March 16, 2013 (Sat) – Par for the course (actually 5-under)

So yesterday I participated in my wife’s fund raising golf outing to support her school. I hit pretty well (for me) with a couple 250+ yard drives. What? You’re supposed to stay on the course too? I didn’t say where the drives ended up. But I guess, like the Hulk, the radiation treatments must have given me some extra juice. Not complaining. We ended up 5 under par, which sounds good but considering it was a scramble format and the most you could take was par on any hole, well… The winners came in at 18 under. But back to golf later.

I started Friday with what is becoming a very routine stop at the medical center for my whopping 5-minute blast to my lung. They don’t even grill me for my date of birth 5 times as per usual anymore to ensure I am the right patient. Kinda like Cheers,  getting to know everyone by name. From there I continued down to the 2nd grade class in National City where I do science experiments every week. Missed last week ’cause I wasn’t feeling up to it. Didn’t want to miss another. Too much fun and I’m sure it helps in my healing process. The teacher had the students all write me get-well notes. I have to share a couple samples. Very fun!

Kid's letter 2 Kid's letter 1

Earlier in the day I had called and left a message for the specialist I’ve been working with at UCSD to ask if I could start the Tarceva oral medication at the same time as my radiation therapy. Being the eminently qualified lung cancer expert I am, I didn’t see an issue but I also didn’t want to ruin any chances of qualifying for a possible clinical trial that might open up soon. Now, I hate guys that use their cell phones on the golf course. You golf to get away from that stuff. I was going to say crap but I think I’ll save the heavier grammar for later on in future blogs. Oops. Too late. But yesterday I had to keep my phone available in case the doc returned my call. I did keep it on vibrate and in my golf bag, checking it every couple of holes.

As it turns out, she called right at the turn (for you non-golfers, the beginning of the 10th hole). I heard the phone vibrate and grabbed it. Now those of you that know me well, know that I use hearing aids. Yeah, yeah, my body is just falling apart. So with my limited hearing, on a golf course with some wind blowing, on a cell phone, with a bunch of noisy (but fun) golfers ahead of us reloading on beer for the 10th time, and my doctor’s Russian accent, it was a miracle I could understand her at all. Come to think of it, maybe it was that call I was expecting from Nigeria saying I had 3 million dollars just waiting for me in an offshore account. Hmm…

Well, the gist (what the heck is a “gist?”) of the call was that my doc said taking Tarceva and doing the radiation at the same time was not really an option, that they made bad bedfellows. Kinda describes me for the past couple of months, eh Kim? So I will be waiting until after the radiation is complete (April 1st) before starting up. Unfortunately, as least as well as I could determine given the challenging hearing scenario above, the doc also said that I really am not a candidate for a clinical trial any more. Even if I was accepted into the trial, there is a certain amount of time it takes to get it all set up and because of the recently observed rate of growth of my head tumor, they didn’t want to take the time to get me all enrolled etc.  I will be calling her to reconfirm what I thought I heard but I think it was pretty clear.

In the meantime, I’ve had the pleasure of a splitting headache for the past 48 hours, courtesy of either the sucker in my head or the after-effects of the lung radiation. The pain medication knocks it down a bit for about 3 hours but then it comes back. Without that, I would actually be feeling pretty good. But those of you that have migraines know how debilitating they can be. I hope that the upcoming brain radiation treatment this M-F will help alleviate that issue. But I had to add a picture as to what this feels like. Many of you can probably relate. And of course I had to use an Ah-nold movie for my example. There’s a reason why they call it “splitting.”

Split head

This morning, Kim and I made our way up the mountain to Julian for the Rotary Camp Enterprise final day. What an awesome program. Bunch of great kids, Rotarians and Rotaracts. Nice way to start the day with picture perfect weather and a fun drive. ‘Course we had to stop at Dudley’s Bakery. 🙂

Monday we start the double zapping treatments. Gotta whittle these suckas down to size so the Tarceva can do its thing. Can’t wait.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


4 thoughts on “March 16, 2013 (Sat) – Par for the course (actually 5-under)

  1. We are behind you Craig and you are not alone in this fight. Our prayers haven’t stopped and I think those letters are a testament just how much you are adored. You have touched so many. Plus I need my schedule by the 1st week of each month-don’t forget. 🙂 Blessings to you and your family. Draw strength in numbers and you know how much you love numbers.

  2. Hi Craig. Not sure if you are interested in complimentary therapies, but there are a couple of dietary changes you could make that might slow the growth of tumors and improve the effectiveness of your treatments.
    1. Stop any use of aspartame (Equal). Ref: Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, by neurosurgeon R. Blaylock. His findings are grounded in research but have been decried by the food industry and dismissed by the FDA.
    2. Stop all milk products. Ref: The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, a respected nutrition researcher. His research, done over decades, found that casein, the protein in milk, can cause or aggravate cancer. His work has received similar treatment from the Dairy Council. I have this book if you’d like to borrow it.
    3. Eat organic, skipping the ingestion of all pesticides, insecticides, and preservatives.
    Regardless, we send good wishes and encouragement across the street every day.

    For migraines:
    1. Cut back on salt intake to help decrease circulating volume of blood and blood pressure.
    2. Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine…your new best friend.
    3. See number 3 above.
    4. Daily walks.
    5. See if changes in altitude make a difference. Did you have the headache before going to Julian?


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