Monday, July 21, 2008

Hurry Up and Wait

Dino had another bout with a bowel obstruction and got readmitted to Alta Bates on Saturday. He'd been attempting to stay hydrated as well as keeping up with the prune juice/stool softener regimen, but it just wasn't enough to stay ahead of the constipation effect from the Dilaudid pills. Actually, we're all somewhat comforted that he's back in the hospital because we know he's getting immediate attention and that all the bases are covered.

Speaking of which, there's a couple of future bases we're seeking to get covered ASAP. First, the installation of a spinal pump which will circumvent the need for all the pill taking and which doesn't have the nasty constipation side effects. Today will be Day #6 in the wait for Blue Cross to approve this. We're not anticipating a problem with the authorization - it's just that they're obviously not on the same time frame we are.

Second, we're looking to start Dino's first round of chemo also ASAP because there is some evidence that the tumor may be growing back. Though it's not crystal clear yet (they can't see it on the latest CT scan), a combination of factors seems to be pointing in that direction. If it is growing back, we don't know at what speed or how large, but everyone agrees that this type of tumor responds well to chemo and so it's time to get on with the program. Dr. Cecchi, the Alta Bates oncologist is unavailable until Thurs. so we're hoping that Thurs. may be the start date.

As for Dino's spirits, he's awake and conversing and very much wanting to get this thing going as he has been all along. Those of you that have experienced similar health issues know that sooner or later the "roller-coaster effect" can begin to appear (one day up, next day down, hurry up and wait, etc.). We're kind of in the middle of that right now, but once we get the first round of chemo started, things hopefully will become a little more predictable (and comfortable). That's not to say that the chemo doesn't carry with it its own associated problems, but at least we'll know that a program is finally underway to start knocking back that tumor.

Dino loves hearing your comments so keep 'em coming. Don't know when he'll start doing his own blogs again (he asked me to bring his laptop to the hospital today and I'm doing so, but don't know if there's a WiFi setup there). If he doesn't jump back on the blog, I'll keep you posted on the progress of the pain pump install and chemo startup. As always, we love you and thanks for being there.

Dick Scoppettone
Dino's dad


Amy said...

Dahhhhling Dino,
You're rounding the corner to begin the next phase. This is your Tour de France. You're Lance heading in to the Alps for the climb and no one is better at this than you. You're about to take the yellow jersey and blow cancer out of the water for good.
You're ready for it.
Cancer has no idea what is in store for it. It has messed with the wrong person. The wrong team. We line the streets and cheer for you as you ride up this giant mountain.
The great thing about tough climbs like this one is that once you get the to the top, the view is amazing.
Love you kid. amy

Billy Ramirez said...

Stay positive, Big Dog. You'll be up and about in time to see your Seahawks go 6-10 this season.

Looney said...

We love you, Dino. Hang in there.

Jason & Catherine said...

Thanks so much for the update Dick, and hope you're doing ok.
Dino, bet your bowel movements have never been commented on so widely. Really hope that you get the spinal pump and the chemo going sooner rather than later. As always we send you all our love and support in the next stage of your battle - you have been amazing. And we know you will continue to amaze with your fighting spirit, humour and strength.
Love to you and all the family.
Jason and Catherine xxxx

Marjorie said...

Big D, I have been thinking about you like crazy. Just know that I am sending you all the love and positivity towards your way.

I really miss you. Believe it or not, I can't wait to see your mug looking in my face every day in our new cubes here at work (Your computer is literally facing mine on the diagonal). When I tell you that things are not the same without you here, I honest to God mean that from the bottom of my heart. Get well soon!

You can beat this!!

Chris said...

Hang in there Dino (and family). Though it sucks to be back in the hospital, it's good they will be able to more quickly address comfort issues. Hope they get you started on the chemo soon and on the road to squashing this thing once and for all!

Priscilla said...

Dino - hang in there, so sorry about the pain and gut issues...hard to focus on kicking cancer booty until the basics are handled. This must be frustrating, I can only imagine. Hang tough - the sooner the better to crush KUATOKIDS for GOOD!!! YEAH! We're back and ready to help whenever you need anything!! YOU CAN DO IIIIIT! We're all here supporting you in the wings! Thanks so much for the update, to the fam! Aloha, P&D

Ross said...

On behalf of all the FOD (Friends of Dino) out here, I would like to request that number crunching desk jockies get on the ball and approve the treatments that Dino needs right now. Seriously, the doctor wants it, the patient wants it, I am pretty sure the stockholders would be OK with it. So, can we get on the ball here?

houston said...

Hi from your Wisconsin friends, Dick...thank you for being such a fine assistant while the journeyman gains back some energy...Paul, Andrew, Lincoln and I are back visiting Mitch and the gang in Racine (for Andrew's college grad!) but have been keeping tabs via this and Nick...who is working his butt off at my house even while we're gone! I talked to him today and was very happy to hear about the hospital stay...getting the fluids on board and easing the work he has to do just to keep ahead of the med 'side effects' is a huge step, and we'll keep our fingers crossed for Thurs! Although we're sure It is hard for someone with Dino's drive and determination to not want to get up and get back home, this stay will be a be a great tool for him to use to give his body some much deserved rest from the job of just staying hydrated...we are thinking of all of you, and will continue to send our energy into the game with you everyday...Give Mimi a hug and kiss from me, and remember that we're are eager to help in anyway we can. Tomorrow, we are taking the kids to Chicago to see Coldplay in Dino's stead as he does more important things...i'm going to see what I can do to get him one of their sweaty tshirts, or maybe I can lift an instrument! ...oh, how'd i'd love to bring that back to Santa Cruz for him! Dino's fan club now includes a bunch of Midwest family too...we've got all kinds of folks sending you and the gang lots of positive energy, with the promise of steady donations! Until next time, Nancy

Brad said...

Dick, thanks again for the update!Ganbatte, Dino-san, and may the force be with you and your bowels.

Honestly, I can't begin to imagine what you are going through and admire you immensely for your positive attitude throughout the ordeal (although it would be completely forgiveable for you to hurl an obscenity-laced blog entry from hell at us from time to time ;-). I am also envious of the amazing group of friends and relatives you have assembled around must have been doing something right all these years!

Go 'Hawks. Bad year to be an M's or Sonics fan...

Lisa said...

Dino, are certainly having a busy month! I hope it calms down REALLY soon!

I'm back from Mexico next week...would like to get on the waiting list for a seating with you.


kkbirdhouse said...

Many positve thoughts and prayers that each rough step is taking you to the next level of getting what you need to kick this cancer's butt. Hang in there Dino. Much love to you, your dad, MiMi and all of your family.

Kathyk and gang

Paul said...

Pat and I think about you often, and read your blogs regularly.
It's unfortunate, to say the least, that our system of health cre doesn't simply allow for the best available care to be provided to the patient without all the fiscal roadblocks we seem to encounter. When you are President, plese work on that one.
Be strong my friend.
Paul Shirley

Linda said...

Dino, Keep looking forward to that day in the future when you are free from pain and from the cancer. It will happen I have no doubt. Stay strong, you can do it for you are a fighter and can conquer anything.
My love and prayers and positive thoughts are with you and also your family,
Mrs. Nev (Linda Nevin)

Amy said...

Dino, watch this.


The spot is called BOTTLED COURAGE.

Lance is featured about halfway his hospital bed....a shot of his chemo drugs...and then a shot of him crushing the competition in the Tour de France.

VISUALIZE this as you are going through your tough weeks ahead.

Luv ya.

Marcia said...

Hey Cousin Dino,
We are thinking about you every day out here in Chicago and sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers! I'll be in CA next month and am hoping that you can squeeze seeing me into your day ~ walking down memory lane about being Donnie & Marie or Bionic Woman & Bionic Man at Grandma's house when we were kids always puts a smile on my face! Take care, stay strong, and I'll see you next month!
Love, Marcia

Kim said...

Dino, you are our Little Engine That Could. It's only a matter of time before you'll be saying "I thought I could" when you look back on this journey.



p.s. I may have to start browsing the greeting card aisles at Target to come up with funny, witty words of encouragement because I'm short on material. :)

Kim said...

who is this Billy Ramirez guy who disparages the 'Hawks?? Of course, he's probably spot on but that's irrelevant. Sending you love from Seattle where we've had 19 consecutive days of sunshine..which means the 'hawks are loading up on Vit D to carry them through the season.

Love, Kim

Annie said...

Hey Dino,
I just learned of your cancer and I wanted to send you a note to say hi and let you know that I'm thinking of you and your family. I wish you good health and positive energy. Hang in there and be strong.
Best wishes,
Annie (O'Leary) Manako