Monday, May 18, 2009

Back to the grind...

Well folks, it has been a wonderful couple of weeks, treatment free (especially after being pulled of the Thalidomide), back at home with the kids, seeing a very few friends and feeling mostly normal. However, cancer waits for no man and so we are departing for the airport at the ungodly hour of 5AM for our return to Little Rock.

This means the blog will be updated more frequently ("Huzzah!" comes the cry of about four people) and I will once again be submitting myself to, in the words of the Simpsons writers re: Mister Burns, "a series of painful medical procedures designed to cheat death for another week." I'm heading back to the world of daily blood work, the occasional great pizza (, and separation anxiety.

My cold has worsened -- I really don't know what this is going to mean for the timing of continuing therapy. Frankly, the thought of having to lie flat on my back for a total of three hours tomorrow between the PET and MRI is rather daunting as I can't breathe terribly well. I've also got a cough -- it's nothing more than a chest cold, but each time I cough I'm reminded of that HORRIBLE three week stretch in the hospital and, especially, afterwards (because I was no longer doped up on Dilaudid and was completely aware of how horrible coughing 200 times a day is).

My back pain is real, unfortunately. It seems to be centered in the middle of my back, running across from side to side. It's difficult to pinpoint when it flares up, too. One benefit of the MRI tomorrow night will be a detailed structural analysis of what's going on -- between that and the PET, I should know how much (if any) of the pain is due to cancer, how much is due to the back surgery, and how much is due to other factors which I might or might now be able to ascertain completely. I'm looking forward to getting to the bottom of this...and I'll have to focus on that information because tomorrow starts at 6AM and won't end until 12 hours later. They love their tests.

Then on Wednesday I'll have another bone marrow done. I have decided definitively against having another gene array done -- I've done my part for science by giving them three other gene arrays, and I'm sorry but contributing to a further database that is unlikely to improve the quality of the treatment for low-risk MM and might have no therapeutic value at all isn't gonna happen. After the last gene array I couldn't sit down or walk without discomfort for about ten days. I might add, my once attractive posterior (so I've been told) has SIX dime sized bruises that will not go away -- I've got ones there from the beginning of March. I might as well be walking around with those plugs that the people in The Matrix had. So I'm not too keen to add to the connect-the-dots on my ass, thankyouverymuch.

It's time to grab my bags and head out, so I'll draw this to a close. I hope the next chapter is extremely dull medically but full of wit to make your readership worthwhile. :) Thank you all again for being an important part of my fight.



  1. Just stumbled on your site doing some melanoma searching. I don't know you but will be following you and wishing you the best.

  2. Nick, the trail of breadcrumbs you leave is easy to follow, and I'm keeping up. Will look forward to your progress, as I am sure there will be some...

  3. Go, Nick.. go Nick... go! go! go, Nick... (said in my very best tween cheerleading voice.)

    Wishing you all the best tomorrow and, of course, always. Will keep checking in/reading daily. You're my first bookmark. :) xoxo

  4. Safe travels my friend. Looking forward to good news from the tests.

  5. Nick, The Little Rock Tango seems to be very hard on all those who decide to dance. I know you have been following the progress of my friend Dan. Your name came up when we got together with him last week. All I can say is that I hope Dr. B delivers a very long remission for all that he puts his patients through. Get over that cold and I hope they are able to give you some relief from that back pain.