Mike's Lung Cancer Chronicle

Archive for August, 2012

Emerging From The Fog

I completed chemo and radiation therapy on Tuesday and I am finally (Sunday) emerging from the fog created by dexamethasone, a steroid often used with chemo to combat cancer cells and to control nausea.  There’s a flip side to this “wonder” drug — it has a list of side-effects as long as your arm, not the least of which is depression.  Just what I need, right?  Cut me some slack, Jack!!!  On my last day of chemo I got the “Dex” along with Zoloft, an anti-depressant (that should be a clue).  For the last 4-5 days, I felt like a nut. Whew! I sure am glad that’s behind me.

Now, we move on to Phase 2 — surgery.  On September 25 the upper left lobe of my left lung will be removed.  Before then, Nurse Susan and I will enjoy a long weekend at Lake Tahoe with the family.  The week before my surgery, the two of us will sneak off to the Ventana Inn at Big Sur for a couple of days. We are holding off on Hawaii until my recovery is well underway.

Many of you have requested a “nose hair” update.  Sadly I must report that those pesky nose hairs continue to occupy my daily hygiene.  That is becoming less of an issue with my head hair, however.  A member of my cancer support group said she knew it was time to shave her head when her hair “looked like a foreclosure lawn.”  I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly until recently. Now I know so next week I will have my barber, Carl, give me the “buzz” cut.

Have a fun week everybody and thanks for your thoughts and support.






Brain Work

Last Monday morning, prior to starting chemo cycle 2, I had to have an MRI of my brain.  Whoa!  Are you kidding me?  Not kidding. Apparently, in some cases, lung cancer will metastasize to the brain.  After spending 2 days on pins and needles, I am happy to report there is no lung cancer in my gray matter. Whew! What a bummer that would be!

Nurse Susan attended a women’s health conference on Saturday and brought back a timely joke. It seems after having an MRI, a guy learned he needed to have a brain transplant.  The doctor told the poor guy he just happened to have 2 brains available. One was from a man and it would cost $100,000 for the brain and the surgical procedure. The other brain was from a woman and the cost would only be $10,000 for everything. Of course the guy was puzzled by the huge difference in cost.  “Why does the woman’s brain cost so much less than the man’s?”  he asked.  His doctor replied, “Oh, it’s because the woman’s brain is used.”

Tomorrow, Monday August 20,  is my last day of  chemo.  Tuesday is my last day of radiation treatment. It can’t end soon enough!

Have a great week everybody and thanks again for your support.

Half Moon Bay R&R

We (Nurse Susan and me) celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary by running off to Half Moon Bay and getting some much needed “Rest & Recreation.”  We left the cancer at home and decided to just have some fun before starting chemo cycle 2 on Monday. Right after we arrived at the Miramar Beach Restaurant for lunch, the sun broke through and burned off the fog.  After  lunch we had a nice walk on the beach before we checked into our ocean view penthouse, (we went all out!) at the Beach House Inn.  Dinner was tip-top at Cetrella on Main Street, HMB (highly recommended).

View from our penthouse at the Beach House.

This weekend was just about the sun, the sand, the surf, the food, the sunny stroll on Saturday afternoon, the foggy power walk on Sunday morning.  Oh, and it was about us, me and Nurse Susan — 28 years and looking forward to the next 28.

Still Cruzin’ & Cancer Is Loozin’

My nurse Susan says I am a project so here’s my status for the week. 

  • I am at the half-way point on my radiation therapy — 13 treatments down and only 12 to go.
  • Attended a cancer treatment nutrition class where we discovered I was pretty much eating right. Thanks to my nurse, Susan.
  • Received an Emergency Clown Nose from a friend. Thanks Liz!  If ya can’t get rid of those pesky noses hairs just cover’em up. My brother’s suggestion of a booger bucket notwithstanding, of course.  Thanks Tim!

Clowning Around

  • Went to  a cancer support group meeting. What the heck. I thought I would give it a whirl!
  • Read a really funny (sometimes serious) book by Robert Schimmel: Cancer On $5 A Day – Chemo Not Included 
  • Gained back 3 pounds, after a loss of about 8.
  • Finally got the CatScan I was looking for. Thanks Fred and Marion!


Have a fun week everybody and thanks so much for your prayers and support.