Mike's Lung Cancer Chronicle

The Week That Was

Hi all, Nurse Susan here.  As MM’s “full service” nurse (DO NOT even go there!), I have added blog updates to my service portfolio.  This time around, you will get the latest news from my perspective.

Our number one patient and amazing responder to this cancer journey started his “insurance” chemo last Monday.  He (we, actually) viewed the impending three days of chemo as a no-brainer, a walk-in-the-park, a small inconvenience.  Michael rallied so well during the July/August sessions (SIX days!) that we thought all he had to do was roll up his sleeves (figuratively … but literally as well), get focused, and tough it out.  No big D, right?  Wrong!  Simply put dear friends, our boy got his butt kicked.

Michael had three days of chemo.  By Thursday morning, it was clear that food & water would be significant challenges.  As a result, he  required three days of hydration sessions — the Kaiser team pumped our guy full of nausea meds and water (5 liters over 3 days).  Our boy had a very rough week.

Today, however, there is good news. This morning (Sunday) Michael turned a corner and had his biggest meal in a week: a small bowl of  honey-nut cherrios.  That was followed by day 3 of 5 receiving a booster shot to increase white blood cells and the immune system, and THAT was followed by a slow, but steady short walk at the Lafayette Reservoir in the beautiful autumn sunshine.  Our boy is back.

The next two to three weeks will be spent hydrating, hydrating, hydrating (in the words of the Nutritionist, Joey), as well as getting strength back in mind, body, and soul. We are thankful for our medical team. We are thankful for Michael’s ability to bounce back. And, we are VERY thankful for your continued friendship and support.

We hope you enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving. And, we hope you feel blessed as you recall, and savor, the people and events in your life that spark your interest, bring you joy, feed your soul, and surround you with love.  That’s what we are going to do.

Michael will catch up with you later in the month.

Love to all,
— Nurse Susan



  John Tuttle wrote @

Wow – that’s a lot. Good thing that ball was all pumped up before all this started! Congratulations on the short walk – that drive to get out into the sun and fresh air is powerful! Thanks for the update…

  Liz wrote @

Dear Nurse Susan,

Your charming patient never was all wet in person, spirit or opinion, so I can see where the hydration program might be a challenge. Lest he fear putting a dampener on things, please remind him how attractive you’ll find him in a wet tee shirt or whatever… and drink up the view!

Wishing Michael and you an easier month, and giving thanks for his remarkable recovery.

Your Neighborhood Fan Club Prez, Liz

  Doug wrote @

Wow…..they sure do know how to land a punch….and Michael, you know how to bounce back! Over the next few weeks, you probably will feel like you’ve had a fire hose attack you in the endeavor to keep you hydrated! You WILL get through this!!

  tom of glasgow wrote @

Talk about a knock-out round, we are so glad you guys got through this one and glad you’re one the upswing!!

All the best to you both and enjoy friends and family during the holidays.

  Bridget Cerny wrote @

Thanks for the update Nurse Susan. Honey nut cheerios – YUM!! Have a lovely Thanksgiving and keep up the good work! Much love from Bridget and Milan

  Fred Edamura wrote @

Thanks Susan for the news – sounds like it was a real rough time, but good to hear that Michael was tougher, and now able to enjoy a nice walk in the sun. We ae continuing to pray for you both.

  Christine wrote @

Thank God that’s over. Now you can relax and have a nice Thanksgiving. Positive thoughts are coming your way,Christine

  Wayne Ritchie wrote @

So sorry to hear the “victory lap” was not the walk in the park we all hoped/assumed it would be. But — it’s clear — Patient Michael is gaining his Victory over even the victory lap! Bravo to the Patient…and Brava to the Nurse!!

  Sandy wrote @

OWEE!!! No fun at all! What a sucker punch! BUT, a walk in the sun is the best medicine in the world, second only to the love of another, which you both have in abundance within your family–and your great family of friends. Stay damp, Mike. And let no one say you’re all wet. Much love to you both, Sandy

  Patt Mikkelsen wrote @


Too bad you can’t hydrate with a Martini….. but I don’ want you to lose your thirst for those!

Keep those funny thoughts and movies to fill your tickle bone with laughter…

I love you two,
Love, Patt

  Ray W wrote @

Mike and Susan,

Now that you are over this hump, enjoy the ride… Keep the wind at your back and everything will be coooool…. have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  Carole H. wrote @

Thanks for the update. I know it’s been rough. Glad he is back on the climb up the hill. You both remain at the top of our list of things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Keep up the good work. We love you.
Carole & Al

  Mary Jo wrote @

Susan, what a COACH you are! My thoughts and prayers are with you both always. I think the worst is behind you. Onward and upward! Just returned from Kiahuna and thought about our happy times there!
Love you LOTS, MJ

  Linda Lucas wrote @

Hi Michael!
WOW!! What a week. I hope this week is smoother sailing. Thank God for Nurse Susan. Love you both. Sending Prayers and Hugs your way.
Linda and Gordon

  Margie F. wrote @

Well, I am glad it’s over. Let’s share. Two weeks ago, I fell in the kitchen emptying the evil dishwasher and cracked my pelvis in 3 places. So I basically hurt. They don’t do anything (this is not necessarily the good news). So…. I would like you to know that I UNDERSTAND that part where you are about to go do something that is obviously going to go well, obviously not that hard, and one is receiving appropriate pain meds to ensure a good outcome. Right-o. I was upright, decided to walk a few steps to the end of the bed, and Nope. They gave me more meds, like nausea meds — I said I am not nauseous, and they said ‘you will be’. I am not in a life threatening circumstance, so I cannot relate to all of fear and trembling. But the part where one walks into a wall figuratively and cannot do so much as ANYTHING. I relate. This too shall pass, Michael, and I have about 30 minutes of a pity party about twelve times a day. Hugs, glad its over. Margie

  LaRae Pearson wrote @

Dear Susan and Mike:

Thanks again for keeping us in the loop. I have had occasion to admire both your writing skills. Nicely done. So sorry this round was such a bitch. Gratitude for Mike’s fortitude, your steadfastness, and our friendship. Love you guys. LaRae (and Cliff)

  Cathy Carter wrote @

Thanks for the update Susan. Continuing to pray for both of you. Glad Michael’s strength is returning. Keep the faith. He is so blessed to have such a wonderful nurse. Love and blessings. Cathy

  Ray Zenoni wrote @

Nurse Susan,

It sounds like this round was incredibly difficult but I am happy to hear that Mike has made it through and things are improving. Mike’s determination through all this is amazing. I hope that the pace of the recovery speeds up as the days go by.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful that I have gotten to know you both.

  Al H. wrote @

Nurse Susan and Mike

I can’t even imagine what you have gone through but if the “insurance” works,then it was worth it. You will probably never look back on all this and laugh but maybe you will at least be able to smile knowing you beat this terrible thing. We will be thinking of you at Thanksgiving and will be grateful that this chapter in your lives is nearly over. We are also grateful that you have each other and we have you both in our lives.

  Al H. wrote @

Mike and Nurse Susan

Here is your riddle for today. What do you call an aligator wearing a vest?

Answer will be revealed tomorrow.

  Al H. wrote @

Well I know you have been waiting all morning for the answer which is…………. An investi-gator. Ha Ha Ha

  Cynde Ellis wrote @

Sorry to hear you are under the weather. I figured you would sail right through the second round like you did before. I hope you are starting to feel human again and have been able to enjoy the holiday at least a little. I know you will get through this set back and be up and around very soon. They just want to make absolutely sure they got it all and that you recover fully. I am keeping you and Susan in my prayers and hope to hear soon that you are feeling much bettter!!! Take care my friend and God bless you!!!!!

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