Thursday, February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014

The blogging is slowing down. If you're concerned it's because I'm not feeling up to blogging, well, you'd be right. I've been trying to figure out what could possibly be putting me through all this pain, because I simply can't believe the disease would progress this rapidly throughout my body again. Scans tomorrow will show at least some of the story, I'm sure.

It has, indeed, been quite the struggle in the recent week or two. Overall soreness, odd pains, and the gloriously numb quarter of my mouth are making for some unbelievably fun times, as you could imagine! Waking up in the middle of the night, sweating or writhing, calling on my trusty helpers Bigfoot and Old Man Wrinkles to help a brother out with a hot water bottle or readjusting position on the bed to gain some comfort has become commonplace. Showers - highly optional. Naps - necessary. Sometimes these pain meds don't kick in right away and kinda linger in the system and I'll just get slammed by a delayed reaction and pass right out. Just woke up from one of those was sweet.

The pain meds mess with you something awful. Nature of the beast really. I'll pop some, nothing will happen, then maybe 15 minutes or oh, I don't know, 6 hours later I suddenly won't be able to text. Like at all. Forget about having a nice little conversation, I'm sure I sound like I'm as high as a kite when I hit that stage. Maybe I'll attempt to obtain video evidence.

Everything else remains in the holding pattern until we find out what these scans show tomorrow. Until then, I'll just be enjoying watching the snow fall. And fall and fall some more it shall...later everyone!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8, 2014

Now it's been a while. I'm slacking with the blogging, but to be fair it's mostly due to not feeling so great recently. Bear with me people!

Update time! So I finished radiation on Tuesday. All the spots from the last scans, minus the arms, have been taken care of via the rads...or so we hope. However, that certainly doesn't mean the pain just disappears. Ohhhhh no, though I wish it did. New pains have popped up, new areas of concern will be on the next scans, and we'll have to consider all the options at hand and start up something very soon.

At least I'm walking again, decently. A little better than a shuffle, to be sure. However, about a quarter of my mouth went completely numb over the past 3 days, leading to a nice emergency MRI last night down at Sloany Ketts to check for a tumor. Preliminarily (love this word) there's no tumor in my head...but we'll see what the final reading says. Steroids are miserable with their side effects, but still have to take them according to the docs down at MSKCC. I'm convinced they cause some pains that I've been getting. It's all so tough to rationalize and justify when every person handles every drug differently and the coincidence that I get pains right after taking the roids. We'll figure it out. Again, we'll find out what our plan of attack is early next week, after getting a new set of scans on Tuesday.

Otherwise, I've been up to nothing. TV watching, some college basketball action seemingly every night, and trying to get and stay comfortable for as long of stretches of time as possible. Heating pads and pain pills for the win.

Here's to comfort, recovery, and a better tomorrow!

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Alright people. Peeeeeeople. That was the most miserable Super Bowl in the history of the game. No entertainment value, awful commercials, just terrrrrrible. You guys know I'm not a Negative Nancy, Pessimistic Patty, Debbie Downer, etc., but this was bad.

Was I pro-Seahawks? Easy to say yes now, but I actually was. If the Giants-Patriots Super Bowls taught us anything, it was that you gotta respect defense. Don't care how awesome a team's offense over an entire season is: when n=1, statistically speaking, anomalies can and will occur. This one game, with all its different factors, will most likely never fall into a statistical average. That's just how it goes, in my eyes at least.

That's enough about the NFL...and the strange season it was. Now we've got some puck to watch, and that includes the Olympics. Actually looking forward to the Olympics quite a bit - everyone knows I'm quite the patriot so I'll be "USA"-ing from the couch fiercely.

Guess we'll also update on the medical situation. Radiation should end tomorrow, which is swell. Almost off the steroids, which is necessary to get the immune system back into gear if we want to try pursuing immunological treatment options. I still lean that way, but the key is to find that chemo that will still cause tumor kill without just destroying my platelet and white blood cell count. We'll see if we can pull it off...still mulling the options. Until then, pain management is the goal.

Here's to good guidance from here and above on what the next step should a better tomorrow, world!

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Had to actually reread the last blog to see where I left's been a while eh?

Let's try to update this piece. The shuffle is strong, real strong. Walking in no time, I can feel it. Every hit of the radiation helps to relieve the pain caused by this lower back tumor activity. However, everyday, a new challenge presents itself. Now I've been getting some pretty strong pain from tumor activity in my left hip/leg. Radiation on deck for that.

What have I been up to? Well to be quite frank I absolutely had to get out of the house after being stuck in the sleep->chair->radiation->chair->sleep cycle. I was lucky enough to make it to the Stadium Series game, Devils vs. Rangers, at Yankee Stadium to watch some good outdoor puck...or at least some outdoor puck.  Don't get me wrong a nice, dominating Rangers win will never send me away melancholy - but I felt bad for the goalies, man. In the words of Bart Scott a couple of years ago, they couldn't stop a nosebleed. Big shoutout to Natalie and George for helping a brother to enjoy that game, hope you're out there reading this!

We'll keep up the radiation through this week...and then see where we can go from there for a future plan of action. Stay tuned for that. Until later, I leave you with a picture of myself and the sad, sad Devils fan I got to enjoy the game with. Respect that beard. Later all.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 22, 2014

We are moving along. No literally, I'm moving around decently okay by myself. Can walk to the bathroom and back, get my shuffle on to the kitchen, even make my way up the stairs to bed in a slow and steady manner. Progress!

We're about halfway through the radiation schedule I believe. Haven't bumped the pain meds up, just ratcheted them down, actually. Anti-inflammatories remain constant. Days are quite monotonous. Wake up, drive down to Sloan, get the cocktail of meds running through the veins, grab some rays, drive on home. Repeat. Tons of chair life and not too much great entertainment on the TV to bail us out.

Maybe I'll get into some bootleg movies? I dunno. I heard American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street were worth seeing...maybe I'll try to make those moves. Although perhaps this should serve as a note to self that if there's simply nothing better to I should maybe try writing some stuff. Weird grounds there though, for me. Despite you sitting there actually reading this blog, I still find it difficult to believe anyone wants to read my malarkey. Yet here I am, and there you ha. I'll try to make your time spent worth it.

To be honest, it's rather tough to do much with the pain meds. Scrambled eggs upstairs when they're onboard. Trust me, I don't hate it when it takes the pains of moving around/laying down away, but the Pink Floyd-like gibberish that I'd be spitting on the blog if I wrote under the influence would probably throw the blog world for a loop. We'll see what I come up with.

Until these new developments...farewell all. Keep on keepin' on folks...and stay warm ahhhhhhh ermagherd polar vortex part two it's all over! Relax and bundle up. Wear a blanket around...take it from your boy. It's magic.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Happy MLK Day, world!

What's new in the goings-on of life...not much at all. But it's been a while since I've provided a blog post so I figure I owe you one. I sit in a chair for upwards of twelve hours a day, making sure I get my pills every six hours on the dot. Sometimes I can find a comfortable position within the friendly confines of the chair, and bed for that matter, which is really a time to behold and relish. Other times, misery takes control and you just pray for the pain to go away swiftly.

Football was at the very least exciting for a bit yesterday, so that's some solid entertainment value to note. I think there are NBA games on today but I don't really enjoy watching NBA games for whatever reason, so I'm almost lucky radiation is scheduled for around midday. Hopefully the radiation keeps doing its thing and getting me a bit better day by day - I mean when I was down there for the first treatment last Wednesday the pain was legitimately near unbearable. With the nice combo of pain meds and timing at least I can get down on the table for treatment - not without a struggle, but still gets the job done.

The fight is real. Unfortunately it appears the slope is getting steeper, and with my current ability to walk (literally and figuratively) a little more than questionable, things certainly aren't looking as cheery as they once were. Yet we power on, just like any other day, don't we? Amen. Here's to a better tomorrow!

Friday, January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

Greetings people. Awesome news: I've slept the past two nights...massive development. Logic was correct, Sloan knows what it's doing relative to pain management. Despite waking up each of the past two mornings in extreme, nearly screaming pain, I'm getting better about my planning and pill taking and it seems to be better. Let's keep it going.

So what have I been up to recently? Well it's been managing the pain (making sure I take the allotted meds on the intervals indicated) and getting the radiation I was set up for. Currently, I've been getting the radiation to the troublesome L2 vertebra region and the concerning C2 region. After 3 treatments, whether it's due to the streamlining of the pain meds or getting a couple of radiation treatments under my belt (or perhaps even both), the pain is getting better and more bearable.

Let's fill you all in on the return trip home and the past couple of days, in full. The fight from Los Angeles to New York was rather intriguing. I got loaded up with steroids to keep my pain tolerable at around 1 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon. The docs down south said that should cover you for 24 hours, no problem (aka until 4 on Wednesday, Eastern time). We didn't get to Sloan until around 1 on Wednesday...21 hours later, thanks to a diversion to Hartford because the pilot couldn't land in the fog surrounding JFK. And let me tell you, the steroids certainly did not last 24 hours, so it was a severely fun last leg of that trip!

After finally getting to Sloan and getting the good stuff on board (steroid, anti-inflammatory, and good ole dilaudid), I got in to get radiation started that night. Thank the sweet Lord for the technician, Guy, the resident, Dr. Barron, and the radiation oncologist's fellow, Dr. Sutten, for their patience. It took me about 15 minutes to find a position that could work for me to lay down where I could handle the amount of pain that resulted from being on the treatment table. For a while, we weren't sure it could get done because of how accurate radiation treatments must be. We made it work. Luckily, it's been getting better to get on the table, which has been the main highlight of each day since. Hope it continues to improve.

In other news, BC Interruption (a beat blog for my beloved Boston College) caught up with me and wrote a nice little piece on the Nick Modico story. If you're interested, give it a read. I think it was really well done and am very humbled and proud to have been asked to participate on the site in this fashion. We are BC!

Until later...have a great weekend everyone - enjoy the football or the last gasps of warm-ish weather in the Northeast.