Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Birthday, Plus The Good and Bad

Well I am another year older, the big 31.

My birthday was pretty uneventful. I got everything I wanted and had a good meal at Lupe Tortilla's. Wait, scratch that. I ordered a good meal at Lupe Tortilla's but had to go home because Jacob stepped on glass in the sandbox. Lesson: don’t let your child play in a strange sandbox without shoes. Actually, we still had a good time.

My Cancer:
First, the not-so-good news. I am officially losing my hearing. It is a common side effect of one of the drugs (cisplatin) and the doctors are not surprised. If it is progressive, they may consider changing drugs but no real consequence yet. As far as I am concerned, I could care less. Hearing aids can be very cool. Also, who wouldn't like to be able to turn their ears off every once in a while?

The nodule in my lung continues to be stable. That means it hasn't grown or shrunken. No real news there. It is interesting that because they have not biopsied this (gone in and tested a piece of it), they don't know that it is malignant. It could just be a benign nodule.

Now, the great news. The cancer in my belly has definitely been shrinking. This indicates a response to the treatment. Now, I know I said I was responding to the treatment when my belly stopped filling up, but this is proof. My cancer IS GOING AWAY. I love this news; it validates all of the crap that I have been through in the last 4-5 months.

Also, since my belly isn't filling up with fluid, they feel comfortable giving me all of the drugs at once instead of two stages. They have canceled my outpatient treatment and will give all the drugs to me when I go into the hospital next Monday. I should still only be there about 7 days, so that's actually pretty cool. It will be interesting to see if the bad effects build on each other, or if I just feel as crappy as I usually do. Either way, I get a couple more days off before I have to begin. Life is sweet and the small pleasures make a difference.

Family:
My older brother came into town and we had a great time. That is, until my family got into a big fight. Oh well, this stuff happens in a close family. Everyone will get over it and we will all be back (almost) to normal. By the way, if you know my family, don't call/email for details about what happened. If it was your business you would already know.

Jennifer is sick with pneumonia, and is feeling like crap. I can't do much to help, because nothing much helps. At least I have a few more days to be home, taking care of her. God knows she has taken care of me enough in the last few months.

All in all, I am a happy dude. I do have something to say that I hope some of you will think about.

My cancer has shown me both the immediacy of life and the unimportance of most of the things we do. If your life ended tomorrow, would you be happy with what you have done with it? Would you be proud of how you acted, how you treated other people, or even yourself? Do what needs to be done, and spend the rest of the time loving somebody.

Oh, and smile at the people in the drive-through; it can be contagious.

I love you all!
Peace.

P.S. check out the new baldy pic at the top right.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

Nice pic Jason - remember Kojak - well you look much better ;). I am glad you are doing well and the cancer is going away. I see Jacob at Lauren's school almost every day and I think of you and Jennifer. I hope she is feeling better and keep up that positive attitude it is working. Happy belated birthday. Cheers
Sarah

Lisa said...

Hey Jason,
I finally got onto your blog. You really should consider doing creative writing. You have a way with words and you're very articulate. I tho't you looked great on Sunday and you are on so many prayer lists that there HAS TO BE good things happening. God doesn't ignore all those prayers. He hears every one of them and believe me, miracles DO happen. We all love you. Keep your chin up and a smile on your face. Optimism is a wonderful medicine!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Aunt Lisa

Kate said...

Happy belated birthday. Hope things are going well since your last post. I look foward to good news every time I read your blog. I still don't see how you do it. You are one of the strongest people I know.

Stay strong and positive.

Kate

Jeff said...

I cant wait to lose my hearing and listening to everyones crap. LOL

Jeff

Alana said...

Hey Jason...I signed up for a new name so I could

Alana said...

Hey Jason! I got a new ID so I could post on here =). Hope you are feeling well/school is going ok. Have a great week!
Alana

Alana said...

Hey Jason! Hope you are feeling well/school is going ok. Sorry I didn't stop by last time you were in the hospital...i was sick and I'm sure you don't need to catch a cold on top of chemo! Hopefully I'll see you next time you're here!
Have a great week...
Alana

Barb said...

Hi Jason,
Have been praying for you and sending Reiki healing. If you haven't heard of Reiki - look it up - and maybe try a Reiki treatment in your area. Many nurses practice it.
Good job on the belly fluid! Way to go! Keep it up and we'll keep the positive healing prayers coming in.
Re: the lung nodule. My husband, a 6 year kidney cancer survivior, who; by the way; had the IF -A, has had "multiple small bilateral lung nodules" for 3 years and they have stayed the same with each CT scan. No further growth = no problem. They can't biopsy as they are too small, but if they were malignant, wouldn't they be like little Pac-man guys and gobbling up all surrounding normal tissue? Kidney cancer is similiar to melanoma as there's no real known drug regimen that works for everyone.
-Great news. Keep healing your body & stay positive!
Barb in Mich - an old friend of all your Mich relatives

Barb said...

Hi Jason,
Have been praying for you and sending Reiki healing. If you haven't heard of Reiki - look it up - and maybe try a Reiki treatment in your area. Many nurses practice it.
Good job on the belly fluid! Way to go! Keep it up and we'll keep the positive healing prayers coming in.
Re: the lung nodule. My husband, a 6 year kidney cancer survivior, who; by the way; had the IF -A, has had "multiple small bilateral lung nodules" for 3 years and they have stayed the same with each CT scan. No further growth = no problem. They can't biopsy as they are too small, but if they were malignant, wouldn't they be like little Pac-man guys and gobbling up all surrounding normal tissue? Kidney cancer is similiar to melanoma as there's no real known drug regimen that works for everyone.
-Great news. Keep healing your body & stay positive!
Barb in Mich - an old friend of all your Mich relatives

lia said...

Jason,
I had no idea that our Birthdays are so close. Mine was on the 27th of August and I turned 31 too. After 30, I decided I would not celebreate Birthdays anymore. You are a Leo and I am a Virgo, but we definitely view the world the same. I am all about living life to its fullest each and every day. Keep up the good spirits and awesome blogs. Love to you and your family.
Lia