Tuesday, March 17, 2020
I think it's time for me to write again, I think I need to write a book or memoir. I'm noticing I'm forgetting things. Some I don't mind forgetting but many things I think can help me and others so let's see what happens, I've grown quite a bit since the days I was religious with this and hadn't a care in the world. I first have to go through and read it all, check. I also need to get back to Seattle and lesser Social, where it all started.
I hope some of you are still lurking, if not, it's ok obviously ha. I'm good at starting over so here goes...
Until the next time,
Chris, yeah, I'm still alive !!
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
I just wanted to let anyone know who's still around out there that followed me during my roughest times that I'm still alive! In fact, I've somehow managed to get into remission from a new drug called Nivolumab. I apologize for not writing but I've forgotten about cancer for a while (great thing). I plan to wrote a good long post when I get a minute to explain what's been going on. To anyone who's found this and getting ready for a stem cell transplant or even just starting normal therapy for Hodgkins or any cancer, I think you'll find this story to be uplifting I hope, no always happy but it's a marathon not a sprint so hang in there!
Friday, February 20, 2015
Well, guess its time for an update, cant sleep which isnt anything out of the ordinary as I havent really been able to sleep for over a month now...
Mid January I went in for my nivolumab infusion thinking everything was kosher and after a long wait in the room, dr came in and told me I wasnt getting drug that day, in fact, I'm going to need an infusion of prednisone stat as my liver enzymes were out of control, my AST was almost 20 x higher than normal. My own body was attacking my liver. It happens with this drug sometimes, it mimicks gvhd for some reason even though I've never received someone elses stem cells.
So, I was on 200 mg of prednisone every day, what a trip... The time I was on that dose is a total blur, literally. The side effects were horrific. Imagine wanting to jump out of your skin at all times of the day, heart racing constantly, not knowing weather I'm coming or going, not able to think straight and having an appetite of two or three of me! I would wake up from a hazy half sleep needing to eat to re-enter that same weird almost sleeplike state at night.
Then the cramps started....
This was the worst part by far. Its still happeing now but nowhere near as bad as it was. For a little while there, the cramping or uncontrollable contorting of my hands would last for hours on end with nothing I could do about it but bear the pain and try to do whatever I could to counter whatever contortion was happening at the moment. For instance, if my hand was locking up, I tried to pull my fingers back into place. It was futile trying to fight it but there was nothing else I could do. I discovered icy hot helped a little to loosen the muscles but it became too much after the third night of zero sleep and I decided to start reducing the prednisone dose earlier than scheduled, at that point I didnt care what happened to my liver, I couldnt live like that...
Good news is I just went in last Monday and thank God, my levels are starting to resolve and I'm down to 30mg of prednisone now which is so so much more manageable. I still have the racing heart and an episode tonight of cramping in my abdomen and back strangely but I think it may have been a hydration issue instead of prednisone side effect. Who knows actually, I have come to expect the unexpected regsrding side effects with this crap. Cant wait till I can wean off completely.
So I'm taking a break obviously from treatment while my liver recovers and the hope is to resume asap with reduced dose and hope my body adjusts as the drug works for me at the moment and with generally mild side effects if you remove the liver damage situation haha.
Life otherwise has been good. My family is more stable, Nicole is slowly doing better, my Mom is doing much better, so proud of both of them for what they've been through, all of us actually, crazy what we've all been through. Makes the wins in life so much sweeter when you've struggled so hard to get to ground zero...
That's all I've got for now. Thankful for everything I have - most importantly my health - which I treasure every day that I feel ok. I am truly blessed.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I have some ideas in how to mitigate the problem but they'll take time. One is more exercise but with such little energy (I mean it's really difficult to get out of bed) how does one motivate to go to the gym? I've been able to overcome things like this before so I will get through this. I'm sure if you don't suffer from chronic fatigue, it's probably difficult to understand what it's like and the only thing I can compare it to is the low energy you feel from having the flu or pneumonia. I don't have the fever but everything else including body aches which is the second most common side effect, lucky me!
On a positive note, I don't have any Hodgkins symptoms whatsoever. The nodes that were growing under my arm have shrunk to normal size as far as the doc can tell and my blood counts are at the bottom end of normal (including platelets thank God!).
I know I probably won't ever feel "normal" again for the rest of my life, I've resigned myself to that. I'm proud how I've been able to overcome so many deficits and still manage to get out once in a while to enjoy my life. I recently went to a 25 year reunion at the first high school I went to before we moved as a kid and I saw people I hadn't seen in over 25 years! Just recently went to a Red Wings game and have been trying to stay busy when I do have some energy still working on my places and driving for Uber.com one or two days a week. It's been interesting bussing people around to go spend time at the bars when I used to be that person. Makes me realize that I'm getting older as when I drop them off, I have absolutely zero desire to run in those circles anymore. I had a couple of riders invite me to join them and their friends and I just wasn't feeling it, I'm so glad that stage of my life is over...
Well, I just wanted to document the fatigue thing and hope the next time I write, I'll have a better grip on that and hopefully be making some strides to find some energy. It's Christmas week and looking forward to spending time with my family and a special someone in my life. She's been a blessing and I feel lucky to have someone in my life who understands what I deal with and loves me for who I am. I couldn't have asked for a better gift this Christmas!
If you celebrate Christmas, have a merry one! If not, happy holidays!!
Monday, December 8, 2014
Not sure how to start this one... Maybe I'll just copy and paste this latest comment by an obvious "fan" lol
Hah ha :-) you parasitic piece of shit! Have you done anything productive with your life ever? Have you ever had a real job and worked to support yourself? Always begging or cheating, you hypocrite piece of shit... very few creatures on this earth deserves cancer and you sure are one of them. Soon this world will rid off you and your alikes... keep thinking positive... so are the real hard working, honest, tax paying citizens of this great country :-) :-) how does it feel to know that there are people out there looking forward to hear the only good news that can come out of your miserable life? Does that ever make your selfish miserable existence ask yourself why?
That is the entire comment verbatim. Where that crap and hate are coming from I have no idea. I wish this person would have some courage and identify themselves as this is the second such message I've gotten in the last two days. While it doesn't bother me personally because I know none of it is true, it bothers me that there are psychopaths out there that think like this. I work all my life making an honest living, save every penny then through no fault of my own, get not only my livelihood taken from me but my peace of mind for the rest of my life. I write this blog to vent what are very real frustrations and very real pain that this asshole obviously has never had to feel. Reading this comment really makes me appreciate all of the overwhelmingly positive responses I've received since starting this blog. I know I've put myself out there and I've had some weird comments before but nothing hateful like this one. Now that I write this, I think I've figured out who the anonymous person is... Please know, that I know and you should be very careful when you wish death upon a person or people, just saying... One thing about surviving refractory cancer for 7 years now, stupid hateful people don't scare me. To this person, please know I will be in touch with law enforcement as I know exactly who you are. Sad thing is I tried to help this person when I was going through the most tragic time of my life, unbelievable. I don't know if every person in the "tea party" thinks like this guy but that is exactly where this whole thing is coming from. A conversation on Facebook about Obamacare! I remember it all and when I put together all of the pieces, I know who you are sir. I tried to help his wife who also had refractory Hodgkins right after my sister had her stroke, my mom's cancer came back and Rich died (amongst other things w me personally). I stopped everything to try and help this person and accepted a friend request on Facebook. I think something happened with his wife and he's taking out his anger on me or something, idk...
So, without calling out your name sir, I think you should take your hate somewhere else. I don't have any room for it in my life. You really need some help and I hope you get it.
That was definitely and interesting post!
All in the life of a cancer survivor lol!
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Getting ready to crash, feeling blessed and wanted to share. I'm so grateful the Nivolumab seems to be working. I'm so encouraged by what's happening in terms of research of immuno-therapy treatments. Happy and proud to be a part of this and inspired by positive and negative comments I get so thanks to those who take the time to comment, makes me stronger!