October 4, 2015 (Sun) – Road, Meet Firestone

For those loyal readers that have been with me a while, you may recall my blog post last Spring about chameleons. Well, today we diverge from lizards, itsy bitsy spiders, elephants and any other animals/insects I may have used in the past. Yes, I know a spider is not an insect. But technically it is an animal. I do work in a science museum dontcha know.  No today, boys and girls, we learn about rubber. And by rubber, I do not mean that we are having the “talk.”

Burning rubberThe rubber I’m referring to is that the material that covers wheels and comes in contact with pavement. One of the online dictionaries defines rubber meeting the road as “at the point in a process where there are challenges, issues, or problems.” When push comes to shove. When the petal hits the metal. I’m sure there are other metaphors but that should suffice. Unless you are not from the US and don’t understand our crazy idioms.

After meeting with my lung-onc-doc to discuss my glow-in-the-dark PET scan results, here is where we stand. Since my right hip was the only area of my body that was giving me any physical grief, it was decided that I should start a radiation series to take care of the two spots that popped up there. Problem being, one of those spots is the same one that I had zapped almost two years ago. So they need to tread lightly and spread out the treatments over 3 weeks with a lower dose to lessen the risk of permanent damage to the bone in Radiation machinethat area. They opted not to nail my left hip since it was not bothering me at the time and it would increase the risk of anemia. So this past Thursday, I began my first of 15 (actually 14 – more on that later) zappings to fry the fuzzies in that area. I’d include a picture but it would be r-rated. So I’ve included a generic one that is pretty close. I was disappointed that I didn’t get any new tattoos as they were able to use the old ones that were still there. The plan, since I had no other symptoms, is to remain on my A-team (AZD9291) drug until the end of this month when I have another set of PET/MRI scans. Hey, I have an idea. Perhaps I can hire the VW software engineers to tweak the PET software so that my scans come up clean. Whaddaya say?

Backing up (that’s a pun, but you won’t get it for a few sentences), I have never felt well ever since returning from SF with that nasty cold. AmoxicillinThe doc prescribed some Amoxicillin (yes, the pink stuff you gave your kids for ear infections) since I was experiencing symptoms of a sinus infection. This past Wednesday, I had to leave work early because I was feeling so, er, here we go again: crappy. On top of it I was developing some stomach discomfort. Aaah! Could it be cancer that showed up in my pancreas giving me a wake-up call? Could it be an ulcer? Could it be a side effect of the Amoxicillin? Could it be constipation? Could it just be a friggin’ stomach ache?Stomach pain

So, I know several co-workers and even a couple board members read my blog, so if you prefer not to feel awkward the next time you see me, you may want to skip the next paragraph. Fair warning.

I took Thursday and Friday off work as I couldn’t get off my recliner. As the stomach issue seemed to be getting worse, my doc prescribed some laxatives to help, er, eliminate, one of the potential causes listed above. Now you get my pun about “backing up.”  And yet the stomach discomfort never really went away. And of course, now my left hip is giving me some discomfort so I am limping like an old man with two bad hips. I know, I know. I am an old man. But some of the pain could be from just sitting on my rear end now for 4 full days. I’m surprised I don’t have bed sores. I tried getting off my duff to walk around our culdesac but I barely made it one loop and had to quit due to fatigue. Now that is feeling old. I find myself getting jealous of anyone doing anything washing-machineeven slightly athletic.

Oh, and I must have rubbed off on our 19-year-old washing machine as it crapped out over the weekend as well. OK, cue the violins. However, getting you to feel sorry for me was not the intent of this blog. Just keeping you up-to-date. And notice I didn’t say cue the harps. We are a long ways away from even thinking about that.

Unfortunately, (oops one more whine – bear with me), because of the radiation treatments, I will have to forego my trip to Chicago next weekend for the LVNG With Ambassador training. Bummer. Don’t think I’d be up to it in any case. Right now I’m more concerned about being able to make our upcoming vacation to Carmel/Pebble Beach. My radio-doc is cutting down my radiation treatments by one day so I can head out on this road trip the day after my last zapping.

kfcIn the midst of all this, I have totally lost my appetite. In fact I have an anti-appetite where just the sight of food makes me gag. Hey, maybe I’m pregnant. So my wifey, my wonderful wifey, brings home KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) figuring that if I will eat anything, I’d eat that. Having her sacrifice to stop by such a verboten place is like asking a vegan to stop by the meat market for some fresh steaks. Of course, I couldn’t even take a bite the night she got home. Me not being tempted to eat fried chicken is like Trump avoiding cameras. Never happens. I was able to force myself to make a decent dent in it the next day but overall I’ve lost 5 lbs in a week. My doc is not going to be happy. But my pants thank me.

I was also asked to tell my story for the CancerCommons website so if you are somewhat new to my blog, here is a decent short summary of my journey up until recently.

Stay tuned as things could be changing in the next few weeks.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


30 thoughts on “October 4, 2015 (Sun) – Road, Meet Firestone

  1. Hey Craig – keep up the fight and get some rest. Sometimes a cold is just a cold. We had some staff get sick during and after SF – I had some nasal stuff and didn’t feel great either, but some extra sleep helped. I wish the best for you and keep fighting ! – Janine

  2. I, too, LOVE fried chicken. I have not been eating well either lately. Too anxious. I went and had a lung CT scan done and they found some thingies. Told me to come back in 6 months for another scan…

    Carmel/Pebble Beach is coming up soon. I’ve never been there but now I’m curious. Google to the rescue! Can’t wait to hear about the trip.

    • Tess, sorry to hear about your CT scan but if they are waiting 6 months, I would not be overly concerned. Hope everything turns out OK. Thanks for the note. Very much looking forward to PB, and I don’t mean Pacific Beach. 🙂

  3. Hey Craig…..I follow everyone of your posts/blogs and think of you OFTEN even if I don’t comment. Just not right all this crap you are dealing with. Seems like your lack of hunger issues are pretty small in the big picture but I’d love to share my ever-increasing appetite with you if I could! Sending you good vibes from Kauai Craig. Hope to see you at the PnB in November.

  4. Craig,
    Thanks for sharing the hard times you are going through. We are praying that you will feel better soon and regain your strength so we will be able to see you next month at the AHS PnB. God’s blessings on you!

  5. Craig, since you have some time while sitting, watch Blazing Saddles and all of the really funny old movies….you need to get those endorphins going through your system. Of course we will pray even harder for you!

  6. Based upon your blogs – the few that I have read – you most likely have to be published somewhere. Are your writings in the Library of Congress? Come on, you can tell us – who is your publisher? You continue to amaze! Thanks for showing how to handle life’s challenges. John Martin

  7. Craig, I too read your blogs and will keep praying for your recovery. I agree with John above; you are such an entertaining writer! Keep your positive attitude and don’t give up! Lots more good thoughts and prayers coming your way!

  8. Craig, I am sorry to hear you have been feeling lousy, but I’m delighted to know you feel like eating again. That’s a really good sign. I wish you didn’t have a battle to fight but since you do, we are fighting and praying with you. Pebble Beach here you come!

  9. Your blog was one of the first I found after my husband was diagnosed. Didn’t think I could laugh after that news but reading your take on things did just that, made me laugh. He was feeling the same way at Christmastime, switched to Alectinib because the onc thought he could not tolerate the crizotinib…turned out he had a stomach bug! We always think the worst…rest and feel better. Sandy

    • Thanks Sandy. Hope your hubby is holding up. The imagination can really get a hold of you under the circumstances. This is definitely not for the weak…J


  10. Craig, I can empathize as I deal with a cold that will not end. I’m having a CT scan tomorrow and was just realizing that the darn cold was just getting underway 6 weeks ago when I had my last scan. Here’s a song for us:

    This is the cold that never ends
    It just goes on and on my friends
    Some people started sniffling not knowing what it was,
    And they’ll continue sniffling forever just because . . .

    I’m sorry you won’t be able to go to Chicago, but I’m glad that you are feeling better and that you have an enhanced treatment plan about to get underway.

  11. Thinking of you today, Craig. Hope you can get back on track with your diet soon. As I mentioned, Butter is always an option!

    • Thanks Peter. I’ll definitely have to look that up as an everyday option. As for the appetite, I had 4, count ’em, 4 pieces of pizza last night. And I actually wanted to. Big change of late.


  12. “Here is courage, mankind’s finest possession, here is
    the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win,
    and it is a good thing his city and all the people share with him
    when a man plants his feet and stands in the foremost spears
    relentlessly, all thought of foul flight completely forgotten,
    and has well trained his heart to be steadfast and to endure,
    and with words encourages the man who is stationed beside him.
    Here is a man who proves himself to be valiant in war…”
    —– Spartan poem

    Fight on Leonidas…


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