Mike's Lung Cancer Chronicle

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.







  Jan wrote @

Yahoo! We are so very happy that you progressed thru step one so beautifully! Congrats!!! Now the hair thing — we will be twins about 3 months apart. Most of my hair has grown back after I had it shaved post skin cancer surgery. The part that didn’t grow back immediately is being treated with — you guessed it– Rogaine for men! Even tho I’m a girl!!! We wish you the best on vacation and pre surgery, surgery and post surgery. Don’t let the turkeys get you down. You are GREAT! Hugs, Jan and Jim

  Joanne Hayner wrote @

Glad phase 1 is over and you still have your gift of humor. Relax and enjoy the next few weeks. Granted surgery won’t be a walk in the park (that will come later) but remember except for those pesky “C” cells you are very healthy. Love you Mr. Mason

  Bridget Cerny wrote @

You can’t be in much of a fog if you can even spell the drug that caused it – or did you do a cut and paste…..(only kidding I know you’re a stellar speller)! Thinking of you and Nurse Susan every step of the way Michael. Have a great time in Tahoe and Big Sur.

  sheri Russell wrote @

Hello cousin Michael
Thank you for your up date. You are so informitive . I like it You have the courage and will power to go through anything .
I just love your sense of humor. AM always thinking of you. love you cousin Michael

  Margie wrote @

Great that this first milestone — yes, an obnoxious one — is over. And surgery is so much more precise. You will really know that your upper left lung is gone. Not like the chemo/rad program which you have to like sign things that make sure you know that there are no guarantees! Enjoy the time, you and Susan, and I continue to believe that you two know a lot about how to do that! xo

  tom of glasgow wrote @

Wow Mike, thankfully phase one is behind you and you are on your way for some much deserved R&R. I know you will sail the ship right thru the eye of the needle of surgery and then you’ll be home free. Keep up that great duo of great humor and fighting spirit!!

Enjoy Tahoe and Big Sur.

  Sandy wrote @

Michael I’m so GLAD you’re thru the first phase and so sorry for the darned down/depressing time following it all…that just makes it so much more ugh than it needs to be. Zoloft is a good antidepressant as are trips planned or taken. Something good to remember/something good to look forward to… I hope this is the last non-self-induced fog you’ll ever have to endure—and from here on just go on enjoying the good ol’ self-induced ones! Liquid, chemical or…Here’s to ya, my friend!!!

  mavis wall wrote @

I’m so glad to hear that you and Nurse Susan are getting away. Time with the family in Lake Tahoe will give you a nice injection of love and care (which I am sure you already have tons of). I can hardly wait to see pictures of you in your buzz — you and George will be twins.

Take care and think of you and Susan every day!

  Carole H wrote @

Congrats on the completion of Phase I. You and Nurse Susan remain in our daily thoughts and prayers. Have a wonderful time in Tahoe and Big Sur enjoying each others company. Much love to you both.

  Cynde Ellis wrote @

I am so glad to hear you are through this phase and doing well. Hope you and Nurse Susan enjoy the R&R. You both have weathered through this storm and need some time to relax and regroup. You have AMAZED me with your positive attitude and humor throughout all of this. That is what is going to get you through this. Keep it up!! Much love and prayers coming your way.

  Al H wrote @

Hey Mike–So you were in a fog?? In that case, don’t forget the money you borrowed from me and your promise to clean my rain gutters this winter. Also, dying to see the new “do”. I think you have one of those heads that can pull off the Yul Brenner look.

  John Tuttle wrote @

Rest up for your surgery, big guy. Thinking about you all the time, and rooting for you. Be ready for those good times ahead!

  Janice Worrall wrote @

Hi Michael,
I’m playing catch up and just read the coming out of the fog update…think about you often, enjoyed seeing Nurse Susan past weekend…missed seeing you…hope YO YO practice is going well! Enjoy those getaways…thoughts and prayers for you each day…love, Janice

  Maviswall wrote @

Been thinking bout you! Hope all is well. Sending you our best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *