Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to have an excuse to post with Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving song in the background ;)

To all my friends and family,


Friday, November 20, 2009

Me n Chili driving...

Well I’m back in the D after some serious driving the last couple of days. I decided to follow my GPS route instead of taking the standard I75 all the way up and it’s a much nicer drive plus a lot faster. I think I did the whole trip back in less than 20 hours which is cookin! I also had my first incident driving which is pretty good considering I've driven around the country a couple of times since June. I was in Ohio and they were working on the freeway and got caught in the left lane next to a line of semi trucks. I couldn't merge in when the lane ended and smashed into all of the orange barrels knocking my side mirror off and almost giving myself a heart attack. Luckily I was ok and unfortunately didn't have a chance to get the licence plate of the truck that cut me off. I have to say the incident did wake me up though as I was starting to feel kinda tired prior to that happening. I think I'll be flying down to Florida from here on out...

Chili "getting low"...

I’m here at Karmanos for my 6th infusion, waiting for the required pre-infusion blood draw. It’s amazing how every time I come for these (and most of my past appointments) I’m the only person my age in the place. I mean, 90+ percent of the time it’s mostly older people waiting in these chairs. I was having a conversation with a woman who has incurable breast cancer and she was talking about how “God meets you where you are”, interesting… She was also preaching how we’re the one’s controlling what’s going on with our survival, basically our attitudes. I agreed with her it’s important to keep a positive attitude but challenged her by asking how someone in a third world country could “control” their survival with a positive attitude. I guess I get tired of cancer cliché’s sometimes…

Took this at Delray Beach G.C. Amazing how something seemingly dead (palm tree) sustains and supports new life (young banyan? tree)...

The infusion was a success (although very long) and I’m here back at the house the next day completely exhausted! Feels like I haven’t slept in weeks. I don’t remember feeling this tired but probably because I was that tired before (thus not remembering!) if that makes any sense.

So, I think I’m going to spend the day in bed today, just seems like the thing to do. I know the energy will come back and I’ll be able to enjoy the weekend. Hard to believe I’m going to be home for the Holidays this year! The last two have been spent out in Seattle completely sick and not able to travel due to treatment. Should be nice to see the family :)

That’s all I have energy for right now! Took me two days to write this, jeez…

If I don’t post before Thanksgiving, happy one to you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Re-Connected :)

Shot of my walk down to beautiful Delray Beach FL

Wow, what a nice surprise. Just got back to my place after watching some football with friends and decided to give my computer another try after not being able to connect for 4-5 days. Success! I'd been using the "beachbum" signal which is the only unprotected signal in this complex and for some reason it wasn't available lately. I obviously haven't had a chance to get Comcast over to hook up my internet :)

Anyway, now that I have a chance, just wanted to say that things are going well and I'm really enjoying SoFlo! The weather has been so nice the last few days and I've been getting out everyday doing something fun. I've been able to take a bikeride to the beach, do some surfing (body and longboard), play golf, hit an art show, try some great bars/restaurants in between working on my place and resting, ha! It's really nice here...

The sand is really soft

The water is nicely blue and warm

There's some really sweet looking birds here too!

I've still been really achy all over and numb in my extremities but it makes it so much easier to deal with being active. I think the worst of it is over too... I've noticed that the "discomfort" peaks 6-7 days away from infusion and gets a little better as I get closer to Tx day. I have to drive back to Michigan on Tuesday so hopefully I'll be good by the time I have to drive.

My place is coming along... I've pretty much got it all re-painted but I've still got a ways to go before it's comfortable here. I think I have a line on some couches through my buddy which he'll let me use and a futon leftover from an estate. The other stuff I can fill in next time I'm down in December and it should feel pretty homey here by then :D

So like I said, I'll be leaving Tuesday and will be staying in Michigan through Thanksgiving and up until my next infusion on December 4th. I'll be doing one more drive down here probably on the 6th of Dec. and stay down here till just before Christmas. After that, I'll be commuting through the air as the drives are a little tough on the ole back. Not to mention, my car has 130,000 miles on it now and don't need it breaking down mid route.

I would like to send out prayers for Jeremy from Brooklyn and the Hodgkins board who just found out his stem cell transplant failed and also has refractory Hodgkins. He's going to be doing Bendamustine (trial) and hoping he gets relief from his symptoms quickly. I know how awful a time this is for him and his wife Maggie right now. Here's the link if anyone feels like leaving a positive comment.

Hope all's well with everyone!

Take care, Chris

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Wow, just posted a few hours ago how the muscle/joint pain hasn't been that bad and here it is 4:57 in the morning and I've been awaken by burning 6-7 pain in my arms and back... I think the fishing trip is taking full effect. This is pretty harsh. Just took two pain meds and praying this goes away and I can go back to sleep.

What the hell!

I should've remembered, the last week of my infusion schedule is always the hardest and sure enough, my next infusion is 7 days away...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Settling In

So I've been down here a few days now and it's nice to be in South Florida! There's been some winds and spotty showers as result of Ida but the weather is still nice :) I went out fishing yesterday on a commercial boat and there were 6-8' waves! I managed to avoid getting seasick but only caught one fish for my efforts (red grouper, under legal size). My buddy Danny got a couple of Mutton Snappers though and gave me one to bake tonight (whole fish, skin and everything) and it was delicious :p

Since it was a little rainy today, I decided to paint my place and glad I did. The tenants I had living here must've been Pittsburgh Steeler fans because the place was painted yellow and brown, nasty... I picked a nice soothing color called Pueblo which I've used before in Michigan. I'm starting to feel at home :) I've also managed to find some deals at the resale shop and pretty much have my room furnished now. I'll keep adding stuff as I find it for the living room and 2nd bedroom. It's nice to be able to finally live in my place down here!

I feel a little bad for Chili as I think she misses her grandparents up in Michigan (she was pretty spoiled ;). I need to find out where the dog parks are around here so she can meet some friends, ha!

Speaking of friends, it's good to be around a couple of my oldest buddies, Dan and Ramil. We pretty much grew up together in Michigan and they've been down here for over 10 years now. I would come and visit but it was tough to just hang out due to busy schedules etc... These guys are like brothers and I can walk over to Dan's and ride my bike over to Ramil's or drive 5 minutes. He actually lives with Dan's brother who happens to be a great guy too.

So the plan from here is to continue to get my place setup the rest of this week and then enjoy the weekend. I kind of feel like I'm working again, not a bad feeling ;) I've got to start driving back up to Michigan by Tuesday so I can make it to Karmanos next Thursday afternoon for my 6th infusion. My muscles and joints don't seem to be as sore but my back is pretty sore and I've got constant neuropathy now in my fingers and feet. In fact, it's hard to feel the keys as I type this. Even though this neuropathy is pretty uncomfortable, I'd rather have it than the muscle/joint aches. I've pretty much accepted that I'll have to deal with these kinds of issues for the rest of my life. It's all about how you manage it however and like managing the mental aspect, the key is staying busy ;)

So the plan for tomorrow is to ride my bike to the beach in the morning and take a swim in the ocean :D I'll come home in the afternoon, finish painting then take a nice nap. I'm fitting in with all the retirees down here, ha!

Hope to post some pics next time of my place and some stuff around town.

Shaka :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise!

I remember going on a fishing charter here in South Florida a few years ago and this was the answer I received when I asked a mate on the fishing charter "Sea Mist" after asking him how he was doing! You could tell he didn't have a whole lot but got to go out on the ocean everyday and do what he loved... I think he also said it a little tongue in cheeck as things arent exactly perfect here but could be a lot worse let me tell you.

So the ride down to Delray was really fun! Had a chance to stop in Nashville which was pretty cool. I had no idea how big of a city it is! Forgot they're home to two professional sports teams the Predators and Titans. It's really clean there and you could tell the music scene looms large based on driving down the streets and hearing live music pour out of the venues.

An Elvis sighting in Nashville!

Nashville also feels and looks like a big city which it is...

I then made a stop in Chattanooga as Nashville really wasn't accessible to park and hang out due to having all my stuff (including my bike) strapped to the outside of my car. Because of this I decided against crashing in Nashville and "Nooga" seemed perfect. I'm really glad I did because I had the best BBQ meal of my life at a place called "Sticky Fingers"!! I was convinced by one of the patrons to order the combo platter which consisted of a half slab of ribs and 5-7 of the meatiest chicken wings I've ever had. You get to pick your favorite sauce and I was advised to get the dry rub and then try the different sauces for dipping. It was out of this world!
After this huge meal, I had to crash and found a hotel and did just that.

The best Damn BBQ I ever had!!

The next day I decided to make a stop in Savannah GA. What a great place! I guess the best way to describe it is with a word I don't use very oftern, charming ;) There's tons of history here and the people are really friendly. The trees are great too! I guess they shot one of my favorite movies in parts of Savannah, Forest Gump. Remember when Forrest was telling his story to those folks on that bench in the park... That was Savannah :)

Ah Savannah, where Forrest said the famous line, "Life is like a box of chocolates..." How appropriate ;)

Me and my date Chili at the famous Vinni Van Coco's pizza in Savannah!

Mighty kind of a Savannah artist to display one of his "Chili originals" outside his shop, ha!

From Savannah, I decided to check out another great old American city St. Augustine! In fact, "St. Auggie" is the oldest city in the U.S. Hell, they even have an old fort there! Also had a chance to say hello to fellow Hogdkins survivor and friend Anastasia. She is just finishing up treatment and looking forward to good news on her post treatment CAT scan of NED! Go Anastasia!

The beach in St. Auggie

They have an old Fort here the Spanish used to use when they controlled Florida in the 1600's

Great old Church in St. Augustine FL

So this brings me down to my new digs here in Delray Beach Florida! I've been busy getting my place together and it's starting to come along. I'm sure I'll find some time for fun this upcoming weekend when the weather starts to cooperate a little better. It's supposed to be sunny and 80 by Thursday so I've been using the windy sometimes rainy weather to hit all the resale shops looking for furniture to outfit my condo. I'm thinking I may go all out and actually put a pool table in my living room to go along with my bachelor pad theme, ha! We'll see... I'm here until early next week some time where I'll have to drive back up to Michigan for infusion 6 of SGN-35. There starting to accumulate (the cycles) pretty quick.

With that said, I'm still doing ok except for the same ol same ol. In fact, I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't go to sleep so I thought doing a post might put me to sleep. Weird when you feel the creative juices flowing...

More on Florida and it's goings on's down the road...

Sorry it took me so long to post :)

Monday, November 2, 2009


So I mentioned I was going to post the results of my last PET/CT scan and decided that I really don't care what the report says. I mean, it's all about how I'm feeling and lately I've been feeling pretty damn ok (good would be the next step)! It's a lot to say that I feel "ok" with what I've been through in the past and how I've felt the past two years. I still deal with the same aches and pains but think I've learned how to manage them now and haven't let my life be affected by it.

As a matter of fact, I think I'm ready for another adventure! So, off I go tomorrow down to Florida :D I have an empty place waiting for me and the weather here isn't getting any warmer. The leaves are off the trees and it's time for me to go, ha! I of course will have to come back every three weeks for the SGN-35 (God willing) but that's no biggie. I think I'll do the first couple driving then when the airfares go down after the holidays, I'll start flying back and forth.

Even though I've lived in Socal for a couple of years, I've always wanted to live in Florida in the winter (since I was a kid!). It's much warmer there in the winter (both air and water) and the surfing and fishing should be off the chain! Plus, two of my really good buddies live down there so I'll have a good support system already in place.

So I think my body has finally gotten used to Eastern time again, whew! I felt like a zombie for a while during the day when my body was telling me I should still be sleeping. People complain about jetlag when coming in from the Western time zone which is 3 hours, but Hawaii is a whopping 6 hours! Thank God for Ambien...

Just wanted to say how grateful I am to be able to do all of this stuff... I played my cards right when I was working to have benefits that would allow me to maintain a decent lifestyle if I ever got sick. Granted, this only lasts till next October and I'll deal with that scenario when it comes but this has been great! Of course, not to mention the fact that I'm still physically able to get out and do all this stuff, what a blessing.

I've decided that I have to keep myself as busy as possible to keep my sanity! The busier I am, the less time I have to sit around and think of potential gloomy outcomes down the road. I still have my moments from time to time where I get freaked out having refractory cancer and thinking about friends like me who have passed but for the most part I keep this in a sealed container in the back of my mind. One thing I can't control however are the crazy dreams I've been having! I don't know if it's from the treatment or what but I have been in some horror flicks lately in my dreams, yikes! A couple of times I had to look around when I woke up just to make sure I was still here in my room and not some dark far away place. Maybe the sealed container gets opened when I'm sleeping and the demons come out to wreak havoc! All I can say is that sometimes it's nice to wake up ;)

Anyway, time to jump on the list of errands I've got written down... Just want to say time to make like the birds and fly south!!