Monday, September 28, 2009

Just something cool I saw...


I started chemo today, Day 1 of the cycle in the books. The service continues to be great at Swedish Hospital, I actually got a foot massage today while sitting there getting the chemo. A local company donates a certain amount of hours per month to cancer patients for hand or foot massages, so I lucked out today and the gal was in my unit and I got to get one! yeehaw! Anyhow enough of that, I was just typing on the computer last Thursday night and my mom was watching Grey's Anatomy. There was a scene that I overheard that in its own way reminded me of some very similar conversations that I have had with my doctors, and also some of the feelings that I have had. Now everything is not verbatim of course, but I thought it might be kind of cool to pass along to all of you who follow my blog so faithfully, just a small window into what's going on, but I felt it to be very similar to what I am going through (for now at least!)

Have a sweet week everyone, to bad for the Hawks, and Dawgs this past weekend. But Kudos to the STL Cardinals! Post season bound again!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chemo Thoughts Phase II

Whats up everyone,

I wanted to give an update on how everything went during my first dose of my "new" chemo rounds from Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA. The treatment cycle was 12 days long, of which 10 of the days I received chemotherapy. On Day 1, I got all (3) of the chemo drugs, and the session lasted about 5 hours. Each of the next 9 days I was at the hospital for a couple of hours, for a 60 minute infusion each day. This chemo mixture is "lighter" then the 8 round dose that I took in Houston, TX at MD Anderson and I can certainly tell. My blood counts don't dip nearly as much, my fatigue level is alot less, and I really don't have many physical side effects. I think once I get the hang of this type of cycle, hopefully I will be able to create a more normal schedule again, returning to work, etc. The facilities and staff at Swedish are excellent, I have been very impressed. Also, the other services that they have available to patients have been a great help (social workers, counselors, chaplin, etc)

I am continuing to do great from a physical standpoint, I feel really lucky for that. I have seen many other patients struggle lately (people I have been following from MDA, and also locally here in Seattle) physically, but I really look up to them for how they are handling the mental part. I still am looking to create a better mindset on how I approach my daily life, and the choices that I make. My family and very close friends have really been trying to help me with that balance. Its by far the toughest part for me. I have always identified who I am with "what I am involved with" from my basketball days, to my working career. The cancer really put my whole mindset into a different place and I am still a little lost as to whats next for me, and what the next phase of my life looks like-personally, professionally, socially, and spiritually. The cancer can make you feel like you have limits as to what you can do, when in reality you don't, but its that daily fight to overcome those mental obstacles the creates the most challenge in my life. I remain so thankful for a loving family, and super set of friends. Thank you guys.

I will be going to Houston the 3rd week of October for a Scan, and meeting with Dr. Araujo on my continuing treatment plans. I start the second round of my 10 day dosage this coming Monday at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. Talk to everyone soon-Enjoy the last few days of September and the sun!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Seattle

Hi Friends,

I thought I'd pop in here and give everyone a quick update on Andrew's status. Andrew is currently in Seattle and has already completed one week of chemo at Swedish Medical Center. Dr. Milder is overseeing his case, (Andrew's doctor who first diagnosed him back in January) and he and the staff at Swedish have been excellent and have made Andrew feel very comfortable! Andrews chemo schedule right now is Monday-Friday, with the weekend off, then goes Mon-Fri again. He then has 10 days to rest and then 10 days of chemo again. He will receive his chemo in Seattle until he goes back to Houston mid-late October for tests and his appointment with Dr. Arajuo. At that point we will decide where Andrew will continue his chemo - either in St. Louis or Seattle. Andrew enjoys being at home with his family and we enjoy giving him the extra support and love!

Andrew continues to feel well - with the exception of feeling tired, especially during his chemo weeks. But otherwise really no other physical side affects. What a blessing!

I haven't posted any pictures in a while - so thought I'd post some of our family trip to MO back in July.

4th of July fireworks - hoosier style in the MO countryside (hoosier is MO speak for "country folk"...)

Dinner with Kirk & his family at Duffy's

Andrew & Tyler take Riley & Henry to the butterfly house in St. Louis

Boat ride at the lake in Kirksville & picture with Grandma Missouri (yep, that's what we call her)

Family picture at our cousins wedding

Saying goodbye!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this transition into fall!