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Archive for December, 2009

A Special Thanks to Family and Friends in 2009

December 31st, 2009 Comments off

As most of you know 2009 was quite eventful for my family and I. From being laid off in January and being unemployed for 8 months to being diagnosed with cancer in September without having health insurance. The last part of the year saw me going through radiation and chemotherapy to fight cancer. In the final weeks and days of 2009 I spent my time recovering from cancer treatment.

Now some might say that for my family and I 2009 was a terrible year. While I was tempted at times to label it that I have to say that it has been one of the best. During this past year we have been tried and tested but still have come out on top. You never know how strong your relationships are with family and friends until they are tested and this year was a lot of testing. In that testing I am glad to say that I became aware of more support from family and friends then I ever knew was there.

In the mist of everything that we went through this year we never asked for help from anyone but the help poured in, from everywhere. Folks that I hadn’t talked to a long time tracked me down because they heard that I was having a tough time. The sheer magnitude of people’s willingness to help out and contribute to our well being was overwhelming at times. As overwhelming as it was I am thankful for every contribution and offer of help that was sent our way.

With that I want to take the time to say thank you to the following organizations that helped during 2009. I have purposely not mentioned individuals because some if not all folks aren’t quite comfortable with that.

  • Coremetrics – Austin, TX – Thank you for your pool of donations. Even though it had been 10 months+ since I worked there you guys cared enough to put your resources together to help out. Thank you so much, it really means a lot to me.
  • Solarwinds – Austin, TX – Your support during and after my diagnoses helped to cushion the blow. You are a great group of people to work with and I hope I have the opportunity to do so again in the future.
  • Softserve – Lviv, Ukraine – I always enjoyed working with you guys and am so thankful for you pooling your resources together to help out. I hope we work together again in the future.
  • Best Gasket – Whittier, CA – As a former client I was not even aware that you knew what I was going through. Your contribution was greatly appreciated.
  • Celebration Church – Georgetown, TX – Thank you for the counseling support while I was in the hospital each time and the sessions that I was able to attend on my own. You helped me to keep my bearing during this difficult time.
  • Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes – Georgetown, TX – Thank you for adopting us for Christmas. The presents you had for the kids where more then we would have ever given them and they loved it. Thank you for helping to make Christmas special in the mist of everything that was going on.
  • Wonders and Worries – Austin, TX – Thank you for your time with the kids during this time. You made my diagnoses and treatment less scary for the kids and for me. Thank you.
  • Shivers Cancer Center – Austin, TX – Thank you treating me when nobody else would without insurance.
  • All the individuals – Family and Friends - There are so many of you that are not directly associated with the organizations above that have done so much for us. You are located all over the country and made sure that you did anything you could to help out during this time. You will always be remembered and I hope we are in a position to help you out in the same manner if you ever need it.

I hope when you look back on your 2009 I hope the good outshines the bad as it has for us this year.

Here’s to an even better 2010!

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-29

December 30th, 2009 Comments off
  • Another miracle! Was just told that my current stay in the hospital, no matter how long, will only cost us $100. Thank you God! #
  • And even more good news! All my blood levels are where they need to be and I am going home after lunch today. I am truely blessed! #
  • Little kids screaming and fighting – yep, I'm home from the hospital. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-28

December 29th, 2009 Comments off
  • Temp still in the 98's and white blood count up but just a little. Doc says if it keeps trending up over next few days I go home :-) . #
  • Thank God! Just had the $21k hospital bill from my first cancer stay completely forgiven by the hospital. Thank you St. David's! #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-27

December 28th, 2009 Comments off
  • My temp has been in the 98's all day which is good. White count is down but they barely gave me the medicine for that this afternoon. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-26

December 27th, 2009 Comments off
  • Bummer. I developed a fever overnight which hasn't broken so I now need to go to the emergency room. Cancer recovery and fevers don't mix. #
  • White Blood counts are low so they are admitting me to the hospital for atibiotics and something to increase the white count. #
  • Woot! They actually have a menu for food at this hospital. I order breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a single meal! #
  • Just been told by the doc not to have visitors so I can get over what I have and not pick up anything else. My wife can't even stay w/me :-( #

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Back In The Hospital

December 26th, 2009 Comments off

Yep, I am in the emergency room right now waiting to get admitted to the hospital. I had be feeling pretty wore out for the last two days and developed a fever last night. Basically fevers and cancer treatment recovery are something to be concerned about so the wife and I went to the emergency room to be on the safe side.

After checking my blood they found that I have some sort of infection and my white blood count is low. With that they are admitting me to give me some antibiotics and something to raise my white count. I just hope the food is better here at the Round Rock Seton hospital then it was in the Austin one ;-) .

I feel alright but but have no energy and if I get up too quick I start to black out. The doctor here says that is par for the course being 3 weeks out of treatment. Oh well.

It looks like I will be here in the hospital a few days while they give me the meds.

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-22

December 23rd, 2009 Comments off
  • I must be feeling better. I am doing laundry this morning. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-21

December 22nd, 2009 Comments off
  • I'm starting to feel good enough that I am getting cabin fever by being at the house all day. May need to escape to Starbucks for a while… #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-18

December 19th, 2009 Comments off

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-17

December 18th, 2009 Comments off
  • At the doctor to get some test scheduled to hopefully verify that the cancer is GONE!!!! #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-16

December 17th, 2009 Comments off
  • Just wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I am feeling better today then I have in a long time. It's about time! #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-15

December 16th, 2009 Comments off
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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-09

December 10th, 2009 Comments off
  • Could use some prayers if you have some handy. That last dose of chemo is kicking my butt more then I anticipated. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-07

December 8th, 2009 Comments off
  • Woot! Had a great night of sleep with no side effects! Thanks for the prayers. Making preps to go home sometime afternoon! I am done! #
  • Listening to Christmas Carolers with instruments singing. They're pretty good. They even have a tuba! #
  • Made it home for the hospital. The kids were really happy to see me. #

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Latest Update on Dan’s Cancer Treatment

December 7th, 2009 Comments off

As most of you know I was diagnosed with Cancer back in September. I have been doing various posts on my progress but they get buried because I also have my Twitter updates post here as well (Incidentally there are things about my Cancer treatment in my Twitter updates but not always).

Anyway, the below link will take you to all the posts on this site that are specific to my Cancer treatment if that is what you are looking for.

http://www.danmasters.net/cat/health/cancer

Also, if you are looking to contact me you can do it via my Contact Page, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Thanks,

Dan

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I Am Done with Chemo and Radiation!

December 7th, 2009 Comments off

victoryThis morning I finished the last dose of chemo and on Friday last week I finished my last does of radiation. In all I had 12 chemo and 25 radiation doses.

How do I feel?

I feel great.

I feel better now then I did at any other point of treatment which is pretty amazing since I currently have the highest doses of treatment “affecting” my body right now. I am able to swallow better then I have been able to in a long while even though my throat is probably swollen from the radiation. What this all means to me is that it only gets better from here.

From this point on I will be focusing on transitioning from taking food via my PEG tube to taking it all by mouth. I want to get rid of the tube as soon as I can.

Where do we go from here?

I should have a follow up appointment within the next week with my Oncologist to see how I am doing. At that point we should schedule the PET/CT scan to see if there is an active cancer left in the body. If there isn’t then we will schedule a scope of my throat to do a visual inspection. If they do find anything in either test then they will want to talk about surgery but I am praying that they don’t find anything. My Oncologist has started to sound optimistic that forgoing surgery is a possibility.

If I don’t need surgery then that should mean that I could return to the working world sometime after the first of the year which would be nice.

I have to say that I am extremely happy that things have gone as well as they have and expect that trend to continue.

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-06

December 7th, 2009 Comments off
  • About to get my last dose of chemo. Pray that I have no side effects and that I get to go home from the hospital tomorrow. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-04

December 5th, 2009 Comments off
  • Just completed my last radiation treatment! #
  • Waiting for the snow to come to downtown Austin. Hey! Over here! #
  • I see snow flakes! #
  • And just like that the snow in Downtown Austin ends. Oh well, it was a cool 5 minute snow storm :-) . #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-03

December 4th, 2009 Comments off
  • Thanks to @joechampion for reaching out to me while getting treated in the hospital. I pray that you and your family have a good Christmas. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-12-02

December 3rd, 2009 Comments off
  • Nurse: they want me to give you a shot in your stomach 4 blood clots, or you can do some walking around the halls. Me: I'll walk, thanks. #
  • Watching the new Steven Seagal show. I totally did not know he had been a reserve deputy for the last 20 years. #

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