Friday, June 13, 2008

Allow Myself...

to introduce... myself.

Dino here, writing from the cyber cafe around the corner from my block of rooms. It took me seven minutes to walk here when it would take a healthy person about 25 seconds, but I did so by myself, and that's a huge victory.

My dad is correct in his previous post -- most of the big painful tubes are now gone, and I'm left with one stomach filter type of thing, and an IV drip in my arm. On Tuesday (which seems like yesterday) I was a complete mess, tubes everywhere, but the nose breathing tube and the neck IV came out yesterday, and the chest tube and catheter were removed this morning. It was a mixture of both pain and relief to get those out. I'm much more mobile now, at the very least.

My two loving parents have been coming up each day and have noted the progress from Tuesday morning's horrific Hopalong Cassidy's Cavalcade O' Tubes to today's "Hey, he looks pretty close to normal, albeit 30 pounds lighter!" Although of course this afternoon my mom commented that part of my stomach had still retained a little chub, so maybe it wasn't all Kuato's doing.

I'm marking my progress incrementally and although there has been, and will still be, a lot of pain in the rehab process, each day is better than the last. My folks print out all the blog comments and I continue to get every text, voicemail, comment, email, etc. from my amazing group of support. Your continual positive push is keeping me ahead of schedule on my rehab, I truly believe that. The doctors are constantly reinforcing that I'm young and healthy, and I am definitely ahead of track on when tubes normally should be removed, food re-implemented, etc.

There have been several queries about visiting and as my dad noted, as much as I'd love to see each and every one of you, this weekend is probably going to be pretty light with family only. I expect that next week it will become easier for me to say yes to any requests to come down to Stanford to visit.

Dr. Jacobs came by with the path notes this evening. She said the tumor board has determined that my cancer is very likely a lipo-sarcoma, and the next phase of my treatment will be chemotherapy in a few weeks. Right now the remaining cancer is quite small but it's in several places and if Kuato taught us anything before we nailed his ass to the wall, it's that it can grow reasonably quickly. So, we'll do chemo for a few months, but I expect to crush this bad boy with the chemo treatment and if it comes back later, I'll crush it again. Whatever it takes. Most importantly, the vast bulk of cancer is now out of my body. That gives me an incredible feeling of survival and I will continue to survive.

Dad was right -- I spent much of the day sleeping. I'm finally able to sleep for long periods (although anyone that has ever spent time in a hospital will tell you that you can do pretty much anything in a hospital except sleep) and frankly, I'm exhausted. Probably will sleep more tomorrow and Sunday, but I'll begin with a liquid diet tomorrow and my already-requested Chalupa Protocol by next week (hopefully quicker than that, but it could be later, you never know).

That's enough of my blather. Thanks to all of you for faithfully following along and I (and dad) will continue to post updates when we can. Now get out there and enjoy the weekend sunshine. Summer is here for all of us!

With much love,


Andi said...

I'm so proud of you. Stay positive, get some rest, and keep fighting. Kuato is...was...a bastard. Love you.

kkbirdhouse said...

You are amazing, Dino! Please continue to know there are a whole bunch of us out here cheering you on, praying, and sending you love.

Amy said...

Hey doll...glad to see you're mobile and sending your good mojo down south to my boy T Woods. Can he do it? Dang is sure looks possible. He is making the impossible look possible. Just like you, D!
I'm headed down to the US Open tomorrow so I hope I can bring the same mojo to the golden child.
I had a PET/CT scan yesterday (my quarterly check up) and I am "NED" - no evidence of disease. So cancer is still my bitch and hasn't come back. I can't wait to read you type those words. My cousin was the first to tell me one day...he said, "Amy, you made cancer your bitch!" And so are you, Dino...I'm glad I have a ringside seat. I am so proud of you, my friend!
Continue down your amazing path and thank you for letting us all be a part of this story.
I'm running 7 miles tomorrow with your name on my shirt...and I have raised over $4,000 so far. Take that, cancer!
Love you kid, amy

smrose said...

Pleased to meet you.

Every step is one step closer to getting past this crap. You'll get past this like anyone with a pulse gets past Italy's defense.

Paul said...


Slow down. Don't move too fast.
You gotta make the treatments last!

Great to hear of your progress. Go
get 'em tiger...


Lisa said...

Hey Dino, SO glad to hear from you! I can just imagine you day by day improving...taking those small moments of sleep throughout the day, being woken up and checked on all the time...those tubes coming out one by are doing excellently!!!

You are recovering like the rock star you are!

Much love to you!

philo2 said...

Looks like you picked the wrong month to stop taking morphine.

Still, nice ass whooping on Cueto. I'm glad to hear that they left a lil' bit in the middle.


Looney said...

Hey Dino! Good to hear... erm, read from you!

We're always thinking and talking about you, and we believe in you. We're just glad Kuato is gone. Little scumbag. Hang in there, bro.

Jen said...

So glad you're up and feel good enough to write again! Although your dad did a great job while you were laid up.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery so you can take the next step in kicking cancer to the door!

bignogin said...

Your a rock star. It's great to hear your up and around. Sarcoma, be scared. Be very, very scared.

teeny said...

you're my hero, dino! pretty soon we'll be able to go out for sushi ;)

te quiero mucho!!!!

Ross said...

No worries on that "chub". We'll get you a post-pregnancy workout DVD that you will be able to do in the privacy of your own home.

Good to hear you are back. I know a lot of us our breathing a little easier now.

When's leeg start? :)

Monica said...

hi sweets! so, so happy to read your words and sense your amazing energy. love you to pieces, silly. sending you lots of love.

Teri said...

Rock solid! That's what you are and we're so pleased to hear that you are doing so well! We're thinking of you, sending plenty of good thoughts and prayers your way. Hang tough and continue your unbelievable strength.

Much love,

Mrs. and Mr. Captain

Cousin Dina said...

Dino! With your absolute resolute determination to kick Kuato into the annals of historical bad guys. Who needs Obama or McCain to defend us from the terrorists? We'd vote for you anyday. How about that, our first Italian American president! Go Dino, keep giving it the hammer head attack. You are on a roll!
Love from Uncle Jim and Aunt Sherry

Marcia said...

We've been thinking about you here in Chicago and are so happy to see that you feeling okay enough to write. You are doing such an awesome job... get lots of rest and stay strong!
With all of our love, Cousin Marcia, Mike, Peyton, and Andrew

Linda said...

Dino, What an amazing person you are and wanted you to know that. We are sending get well wishes, love, support and prayers to you.

We hope you feel better very soon, hang in there.

Mr. and Mrs. Nev (Dennis and Linda)

Jason & Catherine said...

Dino - We're so happy to read that you are doing so well. We think about you daily and constantly send you good vibrations from wherever we are. We admire your fighting spirit and the determination to take this on in such a strong way. We're with you all the way. If the Seahawks had half the determination and focus you've demonstrated recently they might win a few more games!
Jason & Catherine

Frida said...

Good to have you back Dino. Sleeping sounds like an excellent option for your weekend, you've got some credit to make up.

Mathew said...

So I'm in your old stomping grounds in the pacific northwest. Seattle always makes me think of you anyway, but this time even more so. Its been sunny-ish here for the last 2 days, which basically just doesn't ever happen in Seattle, and the Mariners actually won last night, which doesn't happen either. Pretty clear signs for my favorite seattle wanna-be, seems to me.

Anyway, great to see you strapping the keyboard back on. Its really, really good to read you again in person. Although, don't take this the wrong way, but maybe you could get your Dad to still do guest appearances every so often. We like his writing. He has a really nice kind of circumspect voice. And, nothing personal, but we actually get his references, and his jokes don't suck.

And speaking of dads, have a good father's day, Dick. It must be a happy one indeed.

Jenee said...

Was that levenson above me? If so, I actually agree with what he said -- if not, I agree with the Mathew who wrote that. :) What a very happy father's day your dad must be having. Dick, you sound nice, and funny, maybe even funnier than Dino (but that could be because you don't reference things like Spinal Tap every 5 minutes).

Happy Day to you both.


Jenee said...

Was that levenson above me? If so, I actually agree with what he said -- if not, I agree with the Mathew who wrote that. :) What a very happy father's day your dad must be having. Dick, you sound nice, and funny, maybe even funnier than Dino (but that could be because you don't reference things like Spinal Tap every 5 minutes).

Happy Day to you both.