All posts for the month January, 2009


Our cat, ItBitKit, was a stray and consequently is an indoor-outdoor cat.  The cold winters are hard on her as she must stay inside more than she would like.  Recently we had a couple of days of relative warmth where some melting occurred.

The cat loved it and spent as much time outside as we would allow.  One afternoon we looked out a window on our second story that overlooks our garage.  There she was, perched on one of the few snow free parts of the garage roof,  just soaking up the rays.

I’m ready for spring too.

Medical Update

Sorry this is late but real life gets in the way.

I had my third chemo treatment on Monday.  Nothing unusual happened but since some readers may be curious, I thought I’d add a brief post.

The process  of these chemo treatments is rather interesting.  They take place in a large room with  20 or more chairs for patients.  A number of nurses scurry around attending to several  patients each.  People sit there while the medication slowly drips into their veins, or some just get a single injection.  While waiting, snacks and various drinks (no alcohol 🙁 ) are available.  I usually listen to podcasts on my iPod.

My treatments are about  two hours long, others people’s can be three or more.  I get three different chemo drugs plus an anti-nausea drug and saline drip.  All-in-all it’s a rather dull, uninteresting process but I am fascinated by the range of people who are all there for the same reason.  It is surprising that, with all these people suffering from cancer, they are, with few exceptions, all cheerful and smiling.  I think it is because we feel we are actually doing something to help in our cure.  Plus a positive attitude has been shown to increase the chances of a cure.

My next treatment will be  two weeks after this one.

Medical Stuff

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here – a whole month in fact. This has been due to a medical situation that has been stressful and time consuming.Briefly the details are like this.

Last summer I noticed a lump on my face, just in front of my right ear. I wasn’t sure what it was and since there was no pain associated with it I didn’t follow up on it immediately. Finally in early fall I mentioned it to my doctor and he referred me to an ENT surgeon with the intention of having it removed and analyzed.

First I had a MRI of the region and it was called a probable lymphoma which was involved with other lymph glands. In early December I had surgery on my right parotid gland to remove the lump and get samples for analysis. Tests confirmed it as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at stage III and I was referred to a oncologist.

After more tests and exams I started chemotherapy on Dec. 18. My treatments will repeat every two weeks for six cycles total. With luck that will be the end of it. I just had my second session on January 5th and all went smoothly.

So far the side effects have been minimal. The most apparent one being the loss of my hair but I’m also more tired than usual and, curiously, also having problems sleeping. Before my second chemo session my white cell count went very low so I needed injections to get it up to a safe range. Things seem to be back on track now.

If untreated, this disease would be life threatening but with treatment my odds are very good for complete remission. Even without complete remission it can be reduced to a less dangerous form which can be controlled. I am very confident that I’ll be back to my old self within a few months.

For the curious, here are before and after pictures of me.

mebefore meafter

I’ll post more info in the future and I’ll try to get back to more regular blog posting.