Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In Praise of the Vorlon Wife

I continue to be amazed at the Vorlon Wife’s patience with me, when I’m not feeling well. Bad as my luck may have been in coming up with my disease, my luck has been great in picking wives. I would be lost without her.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/30/05 8:30 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

The Neighbors Have Moved in With Us

We have ants. I guess with the fall here and winter coming on, ants are looking for new sources of food. I found a colony of ants scouring the kitchen counter looking for food. They are very tiny ants so it they don’t need a very large hole to get into the house. The Vorlon Wife has tracked their path to somewhere outside. She has purchased ant traps and distributed them around. Hopefully the invasion will subside in a few days.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/30/05 7:10 PM | Link

It's Over for Today

My chemo is over for today and I’m sitting her in a Benadryl induced haze. I’ve recovered somewhat from the initial Benadryl hit, but it is not good to walk.

Tomorrow I go for an MRI on my head and then my Neulasta shot. The Neulasta will be the one that really knocks me down. I expect Friday to not be a good day. Well, I’m ready for it. If it’ll help, bring it on.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/30/05 2:33 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Almost Done

They just plugged in the Carboplatin – what I call the desert of my chemo treatment. I should have less than an hour remaining. The Benadryl is really whacking me. I am very lethargic. I think I’ll take a nap when I get home.

The Vorlon wife has just returned from her acupuncture treatment. She brought a turkey sub with her and I have just finished it. It was OK. I’m looking forward to a Klondike bar with I get home. My weight was 151 this morning, a pound down from a few days ago. I take that to mean I can still eat like a horse.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/30/05 12:59 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

And so it Begines

I’m sitting in the oncologist’s office waiting for my chemo treatment. I have met with the oncologist and he seems satisfied with what he sees in his cursory exam. He is going to schedule me for a CAT scan in two weeks to see how I’m doing. He expressed optimism that the CAT scan would show improvement. I almost wish he hadn’t said that. I don’t want to jinx the results.

I am still scheduled for another treatment in three weeks – which is what I wanted.

I asked him why don’t they hit me with the same does every two weeks instead of three. He said it takes three weeks for the bone marrow to recover. I told him about my friend whose wife went for chemo treatments for lung cancer every week. He said, in her case the give one-third of the does every week instead of the whole does every three weeks.

Right now they are pumping the Tagamet and the Benadryl into me. I think I can feel the initial effects of the Benadryl starting.

I was a bad boy last night. I forgot to take my pre-medication at 12:00 midnight. I was tired last night and I completely forgot. I told the nurse of my error and she didn’t think it would make a difference.

My next meeting with the oncologist will be with one of his partners. My oncologist if from India and he is going home to celebrate his parent’s 60th wedding anniversary.

I had a few minutes to interview him and ask him how he got started in oncology. He said he tried doing colonoscopy, but it was early in the technology and it took two hours and was just very stressful. He didn’t figure he wanted to do that. He said someone he knew at the University of Pennsylvania encouraged him into his field. He went to the University of Pennsylvania and he considered his friend one of the smartest people.

The Benadryl is starting to hammer me. I can see they have upped the Decadron from 10 to 20 mg to make for the premedication I did not take last night.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/30/05 10:10 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Night Before

Although I was tired today, I accomplished quite a bit. It as the second day of the upgrade and the users weren’t quite as rammy as they were yesterday. I got on well with the users and that helps. I have a sense of humor to help break the ice, when things get stressful. In particular, when they get upset because they make a mistake or just run out of patience, I just tell them, “Don’t worry about it. Everyone feels this way.”

It is true and it seems to make them feel better.

I left the client site about 6:30 PM. It was lightly raining and the drive home was rather messy. A normal two-hour drive took about two and half hours. But I’m home now and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is a big day – so to speak.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/29/05 10:22 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Time to go to Work

I’m up and ready check out. I did not sleep well last night and I don’t know why. I just couldn’t seem to sleep. There was nothing bothering me and I had no particular pain.

I feel alert this morning and I’m ready to go. I’m going to check out and then stop at the diner on the way to the client site for breakfast. I’ll probably crash some time later today. I’m hoping I can leave early enough that I don’t get home too late.

After all, tomorrow is a big day. I have to sit for five hours in a chair – very strenuous.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/29/05 6:55 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time for Bed

Today went well. The client is moving to a completely new system. Users can get a little testy during this process and I saw a little of that today. My contact at the client site, who is a real sweetheart, thought they were being nasty. I’ve worked with nasty in the past and these people were a piece of cake by comparison.

But then I have some of the thickest hide you will find. It’s like a rhinoceros. I really do believe in the adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” As long as people are not physically attacking me, life is good.

I’m rather disappointed with the restaurant in the hotel. I paid $13 for breakfast this morning. It was the cheap breakfast and not all the good. On the way back to the hotel tonight, I passed a diner. I stopped and asked them what time they open up in the morning. They said 6:00 AM. That’s where I’m having breakfast tomorrow.

The Vorlon Wife has put the idea in my contact’s head that I need to eat. They are stuffing me. Someone brought in some home made lasagna for lunch. It was very good. Lasagna is very filling and I had a large slice. Then she took me out to dinner at Chili’s tonight where I had a small steak dinner. I may have a very light breakfast tomorrow morning. I weighed 152 Lbs when I left last night, I would be surprised to find I weight 153 Lbs upon my return.

If I didn’t have my chemo scheduled for Wednesday I would probably stay through Thursday. They’re going to just have to muddle through until I can return next week. After Wednesday of this week I’ll probably be out of commission for the rest of the week – although I can do SOME work remotely.

I feel quite well tonight. I feel better than I want to feel. I’m disappointed that I feel so good. I consider my situation like going to war. In war you try to avoid fair fights. Instead you try to have such overwhelming force of arms that your enemy is completely destroyed. That’s the way I want to fight my war. If I’m feeling this good, then perhaps my oncologist is not being aggressive enough. It is a point I plan on bringing up with him. You can beat my up pretty good, if you can convince me it’ll help. No pain, no gain.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/28/05 9:51 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Good Morning from Rahway

I slept well last night – as well as one can sleep in a strange hotel room. The internet access here is poor. Although I can surf the net, the speed in very erratic and I cannot do work on it – very disappointing.

I’m not getting ready to head out the door to the client’s site.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/28/05 7:12 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Safely Ensconced in Rahway New Jersey

I am sitting here blogging from my Holiday Inn hotel room. Unfortunately the internet service is VERY slow.

The trip up was painfully slow. What should have taken less than two hours took about 2:45 – holiday traffic. I used the time to talk with the Vorlon Parents. I’ve put a new battery in my cell phone and I can now talk for much longer before I get that “beep” in my ear that tells me I’m about to be disconnected. I find cell phone batteries loose much of their oomph after about a year. Fortunately, they’re not expensive to replace.

I’m going to try to work on my client’s system. I hope the speed is sufficient to do some work.

On the way up I heard a radio infomercial for a piece of software called Wizetrade. It’s software to help you decide when to buy and sell stocks and mutual funds. It sounded interesting. I may investigate it further, when I get home.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/27/05 6:24 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

I'm On My Way

I’m packing up and head’n on out. I’m going to a Holiday Inn so I can be at the client site first thing tomorrow morning. I’m taking my laptop and the hotel is supposed to have internet access so I may be able to blog from the hotel.

I’ve checked the tire pressures on Dasher-1 and they are good to go. I will top off the fuel tank as I leave Vineland. I’m not thrilled about traffic. What with the holiday and all, I would not be surprised to find it heavy.

I’m going up the New Jersey Turnpike. If it backs up, there’s not much I can do.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/27/05 3:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Keeping Clean

bissell_sweeper.jpgWe were at a Toastmasters meeting a while ago. We left as the restaurant was closing and the stall was cleaning up. They were using one of these little sweepers. I asked them what they thought of it and they had very high praise for this little guy. The fellow said that for most things it was better than a vacuum cleaner.

Based on his review, we bought one at the local department store called Boscov’s. We have now tested it in out own home and given it the Vorlon stamp of approval.

It is very convenient. It has two features I like, well three actually. One is I like that it is cordless. The second is it doesn’t leave that vacuum cleaner smell you get after you’ve vacuumed, and thirdly, it cleans very well.

With a rechargeable battery, it has a small electric motor that runs the sweeper brush that picks up the dirt. The instructions say it will run for an hour with on a charge. We usually only use it for a few minutes at a time.

The Vorlon Wife took it to the office yesterday and cleaned everything in sight. She said the only problem it had was one particular dust bunny. Other than that it sucked up everything in sight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/26/05 10:57 AM | Link

I'm Back

I’m back from yesterday’s trip to the client site. It proved to be a long day. I got there about 10:00 AM and left about 9:00 PM. I got home just before 11:00 PM.

It was an interesting experience. I left the Vorlon Wife at the home base and flew solo up and back.

About 12:00 I received a call from the Vorlon Wife reminding me to eat. It’s a little disconcerting to get a call from the Vorlon Wife and hear, “Don’t forget to eat your lunch.”

It’s not uncommon, when working on a project, to work through until the project is done. Eating just seems to get in the way. My contact said she had a voice mail from the Vorlon Wife reminding her to make sure I eat. I didn’t realize my lease was that short.

Many things did not go smoothly – but that’s not unusual and you learn to adjust and still get the project done.

I felt good all day long. When I left, I was a bit fatigued, but still alert. The drive home was uneventful.

This morning I logged into the client’s computer this morning and started the upgrade running. I will check it throughout the day. I hope to have it completed by the end of today.

As far as the eating, I stepped on the scale this morning and I think I can stand down from Red Alert eating. I’ve picked up two pounds in the last week or so. Although I want to maintain my weight, I don’t think I want to turn into a butterball.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/26/05 9:27 AM | Link

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cold This Morning

It was 21 degrees when I went out for my walk this morning. I’m prepping Dasher-1 for the drive to North Jersey this morning. I hope the Jersey Turnpike is light today. I’ll see you on the flip side.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/25/05 7:37 AM | Link

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Update

The Vorlon Wife and I went to her niece’s for Thanksgiving today. I made sure to eat lots to keep my weight up. It was very tasty.

The drive was about 1:45 each way. I’m a bit tired tonight and will be going to bed early. I want to get a good night’s sleep as I’m driving to a client site tomorrow to prepare for their upgrade. It’s a two-hour drive each way.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/24/05 8:13 PM | Link


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/24/05 10:03 AM | Link

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

11/23 Final Update

There’s not much to report. I’m feeling pretty good – although I’m not ready to take on any physical tasks. I feel pretty good as long as I don’t move too much. I’m almost a little disappointed. If I don’t feel badly, how much good can the chemotherapy be doing? I’m ready to hurt a lot, if it’ll kill off my enemy.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/23/05 9:15 PM | Link

A Turkey Day Greeting

My sister sent me this link and I thought I'd pass it on. Make sure your speakers are turned on.

Another thanksgiving reminder his here. You will need the Real Audio player to listen to it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/23/05 8:25 AM | Link

Pumpkins for Sale

A few weeks ago, a local church was selling pumpkins. I took a few pictures and thought these pumpkins were cute.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/23/05 8:15 AM | Link

11/23 Morning Update

I slept well last night. I only remember waking up three times and two of those were to drain the plumbing.

My two-mile walk this morning was a little chilly. The temperature was 28 degrees and with the wind chill, in one direction, I would estimate the temperature probably felt like it was under 10 degrees.

The numbness in my fingers and feet seems to not getting any worse and may, in fact, be subsiding just a smidgeon.

Yesterday I felt pretty tired about half way through the day. I wish I had a way of taking a nap at the office. Coffee doesn’t seem to help. I’ll see if that performance repeats itself or my energy level stays good.

I’m beginning to suspect that eight hours of sleep in insufficient for what I’m going through.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/23/05 6:39 AM | Link

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

11/22 Final Update

I’m feeling pretty good tonight. I felt rather tired earlier today, but now that I’m getting ready for bed, I’m feeling more alert. I just think I have good and bad patches. Fortunately, the good patches are getting a little longer and the bad patches are as bad as they used to be.

I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/22/05 8:47 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Gasoline Price Gouging

So who is really price gouging the public in gasoline? In the most recent quarter, ConocoPhillips made about 9 cents a gallon, when gasoline was selling for $2.60 a gallon. That’s a profit margin of 3.5 percent.

In that same period the Federal Government made 18.4 cents per gallon. State governments made anywhere between 14 and 44 cents per gallon.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/22/05 6:51 PM | Link

Another Fall Photo

This is a photo I took a few weeks ago. I just haven’t had the opportunity to go on any photo expeditions of late. Hopefully that will change. But this isn’t too bad.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/22/05 8:51 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

11/22 Morning Update

I’m doing pretty well this morning. I went out for my brisk two-mile walk. I coughed a bit upon returning, but felt good.

I slept pretty well last night and I think that helps a lot. My temperature and blood pressure are with normal operating parameters. I’ve gained another pound – which is guess is good, as long as I don’t gain too many extra pounds.

My feet are pretty numb as well as the three fingers on my right hand. Why three fingers on my right hand and none on my left is a puzzle to me.

I’m still experiencing pain in my lower left back as well as some just to the left of the spine about shoulder blade height.

Best of all, I’m feeling alert.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/22/05 7:11 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, November 21, 2005

11/21 Final Update

I’m doing pretty well tonight. Temperature and blood pressure are still within normal parameters and I feel pretty good – except for some fatigue and the ache in my back. Not much to report tonight – which I guess is a good thing.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/21/05 9:03 PM | Link

The Bathroom Commode

I don't remember if I've posted this before or not. Anywho, here it is.

The story is told of a lady who was rather old-fashioned, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a week's vacation in Florida, so she wrote to a particular campground asking for a reservation.

She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped, but didn't quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term BATHROOM COMMODE. But when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter referring to the bathroom commode merely as the BC: "Does the campground have it's own BC?" is what she actually wrote.

Well, the campground owner wasn't old-fashioned at all and when he got the letter, he just couldn't figure out what the woman was talking about. That BC business really stumped him.

After worrying about it for awhile, he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn't imagine what the lady meant either. So the campground owner, finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the local Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply:

Dear Madam: I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that a BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away, if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. It is such a beautiful facility and the acoustics are marvelous even the normal delivery sounds can be heard.

The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now a supper is planned to raise money to buy more seats. They are going to hold it in the basement of the BC.

I would like to say it pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we grow old, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather.

If you do decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks.

Remember that this is a friendly community.

(Campground Owner)

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/21/05 6:39 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

11/21 Morning Update

I’m doing pretty well this morning. I slept OK. It’s what I’m getting used to. I sleep for two hours, wake up toss a bit, sleep another two hours and so on throughout the night.

I opted to walk my two miles this morning. I didn’t huff or puff very much at all. It just takes a lot longer than jogging. My feet are pretty numb from the balls of my feet forward.

At least I feel quite good and alert. I’ll see how I do throughout the day.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/21/05 6:38 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

11/20 Final Update

The good news is my temperature remains within formal operating parameters. I think I’ve put the fever behind me.

I went out for my two-mile jog/walk this morning. It seems I overdid it. I did a two-mile walk/jog in which I jogged about two thirds of the way. During church I felt like I had just run a hard 10 miles. I just felt exhausted. When I returned from church I lay down and slept for 90 minutes. I arose feeling much better.

It appears I’m going to have to take my morning workouts very carefully. I’m just really frustrated at how poor my aerobic capacity is and how slowly I seem to be improving it.

The spot in the lower left of my back is still irritating me. I’ve decided that if I have a long trip in the car, I’m going to take some ibuprofen prior to the trip.

The upcoming Thanksgiving weekend is promising to be a busy one. We’re going to the Vorlon Wife’s niece’s house for Thanksgiving. The next day I’m going to North Jersey to a client site and then returning on Monday and Tuesday. They’re doing an upgrade over the weekend. I’ll be back Wednesday morning, November 30, for my next chemo treatment.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/20/05 8:18 PM | Link


I’m feeling pretty good this morning. I slept well – as well as could be expected. My body temperature and blood pressure are within normal operating parameters. I have a little pain in my back this morning, but it is only a minor irritant.

I’m getting ready to go out for my two mile jog/walk. I think I will take it easy. The temperature outside reads 33 degrees.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/20/05 7:38 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

11/19 Final Update

I have done pretty well today. I think I have licked the fever thing for good. I still think the fever was a delayed reaction to a flu shot.

I raked leaves today, but after about three hours, I gave it up. I just ran out of juice. The whole effort produced a pretty good workout. It had me huffing and puffing quite a bit. I considered it a good workout.

The Vorlon Wife and I went to a potluck diner at the church. I was hungry and ready for a potluck diner. I really chowed down really enjoyed myself. I find I’m hungry a lot lately.

I’m wearing the little beanie the girl in my office crocheted for me almost all the time, when indoors. I find it very comfortable to wear. I’m going to have to find a couple more so I can wash one and wear one.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/19/05 8:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/19 Morning Update

Good morning world! I slept well last night and feel quite well. My temperature and blood pressure are all within normal operating parameters. My weight is unchanged from yesterday and I feel rested.

My only chemo symptoms are decreased energy level and numbness in the balls and toes on my feet and the thumb, index and forefingers of my right hand.

I wore my new beanie through the night. I don’t know if it contributed to my good sleep or not. I think it’s partly that most of my back pain is gone.

I plan to help the Vorlon Wife finish raking the leaves today. I plan to use the leaf blower to do much of the work.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/19/05 7:42 AM | Link

Friday, November 18, 2005

11/18 Final Update

I think I ran a little too hard this morning. I was tired all day. At about 10:30 AM, I went down and bought myself another of the pizza’s I had last night. I ate three slices and they all went down very well. It was just as good today as it was last night. The pizza really satisfied my hunger.

The girl in our office, crocheted me a small cap. It’s a little bigger than a yamaka but smaller than a stocking cap. I find it is nice and warm to wear when inside.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/18/05 8:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Maybe Too Much Too Soon

I’m feeling a little tired right now. I may have pushed a little too hard on my jog this morning. I’m rather anxious to get some aerobic capacity back.

Maybe I just need some more of that pizza. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. Did I say it was really good pizza?

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/18/05 9:06 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

More Fall Leaves

More fall leaves. I took this photo a few weeks ago. Almost all the leaves, at least the colorful ones, are now off the trees. I’m reaching back into my archives to find something nice to publish.

Although this is OK, somehow it doesn’t really grab me. However, it’s better than not beauty at all.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/18/05 7:52 AM | Link

11/18 Morning Update

This morning I’m still doing well. My temperature and blood pressure are within normal operating parameters. I checked my weight and it appears unchanged from yesterday. Although I woke up hungry. I'm still thinking about that pizza I had last night.

I slept pretty well until about 3:00 AM. I woke up about then and did not sleep well afterward. Perhaps my need for sleep has decreased in response to my better physical condition.

I went out for my two-mile jog/walk this morning. I jogged about 80% of the first mile and about 95% of the second mile. I’ll see if I pay for that later today.

It was 29 degrees when I went out the door this morning. I suspect that will be the end of the Vorlon Wife’s Impatiens. They don’t do well when it freezes.

The Vorlon Wife has been referred to a pain management doctor for the pain associated with her shingles. She’s having trouble contacting him.

She has also contacted an acupuncturist. The acupuncturist seems confident he can help her. She has an appointment with him on the same day I get my next chemo.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/18/05 6:45 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

11/17 Final Update

My improvement continues. My energy level is still in an upward direction and I just feel more alert. I still have some back pain and expect an unpleasant night in bed. My back pain seems to bother me most at night in bed. I’ll load up on ibuprofen in an attempt to keep the pain to a non-sleep depriving level.

I feel a LOT better. My next chemo treatment isn’t until 11/30. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m tempted to tell my oncologist I’m ready for another hit. I figure, if I can take it, I should hit my enemy as hard as I can. I plan to show no mercy.

The afternoon the Vorlon Niece from the left coast stopped by with her boyfriend. They are both working on their doctorates in something to do with neurology and had gone to Washington DC for a conference. They were driving to his parents place in upstate New Jersey and stopped by Vineland for a brief visit.

We went to a local eatery and shared a large pizza. I must say, I think it is the best pizza I have had in a very long time. Now I don’t eat pizza very often, but we ordered what they called the Luighi's Special. It is pizza with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms and onions on it.

It was just excellent. Not only were the toppings good, but the crust seemed perfect. Sort of like the Three Bears, not too thick, not too thin, but just right. In addition, the whole thing was not particularly greasy.

The only thing I regret about the pizza is that I don’t have a piece I can eat right now. It would go down very well. I’m really feeling hungry. I’ve already eaten a yogurt and a Klondike bar, but another slice of that pizza would be really nice. It’s not far from the office; I may revisit the place tomorrow for lunch.

My appetite is good and I have taken to eating almost everything in sight.

I’m sorry the Vorlon Niece could not stay longer, but they had places to go and people to see. We gave them directions to the New Jersey Turnpike and bid them a fond adieu.

I enjoy chatting with people I hardly know or don’t know at all. It gives me a chance to practice my interview skills and I learn about someone I don’t know. The conversation also takes my mind off myself and my symptoms are abated during the conversation.

We still enjoyed the visit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/17/05 8:21 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/17 Morning Update

I’m not doing too badly this morning. I jogged/walked my two miles. I jogged about two-thirds of the distance and walked the rest. It’ll be interesting to see if I pay for that later today.

I’ve picked up a pound since yesterday and my temperature and blood pressure are within normal operating parameters. I still have some back pain that I think is left over from the Neulasta. I am looking forward to a quasi-normal day.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/17/05 6:26 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

11/16 Final Update

I feel like I’m emerging from a long dark tunnel. I’m still somewhat weak and a little shaky on my feet, but today was the best I’ve had since last Thursday.

The Vorlon Wife and I went to our Toastmasters meeting. It was good to get out and talk with people. I find conversation seems to help me feel better. It’s not a permanent thing, but while I’m talking, I don’t feel so badly. I suspect it has to do with focus. Conversation takes the focus off me and how I’m feeling and forces me to focus on the conversation.

I’m looking forward to walking/jogging tomorrow morning. I think I’ll take it easy – maybe.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/16/05 9:20 PM | Link

11/16 Morning Update

I’m up and about. I decided to forego my exercise this morning after yesterday’s experience. I’ll go out tomorrow morning and try to better sneak up on my exercise goals.

All in all, I don’t feel too badly. I feel tired and I’m still getting pain shots from time to time. I figure the pain is likely still from the Neulasta. During the day, they’re an inconvenience, but not incapacitating. At night, they can prevent me from sleeping. I’ve gone back to taking 600 mg of ibuprofen before bed and that seems to help during the night. Now that my stomach is much more stable, I can handle the higher dosage.

Yesterday I calibrated my scale. I put 90 Lbs of known weight on the scale and then adjusted the zero adjustment until it read 90 Lbs. I would have put more on, but I think that’s about all I have in weights – although if I look around, I might have another 20 Lbs.

Yesterday I was 142 Lbs and, now after recalibrating my scale, I’m reading 148 Lbs. I’m considering getting out my skin fold calipers and checking percent body fat instead. They might be a more reliable reading. Maybe I’ll just go out and get a better scale.

The good news is I’m hungry this morning.

I check my temperature and blood pressure every morning and night. When I check my blood pressure, it usually puts my heart rate at 80 something. That’s very high for me and I think in indicator of higher basal metabolism. Six months ago, my pulse rate would have been in the low 60’s. That one thing pushes me to improve my aerobic capacity. I’m just going to have to keep whacking away at it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/16/05 7:09 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

11/15 Final Update

My temperature is up a bit tonight – 99.1 degrees. I felt very tired today and I’m looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep. Although that seems to be an elusive phenomena. I’m not sure whether I’ll jog, walk, or both tomorrow morning.

This physical limitation is really starting to irritate me.

One of the things Steve Schneider mentions in his book is that after a while he took to weeping. He says that for no apparent reason, he would start to weep. He spoke to a psychologist friend and his friend gave him a model for what that was happening to him. I’m not sure I agree with the model his friend gave him. But I have noticed a similar tendency in myself.

Not that I have taken to weeping for no explicable reason. A mild emotional response to a TV show or a kindness from a friend sometimes almost brings me almost to tears. I don’t really understand why.

I would work on it, but it doesn’t rate really high on my list of things to do. For now it’s something I observer and ponder a bit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/15/05 8:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

11/15 Midday Update

I felt very tired at the office. I finally threw in the towel and came home. I went to bed and took a two-hour nap. I feel much better now. I really needed that nap. I also just finished a big meal. I’m going to stay home the rest of today and work from home.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/15/05 1:37 PM | Link


This Milkweed has gone to seed. I find Milkweeds interesting, as they are the sole source of food for Monarch butterflies. This is one of those lucky shots. I took just two photos of this and one came out quite good. In fact, what you see here is changed very little from the original. I just got lucky. I rather like the way the sun glistens off the silk and the background is nicely out of focus.

As they say, if you can’t be good, by lucky.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/15/05 8:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Its Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas

A local radio station in the Philadelphia area has started playing Christmas music 24/7. Actually, I think they started about November 1. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, the station is 104.5 FM

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/15/05 6:53 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

11/15 Morning Update

I continue to improve – which I take as a good sign. I think I’ve picked up a pound or two. I’m finding my electronic scale is not very accurate. It depends on how I zero it out. I may have to go out and get a mechanical scale. What I really need to do is to calibrate it with a known weight.

I did my two-mile jog this morning and walked only about five percent of the distance. I feel like my aerobic capacity is getting better. Mind you, it was jogging at a very slow pace. However, I wasn’t winded. I just had to push to make sure I jogged nearly the whole distance. Jogging is one way for me to get some metrics on my progress. Every time I go out and jog, it’s a test to see how my body is responding to the toxins they pump through me.

Although I’m feeling better, I still feel tired. I feel like I could lie down and go to sleep at any time. To use the Star Trek analogy, I have no warp speed. I think I have about two-thirds impulse power.

The Vorlon Wife’s shingles continue to haunt her. When the pain medication wears off, she suffers.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/15/05 6:40 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, November 14, 2005

11/14 Final Update

I made it into the office today and actually got some work done – billable hours. I felt pretty tired all day and am looking forward to hitting the sack tonight. I felt like my brain is not yet back to warp speed.

I scared myself when I stepped on the scale this morning. I’ve dropped a pound or two. I’m even starting to feel skinning even to myself. I’m starting to worry less about organic or vegetarian diet and look more towards putting on calories. I understand my problem is that between the cancer and the chemo, my basal metabolism has risen and I burn more calories just sitting still.

Most of my pain is gone, but the numbness is returning in my feet and fingers. Actually it never left my feet, but it did ease up a bit. Now it’s back. Walking is uneasy. I still plan to jog/walk tomorrow morning. I’ll see how I do.

I'm working on a new mantra, "Every day in every way, I'm getting better and better." How's that?

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/14/05 8:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/14 Morning Update

The pain is mostly gone save for the occasional stab here and there – usually in the back or leg joint. I feel tired but not exhausted. I was able to jog/walk two miles this morning with about half the distance at a very slow jog.

It occurred to me this morning that if the chemo seems to be slowing down the processes in my body, it would also likely slow down my regaining my aerobic capacity. Well no one said it was going to be easy.

My fingers and feet are getting numb again. That’s an expected side effect of the chemo. It gives a little weird sensation walking and jogging.

I plan to go to the office today. My productivity won’t be super, but I’ll get something done. At the office, I have a wireless headset I use. It actually makes talking on for phone more effortless than holding the phone up to my ear. I’ve had it for about six months and find it a huge convenience.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/14/05 6:50 AM | Link

Sunday, November 13, 2005

11/13 Final Update

I seem to be improving tonight – as long as don’t move. I am hopeful to go jogging tomorrow morning and then on to the office.

I have been working on my imagery. There is the thing called the blood-brain barrier. Supposedly things don’t cross the blood-brain barrier. But if the tumors in my brain are from the lung cancer then it has crossed the blood-brain barrier. According to one oncologist, the chemo will also, to a small extent, cross the blood-brain barrier.

I work in imagery where my soldiers are swarming throughout my body exterminating the enemy where ever they find it. To that I have added a scene were they come across a very tiny opening. It is only big enough for a single soldier to slip through. In my model, that is the opening where the cancer crossed the blood-brain barrier. Once they have found it, my soldiers stream through the opening seeking and destroying the enemy where ever they fine him.

In my image, there is not place the enemy can hide.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the effects of the Neulasta, I would be feeling better. The symptoms I felt previous to finding out what I had have abated. My left rib cage continues to improve and some of the pains I previously endured have faded.

I am noticing that some of my processes seem to be slowing down. My fingernails and toenails seem to be growing more slowly. When I shave in the morning, I feel like only about 10 percent of my beard has grown from the previous day. It’s rather a weird feeling.

On thing has concerned me. That is, if the chemotherapy just caused the cancer to go dormant instead of killing it. I guess time will tell.

One of my frustrations is the lack of metrics in tracking my progress. After my next treatment, the oncologist is going to send me for a scan. I really want some hard numbers that I could track on a weekly basis, but such does not seem to be the case.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/13/05 6:14 PM | Link

11/13 Mornng Update

I think the worst is behind me. Although I feel rather weak and still get various shooting pains, I feel like I’m on the mend. I just reviewed my posts from three weeks ago and I see I went through a similar cycle after my previous Neulasta shot.

At least I seem to be sleeping well and I think that helps. I’ve done basically nothing for the last two days. It’s time to get some movement going. At my current rate, I’ll turn into a vegetable. I should probably set up some kind of mild exercise program to keep at least a little muscle tone.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/13/05 7:32 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

11/12 Final Update

The Neulasta effect seems to be fading. I’m still tired with some pain, but not as badly as yesterday. It may be that the Tylenol is helping too. Instead of a constant all over pain, I get pain shots. Most frequently, they hit me in the back, but I also will get them in an elbow, a wrist, or a knee. They last for a few seconds and then fade away. Then I am hit again. The frequency is variable from once an hour to once every two minutes.

I’m rather looking forward to going to bed. I feel rather beat.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/12/05 8:16 PM | Link

11/12 Morning Update

I slept pretty well last night. I took the advice of my friend Dr. Dave and took some Tylenol. It wasn’t a cure-all, but it helped and it didn’t upset my stomach.

This morning I feel a little better. I’m taking the Tylenol and my stomach feels a little steadier than it did yesterday. I’m hoping to get outside and get a little exercise today.

Yesterday was pretty miserable and I’m hoping to not repeat it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/12/05 8:29 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Friday, November 11, 2005

11/11 Final Update

It’s been a tough day. Basically all I did was lay around the house and suffer. The Neulasta has whacked me pretty good. I am hopeful tomorrow will be a bit better. This will not go on forever. My temperature is a smidgeon on the high side, 98.8 degrees, but not that bad.

I’m going to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/11/05 8:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/11 Midmorning Update

I’m beginning to feel like a one-man soap opera. I elected to stay home today. I’m just hurting too much to go to the office. I’ll do some work from home on the laptop. My productivity won’t be the best, but I’ll get SOMETHING done.

I would take some ibuprofen, but my stomach is somewhat uneasy and I don’t want to disturb it further. It’s something like letting sleeping dogs lie.

I’ve decided the chemo is not too bad, but the Neulasta is the hard one. But, I feel it’s a good pain. It means the Neulasta is stimulating my white blood cell count. My image is that my body is hosting a great battle between the forces of life and the forces of darkness. Hosting this battle is painful, but necessary. The way I look at is, the more painful it is, and the more the forces of life are beating on the forces of darkness.

I rally my troops and extol them to go forth and destroy the enemy. I tell them they are to take no prisoners. I tell them they must hunt down and kill every single enemy in my body. Then I seem them enthused and running out to join the battle. I see the enemy running, but without success as my forces take them down one by one.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/11/05 9:38 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Fall at the Local Cemetery

The local cemetery has many maple trees that look very nice in the fall. This is a photo looking down one of the roadways. It’s a rather common type of photo, but I think it still looks nice.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/11/05 8:58 AM | Link

11/11 Morning Update

The Neulasta hit me pretty good last night. I feel like I have been run over by a truck. Almost everything from the waist up hurts. However, I still was able to get myself out and walk/jog my two miles.

Although it was a rather painful workout, I feel my aerobic capacity is getting a little better. When I stop jogging and walk, my breathing rate comes down pretty quickly.

I think I’ve gotten a little dehydrated from the Benadryl. I was really thirsty last night and this morning my blood pressure was only 120/62. That’s a tad on the low side. I’m going to work on my fluid intake today.

My stomach is rather uneasy today. I took one of my Kytrils and then followed that up with Mylanta. I’m going to have to make sure I consume lots of calories, as I’m unlikely to feel like it. Also yesterday, I didn’t get all the food in me I wanted, as I just didn’t get time to eat.

At my chemo the other day, they were giving one of the patients a hard time, as he was not keeping his weight up. The told him that if he didn’t keep his weight up they would not be able to give him his chemotherapy.

I slept pretty good last night. I turned on my blankey and that usually helps me to sleep better. I like to sleep hot. I only remember waking up three times.

All in all, I feel the chemo is being effective. I try to listen to my body and I think my lung is getting better.

UPDATE: I stepped on the scale this morning and I've gained a couple of pounds in the last few days. That's a GOOD thing.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/11/05 6:39 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

11/10 Final Update

My temperature tonight is 98.0 degrees. It appears I may have finally put the fever behind me.

I stopped by the oncologist for my Neulasta shot. From my experience I expect the next few days to be rather nasty. But maybe this time will be different. The chemo doesn’t seem to knock me down too much. But the next day they give me a shot of Neulasta to boost my white cell count. I suspect that’s what knocks me down. Tomorrow will tell.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/10/05 8:39 PM | Link

Another Fall Reflection Scene

This is another panorama composed of five photos merged into one. If you look closely, you can see where the software had trouble merging two of the photos. I’ve boosted the saturation, as well as lightened the shadows and darkened the highlights and boosted contrast. I’m finding I like to use LightMachine for the initial work and then finalize using Photoshop Elements. I also use the Sharpen feature in Elements to make the photo appear sharper. For the most part I like crisp photos. I rather like the snap this one has.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/10/05 8:43 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

11/10 Morning Update

I’m feeling pretty good this morning. My temperature was 98.0. My blood pressure (147/85) is still running high, but not as bad as last night. Perhaps I'll start drinking the Vorlon Wife's pomegranate juice. She's been drinking it for about a year and it seems to have helped her blood pressure.

I also slept pretty well through the night. Only woke up about three times and just adjusted the bedding. I started the night using the foam wedgie, but reverted to my normal sleeping configuration later in the night. I can sleep on my back and my right side, but still not on my left side.

I feel a little bit of the Benadryl still. When I walk around, I find my balance is not as good as it was. I remember experiencing the same thing from the last Benadryl treatment. It should pass soon.

I went out for my two-mile walk/jog and I must say my aerobic capacity is definitely better than yesterday. Perhaps the Benadryl dried up some of the pleural fluid in my left rib cage. My breathing did not feel quite as labored as before, and when I stopped jogging and walked, I replenished my oxygen debt more quickly. I still jogged about two-thirds of the way and walked the rest. It was a jog, walk, jog, walk, etc type of workout.

I have no real good metrics to go on, but I feel the chemo is helping. My previous symptoms are fading. I hope that continues.

Today I stop by the oncologist for my Neulasta (Neupogen) shot.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/10/05 7:03 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

11/9 Final Update

I seem to have outlasted the fever. My temperature was 98.6 degrees at 8:10 pm. My blood pressure spiked, however. It was 160/78. I suspect it’s something to do with all the toxins they pumped through my veins today. I’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

I am tired tonight and expect to zonk right out, one I hit the bed. Surprisingly I don’t think I feel the effects of the Benadryl – but the tiredness may be partly from that.

I got a copy of my chest x-ray report from the other day. They measure my main tumor at 3 cm. Previous measurements put the size at 5 cm – but that was with a CAT scan. Now I don’t know if the tumor shrunk or the regular x-ray is just not as precise as the CAT scan. It could also be do to another person reading the data. I’m curious if I had 10 people read the same CAT scan or x-ray, what the results would be.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 8:16 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

The New (And Improved) Me II

143_4360.jpgMy new hat came and it fits very well. He’s how I look in it. Very cool!

So far, I’ve not had any comments on it, but I will. I ordered the hat over the internet on Sunday and it arrived yesterday. The company I ordered it from is in Virginia so I didn’t think it would take too long. I was right.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 7:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (8)

11/8 Midday Update

I just returned from my chemo treatment and I'm feeling wiped. I think it's mostly due to the Benadryl. I can barely hold my eyes open.

Apparent everyone reacts to the Benadryl differently. Some people become wired and others become sleepy - like me.

I picked up some more data. One of the nurses said that cancer can evolve like a virus or bacteria. If that happens they need to change the chemo treatment as the current one will no longer be effective.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 3:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)


I'm reading Norman Vincent Peale's book, "Imaging". Here's a story from the book.

Harry was in the insurance business – quite successful at it, too. But the day came when he was told he had cancer of the bladder cancer. In operable cancer. Whe he asked how much time he had to live, the doctors couldn’t tell him. They gave him some painkillers and sent him home to die.

Harry had never been a very religious man. As he put it, “I had only a nodding acquaintance with God.” He thought about praying, but he didn’t know how. “I knew God was there,” he said later, “but He was some kind of mystical Being, far away. It didn’t seem right to start begging after ignoring Him for so money years.

Then two things happened in rapid succession. Someone set Harry a get-well car and wrote on it, “With God all things are possible.” Somehow that phrase stuck in Harry’s mind. It kept coming back to him. Then he picked up an inspirational magazine and read two stories in it. One was about a seriously injured soldier who had recovered from near-fatal wounds by creating mental pictures of himself as a healthy, whole individual. The other story was about a cancer victim who claimed that total believing and total faith were the keys to answered prayer, that Christ meant exactly what He said when He told his followers, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and be thrown into the sea.’ And does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so hat your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Harry Decamp was not a churchgoer, though he was a nominal believer that God could do anything, and that constant prayer backed by real faith could put him in touch with enormous healing power of the Almighty. In addition to that, he decided to visualize the healing process taking place in the most dramatic form that his imagination could supply.

He began to image armies of healing white blood cells in his body cascading down from his shoulders, sweeping through his veins, at attacking the malignant cells and destroying them. A hundred times a day, two hundred, three hundred, he went through this imagining process. He worked at it constantly, day and night. “The images,” he said later, “were just as clear as if they were coming in on our TV Screen. I could see an army of white blood cells cascading down from my shoulders into my stomach, swirling around in m gladder, battling there way into my liver, my hear. Regiment after regiment they came, endlessly, the white corpuscles moving in and destroying them! On and on the victorious white army swept, down into my legs and feet and toes, then to the top of my body, mopping up stray cancer cells as they went, until the last battle was over. Day after day I replayed that battle scene in my mind. It made me feel terrific..”

Harry Decamp also kept on with his chemotherapy, although he was convinced eh didn’t need it. Six months later, when he went back for a checkup, the malignant mass was gone.

Food for thought.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 1:27 PM | Link

11/8 Chemo Upade

I’m sitting herein the oncologist treatment room. The just finished the 50 mg of Benadryl. I’m really feeling. At first I was almost disappointed. I didn’t’ get any reaction. But now I’m feeling woozy and tire. When I talk I have to talk very slowing and carefully enunciate my words. Even typing is real challenge. My reaction, compared to the reaction Steve Schneider got seems much milder. He got 25 mg and I’m getting 50 mg. I feel dizzy and I’m really glad I’m sitting down. Any communication is very difficult.

Today, at the oncologist, I find someone in the neighbor hood is running an unsecured wireless network. I’m piggy backing on that to be able to blog. If it says alive, I’ll post more throughout my chemo today.

Man my typing is terrible.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 10:08 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Looking at the Sky through Fall Foilage

I’ve been shooting many fall photos lately. I rather liked this one looking at the clear blue sky through the fall foliage. The leaves are falling fast now and I will shortly run out of material to photograph.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 8:16 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (5)

11/9 Morning Update

I feel not too badly this morning. My morning temperature was 98.2 degrees. I went out for a two-mile walk/jog. I jogged, very slowly, for about two thirds of the distance.

Today I’m scheduled for my second chemo treatment at 9:00 am this morning. I’m wondering if my reaction will be the same, greater or less than my first treatment.

I expect the biggest reaction to be when the hit me with the 50 mg of Benadryl. In the book “The Patient from Hell”, he describes the sensation of having a layer of chain mail laid on you. I don’t know if I would use the same analogy, but it does lay you back in your chair. After 50 mg of Benadryl, walking is very slow and very careful.

I took 20 mg of Dexamethasone at midnight last night and another 20 mg this morning.

While I’m sitting for five hours getting my chemo treatment, I’m going to see if I can get my Verizon internet card activated for my laptop. That will give me that ability to surf the net from anywhere in the county. Since I’m going to be sitting there with not much to do, I might as well take advantage of the time. I have also selected a book to take.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/09/05 6:35 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

11/8 Final Update

The time at the client site went pretty well today. As the afternoon wore on I started to fade. I felt like I just wanted to lie down and go to sleep. I finally said to myself, “Enough is enough.”

I poured myself half a cup of coffee and. Within 20 minutes I felt immensely better. For me, its not just the caffeine. Something about coffee, with the caffeine, makes a bigger impact on me.

The trip home was uneventful – from a driving standpoint. My complaint is, the lumbar support presses against that spot on my lower left back. After two hours in the cockpit, it was really starting to get to me. Right now it's just aggravating me. I’m hoping it doesn’t bother when I go to bed tonight.

Tomorrow is another big day. I go to the oncologist to have them drip various toxins through my veins. It’ll be interesting to see if my reaction is any different than three weeks ago.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/08/05 8:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Sky in the Water

The Vorlon Wife pointed out how neat the reflection of the clouds looked in the water. I had to agree and took this photo. I like the juxtaposition of the lily pads so the viewer knows its water reflection.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/08/05 9:37 AM | Link

11/8 Morning Update

I felt tired this morning and opted to neither walk nor jog. My morning temperature was 98.2 degrees – still within normal operating parameters.

I seem to have picked up some pain in my left rib cage just below the nipple. It only bothers me at night. I’m OK when I go to bed, but after a couple of hours, it starts to hurt. There is no position that alleviates the discomfort.

I now have a foam wedgie, however, and using that seems to give me pain remission.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Depraved Brain.

The foam wedgie allows me to sleep on my back and on my side so I have some variety. In addition, I’m able to sleep throughout the night without the need of any painkillers. That is always my preferred method.

I am going to a client site today – a two-hour drive each way. I’m taking the Vorlon Wife as co-pilot in case I get too tired to drive back.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/08/05 6:24 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, November 7, 2005

11/7 Final Update

I still feel pretty good tonight. Checked my temperature and it was 99.1 degrees, but it didn’t feel badly. I’m going to hit the sack without the benefit of any drug tonight.

Tomorrow I’m going to a client site with the Vorlon Wife flying co-pilot – just in case I get tired out on the return trip. We’ll be taking “Blue Velvet” the Vorlon Wife’s car.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/07/05 9:07 PM | Link

A Conversation with the Radiation Thearpist

I spoke with my radiation therapist asking why she was reluctant to do radiation therapy on my head. She said that she was reluctant because no one would say with certainty that the tumors in the brain were a result of the lung cancer. She only wanted to zap me if I really deserved it – as she put it.

She said she is going to schedule another MRI in three weeks so she can see if the tumors are the same size or growing. At that point she’ll make a determination if I should get zapped.

I asked her how many rads she was going to hit me with. She said 3500. I responded, “3500?! Isn’t that more than the people in Hiroshima got?” She said, yes it was, but since it was over several days it would not be lethal. She said the brain can take more radiation than the rest of the body. She said if she gave my whole body that much, it would kill me.

Radiation exposure is measured in terms of how much radiation per square centimeter of skin surface. That way one can compare equal radiation amounts.

The radiation kills off the higher metabolism cells. Since the brain is not making any new cells, the radiation does not affect it very much.

I just spoke to her scheduler and I am scheduled for another MRI in about three weeks.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/07/05 2:06 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Fall Picture at Lake

The Vorlon Wife and I went on a brief photographic foray last Saturday. This is a lake not far away and this photo is a panorama made from several individual shots. I was a little disappointed to find the tree line was mostly pine trees and not hardwoods. That means there are not many trees with color in them. I still think the photo came out well – after I boosted the color, lighting and contrast.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/07/05 9:33 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

11/7 Morning Update

I feel good this morning. My temperature was 97.4 degrees – a good sign. I when out for my two-mile walk/jog. I started jogging first and then quickly ran out of breath. Then I walked for a bit and jogged some more. Overall, I’d say I jogged about two-thirds of the way and walked the rest. I feel like I’m really deconditioned.

I also slept pretty well last night. I only went through one shirt. Perhaps today I’ll avoid the fever completely.

Here's how my temperature has been going for the last four days.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/07/05 6:21 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Sunday, November 6, 2005

11/6 Final Update

The fever has returned, although with less enthusiasm. It was 99.4 degrees. I’ve taken 400 mg of ibuprofen and am heading off to bed.

As an aside, I seem to have acquired a great desire for orange Juice. I’m going through almost half a gallon in 24 hours.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/06/05 9:02 PM | Link

It's Fall in New Jersey

The Vorlon Wife and I went photo shooting yesterday. This is one of the results. There is a small lake a few miles from my house and I thought I might make for some nice photos. I have boosted the color in this one to give it more impact. I think the still reflective water adds a nice effect.

If you want to make this wallpaper for you desktop, click on the thumbnail to get the full view, then right-click on the picture and then select “Set as background.” This will make put the photo on your desktop as the background.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/06/05 7:35 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

11/6 Morning Update

My temperature this morning was 97.4 degrees and I feel fine. I am hopeful that I will remain fever free throughout the whole day today. Time will tell.

Yesterday the Vorlon Wife and I walked two miles. I expect to repeat that this morning.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/06/05 7:20 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Saturday, November 5, 2005

11/5 Evening Update

I felt pretty well today until tonight. I really thought I had put the fever behind me. But I checked at 7:00 tonight and it was 99.6. The good news is that each day it seems to come later. Maybe tomorrow, it’ll not show up at all.

It’s another ibuprofen night.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/05/05 8:15 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

11/5 Morning Update

My temperature this morning is 97.8 degrees and I feel good. I plan on cutting the grass as well as monitoring my temperature to see if I can avoid the late afternoon rise. It looks like it’s going to be a nice day today.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/05/05 7:03 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Friday, November 4, 2005

11/4 Final Update

The fever has again returned – 99.7 degrees. This time it came about 4:00 pm. Each day it takes later to return. I interpret that as progress.

I’m following the advice of my friend, Dr. Dave. I’m taking 600 mg of ibuprophen and then hitting the sack.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/04/05 8:58 PM | Link

The New (And Improved) Me

IMG_4307.jpgThis ain’t no Friday Flowerblogging entry baby. Rather than warn you, I just thought I’d give you a late Halloween scare. The Vorlon Wife plans on putting a copy of this photo in all the closets to keep mice out of the house. She may even put a large image outside the house to discourage potential thieves.

I’m thinking of getting some nice hats, now that I have a good reason to buy them. Like this one.

I’m starting to some research on blood markers for my enemy. My concern is should the chemo appear to be effective, I don’t want to wait for another tumor before I restart treatment. I expect I will become much like an insulin diabetes patient with continual treatments, maybe a couple of times a year. I got this idea after reading “The Patient from Hell.” The Vorlon Parents saw the author interviewed and I ordered the book. I found it a VERY worthwhile read.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/04/05 8:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (8)

11/4 Midday Update

I bit the bullet this morning and shaved all the hair from my head – well almost all of it. It proved to be more of project than I had envisioned. I started chopping away, and later the Vorlon Wife took up the challenge. An hour later I was done, or rather I just gave up. I can only spend so much time on such a project and then I run out of patience. It didn’t look too hot, but I went to the client site anyway. I told them I was having a bad hair day.

I hope I didn’t look TOO unprofessional. The good news is, as least I don’t have to look at me on a regular basis.

Although my energy level wasn’t 100 percent, I was able do some work. Upon returning to Vineland, I stopped in the local barbershop and let the professional clean up the mess on my head.

My problem is my skin is so pale. I look like an alabaster bowling ball. But at least it no longer has stray hairs poking here and there.

I just took my temperature and it was 98.2. I am still normal – well temperature wise anyway.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/04/05 3:05 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/4 Morning Update

Temperature this morning is 98.0 degrees. A little higher than my normal, but I FEEL fever free. It’ll be interesting to see if I stay that way the whole day. I am scheduled to visit a client site this morning. I figure I’ll come home after that and rest. I can work at home pretty effectively. I feel pretty good and I’m hungry.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/04/05 5:53 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Grossing Out the Vorlon Wife

Every once in a while it is fun to mess with the Vorlon Wife. As she was sitting next to me, I said “Hold out your hand.” She extended her hand palm up. I reached on the top of my head, took a good sized pinch of hair, pulled it out and deposited into her hand.

Her response was, “Ewww! Don’t do that!”

Hey, you have to find fun where you can get it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 6:41 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Some Thoughts on the Medical Profession

I have a now had an up close and detailed personal look at the medical profession. My experience with the people has been primarily very positive. I have found the people to be dedicated, hard working and doing their best for their patients. I always like to think most organizations as a business. To me, patients are simply customers to the medical people.

The medical profession has a lot of nice toys. They have x-rays, CAT scans, PET scans, MRIs and many other things. They also have some great chemicals to treat their customers’ problems.

But when you look at their Information Technology they are incredibly backward. Walk into almost any doctor’s office and look around. You will find plenty of computers, but you’ll find they are used for billing and MAYBE scheduling. But that’s it. Look around the walls and you will see shelves and shelves of patient folders.

Have they ever considered what would happen if there was a fire? They would loose all their customer records in a flash. There is NO backup for the patient data.

I don’t know any business that would be so caviler about their information database. Also, if you’re working with more than one doctor, you need to hand carry or fax the information to the other doctor.

Why aren’t patient records stored in a computer database that any doctor, with proper security, could access?

My oncologist is treating me with a particular treatment protocol. But I’ll bet you my treatment and results will never make it into a national database. Why aren’t all patient treatments being recorded nation wide. If that were the case, it could be mined for trends and results. As it is now, they do what they call clinical trials. The results of these are written up and then used for more research.

I think there are two impediments to medicine moving into the 21st century. First, take a look at most doctor offices. From a business standpoint, they are mom and pop establishments. Most doctor offices are a one, two or three man/woman operation. They just don’t have the capital or mindset for such an IT investment.

Second is patient confidentiality. This is government inspired and makes it very difficult to publish patient information. But by locking up that data the world may very well be missing some very good data.

The third item is installed infrastructure. X-ray machines are rather expensive and they last a long time. Upgrading them to digital is probably no small investment. In additional, most doctors seem averse to looking at x-rays on the computer screen versus the film.

It’s going to take something very big to drag the medical profession, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 5:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

The Fever Returns

I wasn’t feeling too well. I took my temperature and found it was 100.3 degrees. It appears I’m going to have to run like h*** in the mornings and then rest in the afternoons.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 3:18 PM | Link

12/3 Midday Update

I just returned from the oncologist. I found out they’re going to give me three treatments, do a scan (I presume CAT) and depending on the results repeat the three treatments then scan cycle. The treatments are on a three-week and my next treatment is next Wednesday. I have entered the appropriate dates into my Palm so I can now better plan my schedule.

While there I thought I would butter him up a bit and told him he was highly recommended by the people I have spoken with. This is flatly true. Everyone I talk to says very good things about him, when they hear his name. I told him Vineland is a small town and everyone knows everyone else. Again this is largely true. I like to give a person a high standard to live up to.

The oncologist listened to my lungs with deep breaths and then tapped me on the back and front like he was testing for a ripe melon. He said I sounded good. I told him, I could have told him that. After living with the fluid on my left lung for three months and now realizing what was going on, I am a little more attuned to what’s going on with me.

I asked him if my fever could have been a result of the flu shot the day before I started chemo. He said that is a possibility. When I asked his nurse the same question a couple of days ago, she flatly ruled that out. The Vorlon Wife first brought up this possibility a few days ago and I thought the odds of this were higher than zero.

In general, he seemed pleased with my condition. Coincidentally, I am also pleased with my condition – well as pleased as I can be under the circumstances. It’s nice, if you can agree with your doctor.

I now have an inter-doctor conflict I need to figure out how to resolve. My oncologist, my neurologist, and the oncologist form UOP have all recommended I get the radiation therapy. Since the PET scan came back negative on the brain tumors, the radiologist is refusing to do that. Apparently none of the doctors can simply order the work. The radiologist has the final say on whether the work goes forward of not.

I’m going to see if I can talk to the radiologist and find out why he is reticent to start treatment. Right now the tumors are very small. The largest is half an inch in diameter and I am experiencing no effects from them. But my thinking is, it’s a lot easier to pull weeds when they're seedlings than it is when they’ve grown six feet high.

Now there is the possibility that the radiologist is right and all the rest are wrong. Although the probabilities on this are low, they are not zero.

I have just one question form the medical profession, “Can I get a clear message here?”

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 12:43 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

The Molt Begins

Washing my hair this morning, I find it's starting to fall out.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 7:12 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

11/2 Update

My temperature this morning was 97.7. I was feeling rather degraded when I went to bed last night. I’m not ready to run 10 miles this morning, but I feel much better.

I’m scheduled to see the oncologist this morning. I still don’t know why. Maybe he just wants to check my condition.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/03/05 6:39 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

11/2 Final Update

Today was rather up and down. Up when the Tylenol was in play, down when it wore off. I’ve learned that my doctor friend’s advice of 600mg of ibuprofen is very effective in helping me sleep through the night.

I have an appointment to see the oncologist tomorrow at 11:00. I’m not sure why we’re meeting. I’ve sent him two faxes today with questions.

It turns out doctors don’t do email. So I do an end run. I send them faxes. I figure they are probably required by law to read what I send and file it in my file. I sent my oncologist two faxes today. It’s hard to remember all the questions I want to ask.

I’m feeling pretty well right now. Since it’s late in the day, I’m encouraged by that.

As an aside, I’m doing a little denial. I don’t use the “C” word for what I have. I refer to what I have my enemy. I anthropomorphize it. I see it as an enemy that I must not only defeat but completely vanquish. There can be only one loser here and I don’t plan on it being me. Sometimes I talk to it and not in a nice way. I tell it that it picked the wrong victim. I tell it that it has now idea what it got itself into. I tell it has two choices, leave or die.

Ok, I guess I’m feeling quite a bit better if I can go on like this.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/02/05 8:46 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Thank You

To everyone that visits to check on my progress and incoherent postings, "THANK YOU."

To all those that not only visit but leave comments, "THANK YOU."

While there’s nothing you can physically do, your support is an encouragement to me.


Posted by The Vorlon on 11/02/05 7:17 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

11/2 Midday Update

I’m still suffering the fever, but it’s not as bad as yesterday. Shortly after I take some Tylenol, I feel not too badly. As it wears off, I start to degrade, but still better than yesterday.

Did I mention my hair hurts? When I took a bath this morning and washed my hair, it hurt. I know, it sounds like I’m suffering from an acute hangover. I wish it were that easy. The Vorlon Wife bought me some baby shampoo as the radiologist that was to zap my head recommended baby shampoo. I was in the tub and attempted to use it only to discover that nothing came out when I squeezed. I opened the cap and the bottle was sealed! Who seals shampoo bottles? It’s not like I’m going to drink it. Since my hands were wet, I had to call the Vorlon Wife to open the bottle. Talk about feeling helpless, I had to get help to open a bottle of shampoo.

I’ve dropped a couple of pounds in the last couple of weeks. I’ve taken to eating everything in sight.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a Klondike bar.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/02/05 2:46 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Now Matters Are Better

To contra-paraphrase Yoda in the “Empire Strikes Back,” now matters are better. This morning I awoke with a temperature of 98.8 degrees – nearly normal. Although when I spent time in the hospital jail a few week ago, then took my temperature every four hours and it was typically 97 something.

The temperature was not unexpected, as I just FELT better this morning. I still plan to stay home and build some strength, but at least I should be able to do some work. Yesterday was pretty tough. When I took the acetaminophen, I hurt some; when it wore off, I hurt a lot.

Last night I slept quite well. Adhering to the advice to the nurse, I stopped my fluid intact about 7:30. This meant I only had to get up once to drain the plumbing. I did sweat quite a bit. Since I wear a T-shirt to bed, it meant I got up three times to change my T-shirt.

I have a collection of maybe 30 T-shirts from when I used to run foot races. I wear them to bed and thus have a good supply for incidences like last night.

I have been thinking about my chest X-ray yesterday. The next time they send me for a chest X-ray, I’m going to see if they can send me to a different location. Although both locations are conveniently close, the one I like digitizes their X-rays and they give them to me on a CD, when I leave.

I requested a CD of my X-rays at the place yesterday and they don’t have that capacity. I am going to call them and get a peak. I have the feeling that the fluid in my left lung is greatly reduced. It just feels better and last night I slept for a bit on my left side. I haven’t been able to sleep on my left side for many weeks.

I have some questions I’m thinking of posing to my oncologist. Since doctors don’t do email, I send faxes. Since I can fax right from my computer, it is nearly the same as email. I don’t want to call him, as I’ll likely call at an incontinent time, but an “email” lets him read and respond as his convenience.

Now that the fever has nearly lifted, I’m finding my brain seems to function better. I find I can think more clearly.

As the Marines say, oorah!

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/02/05 7:39 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

11/1 Evening Update

I finally got my chest x-rays and blood and urine tests. The blood test was interesting. They drew blood out of one arm, and then 15 minutes later they drew blood from the other arm. I have no idea how taking two samples 15 minutes apart will make a difference in the test results.

The blood tests are incubator type tests. That means they will put the blood in some type of solution and let it cook for a while. I have no idea how long it will take to come up with the results. I suspect they are hoping they will be able detect what particular bug is causing my temperature.

When I’m taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen, I don’t feel too badly. But when the meds wear off, I quickly degrade. I am hoping they can figure this out and get me healthy again.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/01/05 5:57 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

11/1 Midday Update

The oncologist wants me to get a chest x-ray and a blood test. It turns out I need to run interference to make sure it happens. Only my primary care physician can prescribe the x-ray. I’m having the oncologist fax over the script for the x-ray and I will then pick up the prescription for the x-ray.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/01/05 11:17 AM | Link

11/1 Morning Update

I slept well last night, except for the every two-hour task to flush my plumbing. They told me to drink lots of fluids. Well, what goes in comes out.

About half way through the night, I had a pain in my left rib cage. I notice it only hurt when I was lying down. When I was vertical, it didn’t hurt. I used the Vorlon Wife’s pillow collection to construct something that had me sitting partly upright. It was at least upright enough to alleviate the pain. After about an hour in this position, I felt better. I return to my standard sleeping configuration and finished the night.

Upon arising this morning, I checked my temperature and it was 101.2 degrees. Yesterday the nurse told me that if my temperature went above 101 I should call them immediately. They wake up about 8:30 this morning. I will be calling them.

If it wasn’t for this fever, I would feel pretty well. I’ll say this; I’m getting real tired of lounging around the house.

Posted by The Vorlon on 11/01/05 7:31 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)