written down, but I can't remember them now. I was told last night that I should call my insurance and make sure the cover all of those drugs. And find out how they cover them as well. I guess some could be considered out-patient, and some in-patient. One more thing to add to the list.

Ok, I guess I am done again for a little while. I will add more as I think of it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Here we go!

Yesterday was my first meeting with my oncologist. I was lucky to have mom and Nik there with me to help me remember stuff. But I know you are all wondering what happened, so here it is:

*They are still not 100% sure it is Hodgkin's. They are like 90% sure. But the difference between the treatment of Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's is 180 degrees. So they want to be 100% sure. Fine.

* That means I may have to have another biopsy. Only this one would have to be from the mass in my chest. Either with a needle or with a small incision between my ribs. Yay.

* Before my first chemo treatment in a couple weeks I have to have the following done: Bone Marrow Biopsy, PET/CT scan, EKG, and a port put in above my collar bone. The port is first, this is so they don't have to stick me every time I do chemo or they need blood. I'm ok with this. That is Monday in the morning. Tuesday I have the PET/CT scan and the EKG.

***sorry, I am going to publish this much now, and come back to it later. Sorry!***

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One of my own

A few months ago we found out at work that our CEO has an advanced form of lung cancer. Stage 4 carcinoma with a prognosis of 6-12 months. He has been keeping us up-to-date with his condition which included one at our meeting this morning.

He informed us that he had his first chemo treatment yesterday, that he was moving backward from what he was hoping, but that he had a positive attitude and hoped to keep working the rest of the year.

I decided I wanted to talk to him. He was going through what I will soon be going though. He was gracious enough to talk to me right after our meeting in his office. I thought this would just be another re-telling of my story and brief Q & A about what he is going through. I was wrong. I didn't get two words out before I started to cry. I have not cried about this so far and I don't know what exactly triggered it, but I was in tears for most of our talk. He was great and let me get out what I needed and talked to me about everything. He is also LDS, so he shared some points there as well.

It was so great to talk to him. He is in his sixties (I think) and has a different form of cancer as me, but he is going through it now. Like me. Thanks, Curt, for letting me cry in your office for a little while, and for being so open about your situation. It really helped.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Results are In....


Which is what I wanted I guess. Except that it is cancer. That sucks. I was really hoping that there was some small chance it was something else. Something not treated with Chemo. Oh well. Dealing with it. I have an appointment with the oncologist next Thursday. I am starting to get a little freaked out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Once again

Back at work and tired. I told more people at our meeting this morning, so I won't have to hide it as much anymore. But now I have to convince them that I am not feeble, and dying. I may need some help sometimes, but I function as usual most of the time. There are a couple people that were not at the meeting, so I will have to fill them in later. Not really looking forward to that.

Thanks to Nik for keeping this updated. I was going to do one more when I got home yesterday, but because we got done so late, it screwed with my schedule. I hadn't eaten in about 22 hours by the time we got home, so I was so hungry, I couldn't eat anything. I finally got a Jell-o and some toast in me about the time the ward brought over dinner. I was not quite to that point yet, but Nik was starving, so it was great to have it. A few minutes later one of my visiting teachers came over with one of my favorite things in the world, apple crisp. So of course that was the next thing I ate. I never felt like I had eaten enough to take a loratab, so I was in more pain this time than last time. But I took one before bed, and I am feeling pretty good this morning. Tired, but good.

Well, I think I may have a fever, but I don't have a thermometer, so I can't tell for sure. Oh well.

Thanks again to all of you who expressed your love and prayers on my behalf. I know it will help in the long run. Love you all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Done

Lena is out of the surgery and she is doing fine. Just sleepy and eating her crackers! She is doing well! The kept her in recovery a little longer than last time so she is a lot more alert when i got here.

She went back in.

I am very proud of Lena she has been a lot more calm this time around. Her heart rate is normal and she is not as nervous. She is very hungry because she has not eaten since yesterday. But she was taken back in and Doc. Hollingshed was really nice. He also commented that the last sample had 2 types of Lymphoma in it. He said something about an Enlarged B Cell and then a Hodkins type which are both treated a little differently with the Chemo. He also said that he may have nicked a nerve and that is why she has lost feeling in her chest and it should come back fine. It was a bit funny when we got here because all the same Nurses and the Med Students are the same. Donna our nurse before came in and talked to Lena and everyone greeted us with warmth and love. I think it made Lena feel better.

P.S. I have been singing "It takes two, Baby" by Marvin Gaye all day to Lena!

Just Waiting

Well we have been waiting in the prep room for over an hour and when I went to ask. She call the doc and said they are running behind so it will be another 20 min of so.....luckly I have my computer so we are watching Quantam of Solace! I am good and keeping my wife entertained.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has offered their prayers, support, thoughts, well-wishes, whatever. I appreciate it so much. I never really thought about how many people cared about me. But it is way more than I thought it would be. Friends, family, extended family, co-workers, ward members, former ward members, friends of friends, past acquaintances, passers by. Everyone tells me they are thinking about me. That is so amazing. I know I will get through this if for that fact alone. I hope that those of you who have offered to do "whatever" I need will still be able to help if it this process lasts longer than I hope it does. Please don't get sick of me yet! I may be dealing with it ok now, but that may change when stuff actually starts happening. Thank you to my ward who is supplying dinner tomorrow and to the numerous people who offered to do so after that was arranged. I love all of you so much. I am not much for being the spot light anymore, so this is kind of strange for me.

ps-new biopsy time is 11:45am tomorrow. Bummer. That is so late in terms of not eating.

Biopsy Update

Sorry I have been a little slacker lately and left you all hanging. I have another biopsy scheduled for tomorrow at some time (I have to call between 3 and 5 to get my time, I am hoping for early) at the IMC.

When I got the call from my doctor last week he said Tuesday would be best but I already had my schedule for that week out and I was supposed to work that day, so I told him I needed to talk to my manager and get back to him. Well, right after that my manager said that Tuesday was the best day to give me off. Lucky. But I couldn't get the doc back on the phone, so I left him a message. I never heard back from him, but I missed a call Saturday from the hospital to do the preregister stuff, so I figured I was on the right track. I got another call this morning from the hospital and they said see you tomorrow. Again, good sign. THEN I got a call from the Doctor's office saying that they had tried really hard to get a surgery time for Thursday, but couldn't, so they were going to have to do it tomorrow. What? I thought that was the original plan? Oh well. We are on the right track now.

I will do my best to keep this updated with the time, and make sure Nik does at least one post when I come out of surgery. I know, enquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So, remember yesterday when I said that I was supposed to find out if it was a 'car' by the end of the day? Well turns out it is not as easy as they thought it would be to tell if it is a car or not. Maybe it has wheels, maybe it has a motor, maybe it has a windshield. Maybe its a bicycle. A skateboard. Who knows.

Sorry, here is how it went down. I finally got a call around 5 last from Dr. Hollingsed, my surgeon, and he said he had the results, but that they were a little hazy. There were some cells that indicated Hodgkin's Lymphoma, some that were just Node cells, and others that were just dead from being replaced so fast. So he is supposed to be meeting with the oncologist (the one I made the appointment with yesterday) to see what he says about the results. It should either be 1) Yes, this is definitive enough, I will treat her, 2) No, its not enough, I need a better sample -another biopsy, or 3) I don't think it is what you think it is (insert conversation from Princess Bride here).

So basically, I know nothing still. Hopefully more today. I like this doctor a lot, but I don't really want to see him a ton more times. So he better get this figured out soon!

Edited to add: Just heard from the Doc and it looks like another biopsy is in order. Bummer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stop it with the symptoms already!

So I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but at the first two appointments everyone kept asking if I had these same symptoms: Cough, dizziness, stomach problems (like I could tell), low-grade fever, fatigue. I had had none of them. I was perfectly healthy. So to speak.

Well, Saturday rolls around and I have them all! Even Jake D. in med school back east was asking these same questions. That is when I realized how crappy I felt that day. I even had a fever of 98.8. Worse when you know that my normal temp is around 97.1. They didn't last all day, but it did make for slow going in the afternoon.

Anyway, at the hospital yesterday they asked me the same questions, but this time I told them that I had had some of them but only once or twice. But this time the surgeon asked me if I had had night sweats. Well, now that you mention it, yes. I have woken up in the middle of the night burning up while Nik snuggles farther in the down comforter. Granted, I had been sleeping with a big sweat shirt on because I had to sleep farther up on my pillows to be able to lay with my shoulder flat. Nik says it was a combination of that and the fact that it has not been as cold this week, but I think it would not have been such a big difference so quickly.

So now I keep waking up like I am having hot flashes. I am SO not old enough for that! I hope that passes quickly, cause it is getting warmer and I can't sleep when it is hot. Maybe I will loose my hair and that will help. Wait, I take that back. No jinxing it even more. I want to keep my hair!

Back at Work

Yep, I'm back. Bandage on my neck and everything. I am hiding with a scarf cause not everyone at work knows, and I don't want to tell that story 10 more times. I am hoping to make it to the meeting in a week to let everyone else know. Wish me luck.

I should find out today what the first diagnosis is. Whether is it a 'car' or not. If it is a 'car' (cancer) I will get started on treatment very soon. In fact, I should have an appointment with the oncologist already, but of course I am putting that off. Bad thing to put off, and I will probably get chewed out again if I get the call from my doctor and I don't have that appointment yet. And Nik, he would chew me out too.

(Ok, made the appointment. 3:45 on the 23rd.)

I was on a steady dose of Loratab yesterday but I have switched to Advil so I could come to work. I will need to keep on a strict schedule for it to work like the heavier stuff was. Oh, and the doctor didn't even give me a script for new pills, he said I could just use the ones I had and call if I needed more. I though that was nice. Not making me pay for pills I didn't need.

Ok, more later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm home now

Thanks to Nik for keeping this updated today.  I was a slacker last night and forgot to tell you when my appointment was.  But everything went well.  They weren't able to take as much of the nodes as I wanted cause it would have gotten more invasive, and they didn't want to put me through that.  I guess that is fine.  Originally they said that I would be able to go to work tomorrow, but then there were differing opinions on the matter.  So Allison, if you are reading this, please tell Stacey I will do my best to be there, but it might not happen.  I am still feeling really tired and slow, but the pain meds are working and I am not suffering.  Thanks for every ones support.

Lena is out...of surgery

The Doc said that he was unable to remove all of the lump but the everything was successful. When we asked about when we would be able to get any results he said "Well it is like a car....we will know it is a car tomorrow...then we have to find out what type of car it is Ford, Chevy or Honda....Then we have to figure out what type of Ford it is...." So in short....we will find out a little but over the coarse of the next few days. Lena is up and talking....she is chatting with her mom about everything and nothing at the same time. She is doing really well. She has given the go head to go home now. So I need to wrap this up. She will update later tonight I hope!


Lena went in to the operating room about 15 minutes ago. We should get results back from the biopsy in the next couple days. The doctor is very optimistic that everything will be fine. His name is Dr Timothy Hollingsed. Oh if you have not figured out by now this is Nik :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

In the beginning...

So here it is, the first post of my new blog, for my new life with cancer.

Mostly I am just tired. I am not nervous for the biopsy tomorrow, because it means that part of what is causing my most irritating pain will be gone. I am hoping that the doctor can take most of both nodes, that would probably lessen the pain, as well as how much chemo I have to do. And we all know how excited I am for the chemo.

Thank you to Annie, Christi and Kellee for telling me about all the medications, both prescription and over the counter, for nausea. It makes me have a little more hope that I won't just die with all the sickness. I suppose it would be to much to ask to get through it all with out throwing up once?

I thought of a small blessing yesterday, this could easily have been on my right side, and that would have presented a whole different set of problems. But I have realized today at work how much I rely on my left arm in the drive up. It is getting awkward.

I have only told a handful of my coworkers, but some of them eventually get to reading my blog, so I bet a few more know by the end of the week. Plus, I will have a bandage on my neck after tomorrow, so I will probably get some questions.

I think this is the first time since I was married that so many people have known my business. It is kind of weird. I mean, I want people to know, but at the same time, it is strange to have so many people talking about the same thing. Me. Oh well, I appreciate the support and the prayers, so I'm not complaining.