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What My Cancer Doc Said

June 30th, 2010 Comments off

So I had my first appointment with my cancer doc today since before my surgery. He went over the pathology report which said that they had gotten all the know cancer out of my body – yah!

He also told me that he was a little concerned with me going into surgery because of one of my lymph nodes that the cancer had spread to. The reason for his concern was due to it’s location – it would be hard to get to. Fortunately he had recommended a great surgeon who did a great job of getting it out.

He had another concern though.

His current concern was that the cancer that I had came back in the same area after being radiated and shot with chemo. That area is now gone but what that means is that this is/was a pretty aggressive cancer. I say is/was because they have taken all known cancer out of my body but the concern is the unknown.

To tackle the unknown we have agreed to do some more chemo starting near the end of July.

When the doc presented the option of chemo that is exactly what it was – an option. I could have opted to do nothing and that would have been acceptable but as I put it to the doc – I am not rolling the dice anymore. I want to do everything possible to make sure that this cancer is completely gone from my body.

It is weird, when I first had cancer I was terrified of chemo, radiation, and surgery and their side effects. Today I am thankful for the surgery I just had am looking forward to chemo. The side effects suck but they are temporary. I am happy that I can have treatment and beat this thing.

So the next few weeks will be for me to recover as much as possible from the surgery. I am confident that I will be able to go through this round of chemo as good if not better then the previous round.

Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are welcome through this leg of the journey!

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Encore Pianos in Plano, Texas – Watch Out!

June 20th, 2010 Comments off

A friend of mine named Mat Harris has setup a website documenting the trouble that he has had with Encore Pianos in Plano, Texas. His website is here:

beware-encore-pianos.com

From talking with Mat and reading his website he gave them a piano to sell on consignment for him. They sold it, but did not give him the money from the sale – none of it. Also mentioned on his site is the fact that this is not the first time they have done this. Another former customer contacted him saying the same thing happened to them.

It is unfortunate that this has happened especially to a good guy like Mat. If you can, spread the word of his story and definitely don’t buy anything from them as it could be stolen.

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Out of the Hospital from Surgery

June 19th, 2010 Comments off

Warning – I am writing this post under the influence of a healthy dose of Vicodin. Please excuse anything that may not make sense in this post ;-) .

On Wednesday this past week I was released from the hospital. That is 10 days after the Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy Surgery I had.

What is that you may ask?

That is a pretty major surgery where they remove half of your esophagus and half of your stomach and put then back together again. I was in surgery for 5 hours and they made 2 incisions – one down my belly – the other between my ribs on the right side. I was in ICU for the first day (this is standard because of the length of the surgery), on the cardiovascular floor for a day (because of a heightened heart rate), and the rest of the time I was on the pulmonary floor (due to my chest tubes). I am happy to say that I do not remember the first 2-3 days after the surgery.

My recovery went pretty well in the hospital other then having a little air trapped above the outside on my right lung. They monitored it for several days and then figured it wasn’t a big deal. I think the hardest part about recovering in the hospital was the lack of sleep. It is amazing that they expect you to get better when they are waking you up every couple of hours.

I am glad to be at home now to complete my recovery. I am having some pain in the area where they went in near my ribs. I have been able to get a handle on the pain with a heat pad and taking the right dosage of pain medication. When I was in the hospital they were giving me 10ml’s of Vicodin. When I got home I assumed that it was the same. Only after talking to my mom about my pain did I read the label and discover that I was supposed to be taking 15ml’s. Those other 5ml’s make a big difference. So for the most part I have a handle on the pain.

I am pretty swollen in the rib area though. If it does not go down by Monday then I will go in to the doctor to see if there is anything that should be done. I would rather play it safe then have something that could have been easily treated turn into something big.

I want to say thank you to everyone who came and visited me and reached out to me while I was in the hospital. It is always nice to see a friendly face or hear a familiar voice.

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The Easy Way to Integrate WordPress and bbPress

June 4th, 2010 Comments off
I had tried messing around with bbPress way back when and it wasn’t the easiest animal to tame. Recently though bbPress has graduated to version 1.0 and is much easier to tame. Especially usefully is it’s built-in integration with WordPress. I have to admit that my first attempt at getting bbPress and WordPress playing together [...]
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A Date for Surgery

June 3rd, 2010 Comments off

So I got my date for surgery yesterday – Monday June 7th. Yes, that is this Monday. This was a little sooner then I anticipated but at least I will get it done and out of the way.

The Good News

The good news about it is that I will only be in the hospital for a week as opposed to the 2 weeks I thought I was going to be. When I leave the hospital I will be eating again, walking, showering etc. It should be about a week after that when I should be able to return to semi-normal life.

The Not So Good News

The not so good news is that because they are making in incision in my side that I am going to be sore for several weeks after the surgery and the range of motion in my arms is going to be limited. Due to this I will not be able to drive for about 3 weeks after I get out of the hospital. I can go places, I just can’t drive.

My Outlook

I am good spirits but in a little bit of shock. I have a very vivid imagination so sitting in the surgeons office and having him explain what he was going to do to me was a little traumatic. I think I may have gone to my “happy place” a couple of times because I only remember bits and fragments of what the surgeon said.

I did ask him how this was going to compare to me going through chemo and radiation and he said this is nothing like that – it is much easier. That helped me a lot since I know what that felt like. If I could go through that I can go through anything.

Prayer for My Wife

While I am on the subject of surgery I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my wife as well. She has been doing great with everything that has been going on with me but is going to be having surgery herself as well. Her surgery is on her eye and it is the day after my surgery. I think she will only be out of commission the day of surgery and maybe part of the next day. It is kind of a lot in a small time frame for both of us but I am confident we will both make it through just fine.

Finally, Thanks

I just want to give a great big thanks to everyone that has reached out to us to help with this latest round of treatment. You all are making a big difference in this going smoothly for our whole family. I look forward to being able to repay you generosity some day in the future.

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