Thursday, October 26, 2006

Great News!

Hello faithful readers:

I hope things are going well in your corner of the world. If you are facing adversity or difficulty, continue reading. "When it's darkest, the stars shine the brightest."

There is the real possibility that my cancer is gone. I'll say that again.

There is the real possibility that my cancer is gone.

I went to the doctor yesterday to get the results of my scans. The first thing the PA said when I asked about the tests was "well, we might not have got all of it." That sounded like BAD news, but what she was saying was "we might have got all of it."

When the doctors came in, it was a different story. They showed me my CAT scan from April (when I was diagnosed) next to my CAT scan from yesterday. Jen and I were floored. In a nutshell, my cancer is gone from the scan except maybe 1% of what was there. The doctor explained that that piece could be lots of things. It could be active cancer, dead cancer, scar tissue from the cancer, etc...

So, what next? I go under the knife tomorrow (Friday) for an exploratory laparoscopy. They will make 2 small holes in my belly and blow my belly up with carbon dioxide. Then, through one of the holes they will put a scope (camera), and through the other they will insert a kind of multi tool. The tool allows them to push and pull stuff around, and snip little pieces for biopsy later.

An important point to remember. Even if the cancer isn't gone, it has been shown that it responds to the chemo. If I have to go through 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 more treatments, so be it. It is working. The fact is, I will be healthy again. We are winning this battle, the cancer is losing.

Keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming! My surgery is Friday 7:30 AM at MD Anderson. I will update with news as soon as possible.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Emotions are a funny thing. Most of the time we don't notice them. They stay in the background, quietly running our life until we take a step outside of ourselves to examine them. Usually, with the goal of suppressing them, but sometimes we gain a deeper understanding of our own actions by looking at our emotional state.

When my wife was pregnant, she was suceptible to the most dramatic mood swings anyone could imagine. It wasn't how quickly they changed, but the magnitude of the emotion that was suprising.

I think being a patient with stage 4 cancer is similar. I feel like I am constantly in a charged emotional state. The littlest things set off my emotions to crying, laughing, quiet depression, mania, and anger. I cry at everything with a child or somebody who dies on TV.

The emotions I feel related to my cancer are:

Sadness. I am sad for the way my life could have been without the cancer. I am sad for my freinds and family that are going through this with me.

Happiness. I am happy that I have reconnected with so many family members and old freinds. There is nothing like an ilness to bring people together. I am also happy for the new freinds that I have made at the hospital (doctors, nurses, and patients).

Lonliness. When I am between treatments, I am very lonely. Everyone I know is at work or school. Because I am a bit of a loner by nature, this isn't as bad as it could be.

Frustration. I am frustrated about sitting at some and resting. I am not a sit around and do nothing type of person, but I have to because of my fatigue.

Anger. More than anything, cancer pisses me off. It is a raw deal, and people who have cancer or know someone with cancer all get screwed. This disease steals so much from you, you wonder what will be left when it has gone.

So, those are my emotions. Sorry about the outburst yesterday, but it happens. When people tell me how impressed they are that I have been able to stay so positive, I usually tell them that I don't feel like writing when I am deppresed. Yesterday was different, and you guys got a window into the "bad things" that I think about.

Thank you for your comments and calls, they really do make me feel better. My freinds and family rock!

Focker out.

PS, I built my older brother a website for his photography but nobody seems to be going to it. Here is a shameless plug, check it out

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yes, I am afraid of dying.

That is a really hard thing to say. When you have cancer, you have to stay positive and optimistic to get through the days. But I spend alot of time afraid. In bed at night, trying to sleep is hard.

I have never been a very religious person, and cancer hasn't changed that. They say "there are no atheists in foxholes", but the prospect of death at the hands of this horrible disease has not given me a magic shot of faith. I think people who have faith in afterlife have it easier than those who don't. The prospect of life and conciousness just ending in a moment is terrifying.

I am not having a good day. Some are good and some are bad, and this one doesn't feel right. For some reason I got out my "Melanoma Book" and read the section on stage 4 cancer and chemotherapy. The survival statistics suck, and they make me afraid.

All of us are going to die, nobody lives forever. I am not at peace with this, I am afraid.

See ya

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finished #6

Hola from Houston!

I hope everyone is doing well, thank you for the comments to my last post. That pumpkin coffee thingee from Starbucks sounds really good, I can't wait to try one.

I am just recovering from my last treatment. The recovery time for my treatments has gotten really horrible. I think it is a sign of the cumulative effect of the treatments. Like the treatment before last, I spent the last week in bed feeling sick. I finally started feeling better today, 6 days since I got out of the hospital.

As treatments go, this last one could have been worse. I swelled up like a wet sponge again, but not as bad as the first time. Probably the worse part of me treatment was that I only got to see ennifer twice during the whole week. She is busy taking care of everything else in our life, and it gets a bit hectic. She is kicking ass at work though, and with their killer health insurance, I can't complain.

So the biggest news is, they took my PIC line out. For those of you that haven't seen me since this whole thing started, this was a semi-permanent IV catheter in my arm. It sure was uncomfortable, and I am glad it is out. I can take a shower now wothout anyone's help (my PIC line couldn't get wet). It may signal the end of my treatments, :)

So I go back in on the 25th to meet with my surgeon (who is awesome) and schedule another laparoscopy. This is where the rubber meets the road, as it were. He is going to open me up and look to see if there is cancer left and how much. This will tell us if the treatments are working and if they do any more. I am sure everyone knows what I am hoping for.

Until then, I am just hanging out with family and trying to build my strength back up. I love and miss you all, you are in my thoughts too.

Connelly out.