Friday, October 26, 2012

Round Two,Green Arrow and some football!

 Its 10:52 am

     First day I have gotten a chance to post this week. The second round of chemo has started and its not going to be as "easy" as the first round was....
 Monday morning found back at the U of Michigan's Cancer Center for the first round of chemo. While last time we were able to to have the treatment closer to home,each time you start a new therapy,you have to have it done at the hospital so you can be watched by the nursing staff. Its fact our "anniversary" of our first chemo won't be hard to remember,its the wedding date of the UK's royal couple,William and Kate. And we spent it at the cancer center as well....
   We got to Ann Arbor at 7:45 am for labs and a blood draw,that was over in 5 minutes and we went upstairs to the infusion waiting room. There was a small delay from the lab and we in the waiting room 45 minutes. While it seemed like a long time,it really passed very quickly and soon our name was called.
The room was pretty active with patients and loved ones sitting and chatting while the RNs went about getting folks hooked up with IV drips.

   We were seated and soon Lori was being prepped for her chemo. The anti-nausea medication was given first as well as a mild seditive to help her relax. I got her a heated blanket and a bagel while we waited for the  first IV of saline as pushed. This helps allows the chemo to flow faster into the body as well as protect it from the harshness of the chemo.
   The saline is also kept going throughout the entire treatment so after a while,you're going to go to the bathroom and going and going....

   There was a nice older couple next to us,the wife was undergoing treatment for non hodgkin's lymphoma. She had once before and had been in full remission for 11 years before getting it again. She and her husband had to drive about 2 hours 3 times a week for her treatment as they don't have a infusion clinic near her home.
   She was so ill the first time that she had to undergo a stem cell treatment,while it helped save her life,she was a little uncomfortable with the prospect of having to undergo that again because certain people commented on the fact that perhaps that the cells were harvested from embryos of fetuses. Which is complete bullshit....because while the best way to to get stem cells is by a donor match,there are far too few donors to be able to help. (unless you're Dick Cheney or David Cosby). If getting stem cells from an embryo is what is needed to save a life,then yes,you bet your ass I'll take it in order to save my wife's life and I have no problem with it.
   We chatted with them for a while,she shared a huge bag of candy with the staff. It was easy to see that this woman was a favorite of the staff and cared very much for her.
   After she expressed her unease about the stem cell issue,I gave her my phone number and said if she needed donors,I would volunteer to help her. I don't know how they harvest the cells but if can save a life,does it really matter what is involved?
   I went and got Lori a salad from the cafe which she was happy to get,then she took a nap. I started reading a book about the huge tornado outbreak in 1974 called F5.

This is a excellently written book about a small area in Alabama that got hit with TWO F5 twisters and the utter havoc and heartbreak that it left behind. I picked this up about 2 years ago at the local Dollar Tree and put it on my stack of  "books too read" pile at home.
  After 2 hours the nice couple left and the infusion clinic sort of thinned out a bit at 2 pm. Lori napped or had to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes.
    Another woman came in at 2:30 pm....she was suffering from ovarian cancer and she was ill before she even got hooked up. She looked terribly ill and the staff was so kind and gentle with her.
  Her husband looked sort of shell-shocked as he sat there. I wonder if I looked that way my first day of chemo...some caretakers did but others did not. I try and keep a absolute poker face when I'm around Lori,always giving her encouragement and hope. Its not a lie,I know she can beat this and knock it flat.

  Finally at 4:45 pm,we were done and I drove us home....with taking 3 pit stops on the way to use the rest room. Our house is only 17 miles from Ann Arbor so that should tell you how full of fluids Lori was.
  The next day,Tuesday,I went to work and Lori stayed home....she felt pretty good and had no real after effects of the chemo.
   Wednesday was the 2nd part of the new treatment plan. She went to the infusion clinic by the house and received a shot of a drug called Neulasta.

What does Neulasta do? Its designed to jump start your bones to produce white blood cells at a accerlated rate. White blood cells are the ones that fight off infections and illnesses in the body,since chemo kills everything,a cancer patient is at a higher risk for infection then most people.
The problem with this is simple,the body produces blood cells at a slower rate and pushes them out of the bone marrow very carefully until they hit the veins,where they then are carried throughout the body.
Now imagine a 150 cells per second normally are able to slip through with no problem...but with Neulasta,it becomes 1,500 cells per second...that is one very nasty and painful logjam. And that is what happened with Lori Wednesday night,her ankles were on fire. At 3:30 am,we were about to hit the ER when we were told Lori could take a Narco pill to ease her pain and then Motrin afterwards. This was worse then anything we saw/felt in the first round by far.
    My work was kind enough to let me come home early and sit with her as the pain slowly went away to a tolerable level. But we have five more Neulasta treatments to go and I think each one will be a little rougher each time.
  As of today,she is coming home early from work to rest again....and I'll be heading off to close at my shop this evening.  This really sucks to say the least.....

  On a lighter note,I just caught up with the new Green Arrow series called "Arrow" on the CW and I have to say I was pretty impressed. Nice twist on the origin of the Green Arrow and enjoyed the action and respect the creators have towards Oliver McQueen.

The action is top notch and having a guest star like Kelly Hu in 2nd episode and featuring a well known DC anti-hero called Deadshot in the 3rd episode was pretty cool as well. It establishes this Arrow in the DC Universe while not risking becoming "campy" that sometimes will sink a superhero show like this. Its what enabled "Smallville" to last 10 years in my opinion...not showing Clark Kent as Superman until the last show.
  And while we won't be seeing any major DC characters in Arrow as of yet,there are a ton of minor ones who'll do nicely if the show can get a couple of seasons under its belt.
   One weakness is the "name of the week" plot line which has GL chasing down a rich baddie every show. That will get tired real quick and could cause problems.
   While I would have liked to see Justin Hartley back as GL,I can respect the CW to move away from that casting and bringing fresh faces to this show. I wonder where I have seen THIS picture before????

After losing 49-27 to Utah State in the WAC opener,San Jose State had to rebound quickly because they had to travel to Texas to battle the 5-1 Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio in the Alamodome.

The Spartans,after being completely hammered at home by Utah State,were not down in the dumps nor taking taking UTSA lightly. They flew into Texas and crushed UTSA 52-24 and it could have been much worse. The best part of this game was the fact several back up players also played,including highly touted QB Joe Gray with completed his one pass. SJSU moves to 1-1 in the WAC and 5-2 overall and playing Texas State tomorrow at home. The next 3 games are all must wins in order for the Spartans to secure a bowl win,a single loss will most likely end any chances of a good season becoming a GREAT one!
  Above is the video of the Spartans on their trip to play UTSA.

Alright,that is it for now...has anyone else seen "Arrow" and if so,what do you think so far? Pro and con...

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