July 28, 2014 (Mon) – Just Call Me Uppity

upYeah, I suppose I could get a little attitude going. Easy to get a little cocky right now. But in reality, it should be altitude. I know you’ve been waiting for an update. And the emphasis is on UP-date. So if I’ve been too subtle, I am doing really well. Things are looking up. Everything is on the upswing. I ended the week on an up-note. Appetite is up. Golf score is up. Oops, how did that get in there? Well, you get the jist. So bottoms up!

12 days into my new A-team (AZD9291) treatments, things have turned around significantly from where they were just two weeks ago. I now take the stairs at work without thinking twice. Maybe not two at a time but stairs nonetheless. I Stairscan sleep on my bed (not the recliner) without any issue. I even played 18 holes of golf yesterday on a regulation course. Ergo the slip of tongue above. What, a high golf score is not good? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Got more than my money’s worth then. But no side effects that I can discern, other than perhaps a bit more of a dry-eye that I need to keep lubricated. No big-D; no opposite of big-D. No super dry skin; at least not any more than before. Bottom line: feeling pretty damn good. 🙂

Half full glassNow let’s be real. Even the glass-is-half-full-guy (who prior to dx was a half-empty guy) has to admit that it’s way too early to draw any conclusions. 12 days does not a success make. My next scan will be in about 4 weeks which will tell the tale. But whatever the reason, I am no longer severely short of breath and my appetite has returned. In fact the other night I powered down 4 fat, eatinghomemade tacos, not the cheesy (oops) Taco Bell variety. My wife looked at me like “Who are you and what did you do with my husband?” A week earlier I would have had to force down one taco. And I have no intention of reprising my role as a lung-suckee, thank you very much. So no more gross liter bottle pictures.

Thursday I have my 2nd clinical trial followup appointment to include a blood test, urine test, and EKG. They forgot to tell me about the urine test last week so between an empty bladder and performance anxiety, it was a bit of a challenge. OK, TMI. I get it. I’ll be better prepared this week though.

Appropriately enough, I am watching Rocky III as I work on this blog. I have to have mindless chatter in the background so I can concentrate on my endless witticisms. Yeah right. But since Mr. T is part of the A-team, I am torn between rooting for him (Clubber Lang) and Rocky. Have to go with Mr. T.  Heck,  he wins the first fight anyway. Oops, didn’t mean  to spoil the outcome for anyone…

Google yourselfOK, how many of you have Googled your own name? If you didn’t raise your hand, you’re lying. We’ve all done it, out of curiosity mostly I suppose, to see where we might pop up. Now if your name is John Smith, you might have a bit of a problem. But “Craig Blower?” Not so much. I even set up a Google alert to e-mail me whenever my name pops up on the internet. Want to be sure nothing nefarious (there’s that word again) shows up. Occasionally I’ll get a hit on Craig Blower, the teacher in Michigan, or Craig Blower, the dairy owner somewhere in the Midwest, or even Craig Blower, the convict in an Irish prison. No, we are not related. But this past weekend I got a hit indicating my name was used in someone else’s blog. Of course, I had to check it out.

Pam Hawley is one of my blog readers who, like many, remains in the background but stays on top of my journey by subscribing to my updates. I knew her name from when she, and a lot of you, came out of the closet upon request during my Rocky Horror blog back in January. But I had no idea she wrote her own blog. The Google hit I got was from her recent blog update where I was Blog word.mentioned.  Many of you read my blog but I am not aware of any personal specific connection to it unless a comment is left behind. In this case, Pam’s mother was dealing with her own battle with lung cancer. Unfortunately her mom recently passed but what Pam wrote in her blog had me choked up for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. You can read it here.

As you may know, I originally started my blog to keep people updated so they wouldn’t feel awkward about asking me about my status. I know there are those of you that have a personal connection, either with their own cancer journey or that of a loved one. And especially those I don’t know who have found me via one of the other cancer sites or even Googling various cancer phrases. But I really do not know how many read my blog for that reason. However, after reading Pam’s blog this past weekend, I am honored and touched to know that my writings have played some small part in the journeys of others. Thanks Pam.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


23 thoughts on “July 28, 2014 (Mon) – Just Call Me Uppity

  1. I have been waiting for your latest blog and hoping that things were going well and you didn’t have much to say!! i don’t subscribe; I just check everyday!! Thanks for sharing the link to Pam’s blog. I’m sure you certainly were a glimmer of hope or a since of camaraderie the you are providing a lot of people with your journaling of your journey.

  2. Craig……You touch our lives as you have touched many others. That is a wonderful gift of love and we thank you and send it right back……EZ

  3. I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how things are and when you were going to give us an UPdate. I’m glad to hear the news is good. Yes, it’s early days. But we can usually tell by how we feel what’s going on. Yay for the A-team.

  4. Yay for the “A Team “! So glad yoy’re feeling better! Continuing to send lots of love & positive energy your way. Hugs.

  5. Yay! That is good news Craig – so glad the “A” Team is working for you! As a 13 year cancer survivor I can tell you that your awareness of every day being a gift never goes away – it is one of those odd little blessings that cancer conveys. That, and finding humor (sometimes very DARK humor) in adverse circumstances. Which you have discovered, in spades. Keep on blogging – and know we’re all rooting for you and Kim.

  6. Thank you Craig! Not just for the mention, but for the big grin I got (on a back-to-work-after-a-mini-vacation-day, even!) reading the news that you are feeling better and the A-Team seems to be doing some butt-kicking. Those lung-sucking, recliner-sleeping, completely winded days are tough, and I’m glad they are behind you. Keep on keepin’ on!

  7. Hurrah for the A-Team! Go, go, go! Glad you’re feeling like your old self.
    As for Google, since I blog regularly and have a website, I appear near the top when you Google certain key words. It’s a great way to get the information out there and gather fans. Now if only I would sell books. Ha!

  8. YAY!!! That is so good to hear!! It’s finally occurred to me that I may be commenting anonymously, so … This is Cheryl in Washington … Cousin to the Queen of Fun. We have been on a very different journey with my husbands prostate cancer … 9 years and counting … But one of the things we have in common is a determination to beat the hell out of the statistics and to LIVE like people without a diagnosis : ) I have learned that where you go for care makes a difference, and being with a group that is current with the research and a home to clinical trials is crucial. So glad you are at UCSD and they are taking good CARE of you!! Carry on … I’m another warrior in your corner : )

  9. Craig – I just read Pam’s blog – and I now subscribe – this too is how the blogging works – a tumbleweed picking up stuff as it rolls along. To say your post today is GREAT is an understatement. It’s Tony the Tiger great. And I think that reference dates some of us too….

  10. Woo Hoo! So glad you have many reasons to be “up” even if that includes your golf score! Go A-Team Go!

  11. I just found your blog tonight after seeing it mentioned on Pam Hawley’s blog. I told her, and want to tell you as well, that I really appreciate you sharing these experiences with us. I came across her blog, and then yours, after receiving news today, or rather yesterday at this point, that my mother has lung cancer. They’re preliminary results; additional results are pending that will tell us about the type and stage of cancer she has so we can discuss treatment options. I am still in shock and had to do research on this unexpected diagnosis (not that anyone ever really expects it, of course), which took me here, and I’m glad it did. It’s already been inspiring and uplifting to us. As I said on Pam’s blog, blogs like yours and hers are helping me feel like I’m connecting, even if indirectly, with people who can relate and know so much more about lung cancer than I do at this point (although I wish nobody had to deal with or know anything about this in the first place). Please know that your blog is such a help to people, and that you are in our thoughts and prayers…thank you.

    • Thank you for your note. As Pam said there is a wealth of information out there with lots of sites as well as other survivor blogs. I have several listed to the right on my blog. You might check out Inspire.com as there are many threads about lung cancer and how people have been dealing with it. Good luck. We’ll be watching for updates.

      • Thanks so much. Yes, I will be checking out all these resources as well…I appreciate your moral support and will share updates as you said. And I look forward to following your blog, too…I love it already and have read through all your posts. You write so well, in an informative, touching and engaging way. I especially enjoy how you inject humor into your posts; it’s so refreshing to read and provides such a good balance. Thanks for what you’re doing, and I’ll be reading your blog for continued updates from you as well!

  12. Thanks you all the updates. It keeps you in our hearts and minds, it helps us know how to pray for you.


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