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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another Saturday Night At ER

Dear Diary,

Just got back from the emergency room...again. Looks like we still have pneumonia lingering in the lower left lung base. I'm now back on another ten day course of  Levaquin®

They did another CT with contrast and compared it with the last one I had and apparently there is more improvement with the 'ground glass opacity' issue. Main issue now is it appears that the ugly density that was residing in my lower left lobe has decided to return.

The scrub gods are fairly certain it is pneumonia.

They are getting to know us down there at Scottsdale Abrazo. We have arranged for the entire radiology department to be my pallbearers. They have yet to find out that I'm being cremated.

As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure if my lungs will burn being as how they're so full of fluid!
The rest of it shouldn't be a problem considering my liquor consumption. Lol!

Just so ya know, this is just a weak attempt at 'gallows humor'. Take it light, I do!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, August 18, 2016

At Last... Some Real Progress!

Dear Diary,

Guess what? When I saw Dr M, the cardio guy, he actually had good news. It appears that he finally got together with Dr J, the pulmonary guy and they came to an agreement.
Dr J has found a cardiothoracic surgeon who they both trust and respect. He will do the tumor removal and the lung biopsy at the same time. This will be a somewhat risky procedure but nowhere near as bad  as going in twice!

The procedure will most likely be done at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.It has an excellent reputation and I hve been there many years ago. We will be finding out if my insurance will cover any of this within the next two weeks. Then we will sit down with the surgeon and have what will, no doubt, a very long conversation.

A date for the procedure will then be set and I will begin my pre-surg testing.

This ordeal will be long drawn out and very painful but I think I can get through it with a little help from my friends (not the Fentanyl® and the Morphine® but my real friends, if I have any left!)

All I really have to do is wake up and do what I'm told! Lol!

More news as it becomes available. Wish me luck! This will be the biggest challenge of my life (except high school math!)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Short Update On Plans

Dear Diary,

This entry is actually more to keep your attention than anything else. I know how incredibly boring a lot of these cancer diaries can be (including mine)!

Tomorrow, the wife and I have an afternoon sit down with my cardiologist to get an updated  Doppler for comparison and find out if these two jokers have made any progress as to locating a high risk cardiothoracic surgeon who will even consider touching me. Time is not on my side here and I have begun to make plans proactively lest things turn out less than favorably.

My life has been a disaster of my own making for most of my 63 years. Since we were married 23 years ago, All these years, I have restricted Karen's progress in most of her interests. She has reciprocated by supporting and assisting me in all of my endeavors.
My feeble attempts at returning the endless gifts she has selflessly given me cannot be repaid in either of our lifetimes.

I do not know how give and express real love for another person yet my wife gives love unconditionally, without expecting reward. I am in awe of that!
I truly owe her my life. If there really was a Heaven, and if she was amenable, I would surely want her by my side for all eternity.

I love you, Karen under all circumstances, for all of eternity.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brief Summary Of Last Week

Dear Diary,

Monday: Saw Dr E for a general follow-up. Got a bunch of prescriptions refilled. Lab results were ok except the hemoglobin which went down to 11.8 from 13.
Probably from so much rectal bleeding. (hemorrhoids)
It was his first day back from vacation and he was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off!
Forgot to mention that over that weekend, I was trying to clean up some broken glass on the front patio and managed to fall into the pile of it putting several nice gashes in the palm of my left hand.
Interestingly, for being on warfarin, it didn't bleed much. I was prepared to go to the ER but the largest bleed stopped in about 30 minutes.

Tuesday: Went for my INR with Dr M. Have another one coming up in a month. Warfarin is currently very stable which is convenient.
While we were there, we scheduled another Doppler to check on the progress, or lack thereof on the part of the Myxoma. I get that on the 18th.

Wednesday: That was the day we went to see DrY, the RO. We had what I consider a good meeting.
We agreed that we are not going to actually 'cure' this so we agree that it's time to formulate a plan designed to slow or stop the cancer for as long as humanly possible.
We will probably kick this off within the next six months. Within that time, I expect to be having as least two consultations with a new urologist and a medical oncologist, both recommended by Dr Y.

Thursday: After breakfast, we took the old battery from the van down to the auto parts store to collect the core charge. $15 is better than nothing!
Spent the rest of the day resting. Did I mention that the wife removed the old battery from the van and installed the new one. I am extremely proud of her (as usual).

Friday: Friday morning, after breakfast, I published the 'for sale' ad for the van in Craigslist. I have never been able to sell anything on Craigslist. We sold the van in a half hour! Go figure!

Saturday: Karen and I both started feeling poorly around the late morning. light fever, muscle aches and pains all over the body and generalized fatigue. I had it worse than she did as toward evening, I could barely walk. During the night, the pain continued and In my case, it affected my lungs causing mild, productive cough and upper left lobe crepitations. We did not sleep well at all!

Sunday: Slept all day!

Since then, most of the symptoms have either resolved or have greatly improved with the exception of my desaturation issue which appears to have suffered a mild setback. Checked in with Dr E who increased my prednisone by 10mg to 20mg/q.d. He also wants me to use Lasix® on a daily basis, at least through the coming weekend.

Well, I've got a few chores to do so more later.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Visit To The Radiation Oncologist

Dear Diary,

As I mentioned last night, I went to see Dr Y, my RO today to discuss the latest fun and games.
He is inclined to consider a PSA of 1.8 still very low. He did however, state that, because of the extremely short doubling time, I could theoretically be looking at metastatic disease within the next 12 months. Bummer! :(
What this means in a practical  sense is I will most likely be looking at first line hormone therapy much sooner than I thought. It appears they will probably start me on Casodex® for a while before switching to Lupron®. The goal here is simple, to impede the progress of the disease as long as possible. I am cautiously hoping for another ten years however that is asking quite a bit.
Factually, the cardiac issues could kill me at any time as opposed to the cancer which will probably take years.

I sure hope they have decent booze in Heaven (or Hell). Personally, I'm betting on Hell!  Lol!

Actually, the irony of this is funny. Doctor says I'm gonna die, they just don't know when. We've all had that death sentence since the day we were born!

Dr Y was able to give me the names of both a urologist and a medical oncologist within his medical group which he highly recommends. Because they are the same group, the insurance company should have no issues with it.

Next update will be the heart issues.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

General Update On All Conditions

Dear Diary,

There is so much going on in my life right now it would take a book to describe it. That being said, I'm only going to update the most recent changes for all my annoying ailments.

(1) Cancer: As I feared, my latest PSA has doubled from 0.8 three months ago to 1.8 at last labs. This is a clear indication that the residual disease has become extremely aggressive within the past 12 months.
I will see Dr Y, my RO tomorrow at 2:00pm. I have no idea if he will want to start hormone therapy this early or not. I will update tomorrow.

(2) Lungs: I saw Dr J, my pulmonologist this past Monday. We went over the newest CT scan ( see image below) to compare with the previous ones. Apparently, there is some improvement over the last time. The ground glass opacities are somewhat improved over the last one a few weeks ago mysterious mass in the lower left lobe is gone.
The opacity represents accumulated fluid in the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs.
This is the reason I am on Prednisone® and Lasix® for so long.
Once this is corrected we have to find out what caused it in the first place!

(3) Heart: Dr J is looking into finding a surgeon who is experienced in high risk cases and who would do the removal of the Myxoma and also do a wedge biopsy of the lungs at the same time.
Does that sound strange/ Not really. We need a wedge biopsy to begin with and this would save me a second major surgery.
I'm all for it.
I am requesting another Doppler echo from Dr M, the cardiologist to see if the tumor is increasing in size. Hopefully, there has been no significant change.
Still on warfarin at 7.5mg q.d.

(4) Bladder: Not too  much new going on there, thank goodness! Total incontinence and the occasional light bleed seem to be the order of the day.
The internal hemorrhoids are bleeding a lot lately. If I make through all this current crap, I'm going to have to get something done about them. They are definitely contributing to my tendency for anemia.



"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface