Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29, 2013

Time to write a power blog. I'm feeling it. Power blog city, population Nicky Mo.

Gotta start it off with a power picture no? Um, of course. This picture right here is slightly over two weeks old...location: US-Mexico border. Let's use this picture as a springboard towards confirming and dispelling some thoughts and rumors.

First: did I request to have my picture taken while transferring ambulances? CONFIRMED. There are certain times where you just know like dang dude I gotta be looking good right now. Quick, someone get a snap of this. Boom.

Second: is that a genuine smile? CONFIRMED. Though let's be real, at this point it was nearly 80 in the sun, I was rocking a nice fever, and my blood pressure was most likely in the 70/40 or 80/50 realm. They say I was very much aware of my surroundings, and though I was (only answered mom's birth year wrong...yeah I made her older, no regrets. Handle it Bigfoot), I was still in pretty rough shape. But let me ask you this: if you were (supposedly) stable but not getting too much better, how would you feel about bouncing across the border to a nice, big university hospital in the United States? Thought so.

Third: a while ago a friend on Facebook posted the status "the closer to death you are, the more alive you feel." DISPELLED. Literally no chance. This could not be more wrong if anyone tried. Take it from a guy who has been there not once, but twice. And if you need a near death experience to either A) feel alive or B) change your ways, you're doing it wrong. Big time.

That was a nice little segment, no? Great. Now on to Thanksgiving. We did in fact celebrate a little Thanksgiving here, and it was excellent. A little bird action, mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, the works. First day in over a week and a half without a tamale...mixed feelings.

To all those who sent letters recently, you know who you are - here's a blog shout out. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to drop me a note. It was both unexpected and so much appreciated. The love and support goes a long way to getting us through the tough times and making strides toward the better times. We're getting there, together. Here's to a great holiday season.

Viva Mexico. Until later everyone.

***Update: I just wrote that blog post with a blood sugar of 46. If it makes no sense........sorry, still no regrets.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013

He lives.

So today was a big day. We did the immunotherapy at a very low dose via a shot to see if it could be tolerated (unlike getting it through the mediport which we think helped lead to the big episode) and it was. This is great news.

As a result, treatment can be continued and we can keep bumping up the dosage until we get the desired effect: the fever that lets us know we're stimulating the immune system response. The second piece of this was regenerating platelets to a level high enough to administer low-dose chemotherapy, which it appears we have.

Let's recap the 3 step plan: 1) boost the immune system - accomplished via shot on Monday. 2) trigger immune response - accomplished today via shot and slight reaction. 3) damage the malignant cells still lurking in the body - to be accomplished tomorrow via low-dose directed chemotherapy. Repetition of these three steps ensues to bury the disease and train the immune system to recognize the malignant cells as such. Set go.

The only bad news is about the Giants. And, well, is it really bad news? Really can't be dealing with their schtick for the rest of the year. They're just awful. Chalk this season up to a lost cause, I say. Terrible.

I'll try to update more often as we go along, but treatment should get tougher so we'll see how it goes. Until next time...#Andre44Heisman (let's go BC Eagles wooooooooo).

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013

Sorry for the lack of updates everyone. No longer can we assume no news is good news given my most recent episode of border-hopping sepsis which was altogether joyous, believe me.

However, currently no news is good news. This has been a good recovery week from that whole extremely low blood pressure scene. Looking back on what happened, it seems that my system conducted a super purge of whatever was inside it - dead cells from radiation, platelets, the works. As I bounce back, I hope it to be stronger and ready to go for next week when I take on the full spectrum of treatment.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that if I was in a poorer, more desperate physical state that I would've made it through the previous episode. The decision to come down here at this time may prove vital to success, which of course I plan on attaining. After this week of getting pumped up with vitamins and minerals, I'll get the immune system booster Monday, immuno kickstarter Tuesday, and low dose chemo to wound any underlying disease I have Wednesday. That's what I've got for now...looking to make good on it and carry it all out.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention JFK today, namesake of my high school and American legend. Though I of course was not around for that day I can't help but draw the comparison to it being my parents' generation's version of my 9/11. You know exactly where you were when you heard what happened and it sticks with you to this day. I don't even remember what day is as diagnosed with this disease yet stuff like that, the shock and the tragedy, makes a dent on us. Powerful stuff.

Also on that note, I think it's been almost barely over one year since my diagnosis. Feels like shorter, no? A trying year without doubt...but hey look where we are now. Nicky Mo is a television star/globe trotting gallivanter, and you're reading his blog, so you must be doing something right.

Until the next update........go GMen. Later everyone.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17, 2013

Alright let's get the gory details out of the way...because I know you all want to hear them. So juicy.

Let's review the quick hits I gave you last blog: Monday was no big deal because I just got vitamins and a shot to boost the white blood cell count and get the immune system up and running for the upcoming hit it would take, starting Tuesday. Tuesday I rolled into the clinic, knowing it would be a tough day. About 9 AM local time, I got the shot of the stuff right into the port.

Here's what we know will happen: the shot will first cause tremors, maybe a half hour after injection, then uncontrollable shaking, tapering after about a half hour, at which point the fever will take hold. The fever will last until about 2 o'clock and then you'll cool off and heat up a bit (aftershocks, if you will) well into the night. Blood pressure is expected to drop as the body fights the "infection", the dead bacteria that is injected to produce these reactions. The reaction (ramping up the immune system into action to fight all kinds of cells and most importantly the cancer cells) is what we need.

Here's what happened: tremors started 10 minutes after the shot, followed by uncontrollable shaking for a solid half hour. After that I was shot. Nausea, vomiting, no speaking, just bundled up in a ball. My blood pressure is low to begin with, and so clearly it didn't appreciate the extra hit down. I started to feel warm, looked outside, and saw white. That's it. Next thing I know, I'm coming out of it, with cold compresses on my head and stomach, still light-headed and somewhat confused. I'm told I hallucinated during the episode, which is cool I guess.

The decision was made to go to the hospital in Tijuana. Think back to the scene from The Godfather where Vito Corleone is in the hospital after getting shot while picking up oranges...just like that. No real machines, nothing. After spending, or should I say surviving, a night there, my blood pressure was still floundering after having cruised down to 60/30 at the clinic. I made the decision to bounce back across the border to recoup; I'm glad I did. We switched drugs to bump up blood pressure and regulate heart rate, which was high, and I made a comeback. Finally feeling just about normal today, and you know what that means.............I'm heading back tomorrow.

We'll make tweaks: less dosage, and not through the port. No need to send the body into shock again. All we need to do is illicit a bit of the response I got on Tuesday, not nearly the whole thing. So let's go ahead and do that. No more near death experiences would be coolish. Hope the next update is just as spectacular and not nearly as long - just wanted to take you all through the ride that was this past week.

To an uneventful week #2!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013

So maybe I should've been a bit concerned about the medical aspect of things.

The first day went well, mainly because all I got was some vitamins and a little insulin guided therapy. The second day was a whole different story...whiting out, hallucinating, cranking out yet another 105 fever - the works. Spending a night in a Mexican hospital? Priceless! So severe sepsis or tumor lysis syndrome seems to be the case. Either way, the drugs were too much, too fast. Nothing like almost dying in Tijuana, just a great story.

Where does this leave me? Well currently in the ICU at UCSD Medical Center. Yeah I came back to the states because that was my go to move. Can't go for that, no can do. The treatment is so promising I have to give it another go, just don't know when. As much as I'd love to jump right back in, I know I've been brought a whole lot (my blood pressure has finally stabilized without meds), so I think I'll take some time off in (RAINY?) San Diego until Monday. Give it one more go next week, with a few tweaks, and hopefully we will be able to continue on this treatment. Get rid of this disease.

Until the next update world.

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013

And the blog is about to get oh so spicy again.

It's official, heading to Mexico to try a little something something instead of just deteriorating here like the Sloan people recommend I do. (Harsh way to put it, but sometimes the truth is brutal.) By the way, see what I did there? Spicy? Can't stop, won't stop.

I'm beginning to have serious concerns about this new treatment, I will not lie. Of course, my concerns are 0% of the medical variety, 100% of the nonsensical variety. How strong will my wifi signal be? Will there be any good Chinese food? Should I grow out the mustache a bit more to fit in a little better? Should I just drink the water and get it over with, because, comparatively speaking, is Montezuma's Revenge really that bad? The answers so far are poor, of course not, of course yes (it's "no shave November" anyway, clown question bro), and probably not.

Bright side: Sunny and 80 on the 10 day outlook. You know it. Somebody's gonna be playing Kan Jam on the beach with his newwww friends! Wait, what treatment?

Look I know what you're all thinking. Of course you all want to be me! Sorry, though. No can do. Stud City, population Nicky Mo.

Updates from south of the border to commence Lunes. Get crackin' on that espanol people. (I said Monday.) Later everyone; wish me luck.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 4, 2013

Greetings, salutations.

A quick follow up on the previous Keeneland story, which of course is a story for the ages: video of the interview can be found here. A quality piece of art if I may say so myself.

In other awesome news, Kennedy Catholic retired the ol' 37 for me. A true honor from the alma mater, a gesture that I won't soon forget. Pictures from the ceremony are on the Kennedy Catholic Facebook page. I dressed up, dapper as always, and gave a little speech to round out the affair.

Now on to the fun stuff. What's my deal? Like there's no way he's just sitting around letting this disease get the best of him, right? Of course he's not. Literally running around all day and night. I'd be lying if I said I had never considered running the NYC marathon yesterday bandit style just to stick it to the man. The whole bones most likely disintegrating thing held me back...weak excuse I know. Mentally I'm as carefree as ever, which is somewhat dangerous...but perfect for this situation so that's good.

Medically...oh medically. Well, as it stands medically I'm a nightmare. But nightmares are okay because eventually you wake up and it's all back to normal, right? Right. So let's hop on that train, why not? Radiation is over. Dunzo with that. Next step is to find the next step. Right now I'm leaning towards experimental treatment in Mexico. Clinical trials are few and far between, you have to thread the eye of like 7 consecutive needles to qualify for one, and I'm really not feeling most of their protocols (i.e. toxicity levels). Therefore, why not get crafty? It's like Mike Mussina at the very end of his career - you don't need to throw 95+ MPH to get 'em out...there's always another way. Pick your spots wisely and you will be rewarded.

Let's pick a good spot and get rewarded. Later everyone.