Monday, May 18, 2009

Update on scans

Mmmm . . . berry smoothie (flavored barium sulfate). It goes down smooth and easy (aside from the tingling sensation I feel in my throat). Unfortunately, it doesn't "agree" with me. Tomorrow morning I'm switching back to coffee!

Well, I at least have some preliminary results for my CT Stan. Dr. D'Amato looked at the scans and said they "looked good". Of course the official radiology report could say otherwise, but usually D'Amato and Monson are accurate with their readings. There are a couple of "spots" they are keeping an eye on (one on the liver and one on the chest), but these have not changed in over 9 months, so the docs have not been concerned.

Well, this should be one less thing to think about while on vacation next week. I can't wait to do something fun!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CT Scan Tomorrow

Yup, it's that time again. Three months have elapsed since my last CT scan, so I'm due for another one tomorrow (Monday) morning. This one will be a Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvic scan (the same as what I had back in February). Immediately following the scan I go in for a port flush and a visit with Dr. D'Amato. I likely won't get any results, however, until Wednesday.

Though I expect the results to be positive (err, I mean negative . . . I mean no metastasis was found), I'm not sweating it in the meantime. All I know for sure is that I have a vacation coming up over Memorial Day weekend (and the week following) and I'm going to relax (one way or another). It should be a lot of fun and the family is looking forward to it.

Well, I've got to go now and choke down a bottle of barium sulfate suspension (Berry Smoothie flavor). I can't wait to have the second bottle in the morning instead of my usual coffee. :)

Expect another update on Wednesday after I find out the results.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Relay for Life

Holly and I had the privilege of attending Relay for Life this past Friday night up here in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Supposedly Gwinnett has either the largest or second largest “relay” in the country. This event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, brought in nearly $2 million dollars from the Gwinnett event alone. I wanted to thank all of you who contributed to Holly’s goal of $1000. She was able to exceed her goal.

I think the most striking part of this event was just the sheer number of people participating in the “survivor lap”, which kicked off the event early in the evening. Seeing that many people, all wearing survivor t-shirts, makes it hard to ignore the epidemic nature of cancer. As recently as last year, both Holly and I were in that group of people who believed that cancer was something that other people get, but certainly not us. I honestly doubt we would have given “Relay for Life” any serious consideration as no one in our immediate family has even had cancer. All I can say is what a difference a year can make . . . and what a year it has been. Our attitudes have certainly been changed through the experience.

Please allow me to share some pictures from the event:

Holly and me (click to enlarge)

Note the caption: “My Chemo SUCKED. How was yours? :)” Irreverent? No -- just trying to be lighthearted (please note the smiley face). Most people laughed, some said “yeah, mine sucked too!” But one person actually told me “mine was fine!” Obviously that person just wasn’t getting enough chemo and should try the “intensive” chemo regime given to sarcoma patients! (click to enlarge)

Holly “deer in headlights” look :) (click to enlarge)

Thank you Nathan Horton for thinking of us when making your custom "Relay for Life" T-Shirts! Cool! (click to enlarge)

Though this was an excellent event (and one I plan to attend every year), the event near and dear to my heart is the “Team Sarcoma Initiative” taking place July 18 – 26, 2009. The Atlanta event for this will be the Walk for Sarcoma Awareness that Friday, July 24th, at 7:00pm. Sarcomas are rare, deadly, and don’t get nearly as much publicity or research funding as other “popular” cancers (such as breast cancer), so awareness is a big issue.

How you doing???

I know I haven’t written much about my status lately, but you can pretty much assume with me that no news is good news. I’ll be wrapping up my physical therapy within the next week or so and both strength and range-of-motion have returned to my leg. The only problem to speak of is that fluid keeps building up in my leg at the surgical site. The problem, as explained to me by Dr. Monson, is that the tumor left a cavity, which my body wants to keep filling. About 2 weeks ago he drained 140 CC’s from that area and since then it has filled up again. He said it’s something they might not be able to fix, but they will try staying on top of it by draining it every 2 weeks for the next month or so. But no guarantees that this will resolve the issue. The good news, though, is that the fluid is causing me no discomfort or real problems (from the best I can tell). It just sort of looks like I have a saline implant in my thigh. :)