Friday, July 29, 2011

Its wig day

So im the only one in here today. Here are a few pics that I had Mom and Jennifer (the nurse) take. I may do more, but enjoy these for now.

The first one is my best Aunt Jemima syrup bottle pose. The next is for all you Thelma and Louise fans...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Waiting Room Bliss

Doesn't exist. Nope. There's always some asshat talking too loud, texting, or making inane comments. As a person, you should realize that when you make me want the nurse to call me back for chemotherapy quickly, there's something wrong. The wonderfully intelligent lady this morning, we will call "Gorgotha". I cannot begin to describe every stupid remark out of her mouth in the 5+ minutes we shared the waiting room, but in the past few weeks there's always one in every doctor's room. This has led me to have a worsened opinion of Americans in general, mostly at just how self-absorbed and uneducated we are as a nation.
Gorgotha this morning started off her babbling with asking her friend why they were asking about her babies on the forms she was filling out? It seems that she had a baby die at some point (which is really tragic), and that the fact they had a legitimate medical reason acquire about her history was, "Some really stupid shit!" Which was nice for the whole waiting room to hear about at 8:45am...
Now, at this point, I'm passively ignoring her despite her best efforts to be heard by all until she releases the following rant after the news flashed a story about the pending debt ceiling situation. In summation, she's tired of hearing about Obama, she doesn't like him and this debt stuff is stupid.

Small side note: Glycerin by Bush just came on my iTunes. Damn I love this song and at least once a month try to start a convo with Suz about why Bush is no longer a band and that I miss them. Especially that MTV spring break version of this song in the rain!

Anyways, Gorgotha begins to explain that Obama has done nothing he promised, and that the only reason he was elected was due to all of the Mexicans that he got to come over and vote (can't make this shit up if I was trying). She then explains that she's been to Mexico. Blabbers some story about telling a sheriff's deputy (Bob Marley's "I shot the Sheriff" is playing now, I love iTunes shuffle) that he shouldn't harass Mexicans because she'd like to see him go across and get back without out any papers. She then proceeds to talk about how she loves it down there and prefers it to America???????????????????
I'm sorry, but if you're sitting in this country, in a doctor's office with what would appear to be a serious medical condition other than your apparent chronic stupidity, I'd think twice before trashing this country. First, that part where you didn't have to pay for shit. You're welcome. Dollars provided by that debt ceiling passed by those politicians you hate were part of what got you the chance to waltz in scott-free and receive treatment. I may not agree with many parts of what Congress has done, but I have at least tried to understand the basic concept of what is happening. Gorgotha clearly struggles with the basic concepts of things such as long division and cross multiplying still today.
I would strongly urge anyone, after having gone through this last month of multiple doctor visits, tests, scans, etc. to rival another country's health care with ours. Just try. You can't. To top it off, medical insurance is the shit (thanks Michael Dell), especially what we have and I have yet to meet nicer people or be more thankful for the level of care I'm getting. So all I'm saying is that things can always be worse, and when someone chooses to be as uneducated and stupid as they can, I get a bit angry. Needless to say, you'll see more of these rants on here, hope you don't mind.

As for chemo, it's going well. Yesterday was good, so good I tried to go eat lunch and shop for hats (pending hair loss, figured I'd need another couple to wear). This went well for about an hour and then I was donesky. In bed by 730 and slept all night. So, I learned my lesson on thinking I can do the things I thought were once just routine. I also found out that I don't get 2 weeks off as thought. Every Tuesday I have to get Bleomycin (sp?) which kinda sucks because it's the roughest of all the drugs and it means I get stuck with a needle for one day, Bleh!!!!!

But hey, it kills Cancer, so Bleomycin is my friend. might be that friend that always kind of a dick, but helps you when you need it the most. Still a friend all the same or ..........Still the Same!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So I finally remembered my laptop, and there's more people around, so I figured that I'd blog the steps as well as the excellent people watching today is sure to bring.

10:03 - Just watched a dude get his port flushed. you know how I hate needles when they go into me? its the exact same result when I look and the nurse is stabbing some 70 yr old dude in the chest. Stomach just got queasy like Woah!

10:05 - Let's go around the room and talk about who's in here. I'm over in the corner due to the fact that I don't really want a random person, who may or may not be a "Chatty Cathy" to prop up next to me. My Mom is to my left and then there's 2 older gentlemen as we move around the room. I'll leave them alone as they both seem to be really feeling the effects of their chemo. I'll make fun of myself, but old men telling nurses that they've been puking 6 times a night isn't funny. To be honest, seeing someone really suffering freaks me the fuck out. I dont really want to think about it often, but eventually I may have to. Until then back to the blog.

10:11 - on the opposite side of the room will be what I call the "generic Teva sandal club" (So much for not making fun of people, but I passed my limit when Teva guy #1 AKA Crocodile Dundee mentions his snakebite once more). The other TEVA guy seems like he just wants treatment and to go home. he is wearing an orange bracelet that says, "BOOBIES RULE!!". I can't really find any fault with his proclamation there.

10:19 - bag #2. its decadron. anti-nausea. 15 minutes. Also, Teva #2 guy is now known as Vera Bradley bc his wife brought his lunch in a Vera Bradley bag.

10:26 - Vera Bradley is getting his port poked. Why can't I look away? In the meantime Croc Dundee made a run for it, but turned out to be a bathroom break. I had hoped for roughly 2-3 nurses tackling him as he ran past the windows. I'm now poetically playing the Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want", So, so true Mr. Jagger. You see right through me!

10:38 - In the storage section at the end of this room, they have roughly 6-8 wigs sitting on mannequin heads. over 50% of them look either female or chemotherapy makes you prefer some sort of afro or perm. I want to try them all on. Maybe for each bathroom trip, I'll wear a different wig...

10:40 - they just dropped in my Cisplatin bag. 1 of 2 I'll get today. Just to let you know how serious these drugs are. side effects are as varied as things like hearing loss. Yeah, I know right. I play guitar, so I assumed I would take care of that myself over time, but it can make your ears ring. which it did very, very briefly last night to me. weird stuff man. It's also really tough on the kidneys, so they pump you full of hydration before and after, plus I drink like 120 oz. of water a day now, so I think my kidneys see the cisplatin coming and are all like, "PPPShawwww".

10:52 - I've been listening to the new Death Cab for Cutie album for about 30 minutes now. I'm not impressed. Maybe it's one that grows on you, but as of now, meh!

11:04 - Everyone is trying to sleep in here. I just tore through a bag of Lays like a Somalian refugee. I'm that guy.

11:40 - everyone is in sleepy town, it's boring now. Good news is that I'm almost finished. Well that and Pei Wei gave me a 20% take away email coupon. So my Tuesday kicks butt!!!! What Up General Tso?

11:48 - Bathroom Break!!!!! You think breaking the seal is bad when drinking a ton of beer? Chemo + IV drip is about ten times worse. I don't understand how the IV drip goes through your system so quickly? I would put the over/under on bathroom breaks for the rest of the day at 4. and I only have 90 minutes or so to go....

12:08 - Croc Dundee went home. He was excited. For a bologna sandwich with cheese, mayo, & homegrown tomatoes. I'm nauseous again. come on General Tso!

12:22 - Chemo done. Last of IV going in. I should be out of here within an hour. So it's time to shut this bad boy down. I hope you guys enjoy these bc in some ways they're easier to let you see how a typical day goes.

Let me know in the comments section if you enjoy this bc if so, I may try to do one per week during chemo weeks, other weeks I doubt you'd want a live blog of my ESPN watching and napping. If you do, I can arrange that, but we should discuss some possible mental issues you may have before that juncture, weirdo.

Monday, July 25, 2011

So Chemo didn't totally suck today...

So today was he first day of chemo. It didn't suck. Definitely wasn't awesome, but its nice to know that I may not be completely wiped out after this (although today was the big day and the next 4 are supposed to be lighter...(I view this comparison of chemo being lighter as herpes simplex 1. It's better, but at the end of the day. That shit's still Herpes!!!))

The nurses are super awesome and reciprocate those same feelings for me as I instantly lit up the room. Only one of those statements can be confirmed as true at the moment... Anyways, you get your own chair, personal IV (supposedly the cost cutting efforts to use communal IVs did NOT set well with their malpractice insurance carrier...) and they have a snacks section. I imagine that if you were a 30 year old male who for the most part thinks, eats, and acts like a 12 yr old, you'd think this was pretty cool. Needless to say the snack section was cool.

Chemo was not what I thought it was, it was like 6 straight hours and I didn't feel the difference between the drugs and the hydration drip, other than I assume it was the hydration drip that made me pee 3 times as often as the 75 yr old man who was in the room at the same time. This does 2 things: A) It confirms the thought of why the urologist' office smells like it does. B) It debunks the myth that old people pee a lot and starts a new myth that when you drink a ton of water, you pee A LOT. I mean geez.

So I'm sure that posts may fall off the rest of the week as I get more drugs. They may also keep giving Benadryl via IV which caused me on 2 occasions to just look at Suz this morning and start snickering. Like, out loud, higher than a kite, snickering. For now let's just be glad that they didn't blast the following as they sedated me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Needles and their inability to find my veins ...

Another normal day in my world. We had to wake up at the ACD (ass crack of dawn for you laypeople out there.) Why? Well today was the day that I got my power port for chemo. I know what you're thinking, "Wow that's badass. Do you get to choose which OS this power port is compatible with? " Of course these were these questions were also going through my head...Only I just wanted to know if the port supports HDMI (it doesn't) because streaming movies straight to my eyeballs would be the ultimate big dick move. Imagine trying to win any argument with me for the next 5 years about how badass your TV is???

In reality a power port is how they inject the chemo into your body. Its literally a metal piece that is attached to a catheter which runs from my shoulder to right before my heart chamber (bc when you run wires through bodily vessels the idea is always to get them as close to a heart chamber as possible...)

So before that could be done they decided today was poke and prod Kevin as many times as possible day. First up was the large black lady taking a blood sample that despite my objections, felt it was necessary to only wear one glove. So while I'm freaked out about the medical tech version of Michael Jackson,shes busy digging in my arm like there's no tomorrow. I guess maybe she hadn't had her coffee, or is possibly just a generally bad person, I don't know, but when I asked for help out of the chair (Quick side note: since I have completely lost my appetite they now consider me a pass out risk when drawing blood. I don't blame them as last week I was talking fine to the nurse and then looked up said, "tunnel vision" and proceeded to pass out like a mofo.) I digress, but she then said you push down and walked out, leaving a guy who'd had surgery on his groin and cannot push on anything who also hadn't eaten since midnight and had a shit ton of blood drawn seconds earlier to get myself out of the chair. ( <------RUN ON SENTENCE ALERT)

Next was on to my pulmonary testing so they'd have a baseline as my treatment progressed. This means that someone who has chronic shortness of breath, coughing, etc. has to try and blow air through his lungs as much as possible. i.e. HELL! For shits and gigs they decided the guy administering the tests should have a lisp. I shit you not, I would have been on the floor rolling if not for the whole, "Fuck, my lungs are collapsing" feeling that I had going on. Needless to say, I wish my name was Skyler if only for that 20 minutes. (faint South Park reference)...

Last step was the outpatient procedure to get the port installed (which comes with a cool, complimentary LIVE STRONG type bracelet denoting to medical pros that I have a port). Its actually nice and whatnot, but I'd have it read : Don't you dare stick me with another FUCKING needle. Maybe I'm bitter, but as they go to run my IV, I always tell them my hands or left arm are the best chances. After This very nice nurse named Ginger (She really was very nice and felt really bad afterwards, but lacked the ability to denote my frustration with her trying to do what felt like jamming a no. 2 pencil in my hand) settled on the right arm, she got me hooked up and ready to go. I don't really remember much from the procedure even though they don't put you all the way under. I know I asked for more drugs (even though its doubtful I needed them.) I know one of the guys in the operating room asked me for my music preference. My request for Neil Young or The Boss was met with, "How about some Bob Seger?" I had no reply to this. I'm a Seger fan, but never thought his music would narrate an important event in my life. I was wrong and without knowing for sure, all I can say is that as they put my port in changing the way my body looks for 12 weeks, that somewhere "Still The Same" was ironically playing in the background...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 411

Why would I title my first post the 411? Maybe because I think the word "info" is overused, or it could be in the 2 weeks since I found out I have cancer my highlight has been catching a 90s cover band, thus I'm fixated on that a bit. I blame the plethora of Bill Bellamy head shots they placed about the venue. (They also had a video intro involving a lengthy portion of clips from MTV's "The Grind", but I'll leave that for another post.) Anyways, My name is Kevin, I'm 30 and 2 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. It was caught through a lung x-ray. I'd had a cough for 2 months that wouldn't go away and after the x-ray, they proceeded to do a few more scans, and then 3 hours later I'm sitting in an ultrasound room & a doctor says the C-word. Since that time, I have had the affected testicle removed via surgery and have met with the doctors to map out my chemotherapy plan. I start that on Monday, it will last for 12 weeks, and the doctor's think that after this treatment cycle, all of the cancer will be gone. (It had spread into my lymph nodes and to my lungs, hence the cough.) I'm finding that it is much harder to type through this than it is to tell the story to a person and so you should get used to it being choppy, incoherent, moderately funny, & maybe a little more incoherent. I have no clue what this will end up as. I imagine some posts will be lengthy, while others short and to the point. Some may suck (read: a lot of these may suck). Mostly, these will just help me to clear my mind and maybe cope with what is happening to me, all the while letting you know how everything is going. Feel free to leave me comments of well wishing, or whatever. Just don't correct my grammar as poor grammar is a huge side effect of chemotherapy...(NOT).

Also, no whining about the general layout. Just be thankful I didn't write this whole damn thing in Purple Comic Sans.

Your Welcome,