The one where I fight Apollo Creed and win

Round 2. Rocky 2. Yo Adrienne.

Our trip to Italy was lovely. It was hot. We were surrounded by good friends. The food was excellent. The gelato hit the spot. My friend’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, everything was gorgeous.

The whole trip was a little bittersweet – knowing that I had to come back to LA and walk down this road again. Also, I felt a deep sense of loss with my friend Ray not being there. But we all shared our hugs and offered our support. And a week away did my mental health a lot of good – I came back with a smile on my face, some jetlag and renewed strength.

I entered the hospital on Wednesday and got my PICC line put in my arm. It is a lot like my portacath from last year but it hangs outside of my right arm and it involves a bit more maintenance. The nurses tell me I’ve got the Rolls Royce of PICC’s. I can’t wait until the ladies check it out.

The PICC allows them to take blood and inject chemo with minimum muss and fuss. I can even sleep through the process, it is so painless and smooth. I’ve got to keep it clean and dry and I’ll be rocking an ace bandage on my arm for the next couple of months to keep it tucked away.

I was awake during the procedure, handled once again by my full time Interventional Radiologist Dr. Loh. He handles any minor surgeries because he knows the in-and-outs of my tumor and how it affects my vascular system. I joked with him that one simple needle biopsy almost a year and a half ago and now we are long term friends. His RN referred to Dr. Loh as “my homeboy”, because I won’t let anyone else touch me. Oh yeah, it was also freaky being able to watch him thread the PICC line into my vena cava on live x-ray monitors above my head. I could see my stent and my tumor and watch them thread the line. Pretty messed up.

There was some confusion when I was in the hospital because my doctor’s orders weren’t in yet for my chemo. And once you are an inpatient, the doctors on the floor take over your immediate care. I never did get a visit from my main oncologist. But I met with the floor doctors and everything is taken care of.

I’m on a regimen of Ifosfamice (Ifex), Vinorelbine (Navelbine) and Gemcitabine (Gemzar). I’m also being given Mesna which will help counteract the affects of the Ifex on my bladder.

I’m not exactly sure why I am getting this particular mix of drugs. I know there are a lot of options available, but, like I mentioned, I never got a visit from my oncologist before beginning treatment. Needless to say, this is something that is going to be remedied in the next few days.

Along with this comes a mix of anti-nausea drugs and lots and lots of hydration. My arms, legs and face are starting to swell a bit from all the hydration. And I’ve only had to pee like 20 times since I started writing this blog post.

I’m keeping communication and visitors to a minimum. I’m really tired and I don’t feel like explaining or entertaining. This is a time for me to get through this first round of chemo and get my rest.

As always, Jen has been a rock, a fighter and a huge supporter. She set up her office in the corner of the room and somehow found the time to bring in my Playstation and some new clothes for me to wear around the hospital.

I’ll be home on Monday. Then something like 3 weeks off.

Thanks for all the love and support.

Forever hanging in here, SD.


12 responses to “The one where I fight Apollo Creed and win

  1. Greetings earthling, I am Ifex from the planet Gemzar. We are probing you for your Navelbine reserves. We mesna you!

    Just some interesting names of meds.

    Love ya man.

  2. good to read your stuff.
    helena from

  3. Hi from Hvar Stevo, stopping in at the internet cafe to check dickters bedpan. Glad to hear your hanging in there. impressed i could tyzpe that much on this crazy croatian keyboard! it is the first place i dont have to spell my name for people. people are not freaked or welcoming once i give them the name, im just another tourist! Gary cant stop talking about how awesome it was having you as mother hen on the wedding day. the week would not have been the same without you, so so glad zou were there. lots of love to you and jen from dalmatia! xx

  4. Honey you are a rock
    Upon which I stand
    And I come here to talk
    I hope you understand

    That green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
    And how could, anybody, deny you

    I came here with a load
    And it feels so much lighter, now I’ve met you
    And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

    Green eyes

    Honey you are the sea
    Upon which I float
    And I came here to talk
    I think you should know

    That green eyes, you’re the one that I wanted to find
    And anyone who, tried to deny you must be out of their mind

    Cause I came here with a load
    And it feels so much lighter, since I met you
    Honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

    Green eyes
    Green eyes



    Honey you are a rock
    Upon which I stand

  5. Glad to hear Italy did your mind and heart some good so that you’re in good fighting shape, Steve. I’m so glad you have Jen and Jen has you. Sending positive, healing thoughts your way.

    -Heidi Ryder (Jen’s photo friend)

  6. Glad you guys got to steal away to Italy for some R&R to get your mind and heart in the right place before having to go through this again. I’m so glad you have Jen and Jen has you. I’m sending positive, healing vibes your way. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

    -Heidi Ryder (one of Jen’s many photo friends)

  7. I like how detailed you are. I get well informed when it comes to your blog. You are honest.

  8. I have always LOVED the song Green Eyes (I was teaching it to the kids last weekend on our vacation). From now on when I hear it I will always think of you two and your amazing love, friendship, strength, example. XOXO

  9. Pingback: a journey | tuscany » jenberry photography

  10. I feel like such a bad friend, I haven’t visited any blogs in months and then I hear about this and I fell like a terrible person! I’m glad to hear you guys had a nice trip o/s but I’m sorry to hear you are fighting this again. I hope you are feeling better Steve, so glad you have Jen to take good care of you 😉

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