Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All's good


Blood work normal, CT scan unremarkable. Exactly what we wanted to hear. There is still some outstanding bloodwork, which should be in Friday, but we're feeling so much relief. Thanks for all your kind thoughts!

By the way, since March when I started fundraising in earnest, I've raised about $2000 for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Six weeks to go until the Ride, and I'm still about $5000 short. Can you help make up the difference? Just click here to make a secure online donation, or here to download a mail-in form!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big day tomorrow

Kinda like Christmas, but this time there might really be a lump of coal at the bottom of my stocking. Or nothing. Sometimes nothing is the most wonderful gift.

Keep your fingers crossed for all three of us tomorrow. We're headed to the Cancer Centre in Sudbury to get the results from my last two blood tests and a CT scan. I don't mind going there every 6 months, but every 3 weeks, not so much. We were up in New Liskeard last night, and I popped into the hospital there to say hi to my chemo-nurse, Lynn. She reassured me by saying that, "They're keeping a close eye on you. Anything that's the slightest bit out of the ordinary, they're going to check out. Not everyone get's that kind of service!" Here's hoping that my liver enzymes were high because I'd popped too many Vitamin C pills, or had a bit too much vino the night before the last blood test.

I'm not feeling worried or stressed, but that doesn't mean anything. Anna's worried. Wouldn't you be?

I've been strictly no-booze, no-coffee for the last 3 weeks, to give the old liver a rest. (Tried to do no caffeine, but there is a little bit in green tea and in dark chocolate too.) I think I've started to lose weight as a result, down from 160 lbs. to maybe 157.

Training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer goes well. I went out for a nice 20 km ride this afternoon, up the North Bay escarpment, down some country roads, and zooming down the hill home. The fundraising goes well too, I'm at $2170 of $7500, but that doesn't include some mail-in donations and some "pledges." If you haven't given yet, or if you have said you're going to but haven't got around to it, now would be a great time! Just click here to donate online, or here to download a form you can mail in.

Anna and I have a hot date tonight, as long as Matty stays asleep, so I shouldn't blog for long. Just keep your fingers crossed, and I'll spread the word here tomorrow evening.

Oh, that's a photo of Lynn, Anna, Matty and I taken in March. It was the first time I'd been back to see Lynn since my last chemo in April '08, and the first time she'd met Matty! Sorry that it's a bit blurry.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More tests. Bleah

My life is a dichotomy. Outwardly (and mostly inwardly) I'm happy. I feel great. I have the most wonderful son and the most wonderful wife. I'm doing things I've always wanted to do. I love my job. I love riding my bike. (I've crossed the $2000 line in my fundraising for the Ride to Conquer Cancer?!)

But on the other side is this nagging two week wait between when Dr. Herst told me I have elevated liver enzymes and when I find out what it all means. At least when I first got my diagnosis it was very sudden. I honestly had not been expecting to hear that I have cancer. But this waiting.... I honestly don't know what to expect. I feel great, but I felt great the day I got my original diagnosis too.

This week I've had another CT scan. Next week it's more blood tests. Then the day after I go see Dr. Herst. He'll either tell me that the cancer has spread or that the elevated enzymes are due to some other factor. I've got so much weird shit going on that I'd make a fascinating case study for House. Cancer. Possibly celiac. Possibly a primary immuno-deficiency disorder. Yet outwardly I look strong and healthy, in the prime of my life. Who can understand it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shopping for insurance

Who would want to sell life insurance to a guy who had cancer only last year? We'll soon see.

Anna and I are being responsible parents and "putting our affairs in order." This includes writing a will (well, paying a lawyer to insert our names in the blank spots of one of his wills). It also includes life insurance. Nothing spectacular, just pay off the debts should one of us kick the bucket. We've spoken with a few insurance brokers, and been quite open about the whole cancer thing. I wonder if they Google their prospective clients? I sure would! Guess I can't hide!

Fundraising for the Ride to Conquer Cancer goes well. I'm about 20% toward my goal of $7500, with still quite a few fundraising avenues to explore. If you're reading this and you haven't made a donation yet... what are you waiting for?

Some of you are wondering about what happened at the oncologist's last week. My liver enzymes are high. This could mean, as Anna says, anything from "yikes!" to "meh." I have the honour of an abdo CT scan Thursday and more blood tests next week. Seen as toxins of various types might be making my liver work overtime, I'm on a serious detox diet for the next two weeks. In keeping with my previous discussion on how to rid the body of toxins, my detox diet involves little more than cutting out the red wine and coffee, completely cutting out whatever sugar and junk was still there, and upping the organic vegetable quotient. I discovered that I'm addicted to coffee, with withdrawal headaches and all.

Despite all this, it's hard to stay upbeat. It's hard to be nice, to myself, to Anna. (It's always easy to be nice to Matty though.) I haven't had any of those dreams lately, but I do find myself grinding my teeth, which my dentist says is a sure sign of stress. 'Ya think?!

On the positive side, I feel great. I've been getting some olympic weightlifting training from a highly accomplished local lifter. What a difference, to be getting some professional pointers on my snatches and cleans. He wants me to compete at a tournament in Toronto this July. Might be fun!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

He's growing so fast!

Matty is around 17 pounds already! He is very active and talkative. He loves to laugh (a lot), have splashy baths, read books (and turn the pages!), play with toys and kick his feet.

He is strong and last week he really started trying to sit up. His latest thing is to go from lying down to standing when we give him our fingers to pull up to sitting. He is pretty good with his balance, but soft surfaces or our arms are required when he tries to sit! He is also quite the conversationalist, as you can see from the video below.

Parenting this little guy is such a wonderful thing. He brings so very much joy to our lives!

Here are some recent photos:

Going for a walk on a sunny, but still chilly day

Matty in his new wool pants made from a sweater - wool works great as a cloth diaper cover! It is much less bulky on his butt to have cloth diaper and wool pants than cloth diaper, waterproof cover and THEN pants!

Supervising Daddy's physio exercises

Enjoying Dr Seuss


Mmmmmmmm.... fingers....

Talking in his swing