Friday December 4, 2009
Thanks to Dr. John Hayslip, Norma, Kathy, Debra, Susan, Renee, and
all of the other angels at Markey Cancer Center,
BigC is History!
I can never say enough good things about Dr. Hayslip and Markey.
General Janet has declared victory.
Monday November30, 2009
Wow, how time flies when you're having fun.
Janet's new titanium knee is amazing.
She's 11 weeks post surgery and now the once good knee is the bad one.
Physical therapy is almost complete - she has 2 more sessions.
She no longer needs a cane.
We're happy campers.
This is a big week for us.
I go today for PET and CT scans.
We'll get the results Friday.
Is BigC offed?
That is the question.
We'll know Friday.
Have a great day.
Cancer patients should check out my Doctor's blog:
Dr. John Hayslip
Sunday September 27, 2009
Less than 3 weeks after surgery and Janet is feeling fine.
She's walking much better than before the surgery.
She feels good.
I think I'll get her a job as poster girl for knee replacement.
Or maybe she could replace Lindsay Wagner as the bionic woman.
If you're considering knee replacement, email Janet.
She'll have you signed up in a nanosecond.
I'm proud of that gal.
Wednesday September 23, 2009
~~~Happy Birthday Robin~~~
We love you.
Tuesday September 22, 2009
~~~It Only Hurts For A Little While~~~
They'll remove her staples today; I plan to be somewhere else.
She's being totally brave about it but I'm a nervous wreck.
I'm glad one of us is brave.
We go to her Doctor tomorrow.
I know he'll be pleased with her progress.
I sure am.
The cleaning inspector comes today.
I always teased Janet about cleaning everything just before the housekeeper comes.
Now I understand the pressure.
Since I'm the caregiver, I don't want to look like a slob.
So I clean the house before the housekeeper gets here.
What I never fully appreciated: I've got to be careful not to over clean.
I don't want to look like a fool.
I find myself cleaning, then messing up just the right amount.
I'm almost ready.
I wonder how many other things I've under-appreciated over the years?
Saturday September 19, 2009
Janet continues to improve daily.
She takes pain pills during the day, but forgoes them at night.
She's walking with a cane.
Her incision is healing beautifully.
Miraculously, she has less pain than before the surgery.
She's in great spirits and ready to Watusi.
Tuesday September 15, 2009
~~~Happy First Birthday Draven~~~
(Our Great Grandchild)
We love you.
Monday September 14, 2009
Janet came home yesterday.
She's walking and talking and issuing orders like General Janet of old.
We've got nurses and therapists and strangers coming and going.
I think I saw a homeless guy eating a bagel in the kitchen.
Can't be positive. Maybe he was the nurse's supervisor.
If they bring any more equipment, we're going to need to rent a sleeping room.
I'm sure glad Medicare is picking up the tab.
Janet was exhausted tonight.
But, she's making great progress.
Saturday September 12, 2009
We had a bit of a scare today.
Janet's operative leg swelled and the Doc ordered a duplex doppler, suspecting a DVT.
Since she has had two DVT's and a pulmonary embolism in the past, we were plenty worried.
We sweated for several hours until the negative results came back.
They decided her blood was too thin and pooling in her leg.
We still hope she'll be home tomorrow, but we're less optimistic.
Other than that she had a great day.
Very little pain, good appetite, walking like a champ, and bossy...
all good signs.
Friday September 11, 2009
Today was a very good day.
Janet's ready to come home.
Now, if we can just get the Doc's to agree.
Her INR (blood clotting) is 1.2 and it needs to be 2.0 to go home.
It looks like we're on track for Sunday.
All is well.
Thursday September 10, 2009
Janet had a very bad Wednesday night (pain wise),
but she had a great Thursday morning and afternoon.
She's getting A's in therapy and she's walking like a champ.
I believe she will probably come home Sunday or Monday.
It's been a long day so I'll post more tomorrow.
Wednesday September 9, 2009
This morning Janet was talking.
(Much like normal.)
Then her pain block ran out at 12:15 PM.
She spent the afternoon in pain but she still walked and completed therapy.
She's determined to get home ASAP.
This evening she is feeling somewhat better and resting.
What a trooper she is.
For fifty-one years I've listened to Janet fuss about her sister Dee
scribbling in Janet's Doris Day coloring book when they were kids.
Dee is certainly making up for it now. She's staying all night at the
hospital with Janet, sleeping on a tortuous fold-out device.
It's an incredible act of kindness and love.
Thank you Dee.
Tuesday September 8, 2009
She and her new titanium knee are doing fine.
After recovery, the first words out of her mouth were,
"Don't forget the chili in the refrigerator
and you need to pick up your glasses and mail the
estimated taxes to the IRS."
That's my gal.
They had her on her feet within two hours after recovery.
Because of her blood clotting issues, they'll
probably keep her in the hospital for 5 or 6 days.
After a few weeks of rehab she'll be half as good as new.
Then, we'll discuss the other bad knee.
It's been a long day, so I'll post more tomorrow.
Saturday September 5, 2009
Janet will have knee replacement surgery at 9:30 AM on 9/8/2009.
As usual, she's a rock.
We feel good about her doctor, Dr. Chris Christensen.
Everyone says he's great.
She's completed all of her pre-surgery meetings and
she has started taking tummy shots of lovenox.
I offered to give her the shots but after I hyperventilated
for ten minutes or so, she decided to give them to herself.
She's very perceptive.
It'll be great to see her free of pain.
We may be doing the Watusi pretty soon.
Have a great day.
Wednesday July 29, 2009
During my working career I thought I knew about stress.
But, yesterday I learned what pressure really is.
I took my grandson, Sam (6), fishing.
Sam had never caught a fish.
After about an hour with no luck,
I was telling Sam that the best part about fishing
was getting outside and enjoying nature.
We had spotted geese and ducks and blue heron
and we commented on the clouds and observed
the ripples in the water and bugs of all sorts.
After contemplating my sage observation, Sam said,
"But Papap, some people actually catch fish. I've seen them do it on TV."
I knew I was about to permanently etch the word loser next to Papap in Sam's brain.
We had to catch at least one fish.
Now that's real pressure.
Fortunately, we eventually caught 3 fish and I was redeemed.
I'm telling you, this retirement stuff is tough.
All is going well.
Rehab continues for me and Janet will have
knee replacement surgery on September 8.
Then we'll contemplate that long awaited vacation.
Have a great day.
Monday July 6, 2009
~~~Back to Recovery~~~
Today it was back to the REHAB drudgery.
Even though I hate exercise, I believe it's helping.
My breathing continues to improve and I'm doing more each day.
This weekend I took my grandson Bud camping and fishing.
We had a great time but it really wore me out.
Thankfully, I'm fully recovered now and ready to rumble.
Tomorrow, I'll be rumbling over to Markey for a port flush.
The Doc says if BigC is still mort in November I can have my port removed.
I dunno how I feel about that.
It'll be nice not to get stuck every whipstitch.
But my port is sort of like a security blanket.
I know I can open it up anytime and pour in dastardly chemicals.
It's like the main weapon in my arsenal.
I heard of one cancer patient who kept her port for 8 years after she was cured.
I think I understand why.
I heard from an old friend today.
It felt really good.
I guess I've turned into an old softy, but that sort of thing means much more to me than it used to.
Everyone has been so kind over the past year.
Janet and I really appreciate it.
~~~Happy 4th of July~~~
TGIF June 26, 2009
~~~First Week Complete~~~
The first week of REHAB is complete.
Good News: I'm still alive and I lost 2 pounds.
Bad news: Every muscle in my body is complaining.
I'm just not cut out for exercise, except running to the dinner table.
Some of the rehabbers seem to thrive on it.
The therapists keep telling one nut to slow down.
Not me. They keep asking me if my machine is working.
That's usually the signal that I need to start peddling or something.
It's most annoying - I do some of my best thinking on an idle exercise machine.
Maybe I'll start liking it next week.
And maybe pigs will fly next week.
Like it or not, I'm thankful to be here and able.
Janet and I appreciate every day.
Have a great weekend.
Tuesday June 9, 2009
~~~I Hate Exercise~~~
The stress test is over.
First, they glued 12 EKG electrodes to my chest.
Thankfully, I shaved my chest before going over there.
I've learned through experience that shaving is preferable to pulling hair out by the roots.
The nurse thought it was funny that I had pre-shaved.
Easy for her, she probably doesn't even have chest hair.
Anyway, they constantly monitor blood pressure (125/79) and blood oxygen (94%).
While a Doctor watched, I walked on a treadmill.
At first it was easy.
Then, the machine speeds up and starts to incline.
The sweat begins.
It speeds up more and inclines more.
Just as you're ready to step on your tongue,
the Doc says, "tell me when you've had enough."
By then, you're sucking air through your ears
and it's impossible to expel enough to generate sound.
Your head is nodding like a bobbing doll - all you can do is hang on.
The machine continues to speed up and continues to incline
until your blood pressure triggers alarms and shuts off the treadmill
and sounds "code red" over the loudspeakers.
As you lie in a puddle on the floor,
clutching your chest and gasping for breath,
the Doc says something like,
"wow, you can take a lot - you'll love rehab."
By the time you can manage cuss words,
everyone is gone and you've only a hairless, red chest to show for your efforts.
Exercise tip of the day: if you want to get good at sit-ups, put M&M's between your toes.
Have a great day.
The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier. - author unknown
Sunday June 7, 2009
This week I start rehab.
Tomorrow, I'll go for a stress test.
I thought the continuous stream of medical bills was enough of a stress test.
After they measure my current super powers, it'll be time to start sweating.
Maybe they'll let me substitute the over 60 exercise program.
May 29 , 2009
One of my good Docs told me that, as a patient, I wanted to be uninteresting.
I have now officially achieved that status. I am downright boring.
My PET scans are boring. My CT scans are boring. My blood work is boring.
In fact, I'm so boring that the Docs don't want to see me for three months.
All of my tests were negative.
My cancer is gone.
Life is good.
This adventure started exactly one year ago.
During that time Janet has been a rock. She hasn't shed one tear within my sight.
It's been a long, hard journey and along the way she felt like she had to be strong.
Today, the dam burst and I saw tears. It was good for her.
You've got to love her.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us through this past year.
We owe so many.
May 22 , 2009
She has new glasses and they're rad.
She's back to her normal, wonderful self.
My PET and CT scans are complete.
Now we'll wait until next Friday for the good news.
Everyone have a great Memorial Day weekend.
May 19 , 2009
~~~Ruthie is out of Surgery~~~
All went well.
She's a tough little gal.
May 17 , 2009
~~~Back to Reality~~~
This should be an eventful week.
On Tuesday, Ruthie, our youngest grandchild, will have eye surgery.
Ruthie is an indomitable spirit who will be fine, but, naturally
everyone will be on pins and needles until that's over.
On Wednesday, I go for my umpteenth PET and CT scans.
Hopefully, BigC will be history.
We'll get the results on May 29, exactly one year into this adventure.
So, we expect good news From Ruthie this week.
And, good news from me next week.
As a celebration, Ruthie and I are going to help her Dad build a swing set.
We'll call it Ruthie's park.
May 04 , 2009
~~~In Loving Memory~~~
Funeral service for Peggy Troutman (Janet's Mother) will be Friday, May 8, 2009
at Trinity Episcopal Church, Owensboro, KY.
Visitation: 1:00 PM
Service: 2:00 PM
I will not post again until after the service.
April 25, 2009
~~~In Loving Memory~~~
Margaret Lilian Ada (Peggy) Wallace Troutman
June 14, 1921 - April 24, 2009
April 20, 2009
It's been nice.
For the past few weeks we've had a reprieve
from doctors and needles and tests and such.
Tomorrow I'll visit the cardiologist and we'll discuss
shortness of breath, breathing problems and neuropathy.
Hopefully, he'll say, "it's getting better, I'll see you next year."
Thursday, I'll see the radiation oncologist.
Hopefully, he'll bid adieu and say, "have a good life."
These are my lofty goals for this week.
Next week it's PET & CT scans and hopefully, good news.
If all goes well, I'll have minor surgery to remove my port.
And my cancer will be history.
And Janet can relax.
Please keep your fingers crossed,
and have a great day.
April 19, 2009
~~~Happy Birthday Matt~~~
We love you Old Man.
April 14, 2009
~~~Happy Birthday Pam~~~
We love you.
April 12, 2009
~~~Happy Easter Everyone~~~
It's great to be alive on Easter Sunday, 2009
April 10, 2009
Yesterday, Janet and I were visiting our second home
(Markey Cancer Center)
when a most unusual thing happened.
In the waiting room, we met Guy DeLacey.
For some folks I'm sure it's not unusual to bump into their last name,
but for a DeLacey it's extremely rare.
We discovered that we are distant cousins.
Anyway, we decided to storm Ireland and take our castle back.
For you doubters, I'm including a picture of DeLacey Castle.
DeLacey Castle, County Westmeath, Ireland
Built 1171 by Hugh DeLacey
Seems we lost it in a little misunderstanding with King John.
give it back we say
April 4, 2009
I don't know anyone who would choose to have cancer,
but it's not the death sentence it once was and the treatments
are not as barbaric or torturous as they were a few years ago.
In The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson spent his post-chemo afternoons
with his head in the toilet. That was reality a short time back.
Not any more - the nausea medicines are excellent now.
For many, discovery is the most difficult part.
In a strange, perverted way I was spared some of the initial anguish.
I couldn't dwell on the tumor because of the impending quadruple by-pass surgery.
I couldn't obsess about the by-pass surgery because cancer loomed so much larger.
I was almost fortunate in a bizarre way.
To me the whole ordeal was an adventure.
General Janet did my worrying.
She bore the burdens.
Together, with a lot of help from family and friends, we waged the war.
Together, we plan a happy and abundant future.
It's enormously satisfying to stare down cancer.
I know I've been fortunate up to this point and I know we all succumb to something in time.
But Janet and I survived the first round, and we certainly did our part for the economy.
UK is building a new hospital. Maybe they'll name a closet after us.
Have a great day.
April 2, 2009
Over the past two weeks I've enjoyed life -
no radiation or chemo or sticks or doctors or pain.
I've enjoyed every day to the fullest possible extent.
And my web site has reflected the diversion.
But I started this site to document my journey
and possibly help other cancer victims.
So, it's time to return to reality and take an inventory.
After 9 months of daily, intensive treatment I'm feeling good.
Sure, I stagger like a sailor on saturday night.
And my voice comes and goes as does my breathing.
Foggy brain persists.
I look like Jabba.
But I feel good.
Next month I'll have PET & CT scans.
Then we'll have a better idea of what the future holds.
I guess I'm a bit more reflective today because I recently
heard of a fellow Hodgkin's patient who started treatment at the same
time I did and was given a 98% chance of recovery; she just found out
her cancer has returned. Doctors now tell her she has a 30% chance.
Life is too fragile, too short and too unpredictable.
I think I'll give everyone I love an extra hug.
Maybe we should all hug more.
March 30, 2009
Yesterday, we celebrated Sam's 6th birthday and my survival.
It was great fun.
March 27, 2009
I just returned from my morning walk and I'm about to step on my tongue.
It sure looks easier on TV - have you noticed how they smile as they exercise?
I think chemo was more fun than exercising.
Good photographs are fascinating.
Sometimes I look at one and think, why is that good?
Mine rarely elicit that kind of response.
Here's a picture I like.
It was recently taken by a friend of mine, David Jordan.
What do you think?
If you have a picture that you're proud of, let's put it up and see what others think.
March 25, 2009
March 24, 2009
The only side effect I notice from radiation is a mild sunburn-like irritation.
I've gone through periods when I felt bone weary tired but that has passed.
On April 23 we'll return to the radiation onc for a follow up.
On May 20 I'll have PET & CT scans.
On May 22 we'll return to Dr. Hayslip for the scan results.
Hopefully, we'll get word that the cancer is in remission.
General Janet will be by my side all the way.
Somewhere in the April/May timeframe we'll meet with the cardiologist
and discuss rehabilitation. My body is in a sorry state right now.
Yesterday, I started walking and I'll try to extend that each day.
Overall, Janet and I are extremely optimistic and we hear vacation voices.
Thanks to everyone for your vacation ideas.
We've had about a dozen very good suggestions.
We've ruled out flying for long distances because my
immune system will be somewhat compromised for a while.
We're looking at everything from FL to ME.
And, we hear the call...
March 20, 2009
~19 down: 1 to go~
Radiation is 95% complete.
I met with the Doc today.
He once again pronounced me alive.
That's always good news.
He said I was truly unremarkable.
How much better can it get?
March 19, 2009
~18 down: 2 to go~
Radiation is 90% complete.
I'm beginning to feel some burn, but the effects of radiation have been unremarkable.
Like my doctor said, "As a patient, you want to be uninteresting."
Thank Goodness I'm downright boring.
Have a wonderful day.
March 18, 2009
~17 down: 3 to go~
Radiation is 85% complete.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL
WE LOVE YOU
March 17, 2009
~16 down: 4 to go~
Radiation is 80% complete.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY
March 16, 2009
~15 down: 5 to go~
Radiation is 75% complete.
Taxes are ready for the CPA.
Life is good.
March 14, 2009
Sarah Grace has invented a new game.
It's called, find Lacey.
Basically, she places all her special friends
on the steps in front of her and Lacey hides.
Can you find Lacey?
March 13, 2009
~14 down: 6 to go ~
I broke the linear accelerator.
First, water was all over the floor.
(Thank goodness I don't have that problem yet)
Then, the over arm wouldn't crank into position.
After restarting the 8 computers that drive Charlie,
we finally got the job done.
I told them to just put it on my bill.
Hopefully, Janet won't notice the extra $8,000,000 charge.
March 12, 2009
~13 down: 7 to go ~
Feeling good today.
Radiation is 65% complete.
Still working on taxes.
Trying to make decisions on Medicare.
This retirement stuff is hard work.
Guess I better go take a nap.
March 11, 2009
~12 down: 8 to go ~
Taxes didn't used to be this difficult.
I've been working on them for two weeks.
Is it chemo brain, radiation fuzz, old age,
laziness or just plain stupidity?
Oh well, maybe I'll make some progress today.
Can dogs be dependents?
Louie & Eli
March 10, 2009
~11 down: 9 to go ~
I am get-ting slee-py...
March 09, 2009
~10 down: 10 to go ~
Radiation doesn't hurt.
It makes you bone weary tired.
March 08, 2009
~Happy Birthday Forest ~
We love you.
March 06, 2009
~9 down: 11 to go~
To enhance my phosphorescence, we did X-rays today as well as radiation.
I am positively radiant.
We're almost half way through.
March 05, 2009
~8 down: 12 to go~
Today, I had another good radiation session. Breathing was easy.
I also got my port flushed and I took Janet to the hospital cafe for a sausage biscuit.
Who says I'm not a romantic sort of fellow?
Sam lost his first tooth.
It was a perfect tooth so it commanded top price from the tooth fairy.
March 04, 2009
~7 down: 13 to go~
I met with the radiation oncologist after treatment today.
He pronounced me alive.
Looks like I'm good for another week.
Breathing was excellent again today.
What more can anyone ask?
March 03, 2009
~6 down: 14 to go~
Today's treatment was a piece of cake.
Afterward, Janet and I got a sausage biscuit from the cafe and dined in hospital elegance.
Life is good.
March 02, 2009
~5 down: 15 to go~
Having a day off Friday was nice.
But that's not getting the job done.
So I was happy to cook some cancer cells today.
I sort of missed old Charlie with his
whirring and grinding and clicking and flashing.
The tech told me Charlie sprung a leak on Friday.
That's a little scary with $3,000,000 of electronics to soak.
All was back to normal today and my breathing was better.
After 15 more treatments, I'll probably glow in the dark.
Since the chemo is over, most of my shaking has subsided.
I no longer qualify for a job as a blender in a bar.
I may need to fall back to my job as a bright night light.
Too bad disco balls are out of vogue.
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