Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tumor: pwnz3d!

uber pwn4g3!

The tumor is now out. The margin is good. That means they took out enough liver around the tumor that the pathologist should be satisfied.

To get to the tumor they had to take out his gall bladder. This is apparently a good thing. All it means is that he won't have gall bladder problems later in life.

They also biopsied a couple of lymph nodes that are probably just inflamed but are possibly tumors. The surgeon said it's no big deal even if they are tumor. He is getting more chemo don't forget.

He had to get one unit of blood during surgery. No biggie.

He's breathing on his own already. If things go well he'll be out of the PICU tomorrow morning. I would assume they'll probably take him to the 4th floor instead of sending him home, but no biggie.

Morphine for pain.

So far so good! Don't forget, we're not out of the woods yet, but I think the worst is now over.

Greg, you suck.

Weird Morning

Nothing real weird about it, it is just a weird feeling morning.

We didn't have to be at the hospital until 7:00 today since they don't start surgery until 8:30 on Wednesdays. That was nice. Andy did not like being woken up and hungry.

I dropped off Julie & Andy at the front door then parked and came up. When I came up, Julie was standing there with two bags that she didn't bring in. One contained a Breakfast Pizza from St. Louis Bread Company (aka Panera), the other contained Halloween goodies for Joey & Emma. I missed our special visitors, but Julie said it was two employees who have been reading this site. To these mysterious employees, thank you very much! We really appreciate it.

You know the Verizon commercial with the cheap Steve Martin knockoff? "Cuz you're my number one" guy. Yeah, him. I want to give him a roundhouse kick to the side of the face while wearing steel toe boots.

So back to the weird morning. Andy's surgeon explained that they would first install the port then would do the "left hepectomy" (fancy term for removing the tumor). He'll be in surgery for anywhere from 4 hours to 8 or more. This will be a long day. After surgery he'll be moved back to the PICU, possibly with a breathing tube.

But once again I'm getting ahead of myself. It just felt weird this morning. Probably because we knew what was about to happen to Andy but he didn't know. I dunno. I felt better, though, when I saw a familiar face.

I used to work with the nurse who came to get Andy. She was overseeing a surgery-related project that I was involved with. We never knew each other real well, but it was nice that she came to get him. Knowing that he was in her hands took a lot of the sting out of seeing him being carried into the OR while reaching out for Mommy & me.

So that's the weird morning so far. As I type this he's having a new port installed. They haven't started removing his tumor yet.

When you're checking for updates, make sure you CTRL-Refresh. For some reason blogspot pages like to get stuck in browser caches.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

T Minus 15 Hours

...give or take...

Nothing new going on. Just mentally preparing for surgery. Again.

We're gonna carve the pumpkin tonight. That should be a fun adventure for Joey and maybe Emma.

I'd like to go out to dinner with the whole family tonight. Or something like that. Something nice before the feces hits the rotational cooling device.

Gracie (the 160-pound mastiff) let one fly last night. At like 3:00am. It was so rank that it woke up Julie and me. It was the worst smelling god-awful thing I've ever had the displeasure to be around. And I grew up around my stepfather! Oh my god it was horrible. It woke us up from a dead frickin sleep! Gah!

Talked to Jason a few days ago. Sounds like the new mom & dad are doing great. Jason started asking me if I know the 5 S's or some crap like that. I told him to forget about all that crap and just raise his kid. He pretty much agreed. :)

That's about it for now. More tomorrow.

Imagine Courtney Love, a Jon Bon Jovi impersonator c1986 (yeah, impersonator not the real thing even), Vanilla Ice, and Vanity Smurf all rolled into one. Now imagine this character hasn't slept in 72 hours. Now imagine him on LSD. Now pretend this has all happened about 2 weeks after a frontal labotomy. Give him a man-purse. Put a crappy German beer in one hand and a Keno card in the other. Voila! You have my cousin Greg!

Monday, October 29, 2007

T Minus 36 Hours

Give or take.

Andy's last appointment before surgery was today. You know, just the usual $25 a pop run-of-the-mill appointment. He was looked over with a fine-tooth comb, which is apparently what they do before surgery. Ok. Fine. Since he doesn't have a port anymore. It suxed getting blood. Really bad.

Joey went with us and helped keep Andy happy. He also colored a Halloween picture. David from Child Life Services was there and gave Joey a big Halloween bucket-o-crap. All kinds of goodies. It made Joey really happy and is now also making Emma happy. Except for the fighting over the crap in said bucket.

Andy is up to 8.6Kg. This is where he needs to be. Even though there is no more TPN, he's still doing well. Maybe he can stay off the TPN?

Surgery is Wednesday at 8:30am. We need to be at the hospitizzle at 6:30. Yay. I'm so thrilled about being there at 6:30 that I think I'm just going to crap myself.

Surgery will take anywhere from 2 - 8 hours. Recovery will take anywhere from 2 days to ???. We just don't know yet.

He will have a port reinstalled along with his surgery. Along with Javascript. (a reference to my use of the term "reinstalled")

Julie's mom is staying the night on Tuesday so that she can take care of Medium and Large the next day.

Emma has been going potty all day. Not sure how many diapers we've gone through today, but it is less than a normal day. Yay Emma!

Speaking of which, I understand Greg has been doing better with his potty training lately. He might be wearing Wonder Woman undies by this time next year! Yay Greg! We're all pulling for you.

Emma, what the hell are you doing?

Ok, I'm back. Emma was in the sink again.

Hi Bob! DRINK!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Gotta love the Rams. 0 and frickin 8! Amazing.

Like Greg said, the Rams will defnitely NOT lose next week.

Hopefully we'll have a new coach on the other side of the bye.

I hate the Patriots.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So the phone rings....

...and it's Greg on the other end screaching like a 10-year-old girl at a Hannah Montana concert. I could barely understand what he was saying. "You have to turn it on VH1 Classic! Put it on VH1 Classic right now! It is like so cool! Oh my God, like I think I'm gonna like pass out! Totally! Put it on VH1 Classic!"

I was starting to think that maybe Jesus returned to earth and was having some wings at Hooters with his Dad and they caught it on camera. (see previous post for the reference) I had no idea what to expect.

It was an interview with Nikki Sixx.

Greg, this is getting real old. I'm sick of hearing about your love of the Sixxmeister. Get it through your Kanadian skull, it will never happen.

On to more important things. It would appear Andy's blood cultures are still negative. This is good. So far so good with having surgery on Wednesday.

Andy's eating much better now that he's off his TPN. Given the fact that he has 3 - 4 bottles of whole milk a day (grrrrr), Andy is eating about as would be expected from a 14-month-old. This is awesome.

My stepdad's birthday is today. Everyone on 3. 1... 2... 3... Happy f*!@ing birthday, Jim!

Greg, I loved your comment. It was a good read. But you're preaching to the choir. And also notice I never apologized. Just explained.

This is a gratuitious runon sentence that I am writing so that I can give Greg some pick-on-gunner fodder since it's been a while since I've had a really good runon sentence of with about on under behind beside.

Hi Bob! DRINK! (Greg, Babs, Steve, Dawn, Bev, Kenny, and Julie - when this is over we need to rent a season of The Bob Newheart Show and play the Bob Newheart drinking game.)

Friday, October 26, 2007


[Warning: Long post]
Wow, I'm back to averaging 3 posts a day again. If you haven't checked all day, there's still a couple more down there somewhere.

Today was somewhat of an awakening on many levels. It all came to me, of course, whie I was downstairs playing the drums today. Spent a couple quality drum hours downstairs. I reached a new milestone in the drum learning process. And I'm very happy to be reaching milestones when I'll I'm trying to do during this period is just maintain where I was before this started.

Be that as it may, it's still the most therapeutic 2 hours of my week.

A few months ago, June-ish or July-ish, before this craziness, I realized something. I realized I was getting ready to make a transition in life.

Stop. Rewind. If you don't care then stop readng now.

I will spare you the details, but there has been a pattern. It's a pattern I'm sure is common. Maybe. Every time I enter a new phase of life (at least those I remember well), I go through a seemingly long period of confusion and awkwardness. It is followed by a seeming tragedy (at least to me), then depression. Then the transition is made as things normalize for a few years. I have always come out the other side as a better person.

I realized that for the last year or so, I've been acting very strange. Not myself. At all. Frankly, I've been an ass. And I'm aware of it. And I have been aware of it. But I haven't changed it. In fact, the last month or so I've been seeing how far I can push it on this website. Now I know, so now I'll chill out for a little while. Yeah, I'll still be an ass, but only every once in a while now.

Obviously a tragedy has occurred. That is, something catastrophic relative to my own myopic perspective. Or maybe there's been a couple things.....

I think I'm about to move into the next phase of life.

I dunno. We'll see. I know for sure that a year from now I will not be the same person I was just a few months ago.

The big guy upstairs and I have not been in good terms lately. It's just a little pissiness between the two of us for right now. Just like in any friendship, marriage, or even between two close family members, God and I have our ups and downs.

Even if you don't know Greg, you feel like you do if you've been reading this crap. You can obviously see from our back and forth with each other that he and I are really good friends. (cousins too) Greg and I have gone through our pissy phases over the years where we'd go a week or 2 or 10 without talking to each other for whatever reason.

Julie and I, like any married couple, go through phases where things are out of whack.

God and I do too. We always have.

But we always wind up becoming buddies again soon afterward.

Yeah, God, I need your help right now. Let's go grab a beer and some wings at Hooters. My treat. Any help here would be great. Andy's surgery is Wednesday, that would be a great time to keep a close eye on things.

Today was the best jam I've had in a long time. There are times when you play songs better than other times. It's true for all musicians. When you can go for a couple hours straight playing your songs at "max performance" you really have reached a milestone. Even if it doest happen again for a while, it's still a milestone.

I'm gonna go eat my Applebees.

Have a good weekend all. See ya tomorrow.

Don't Miss Lithium!

A plug on behalf of my boy Mitch. Yes, we all know he likes to smoke crack out of automobile tailpipes, but that's beyond the point. He's the drummer for THE Nirvana Tribute Band - Lithium. They called it quits a year or so ago but are playing one last gig and it's a doozie.

Saturday, November 3 at 7:00pm, catch Lithium with special guest Even Flow: A Tribute to Pearl Jam at the St. Charles Family Arena. General Admission tix are $10. Details here.

No, I'm not going. That's just a few days after Andy's surgery. Sux.


Andy, as I've mentioned, has a difficult time adjusting to the hospital. His first day or 2 there he just screams and screams and screams.

He also has a difficult time adjusting to being home from the hospital. When in the hospital he doesn't sleep very well. His first night or two home from the hospital, he doesn't sleep very well.

I just realized that I don't think I've mentioned Andy's off TPN. It makes sense, considering he doesn't have a port anymore. He's getting better with his eating, although he's still not eating the way a 14-month-old should eat. We'll see how a bit of time off TPN does.

Surgery in T minus 5 days! Blood cultures are still negative, let's hope they stay that way.

Hey Dweeze, remember when you broke the chain on the fan and said you'd fix it? It's time to fix it, it's very chilly in here with the fan on and we can't figure the damn thing out. Plus you're tall enough to be able to fix it without killing yourself.

Hi Bob! DRINK!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Going Home Today; Surgery Info [Updated]

It looks like we'll be going home today. A few more days of downtime, then the proverbial fecal matter hits the proverbial fan next Wednesday. Surgery next Wednesday will take anywhere from 2 - 8 hours. He is scheduled to start at noon but they're trying to get that moved to first-thing.

One of us will leave to take Joey & Emma trick-or-treating that evening. It is, afterall, Halloween. Joey's so excited about being Darth Vader.

Not much else to report on for now. I'll [Update] this post if necessary.

I hope I didn't offend anyone with this post. I mentioned Halloween but didn't mention Dia de los Muertos, Samhain, All Saints Day, or anything else. That's not very politically correct of me.

Update: I was lying. Greg never got over his crush on Nikki Sixx. He still has a crush on the Sixxmeister.

Now for the real update: We're home. My kids are being stentorious. Patience is here. Damn Lemay crap weasel she is! Crap weasels aside, we're home, Andy is happy and not running a temperature, and the 3 kids have been enjoying each other's company all day. Now if you'll excuse me, Joey just stole a drink of my Mt. Dew. I need to peel him off the ceiling.

Hi Bob! DRINK!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Remembering Grandpa

I didn't have to grow up with him being my father, and thank God for that, from what I've heard and read. I got to grow up with him being my grandfather. When I think about him, I think about a man who loved me unconditionally, who would stop on a dime and drop everything for me.

I remember the man who used to pick me up from school every day around 5th grade and would come to my classroom with a pair of umbrellas if it was raining.

I think of the man who used to sit with me and go over math, science, and reading homework and actually make it fun. He taught me Algebra when I was in 4th grade!

He was the only person on the planet, for whatever reason, who believed me that I had stomach pains for most of the years of my childhood. I learned to deal with it by the time my teenage years came around. I found out 20 years later that it was GERD and had permanently destroyed part of my stomach and esophagus.

I remember the man who was very excited to teach me all about computers and radios when I was 7 years old, despite everyone else telling me I needed to be doing "7 year old things." Now I'm making $$$ designing and maintaining wireless computer networks.

I remember the man who used to look over my shoulder and chuckle as I spent hours playing Ultima (Thanks for that TJ!) with Suzy the dog on my lap.

I remember the man who took me on wonderful trips every summer to Florida, LA, Tucson, Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, etc. etc. etc. as a child. Those trips were the times of my life!

I remember the man who I spent my summers with as a child and every Monday we'd do something fun like Six Flags, Meramec Caverns, the Arch, a Forest Park museum, etc.

I remember the man who would force himself to go on Space Mountain with me even though it hurt his poor old arthritic neck. In LA AND in Florida!

I remember the man who would watch Police Academy and Back to the Future with me over and over and over and over again and never complain about it.

I remember the man who encouraged me and made it possible for me to become the musician I became. Yeah, I'm not too shabby.

I remember the man who, in every picture of him when he's with me, had a huge, loving smile on his face.

I remember the man who comforted me and shielded me from all the negativity when things got kinda screwey there for a while when I was 9 or so.

I remember a man who spoiled me pretty darn good, but who made sure I turned out ok despite the spoilings. (boy my parents hated that)

I remember the man who made me who I am today. He wasn't an angry alcoholic monster all his life. And he wasn't a grumpy old man all his life.

Here's the real stinker. I need to figure out how to go on without him. 50% of my soul, my being, is now gone. Vanished. Nothing there. And I have to live the remaining 1/2 to 2/3 of my life with that void. Now I just need to try to figure out a way to keep my parents alive for the rest of my life....

1984 was my first annual summertime trip with Grandpa and my first time ever on a plane. Incidentally, it was our last trip on a plane, it was all by car after that. We went to West Covina to visit my brat aunt and my uncle Owl. My brat aunt introduced me to Kaboom. Good times.

I seem to recall hanging at Patti's and Jennifer took me bowling. Dunno, it was a long time ago for me.

I miss that West Covina house. Not sure why, I just do. Were I to go to LA, I could probably still find the place.

...of course, I'm not sure why I'd ever go to LA again. ;)

Nite all. Hope I didn't offend anyone. Except Californians. But then again CA should secede from the rest of the US and become the People's Republic of California and the rest of the country would be better for it. (ha!)

And Greg, your smell offends me.

W00t! pwnz3d!

Incase you can't tell by Julie's post, I finally succeeded in offending a reader. Not sure who it was, but someone was offended and now refuses to read the site. This means they're unable to handle the raw emotions that this site is meant to help with.

Ok, everyone say it with me. 1... 2... 3... Piss off!

My guess is that they we were either offended by my tongue-in-cheek telling someone to contemplate suicide and burn in hell or my going off on the arrogent diety known to many as God.

Seriously folks, read the top of the site. This is here for my stress relief. If you don't like it, then go shit in your hat. (yes that's my new phrase du jour). Nobody is forcing you to read. But admit it. It's like a trainwreck. It may offend you, it may piss you off, it may make you laugh, or it may make you cry. But for some reason, you just can't stay away.

To the rest of you that are still here. Let me know your: Race, religion, sexuality, gender, favorite sports team, or anything else that will give me fodder to offend you. I'll do my best, I promise. I'm a white Carlos Mencia, an equal opportunity offender.


If this website is offending someone don't read it.

Emma Farted

(WARNING: Long post alert. Goodies about Andy hidden in here, otherwise it's just me babbling more than Greg when he found out in 1987 that his long-time crush Nikki Sixx was actually a man.)

First off, mad props to my dad! He drove all the way into the city from O'Fallon this morning through the crappiest traffic to get here at 7:00am for me to make my meeting. He played with Andy, dealt with his crabbiness, dealt with MY crabbiness, fed him, and changed a diaper that would gag a maggot. Everyone say it with me, Thanks Dad!!!! Oh yeah, and when finished, he had to drive all the way back out to O'Fallon to let his dog out, then up to Florissant to work. He's earned the title of Superdad for the day. I'll take it back tomorrow tho. ;)

My mother as well. She's coming up tonight so that I can go home and be a dad to my other kids. I'll tend to them, make dinner, do baths (which I HATE), and put them to bed so that Julie can get some work done.

Patience too for volunteering to do the above. But move aside, I wanna be a dad again for a while, not just a hospital room attendant.

Thank you Suzanne for the suggestions regarding my dog and the school. It made me sleep a little bit easier last night.

My meeting was in Kirkwood today. I had to stop by the house for a few since it was on the way. When I did so, the kids were happy to see me. At one point, someone let out a boomer. Emma pointed to me and said, "Eww! Oo Fawted. Poop potty." To which I replied, "No, you farted!" She then looked at Joey (aka "Bubba") and said, "Bubba fawted." Then we both agreed that it was Bubba. She's really catching on to how this works.

Emma seems to be all but over her cold. I think Andy has it now. He was a little warm at one point (100.7) which is pretty much par for the course with this particular cold. Fortunately it means he only has 1 - 2 more days of it.

Speaking of Andy, he is to be discharged tomorrow. But not before we get some of Tim's BBQ again! He rocks. You'll recall Tim is the executive chef here at Glennon who caught word one day that we like BBQ. Real BBQ. That is, slow-cooked ribs, pork, etc. He's hooking us up tomorrow. :)

I got a flu shot 2 days ago and the entire left side of my body is still sore. Damn that hurts! I've never had a flu shot and never had the flu. We'll see what happens.

The good doctor put me on Prozac. I'm not too thrilled about it. He told me to try it for a year. I told him to go shit in his hat. We wound up agreeing that I'd try it for 6 months and we'd go from there. I was on it once and didn't like the way it changed my personality. I like being me.

A good "side effect" is that it reduces the frequency of migraines, which plague me from time to time.

The good doctor sent me for a diabetes test and told me I get it every 6 months until I'm down to at most 160lbs. Jerk.

Oh yeah. Just before I woke up this morning I had a dream that I was in Las Vegas visiting my aunt who lives there, but my father-in-law and my great aunt & uncle (the infamous Greg's parents) were there with me. I won 10 million dollars. It rocked. I used it to purchase the cure for cancer. Weirdness.

Matthew & Gunner Nelson were interviewed on KMOX today. If you know me then you know why that's so funny.

So far surgery's still on for next week. Thumbs up.

If I did, in fact, win 10 million dollars I would throw a huge party at my aunt Bev's house (why mess up my own house?). I would buy all the food and beer. There would be fun games with cash prizes. And everyone except Greg would be invited.

Reason #328 to be happy you live in the St. Louis metro area: Home prices / markets.

Andy just stunk up the room. I hate that. He's sleeping so I can't do anything about it. But I have to live in this room. I'm really getting frustrated with living in stench, between the babies and the 160-pound mastiff with diarreah and gas. It always stinks. Aghh.

Hi Bob! DRINK!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We Need Your Help [updated]

Julie didn't work at all Monday. She could only work for 4 hours today because I had a meeting I had to get to. She can only work for four hours tomorrow because I have a meeting I have to get to.

To everyone who said at the beginning of all this that you'd watch the kids if necessary, it's time to step up. We need someone to come up to the hospital tomorrow from 7:00am until around 1:00pm. I have a very long but very important meeting.

In addition to that, Julie has a LOT of work to make up! She needs evenings to do this. However, there's too much she needs to get done in the evening including watching kids, making dinner, doing baths, and putting to bed. I'm not home to help with all this, so we need someone to plan on spending some time at the house during the evenings to do the above.

Why not the grandparents? Well, let's see...
Today Julie's dad came over for 4 hours so she could come up here so I could get to my meeting.
Yesterday Julie's mom and dad both took off so they could come up to the hospital for Andy's surgery.
My mom came over Sunday and spent the night so she could watch the kids on Monday, so she had to take off.
My stepdad has been helping my mom with the kids.
My dad has been working double shifts and has a dog who eats butter by the pound.
you get the idea.

So yeah, we need your help. We're only 2 people and there's only 24 hours in a day. I haven't slept more than about 4 hours in the last 72 hours, and Julie's in the same boat. We need to sleep at some point.

Thanks in advance!

Update: My dad is taking tomorrow, we need peeps for Wed. evening still.

Another update: I just left Andy's bed rail down and walked out of the room. I don't want to think of what that fall would have done to him, but my guess is it would have been worse than cancer. I am not officially the worst dad on the planet. I'm too tired to care for my son to the point to where I endangered his health. Yeah, we need your help.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good: Andy only needs antibiotics for 72 hours after the port came out. This means no PICC line is necessary.

The bad: 72 hours after the port came out is Thursday morning. We'll be here all day today and tomorrow.

The ugly: Since Andy no longer has a port, blood is drawn via finger sticks. This occurs at 5:00am. It happened today just 10 minutes after he finally went down for a nap and he never went back down so now he's a tired screaming baby. This is par for the course.

The really, really ugly: My cousin Greg.

This just in from my mother:
"Amy gave birth to Allison yesterday afternoon at around 4 o'clock. She weighed in at 6lbs. and 7oz. She was born about 2 1/2 weeks early but still scored a 9 on her apgar. Jason was really proud and happy! He was bawling like a baby when he called me.

The baby is middlenameless at the present time. I'm going to see her today."

Take that, America!

The Plan for Today

We should find out from disease control how much longer they want to keep him on antibiotics. If they say another 24 hours, then he will probably stay in the hospital another day and go home with no foreign devices inside his body. If they want it to go for another week, he'll get his PICC line and go home this evening. Probably late evening would be the plan.

In either case, we're here all day today. The question is will we be spending the night.

Right now Andy's sitting next to me on the little chair-to-bed changer thingie. He's cute as can be and happy as can be sitting here, except that he keeps pressing buttons on my laptop. He turned it off a few minutes ago while I was trying to make a change to some equipmenet at work. :-/

I have a new cousin. I can't seem to type this out, so I'll just say "Jason & Amy" had their baby yesterday! Baby Allison was born, healthy as can be. Sorry, considering they're my age or may be a year or 2 or 3 older, I just can't refer to them as my aunt & uncle. Sounds weird. :)

Allison was born in the same hospital as Jared & Lauren, yet somehow came out normal. How odd. Maybe Jared & Lauren are just like that and the hospital had nothing to do with it.

I was just chuckling about something. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING at my office is highly political. I was thinking about that in comparison to what a good friend recently told me. People who are into office politics are either weak, insecure, or don't have enough to do. Now I think about that statement and some of the people at my office who are more political than others. They have plenty to do. :)

Andy's hair is really starting to come back now. Very thin and very blond, but it's coming back. Two more chemo cycles should get it falling out again, but not 100%. We'll probably shave him anyway if necessary.

I need someone to do me a huge favor. Punch Lauren in the arm so hard that she thinks it's broken. But wait to do it until about 12 hours after she gets a flu shot. That'll learn her!

Bite me Greg!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bigger Update

First of all, for those of you who are concerned that you gave Andy a bug: unless you have a staph infection, took some of your own blood, and shot it into his port, then don't worry you didn't give him any bugs.

Andy has had 2 bugs. They were both staph infections in his port. The first was a pain in the butt. This second is a real booger. But the port is now out.

Andy will get a PICC line installed tomorrow and should be sent home. He will continue with the antibiotics but will discontinue TPN for the time being.

So we'll be in 4307 for the evening and probably most of tomorrow.

Andy's surgery is scheduled for.. you guessed it.. Halloween! This confirms the beginning of my prediction that "This is going to be the worst holiday season ever." So our family Halloween is blown. *sigh* One of us will hang with Andy while the other one takes Joey & Emma trick-or-treating. Joey will want his brother there, but oh well. He'll have fun anyway. It just won't be the same.

OBTW, when they remove the tumor, they'll also install a new port.

Andy's AFP count is 21,000. Remember it was 1.4 million when we started, 144,000 at the first check, and 44,000 at the last check. This is good news. It means the chemo really did its job. And it also points to the lung nodule being absolutely nothing. Ideally it would be about 12,000 when they did surgery, but this is fine. The surgeon is very confident about it.

Getting back to the holiday season... Depending on how things go, Andy will probably be in the hospital for Thanksgiving. If nothing else, he will definitely be on chemo. Which translates into no family functions... Same for Christmas. I expect him to be off chemo early January.

Not like I'll have any PTO left to be able to take off any of the holidays anyway.

All in all, everything's ok. Andy has his usual post-anesthesia fussiness, and is finally asleep. I was up until 2:00am because either Andy or Emma was awake and crying every 10 minutes from 7:00pm - 2:00am. Julie finally fell asleep at midnight but woke up at 2:30. However, we both have had a little time to nap.

I have a doctor appointment in an hour or so. I'm going to tell him I want a hearing test. I'm sick of not being able to understand what people say when they talk to me, or having to watch TV with close captioning if I actually want to 100% know what's going on with the plot.

I'm also going to talk to him about the possibility of anxiety meds, if only for a couple of months. Dunno. I'm not a huge fan of 'em.

I'm 6 months away from having to start getting annual (or is it semiannual?) cholesterol checks & other blood work. Gonna talk to him about my overall health even though I've actually been leading a much healthier lifestyle the last few months.

Gonna talk about a few other things that are absolutely none of your beeswax.

My dog bit my neighbor. He's become more aggressive lately. I'm guessing he'll be put down within the next few weeks. Trying not to think too much about it though. Whatever happens happens. And no, it's not the mastiff, it's the lab.

Hmm, what else is there to talk about. Oh yeah. Emma's sick. She has a little cold. So far I've been able to avoid it, as has Julie. I think Joey & Andy both picked it up though. Purell, Purell, Purell.

Getting concerned about sending Joey to school in less than a year. We can't afford private school, and St. Louis public schools is "shank or be shanked." (ok maybe not that bad but they're bad) Moving is not an option. Suggestions???

That's pretty much it. I'll probably post again tomorrow.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, Andy's gonna get some Vincristine, just so we're at least doing something. Not gonna help nearly as much as Cisplatin would, but like I said it's something.

Better Today & Surgery Schedule

Ok, so I had a moment yesterday. It's just that the "moment" lasted 24 hours.

Getting ready to go into surgery to get the port out. 10 or 15 minutes. However, he's getting admitted afterward so he can continue to get his antibiotics. Since he won't have a port, we can't give him his antibiotics at home, so he needs to be admitted.

The tumor is coming out next Wednesday. There goes Halloween. :-/

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Port is Coming Out

We just learned the port is coming out, not the tumor. He has developed a new kind of bacteria.

No more TPN. That's a good thing.

However, he'll still need antibiotics. With no port... well.. I guess he'll be in the hospital. We'll see.

More later. We're all exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally.


That's our boys! Now let's just lose 1 more so we can get a new coach mid-season.

Surgery 8:00am. I haven't heard anything in regards to blood cultures, so I'm really thinking they're pulling out the tumor tomorrow. We'll see.

And to whomever said "Lighten up". You should really contemplate suicide. Then do it. Then burn in hell. 4$$hole.

Insert Title Here

I just got back from seeing my grandparents (and my cousin too). Same trip as last time. Jefferson Barracks then the other cemetary. Can't remember the name of it.

I miss my grandfather. I feel like a large chunk of my being is gone.

Yet I'm not allowed to mourn. Every time I try to mourn for someone, someone else dies.

Maybe I'll wake up one day and it will be April 12, 2006. I will have an in-tact family. I'll have all of my grandparents except for Grandma Kelley who died when I was very young. I'll have my aunts. I'll have my cousins. I'll have my friends. My wife will be pregnant with my cancer-free son. Emma won't be 2. The Rams won't be 0-6 going on 0-7 after Seattle whoops up on them.

Ok, enough of the pity party. Things could be worse, so I'll shut up now before they get worse.

So yeah, Andy's surgery is tomorrow. We need to be at the hospital at 6:00 which means his surgery should be around 8:00-ish. Hopefully his blood cultures will still be negative so they can remove the tumor instead of the port.

If they remove the tumor, surgery will be anywhere from 2 - 8 hours. Hard to say.

Last time we were in the PICU Andy and I both had a cold, complements of Emma.

This time in the PICU, Andy and I will both have a cold, complements of Emma. Andy's already showing signs. I'm not yet, but I smelled the cold in my nose this morning which I think means I've been exposed. I've been Purelling to the point to where the skin on my hands feels like it's going to fall off. And I haven't been touching my face. We'll see how it goes. If I'm sick I'm sick. Oh well. I'll deal with it.

This will be the worst holiday season ever.

If self preservation is a quality you posess, follow these tips:
1) Don't preach to me.
2) Keep your medical opinion to yourself unless you're Andy's doctor or nurse.
3) Don't flippin preach to me.
4) Keep your flippin medical opinion to yourself unless you're Andy's doctor or nurse.
5) Quit spreading misleading or false info about Andy. When people ask, they can talk to Julie or me or come to this website.
6) Quit asking me how radiation is going. For the last time, he is not receiving radiation. Chemotherapy is not radiation.
7) Don't flippin preach to me!
8) Don't tell me how to raise my kids.
9) Don't tell me what to post or what not to post here.
10) Keep your flippin medical opinion to yourself unless you're Andy's doctor or nurse.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to watch my team go to 0-7.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Monday's Surgery

If Andy is infection-free, he'll get the tumor removed on Monday. If not, they will remove the port.

So let's hope his blood cultures stay negative!

Somehow I doubt it though. Runny nose bigtime today. :(

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Small Update

If Andy still has an infection come Monday, he'll get his port removed at 8:30am.

Outside of that, no updates. Sorry. No, we don't know yet when chemo will be rescheduled.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Greg Eats Cow Patties

There's a certain type of bacteria that we all carry around with us on our skin. It's colonized all over our bodies. While semi drug-resistant, it's not the super-staph that you hear about.

Ok, so you now know that. Now know this...

Andy's port needs to be reaccessed every 7 days. This means they pull out the old needle and put in a new one.

What probably happened was last time he was accessed, we got lucky and a bug made it onto his needle. Boom, instant bug-in-the-blood.

They're going to take another culture today to see if the antibiotic is helping.

We'll be giving Andy his antibiotics intraveniously (through his port) at home. He'll be discharged any time now. His home health nurse will be by at 4:00 to show us what we need to do to give him his antibiotics at home.

Worst-case scenario is that they need to take out his port and install a new one when they go in to whack the tumor.

Andy is ok to go without chemo & surgery for a couple weeks if need be. Even 3 is fine. So yeah, the tumor may grow a bit, but nothing to be concerned with for the time being.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I just got a call from one of the oncologists. His blood culture came back positive again, same bacteria. He has an infection. This means no surgery.

He'll be going home tomorrow and be given antibiotics at home. Surgery will probably be sometime next week.

Pantera or Saliva?

I can't figure out which one Andy likes better. Out of all the MP3s I've played today, those seem to be his 2 favorite bands. What a cool kid. This is the same kid who falls asleep listening to Puppets. Maybe I should play some death metal for him and see if he likes it. :/

Blood culture's still negative. The original culture was probably contaminated. He's still getting antibiotics just incase.

The antibiotic that he's on turns his skin red if he doesn't get Benadryl first. When this happened yesterday it was a bit scary at first, then it was downright funny.

It took me until midnight but I was able to get in 8 hours of work yesterday. I'm at about 3.5 so far today believe it or not.

My dad came up today for a little while. He was happy because he got to play with Andy a bit. I was happy because I was able to take a shower and eat some lunch. It really put Andy in a good mood seeing paw-paw today.

One of the oncologists is so happy with the way Andy looks. He's nothing but positive. I love it when he's on service because he's so darn positive and optimistic.

Hahahaha! I wish I had some video of Andy dancing right now! Now he's moshing! :)

Ok, enough of that. That's basically all for now. Cute pics & videos coming soon!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mucho Info

Andy's CT was today. Once again, he was a trooper. When we got back to the Costas Center we were informed that he was to be admitted. One of his blood cultures came back positive. Better safe than sorry. Since his surgery is already scheduled, it would really be teh sux to miss it. So he's been admitted and is being pumped full of antibiotics. So greetings from 4406!

Ok all, don't panic when you read this. Don't post or call with your questions without reading the entire thing first (Dad!). Read it all the way through.

The CT scan showed no change. This is not unexpected. There's a type of cell in there that won't necessarily cause the tumor to shrink as it dies. The determinant will be AFP numbers + sugery, so we'll find out what's up very soon anyway.

The CT scan also showed something else...

Before I say what it is, remember Andy's blood culture came back positive. And he's had a bit of a cough. Chances are pretty good he has a very minor infection that's somehow touching his lungs. You know, when you get an infection and you sneeze or cough? Same thing. With his counts being as high as they are, it's nothing to worry about. The only thing we're worried about right now is missing surgery.

Ok, so here's what they found. A very very small nodule on his lung. It's so small that they're not even going to worry about testing to see what it is for right now because it's probably the infection.

If, after surgery, AFP numbers don't go down, then we may have cause to worry about it being the disease.

Ask my aunt, she'll tell ya. Lung nodules are rarely cancerous.


Andy will receive antibiotics like mad between now and Wednesday. Hopefully Wednesday will be surgery.

AFP numbers will be monitored closely and no CT scan will be performed until weeks after surgery. There is very little cause for concern with the lung nodule.

Whatever Andy has is not contagious. His counts are up and won't drop because there won't be any more chemo.

So if you want to see Andy, now's your chance. Feel free to visit all you want this evening and all day tomorrow, just make sure you Purell, even if you're not going to be touching him.

The flood gates have been opened.

Stage 4

Our long week started yesterday morning. Andy had a fever, so we went and paid a $50 copay so they could take some blood, give him some antibiotics and send him home.

Considering he gets no more chemo for the next 2 - 3 weeks and he'll be getting pwnz3d by surgery in a few days, it didn't stop us from going to the pumpkin farm. It's kinda turned into a tradition with us and Julie's family to go to the Rombach's pumpkin farm in Chesterfield. It was kinda a tradition when I was a kid and it's one that I really look forward to now. It marks the official start to the Kelley family holiday season.

Video to come.

Today Andy needs to follow up with the Costas center. Something grew in his blood culture, so they want to make sure it isn't contaminated.

From the Costas center we'll proceed to the MRI lab where they'll knock his little butt out and give him another CT scan.

Tomorrow - meetings.

Wednesday is the big day - surgery!

With regards to how I'm dealing with Grandpa, I guess stage 4 is setting in. I'll leave it at that.

OBTW, don't do business with Vonage. They have some shaky business practices.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A New Day

Ok, so today's a new day. I'm not so angry with God today. Between the Kelleys, the Keys, and the Thomasons (my stepdad's family), we have lost a lot of people since early 2006. A lot. Not 3 or 4. I lost count, but probably close to 10. Heck, maybe even more. That's a lot. Some of them were very close to me, some were distant. Some where expected, some were sudden. It's just been a long 18 months or so and I find myself, from time to time, questioning why we worship and hold so near and dear to us a God who would do this to a family. Then it hits me. The same God who would torture Job just to stroke his own ego. Yeah, it makes me mad.

I just got home. I went to Jefferson Barracks. Grandpa didn't want us there for the burial, crying over the ceremony or lack thereof. He never said anything about not going there the day after. I found the plot by doing some googling and came across my grandmother's information. Weird, though, it says she was an "AT3" in the Navy. ?????? Once I got there, though, I walked almost directly to the spot. It's been 21 years, but.. I dunno. Weird.

So I hung out there for a while talking to my grandma & grandpa, then I went by my other grandparents' cemetary since it was literally on my way home. It was good to see them again too. I can't believe it's already been over a year since my grandma Key died. It was June 2006.

While at the cemetary I went by my cousin Becky's grave. She died earlier this year of cancer. Her headstone says something along the lines of "Forget how I died, remember how I lived." Fresh flowers & a teddy bear were on her grave. It was really sad to see.

Shortly after my grandma Key died (like a month later), my grandma Thomason died suddenly and unexpectedly. She's my step-grandmother, but she's just been another grandma to me since I was about 5 years old. I wasn't able to make it by her gravesite today. It's quite a drive to get there, so it will have to be its own trip.

She's buried in the same graveyard as my cousins (step-cousins, but whatever) who died a year or so earlier in a tragic boating accident. So yeah, I need to get down there and see all of them.

I feel better having talked to Grandpa Kelley for the first time since before he died. I got a lot off my chest just being with him. I swear I could feel his presence, as well as my grandmother's. I could also swear I felt the presence of my aunt Kay. (My grandmother's sister who died about a year ago. She was my grandpa Kelley's neighbor as well. We were pretty close for a time.)

RIP Pvt. Lloyd M. Kelley, USMC.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Grandpa was Buried Today

I found out at 6:40pm that Grandpa was buried today at Jefferson Barracks at 1:00pm. I think I knew about it a few weeks ago but didn't note the date. He didn't want any of us present for his burial, so I had no intention of going. I wish I could have gone, but oh well.

Another chapter closes.

And to God or whatever mysterious force keeps screwing with me... thanks a lot. Maybe you can take out my parents and my wife while you're at it. Ya know, since you already kicked me when I'm down over and over again over the last 18 months or so, you can just finish the job? Heck, why not just eliminate the rest of my family while you're at it? You haven't left very much of us! You keep pickng us off at a faster rate than we can reproduce. Why not just wipe us all out at once? Nuke my aunt's house at Chrismas while we're all there or something? Or better yet, if you really want to mess with my family, but at least be funny about it, make Greg the first ever male pregnancy and don't allow a C-section. THAT will be fun!

lol cancer is teh sux. pwnz3d!

Sorry for the gamer speak in the title. Just had to do it.

Ok so the cancer hasn't been pwnz3d yet. But we're counting down the days! uber pwn4g3 in T minus 5 days.

Vincristine today. This will be the last of the chemo for a few weeks.

It's cold in this house, but I refuse to turn on the heater a few days after 90+ degree temps.

Let's hope Andy's counts are up. Way up. My mom & stepdad are coming over tonight and are interested in possibly borrowing Medium & Large for the night. Yes, all night. It would be a huge break.

I'm optimistic. We're beginning the "honeymoon week" as I call it. The last week of chemo where counts are up, pain and nausea are down, and he doesn't even need Neupogin to keep his counts up.

...all just in time for him to be pwnz3d by surgery.

Andy didn't unscrew his posiflow last night. But he was up all night. Yeah, all night. Not really sure what was wrong with him. No real pain, no fever, no nothing. Just awake. Meanwhile, I'm weaning myself off caffeine, so last night I was dead tired. Julie tended to Andy all night. She rox.

I have a new drum instructor. Mark got a well-paying job in the IT industry. Congrats to him. My new guy seems pretty cool. We'll see how it goes.

Friday. What's this mean? Well, let's see the agenda:
3:00pm - Crack open a bizzeer while I check myspace, blogspot, and personal e-mail.
4:00pm - Head downstairs for a bit and do some banging on da drums while Andy sleeps right through it.
5:00pm - Pick up the phone to call Grandpa Kelley, then get sad when I realize I can't. Recover hearing.
6:00pm - My mom & stepdad are coming over for a bit. Continue to recover hearing.
10:30pm - Pass out and feel guilty / old for being dead tired at 10:30pm on a Fridizzay.

I've really been getting into death metal lately. Kinda strange. I guess it's 3 reasons: 1) Good stress relief. 2) Death metal musicians are extremely talented. Don't believe me? Watch! 3) Dethklok rox!

Maybe I could play some of that stuff on guitar, but definitely not on drums yet. That's the goal though. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Like Grape Kool-Aid

Grape Kool-Aid is good.

Last night Andy started whining around 9:30. Julie went up to check on him because I was watching one of the dumbest episodes of South Park. Since I don't watch TV very much, she let me watch and went up to tend to him. Then I heard, "Danny come here now!"

Blood was everywhere.

Like any good story, I'll go ahead and cut the storyline right here so I can provide some background information.

[Screen to black, no fade, the words "8 days earlier..." appear in white print at the bottom of the screen.]

[The words remain on the screen as we fade into Andy crawling on the floor in the dining room 8 days earlier.]

So yeah, all cinema effects aside, about 8 days earlier Andy figured out how to remove his posiflow. When his TPN isn't hooked up it's not a huge deal because the tube coming from his port is clamped. No biggie.

[Screen fades back to Andy's bedroom with "blood all over the place."]

Unfortunately when his TPN is plugged in and running and he removes his posiflow, blood comes out his tube. Don't worry folks, he won't "bleed out" because of this because eventually it will clot. If it clots, that's a bad thing. Very bad. Not to mention the fact that there was blood and sticky TPN all over everything. So while Julie cleaned up blood and TPN I put a new posiflow on Andy, flushed him, and restarted his TPN.

It's weird how things progress. When Joey got his first shots as a baby, it really hurt me to see the tiny drop of blood just because it was Joey's blood. 3 months ago if I had walked in and saw Andy's blood all over the place, I would have flipped. Now, no big deal. I was just happy he didn't clot.

In other news, I'm riding my bike to and from work now consistently. Compared to my normal bike ride, it's nothing at all to ride the 4.2 miles to work. I enjoy the freedom. And with the 40 construction + Bellevue bridge being out, it now takes me longer to drive to work than to ride.

Julie has a Dr. appointment today, I have one in a week or so. We've been forgetting to care for ourselves. Nothing major, just checkups. Ok, I lied. Checkups, plus Julie needs to have a nasty bump looked at. I want a hearing test and a few other things. Ya get the idea.

Andy's last chemo for a few weeks is tomorrow. Vincristine. Yay.

Emma has a black ring around her bright blue irises. It really brings out her eyes. There's only one other person who I've ever noticed with rings in their irises: Grandpa Kelley.

Emma farted.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Weird ABR Results; Surgery!

The results of Andy's ABR test were weird. Very weird indeed. His high-range hearing is fully restored. Yes, fully restored. How? No frickin clue. It's not supposed to happen. However, he has "very mild" hearing loss at lower frequencies. They didn't say what frequencies, but as of now it's not to the point to where it will affect his speech development.

Although the surgeon who originally hacked away at Andy is no longer staffed at Glennon, he still has priviliges at Glennon and is still covered under my insurance so we're going to use use him again. You'll recall Julie and I were very fond of the guy. Andy's oncologist has been in touch with the surgeon and they've pretty much decided to go straight to surgery, no 4th chemo cycle.

Unfortunately they need to do his CT scan on Monday, so that puts a halt to my trip to Baraboo, WI. And lemme tell ya, I'm not too excited about putting it off any longer than I have to. (think weather)

So quick-like, here's the schedule:

Friday - Chemo (still 3rd cycle)
Monday - CT Scan
Wednesday - Surgery

Now elaboration. Friday concludes his chemo for the time being. Monday is his CT scan to get one last look at this thing before they go in.

Wednesday's the big day. We don't know too many details just yet, but it's safe to assume he'll be back in the PICU afterward for at least a couple days, probably longer.

Like I said, we don't know details yet, but here's what I do know:

When the surgeon removes the tumor, he will try to keep it fully intact (less the biopsy from a few weeks ago) and to take a thin layer of liver tissue with it. It then goes to a pathologist.

The pathologist will then look at every square mm of the tumor, hoping to see nothing but liver cells. If there are any tumor cells, that means there are still cancer cells left.

Even if the pathologist sees 100% liver, Andy will still get 2 more chemo cycles after surgery. So we're not out of the woods yet in terms of hearing loss.

So now that I know that Andy has 7 days, 15 hours, and 20 minutes until surgery, I'm suddenly nervous. Will they get enough of the tumor? How long will recovery take? Will he recover? *sigh*

That's the update, folks. Hold the calls for the rest of the evening if you please.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Long Week

This is going to be a long week. Possibly quite a trying week.

First, this last weekend. It was a nice weekend for all, relatively speaking of course. Saturday my cousin's daughter turned one. Actually, my mother's aunt's son's daughter turned one. :) Whatever, either way, childrens' birthday parties are a big deal in the Key family (that's my mom's family)... Especially first birthdays. It's heartbreaking that the Kelley contingent of the family couldn't make it. But at least I was able to go out there for a couple hours, eat some BBQ, have 2 beers, 2 sodas, a few chips, burp real loud, and accuse my cousin of being of Canadian decent. I just wish my family could have been with me.

She did real well on her first birthday. She was very outgoing and receptive to all the people around her. She's a happy baby for sure. It was also nice to see some friends and family that I haven't seen in a while because of the whole situation.

Saturday night was our block party. They close off the street, barbecue, drink beer, etc. A good time was had by all. Joey & Emma had a blast running the street without worrying (too much) about cars. Andy had a blast being outside for a while. I had a blast getting my ass handed to me in poker by my neighbor's son. :) Julie had a blast just being able to socialize and act like a normal person for once. Like I said, a good time was had by all.

...and yes, for those of you who are not locals, everything in St. Louis involves grilling and beer. Everything. We like our food fire-grilled and our beverages hoppy.

So last night Andy's port needle came out. I think it was from when Joey dragged him from the kitchen to the living room by his ankles. *sigh* It was a blessing in disguise. While he didn't have TPN last night, his rash seems a lot better. We need to start TPN at 3:00, so I'm going to wait until about 2:00 to take him to Glennon to get reaccessed. This is really making his rash better.

Andy's TPN starts at 3:00 today because he needs to wake up around 5:00 - 5:30-ish tomorrow morning. He needs to be awake 2 hours prior to his hearing test. Labs after his hearing test, no biggie there.

Friday is his CT scan.

Recap: Chemo (Cisplatin in particular) causes hearing loss. High-range hearing loss is expected. If it looks like it is starting to, or has the potential to cause problems with speech development, then we'll have to make changes. If his hearing is a concern, we look to the CT scan results on Friday. From there, it's decision time.

So, combine his hearing test with his CT scan and one of the following will happen the following week: 1) Chemo as usual, 2) Modified chemo with its own fun side effects, or 3) surgery.

No, we are NOT hoping for surgery! We are hoping for chemo as usual. The more this thing has shrunk the better his surgery will go and the higher the chances of 100% removing this successfully the first time.

I'll be in Baraboo, WI next Monday & Tuesday for work... unless he's in surgery at the time. Fun.

Today: Port needle reaccesssed, start TPN early.
Tomorrow: Wake early, get a hearing test.
Friday: CT scan & decision day.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tests, Scans, Chemo, Surgery, & Emma Farts

First an Emma Update: She now farts and blames it on me. Little stinker.

Ok, here's what's up with Andy. Vincristine (chemo) today. His counts are up. Way up. That is excellent news. No Neupogin until next chemo! Neupogin is a shot that he has to get nightly that we have to give him. So yeah, that's great news.

Tuesday is his hearing test. Friday is a CT scan (and chemo). Depending on his hearing loss + CT scan results we may skip chemo cycle #4 and go straight to surgery. Don't forget ladies, gentlemen, and Greg, that the surgery is a major deal. And that there are 2 more chemo cycles after surgery, both of which have the potential to cause more hearing loss.

If he has more hearing loss but is not quite ready for surgery, they may be able to cut back his dose of Cisplatin for the next cycle and supplement it with another chemo drug with its own fun side effects.

SO in 2 weeks Andy could be in surgery instead of getting chemo. I asked how long it will take to recover and she said it depends on what is seen in the CT scan.

Andy's rash. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it. His port is accessed with a butterfly needle. This is held in place by a big piece of tape. Well, this tape is finally irritating his skin. It looks really bad. It itches him like crazy. We're keeping him full of Benadryl to combat the itching. Not fun. But since he has to be on TPN, we have no choice.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hearing Test; Halloween

His next hearing test will be Tuesday at 7:30am, not Friday as previously thought. Poor guy. This means we need to wake him up at 5:30am because he must be up 2 hours beforehand.

You'll recall, this is a big test. If his hearing loss is too much... well. Let's just not go there for now. The good thing is he's definitely hearing and understanding. He'll respond to his name, etc.

Lighter subject: Halloween. Joey told us he wanted to be "Dark Black from Star Wars." We waited a week or 2 and asked him again. "I told you, I want to be Dark Black from Star Wars!" Ok, so we ordered his Darth Vader costume and a light saber.

Andy will wear Joey's old tiger costume from when he was about that age.

2 down, 1 to go. Whaddya think for Emma? Joey & Mommy like the idea of a princess. I dunno.

Hopefully Andy will be able to trick or treat. I tell ya what, though, the thought of all those potentially sick children coming to my door makes my stomach turn. Unfortunately if Andy's counts are down there won't be much of a Halloween.

We'll have to see.

OBTW, Greg's gonna be a Vancouver Kanuck for Halloween.

I need a new keyboard.

Funniest. South Park. Evar.

I almost crapped myself.

Speaking of people who crap themselves, Small's doing just fine. He hasn't had Zofran in a few days. That's the anti-nausea drug. This is a good thing.

He's been getting a lot of Oxycodone lately. He's obviously in pain. However, we're really starting to think it's just his teeth. He's getting like 7 teeth in at once. Nonetheless, pain is pain.

And I just completed a major milestone on a project at work. I'm a network guy but I love coding from time to time. And when it works, it makes me feel really good. Especially since I'm not a programmer.

Since things are going relatively smooth today, I'm waiting for a script to finish running then I'm going to go into the office for a while. Hopefully Julie can make it into her office somtime next week, maybe? We'll see how things go.

The 4.2 mile bike ride into work is all uphill, and I'm in a lazy mood today. *sigh*

Greg, quit acting Kanadian.

Time until our belated honeymoon in Vegas: 19317244 seconds.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Transfusion Done

Andy's lips are red again instead of greyish-white. Even though he didn't look like he needed blood, he really looks a lot better now. Fortunately I was able to work while he was getting his blood. He finally fell asleep 30 minutes before the blood was done. *sigh*

Chemo Friday. Chemo a week from Friday.

His next chemo cycle starts 10/17. I'll be in Wisconsin for work 10/15 and 10/16. Andy will get a hearing test on Friday, 10/12. Depending on the results of the hearing test, they may have to cut back on his Cisplatin, which is the chemo drug that causes hearing loss. The thing is we don't want him to get to the point to where his hearing loss interferes with his speech development.

If worst came to worst, they would be able to take him into surgery with no more chemo. However, the more chemo we can get, the smaller this thing will get and the better the chances of surgery working. Remember folks, this is a very, very major procedure. He's a baby, but if it were you or me, we'd be out for weeks or months.

The future of chemo & surgery will depend on the results of his next hearing test on 10/12.

By the way, his white blood cell counts and platelets are up still. Neupogen rox!

Annoyed - I love your annoying coworker site. That's awesome. I'll look into it a bit deeper a bit later. It reminds me of a website I used to have called "Cow-orkers are Idiots!" :)

Brockshit - We're gonna need to have one of those Fridays real soon.

Greg - Bite me.

Dad - I need to borrow your industrial strength stapler and some chloroform.

Mom or Jim - Punch my sister in the arm for me. Hard. Make it hurt.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blood Transfusion

Andy's hemoglobin has been consistently low. Although he looks just fine, he's been on the cusp of needing blood for some time now, and he's done pretty well to make it this far.

But this is as far as he can make it. He's getting some Type O Negative tomorrow, and I'm not referring to one of the greatest bands of all time, I'm referring to the actual blood. But maybe I'll bring a Typo CD for him to listen to while he's getting blood. Yes, the boy LOVES metal. Literally. He's a big fan of Puppets. It puts him to sleep. Don't believe me, ask my wife. It's true.

Anyway, 8:00am he gets a blood transfusion. Should take 4 hours or so. It's not really a big deal. It's kinda like getting fluids through an IV, only it's a bag of blood instead of fluids.

Now where'd I put that stapler?

Slow but Rough Week

Nothing major going on this week. Dr. appointment today just to check in and get counts. Chemo Friday. This is the first week of the chemo cycle. That means it's a relatively slow week, activity-wise. However, it's a rough week. This is his worst week of the chemo cycle. Pain, nausea, generally feel-badness (if that's a word). Even when Andy's feeling relatively good, he's still feeling like crap.

And I have a lot of meetings at work this week. boo!

My sister-in-law married one of my best friends since elementary school this weekend. Kinda cool that I'm related to him now. And I had my once or twice a year night of heavy drinking. Surprisingly the hangover wasn't too bad. :)

I go to church for weddings and funerals. That's it. I guess you could say I'm spiritual but not religious. I won't go into further detail because I'll offend a lot of people, so I'll let it go at that. What I'm getting at is that this was my first trip into a church since this whole thing started with Andy. As I heard the priest say something along the lines of how God wants us to "be fruitful and multiply" I just couldn't help but get really angry that God wants us to be fruitful and multiply but will turn right around and give our children life-threatening diseases such as Andy's. I just couldn't wait to get the heck outta that church. The longer I sat there, the angrier I became. But ouside of that span of 10 minutes or so that I was angry in the church, it was an awesome day.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go staple my dad's face to the carpet.