click the link above, for events.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month!
April is National Donate Life Month
Sunday, December 31, 2006
The preliminary result of last weeks CT scan is that there is no change, I am Stable for now.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Note: chemo kills your veins and you also get tired of having people dig in your arms and hands only to realize after 5/6 band aides that they should have used your port to begin with.
After the chemo I was able to eat (the fast was broken) and eat I did. I felt almost like I was at a training table:
- 2 turkey sausages
- 2 large scoops of scrambled eggs
- 2 large scoops of hash browns
- 1 slice of wheat toast
- 1 small bowl of cottage cheese
- 1 small bowl of fruit
- 1 large bowl of cream of wheat
- 40 ounces of water (to flush the kidneys from the CT contrast medicine)
Well that is it in a nutshell for today, got my chemo (rat poison) next week so we will see what the doctors have to say.
LUNCH TIME (got milk)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Holiday, Holiday's have been great, I can't complain. I wish my girls were with me but next Christmas we will all be together (with or without new lungs). I have benefited by the kindness and generosity of strangers (I use stranger loosely because that is what we were in each case until we exchanged names and greetings). I have enjoyed wonderful meals in the homes of my friends out here in California. Although I was not physically in Texas as the presents were opened I was able to participate via web cam so I saw all and those thoughts will keep my mind occupied as I get my cancer treatments this week and next.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
using this website the emergency room doctors have instant access to the organ donor registry. With organ donation time is very critical so having information at their fingertips really helps the doctors to know what they need to do with the patient in front of them.
Another note about the organ donation website is that you have control over your status meaning you can put yourself on or take yourself off as you wish; you can also pick and choose what you would like to donate.
A misconception that people have and I would like to dis-spell is that if you are registered to donate organs the doctors will I repeat will do everything possible according to your wishes (as stated in your medical power of attorney form or advanced health care directive) to keep you alive. The doctors won't let you die to simply harvest your organs they are bound by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Today's music (old school not real old but late 80's - 90's)
KRS One / BDP
Eric B / Rakim
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Jerrold Dash, a 33-year-old staff systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility, never smoked a day in his life. Although he did buy a cigar in 1997 when he graduated from college,it was only ceremoniously lit and never inhaled. So in February 2006, doctors had no explanation for their diagnosis of his stage four lung cancer—bronchoalveolar carcinoma. All they knew for certain was that he had been repeatedly misdiagnosed with bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia for the last five years, and his chances of surviving another five years were slim.
“I never smoked,” said Dash, “and I have always taken good care of my health. I attended college on a football scholarship and have always been an athlete, so I never imagined that I would be battling lung cancer and praying for a bi-lateral lung transplant—but that is my life now.” Although the cause of his cancer is unconfirmed, Dash believes it most-likely resulted from the secondhand smoke he was exposed to during his childhood. Dash’s assumption is supported by studies on secondhand smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, “Studies have shown that secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths each year from lung cancer and heart disease in healthy nonsmokers.”
Although Dash has never picked up a cigarette, he is now faced with a difficult set of circumstances a nonsmoker would never expect—he is living alone in Mountain View, California, away from his wife and two daughters, where he is receiving cancer treatment and awaiting a double-lung transplant. Stanford is one of a very few number of medical facilities in North America willing to perform lungs transplants on patients with lung cancer.
During the months of his miserable treatment, Dash has had a lot of time to think about his pending lung transplant. As Dash explained, “I have come to the realization that new lungs, barring any medical complications, can heal my body, but my mind will still need some work. I am not crazy or deranged; I am just mad as hell.”
“Having never smoked, I am mad as I fight to breathe and see smokers lighting up not caring where or in what direction their secondhand smoke goes. In California there is no smoking in restaurants or businesses, however that does not stop the smokers from lighting up right outside of entrances to such establishments. It physically hurts me to have to walk through this stuff, especially when I am walking through someone else’s smoke to get into the hospital for my cancer treatment.”
There are many reasons Dash supports Lockheed Martin’s new tobacco-free policy, and he is thankful that the company is getting the word out to employees about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. He wants people to hear his story, and to know from his experience how tough it is to fight cancer.
“Cancer stinks!” exclaimed Dash. “No one deserves it, but you can’t let it beat you—although the medicine will try. You have to fight for every breath because it is so precious. The doctors tell me I have cancer and looking at the x-rays and seeing the huge chemo port-a-cath that bulges from beneath the skin of my chest, I think they are half right with their diagnoses. I have cancer; but cancer doesn’t have me.”
This new chemo (the third different chemo drug / drug combination I have been on since March 2006) really wipes me out I feel sluggish all the time and always crave a nap. The funny thing is that even after taking a nap I am still tired. This chemo also makes me really hungry kind of like when I was playing football hungry for example (the other day I was at the hospital for some routine test and I decided to eat in cafeteria so on my first plate I got 3 large veggi egg rolls a cup of fruit a cup of cottage cheese and a large milk. I ate that in record time but I still was hungry so I went back and had the guy on the grill fix me a double cheese burger, fries, and drank a coke and I was still hungry. I did stop with that for a while.) I am able to maintain my weight with this new chemo and I am almost back to my intimidating self (weight 219), my workouts are tougher now as I have to force myself through them (not having much energy) but I have to exercise to live.
Enough rambling for now…..
I am one class and one paper short of graduation a milestone / goal I want to reach.
Congratulation to my engineering classmates SE8
Visit my SMU classmates
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Got my chemo on Monday it was a quick infusion the whole thing only took about an hour total. I haven't noticed any major side effects yet other than being tired alot and having to use the restroom often. Also it seems like my legs are fatigued; the kind of tired you get from hard track workout and doing a heavy leg workout in the same day.
It has been a long year, this time last year I had pneumonia (my diagnosis at the time) had just been promoted at work, was weeks away from the birth of our second daughter, a year away from completing my third masters degree. With all that I have been through I just wish my former primary care physician would have just owned up to the fact that they possibly should have done more test instead of quickly writing a prescription so they could get to the next patient.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I just can't live the lie anymore
Cancer doesn't cause you to lose your hair it make you aerodynamic and when it grows back it is a mess to deal with
Not everyone can have long flowing locks of hair. Don't hate on the fro it is not my fault. What should I do straighten it out or mess up the furniture with a drip drip curl?
I have just been trying to patiently wait for 2 new lungs since all the scares at the end of October. I have come to the conclusion that I need to be comfortable being uncomfortable and expect Murphy's Law to happen at the most unexpected times.
I moved to the pre/post transplant apartment on last week. It is a nice 2 bedroom condo just in time too as the family will be down for TurkeyDay. I do hope I get to spend some time with my wife and youngest daughter but it looks like my oldest daughter will be monopolizing all my time (she is working on an Itinerary) so far on the first day of the trip I am to:
- take her to a movie
- go to McDonald's
- go to Chucky Cheese
- go to the library
- go horse back riding
- go to the candy store
- ride the train
- read 3 books
As busy as I will be it is a good thing I am right outside of San Fran. and can quickly get to Balco for some energy enhancing (Barry Bonds) cream. :-)
I will be at the doctors office on Thursday (cancer side of the house) getting more CT's scans before I go to work. I get them as early as possible for two reasons:
- You have to fast before a CT or PET scan and the quicker I finish the quicker I can stuff my face. Remember I found the donut place.
- Since I know I will get stuck over and over again with a large diameter needle as they search for veins that can no longer be accessed (painful) until they decide to use my port I feel it only fair to intimidate the people doing the sticking and let them have as bad a day as I since I will be the one with sore arms and hands all day.
That's all for now.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Again the link to the Transplant governing body is
A link to the transplant data is
you will have to conduct your own query from the site a hint (you might want to search by state or region, then further narrow your scope by querying blood type, condition, age...)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
I had a routine doctors visit on today nothing major came of it and I only got stuck with the needle once today so that was good. There is some concern over some of my lab results so some medications will be adjusted and more test run in the coming weeks to see what is causing the lab results to vary. I have a CT scan scheduled for next month, eyerthing else is pretty much the same. I leave my apartment everyday with a bag packed waiting for the call (I have never been in the military so I can’t make a statement about being the first to go and last to know but, I am a father so I can make the connection here to always having to have the maternity bag packed and ready minus the good snacks that were hidden from the wife the guys know what I mean).
Random thoughts and Jerroldisms
Longest living heart and double lung transplant patient
United Network for Organ Sharing
Article about CT scans and Lung Cancer
I make a lot of references to sports because to me sports in many ways parallels life. Some use blogs as a gripe session to say things they would otherwise be to afraid to say in person. If you know me, you know I am not afraid to say much of anything, I still rarely hold my tongue I am now just mature about some of the content and responses that fly out of my mouth.
I with so much down time in the evenings I have too much free time to think and too much time to spend reading books of all kinds. I have even begun to form Jerroldisms and the meaning of life according to Jerrold ….
I think in life we have to great vices fear and failure. There are many different vehicles we can use to mask those root vices but in the end all roads lead back to fear and failure. These two root vices are not something we are however born with they are more or less learned responses. For example take a young child learning to walk they don’t learn fear or failure until they get a reaction from their parents. I feel that I have over the last several months conquered my fear (of death) as everyone must go sometime no one lives forever. It is in knowing that I will one day die (as an old man) that I am able to live without fear and try to take advantage of every moment I have. Failure is not in my vocabulary athletes don’t fail we might not have as many points as the other guy at the end of the game but we don’t fail.
Life is like baseball and this temporary illness is no exception, it is temporary. Cancer to me is a curve ball the pitcher has served up but, little does he know that I could always hit the curve.
I think I am going to stay the course in dealing with this cancer, I am stubborn so all I know is to fight.
Two books that are good reads if you get a chance to read them are
by Michael Lewis
Shackelton’s Way Leadership Lessons from the Great Antartic Explorer
By Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell
Monday, October 23, 2006
My health has been up and down the last 2 plus weeks as I had to battle a viral infection (it is pretty much cleared up now IMMO in my medical opinion). I am still hitting the gym and running out of weights to lift I think I totaled just under 35,000 lbs. lifted on the 11 station fitlinxx workout we do at the YMCA. My neuropathy seems to be getting a little better as I am noticing more phantom pains/itches in my toes (so I can almost feel my feet). The increased dosage that I am on now with my oral chemo is really doing a number on my appearance (I look like an Ugmo with breakouts and nutty buddies all over).
That just about brings you up to speed with my current situation work, school, and the gym really keep me busy. I will try to get down to the city SF more since I am feeling much better to take pictures at some of the art galleries and also take some artsy type shots of Half Moon Bay.
Oh yea I was going to blog on how tired I am of needles and techs/phlebotomist digging in my arms over and over searching for collapsed veins (thanks chemo) but I think I may have found an angle amongst the butchers. I am not a wimpy guy but after some of these needle sticks and watching the butchers dig in my arms and hand, wrist, chest, neck... I think I have felt a tear or two b/c IT HURTS especially when they encounter scar tissue. Sorry for the soapbox back to the angel I have found her and although they rotate there staff all over the hospital I got her name and told her I would find her the next time I have to get blood work done. Oh yea after first we did not hit it off so well (the angel and I) that is until I showed her all my track marks and detailed how many times I had been stuck and had needles dug into me at each lab visit (8 times on average). I also told the angel that she gets three sticks to get what she needs and if she can't get what she needs in three we are going to have problems b/c they aren't sticking me anymore, fortunately she only needed to sticks one in my chest (chemo port) and one in my hand. She latter jokingly told me I made her nervous and intimidated her, I didn't want to do either but looking back I could see where I might have made her a little nervous.
Lastly I should be making my last move to the pre/post transplant apartment pretty soon. This move will be good as I will have one less set of logistics issues to worry about after the transplant and I can really concentrate on getting things ready for my wife and daughters to come out for Thanksgiving. I plan to do all or most of the cooking (no fried Turkey this year maybe next) they will have to work on retraining me. I have unfortunately reverted back to my bachelor days of work, working out, and school minus the parties, I was everything in one or two/three loads I never knew I had a tie-dye dress shirt before. I am wearing holey socks, scratching, and belching out loud my ladies really have there work cut out for them.
I have adapted and overcome a hurdled that was thrown in my path out here; it seems that although I am bringing treated for cancer and ultimately the research vulchers want my old lungs to cut-up in their labs, I can't use the Stanford basketball court to walk laps before and after transplant (it is getting cold out here). No fear when one door closes another opens so I found a treadmill for free on my new Ebay which is www.craigslist.org and will put it in my new apartment so I can stay in shape pre/post transplant (the treadmill is most post transplant as I will be wearing a large mask to keep out germs for at least 3/4 months).
Well that is all for now, I know I promised a blog on my initial reaction upon being diagnosed and it will one day be posted but something’s (memories) I don't want to think about right now.
Have a great day
Monday, October 16, 2006
by Edgar A. Guest
Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
So start for the top and say
You can triumph and come to skill,
You are the handicap you must face,
Courage must come from the soul within
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Oh yea I have a slight chest cold so I had to inform the transplant team so if I get the page they know what I am currently up against. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as I don’t have a fever or this cold isn’t really an infection.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about this procedure and have come to the realization that new lungs (baring any medical complications) can heal my body but my mind will still need some work. I am not crazy, deranged, I am just mad as hell. I am mad when I fight for breath (never having smoked) and I see smokers lighting up not caring where or in what direction their second hand smoke goes. In California there is no smoking in the restaurants, businesses, stores… (you get the picture) however that dose not stop the smokers from lighting up right out side of entrances to such establishments. It physically hurts me to have to walk through this stuff most of the time I just get in my truck and take my business elsewhere but some places I have to patronize (i.e. library, hospital…). With this month being Halloween I am tempted to stop at one of the local costume stores and buy some sort of superhero costume so that I can shoulder tackle these butt heads outside of places where I need to go (office linebacker style). So folks pray for me that I don’t bring the pain on some random smoker it's pain time, baby....wooooooooooo!! (BTW by the way I advocate non-violence).
Sorry good people that is it for now (today) I have to hit the gym to my Texas crew now that I am in California my Governor can bench more than your Governor.
My next entries will flashback to my reaction when the news was given to me and the many thoughts that raced through my mind.
Beat cancer on rep at a time. (Gym talk)
Thanks for all the feedback I will try to update as much as possible.
I am assuming that either the results will be positive and I am showing improvement. I am making this assumption based on the fact that if I was getting worse I would have heard from my doctors as the CT was done almost two weeks ago.
Oh yea and no I did not hack into the hospital computer systems, they have computers in all the hospital rooms so we can multi-task; Silicon Valley you gotta love it. Athoriti (spelled wrong on purpose)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I am obviously a non-smoker I never smoked although I did buy a cigar when I graduated (no honors) from college in 1997. I subsequently lit said cigar let it burn put it to my mouth but did not inhale (dry lung cancer humor). I don’t drink although I did have several beers with some of my offensive lineman, and some of the d-line, and linebackers, and d-backs (uh we drunk beers a lot freshman football um intake process). I learned from the beer drinking that I don’t have a taste for alcohol, that I couldn’t afford it (poor college kid), and that I really liked to be in control of my body at all times. For those very observant readers you might have gathered that I am an athlete track and football through college (football scholarship). The scene that I am trying to set is one that raises the question how the heck did you get lung cancer (I don’t know). I was subject to second hand smoke growing up but if that is the case my siblings would have probably gotten the same cancer (they are cancer free thank GOD). I am a medical mystery and my condition redefines what these rookie doctors learn everyday. Given that I am at Stage 4 (I am supposed to be on oxygen) well I am not on oxygen, I work out hard at least 4 – 5 times a week (reverting to my bachelor days since my wife and daughters are not here with me as I await some new lungs).
Cancer stinks it sucks no one deserves it but you can’t let it beat you (the medicine will do that) you have to fight for every breath because they are so precious. The doctors tell me I have cancer and looking at the x-rays and seeing the huge chemo-port-o-cath that bulges from beneath my skin of my chest I think they are half right with the diagnoses. I have cancer but cancer doesn’t have me.
Well that is it for this first blog my intro of sorts. I hope all enjoyed and will continue this journey with me. Future blogs will be broken down into to sections the first will be called current (containing info about what is going on now) the next will be called Flashback (random glimpse back to treatment I have had since I was diagnosed 02/01/06 and misdiagnosed from at least 2001 on; this section fill in the blanks that existed prior to starting this blog.
Warning: My grammar is horrible (I am lettered but not learned) my spelling is terrible so be forewarned. I may also become vulgar is some of my language as I am truly in the moment and giving you all my raw emotions.