Shaking Out the Cobwebs

Tuesday combined with some dry spring weather before a rainy week, a day off of work, and a strong desire to get out on the bikes.

Planet Cancer/Livestrong/Next Step Young Adult Cancer Survivor Retreat, Austin, TX

On August 20-22, 2010 I attended a young adult cancer survivors retreat in Austin, TX. Let’s see if I can get this right: It was organized by Planet Cancer, funded by Livestrong, and run by Next Step (I think). What a great event! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I got the phone call on Thursday that someone was unable to attend at the last minute, and I was next on the waiting list.

Leukemia Treatment Update

I got another 3-day round of Vidaza this week. The last time I got this stuff about 2 months ago, it made me really sick. I was throwing up and feeling really nauseous for the better part of the day. I told my doctors about that. Well, with my platelet count still being persistently low, my oncologist thinks that the Vidaza is still the best drug for me right now because it has a tendency to help improve my megakaryocyte (platelet progenitor cells) counts over time, and therefore, get my platelet counts back to normal.

My First Ride

Ok, so it’s not REALLY my first ride. But it’s my first ride since kicking leukemia in the @$$ almost one year ago (dx on 3/10/09 and remission on 4/10/09).


First Ride

Cancer Update, Doctor’s Visit 4 Feb, 2010

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday last week. The objective was to get another blood test and to get another MRI of my head to see if I was ready to get some low dose follow-up chemo. I got there a bit early, around 9:30am (considering I live 3hrs away, that’s early). I had them print my list of appointments before I got my labs drawn. Ugh…10:30am blood draw and 10:30pm MRI. Who does this kinda crap? So I go to get my blood drawn an hour early while my wife attempts to get my MRI rescheduled later. She has to work Fri morning and leaving Houston sometime after midnight (the MRI itself takes ~45 min) is not cool. My favorite nurse ever, Nurse Glenda pulled some strings and I got my MRI done before noon. Way to go Nurse Glenda!

First Trainer Ride of 2010

6 January 2010 got me going on the indoor trainer for the first time of the year. I’m not in very good shape for outdoor riding yet, and besides, it’s even chilly down here in Texas. I’d be relegated to road riding, and that’s too cold most of the time for road riding. Since I’m not fit or strong enough for the trails yet, that puts me indoors.

Goodbye Central Line!

During my appointment with my oncologist on Thursday, he told me that I could get my central line removed.  That thing has been my constant companion since March.  I have to say, I was really happy to be getting it removed.  It was one of the 2 lumen models and it was inserted into a vein in my left chest.  It had to have a dressing placed over it (and replaced weekly) to keep it sterile.  That was quite a routine, along with changing the caps on a weekly basis.  That dressing was also water-sensitive, so I had to cover it when I bathed.  It made baths/showers such a huge PITA because I couldn’t put the cover on myself, and once the cover was on, the mobility of my left arm was restricted so much that I couldn’t adequately wash myself, so my wife had to help.  That meant I only took a shower or a bath about every other day or so.

First Hike

On Sunday, I took my first hike since recovering from AML. It couldn’t be a big hike, since I’m pretty out-of-shape, but I did as much as I could. My wife and I opted to hunt for a few geocaches while we were out, since I had a trackable geocoin in my possession for entirely too long. It needed to move along ASAP. My hike ended up being a total of about 6 miles, which included searching for a couple caches. It was a solid hike, which I noticed when I woke up this morning and my calves were incredibly sore. It’s amazing I didn’t get any muscle cramps overnight.

Can it get better?

I found out at my appointment with my oncologist last week that I don’t need anymore chemo!  I got a greatly reduced dose (2 days’ worth) for round #7, and that was it.  No round #8 for me.  I did my 7th round as an outpatient…and I got to experience real chemo side-effects for the first time.  Ugh, now I know what I was “missing”.  I think I know why I missed them, too.  When I got my chemo as an inpatient, I always got loads of fluids when I wasn’t actively receiving chemo.  This time, I got a little, but not nearly as much…and I just couldn’t drink enough to make up the difference.

Wow, what a year!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, but I have a good reason for that.  Really, I do.

You see, I got cancer.  Yup.  Acute myelogenous leukemia.  Man, that hit me hard and fast, too.

Here’s how it went down: