Monday, 25 July 2011


So on July 21st, last Thursday,  I met with my doctor to discuss the results of my latest CT scan.  It is unfortunate there are still 2 tumours in my abdomen and I've been referred to a oncological surgeon to have a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.  It is a major surgery and kinda has me a little freaked out.  However I'm processing this new information. In the mean time get to wait a couple of weeks till I meet with the surgeon and from what I've been told won't be under the knife till at least September.  I once again thank you all for the positive thoughts and wishes and would like to say love you all!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Alive and doing much better!

It is the end of chemo round three and I hope the end of the chemo treatments!  I met with my doctor on June 2nd for my follow up to round three and we both agree that I got through the three rounds of chemo treatments about as good as one could hope.  The next phase of treatment is surgery and my consult will be in about 6 weeks. The degree of surgery will be dependant on my next CT scan.  If the secondary tumours have been eliminated by the chemo then the surgery will be minor and involve the removal of the offending testicle.  However, if there is still a remaining secondary tumour then the surgery will be somewhat more invasive. My doctor seemed to want to prepare me for the major surgery which is called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. I'm really hoping that it turns out to be minor surgery as the major one kinda scares me.  It is a 5 hour surgery that involves removing most of the lymph nodes in my torso and possibility one tumour which has wrapped itself around my abdominal aorta. Scary stuff but until then I get to recover from all the poison in my system and mend physically.

I am glad that the chemo part is over with, as it has been a real challenge to get through. When I met with my doctor this last round though it felt almost surreal and anticlimactic when he said this hopefully was the end of the chemo. I figured it would have been a big relief or that I would have felt like I had successfully reached the end of something or at minimum that I would have felt some sort of closure but I felt none of that.  I felt no finale, in fact it was more of a realization that this will be with me for much longer than I had realized.  Not only is there surgery to look forward to but even when that is over I have a chance of it reoccurring so must do follow ups and CT scans on a regular basis for the next 5 years.  So right now I feel frustrated as what I wanted was a clear and decisive finish line or achievement and there isn't one.

I do have to say though I also feel very lucky!  I have an amazing and supportive family and group of friends.  I have to thank my family for coming out to visit me and spend time with me. My friends who where able to hang out with me while I was sitting in the hospital going through my treatments.  All the letters, e-mails, and phone calls showing support and words of encouragement. To my friend Kirk who would drag me off the couch and make sure I got out.  To my dad who made sure that there continued to be a roof over my head. To Noelle who made sure that I continued to gain weight, take my meds, down my vitamins, have a shower, get to all my doctor appointments and most of all stay positive.  I would say this has been and continues to be a challenge but with the love and support of everyone in my life I must say I feel so very lucky and as always I love you all!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

WOW does this suck!

May 10th and day 37 of my chemotherapy adventure and I'm a week away from the beginning of round 3! I have to say I'm really not looking forward to it either. I'm feeling better each day since the end of round 2 but it has been a struggle this time.  The side effects this round have been the same as round 1 except the fatigue has been incredible.  I don't think that I slept this much as a teenager! Each day I am feeling better and I can't say that my appetite has decreased at all.  During the week of the treatment I have no appetite and eating is a real struggle but after the first week, if I am awake I'm eating.  I can't remember a time ever in my life when I have been so hungry. I'm sure that I'm the first person who is gaining weight on chemotherapy.  At this point my mind has been in less than stellar shape but I've just listened to my body and eat and sleep is all it seems to want.

It has been a while since I've updated my blog as it's been challenging to formulate a thought when I want to write.  I can say that emotionally this is a real struggle.  Life around me doesn't stop, in fact it seems to be rushing by and doesn't seem to include me right now.  I don't say this because I'm down or feeling bad, it's just tough to be part of the routine of life when all I can do is eat and sleep.  It has been great that some of my friends have been able to drag me out or stop by for a visit from time to time. I do wish that I could keep up with the amount of friends that want to touch base with me.  It's overwhelming at times the amount of people in my present and from my past who send such support and who want to touch base with me.  To all of you I will get back to you when I can.

Round 3 starts Monday May 16th and I can honestly say that I think I would rather cut off my own foot than do another round of this! However, I will do it and I will get through it.  It still amazes me to think how chemotherapy works.  The drugs they give me are, in combination, designed to kill any new cell development in my body.  So for the last 37 days my body has been poisoned with the intent of killing any new growth including cancer cells.  By the end of all of this my hope is that there is more of me left than the cancer!  It really is a case of what doesn't kill me doesn't make me stronger, but may save my life.

For now I will say things are on course, I am doing well (all things considered) and that I really do appreciate all the love and support from all of you.  I'm looking forward to getting to the end of this and joining you all back in living life. So for now I will say I'm also thinking of all of you and that I do cherish all the good thoughts. And as always Love you All!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Beat up but not down

Day 3 of round 2 of my chemotherapy was a long day at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.  I arrived around 10 am and got my daily dose.  It was really nice that my buddy Craig was able to stop by and visit for a bit in the afternoon.  My day ended at around 5pm and my only goal at that point was to find my corner to go lay in and drool on myself some more.

Day 4 of round 2 was today and included a quick trip to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre to get my bleomycin IV bottle disconnected.  I've developed a bit of an infection on my chest and had to meet with the doctor to check on it and see if the antibacterial medication is working.  The chemo drugs pretty much destroy my immune system so something as little as a pimple can get out of control very easily.  On the bright note the antibacterial medication does seem to be working and I have to go back on Monday for a follow up.

After my visit back to bed I went.  I can't ever remember being so tired.  My nausea is under control but I have to force myself to eat as I have no appetite.  At this point all I want to do is sleep but even that can be hard as one of the medications tends to wind my brain up while my body just wants to lay there and drool on itself.  This round seems harder with the fatigue and nausea but still I know it could be worse.  I would like to say more, but right now,  know that I'm doing good and my spirits are still up!  My cheering squad is really helping and all the love and support that you all are showing means the world to me. So as always Love You All!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Think I'm just going to sit here and drool on myself now

Day 2 of round 2 of my chemotherapy and things are going ok and sprits are still up. No really bad side effects today but the hiccups have returned with a  vengeance  but luckily I have the tranquilizers they gave me.  They seem to be working so I'm going to sit here in the corner now and just drool on myself.  As always love you all!

Monday, 25 April 2011

And Round Two Begins!

Day 22 and the first day of round 2 of my chemotherapy.  I started off by heading down to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for 9:15 am. A little early but just couldn't wait to get started I guess.  It went well as the drug protocols are always the same: anti nausea medications, hydration, cisplastin, etoposide, anti nausea meds, and bleomycin for me to take home in my goodie bag.

Today was not bad and so far no major side effects although I feel pretty run down.  I am still fairly pumped about the news of the tumour shrinkage and feeling very positive about getting through this round with more positive results.  I had a conversation with a gentleman who has colon cancer that has spread to his lungs and he has been doing treatments every two weeks for the last two years now. His cancer is not curable but the treatments have been able to prolong his life.  He told me his doctors never gave him this long and he said it laughing.  It is remarkable the amount of people who face situations far worse than my own and can keep such a positive attitude.  I also talked with another man who was in with his wife who has been undergoing treatment since 2000. 11 years and still fighting was really amazing to me.  Hearing these stories really do put things into perspective and remind me that I am really lucky.  My battle seems so simple in comparison and with far better results in the end.

I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement, messages, texts, and e-mails.  It really helps when I know I have such a large cheering section backing me every step of the way. As always love you all!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I'm Still Sane the Voices Tell Me So!

Day 18 of my chemotherapy adventure and things are going well. (Thursday April 19 - just a late post.)  I feel great; I've been watching my diet, eating my greens and living life to the fullest.  I still think that I'm getting off easy so far.  For some this can be much worse but I also know that there are still 2 more rounds to go.

So today is meet with my doctor day and it all starts with a trip to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for some blood work.  The nurses, I think, are part vampire as they are very efficient in draining most of my blood and also really seem to enjoy doing so.  After that my next stop was to see my doctor who tells me I'm good to go for round 2 and that things are responding well.  In fact so well that some how I've even managed to gained 7 pounds.  As I had mentioned in an earlier blog I had gone in to get a CT scan done to get a up to date picture of my tumours.  The results were the best news I've heard in a long time.  The chemo is doing its job and the tumours have shrunk by half. I also reviewed any problems and concerns that I've had with the last round and Yes! there is a medication that they can give me that will help with the hiccups.  They did warn me that chlorpromazine can really knock me out as it is normally prescribed as tranquilizer for schizophrenics.  Ok, so after a long discussion with the voices in my head we all agreed that it beats having the hiccups for 20 hours straight.  So tranquilizers it is!  For some reason Trysh and Noelle also thought that having me tranquilized was a great idea but neither the voices nor they would explain why.  My final stop was the pharmacy to get my drug supply topped off and another shot of the Neulasta for day five of round 2.

I could have done the happy dance when they told me that the tumours were shrinking as it is a big relief to know that the chemo is working.  Now I'm good to go for the start of round 2 on Monday but I would be lying though if I said that I am not having a bit of apprehension about this next round.  Like sticking a finger down my throat to make my self vomit, there is something that just doesn't seem right about making my self sick even if the end result is that I'll be better.  It's not that I'm worried, it's just that I really hate being sick.  However, I have to say that I'm still very positive, my life right now is very simple and that I'm very happy!  Thank you for all your support and as alway love you all.