Monday, August 30, 2010

Well that didn't go according to plan...

I went back in to MSKCC today to start round 3 of my chemo treatments...until I couldn't start round 3 of my chemo treatments. Turns out my white cell count had dropped too low for them to safely administer the drugs to me, and therefore sent me home with a antibiotic prescription, a blood prescription, and a new schedule for next week. This, of course, screws up everything planned for the next couple of MONTHS, but I guess we'll have to make do of it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Second round done...and it's no less comforting! you all probably know I went to do play-by-play in mid week down at Rutgers...yes, in the middle of my chemo treatments! Felt fine doing it, everything seemed to be cool.

And then Thursday hit!

From Thursday morning on I've been hit pretty hard. My energy level took a beating this week (though the nausea hasn't been as bad this time around). But I'm still fighting through things here. I know it's an ongoing process. And I know my energy level will pick up soon enough. Just at this moment, I'm very much weakened.

And it just doesn't make it any more fun, that's for sure!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 22 - or Round 2, Day 1...

I haven't blogged in a while, so here's my latest entry:

Since I last blogged, I went through a serious case of 'roid rage, had Adina go out of town for 4 days (in which I did have plenty of company), and broadcast a Sky Blue FC game.

Now I'm back at MSKCC for round 2 of my chemo treatments. And one of my concerns is that I can't come off of the steroids that they're giving me to combat nausea. They may try to reduce the dosage, but as of right now I can't completely come off of it. This concerns me b/c if I start raging again...well, that really scares me! I have to now be very cognizant of my feelings, emotions, and surroundings just to make sure nothing triggers me off. I've already done damage to one door...I'd much rather not have to go through that again. Something tells me I'll be going to some therapy sessions with Adina in the coming weeks.

So it's now 2 I guess it's Day 23? But I've been in and out of sleep and nauseousness all day. I'm hoping to sleep well in the next couple of days so I can be rested for the SBFC game on Wednesday! Oh well...I'll just watch Poker After Dark and hope this discomfort passes me by!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I love progress!

Stomach wasn't too happy with me overnight...should have stayed away from the french fries at the ballpark! Too oily to try fried food yet! Otherwise, all is going real well! Went in for my checkup and all tests went well. And Dr. Xiao has come up with a game plan for combating the constipation and nausea issues going forward to the next round of chemo treatments.

So on the way back, I did a little food shopping. A necessary trip because Adina and I HAVE to start eating healthier. We keep talking about it, but as most people do we fall back into that rut of bad habits. So lots of good foods...fruits and veggies, I'm actually a big fan of whole grain bread, some watermelon may be knocked down by me later...heck, I MIGHT even try a piece of kiwi at some point!

Which brings me to my weight! For those that may not have known, at this time last year I weighed 240 lbs! That's not a typo! 240!!! But then, between coaching the girls at Pingry, coaching the girls with the Wings, and playing on the Nighthawks, I was getting a TON of ice time. And my body responded. By seasons end, I had shed 30 pounds down to 210. Gradually, those bad eating habits got me back up to 220, but now with chemo I'm down again to 210.

I say this because either today or tomorrow I'm going to go to Paramus and finally load up my stationary bike from there. I plan on keeping myself in some kind of shape so that when I've been told that my cancer is in remission (or gone altogether), I can at least be somewhat ready to play hockey!

So for the rest of the day...I'm gonna get the dishes done, try to tidy up some other things, and then maybe get to Paramus before I head off to meet up with some of my teammates tonight in their summer league game.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's a process, for sure...

Somewhere along the line, I figured that the discomfort would go away and I'd be back to normal, doing things around the house and running out and doing some errands. Ah, but I should know not to just assume these things! The last couple of days have been physically painful, if not frustrating! In the past 36 hours, I've had to take some acetaminophen tablets to subside the pain. No, it wasn't was legit pain in my stomach! There still is some pain there, but today it's not as bad as it was yesterday. Slowly, progress is made!

Unfortunately Adina though I was mad at her! I wasn't in much of a talkative mood because I was trying to manage my pain both physically and mentally...not an easy task! But no, I wasn't mad at her at all!

And as the finish for the day...went with Adina, Jason, Joanne, and Luc to a Skyhawks game! Luc's first game was a fun one! Fireworks night! From the Skyhawks themselves, as they scored 12 runs. From the Worcester manager...he got tossed in the 6th! And of course, the fireworks themselves! I ate as I normally would at the game and felt relatively fine! Hopefully I have a week and a half of normalcy before round 2 starts!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ooof last night was a bit tough...

My stomach was not helping me last night. Had to call MSKCC a couple of times to figure out what to do about the pain I was experiencing. Finally, after a couple of pain tablets and the usual round of meds, I'm feeling a bit better now. Temperature stays down, which is good. Wondering what to do for breakfast this morning...either a Fiber One bar, or a bowl of cereal, or maybe english muffins. But any way you cut it, I'm going to try and keep it simple!

Comical moment of the day: Adina was getting ready to take Luc back to Denville (she watches him during the day for the summer). Luc wanted to helped Auntie D with her car keys...and pressed the blue panic button on the home alarm remote! D punched in the code, we figured all would be fine from there...and not too long ago, a Vernon Police Officer showed up! I explained what had happened and apologized, but next time Auntie D has to keep the keys out of Luc's reach!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's been a week...

Didn't sleep too well last night...stomach acted up, alarms going off, texts coming in, phone calls, etc. But...I gotta drink my fluids and make sure I'm recovering nicely!

My energy level seems to go in waves...and as I type this, I'm in a lull actually! But m biggest concern will still be my stomach...I'm not nauseous but as I told one of the MSKCC nurses who called this morning, it feels like there's something sitting in my stomach. It's probably me not having enough in there, and my stomach reacting accordingly! Oh well...we'll see how the day plays out for me! I'm sensing another bologna sandwich later on!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 7

Had a good time last night with Sean, CJ, Hamad, and Robb all stopping by in the evening. Adina cooked the hot dogs (a little too much so on a couple of them)! There was also potato salad and some lettuce...and PLENTY of Gatorade! I could only get 2 Strat games in (lost both)! Stayed up a little later than I should have, but that's what sleeping in is for all this time!

Stomach has been acutely been giving me issues since last night. Starting to wonder if hot dogs were the right idea! But we're being cautious still here. Got the meds again to take, ands just overall monitoring on how my body is feeling to make sure I'm not missing anything!

I think we're having more visitors over today. So it's all good!

The visitors today were Joanne, Luc, and Trish. Adina heated up the baked ziti and meatballs that Ken and Amy had sent over yesterday...and damn was that tasty! My stomach is hurting a bit from it, but overall no worries! Also got a call from another D, this being my Srrat buddy Billy's mother. She's a good resource if I have any treatment questions, and always a good ear to talk to (as is Billy and Jack and all of the CHL, for that matter). Can't imagine it's been 8 years since I first started playing Strat hockey in Queens! But I love going there to draft and play, ad can't wait to do it again next season!

And back to the baked I have an idea for my mother for future dishes! She doesn't make that "Traditional" baked ziti...hers is essentially ziti first boiled, then yes baked but just with a lot of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. I think mom needs to add meatballs to it next time. Then it'll become my new favorite dish from her! I'll talk to her about it tomorrow!

Anyway...time to get some rest. Another day of recovery tomorrow!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 6

Well, it's the first day I don't have to go in for chemo...I get 2 weeks off from any IVs, so that's a welcome sight! I still obviously feel tired, as the drugs haven't quite left my body! I'm also feeling a bit queasy as I woke up this morning, so we'll keep an eye out on that. Otherwise, I'm just hoping that my energy level can pick up as time goes on.

Supposed to have some people over today. Ken is stopping by I think to help Adina bring some bagged leaves to the recycle center. Then later on, it's the Strat crew (Robb, Hamad, Sean...and CJ coming to chill with Adina) for some shenanigans.

And D has just walked in the door from her accupuncture we're gonna have some breakfast!

Breakfast was egg challah with butter (damn that stuff tastes good). Now D is back snoozing and I'm on the couch watching ESPN. I still feel tired (again, expected), just wonder how long this will stick around with me. I'll probably take a nap later on before guests swing by later on.

Forget nap time! Before my buddy Ken comes by, Adina wanted to clean out the garage of all the garbage that's in there (including actual garbage, since we don't have bear cans). GROSS! I had to step in to do some serious damage control!!! not how I envisioned spending a Saturday recovering from chemo treatments! But hey...this is what happens when we forget about these small things b/c of the crazy schedule! I pitched in as much as I could before my body started to tell me it wasn't up for it!

Damn Adina knocked that garage out! Ken helped out big time taking bagged leaves as well! Now D can get her car in there again! Had a bologna sandwich, which did go down rather nicely. No backtalk from my stomach yet, which obviously is a good sign! Sean and CJ bringing some hot dogs and salad over in a little bit, and we'll see how that goes! So far, things looking good!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 5

It's my mother-in-law's turn today to take me to MSKCC. Last day of treatment for this week. My hair has grown back at a pretty rapid rate! May have to go back down to a 1 again soon! I still get the slight nausea and heartburn from time to time, but nothing major. That and of course the fatigue that comes with chemo. But by and large I can't complain about how the first week has gone! Looking forward to see how my body reacts to 2 weeks of no treatment! But...the day is still young!

Come to find out that the co-ed softball team I was playing for lost their opening playoff game last night. From what I can tell, we're not hitting in the clutch. Grrrrr! I'll have to look at the scoresheet when I get to MSKCC and see what went wrong. My initial thought is people were trying too hard to make things happen again...or "superhero mentality" as I like to call it. But that's just a first thought. The scoresheet will tell me more.

No blogs from MSKCC because I decided to lay low and nap for a while. Been feeling tired a good portion of the day. D wants me to drink the Innergize energy drink she bought for us, but it's making me a bit queasy today. Had some, but didn't finish my glass (yet). Had chicken noodle soup, so it's good that I'm holding stuff down!

Now all that said, I am really hoping that this is the WORST of how I'm going to feel during the treatment...because if this is indeed the worst, then bring it on! My first week of chemo treatment hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. But by all indications, each time it'll get a bit I'm going to continue to attack this thing head on! I'm sure as hell not going to let testicular cancer dictate how I approach my life or what I want to do with it!

Now...I may have more chicken noodle soup...or some challah (ooh, I love me some egg challah with butter!), maybe I can knock down some more of that Inneergize, or some other relatively bland foods. I'm also going to watch some NFL Network, catch up on e-mails, and do whatever else my body can handle! And maybe come back later to blog some more!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 4

Waking up to a bug in Adina's bathroom isn't exactly the way I wanted to START day 4...but c'est la vie! Almost 7 am, and Dad will be here in 2 hours to take me back to MSKCC for another day of chemo. I don't feel so bad this morning (so far), so I may even take the wheel for the drive! And I think today I'll post early and update as I go along...keeping things fresh as I go along!

And poor Adina...she hasn't slept well at all this whole week. Between worrying about me, worrying about her Mary Kay business, watching Luc (that's our adorable Godson who keeps asking "Ann DiDi" for "Unka Bet"), worrying about how the house looks, worrying about her body temperature...poor girl has been all frazzled! But I've already told her that unless I REALLY need her around, I'll be fine. So far, chemo hasn't bothered me nearly as much as I thought it would have! But then again, we're living things day by day...or at least trying to!

Now at MSKCC...had a little delay, but things are normal. Dad sitting here with me reading a book, and I'm just chilling inthe chair. All my vitals are spot on again, so that's definitely good!

1 pm and the drugs are going in. Starting to feel a bit tired, so I think I'll just close my eyes for a back later!'s 5 pm and I'm feeling ok. A bit on the groggy side, but ok. Actually drove myself back home today (Dad just a passenger). So far, the first week has gone rather smoothly. Had that little stomach issue on day 1 thanks to not eating bland foods, but outside of that I'm feeling ok. I could easily broadcast a game if there was one to broadcast. Hamad talking about playing some Strat-O-Matic baseball...I'll see if I can get Robb over (since Sean will be here on Saturday) and we'll do up a bunch of games!

9:30 pm and I'm watching the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals Game 4! Good times! Oh I remember those days! Adina home, mother-in-law on the way, and I'll probably go back to bed a bit later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 3

Mom comes with me today, but has her friend Pat here to start. I'm at MSKCC and feeling tired so far today. Gonna kick back a bit and snooze...

So I snoozed most of the day! My nurse woke me up when I was done for the day, and mom brought me back home. Still not overly nauseous, though I'm feeling a bit tired still. Guess this was expected! I'm not feeling strong enough to go to the chiropractor, so I'll cancel that and lay on the couch for a while. Got some sports stuff to watch, and hopefully I can do a BLSP (that's Bret Leuthner Sports Program on for those that don't know) sometimes around 8 pm tonight!

But it's 5 pm and I'm still tired...maybe more napping is in store! Before I go, I find out my buddy Ron says he joined the shaved head club! Should be interesting to see pics of that! Ok, I'm tired...D is making me chicken noodle soup and then I'll lay down for an hour or so.

And now it's 11:40 what a nap! Must be the chemp fighting the cells in my body! Needless to say, no BLSP today. But I'm feeling good and confident that I can do a SBFC game should that scheduling issue arise. Adina agrees! Finish the night off by forwarding this to more friends, and now it's time for bed. More tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 2

Adina drops me off again today since she didn't have to be at Chez Jansson until 11. Uncle was grateful that we got a hold of him to call him off. I'm grateful to him that he would come up to our house to bring me to MSKCC! Arrive at MSKCC, find out that massage at chiropractor isn't advisable, so we'll hold off on that for a few months! Got to set up lineups for softball today and then just sit tight. Hoping that I don't get sick again later. I want to be feeling good on Wednesdays so I can call more Sky Blue FC games while I'm doing Chemo!!! And yes, I'm not letting Chemo stop me from being on the mic! I will be at the field for those games!

2 pm arrives and that means my parents will soon be here to pick me up and bring me home. Feeling a bit tired from being reclined all day. Or maybe the chemo. Dad comes in and we're already ready to go. Out to the car where mom and my dog Alfie await (my sister, Kim, named the dog, but he gravitates to me anytime I'm he's my dog)! Nice conversation back home. Both mom and dad want to help with the yardwork! Woohoo! Adina should be very happy!

Which I must say my relationship with my parents has gotten much better since D and I moved up here! The first time my parents came to our new home, I could see the pride in my mother's eyes. It was one of the best feelings I ever had to that point in my life, and it shows I can judge someones feelings and character spot on...because since then, she has been nothing than the best in our relationship. My dad has been awesome, too! I can't imagine how much it hurts them to see their son having to go through chemo.

Started feeling tired around 5:30 today...nothing major, just a bit fatigued. Stomach is fine (so far), no headaches, no other issues...just a bit tired. Parents went to town on the yard...good stuff there!

So I made pancakes for everyone (and yes, they were as good as always). I ate without having stomach issues (thank God), and Robb stopped by to play video games for a while. Good end to the night!

Day 1

Adina takes me to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in Basking Ridge. 10:30 appointment. We check in, and a short while later we're being led to "room" 3...they're more like private spaces start my treatments. The first 90 minutes are anti-nausea meds and fluids. Then around noon, we start the actual chemo medication. Overall an uneventful day at MSKCC. I feel fine leaving, wondering if that's how I would feel in the days to come. My appetite has been fine, I've been drinking a lot of fluids on my own, all seemed to be well.

Get home, knock down a Subway sandwich, take a nap, end up being 40 min late to my chiropractor...and then I start to feel nauseous. Eventually pills and such don't help, and later in the night I get sick. Call MSKCC to let them know. Since temp stayed down (it has to stay below 100.4) just take one of the other pills they prescribed to me. That did the trick after a while. Was able to hold down crackers and ginger ale, so I slept relatively well for the night. Before we went to bed, Adina lament how once she put notice out for help with the lawn, no one was available. Not sure how to take that...I just want to sleep and not have to worry about drama, anger, or anything else that's negative vibes.

Wonder going into Day 2 if I'll be able to eat something, even if it's crackers en masse!

Sun., July 18...last day before the "next" of my life

My day started off normally enough. Wake up with my wife, have some breakfast, and start prepping for the Sky Blue FC game I am to webcast that night. First off, let me tell you I LOVE sportscasting! Play-by-play seems to be the frontrunner for me. And I also seem to love broadcasting soccer. Just got done with a Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues assignment for the season, and now it's on the Sky Blue FC. So needless to say, I'm very excited to get to Yurcak! (that's on the Rutgers campus for those that don't know)!

Leave my house at 3:30 to get there for 5. Get in and meet up with John Archibald (always good to see him). Explain to him what was to come, but also let him know all will be fine! Set up the gear, do sound checks, and wait for game time. Eventually the rest of the broadast team show up...Erik Studnicky, my color commentator for the game, Neal (who was producer for the evening), 2 cameramen, an intern...nice sized staff! No Dennis Wilson as he is in rehab recovering from surgery.

Game goes off brilliantly! Nearly 200 hits on a game with no lead up promo! Chat was alive, too! Dennis called in to say he was VERY happy! Says we're better than anything ESPN has (that's a stretch) SBFC pleased as well, which is a big bonus!

Go down to the field, get to see Gloria Averbuch from SBFC again (she's still busy as ever!), interview Eniola Aluko (she got the lone goal), got to talk a bit with Hope Solo (she's still great to talk to, even for 2-3 minutes), then Tasha Kai and Kacey White as well (also great to talk to). Let Tasha and Kacey know what's going on...and both gave much support for me! Archibald comments that it was like a high school reunion for me!

No going to Charlie Brown's Restaurant, though...I've got a standing commitment at Charlie Brown's...that being my friend his house. It's going to be buzz-cut night. I've decided to go military style and trim down to virtual baldness rather than see my hair clump out in a shower! I arrive to see another friend, Juan, there as well. Apparently another friend Sean is arriving on the scene, too. So it seems that they're getting their heads shaved in support of my fight.And all the wives are there, too...Adina, Joanne, CJ...Stacey was the only one that couldn't make it! I'm speechless! But on with the shaving!

After much artwork by Jason on all of us, we all pose for a picture. Later on, we find out that Chris Blackman also shaved his dome in support. Dang I got some great people in my life!

With that, it's off to home. And 40 minutes later, I'm finally back and ready for bed. Adina like the new 'do!

But tomorrow starts my "next" of my life....

The backstory...

May 1, 2010 ends up being the "day of infamy" for me. I had just come home from a long day of networking down in Philly. After I had taken a bath to soothe my tired legs, I noticed that one of my testicles was much larger than the other...which after an ice bath to attempt to reduce swelling, my wife, Adina, and I took a trip to St. Clare's near us to have it checked out. The medical staff there, after an ultrasound test, suggested we see a urologist, and an appointment with Dr. Ware was made on Monday. At the hospital, it was suggested that there may be cancer in play.

Monday's appointment with Dr. Ware further added to the cancer confirmation, and that removal of my testicle was needed immediately. A quick 2nd opinion from Dr. Werner in Manhattan confirmed it, and on May 6th I was under the knife having my testicle removed. During the surgery, Dr. Ware had also discovered a hernia that he repaired.

Recovery took 6 weeks...the first couple of them rather uncomfortable! As time went on, I started moving around more and more and started feeling myself again. During that time, we did sperm banking in the event of radiation knocking out my fertility temporarily, but at the same time Adina and I were trying again to create a baby naturally. Then a double dose of reality hit.

During Adina's trip to the hospital for severe neck pain, the nurses there told us that she was pregnant. You could imagine how overjoyed we were! Magnesium to help reduce the pain, and we were on our way to MemorialSloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan for my verdict. However, on the way, Adina developed complications. We met her mother so that she could get back to Sussex County and the GYN she was using. In the meantime, I was driving solo to Manhattan to get my news.

Adina's came about 20 minutes before mine, though the answers were unclear. What it turned out to be is that she had a chemical pregnancy...meaning she got pregnant, the fertilized egg implanted, and then the body rejected the egg, causing the lost pregnancy. So heartbreak number 1 there.

Then it was my turn. As it turns out, the tumor responsible for testicular cancer is in the back of the abdomen. The cancer cells then work their way into the bloodstream downwards to the testicle. And, if undetected, they'll then get into the lymph nodes and start working their way back up to the rest of the body. Good news is that I caught it before they started the voyage upwards. Bad news is that I still have that dang tumor. No radiation, instead chemotherapy was needed here. Heartbreak number 2!

So that's how we got here today. The target for me (and us) is November 2010. Then I'll be back on the ice, and also when Adina and I will resume our attempt at becoming parents.

During these coming days, weeks, and months, I'll be blogging here to let you know how things are going. If I can figure out everything here, I'll leave it open for comments to be posted. I may answer some, but not positive. Either way, keep 'em coming!