Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

31 years ago today I got sick.  Always a weird day of memories and a day I think about my mom a lot.  I have been away from this blog for awhile now, and it's time to get back....Expect to see updates every week until I get it completed!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trying to Keep Things Normal

My mom saved a lot of items while I was sick. 
Here is the note from my Dr. that allowed us to get a handicapped parking pass.

OK, so the excuse for the long break between posts this time is....I am typing this on basically a completely new computer.  After a complete overhaul, our computer is back and so am I....

As we moved toward the middle and end of May, my birthday was approaching.  On May 22nd I turned 8 and celebrated the first of two birthdays I would have on Chemotherapy.  My mom continually strived to keep life as normal as possible.  We spent a lot of time with family in Miles City and she signed me up for swimming lessons.  Sick or not she was keeping things moving forward, and she could at least scratch the chance of me drowning, off the list...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Road Trip

Boulder Little League, Billings, MT.  T-Ball. I played P/1B which should tell you something about my t-ball skills
back in the day.

One of the best memories I have during the time I was sick was going to my first Major League Baseball game in Seattle.  As a young kid I liked the New York Yankees.  They were good in the late '70's and early 80's, so I was on the bandwagon.  I was also a Reggie Jackson fan as he hit a lot of home runs.  Through some family connections to MLB scouts, I was able to get a baseball signed by the 1981 Yankees when we went to see them play the Mariners in May of 1981.  Jackson hit a home run during the series and for a brief couple days we put Cancer behind us and enjoyed life.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One Tube Out, Another Tube In

My brother Tim's 5th birthday, October 1981. 

Sorry for the delay in blog updates.  I was hoping to keep the breaks short, but life got in the way of that. So back to the shit sandwich we are plowing through.....

With May about to begin, I was nearing my 8th birthday on the 22nd.  My super pubic cath was now out.  Radiation was complete and my skin was healing.  The tumors were not visible any longer under x-ray and it seemed we had passed the first test and turned the corner. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Highs and Lows...

Here comes trouble......15 months old, summer '74. 

Now we were nearing the end of April and enough time had elapsed to allow for positive results.  There was no question the radiation had reduced the tumors significantly.  Coupled with the chemotherapy, hope was increasing that this battle would end with a victory for life.  The 22 lung tumors were not visible now and the softball sized prostate tumor was disappearing.  It was time to take a look inside and I had a cystoscopy to examine my prostate.  Good news would come from the procedure.  The problem was the side effects were still terrible and I continued to lose weight.  Four months earlier I was riddled with cancer, but looked and felt healthy.  Now the cancer was taking a beating, but I looked like the walking dead.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turkey's Done

My 3rd or 4th birthday and a much happier time.  My mom loaded that cake with candles, which had me mesmerized.

Finally the end was in sight for my radiation treatment.  It ended not a moment too soon as the symptoms and pain were reaching a breaking point.  At this stage of treatment I had morphed into a red tomato that could hardly walk.  The chemotherapy drug Vincristine was giving me multiple side effects.  The common side effects were expected.  I had hair loss, low blood counts, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, taste changes, and digestive problems.  The less common problem that occurred, put a halt to the drug, as I began to experience peripheral neuropathy. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In the Trenches

Hey I grew up in Montana.....we pack heat and wear plaid pants!

So now the war was really on.  As April of 1981 arrived my symptoms from the radiation and chemo continued to become more severe.  I continued to lose more and more weight and my blood counts began to worsen every time they were tested. 

Nights became eventful as I was not sleeping well and usually up multiple times with pain or digestive system problems.  We were only three months in, but the emotional toll was beginning to hit all of us and it became pretty clear, this is really going to be awful.

These next journal entries are some very rough days and nights.