This one was better

I haven’t even dried off and I’m jumping in again.

So back to back posts. It’s like Christmas in June right? But I’m sitting waiting on food after taking Cheese to west side story practice so here you go. We met with a new palliative doctor today. The old one, well, after making us terribly uncomfortable (again, ask me about the story if you ever see me because the tale would horrify my kids) combined with turning my wife into Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue hours after running out of smack with withdrawals, we were done with her. So we met with a fresh one today. Younger woman. Super nice. Remember the story about the marinol? The synthetic thc that insurance may not cover, might be $3000/script? Here’s a script, go see (covered by the way). There were other parts/remedies that weren’t “endorsed” by mayo. She made that clear as she shrugged her shoulders, nonchalantly. Nothing illegal nor nefarious but, if it gets you through the day, yeah, go for it. We talked about some other things but it was about what I expected the first time. More a “how are you feeling, how can we help you” rather than the sex, drugs, and rock and roll than the other. She set us up for a psychology consultation on Friday. So that’ll be fun. The doctor said he’s bald, little goatee, smaller, quiet. Sounds like a little mini me. Either way, she was great and glad she’s on the team. So, tabs here, sandwich is gone and they’re telling me I’m “inappropriate”. So anyway, love you guys and blog at you later. Mahalo.

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Even A Little Busy

Let me jump in here.
So how has everyone been. Hopefully it was a good Memorial Day weekend for everyone. I’ll start off with the reason we all are here. Our heroine has been doing pretty well. We had another round of chemo on thursday which by all accounts went pretty well. We had a meeting with Dr. Mody in which we are still awaiting some results from testing. But all in all she is staying on the same line we have been at. Which was fine considering the busyness that we were embarking on during this week. 
So lets review, Tuesday, a parent meeting for Haley and her production of West Side Story wherein I found out this play is going to be three hours. Yes sir, a nice three hour epic. It brings me back to the days of the dance rehearsals for another dance studio that wont be mentioned and a nice five hour marathon in a school auditorium. However, this will be great. Cats was awesome last year and Peter Pan years ago was super. Honestly, I joke but I can’t wait to see it and if you like the play/movie, you should go and catch it. Wednesday we had doctors appointments and cat scans. After that we had Hannah’s senior dinner which thankfully our heroine caught a nice wave and was able to attend. It was really cool seeing her interact with her friends. Thursday was chemo day. Friday brought Hannah’s graduation. It was as great as you cold expect. We were as proud of her as could be. Our niece Addie (you may remember her, best niece ever whose name starts with A) made us giant head cutouts of Hannah that we taped to sticks. Yep, heads on sticks. Which came in handy as Hannah couldn’t find us in the crowd until, oh wait, there’s a half dozen giant heads of me in the crowd. Those must be my people. After the graduation they came in handy as everyone gets separated walking out of the joint and what’s the best way to find people in a noisey mass of people? Cell phones? Nah nah nah. Look for giant heads hovering over the crowd. Much better way to go. So after we gathered everyone up like a herd of cats, we went with our friends the Delegals to get a bite to eat. We got home around 10 and crashed around 11, which I had a feeling, was not going to bode well for the next day as we had a graduation party to get to. I woke up shot out of a cannon. Which crashed terribly after a salted caramel donut from Krispy Kreme and enough coffee to float the titanic. I saw an open hammock and after climbing in, lasted all of 34 seconds til I took a long, hard look at the inside of my eyelids. I awoke to my bride coming out and saying she was bailing on the party. So Hannah and I went. I believe I still have the meat sweats from the ribs and chicken I stuffed in my gut. I even got a take home present of two giant bags of meat. So I call it a win on every level. Sunday brought a day where I needed to get Elizabeth and Haley out of the house. For some reason (I blame sober thinking) I say hey, lets go to the Town Center and Haley, you’re driving. Getting to the town center isn’t bad, driving around the town center is an advanced course/demolition derby of chaos. I was so rattled I went into Hollister and spent money like a drunken sailor as my nerves were fried. We got back, a little more hammock time, then a race to publix to pick up meds, again with Cheese at the wheel. This time I had the assistance of rum to ease the nerves. Monday brought some family time. We sat around and watched crappy tv shows and goofed on each other, which was nice. So there has been no rest for the wicked here. And none to speak of in the near future.
Now let me talk about something that is going to be a complaint against the Mayo Clinic. While the doctors and caregivers have been top notch there is a huge problem for their male customers that walk through their hallowed halls. These “no water” urinals are a scourge on the hospital and society as a whole. Why you ask? I wear flip flops almost exclusively. Or I wear shoes without socks. If there is no water to get your flow going in the right direction, which is down the drain, then its going to splash, on your ankles, or on your feet. To avoid this you need to get in a shortstop stance with your feet spread out like you are ready to dive for a ball at any minute. This is unacceptable, almost as unacceptable as that nonsense they want to pass off as cheese grits in the cafeteria. I’ve seen my bill, the least you could do is put some damn water in the urinal. And dont give me the “its good for the environment” rhetoric. Do you know how much water I’m going to use scrubbing the top of my feet the first chance I get, which might be, could be, I dont know, in the sink walking out of the restroom. Six of one, half dozen the other I say. Flushing is American and if loving a swooping rush of water down the drain is wrong then I dont wanna be right. Oh, and what’s the deal with people just laying about on benches in the waiting room like a bunch of hobos at a bus station. Go get a blanket and lay outside but don’t bother me with your snoring while I’m trying to read about Prince Harry’s new girlfriend in an old People magazine. And other guy who wore flip flops to the hospital, keep the damn things on your feet! You’re not at home. Dont put your bare feet on the table in front of you. Nobody, and I mean nobody wants to see that. And as men we all know what’s on the top of those hooves. That’s right, put your pee splattered feet back in the flip flops and set them on the ground and try to act civilized. That’s it, I’m all riled up now. I’m going to bed. Love you guys and I’ll blog at you later. (Takes mic and throws it against wall).

Been a little busy

Let me jump in here.

So how has everyone been. Hopefully it was a good Memorial Day weekend for everyone. I’ll start off with the reason we all are here. Our heroine has been doing pretty well.  We had another round of chemo on thursday which by all accounts went pretty well.  We had a meeting with Dr. Mody in which we are still awaiting some results from testing. But all in all she is staying on the same line we have been at. Which was fine considering the busyness that we were embarking on during this week.

So lets review, Tuesday, a parent meeting for Haley and her production of West Side Story wherein  I found out this play is going to be three hours. Yes sir, a nice three hour epic. It brings me back to the days of the dance rehearsals for another dance studio that wont be mentioned and a nice five hour marathon in a school auditorium. However, this will be great.  Cats was awesome last year and Peter Pan years ago was super. Honestly, I joke but I can’t wait to see it and if you like the play/movie, you should go and catch it. Wednesday we had doctors appointments and cat scans. After that we had Hannah’s senior dinner which thankfully our heroine caught a nice wave and was able to attend. It was really cool seeing her interact with her friends. Thursday was chemo day.  Friday brought Hannah’s graduation. It was as great as you cold expect. We were as proud of her as could be. Our niece Addie (you may remember her, best niece ever whose name starts with A) made us giant head cutouts of Hannah that we taped to sticks. Yep, heads on sticks. Which came in handy as Hannah couldn’t find us in the crowd until, oh wait, there’s a half dozen giant heads of me in the crowd. Those must be my people. After the graduation they came in handy as everyone gets separated walking out of the joint and what’s the best way to find people in a noisey mass of people? Cell phones? Nah nah nah. Look for giant heads hovering over the crowd. Much better way to go. So after we gathered everyone up like a herd of cats, we went with our friends the Delegals to get a bite to eat. We got home around 10 and crashed around 11, which I had a feeling, was not going to bode well for the next day as we had a graduation party to get to. I woke up shot out of a cannon. Which crashed terribly after a salted caramel donut from Krispy Kreme and enough coffee to float the titanic. I saw an open hammock and after climbing in, lasted all of 34 seconds til I took a long, hard look at the inside of my eyelids.  I awoke to my bride coming out and saying she was bailing on the party. So Hannah and I went. I believe I still have the meat sweats from the ribs and chicken I stuffed in my gut.  I even got a take home present of two giant bags of meat. So I call it a win on every level. Sunday brought a day where I needed to get Elizabeth and Haley out of the house. For some reason (I blame sober thinking) I say hey, lets go to the Town Center and Haley, you’re driving. Getting to the town center isn’t bad, driving around the town center is an advanced course/demolition derby of chaos. I was so rattled I went into Hollister and spent money like a drunken sailor as my nerves were fried. We got back, a little more hammock time, then a race to publix to pick up meds, again with Cheese at the wheel. This time I had the assistance of rum to ease the nerves. Monday brought some family time. We sat around and watched crappy tv shows and goofed on each other, which was nice. So there has been no rest for the wicked here. And none to speak of in the near future.

Now let me talk about something that is going to be a complaint against the Mayo Clinic. While the doctors and caregivers have been top notch there is a huge problem for their male customers that walk through their hallowed halls.  These “no water” urinals are a scourge on the hospital and society as a whole. Why you ask? I wear flip flops almost exclusively. Or I wear shoes without socks. If there is no water to get your flow going in the right direction, which is down the drain, then its going to splash, on your ankles, or on your feet. To avoid this you need to get in a shortstop stance with your feet spread out like you are ready to dive for a ball at any minute. This is unacceptable, almost as unacceptable as that nonsense they want to pass off as cheese grits in the cafeteria. I’ve seen my bill, the least you could do is put some damn water in the urinal. And dont give me the “its good for the environment” rhetoric. Do you know how much water I’m going to use scrubbing the top of my feet the first chance I get, which might be, could be, I dont know, in the sink walking out of the restroom. Six of one, half dozen the other I say. Flushing is American and if loving a swooping rush of water down the drain is wrong then I dont wanna be right. Oh, and what’s the deal with people just laying about on benches in the waiting room like a bunch of hobos at a bus station. Go get a blanket and lay outside but don’t bother me with your snoring while I’m trying to read about Prince Harry’s new girlfriend in an old People magazine. And other guy who wore flip flops to the hospital, keep the damn things on your feet! You’re not at home. Dont put your bare feet on the table in front of you.  Nobody, and I mean nobody wants to see that.  And as men we all know what’s on the top of those hooves. That’s right, put your pee splattered feet back in the flip flops and set them on the ground and try to act civilized. That’s it, I’m all riled up now. I’m going to bed. Love you guys and I’ll blog at you later. (Takes mic and throws it against wall).

It’s not me, It’s you. 

(Editors note: This post will be written in the voice of Elizabeth as I’m typing with one hand and performing a Vulcan mind meld with the other)

Hi Dwayne, how have you been? I’m fine thanks for asking. Look, we’ve had a pretty long run together. I remember when I first brought you home.  How you constantly reminded me you were there by shooting pains up my side.  And remember that second day when Bob tried to figure out how to tape you up and got tape wrapped around the tubing? Boy, that was excruciating.  Oh, and how about the time when I was coming out from chemo and got the valve stuck in my jeans and it felt like my innards were pulled out? Then we got home and Bob tried to flush you and you squirted saline out of the side like a squirt gun, causing us to rush back in the next day for an emergency surgery.  Boy, that sure was something. We had some times, I cant say they were all good.  But I’m writing you to say its over. I’m done.  We’ve been on the outs for a long time and quite frankly I’ve had enough. 

You can cry.  It’s not me, its you. 

Quite frankly you’ve been a pain since you showed up here. With your stinking bag of bile attached. Nobody said they could smell it but I could, and it was terrible. And the sleeping. Really, the whole thing was terrible.  My kind sister in law made a bag to spruce you up but as the old saying goes, you cant polish a turd Bevis. My mother in law made a belt to support you while I showered but who are we kidding here. So we’ll part on decent terms. You did a pretty good job all things considered. Early on yeah, the clots probably were on me but look, truthfully, you had one job. So parting is not really sweet sorrow.  I still have this tube out of my side but hopefully the internal tube they put in will do the trick and we wont have to meet up and reminisce about old times, because quite frankly, if I never see you again it will be too soon. To quote an old Motley Crue song, dont go away mad, just go away. While I still have your tube attached and capped like that one thing you can say you forgot at my apartment to see me again, just don’t. We cant be friends. I mean, I still can’t get in a tub or go in a pool until I get rid of it but still, we’re so through. So consider this our breakup letter. 

You can keep the drain cups if you want them, I’ll just throw them away. See you Dwayne. 

Hey Larry, you’re next. 

Quick Hitter pt.2

I’m not even jumping in. 

OK. So hopefully if you got spam, that’s fixed. Mine blew up because of this blog-o-Rama and hopefully its done now. Sorry if you got hit. I blame Russia, Microsoft Windows, and probably that porn/dating site you swear you never visit but we all know what’s up. Anyway, this will be quick because I have to get up and blast out at 5am tomorrow for Orlando. I cant stay out of town for two reasons. One, things change hourly. Two, I really don’t want to miss a night in bed with by bride.  Oh, and the pain med business stinks out loud. So, whatever. Hit you up on Friday. 

Good Times, Bad Times

Let me jump right in……

So look, I dont read my nonsense after I post it so excuse me if I retread over some things. I believe last we spoke, we had just gotten done with the palliative care doctor who told us to cut back the pain meds and bump up other things (again, that’s a funny story which gets really blue and there’s kids here). Anyway, I remember asking her, at least three times, are you certain about this cutting off the pain pills. Yes, with the long lasting pain meds she shouldn’t have withdrawals. Are you sure about that?  Because essentially she’s been taking synthetic heroin for two months now.  Now I will say this also, we were on board and I’m certain she believed this was sound medical advice. I want to say this in case I go off the rails and this turns into Death Star Blog-o-Rama 

Fast forward to after we skipped the 10am and 2pm pills. We had the couples massage scheduled for 5 in the afternoon. Well, she came out at 4 looking like the bass player from Motley Crue after a week long drug binge. She was sweating, nauseous, chills, loose poops, crawling out of her skin. Does this sound like withdrawals to anyone? I decided (without MD after my name but armed with more knowledge about drugs than most pharmacists) to put her back on the pills, minus the 2am which again, seemed like good advice. Saturday afternoon/night was good after it got back rolling. Went to the beach, went to eat, everything seemed to be back. Skipped the 2am again. 

Sunday was a shitshow of epic proportions. Couldn’t get out of bed, again signs of withdrawal. Just terrible. On top of everything else, now we have this? No Bueno. We went back for chemo Monday where the PA looked at our heroine and flat out said “you look like crap”. Well, you might have thrown gas on a smoldering tire fire as I went, yeah, lemme tell you about our weekend. She was more than a little pissed. Immediately telling us to listen to only the pain specialists when it comes to this. We went to the specialists friday and they adjusted things to hopefully stop the constant nausea. So we’ll see. We have an appointment Friday and hopefully Dwayne the drain will be a thing of the past. Anyway, onto the good times. 

So my hammock stand ate it a couple of sundays ago. Elizabeth’s mom had a hammock in her garage so I bought a stand and got that back to good. Well, tuesday Elizabeth sends a pic. “You just had two packages delivered”. Crap. How much rum did I drink last Thursday?  What did I buy? How much money did I spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave? She sent me the next pic.  My work family had bought me a monster of a hammock. The Presidential. So now we’re finally a two hammock kind of family. I say it a lot but this whole experience has changed the way I look at people.  There’s a lot of good people out there, and I’m extraordinarily fortunate that I’ve found them.  Our friends the Martinko’s came down from Atlanta and we had dinner Friday night. So that was fun. Elizabeth ate more than she has in 3 months but it all stayed down so that’s a great thing. Today I got out with my good friend Britton and had lunch, dozens of drinks, and more than a few inappropriate jokes were told. It’s cool to have someone to unload on with no filter either way. It needed to be had. Ham went to her senior prom with her friend that she’s been friends with from the cradle. The standard “you need to have the talk with that kid” and “clean the guns” jokes were had. Yeah, hard to do that when you’ve known the kid since he needed the assistance of a sippy cup and solid food wasn’t yet an option.  That and his parents might be some of the most solid people I’ve ever met.  Ain’t gonna lie, the pictures of them made me cry. They aren’t “dating” but they make a stunning couple. There’s the family you’re born with, the family you make, then there are those you pick up along the way. It’s by the grace of god and stars aligning that we’ve been blessed with the people on our side. 

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. We’re going to try to hit the beach. I’d like to take a minute to thank my mom for putting in the time and effort to make me what I am today. It took a lot but these days, not an hour goes by that I dont think about it and grateful for everything. And most of all a happy Mother’s Day to our heroine in this tale Elizabeth. I see the good parts of her in Ham and Cheese everyday and can only hope she realizes what an extraordinary job she’s done raising these two beautiful girls. Anyway, we’ll see you guys next week and as always, love you guys and blog at you later. 

Happy six-o de mayo

Let me jump in right here, cannonball style

So yeah, the counseling wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. The doctor came in and said what she did was palliative counseling. Which basically is trying to figure out how to make things better going forward. Physically and mentally for our heroine. So we start off with the feeling out first round stuff, what’s your family situation, how are you feeling generally, why are you with this dope (I kid) that kind of stuff. So we went through that then she begins to dispense what we should be doing. One, why are you taking so many dilaudin? Well, the one time she didn’t we wound up in the emergency room with dr Dragon and his fantastic hair.  We actually cut it back a bit from six a day to four a day, so what do we do?  

Cut them out. The oxymorphone (long lasting stuff) should be able to hold her over and if the pain flares, take one. OK wait, this stuff is basically synthetic heroin. Isn’t there going to be some withdrawals.? Nope, not with the long term Oxys. Especially, the 2am meds, do you hurt? NO. Ok, skip them. This was music to our ears. Fine, we’ll take your word. Remember this because it’ll come up later here. No quiz, just remember. Two, you need to exercise more. If you have a membership to the Y then do the pool and walk, that would be great. 

That would be great. Hey, let me introduce you to Dwayne. We would be completely down with that. Here’s what we need from you and we’ve told everyone what needs to happen. Dwayne the drain needs to go away. Ted the internal tube would be much preferable to this nonsense. Dwayne stinks. Sleeping sucks, no baths (our heroine likes a nice bath, I find it marinating in my own filth but to each their own.). Pools, water, all that is back once we tell Dwayne to hit the bricks. We got a, I’ll look into it. Monday, somebody needs to have an answer, preferably good because I will sleep on some Dr or PA’s lawn until we get what we want.   Oh, also, eat more carbs. All of this made complete sense to me. Stop with the laying around and staring at a wall. Hell yeah, I like this woman. So then the counseling took a weird and strange turn that I wont get into here because apparently we have young readers on here as well as my kids and well, that would scar them for life. Even on the drive home both of us cracked a joke or two after saying, what the hell was that nonsense.  If you want a funny story, message me and I’ll write an addendum to this however, be prepared. 

Well, we decided to get a bagel on the way home. E started feeling nauseous. OH SHIT. We skipped the 10am dilaudin. She went and took a nap as she was getting her hair did at noon. Cool. She wakes up and I could tell, she was fighting through this. Because she was not going to cancel this. We went, she got her hair colored. I came back and muscled my way in to a great head shaving. The woman said she did straight razor for a friend and I think if she had one I could’ve talked her into that. She even trimmed the eyebrows and rubbed some balm on my dome, they look fabulous. E looked fabulous. We were ready for the couples massage at 5 after a rest. 

We skipped the 2 pm dilaudin. 

I woke her up at 4PM. Yeah, ok. I’ve never seen a withdrawal from heroin nor am I a doctor, but that was the DT’s. No doubt. Nauseous, sweating, loose poops.  Again, just a hunch, perhaps the cold turkey was not a great idea. She suffered through the night, we skipped the massage.  But man, that sucked. We slept through the 2am pills and the morning was ok. She’s feeling fine now as we decided to slow down gradually with the dilaudin. She looks better but now she’s angry. 

Yep, angry, which is my wheelhouse. Look, what are we supposed to do? We realize there’s no exact science and everyone is different but damn, can we at least look at what’s going on and come to a consensus? Everyone said, no, stay on the pills.  This woman didn’t We’re taking the last bit of knowledge we get. (We’ll except dont eat McDonald’s. That’s basically like someone sitting a great bottle of scotch or tequila in front of me and saying, drink responsibly, seriously, McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries, what the hell were we thinking. And we’ve done this twice with terrible results. The McDonald’s, not the tequila, that’s happened at least 237 times). A friend of mine asked me the other day, you dont seem angry, I’d be so angry. I haven’t for a while. Because, who are you going to get angry at? The cashier at Publix that turned my chicken dinner with beans and carrots upside down because the sticker wouldn’t scan (probably should’ve but I didn’t)? Should I get mad at the guy that kept hounding me the other day for a price on a small scaffold order that I told him, I’ll call tomorrow with it, and he felt by hounding me and finally going (right after a particularly rough convo with our heroine) “If this is too small tell me and I’ll call someone else”. Yeah, I got a little angry at that and knew it when I started my response with “listen buddy”. He backed down. But the anger, at least for me, is nonsense. Who am I angry at? What am I angry at? How do I deal with it. I’m still going to shoot for some therapy as I think my bride should as well. But, I’m going at it with freshly trimmed eyebrows so that’s a plus. 

We’re actually going to go to Tijuana Flats (a Tex mex joint) for dinner tonight for six-o de mayo. A new hammock stand will be picked up shortly as mine rusted through last weekend after five years. Our heroine is up and looking better. So I’m cutting this now and running while the getting is good. Love you guys and blog at you later. MUAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Change of plans

I’ll jump in over here…..

So our heroine still feels like crap. No two ways about it. Just no damn good. So going into Monday’s meeting at the temple of doom we decided to go a different route. We needed a little control. Something different needs to happen. Quick, fast, and in a hurry. So we went in with a little different attitude with a different PA.  We were a little apprehensive as we like the main one we’ve had but this one could not have been better at this point in time. She was a little in the dark and came at it with a different view as well.  “She’s nauseous and feels like crap all the time.” OK, we can dial the one chemo medicine back a little and switch it from two weeks on, one off to every other week.  She couldn’t give absolutes because everyone is different and its not an exact science.  But she assured us we’ll try to find “the sweet spot” to stop this nonsense. Awesome. How about Dwayne the drain? She wasn’t sure about who was in charge of that (surgery or interventiol radiology) but she would find out. So how about going forward, how do we know if this is working and if its worth it? She would schedule an MRI and meeting with our point guy to assess everything. The last question was radiation? What’s the deal? They told Elizabeth that they would schedule it when she got healthier. We all scratched our heads as she said from her vantage point, everything was really good.  She actually mentioned “its a marathon, not a sprint”. I sorta thought about cosmic universal fashion at this point and really liked her.  After the consult she looked at Elizabeth and said “you wanna skip chemo today? It’s not hurting anything if you do.” As she was already beat up there was no arm twisting here.  We jumped at the chance to go home. As we left she assured me she would call me with some answers. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t expect it to happen. 

Noon fifteen, “Mr Reeves……” She called. 

The plan went through. The only thing that was still unknown was what to do with Dwayne.  “If you dont hear back in two days hit me on the portal.” She actually called twice (I was beside myself). She scheduled the MRI so instead of just guessing what all this is doing at the end of the month we’ll actually know. She also made an appointment with a counselor. Which truth be told, I think we could use (well at least me). And the radiation is just a matter of scheduling as the chemo is actually affecting the veins and arteries so they need to lay off for ten days (another good reason for the two weeks between treatments).  So its a change of plans that we’re all praying is a step in the right direction. 

I’m not gonna lie and say I’m in the best of moods yet. Hopefully after all of this it’ll get better.  It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Our spirits are a little down. They say its the darkest before the dawn. I have a feeling daybreak is coming. Sooner than later #uphillbattle has to start going uphill. We’ll find out about Dwaynes fate shortly. I had an idea about a blog but thought it better to keep everyone updated about the actual ordeal. I’ll hold it because it was a little funnier and I still didn’t feel like it yet. Anyway, love you guys and blog at you later.