Friday, August 17, 2012


Just realized my last post was 12 AUG 2012 at 3pm. Little did I know he had so few hours left. He never woke up that afternoon. The last meaningful conversation with him occurred after a long sleep. Longer than any in his adult life; he passed his "light sleeper" gene to all three of his kids. I heard voices at 3am early in the morning and, knowing he was in good hands with my brother and my wife, tried to go back to sleep. I tossed and turned and finally sauntered out of bed at 4am asking, "how's he doing?" I looked over to him as he opened his eyes and gave me a little nod. I moved to his side, flipped the cool washcloth on his forehead and told him to go to sleep. "Okay" Seven hours later, Laurie and I started to rub his feet and his hands, he woke with a start and looked around wildly as if he was surprised to see us. My mother moved to his side and he desperately hugged and kissed her exclaiming, "I can't wake my body up." We assured him he was still here and helped him move his limbs and rubbed his back. I tactfully said, "You were dead asleep." He chuckled, "Almost!" We gave him some water and he asked for some oatmeal. Pretty soon he was tired again and he went into a deep, final sleep. We called the hospice nurse that night and she did a once over. The nurse reviewed any questions we had in the kitchen with my sister and mother and she left just after 10pm. My nephew was counting his heart beats and stated that the last minute was 6 beats. We all rushed to his side and lovingly whispered him off at 10:20pm on Sunday night, August 12th.
During the last week, many people who were touched by his generous nature have provided so many kind words as we have reminisced with friends and family.
He was a great guy and an inspirational father.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

sad news

Although my stinking cancer remains at bay, I received a call a little over a week ago from my mother saying that she had admitted my father into the hospital with a swollen leg and shortness of breath. He has been complaining of fevers and sweats since January but he has always been hot blooded so this wasn't terribly shocking. The swollen leg in the last month was a problem, that could have been a blood clot, so all the tests were conducted. To make an agonizing, 7-day wait shorter for you, he has Large B Cell Follicular NH Lymphoma with a side of Burkitts Lymphoma. Unfortunately, they have found cancer in his spinal cord, bone marrow and the dialysate they drew off of his now non-functioning kidneys.
Another long story short, we brought him home to hospice last night and have started the process of ushering him away. Very sad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Update

So I forgot about the last post in my draft folder for a couple of months.
A quick update is in order.

First, I should note that when I was first diagnosed, I was sad to see a flurry of posts by fellow travelers on the NHL journey hoping to mine any data about relapse, long-term effects and just a general outcome. I was desperately searching for success stories. I sadly have forgotten one poster who was leaving his blog up but wrote a final post that he would no longer update it as he didn't want to define himself by his cancer. At the time, I felt a little shorted but now, I understand this view. I catch myself every couple of weeks remembering hurdles in my treatment, conversations I had with well wishers, contacts I made with old friends and the worry for the future of my family.
Now it is just a memory that I must revisit every couple of months during my scheduled updates with my new Onc.

I had a petscan a couple of weeks ago and everything is back to normal. NED. It felt so routine and i am happy that the CT scans are history.
Still relatively primal and working out a couple of times a week. My shoulder is still wonky so I am limited but not enough to undergo surgery which would have happened if we stayed in Michigan. The shoulder is actually getting better I think with a gentler approach to lifting - no longer doing full body weight pull-ups.

Turning 48 soon so the prospect of making it this far with a cancer scare and maybe some thinner hair from the chemo is a decent trade off.

Had a whirlwind tour of Florida as a weekend celebration for my 25th wedding anniversary; Sarasota Bay tour with my parents, Cavalia's Odysseo in Miami, overnight and an exciting day with friends on Little Torch Key and back to Wellington. Lots of miles...exhausted but certainly glad to be alive.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The South

For those of you following my NHL Adventure, we buttoned up shop, sold most of our goods and the farm/business in Lowell, Mi and are now settling in near West Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.
I'm currently on the hunt for a new Onc as I'm scheduled for another CT Scan in December which will mark year 3 since diagnosis. No troubles to report at all and my decidedly unoriginal LIVESTRONG band will continue to grace my wrist until I'm declared "clean."
Although there is some discussion about when/if NHL folks can indeed be "cured", my mental mark is 5 years from April '09. As the months roll on, I still wonder about the long-term affects of so much radiation with the ongoing scans. I allowed the allopathic method to handle the crisis and have taken a more osteopathic approach on my own which hopefully bolsters the treatment so that I may usher this hiccup into the history books. Yes. No treatment would be the best scenario.
Filling out the paperwork for the new onc has made me relive the parts of chemo process and to marvel at how difficult it is to remember dates and specifics.
This blog will continue to remind me of those things I am thankfully forgetting.
<< Grin>>