Tag Archives: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Shout out to my peeps


Cards cards cards

Just wanted to say another thank you to everyone who has given me much love and support over the past couple of months. As you can see  from the wealth of cards I received, my birthday was full of treats in the mail.

And the support keeps rolling as I recently heard from a couple of people who are also going through Hodgkin’s Treatment. One person is a couple of treatments ahead of me – and that gives me strength to keep going. And one person is a couple of treatments behind me – so I can help show them the way.

So much from a simple blog that was mostly meant for me to pass the time in the hospital. I’m glad I can help – but I can’t do it without all of you.

Also, just a friendly reminder – I’d prefer that anyone who wants to send me any gifts instead makes a donation to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or supports one of my friends running in a Relay for Life or a Team in Training. I’ve got plenty of Netflix movies, DVD’s and PS3 games to last me the whole summer and your money is better spent on the greater good than just little ole’ me.

Victoria – Team In Training: HERE

Heidi – Relay for Life: HERE

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: HERE

My best to all.


Words from the big chair

Big chair photo

Check the hair

Sitting in the big chair. Dopey on Benadryl. The Ativan should kick in soon. Trying to count the number of pharmaceuticals going into my body right now. Let’s count together:

  1. Lorazepam (Ativan)  – makes me calm.
  2. Benadryl – to supress allergic reactions. Also makes me sleepy
  3. Acetaminophen – fancy name for aspirin
  4. Saline – 150mg – gotta keep the ole’ kidney’s clean
  5. Aloxi – anti-nausea, so i don’t toss my cookies.
  6. Decadron – steroids, makes dink more homers
  7. viagra – puts a party in my pants!
  8. ABVD – the big four

Ok, they are not giving me viagra. But i asked.

Everyone here is very nice. The facility is clean and bright. They have gingersnaps. I feel like I’m backstage in the VIP room of the Cancer Club. Which is a lot like getting backstage at the Whiskey A Go-Go, except the Rolling Stones have never played the UCLA Cancer Treatment Center (unless I get my wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation).

I am mostly loopy and nervous. My first chemo treatment in the hospital was a borderline nightmare with the long, long wait and multiple delays. Getting pumped ful of an unknown chemical which makes my hand burn at 11:30pm would probably turn most people off.

But it is very different experience to come to a clinic where all they do is chemo treatments. They are very understanding and patient (so far). They look at the chart and have a plan the entire way through. And did I mention the gingersnaps?

After Ativan and Benadryl this is what my clinic feels like

After Ativan and Benadryl this is what my clinic feels like

And in goes the Red Devil first. Adryomyacin. Turns my pee orange. Given first because it could cause some side effects or discomfort. Let the games begin.

I got the devil in my veins!

I got the devil in my veins!

One down. 3 more to go.

Bleomyacin – This makes my hands go numb.

Vinblastine now. This chemical is made from a plant that grows in Madagascar. How about that.

Dacarbazine – This is the one I have a problem with. It burned my hand last time and I have to be on a slow drip to deal with it. This is mostly a side-effect of using the veins in my arm instead of having a port in my chest. The nurse is trying different things to make this less unpleasant (tingling in my hands, mild pain in IV area).

Good attention from the nurse. Time for more gingersnaps.

Oh, and my white blood cell counts are a little low – White Blood Cells @ 2.7 (4.1-10.9) and Granulocytes were at 1.4.

I’ll let my mom Google those terms and she if she can come up with a diagnosis…

In the meantime, I’ll be getting Neupogen shots which will raise my white blood cells. I want Jen to give me the shot at home – really make her uncomfortable. But we will have our neighbors the nurses do it for us. Always a good idea to have a couple nurses around for these things. They are small needles – like insulin for diabetes.

The Neupogen works with my bones where they make white  blood cells. It will help keep me healthy but could cause bone pain. Everything has its price.

All done. The IV goes beep beep. I feel just like my car after an oil change at Jiffy Lube.

I'd rather be on the beach with this guy.

I'd rather be on the beach with this guy.



About 3 days after I got back from the hospital, a letter arrived in the mail from The Cancer Research Institute. My first thought was “How’d they know already? That is one really good research institute.”

Every year, Jen and I give money to charity for Christmas (this doesn’t make us better than you, it just makes us quietly smug to ourselves). This past year, I gave money to The Cancer Research Institute in the names of one of my best friends and my uncle who have spent the past 2 years fighting cancer. The Cancer Research letter was asking for additional donations. Hmph.

But I digress.

I’ve gotten a lot of great gifts over the past 3 weeks. I’m not going to compare them here. Let’s just say that this summer I am going to be one well-dressed, snarky T-shirt and  pajama pants wearing bald dude with a bad-ass head wrap and lots of great music to listen to, a pile of amazing books to read and some awesome DVD’s to watch.

And I thank all of you very, very much.

But I don’t deserve your gifts. These people do:

Their website provided my family with a lot of much needed information – the kind of information I should probably have gotten while I was in the hospital but didn’t. And I have had many people refer LLS to me for support groups, information and advice.

It seems like everywhere I go these days, I see ways to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. At Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, at Lebowski Fest. Its one of the many things that I just didn’t notice before. I think they are following me. I think they are trying to tell me something.

If you are motivated enough to send me a gift – or even if you’re not – I ask you to put your time and hard earned money into a donation for LLS.

Or give to another cancer organization.

Or clean out your closet and donate clothes to Goodwill.

Or give another 50 bucks to the charity you give 50 bucks to on Christmas.

To make it easy for you, I already have 3 friends who are running marathons or relay races to support cancer research. I’m putting links below (in alphabetical order so pick randomly) and you can pick which person you’d like to donate to. Easier than ordering lunch.
Tonya Bertino Team In Training

Victoria Massengale Team in Training

Heidi Ryder Relay For Life

Most of you Radical people are off the hook I see…yes, I am keeping notes on all of you.

Thanks to all of you for your continued love and support.