Saturday, May 31, 2014

Back Home. Slapped by Reality

Came back from Colorado and doing the BolderBoulder 10k on Tuesday.  The trip and experience was A-1.  We had 17 family participants, some of whom I haven't seen in years, plus one who hadn't seen ever. That would be Liam, my niece Destiny and her husband Justin's 5 month old boy. I guess that makes me a great uncle. Or is it grand uncle?  My brothers kids have all grown. Megan, his oldest, cut my hair. Much needed. Really the best cut I've had almost ever. The problem now is she lives in Colorado and I live in California. What happens next month? Anxious about that already.  The 10k was the capper. So much fun. 50,000 participants, with maybe that many lining the route handing out beer, belly dancing, slip and sliding and so on.  My Mom was a champ. She flew in from Berkeley and did the walk no problem. 6 miles.  Our fund raising tally hit $8,300, thanks to some last minute persuasion by Suah.  Team t shirts provided by Leslie.  And if you're interested, I'm keeping the donation page up for a while if you'd still like to throw some dollars to a great cause.

We flew home Tuesday as I said. I had a flight scheduled to land at OC airport at 12:30 with a new cycle of chemo scheduled for 2 the same day. I took an extra week from chemo so I'd feel good in Colorado. So making Day one, was critical for me. About 15 minutes from landing, our plane started making lots of turns...right turns. We were flying in a holding pattern. 20 minutes went by until the pilot came on to say we were diverting to LAX where they had longer runways. Our flaps weren't working. The pilot said we'd see emergency vehicles on the ground when we landed, but not to be alarmed.  We landed no problem in LA, saw one fire truck and all breathed a sigh of relief. For a few moments as we approached the runway, I had did have concerns and cinematic type visions of the plane skidding off the runway and bursting in flames. I'd imagine other passengers did as well. I think Leslie did, she posted something on facebook just in case. Anyhow, the possibility of the plane burning didn't get me get me too excited. Perhaps because of the past three years, I'm at ease without whatever my fate might be. Maybe I'm being overly analytical on this. And that's not to say I'm not going whatever I can to stay alive. But I was ok. I'm kind of ok with the cancer. But.....after we landed, they said they were keeping us on the plane, so mechanics could check it and determine if we could return to OC. I called Dr Phan to see how late I could get to his office for chemo. I was already late. He didn't answer the question, and instead told me to remain stress free. Umm ok.. kind of late for that. After 30 minutes they said they'd be taking us off the plane, the mechanics never showed, letting us get our bags and then they'd bus us to OC. WTF.  By the time we got off the plane it was approaching 3:30 and no buses were in sight.  Leslie called Phan again and he said I could wait a week to start the new cycle. No, no, no was my answer. Fuck the bus. It was cab time.  $75 dollars later I was at Phan's for day 1, after disregarding Phan's and Leslie's advise to calm down and wait a week.  I might have lost my shit for a minute or two, but it all worked out.

So Chemo Tuesday, back to work Weds.  Back to the daily routine, back to the daily stresses, worries and all that.  I had done lab work right before we left. At chemo day 2 yesterday, I got the results, but the key number was missing. The F'ing lab has done this before. It kind of makes my results useless without the UPEP number, which give me a percent of the protein that my body is producing that is bad protein.  On a side note...ate a lot of meat (protein) while in Colorado (TWSS) including Elk burgers that my cousin Heather's husband Will caught and made. Normally, I wouldn't eat that. But I did and it was darn good meat.

I feel pretty good. No worse for the wear after the 10k. Note that we walked and didn't run.  Two days of chemo back in the books. The steroid rage has hit pretty powerfully today. Going to try and work through it.

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Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.