Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kowabunga! 2 rounds complete!

I wanted to give everybody an update on how I am doing, and what has been going on the first 2 rounds of chemotherapy. I feel like I have been to the hospital more in the last 30 days then anybody would go in their whole lifetime, but I cannot complain the experience has been super so far at MD Anderson. I kind of liken it to picking the "big college" over the small college to attend. You get all the perks of a big place: technology, special programs, etc. You just have to get past the fact that there are so many people everywhere, and you can easily get lost in the large buildings and parking lots. Treatment and tests can be in different buildings or labs on different days, just depending on space. I have to say it is very nice to be able to do outpatient treatment, and get to go "home" every night after you complete your session. This helps you regroup, and get ready for the next day, and its great to eat your own food!I feel like I have handled the physical part of the treatment ok so far. The only real thing that bothers me is some abdomin pain for which I have pain meds for. The drugs have had some small side effects (constipation, mouth sores, hair loss) but for the most part I cannot complain at all, I have stayed fairly healthy and have maintained my weight(well I have lost weight in my butt and legs which isnt good for those pairs of seven jeans!) The mental part of the chemo is defenitely the hardest part for me. When you spend every single day talking about, and doing something related to cancer, it can creep into your head and make you think about alot of different things. Also when you walk thru the halls of MD Anderson, everybody there has cancer, and you see people at all stages and levels of energy. I decided very early on, that I could do one of two things: 1)Let it get me down and wonder what is going to happen to me, and all of them or 2)Smile and be positive every single day, with every single person that I come into contact with at the hospital and hopefully thats the one encounter that that they had during the day that lifted them up, even if its just a little bit. Sure I have my days of thinking in my head whats going on with my body? I wonder if this pain means this, or that. Is this chemo working? All of those things I think about, but I know one thing, I can change my own life, and other peoples with my attitude. The next step for me is on March 9th. I will be doing a full body scan. This is the first time we are going to measure if the current chemo plan is making a dent, what the tumors are doing (size, place in body,etc) and if we need to make any changes to the chemo drugs we are using. I meet with my doctor the next day to discuss the results and talk about the progress of the first two rounds. I want to thank every single person who is out there praying for me. I can feel the power of prayer lifting me up during this time. For those of you who have sent me hand written notes, cards, letters, and even some great pictures that have been drawn for me from caring children who just want to help out-I cannot tell you how much it means to me to open up a card on a daily basis from a friend, or family member. Thank you to those of you who have sent books, itunes cards, and those great musical friends of mine who have made me countless cd's to listen to. I cannot thank my family and very close friends enough for all the help with cooking, cleaning, organizing places to stay, flights and all the things that go into traveling to do treatments in another city. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world when it comes to a support group. Iknow in my heart that I am going to make it thru this, and I am so grateful to all of you for your enthusiastic, powerful support. Talk to everybody very soon!


Elizabeth said...

Andrew, we're here in Mexico thinking about how next year at this time we're going to be sitting on the beach together cracking jokes. You are the best big brother any girl could ask for. Your gal Riles loves the ocean and refuses to leave. She also went poop in the shower tonight. She was singing the whole time. You would be so proud. She loves to run around naked and whistle at the dogs. She also loves the rice and chips here. She can't wait to come visit her big uncle andy soon. hugs and kisses xoxo e, t & r

Daniel Shapiro said...

Brother - i can't express enough how much i look up to you and respect you for how you're handling your fight!! from our phone conversations to the times i spent with ya in houston and at the hospital - i know you're going to come out of this with a healthy body and spirit!! like we said - you're the one that was chosen to beat the cancer and be that future spokesperson to others who are feeling down and fightin this fight!! keep being their strength and your ya and i'm proud to call you "one of my best buds!" keep it up. -dshap

Mike Erickson said...


I had some friends and family gathered around for your chat on KJR last night. It's an understatement to say you are an amazing inspiration to all of us that have been blessed to be a part of your life. You are a warrior. You are a leader! You are amazing! Stay strong and keep loving life.

- Snoqualmie Mike

P.S. Can you call your boy Dentmon and tell that young fella not to cross-over under his own bucket? Go Dawgs!!!

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration- you have to know that your daily journey touches me in ways you will never know! I am blessed to have been a small part of you life and thank you for all of the memories you have given me- your "manager skills" still get me fired up at work! Aaa the good ol days!
Your the best!

Lindsey said...

I just stumbled across the news of your diagnosis this morning. Wow. Talk about putting things in perspective. I've now read everything on the blog and just continue to be amazed, but not surprised, at your positive attitude. I'm thinking of you all the way from Athens, Greece and wishing you all the best.

Lindsey Wilson