‘cancer’ Category


  • on March 14, 2007 -
  • cancer, tv, weather
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  • Comments Off on Sneak preview of spring

Sneak preview of spring

As anyone in Northern Virginia already knows, spring has made an early, but temporary appearance this week. Today’s high will be in the mid 70s (20 degrees above normal), and it’s a perfect day for working out on the balcony at work with a wireless laptop. Let’s enjoy it while we can, since it will be in the 40s this weekend!

The Verizon FiOS install went quite well. As predicted, the HD picture quality is generally excellent, although it does vary from channel to channel and show to show, probably depending on how the shows were originally filmed. Too bad we’re not too into sports, as the ESPN HD channels look amazing. The standard-definition channels look significantly better than DirecTVs. The digital video recorder leaves a lot to be desired after being spoiled by a Tivo for the last 5 years or so, but a software update from Verizon is due in a couple months, and a new Tivo Series 3 that’s compatible with FiOS but less expensive than their current $600 model is also due this year. Haven’t played much with the FiOS internet but will do so this weekend and try to switch everything in the house over from Cox internet.

Glad to say that chemo #8 was better than #6 and #7! Side effects were less severe and didn’t last as long. Interestingly, two days after I got my Aranesp shot for my red blood cells, the FDA came out with warnings about Aranesp. Fortunately the warnings seem to only apply to situations where the recommended dose is exceeded, but I’ll still be checking with my Oncologist about it. I’ve only needed Aranesp twice so far, and it’s likely I won’t need it any more anyway.


  • on March 9, 2007 -
  • cancer, tv
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  • Comments Off on Fios. Oh, and number 8.

Fios. Oh, and number 8.

We’re getting Verizon Fios installed tomorrow. A salesman came door to door last week and gave me a rundown of the costs. I’ve been looking into HDTV for a year or so, but both Cox Cable and DirecTV (which we have now for regular TV) were pretty expensive for HD. Fios HD (including DVR) is going to be less expensive than we’re paying DirecTV currently for SD (standard definition), so it seems like the time to change. I’ve also heard from customers that Fios’s SD picture quality is significantly better than DirecTV. About the only downside is that we’ll be forced to retire our TiVo, which is built into our DirecTV receiver, and switch to Verizon’s DVR. TiVo does have a new Series 3 box which is compatible with FioS, but it’s a $600 purchase, vs. nothing for the Verizon box. We love the TiVo, but not that much! We’re also getting Fios Internet installed, but that’s not as interesting as it’s the same speed as our Cox Internet, and only $2 per month cheaper. We’re sticking with Cox for telephone for now since it’s just $12 per month for the basic plan, where the cheapest Fios plan is something like $35, and we rarely use our land line anyway.

Saw the oncologist Tuesday… chatted about the Wii for a bit, chatted about chemo for a bit. Nothing much to report, just keep on going, light at end of tunnel, more than half done, downhill from here, blah blah blah. Also got bloodwork done, which showed my red counts dropping again, so I got a second shot of Aranesp on Wednesday to boost red cell production in my bones. Chemo was straightforward. I got hooked up pretty quickly this time, but then had a really long delay before they started giving me drugs. It’s hard for the few nurses there to run back and forth dealing with each patient, especially when it takes 30 minutes to get one patient set up. So far my symptoms aren’t quite as bad as last time, but it’s only been a day, so I won’t get my hopes up too high yet!


A warm distraction

Today we’re flying down to Florida to visit my mom for a few days, and to get a quick injection of 70-80 degree weather to break up the monotony of an unusually cold Februrary in Virginia. Can’t wait!

Chemo’s taken longer this time to get out of my system… even Monday through Wednesday I was more tired than usual, and the usual bad/metallic taste lasted longer than usual. Pretty much back to normal now though. Have my monthly oncologist appointment and chemo #8 next week.

Next week we’re also getting Verizon FIOS installed for TV and internet access. FIOS TV with high definition will be the same price as our current DirecTV satellite service with standard definition, so it seems like a good deal. I’m a little nervous about the installation process, but hopefully it’ll turn out well.


  • on February 25, 2007 -
  • cancer, weather
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  • Comments Off on Let it snow…

Let it snow…

This morning we were hit with a surprise snow storm. It’s been snowing steadily (and heavily) for the last three hours or so. At least this is a very pretty snow, unlike the last couple that were mainly sleet, freezing rain, and ice pellets (yuck!).

Saturday’s side effects continued about as expected, but today I can tell that my tastes are starting to slowly improve, so I should be feeling mostly normal by tomorrow or Tuesday. Kathie and I are heading to Florida on Thursday for a long weekend to visit my mom and get a short break from the cold. We’re looking forward to some 80 degree weather, swimming in the pool, and relaxing.


  • on February 23, 2007 -
  • cancer
  • |
  • Comments Off on #7 Days 2-3

#7 Days 2-3

Thursday and Friday have turned out about as expected… I rested at home Thursday and did a little work, and was able to go to work for a full day on Friday. Some nausea, but not quite as bad as last time. The altered food taste is worse than the last couple times though, so I have no appetite and have to force myself to eat to get some nutrition. I had an Ensure shake for lunch today which keeps me going.

A lot of people have recently been asking me if the chemo is working, and if I’m getting better. I’m kind of an odd case, since they found the cancer before I had any symptoms, so there isn’t any way for me to feel whether it’s getting better. The only way to monitor the cancer is via PET scans. I had one just before starting chemo, and I won’t be having another one until after chemo is done. The first one didn’t show much activity, so my oncologist expects that when we do a scan after chemo, it should show nothing (which is a good thing). Then I just have periodic scans once or twice a year for several years to make sure it doesn’t come back.