Monday, June 14, 2010

More What's Happening With Me


The doctor recommends I not leave on a plane. Can't believe I made it out here on a plane, but that's beside the point. I was stuck, without having the chance even to say goodbye to my friends in the Chicago area or even my job.

I was, to put it mildly, pissed.

I was convinced that this had been the plan all along, to get me out to my mother's so she could take care of me, to transfer my care to Stanford.

When I had calmed down a little bit, a cooler head told me that yes, I was in a far better place than I had been so far as recovery went, and no one had planned this, but by heaven I should just go with the flow and enjoy the time spent with the family.

I'm out in the pool house, along with my caregiver (I need someone with me 24 hours a day). It's pretty nice, especialy on those days that coincide a good day out and a day where I feel good (which doesn't happen too often).

My stuff has been put into storage by my sister and her sons, who drove up from Atlanta, bless them. My apartment had been surrendered, my car sold... I'm basically living out of the pool house.

I have had good days and bad days - mostly having to do with extreme nausea in my stomach. Some days I think I've never felt such pain. And when I, pardon the expression, throw up, somehow a lot more comes out than went in.

I have been getting chemo once every two weeks, having to wear the darn pump for 72 hours each time. I have a port, sort of a reclosable entrance into my heart, which reduces the number of pin-sticks I have to get.

I have another medicine injected, sub Q, into my stomach morning and night, and seven or eight others morning noon and night, but at least it's not as much as I've seen my father has to take.

So, in summary, I think I'm doing OK.

At least, OK as can be given the circumstances.

Where I've Been, Recently

Hi everyone. Just got my computer this past weekend and boy, did I miss having online access!

So you know what's been going on here...

I have cancer. The big C. Fourth stage. In my rectum, my liver, and my stomach - it's spread too far to operate on, according to doctors.

I found this out in Chicago. Went to Northwestern Hospital's Cancer Center and was the only one without gray hair. Had a couple of MRIs that confirmed the cancer, then they found I had a "mild" stroke and kept me aound until Easter night.

Then my grandmother passed away - 97 years old. Or was it 98? Anyway, she was out in California and the rest of my family was going and Sean had an airline ticket for me (which he announced at one in the morning of the day we'd have to leave - thanks Sean). I decided I'd have to go, to say goodbye to Clair (my grandmother) and perhaps see the family over a quick two day visit.

It was only when we were on the plane that Sean revealed the return ticket wasn't until Sunday night - and it was only Tuesday.


I had only brought clothes and such for two days.

It was a nice service, though, with a lot of our priest-friends in attendance, including the Bishop of San Jose and Father Ken, who came from retirement in Florida. I could barely stand the pain, though, and went home to sleep it off.

See, the stroke had left me unable to use the right side of my body - thank heavens that's over! And I had grown weaker with the chemotherapy I had been given. Actually, I felt just plain lousy - but happy knowing I'd be heading home to Chicago.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is what's been happening!


i've moved into my brother's house for now, and at Maggie's in a few days.

I'm taking 13 different medicines at all times of the day or night.

Mom and sister Shannon flew out on the weekend to see me, which was immensely fun.

Well, as fun as you can get, I guess.

I have recently been able to move, going on two walks in my Chicago Cubs sweats.

Sean has been taking very good care of me.

So many friends have phoned and written, I'm sorry for the lack of personal reply.

But writing this much has been exhausting.

So. Just thought I;d play catch up.

Anyone wants to write me,

444 S Lincoln
Arlington Heights IL 60004

And thanks for your prayers! Much appreciated, not to say needed.


so! What's been going on?

Very simply, I have evidently missed it while my body developed cancer.
Some weeks ago, I went to the doctor for some stomach pain. He felt around and said my liver was inflamed and sent me for an MRI. I went and he had me come back in the next Wednesday to tell me I likely had cancer and needed additionalMRIs to comfirm.

I then went downtown to the cancer center at Northwestern Hospital, mainly because they are the best in the business but also because my brother sean was already familiar with the Center, his wife having had her colon cancer cured there last year.

Well, they put me in the hospital that night, with nary a chance to go home for clothes or anything, and started dripping chemo into me immediately. This was the first clue as to how bad it was.

Then, the MRIs (I had four) came back and confirmed the first doctor'ss diagnosis, cancer. It had spread from my rectum to my liver to my lymph nodes. There would be no cure, only containment.

Then I was supposed to return home after 4 days of chemo... but each day they found another reason to keep me. A stroke I had recently. A possible blood clot. And on and on.

I have no call to complain. They treated me very well in the hospital, which was only 2 years old (that section) and had a very nice room. Even the foo was good - you could order off a menu up to 4 grams of carbs.

Next post