Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31 Final Update

While visiting my oncologists this afternoon, they also did a CBC test on me. My white cell count is high, my red cell count is OK and my hemoglobin is OK. My platelet count is low but not so low, I need a transfusion. He asked me if I was taking aspirin. I told him no, as I figured the chemo was making my blood thin enough. He concurred with that assessment.

I was still pretty tired throughout most of today until about 3:00 pm. This it was as if a fog lifted. I felt alert and I felt like I could think more clearly than I could before. I hope I can keep the feeling until my next poisoning on Monday.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/31/06 9:02 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Shingles Vaccine

The FDA has just approved the use of a vaccine against shingles. It is recommended for those over 60 years old. Unfortunately, it only reduces the chances of getting shingles by 50 percent. However, that’s better than zero. Unfortunately, it’s, as they say, a day late and a dollar short for the Vorlon Wife. She is very slowly recovering from her shingles. She still has some pain from time to time, but it’s not as bad as it once was.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/31/06 8:04 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

My Visit to my Oncologist's Office

I just returned from the oncologist’s office after his cursory exam. He listened to my breathing, listened to my heart, thumped on me like he was trying to pick a ripe watermelon and pressed on my gizzard saying, “Does this hurt?”

He pronounced, “You look really good!” “So why am I here?” I responded. He just chuckled.

My only complaint to him was that it is difficult to eat, when food tasted so badly. He acknowledged the difficulty and then said, “You have to think of food as medicine. I know we don’t think of it like that, but you just need to get it down.”

I agreed. He IS right.

I know it’s encouraging that he makes those statements that I seem good, but every time I have seen him, I think he has said pretty much the same thing – so I take it with a grain of salt.

I still maintain, that if it wasn’t for the chemo, I would feel really good - no, I would feel great.

Every time my next treatment comes around a part of me dreads it. I wonder how many people just say, “Enough! Just let me die in peace instead of putting up with this.”

I remember recently reading that US Marines, when they go through their basic training, are taught that they should set the example for others to follow. I kind of feel like I have the responsibility to my readers, even though I don’t know many of them. Anyone, who so publicly chronicles their journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death as I have, needs to keep the attitude that they should set the example for others to follow.

I intend to do that, although I will acknowledge my fears, when they happen. I have two sayings on my wall in my computer room. One says, “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the conquest of it.” The other is a quote from Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!”

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/31/06 2:56 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (8)

Have you Sent Your Congressman/Senator his Brick?

Let me digress from my own soap opera to talk briefly about the debate in illegal immigration. There is a move afoot to send congressmen and senators bricks. To date they have received thousands of bricks, but there is still room for yours. Here’s a web site that is promoting the Send-A-Brick project.

I happen to have a couple of dozen bricks that are just taking up space in my garage. I was going to toss them out, but this may be a better way to dispose of them.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/31/06 2:29 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)


The Vorlon Wife has some trilliums in her flower garden. She has some dark blue ones and this violet one. It turns out that trillium flowers last for just a few hours. When you see one you want to photograph, move quickly as the flower won’t be there long. I shot this about 2:00 in the afternoon. By 6:00 pm, it was almost completely wilted.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/31/06 8:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30 Update

I did pretty well today – although I continue to feel sleepy. I dropped a pound from yesterday this morning and my morning temperature continues to be 99 point something. I’m hoping it eventually returns to normal.

Tomorrow I have my meeting with the oncologist for his cursory physical examine.

I'm off to bed. I need my 10 hours of beauty sleep.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/30/06 8:44 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunset on a Lake

I know this is a little weird – posting a sunset photo first thing in the morning. On the way home Sunday night we went right by local park and the sun was just setting. The park has a lake so I thought it might make a good spot for a sunset photo. The park is Parvin State Park.

Although the photo isn’t quite as nice as I would have like, it’ll do until I can get a better photo to put up.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/30/06 8:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29 Final Update

Fortunately, as the days go by, I seem to get a little stronger. Although moving around today was tiring, it was not quite as tiring as yesterday. I’m hoping the tomorrow will prove to be better than today.

I seem to feel best in the morning and then slowly fade as the day wears on. I took a nap this afternoon and feel the better for it. I even picked up a couple of pounds. I even got in my 1-mile walk with the Vorlon Wife this evening.

I made it back to the tanning salon today. Since I went in the morning and they seemed to be having a slow day, it was not nearly as hot as my last visit. After having spent some time in the tanning salon and also being outside in the sun, I can tell you that my six to eight minutes in the tanning salon can’t hold a candle to an hour in the sun. Regular visits to a tanning salon with give you a very nice tan. But an hour in the sun feels much more intense. What I like about the tanning salon is I can control exactly how much exposure I get. When outside, atmospheric and local conditions can greatly influence my exposure.

I have an appointment for a cursory exam with the oncologist this Wednesday and then I get another chemo on next Monday – always a great way to start the week. This time I’m going to make sure I get a Neulasta shot scheduled – although I’m not looking forward to the physical cost. But it sure beats walking around with no resistance to disease.

On a brighter note, the Vorlon Wife and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. It is our wish; at least it’s my wish, that we celebrate many more in the future. Perhaps wish it too wishy-washy of a word. It is our plan that we celebrate at least 25 more in the future.

Very shortly, I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/29/06 8:29 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

An Unexpected Event

This is a little strange for me. A friend, a distant cousin to the Vorlon Wife and a fellow blogger has posted a blog entry about moi, as Miss Piggy would say, on his blog.

I’m not quite sure how to respond. But always of the mind that less is more, I guess I’ll just provide the link so you can read it for yourself and I’ll say, “Thank you, Reb.”

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/29/06 8:07 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

May 29 Morning Update

I’m feeling pretty good this morning. The weather is very nice. It’s about 80 degrees with a clear cloudless sky and low humidity.

I thought I'd include a photo I took during our trip to the shore Saturday night. Ocean City has a sandy beach, but they have these stone breakwaters that were put in many years ago to keep the beach in place. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have helped a lot. A good Nor’easter takes out huge chunks of the beach. Every few years they pump it back in again, just to loose it again.

Sand doesn’t stay in place very well. I seem to remember the Bible has something to say about sand and rock.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/29/06 10:56 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 28 Update

I felt pretty good today. My only problem is motion. As long as I’m sitting, I do pretty well, but movement requires me to rest for some time.

The Vorlon Wife and I went to her niece’s house for dinner today. I’m pleased to report that the food all seemed to go down pretty well. The hamburgers seemed particularly tasty. I’m trying to eat more and I get a good appetite, but I can’t seem to eat a lot at any one time. I would have eaten two, but it was a bit of a struggle to eat just one, with the side dishes.

I read that the chemo tends to degrade the cells that line the small intestine and that makes it harder to absorb all one’s food.

It was good to get out of the house, even though I’m really tired tonight. We did our weekly call to the Vorlon Parents, but I’m afraid I wasn’t very responsive.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/28/06 9:05 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

May 27 Update

148_4893.jpgI felt a little better today – although I move as little as possible. If I sit in one spot, I feel pretty good. But when I try to move it takes a lot of energy to move.

Still, the Vorlon Wife and I carried the last air conditioner from the basement and installed it. I had a sit and catch my breath, but we got it done. Then we got the Vorlon Wife’s bedding plants. We got two flats of petunias, and six flats of impatiens.

Upon return, I again sat and caught my breath. Then we went down to the shore, as you can see in the photo.

We were sitting on this rock and someone came up and said, "Would you like me to take your picture?" I hadn’t thought about it but on a whim said go ahead.

I’m home now and I think I’m about ready for bed. I know, I’m always saying that.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/27/06 8:07 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Friday, May 26, 2006

May 26 Update

I felt a little better today, but faded as the day wore on. I went to the office, just to get out of the house.

While there, I had an interesting conversation with the Vorlon Assistant.

I related to her how on Wednesday afternoon I felt good – really good. For a few hours, I felt the best I have felt in weeks if not months.

Interestingly she said that she had a dream about me either Tuesday or Wednesday night. She could not remember which night. But she said the dream was really good. That’s all she would say.


Right now, however, I’m feeling rather poorly. All I really want to do is to go to bed and that’s where I’m headed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/26/06 8:53 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

A New Contributor

The Vorlon Wife has decided she would like to say a few things from time to time. I have set her up as an author on this blog. Her name is Karol.

I hope you find what she has to say interesting.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/26/06 10:01 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

May 25 Update

I’m feeling pretty tired tonight and I felt that way all day. Whereas yesterday I had a few hours where I felt really good, I felt wiped all day today. I took a 2-hour nap this afternoon and I’m ready for bed now. I think the Neulasta is really kicking my butt.

I wish I had more to report, but I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/25/06 8:29 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

May 24 Update

I was pretty tired this morning. However, I’m managed to gain a bit and am back to 155 Lbs. I got my Neulasta shot at 10:00 am this morning. I started taking ibuprofen at 8:00 this morning and so far only feel a little muscle pain – mainly in the muscles of the back of my neck.

But this afternoon I felt good – really good. And I never even had my afternoon nap. I went for my 1-mile walk and felt good all the way around my loop. My feet bothered me, but the rest of me felt almost normal. For a few hours, I felt the best I’ve felt in days, maybe a few weeks.

Now I’m starting to fade a bit. I think I’m off to bed. The Neulasta may hit me hard tomorrow.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/24/06 8:45 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Free Novel

I have a friend that has recently completed a novel, Siamese Sister, but isn’t sure if it’s any good or not. He’s looking for readers to give him an opinion. Here’s a promo on his book.

Set in the Eastern Panhandle region of West Virginia, Siamese Sister tells the life of teenager Myra O’Neill, who gets pregnant by a gypsy boy. The boy’s mother, Mirella Redzosko, places a curse on the girl and her family when Myra refuses to allow the gypsies to raise her child.

“When the clock strikes midnight and the blood starts flowing, so shall your blood flow.”

Failing to kidnap the child at birth, the gypsies flee the area for many years, cursing the family and plantation home forever.

Myra, ashamed by her past, keeps the events secret from everyone. She writes of the events in her journal, chronicling the gypsy curse as it destroys her family.

The story intensifies when Myra becomes grandmother to Siamese twin girls and the family discovers hidden events of their past. It’s a race against time as the family, aided by a Catholic priest, fights to defeat the gypsies, their curse, and the Siamese Sister, who willingly serves as the gypsy’s pawn.

If you think, you’d like to give it a read, click this link and leave your information in the comments of his blog entry. He’ll see that you get a copy. He only requests that you read it within a month and give him some feedback and how you liked or didn’t like his book.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/24/06 3:22 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May 23 Update

I’m feeling not too badly tonight. I had a nice nap today and that seems to help. I feel like I’m sleeping my life away.

I’m feeling a little victorious of my getting my Neulasta shot for tomorrow. I won’t enjoy the physical pain from it, but I will appreciate the healthy white cell count.

A short story and a thank you to those involved.

I was chatting with the Vorlon Parents Sunday night. They related to me that during their church service they went down to the alter to pray. To their surprise, while they were at the alter, it seemed like the whole church came down and put their hand on the Vorlon Parents to support them in their prayer.

For those who read this blog and participated in that, please accept my thank you. Your support is greatly appreciated and encourages us all.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/23/06 9:23 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

A Few More Thoughts on Prayer

One of the sites I like to visit is It is an apologetics site. He has a weekly radio talk show, which he archives on his web site. I download and listen to his shows.

I have extracted out an interview with he had with J P Moreland. Although the whole interview is interesting, I thought his comments on prayer were particularly interesting - “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.” You can listen by clicking here. If you’re connection is slow, click here – but still be patient.

It runs 36 minutes in length.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/23/06 4:10 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Squeaky Wheel gets Greased

I’m working from home today. I can be ALMOST as productive from home as from the office.

I sent an email to my oncologist about my concern for not getting a Neulasta shot. Actually, it was a fax out of my computer, but for me, it’s about the same as an email and, when I send them, my oncologist refers to them as emails.

The oncologist’s office just called and said if I wanted a Neulasta shot, they would give me one. I am scheduled to be there at 10:00 tomorrow morning to get my shot.

Although it’s certainly not something I’m looking forward to, I want a very low white cell count even less.

I’m a little surprised, as I never expected they would respond to my request. I guess squeaky wheels do get greased.

UPDATE: I have long maintained that we should treat the people that a treating us as our employees. I think of myself as a manager of a medical team. If is my job to decide if they know what they are talking about. I do that by asking as hard of questions as I can. Mind you, I always speak softly and as nicely as I can.

But I am always ready to fire anyone on my team and replace them with someone else.

I recommend you treat your medical team the same way.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/23/06 3:21 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, May 22, 2006

May 22 Update

I felt pretty good today. I seem to have put the low-grade temperature behind me.

I had my chemo this afternoon. My white cell count was about 9,800; well above the 1,000 it was last Wednesday. However, my platelet count was low so they cut my treatment from 1550 mg to 1160 mg of Gemzar. Both my Red Cell and Hemoglobin counts are also on the low side so they gave me a shot of Aranesp. Here's a link that gives you the side effects of the Gemzar.

I feel like I’m starting to run out of body.

I didn’t get a Neulasta shot nor am I scheduled for one. I told them I was not a happy camper. I didn’t want to be wandering around with a very low white cell count. I couldn’t talk directly with my oncologist so I’ll send him an email tomorrow. It won’t really be an email, but a fax. But it’s about the same from my side.

Right now, I’m starting to feel pretty tired. I think the chemo is already starting to whack my feet.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/22/06 8:49 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Be Careful with your Grapefruit Juice

My recent Science News had the following article.

Drinking grapefruit juice is a medical no-no for people who take any of several widely prescribed drugs. The drink affects how the body metabolizes the medications. Now, researchers have pinned down the class of natural juice compounds that's responsible for the unwanted chemical interaction.

Researchers discovered around 1990 that grapefruit inhibits the enzyme CYP3A4, which participates in the metabolism of about half of all prescription drugs. Inhibition of that enzyme causes drugs to stay in the body longer, potentially overdosing the patient. Doctors subsequently advised many patients not to consumer the juice while using certain medications.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/22/06 8:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 21 Update

Today was a better day. I actually did a little work outside today. Although I was huffing and puffing as I move around, it felt good to do something physical. I find really miss hard physical work.

On of my favorite shows on TV is “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel. I can watch reruns with almost as much enjoyment as new episodes.

For those that don’t have cable TV, Deadliest Catch is documentary crab fishing on the Bearing Sea in the wintertime. It is hard grueling dangerous work. Crab Pot, they look more like rectangular baskets, have to be off loaded and then retrieved from the deck of a boat this is doing everything but standing still in bitter cold weather.

But the guys, who do it, really love it. I think I can understand why. It is something the few people do, it is brutal hard work, and very dangerous. But while you’re doing it, you feel really alive. I suspect combat troops go through a similar sensation.

I can’t do that. But what little work I can do, I enjoy. Perhaps it’s my being raised on a farm in which there was a lot of physical work. There is a magic moment, when one is going something physical and has some skill that you start to feel like a well-oiled machine. I think athletes call that being in the zone. But it’s a marvelous feeling.

Let’s just say I haven’t been in the zone for a very long time. I guess you would say I’m zoned out these days.

However, tonight I’m feeling a bit tired. Actually a bit more than a bit. My temperature was better today, it was normal this morning. Tonight it’s 99.1 – not bad.

I still need to force myself to eat. I get hungry, but I have a difficult time finding tasty things to eat. I really need to put some calories on. I drive Boost, but it is so unsatisfying.

Tomorrow afternoon I get my next chemo treatment. It’ll be a reduced hit from the one ten days ago.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/21/06 8:59 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

May 20 Update

I’m feeling someone better tonight – at least that’s how I feel until I get up to walk. Tomorrow I have my last Neupogen shot and then I get my chemo Monday afternoon.

This morning it was one of the oncologists that gave me my Neupogen shot. His skill was even better than the nurse’s. The shot was almost painless. I was pleasantly surprised.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/20/06 9:16 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Friday, May 19, 2006

May 19 Update

I’m feeling a little better tonight, although I’m still tired. I feel like I just can’t shake this fatigue. My temperature is still 99.7 degrees.

At least I didn’t have to take a nap today. But by the same token, I didn’t get a lot done today.

Did you ever feel like you really need a vacation? Alas, vacation will come after I get the job done. This vacation needs to be earned.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/19/06 8:30 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

The Price of Gasoline

June gasoline futures closed at $2.0151 today. Of course this is exclusive of all taxes. My question is, take a look at the link. If this was a stock, would you buy it or sell it?

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/19/06 7:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May 18 Update

I’m a little under the weather tonight. I’m picked up a low-grade fever and it really takes the edge off things. Tonight it was 100 degrees. If it goes to 100.5, I’ll call and they’ll give me something for it.

I had a 2-hour nap this afternoon and that seemed to help a bit.

Very shortly, I’m off to bed. I’m looking for something better tomorrow.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/18/06 8:02 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17 Final Update

I’m feeling tired tonight and am off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/17/06 8:53 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Chemo Postponed

They have postponed my chemo today. When they tested my blood, they found my white cell count was extremely low. In the past, my white cell count bounced between 4 and 14. This morning it was one.

That’s scary.

They are going to be giving me a white cell booster called Neupogen. I will get an injection each day over the next five days and have my chemo on Monday.

I am staying home for the next few days to ensure I don’t run across someone that could be sick as I have very little resistance to disease.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/17/06 12:43 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

May 17 Morning Update

I just returned from the radio oncologist. He seemed to be on his good behavior today.

I told him about my, what seems to be, ear infection. He said it is probably my inner ear have a build up of fluid from the radiation. He said it should gradually dissipate over time.

He did not recommend getting another MRI unless I show symptoms that something is wrong. For now, I will let that happen, but I have yet fully to accept his reasoning.

He also indicated that the MRI is not a perfect diagnostic tool. It may or may not show everything perfectly accurately. If I really want one, I’m sure I can get a referral from my oncologist to get one. For the time being, I will let things ride and see how my ears finally shake out.

I felt quite well this morning, but after I walk across the room, I need to sit and pant to catch my breath.

I’m going for my chemo treatment in a little bit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/17/06 10:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

May 16 Update

I not feeling too badly tonight. I seem to have good and not-so-good moments throughout the day. I felt quite good when I got up this morning. By time I got to the office, I just wanted to lie down and take a nap. Later in the day, I felt pretty good again.

I still fight finding something good to eat. I’ve almost given up that my taste buds will completely recover.

My weight was down again this morning so I am trying to eat as much as possible. Right now, I just want to sleep and that’s where I’m headed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/16/06 8:50 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Who are we to complain our lot in life

I was streaming Stand to Reason yesterday and though you might find this interesting. The host takes a call from someone questioning Romans 9. Here’s the whole chapter.

I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit-- that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son." And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,

"Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,'
and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'"
"And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." And as Isaiah predicted,

"If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah."

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,

"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

You can listen to the exchange by clicking here. It runs about 10 minutes. If you're on a slow connection, you can click here for a lower quality download.

I felt it was thought provoking.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/16/06 11:23 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15 Final Update

I’m doing a bit better tonight. I was able to concentrate pretty well at the office today and actually got something done. Although I’m still very tired and weak, I still feel alert.

Although my taste buds are still recovering, I had a steak, peas and mashed potatoes that seemed to go down well. I even got a 1-mile walk in tonight.

I’m off for a good night’s sleep.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/15/06 9:54 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

May 15 Morning Update

I think I’m feeling a little better this morning. Mind you, I feel like I could still sleep some more, but I feel like I’ve turned the corner.

It remains to be seen if I will sustain this feeling throughout the day. For now, I’ll take it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/15/06 6:36 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14 Update

I’m still feeling very tired tonight. I am disappointed that I’m not bouncing back more quickly.

I’m still fighting with my taste buds. Suddenly most fruits don’t taste very good. I used to love fruit. Although I am hungry at mealtime, I have a hard time figuring out what I want to eat. I try to sample things in small portions to see how it goes down. But, I have no nausea.

I seem to be on the verge of tears all the time. All I need is a kind word from someone, or see a story about a rescued dog on TV and even hear some hymns and it takes all my self-control not to turn into a sobbing mess. This morning in church, someone made a comment to me and all I could do was nod and turn away. If I had tried to speak, I would have cried.

I remember reading in the book, “Patient From Hell” the author indicated he went through the same state.

I’m wondering if I’m suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

I’m afraid the Vorlon Wife is picking up the slack I’m leaving around the house. She cut the grass yesterday while I just sat on the sofa. I’m becoming a nuisance to have around.

Lucky for me she has yet to complain. I thank God daily that she is in my life.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/14/06 8:13 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

How Your PC Works

Click here to get a picture how how your PC works inside all the chips and stuff. Give it a little time to load.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/14/06 5:36 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

May 13 Update

Not much, pain today, except for my feet. I’m just real tired and food is still a little iffy. Some things taste good and some don’t. I find it rather difficult to predict whether or not I can eat something.

Either way, I’m wiped and off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/13/06 8:49 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Friday, May 12, 2006

May 12 Final Update

I was feeling pretty tired today. I came home about lunchtime, ate some soup and took and two hour nap. I felt pretty well this morning, but I seemed to degrade pretty quickly.

I’m feeling somewhat better tonight although the chemo is really attacking me feet. At least there is no Neulasta on this session.

There’s not much else to report, I’m heading back to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/12/06 9:22 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

May 12 Morning Update

I’m feeling quit well this morning. Without the Neulasta shot, I’m doing much better that usual. However, I get an abbreviated treatment next Wednesday and then a Neulasta shot on Thursday. I’ll see how I react to that.

I’m feeling really hungry; I just hope I can find something to get past my taste buds.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/12/06 6:51 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 11 Update

I did pretty well today. I’m just really tired tonight. Since I haven’t had a Neulasta shot, there is not body pain – just fatigue.

I forced myself to go for a 1-mile walk tonight. It was tough to get going, but once I was underway, I was fine.

I got a good breakfast in this morning before my taste bud went totally south. Now, just plain water is rather repulsive. I just force it down.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/11/06 9:01 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back to Current Events

The Brookings Institute has released it report of the numbers in then war in Iraq.

The summary is unfortunately we lost more troops in April than either March or February. I think this reflects an increase tempo of US missions to ferret out bad guys. Car bombs continue there low level to the lowest level in over a year. Iraqi civilian deaths are way down.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/10/06 8:31 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Something I Haven't Considered

A reader writes:

Sometimes I wonder what is going on through the medium of your blog. I almost believe God may be using you as a medium to bring all who hear you closer to their faith. From what readers are saying from following your blog.

I'm not quite sure what to say about this. A rare instance, I'm at a loss for words.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/10/06 8:18 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

May 10 Evening Update

I had my chemo treatment today. They changed my chemical cocktail. In previous treatments I got 390 mg of Taxol and 575 mg of Carboplatin.

Today they gave me 145 mg of Taxotere and 1550 mg of Gemzar. My oncologists said that these attack the parasite in a slightly different way.

I asked him if after some time the parasite would forget the original chemo treatment and we can hit it again with the same chemo. He said we can, but we need to wait at least a year before we can go back to a previously used chemo cocktail. He said we need to wait long enough for the parasite to forget the original chemo cocktail.

I told him about the study that showed that Capsaicin greatly slowed the growth of tumor cells. He comes from India and responded that perhaps that’s could be a reason the cancer rate in India is low. He suggested I add Turmeric to my diet. I was surprised he didn’t pooh-pooh the idea. Perhaps he thought it probably won’t help, but it won’t hurt anything.

I did tell him I thought he was competent. Which I think he is. He thanked me.

My treatment took a much shorter time. For one I didn’t get any Benadryl this time, which I greatly appreciated. I felt I was still in possession of my faculties as opposed to how I felt in previous treatments.

I went into the office and did a little work this afternoon. About 4:00 pm I started to degrade a bit.

No Neulasta tomorrow. Next Wednesday I go back for just another shot of the Gemzar. The next day I get my Neulasta shot and then I get another treatment at the end of my 3-week cycle.

I spoke to my first podcast victim tonight. I had tried to call him yesterday, but got his voice mail. He sounded pretty badly. He said he thinks he has bronchitis. I told him I would call him for the interview after he recovers.

Right now I’m feeling pretty tired.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/10/06 8:13 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

May 10 Morning Update

I’m feeling quite good this morning. In fact, I feel the best I have felt in weeks. I don’t know how long it will last, but I take what I can get.

I don’t know why I feel better this morning, but I’ll attribute it to all the prayers being offered up in my behalf.

Thank you to everyone who offers up those prayers and thank you to God for who he is.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/10/06 7:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

May 9 Final Update

I’m feeling really wiped tonight. I’m off to bed early. Tomorrow is a new day and a new chemo regime.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/09/06 8:19 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

St. Peregrine

A reader has said she is starting a novena to St. Peregrine for me. I did not know who he was until I looked him up on the net here.

Thank you, Nora.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/09/06 8:17 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

My CT Scan Report - Disappointing

I got my CT scan results today and I was disappointing.

The parasite has gone from 19 x 26 mm to 24 x 29 mm. You can read the report by clicking here.

My oncologist called me at the office. When I heard his voice, I knew it was not a social call.

I am still getting treatment tomorrow, but they are changing the chemicals in the hope the parasite will get a surprise from a different direction.

I wonder if the five weeks between one of my cycles gave the parasite enough breathing room to develop some resistance to the toxins we had been feeding it.

I’ll be frank with you. I was pretty bummed by the news. I sort of had a little pity party for myself. I wanted to cry and a part of me wanted to say, “It’s not fair!” But what is, is. I can’t change reality.

I’m feeling somewhat better now, but I am still disappointed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/09/06 6:09 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Monday, May 8, 2006

May 8 Update

I did well today. I felt rather tired this morning, but when I left the office tonight, I felt pretty good.

My weight seems stable at 157 Lbs. I called the radiology lab and they said my CT scan report would probably be in tomorrow.

I got a call from a reporter from the Press of Atlantic City today. It seems someone at the Press stumbled across my blog and thought it worth talking to me about it. The reporter is going to come by Thursday afternoon to interview me.

I have a telephone appointment with the fellow that told me about Padre Pio. It’ll probably be a couple of days before I post it. Since it’s my first podcast, it might be a little crude until I get it all down.

I think now is a good time for bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/08/06 8:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Sunday, May 7, 2006

May 7 Final Update

I think yesterday wore me down a bit, but I still did well today. I shot a few pictures and the Vorlon Wife and I went for a 1-mile walk tonight.

My arms are a bit sore from holding the hedge trimmers, but that’s OK as its only muscle soreness. I always look upon muscle soreness as a good thing. It is transitory and it means you pushed against your physical limitations.

This Wednesday I am scheduled to go back through the valley of chemo again. There are two things that would prevent that:

1) If my CT scan fails to show improvement from my last CT scan, they will probably not treat me as the parasite has become immune to the chemo.

2) If my blood test shows that, I am too run down. So far, that has not happened. Assuming 1) above does not happen, I hope to be strong enough to take on another chemo cycle.

I try to sense what is going on in my body, as I now understand I had symptoms last year that I didn’t understand. Now I try to sense very small discomforts and see if I can hypothesize what they mean.

Very deep inhalations produce a very mild sharp pain in about rib 7 or 8 on the left side. When I lay down to sleep, I usually cough a few times. It is a dry cough. If I roll over from sleeping on my right side to sleeping on my left side, I cough a few times. Sleeping on my left side produces a little bit of discomfort on my left rib cage. However, that discomfort has gradually reduced over time. It’s only in the last few weeks that I have been able to sleep on my left side.

My balance is not as good as it once was. If I close my eyes while standing, I have to concentrate to maintain my balance. I think the numbness in my feet compounds the issue a bit.

I’m not sure what this all means, but I monitor and ponder it.

For now, I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/07/06 8:52 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Quote for the Day

Courage is doing what your afraid to do. There can be no courage unless your scared.

Eddie Rickenbacker

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/07/06 3:23 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Saturday, May 6, 2006

May 6 Final Update

I did well today. I cut the grass. I then replaced the receptacle on my extension cord. Then, with an 18” shorter cord – the one the Vorlon Wife cut, I cut the hedge. I also showed her how I attached the cord to my waist with a clothespin so as to not cut the cord.

I hate to say it, but I’m beat tonight. But at least I got a pretty good workout in.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/06/06 8:49 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, May 5, 2006

Thank You

I continue to get many well wishes and promises to pray for me. All I can say is,


Posted by The Vorlon on 05/05/06 8:54 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

May 5 Final Update

I did well today. I had my CT scan at 10:00 this morning. They had told me not to eat four hours before the scan. However, they had told me that in prior scans and I found out they want it like that so if you up-chuck, they’re nothing in your stomach. Apparently, some people get all upset when they inject the contrast material into you.

I’ve been through this valley before and I am familiar with the terrain. I don’t get nauseous when they inject the contrast material, so I bypassed their admonitions and had a small breakfast. Hey, I was hungry. A growing boy needs his breakfast and my mother always told me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

While sitting in their waiting room, who should come in, but one of the partners at my oncologist’s office. It wasn’t my oncologists, but one of his partners. Apparently, he was in for some tests of his own as he was wearing his civilian clothes – polo shirt and blue jeans. We made eye contact, nodded recognition to each other and went on our way.

To the radiologist’s credit, she found a vein near my right elbow on her first try. Her skill was much appreciated.

She said to make sure I drink plenty of liquids to make sure I flush the contrast material out of my body. So I stopped by Wawa and got a 16 oz coffee. When I walked into the door at Wawa, I recognized the husband of the lady that manages our office complex. We chatted briefly and he paid for my coffee. Nice gesture.

Thanks, Rick.

They said the report would be back Monday or Tuesday.

Tonight I went for a 1-mile walk with the Vorlon Wife. The weather was nice.

Now I feel like the week is catching up with me. I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/05/06 8:52 PM | Link

Thursday, May 4, 2006

May 4 Update - Home Again!

I’m back home again. The drive home was uneventful and I made good time. Dasher-1 performed well, traffic on the Jersey Turnpike was light and my total travel time was 2:45. I would say more, but I’m tired, I have work to do tomorrow and I have a date with a CT scanner at 10:00 am. I should get the report Monday or Tuesday of next week.

I’m a little nervous for this one for some reason. I really really really want to see an encouraging report. I guess I’ll just leave it in God’s hands. He knows best.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/04/06 10:06 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

May 3 Final Update

I got out of the client site a little after 8:00 pm tonight. I’m beat.


Posted by The Vorlon on 05/03/06 10:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

May 3 Morning Update

I’m doing pretty well this morning. I can feel the coffee starting to take effect.

I had a rather strange experience. Last night I set my wake-up call for 6:00 am this morning. You know how dreams don’t make a lot of sense. While I very rarely remember dreams, I do remember dreaming that I was trying to light a fingernail sandpaper pad. I have no idea why, but in my dream I was trying to light it almost like one would light up a cigarette. I remember having difficulty lighting the sandpaper pad. I got smoke but no fire.

Then I was awakened by the wake up call. After a few seconds I realized it wasn’t the telephone, it was the fire alarm!

My room is on the first floor and if there was an emergency, I could break a window and simply step out on to the ground. I laid there waiting for the fire alarm to stop chirping. After a few seconds it went silent. Ahh.

I rolled over and was ready to go back to sleep. That’s when my wake-up call went off.

I decided that maybe now would be a good time to get up.

That was over an hour ago. I have since had breakfast and my coffee and I still don’t see any sign of any fire.

I’m off to the client site.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/03/06 7:54 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

May 2 Final Update

Tonight I’m doing better. Although tired, I still feel alert. I did pretty well throughout the day. One of the reasons I like being on-site with a client, even when I’m feeling like crap, it takes my mind of me. I am forced to concentrate upon the task at hand and not about how I feel. I think that’s a good thing.

The room is nice and the breakfast is nice. The bed seems only be full size bed not a queen or a king as in most hotel rooms. I’m not that bothered by the size of the bed. When I sleep I move so little I could probably sleep in a cot. The interesting part is there are FIVE, count ‘em, five pillows. I throw three on the floor and sleep with the other two.

I’m off to bed to get a good night’s sleep.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/02/06 8:29 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

May 2 Morning Update

I’m up and going this morning. I’m feeling pretty good – about the same as yesterday.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/02/06 7:51 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, May 1, 2006

May 1 Update

I’m getting ready to hit the hay. I did pretty well today – although I dragged about 3:00 pm. Right now I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

I’ve noticed that my recovery seems to go in steps. One day I’ll feel much better and then I’ll feel like I slip a little back down hill. Then I get another step up again.

Weekends are a bit better for me simply because I get to sleep more. And that’s where I’m heading now.

Posted by The Vorlon on 05/01/06 9:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)