Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moving On Again

Hi there folks!

Way back in 2001, when I got diagnosed with cancer and started undergoing treatment, I decided to keep family and friends informed on my medical progress by posting updates to my web site at www.buckcash.com.  To do that, I started making a series of web pages as journal entries.  That was before I'd ever heard the terms "Blog" or "Blogger" or "Blogging".

By the time I'd made about 60 of those pages/updates, it was getting to be a pain in the butt to make the pages for each update, and by then, I'd heard of this cool new thing called blogging, and it seemed like just the ticket to make my updating a lot easier.  So, in 2004, I started putting my updates here on Blogger, and that worked pretty well for me.

Recently, I started looking into other blogging solutions and was impressed with WordPress.  After taking a few courses for it on Lynda.com, I decided that I really wanted to use it going forward, so I bought a new domain name, set up on a whole new server and fired it up.

I spent the last few weeks importing all my original journal posts into it by hand, and finished that earlier today.  Then I used it's automated import tool to bring in all the Blogger posts from this blog a few minutes ago, and now I've got everything all in one place there, which is pretty cool.

So, from now on, I plan to use the new site for my updates.

That said, this might be the last post I make here.  So, if you happened to land here from a search or have been following me here, here's where you can find all the updates after today:


See you there!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

6 Month Stem Cell Transplant Checkup

Big Boy 0382, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
It's now been 6 months since my stem cell transplant, so it was time to visit Karmanos in Detroit again for a checkup.

Mom and I took a ride down on Tuesday morning and got to the Detroit area about noonish. We picked up my sister Trudy and went to lunch at Checkers because I've been craving their fries for months, and there's no Checkers or Rally's in Northern Michigan (that I've been able to find). It was delicious and really hit the spot.

After that, we went to The Henry Ford in Dearborn to see the new Star Trek movie in 3D at the spectacular IMAX theater there, and it was AWESOME!!!! WOW!!!

After that, we took Trudy back to where she's staying temporarily and rolled on out to Ann Arbor, where we met with my aunt Aggie for dinner at Big Boy's, where I got the photo above.

Then we all went back to Aggies to rest for the night. Late the next morning, Aggie and I went to Coney Island for lunch, and then mom and I drove to Karmanos in Detroit for my appointment.

I had a little altercation with a lady who wanted me to take my shoes off to measure my height, saying they always do it that way, and I said, "no you don't - not in the 12 years I've been dealing with this." She wanted to have an argument with me about it, and by the time I sat down to get my blood drawn, my blood pressure was elevated, prompting the nurse, and later the doctor to remark about it.

Anyway, the exam itself went just dandy. Things are going really well, and I got my first 5 immunization shots. I'll get 5 more every 2 months in Petoskey, and then 6 months from now I'll go back to Karmanos for another 6 month checkup, where I'll get my last 5 to complete the re-immunization process, just like a kid goes through.

The doctor had me stop taking the Acyclovir until I see my doctor again on the 12th and get blood work, saying that something's elevated (to do with my liver?) and it could be the Acyclovir causing it. If it's back to normal when I see the doc on the 12th, I'll start back up on it, but at half the dosage I was on up till now.

That was about it. We left Karmanos and headed North up I-75, stopped off somewhere along the way for dinner at a Cracker Barrel where I had a terrific pork chop dinner, and got home just as it was getting dark.

So, everything's progressing well here!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Colonoscopy Day

Polyp 0116, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.

Okay, so today I had my first ever colonoscopy. Seeing as how I'm 54 years old, it's a common thing for guys my age anyway, but mine was triggered by something spotted on my recent PET scan, which was a follow-up to my Stem Cell Transplant for my Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Anyway, prep for it started yesterday, when I went on a liquid diet at about noon. At 11:PM I took 3 Dulocolax/Bisacodyl tablets, sold off the shelf at Walmart. At 6:AM this morning I started drinking a mixture of lemon-flavored Gatorade and Miralax. Over the course of 3 hours, I drank 96 ounces of Gatorade mixed with 357 grams of Miralax. The rest of my morning was spent running to the bathroom to vacate my colon. Over and over. And over.

All in all, it wasn't too bad at all. I like Gatorade, and the Miralax didn't seem to do much to the flavor. It was just quite a bit more in a 3 hour period than I was used to, and of course the many bathroom breaks because of it.

At 2:PM, I showed up at the hospital, filled out a form, and they ushered me right in and had me change into a hospital gown. Then I got onto a gurney, got an IV installed, and got wheeled into the room where the procedure was to be done. A nurse shot a little something into my IV port to get me relaxed, and the doctor explained what to expect. I was rolled over onto my left side, knees pulled up towards my chest, and I could see what they were seeing on the big monitor I was facing, which I found pretty interesting.

They found and removed 3 polyps. One was the size of a golf ball, and I heard the doctor tell the nurses, "You might see one this big every 25 years." After removing it, he placed two metal clips to stop the bleeding on a severed artery, and that pretty much wrapped it all up.

The photo is of my golf ball sized polyp before we went our separate ways.

All in all it went pretty well, and it went really easy. The doctor said to have another colonoscopy in about 5 years, add fiber to my diet, and have a great day.

I guess that's about it till next time!

Friday, May 10, 2013

PET Scan Results

Egg Coloring 3280, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.
Went to see the Doctor on Wednesday to go over the PET Scan results. To get straight to THE point, no cancerous activity spotted, so the remission is ON, BABY!

It did show a couple other areas of activity though. One was my sinuses, which are showing a bit of activity. I've been having what seems like hay fever / pollen type symtoms for about a week now; Watery eyes, sneezing, lots of mucus, etc. Anyway, Doc gave me some antibiotics, just in case, and I'm taking Claritin to dry up the sinus a bit.

It also showed that I have a single gall stone, but it's calcified already, and probably won't give me any trouble.

I've got a couple of infusions to do. First one is on May 15th and the next is on June 12th. I don't even remember what I'm being infused with, but it's to boost something that's still a bit low. I'll update with full details when I get the first on on the 15th.

I'm scheduled for a visit to Karmanos in Detroit on June 5th for a visit with my Doctor there doing a follow up on the Stem Cell Transplant. I expect that will go just fine.

I checked the Henry Ford IMAX schedule and found that the new Star Trek movie will be playing there in 3D, so I'm definitely planning to take that in while I'm there.

Also I'll be scheduled for a colonoscopy soon because of something really small and pretty insignificant that showed up in that area. Doctor's not terribly concerned about it, but we'll take a look just to be sure because of my age.

Speaking of age, I just had a birthday. 54 and still going strong here! That's about it for now! Will update again when I have more.

Till then, cya later cats and kittens! ;>)

Oh, and the photo is of my grandson, Michael, just being his happy self.

Friday, May 03, 2013

PET Scan

Stranded Spider 2282, originally uploaded by Buck Cash.

Well, here we are a couple months after my last post. Not much has happened medically in that time, until yesterday, when I had another PET Scan.

It's an easy procedure; Go in, get an IV, they inject the radioactive isotope marker into the bloodstream, give you a blanket and turn out the lights so you can nap for 90 minutes while it goes to all parts of your body, then wake you up, scan you in the big donut machine for about 20 minutes, and you're on your way.

I'll have a visit with my doctor next Tuesday to review the results of that scan.

Other than that, I moved into my own place, which has a nice big studio space I can work with, so that's pretty cool.

Casey, Gracie and Michael have been staying with me while she looks for a job and her own place in the Petoskey area.

I've been selling off a bunch of stuff I no longer use on eBay and that's giving me a little extra cash and helping me do a little spring cleaning.

And speaking of spring, THE SNOW IS FINALLY GONE!!!!! WOOOT!!! I probably shouldn't get too excited. It's only the beginning of May and I'm in Northern Michigan - We could get a blizzard tomorrow! LOL!

Anyway, all's good here, as far as I can tell. A little congested the last couple of days, but my mom says it's all the pollen this time of year. LABS next week when I go to see my doctor should tell if it's anything else that needs to be dealt with or not.

So, I'll fill in again next week after I see the doc! Till then, enjoy this spider photo I shot a while back (even though he's dead now, he's sort of a pet - get it? PET Scan? I know - Duh!)