The Life Goes On, as It Should!

•February 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

To give you an update on my cancer fight, I finished my radiation and right now I’m in the chair getting my 10th cycle of chemo!
After this session is over, I will have two more to go, which means I should be done with this in four freaking weeks.
Last couple of weeks have not been so kind to me, my pain level sometimes going to the roof and pain killers have been falling short of killing the damn pain and left me screaming in the middle of the night. Gladly, we are not living in an apartment or condo and my wife had been on her business trips, so my screams have not bothered anyone.
On the other hand, I had very little to do in the shop and in general, that I was able to rest when it got so bad.
I kept my #365infocus alive and posted a photo everyday, although I used a few days old photos for couple of days.
A couple of weeks ago, it started with a very bad pain in my both legs, that has stopped my walking. After 5 days pain in the left leg was gone, but the right leg got worse to a point that its pain got worse than my bottom’s. So my doctor ordered scans and there it was, another blood clot in my right leg. So I’m back to Warfarin and have to see someone at ACC (Anti Coagulation Center) tomorrow.
There are a lot of questions in my mind with no answer to them. I don’t know where the pain comes from and what is the real source of it. I still think about people who have got cancer and they are in much worse situation than I am with a lot of pain.
I always think of myself as a lucky one, who got diagnosed with this illness early and for having one of the best insurances in the US, and for a great caring team at Overlake Hospital!

Just got some good news: my CEA marker (cancer marker) is back to NORMAL! YAY!

Untill next time!

Day and Night

•January 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Every night,
When the universe finds its nasty dirty black cloth,
When the pain gets unbearable,
I wish I don’t wake up anymore,
But in the morning,
All the hope is back,
Hope to see my family one more time,
Hope to finish another project,
Hope to click one more time,
Hope to stay alive,
Even when I know the pain will be back.

PS. I wrote this couple of days ago,  since then my pain has been progressively coming down, thanks to the especial “Brownies” I had received, last two nights I have been sleeping like a baby, so “F” you, cancer! You can’t win this round!

For my #365infocus project!

•January 3, 2015 • 1 Comment

When the night falls down,
And you start screaming,
Moaning,
And cursing the God!
When you have too much pain that is beyond your imagination,
When you can’t even touch a sheet or blanket because your fingers are all cracked and cancer has taken advantage of your soft skin.
When you’re tired of all screaming, moaning and cursing God, tired of asking him to end this life,

You remember your family
You remember your jobs that need to be done,
You remember all the birds, flowers and scenes that have not shot yet

And you pull the blanket over your head and think about your next  #365infocus and fall asleep.

Yes, the life is still beautiful, no doubt!

Happy New Year 2015

•December 31, 2014 • 3 Comments

As we walk into the year 2015, I just wanted to drop a few line and tell my friends how grateful I am for being in my life.
I started the journey of battle with cancer, having no idea how many people are supporting me
with their messages, calls and mail.

To all of you a big Thank You!

As we walk into 2015, I have a big smile on my face, mostly because of what I just said,
regardless of being in pain for the last three weeks.
I am going to have a big smile, because of so many angels in my life, beginning with my
lovely wife, wonderful daughters, and my angel surgeon.
Also for the amazing oncology team
at the Overlake Hospital.
I am going to have a big smile because regardless of all treatments, I was able to meet every
single deadline in my cabinetry business!

Although I was not able to go to all instameets or flickr strolls, but I was able
to put a nice end to my #365infocus project.
As we walk into 2015, I want to have everyone have a big smile on their faces, because
there’s a guy in Bellevue who needs all the joy you can have, and love you with every cell of
his body, although it may be cancerous :-)­

Getting Closer To The End

•December 22, 2014 • 2 Comments

I am updating this blog from Overlake Hospital, where I am getting my 8th cycle of chemo which supposed to be my last one, but it got extended for another 4 sessions. That means I will be back here through February.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t have a good time over the past two weeks, I have been having problems with my digestive system, which has been making me to go to the bathroom frequently, some days up to 40 times. So my surgeon suggested that I get physical therapy, which I will be starting tomorrow. A few nights over the past couple of weeks, I have been screaming and cursing from the pain. Some nights I have been waking up every half an hour, sometimes  every 15 minutes, but I still do my morning walk every day. I have asked for sleeping pills and hopefully I will pick them up today after my treatment is over.
Work is still pretty good and I have been able to meet deadline after deadline.
Photography is going well too, I have less than 10 days to wrap up my 365infocus project. Not sure if we’ll have another one coming or not, but this year went pretty well.
I believe I am kicking its ass and these are its final shows it’s putting up.
Next week I will be starting my radiation for 5 sessions and hopefully we’ll get rid of the spots in the liver too.
I can’t wait to be able to donate blood again. It will be after a year of being cancer free :-)
Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!
Cheers until next time :-)

PS. If you have seen the xfinity/scrouge commercial, it is my story, the part that the boy says: But wait, there is more! Yeah, while I am washing my hands, I have to go back! But wait, there’s more! Damn it :-)

The Liver

•November 21, 2014 • 2 Comments

It’s the best time to update this blog as I am resting very comfortably in the couch after a long day spent in Overlake Hospital.

I woke up at 4 AM so I can have breakfast before it gets restricted for the procedure; I got to the hospital around 6:40 and got admitted to the West first floor. I got greeted by kind nurses, like any other department in the Overlake Hospital I’ve been. I can’t say good things enough about the Overlake staff, they are just angels.

Around 10 AM they took me to a room with a scanning machine, like the one I have posted a photo from, probably the first or second blog of these series. Dr. Jerome, the same doctor that put the port in my chest explained the process. He was going to CT scan the abdomen, find the spots in the liver, and then insert long needles into my liver to leave a small piece of metal (AKA marker) in each spot so Dr. Reece can focus the radiation on them. One of my questions was what would happen to the markers after the radiation is over and the answer was they will stay there for the rest of my life. Another question was would they make sound at the airport securities, and the answer was No, thanks for that :)

I did not have a full anesthesia, so I was kind of watching the whole process which took almost two hours and they took me back to my room around 1 PM to be supervised for three hours, in case of potential bleeding. Everything went great and I was discharged around 4 PM. My wife picked me up and I am comfortably resting since then.

Next week, I will know my schedule for radiation. My chemotherapy schedule was set for next Tuesday, which would land my infusion pump’s take down on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, an official closed day for Infusion Department. So Dr. Bansal said if my white cell count was high enough on Monday, I’ll get my treatment with the pump take down on Wednesday, so I will have a pump free Thanksgiving. But if the white cell count was low, I have to wait till Wednesday for the chemo, and have to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner with the pump injecting the damn poison in my body. Either way, I am very grateful for still kicking and clicking :D

What a year has 2014 been for me.

Best wishes for all of you for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Jigareto!

•November 15, 2014 • 1 Comment

I know it’s been a while since I have updated this blog. I have been really busy with work, meeting deadline after deadline, regardless of all medical appointments. Also, as the saying goes: no news, good news! Well, not really!

Back to the title “Jigareto”; that’s one heck of slang in Farsi, and very hard to translate, because word to word means “your liver”, but what’s behind it, is very complicated with a lot of cultural roots. Usually it is said by parents, when they really want to show their love to their children, sometimes by people who really like/love each other, and sometimes is in abusive form which is kind of wisecrack, for example when a boy sees a very beautiful girl, he would say: Jigareto! The last one is what has been going on between cancer and I, and since it is really in love with me, keeps saying: “Jigareto!” and find ways to get into it.

Since my surgeries were over, my cancer marker was back to normal. All of the sudden, last Monday the marker was up again, meaning the cancer is back. As I started the new chemotherapy treatments, which I just had the 5th out of 8 one, last Wednesday, and except the first one, the rest were going pretty well and I have been tolerating them better than expected. Although there have been days that I was ready to curse! One of the worst side effects of these chemo drugs is sensitivity to cold. Every cycle, for a few days my fingers and toes are not mine, I can’t feel anything, and every time I touch or drink something cold it’s like touching a 220 volts circuit. Now, I am using all those hand warmers that I bought when I was going to President Obama’s second Inauguration.

Couple of weeks ago I supposed to do a PET Scan, but insurance denied it and I had to settle on a CT Scan, and since it showed some spots in the liver, it followed by MRI. The results are showing that the previous spots in the liver are gone. BUT there are two new ones, one 5 mm and the other 12 mm, which they have shown up between the chemo-radiation therapy and the recent cycles of chemotherapy. So, now Dr. Bansal added one more med (Avastin) to my other chemo meds and I need to do a radiation therapy while getting the chemo. Hopefully, it will not knock me down like it did in June. I will see Dr. Reece on Monday to see how he wants to approach this one.

I am still on Warfarin (the blood thinner med) because of the blood clot I got in June, and every few days I have to go to Anti Coagulation Center to check my INR and they tell me how much Warfarin should I take. Recently it has started to go crazy, all of the sudden from 2.4 goes to 6.7, three days later back to 2.9 and four days after that to 4.4, it’s just like a roller coaster.

However, I am still going to the gym in the morning, walk around 13000 steps every weekday, working like crazy in the shop, and taking my camera along wherever I go, with posting at least one photo a day for my 365 project. The point is, I really don’t have time to think about cancer, it’s sitting somewhere out of sight and saying “jigareto” like a big loser and like that pretty girl, I am saying “Go to hell!” :D

 
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