(As dictated by Dino to Dick)
Hi gang, Dino back in control here for the moment. It's now been 24 hours since they started my chemo treatment and there are lots of sighs of relief happening from a great many family and friends.
Thus far (knock on wood), I have yet to feel any seriously detrimental side effects; in fact, the drugs have made me lazy today and seem to have helped the pain level. We are unclear of the complete protocol, but we will let you know when we know more.
Very happy to be back at Alta Bates after five days at Alameda. We needed to be in Alameda to receive the pain pump. However, the quality of care at that facility simply does not measure up to what Alta Bates has to offer. To give you a short example, when I asked for a 10mg dose of Dilaudid, the docs at Alameda seemed so shocked and were so reluctant to provide this -- even though it was standard at Alta Bates -- that they made me wear a permanent EKG unit to check my heart function. This stupid unit caused me a considerable amount of discomfort and irritation for the five days I was there. I don't want to slag Alameda too much, but suffice it to say, we're all very happy to be back at Alta Bates.
Medically, there are a lot of niggling side issues that have kept us from getting chemo to this point, but when push comes to shove, we needed to begin chemo and blow out the cancer that's in my body. I won't bore you with the many details of these finer points that have held us up, but some were serious enough to force the doctors to err on the side of caution. Now, it's time to endure the protocol and take it as we go from there. If the treatment leaves me feeling anything like I do today, then I will consider myself to be truly blessed. Something tells me it won't be this easy the whole time, but we'll just take each day as it comes.
I have received several notes and e-mails recently indicating that I need to inject more of my presence back into the blog. I hear your messaging loud and clear. All I can say is that for the past two or three weeks, I have really not had the mental or physical energy to put together a substantial blog post. As we move through chemo and also deal with the recovery period in each cycle, I hope to begin a more reliable routine in which I can keep you all updated. A friend of mine said last weekend "We will always be here for you, but you need to sometimes make yourself available to us." I totally agree with that statement; each and every one of you deserves to know exactly what my current situation is. To that end, I have asked my Dad to take "dictation" which he is doing now and I will continue to use my parents as a resource so that you can read my thoughts through their fingers.
As for visitors, I know there are many of you that have expressed interest in coming to see me, and that makes me immeasureably happy. Unfortunately, my energy levels go up and down at a whim so often that making advance plans can be difficult. Please understand that most visits should be held to about twenty minutes or less; this is simply because several occasions of long visits have led me to pretty severe exhaustion and pain that is not easily controlled. I would love to see all of you guys, and I know that when the time is right, I will.
So that's the big news for the week. Now it's simply a matter of enduring whatever it is chemo has to offer. It may be a few days before I update again or I might have Dad or Mom help me with one. Outside of that, just waiting for football season to get started. Hope this blog brings you a little bit closer to where I am in the current moment. Keep livin', keep lovin' and enjoy your hot summer afternoons. With much love,