Just gotta say it again Cancer Sucks

Well, I am beginning to suck at writing these blog posts on a regular basis cuz my life has turned boring with the return of my cancer and subsequent treatment.  I apologize to anyone who wants to hear from me on said regular basis, I am hoping that this 4 month course of chemo (2 months done) do the trick and I go back into remission so I can have a life again cuz this life sucks.


I finished the second round of chemo on Wednesday.  The only side effect of this chemo that I have experienced is slight nausea a couple times.  Dr. Alkhateeb called it a “Baby Bump” of chemo and I can see why.  It takes about an hour an 45 minutes to do the whole thing and I get the chemo only for 3 days out of every 4 weeks.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Only got more months to go and then another BONE MARROW BIOPSY to see if the problems have been fixed.


Really hate the drive to and from Mayo.   Yeah, Teresa does the driving, but still I am in the car.  3 hours and 50 minutes each way thru nothing.  Corn and soy bean fields are about all we see on the whole trip.  We only drive through one city (we drive by the rest) and that is Austin, Minnesota.  Nothing to write about there, just the speed limit drops for a while.  The rest of the trip is farmland.


I have MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome) and I had a stem cell transplant from which I have Excessively Dry Skin (I had really dry skin before, just picture it drier for those of you who really know me) as my form of Graph vs Host Disease (or GvHD for short).  Why is it so hard for the nurses giving me chemo to grasp this?  I lotion before going to the place where I get the chemo (Dr. Wehbe’s office), my skin just dries out on the way.  Lotion lasts maybe a half hour and its a 20 minute drive to the clinic.  So by the time they get me checked in and called back, my arms are dry.  I have explained my GvHD to at least 6 of the nurses, you’d think they would talk and I wouldn’t have to keep explaining it.  Anyway,  my skin is dry, it will probably always be dry, I’m just tired of explaining it to people.


Teresa just got over the flu or something like the flu and luckily I didn’t get it.  She was sick for about a week until she started taking an antibiotic.  Very sick if I have to say it.  She actually missed work because of being sick,  I think work is where she picked up to illness in the first place, she thinks it came from Dr. Wehbe;s office, as sometimes sick people come to visit at the cancer clinic and don’t even think about it.  Either place is as likely as the other…  Just glad I didn’t get it too.


That being said I still have other issues going on.  My backwards insomnia, going to sleep just fine, waking up at ungodly hours.  We are now trying Sonata, we went thru Ambien and Restoril with no luck.  First night of Sonata I went to bed at 9pm (I was tired from not sleeping) and woke up at 2:30am.  Tonight will be try number 2,  I will force myself to stay up later and see if I can’t sleep for 6 or more hours in one stretch.  Sure would be nice to sleep thru the night again.


My cough is still going strong.  I cough virtually every morning and every evening.  It’s wet, it’s dry, it is sometimes productive, but mostly not.  It sucks.  It sucks very much,


My drooling problem seems to be getting better.  I can go the hour and 45 minutes without really drooling while I get chemo.  But if I am not actively trying not to drool, I find that I drool.  It is a consistent thing.  I have 3 doctors and a PA and a Pharmacist all stumped as to the cause.  It is annoying to say the least, but it could be worse, I am sure.


I have 2 character in Skyrim who have passed level 40.  Level 41 and level 44.  They are both Khajiit.  One if a pure dual hand fighter and the other is an actual thief.  I am sure the thief has the 50 pickpockets for the achievement, now just looking for locks to pick.  Finding 50 people with pockets was easy, finding 50 locks is a chore.

Still finding it difficult to play an Orc past level 25 or so.  They tend to get BORING fast once they hit level 20.   And I have had no luck with the other races either.  For one reason or the other, I haven’t been able to get into playing any other races..  However, I still have Redguard and Imperial to try.  So I haven’t given up on finding a third race I enjoy.  I love Khajiit, I like Orc, it’d be nice to find a third.


That brings me to the end of this blog post.

Chemo round 2 on Monday and I do not care

Sorry again for taking so long of a break between blog entries….  I just have nothing to say or add to what I have said, so I don’t want to waste your time.  That being said, I got some stuff to say today, so I am writing this blog entry at 8:35pm about 20 minutes after we got home.


Chemo round 2 starts next Monday and goes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then I am done for another 4 weeks.  Yesterday we say Dr. Wehbe.  He was very excited about my results from the first round of chemo.  My hemoglobin was up, My platelets were up.  Like seriously up.  It is a very rare occurrence for a MDS patient to have that kind of reaction on his first chemo run.  He was very excited about this.  This is the longest I have been without having to have blood product since I started getting blood again.  Very exciting news.


Today was a trip to Mayo to see Dr. Alkhateeb.  He too is very excited about my results.  He pointed out again that he is in uncharted waters with my MDS, and is just happy for me and happy he gets to continue the story.  By all rights, I should have died a year ago, instead I am doing very well.


The only event on the trip up to Mayo was a detour on some really small county roads.  That added about 15 minutes to our trip time and made me 5 minutes later for labs.  Considering there was only 1 other person waiting for labs at the time, it was no big deal.

The trip home was uneventful until we got just north of Story City when we first started seeing snow and it just got worse the further south we got.  Almost everyone slowed down for the snow.   It wasn’t much but it was accumulating rather quickly.  By the time we hit Ames, Teresa decided we were taking the back way.  I was concerned that the snow would be worse on highway 169, which we drive the last 40 miles on.  Well, Teresa was right, the 30 was clear of snow, and the 169 had nice ruts through the snow, so it took us a little more time to get home, but we made it safe and sound.


The weather storm report is saying we should get a total of around 6 inches here by tomorrow evening.  Places southeast of us are supposed to get a foot or more.  Yeah, winter may have finally arrived.


Now I get mushy.  I love Teresa with all my soul.  Without her I would not have survived all the maladies that have plagued me over the years of our marriage.  She is the greatest wife that I could have ever hoped for.   She is my everything.


So anyway, what I am doing every day when I am not in chemo or at a doctor appointment, is playing Skyrim Special Edition.  Basically from when I wake up to when I go to bed.  Yeah, it is a sick addiction, but I am having lots of fun.

That being said, I took a break from my level 41 Khajiit Warrior, I just didn’t know what else to do with him at this time, so I have been playing other characters.

My latest character is a Dark Elf Destruction School Wizard/Warrior (she mainly casts spells, but carries a sword in her off hand).  I am having a great time playing something different for me.  I have no clue what level she is right now, but Destruction School takes forever to level.  So she might be around level 12 or so.  Having fun right now, might not have fun later.  She is a good distraction at this time, so I will play her until I run out of ideas for her or I get frustrated with how slow she levels (and then delete her).


I am still not sleeping,  I go to bed between 11pm and Midnight, then wake up between 3:50 and 5am.  Most of the time right at 4am.  And I am not really napping.  I suffer from insomnia on a semi-regular basis, but this is different as I can go to sleep just fine….it’s just that I wake up and am unable to fall back asleep.  So far Ambien and Restoril have both been failures at helping.  I think we are gonna try Sonata next.  Something has to work.  I see my shrink on the 28th, maybe he’ll have an idea.


That’s it.  Video time.

I need a nap or two

I think my cough that has been mostly from my throat finally moved down into my chest.  I have a definite wheeze now coming from my lungs.  And the cough has taken a nasty sounding turn.  I probably should go see Chris (the PA), but I see Dr. Wehbe on the 9th and go to Mayo to see Dr. Alkhateeb on the 10th.  I can live with a wheeze and a nastier sounding cough for a few extra days.  Probably just bronchitis anyway.  I have lived through much worse.


I would complain about the fatigue, but instead I am going to complain about the early waking up again.  4;25, 5:15, 3:30, those are times I have woken up in the last week or so. Dr. Wehbe prescribed Restoril (Temazopam) yesterday bit Teresa forgot to pick it up.  So she is gonna pick it up today, maybe I will have a good night sleep tonight   Yesterday was the first day that I napped after getting up at 4:25.  I am having problems napping for more than 45 minutes, which is strange because I used to nap for 2+ hours at a shot.


I didn’t get “SICK” from the chemo, at least round 1 of the chemo.  I just felt like crap, but that could have been entirely from not sleeping.  With the exception of one lab visit she took me to, mom’s visit to take care of me was a wasted trip (On that part), It is still great to see her.


My mother-in-law is coming next month and staying for a few weeks I believe I heard.  It is fine, I like my mother-in-law.  She will take good care of me if it is needed.  I just don’t think it is going to be needed.  But Teresa feels I can’t be alone the second week after the chemo, she is probably right on that account.


My mother has tentative plans to come back in March if needed.  That is cool of her.  It isn’t cheap to fly into Des Moines and it is worse to fly out.  Plus a rental car for a week.  Mom is 75 years old and living mostly on Social Security.  She does get financial help from my brother,, so I guess she can afford to come more often than she used to.


Hmm, Mayo is not receiving the faxes of all the tests they ask for from MOHA (no long MOHA, now Mission: Cancer + Blood).  I am going to have to ask for a good fax number to send to at Mayo and make sure MC+B are faxing the results.  But of course, I can’t sign in to the online system at Mayo right now for some reason.  I have another round of testing on Monday at MC+B so we will try this again.


All my Skyrim: Special Edition characters turn out to be close to the same.   it’s either an orc warrior or a khajiit warrior.  But I finally made a khajiit pickpocketer.  So she is going around picking pockets fairly well.  I quicksave before and after each picking, and I NEVER pick the same guys pockets twice.  As of now, I have successfully picked probably 20 pockets.  For the achievement, its 50 pickpockets and 50 locks picked.  I am well on my way to getting that achievement,  She is also going after ALL of the daedric items to get that achievement too.

I am still having fun with Skyrim: Special Edition, it looks so pretty on my new laptop.  There are things I never noticed on my old laptop.  On the old laptop, it put me on low settings, on this new one it is letting me run on Ultra.  So the little things really stand out.  I want to get a character to level 80 to fight the Ebony Warrior.  I want to get to level 50 to fight legendary dragons.  Right now I have one at 41 but I don’t know what to do with her now.  I’ll either figure out what to do with her, or I will run another character up there.


I am not playing ANY other games, not even Civ 4 Warlords at this point.  (Civ 4 and Civ4 warlords ae the only OTHER games I have on this laptop).  I am sure one day I will be bored of Skyrim: Special Edition and I will go back to Warlords.  It happens now and then.


I am still alive

I firstly want to post that I am still alive.   I haven’t been posting and barely reading Facebook much the last several days.   The chemo I had two weeks ago has me wiped out.  When I am able to function, there are other things that I have to get done, so please don’t be upset with me for not posting every other day and maybe making a few of my friends begin to really worry.  And also, for the future, I will be showing Teresa how to make a post in case I do pass away, but we are hoping that is not too soon.


Even baby chemo sucks, but at least it won’t make me lose my hair or give me those terrible mouth sores.  Just dealing with quite a bit more fatigue than usual.  And as most of you know, I was a lazy bum before the chemo, now I am just a bit more lazy.


Had a blood test today, my hemoglobin was 10.6 but my platelets are down to 62.  Weird, both of those were suppose to crash hard last week and only the platelets did.  We shall see how it turns out next week when I have my blood test done again.


I have played some Skyrim: Special Edition, got to have some fun in my life.   I have a Khajiit dual handed warrior up to level 41.  Almost has all the parts of all the shouts.  Has 42 dragon kills, and really kicks butt.

I have a level 20something Orc Warhammer warrior.  She is mean and green.

and I finally got around to seriously playing a Nord.  Currently level 9, but has at least 3 levels stored up.  I didn’t want to trigger a quest/event I wasn’t ready for.  And I probably will leave her at level 9 for a while, because its not level 10.

This morning I tried a mage for 14 levels.  I was bored.  I like slice and dice or smash, that is my style.  However, I should be able to play a rogue (lockpicking/picking pockets), would probably be Argonian ( Lizard folk) or Khajiit (Humanoid Cat).


I have lost a lot of weight.  I dropped from size 40 pants down to size 36 again.  The size I was when we got married.  Yes, I still have a gut and yes, I still have the second chin (both are hereditary), but I decided I dont really care about my weight anymore.  I will weigh what I way and that  is that.


Oh Christmas happened.  I got Teresa a new iPad, that was my big secret.  We also got ourselves a new UHD 55″ Samsung TV (55″ is what fits at the end of the bed or we probably would have went bigger, but 55″ is fine for us).  I got CD holders, a new holdy thing for my cell phone in my car (not that I have driven since September), a charger for my cell phone/Airbuds, and watch, and a thingy that was supposed to hold things next to the bed, which was too tall for our bed, so it went to the couch instead.  And of course, I got myself this new laptop which lets me play Skyrim: Special Edition on Ultra.


The only TV I have watched in recent history (not counting TV just being on, I mean actually watching) is the Mandorian on Disney Plus.  I haven’t watched wrestling or anything else I really enjoyed before.  I don’t know why I haven’t watched TV, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of time.  TV just isn’t a priority now.


I’m fatigued but not sleeping well.  In the last few weeks I haven’t slept past 5:30am and I have been staying up till midnightish most nights.  I haven’t really been napping much either,  It’s beginning to get to me.  I need something to help me sleep.  Chris (the PA) won’t prescribe Restoril for me.  So, it looks like I might be going back to Ambien.  It’s all good, I was on Ambien for 16 years with no weird effects and quit it without any withdrawal, so I am not afraid to go back on it.  The question is which doc (or PA) will prescribe it.


2019 sucked.  But I said that about 2018 and 2017.  2020 has to be a better year.  Even though I have at least 3 months of chemo in 2020.  It also potentially has a second stem cell transplant which would mean another 100 days in Rochester.  All that is ok, puts it on par with 2018, which sucked, but not as bad as 2019.  I have made decisions that will help 2020 be a better year.  I hope that it come to pass.


So, with well over 750 words, I will now depart.  Let me go find a video to include.  It’s just not right without a video.

My obligatory Christmas Eve post

It’s Christmas Eve.  The night that Teresa and I normally friendly argue about opening the gifts.  I never did get Teresa another gift, so her one from me looks lonely.  Not sure if I even have a gift on the table that isn’t from my mom or my mother-in-law.  Teresa plans to copy all my CDs to my computer and then transfer them to my phone as my gift.  I like that plan.  It’s gonna take her a while to do just that though, I have a lot of CDs.  My gift to her is still really cool in my opinion, it was expensive but I think it and her are worth what I paid for it.  I am all for opening these gifts on Christmas Eve and sleeping through as much of Christmas as possible.


I still feel ok from getting chemo a week and a half ago.  The ickyness is supposed to hit any day now.  I just hope I don’t get physically ill while my mom is here,  As I said in my last blog post, she is coming to babysit me through the worst of it.  I guess that is what mom’s are for, even if you are 49 years old.


I got my orc up to level 35 in Skyrim: Special Edition, but then got stuck on the quest Blood on the Ice.  I can’t seem to get Calixto to attack the poor girl.  Heck, I can’t get him to show up.  I have read 50 internet posts about it, others area having the same problem, others are having problems with him just standing there when he does show up.  Anyhow, this frustrated me to my wits end, so she sits there not being played.  At 36 I was planning on doing the thieve’s guild quests finally.  Now, that is unlikely  to happen.

In the mean time, I started a new Khajiit (cat person), she is only level 9 as of now.  However, she is running around without a follower and kicking tuckus.  She is the same build I played to level 40 in Vanilla Skyrim, so I think she might just be the one I play for a while, avoiding Blood on the Ice.  Right now, she is gonna build her house in Falkreath,  I actually enjoy the building of the houses, go figure.  It’s just click click click, but for some reason, I get some enjoyment out of it.


I am looking forward to seeing my mom.  She arrives this Saturday.  Hope the weather doesn’t turn to crap while she is here.  Right now we are having 50 degree days.  I don’t expect those to continue, but I hope for no snow or freezing rain while she is here.  I haven’t seen my mom since August, that is just too long to not see her.  I am not healthy enough to go to her, and I am probably gonna be sick while she is here.  Just bad timing for a visit, but necessary timing on that visit.  She’ll take good care of me.


I’ve developed a new issue though, I have a drooling problem.   Last year I had one too, and there was nothing that could be done but wait it out.   I HATE drooling.  I don’t like it when babies do it, or when old people do it, why the hell would I like it when I do it.  I don’t.  We have tried to stop it, thought it was new medicine I was put on, but came off it and still drool city.  Went back on a med I came off of, just did that, maybe it might work but I doubt it.  For the mean time I drool.


Well, I hope you all (those who celebrate it) have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow.  I hope you all get exactly what you asked for or that surprise gift that is perfect.  I personally don’t celebrate Christmas, but I like giving and getting presents, so we will continue to exchange gifts every year for as long as I am alive.


I lead a BORING life

Sorry for missing a few blog days, I hope no one was worried that I died.   Nope, still alive and kicking so to speak.  I have no valid excuse for not writing other than its more of the same going on here, and I don’t want to bore you all with the exact same dribble as before.  So, this will probably be a short blog entry, cuz really life is that boring for me.


Mom is flying in on the 28th to babysit me, that is when all the effects from the chemo are supposed to hit.  Let me tell you, the fatigue has already hit.  She is staying until the 5th, which is really great to hear.  I miss my mom (and my brother too).  if you recall, Teresa had the flu when they were supposed to come visit.  This time Teresa will be healthy, and I will be sick, but I wont be contagious.


I finally have a character I like in Skyrim: Special Edition.  She’s yet another orc wielding a Warhammer.  But she is LUCKY.  Not a game mechanic, just she seems to have a charmed life.  Something I need considering my life.   She is going to be going after Longhammer (the fastest weapon in the game and it happens to be a Warhammer) when she hits level 30.  She is level 29 and 3/4 now.  Leveling has been slow because she is a one trick pony.  But I am not minding in the least bit for a change.  I am having fun.


Chemo hits again January 13,14, and 15 I believe.  I STILL don’t want chemo.  Actually I can care less about getting the chemo, its the after effects I do not want.  They suck.  Just thought I would point that out again.  The chemo I am on is supposed to not have serious side effects, but still have serious effect on my blood stats.  All starting 2 weeks after the chemo started.  I dread the visits to the infusion center.  Not because I dont like the nurses there, but because it will be HOURS sitting there again and again for a while. Those visits should start around the time my mom gets here.


Have NOTHING else going on in my life.  No Dungeons and Dragons, and I am not even watching wrestling much anymore.  If I didnt have my new laptop, I probably wouldn’t be writing these blogs anymore cuz my old laptop was having problems.  So, thanks whoever that I had the money to order this laptop.  I can blog and I can play Skyrim: Special Edition on Ultra settings.  I guess it could be worse.


That’s it.  I hope you all are having a good day.  I will try to find a video to sign off with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third day of chemo is done

Well, I survived getting the chemo for three days.  Only have two bruised spots, one where the nurse totally screwed up putting the IV in, the other from where she successfully got the IV in,  They used my left arm for all the IVs, my veins in the left arm are invisible unless you heat the crap out of them, and that is what they did.   It wasn’t a bad experience overall getting the chemo, now its the wait for the blood stats to crash in a  couple weeks.  It’ll be brutal and I will hate that time.


I get blood next Monday for sure.  It is all planned out.  My hemoglobin is going to be around 7.0.  Lowest that it has been since the start of needing blood.  This is before the big stat crash which will mean more blood and add platelets too.  I will definitely get to be on first name basis with all the nurses in the infusion lab.  I am already on first name basis with about half of them just from getting blood like I have been getting since September.  It’s kind of sad when you think about it, to end up getting to know the people who pump the blood into you to keep you alive.


I deleted all my characters is Skyrim: Special Edition.  For one reason or the other, it just became time to get rid of them.  I forget to do things at certain levels and then things get screwed up in my head about them and then I delete them.  I am going to end up deleting my new Khajiit because of a weird glitch in the game.  My new Orc is doing well I think.  I am having fun with her right now.  She wields a Warhammer AND has learned how to use a bow. She is kicking buttocks and everything she is dealing with so far.


Teresa made amazing homemade pizza last night, so amazing that we are having it two nights in a row.  The dough was crisp yet chewy.  The sauce was barely spiced, so it tasted very much of tomato.  And the cheese wouldn’t shred, (we don’t buy the bag mozzarella) the fresher the mozzarella the harder it is to shred.  The pepperoni and pineapple ham were both fresh too.   Made for a great eating experience.  Tonight’s probably won’t be quite as good because the fresh items sat in the fridge for 24 hours.  Oh well.  We are waiting for the dough to rise right now, then it’s not too long to pizza bliss night two.


Teresa was going to make me wait for Christmas to open my new computer, but I think the 5+ hours I sit getting blood on Monday might have changed her mind.  My new laptop WILL run Skyrim: Special Edition better.  Right now, my old laptop has all the settings on low except for one (I cant remember which one) which occasionally makes my screen jumpy.  The new one is considerably more powerful, I fully expect ULTRA settings on everything.  So, I am looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on it and playing some Skyrim.


I see Dr. Wehbe on the 9th and Dr. Alkhateeb on the 10th.  The first in Clive which is 25 minutes away.  The second is in Rochester which is 4 hours away.  I still like Wehbe better because he has an incredible bedside manner, just what you want in a doctor who is giving you bad news.  Alkhateeb tries, but his sense of humor is really odd and he has to really work at having any bedside manner.  Bad news is often dead panned, which is kind of upsetting.  But both docs are excellent doctors and that is what I need right now, two excellent doctors fighting the good fight for me.


That’s all I can think that of that would be of any interest to anyone, so I am gonna end this here.  Some music to sooth my soul if not yours.