Wednesday, June 29, 2011


10:00 a.m. 2nd Radiation treatment.
All went pretty well. 
Going into the Oncology clinic is an experience in itself. Sad to say, I never knew these places even existed... Before now.
Everyone should go to one. It's a kind of sacred place in an odd kind of way.

It is kind of like a Methadone Clinic I once had to go to pick up papers of a drug addicted mom.
Everyone arrives at their own designated time. We all seem like addicts that arrive and wait to get the drugs they pass out but instead of drugs, it's radiation beams. Most everyone has black marks penned in on their bodies where the Radiation will blast them. It's like they wear a badge of where the cancer is located on their ravaged bodies.  My husband's lines his entire neck and down his chest.
There are loads of chairs and tables, coffee and a large table where the patients with no family to sit and hold their hand seems to congregate. On the table is a beautiful puzzle being put together by the hands of cancer patients. Some are at the end of their treatments and some, like us are just beginning. 
You can tell the newbies because we have that "I'm so lost. I'm so scared" look in our eyes. The veterans seem so used to it, almost hardened to it. 

Today, I was sitting in my chair and this tall slim gorgeous woman walked in and checked in at the front desk. She had very short almost white hair. I noticed her because she had on a pretty white ruffled top and cute jeans. When she turned around, we smiled at each other.
She was stunning. So elegant even with her practically bald head and perfect makeup. 
I have never known a stranger so I commented to her how beautiful she looked and her makeup was so pretty. She told me that her makeup routine is her saving grace. She told me it is her sanity at the beginning of her day. I asked her how far she was into her treatment. She said she has been doing this since November non-stop! Wow.
She had gone into remission for one week and it has flared back up but this was her Journey. She told me she knew her journey would soon be over and she was ready. She was tired.
 I remembered my first blog post was named A Journey of Fear. 
She must have seen the fear and anguish that is like an envelope that surrounds me.. She sat by me and held my hand and whispered to me that it was all God's way. I sat in the middle of a very crowded waiting room while a perfect stranger held me in her arms and comforted ME. This beautiful woman had probably been thru more hell that I can even imagine. She hugged me and held me in her arms for a very long time. She seemed to never want to let go.
My journey with my husband is just beginning and I have the horrible feeling that her journey is about to end too soon.  I cried and cried and this seriously ill woman held me so close. 

Today, my husband refused to eat. He has lost so much weight. I see his once so perfect athletic butt fading before my eyes. His arms are looking so thin. I try and BEG him to eat but he says just the thought of food makes him nauseous.  
I made a pact with myself to NEVER eat in front of him. Ever. How could I? This is a man that loved his steaks and pizzas and junk food. Today, I grabbed a bologna sandwich and hid behind the freezer in the storage room and ate it standing up, hurrying in case he came to find me. It just seems so wrong to enjoy food in front of him when he can't any longer. His feeding tube surgery is scheduled for the 7th of July.  He will get fed but will never taste it.

We have a brain MRI tomorrow after the 3rd radiation treatment. For some heinous reason, this rare cancer loves to find a home in the brain. 
I pray his head is sharp and clear.  He is fading on me and my heart is aching. He says he's tired already and this fight hasn't really even begun!
His best friend and former NFL coach  is flying in next week to stay a few days. I am crossing my fingers those two "good ole boys" can talk about football, quarterbacks and game days and he'll be a motivator for him. We need a miracle right now.

PS. Floridapossum/ Pamela has started a candle site for my husband and I am amazed once again by all of you. I showed this to my husband tonight and he broke down in tears. 

floridapossum said...

Hey Sweetie did you see all the beautiful candles we've lit for y'all?

People are still lighting them. 

All of the candles lit for him all from perfect strangers from across the globe is simply astonishing to us both! 
Your words are like magic and we treasure each letter, message, comment and tweet. 
I only wish I had the energy and time to personally answer each one.  You are all pushing us both forward and I feel you there. You bring us comfort.
I love you all and love your messages of Hope and Love.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Report....

Today is Tuesday.
Remember that ugly, vile, horrid report? 
The Pathology Report?
Horrible Tuesday.

11:00 a.m. My husband had his very first Radiation treatment today.  Time is NO longer our friend. No time to go to MD Anderson,  Huston, TX  although we going to IU Medical on Tuesday next week for a 2nd opinion.

The drug of choice today for the anxiety was Valium. Much better. He did it. He wore that mask and the treatment was over 20 minutes. I was so proud of him! He came out of the room grinning even tho he had black marks all over his neck resembling a road map route of the back streets of Istanbul. 
Every week  day for the next 8 weeks we are to be there to blast and sear his throat but if it works, it'll be worth it, right? Radiation shrinks the tumors. Chemo kills them.
Chemo begins after the PET tube and Port Tubes are surgically installed.

They give him a special toothbrush and toothpaste. Nothing even close to him can have any form of alcohol in it. Also, a special cup and a recipe of baking soda and salt to be gargled every time he thinks of it to cut down the thick mucous that is about to become the inside of his mouth.
3:00 p.m. An appointment with the surgeon that did the biopsy and he has that dreaded 
I am ready for him and his nasty pages of paper. I have a copy of that disgusting report in my fat little fingers that he doesn't know I have. 
I have done what so many of you had told me so kindly NOT to do. I spent 6 hours on Sunday into the wee hours of the morning taking that report apart sentence by sentence. Piece by piece. Word by word. 
Mitosis. Apoptosis. Tumor. Emboli. Immunohistochmical. Necrosois. Cell Stains. NeuroEndocrine.
I researched the report like a drug addict searching for a corner to sell crack.
I felt I knew what it was and what it said but, guess what?
I am no medical professional. I know how to extinguish a fire in a cabin. I know how to
inflate a life raft. I know about lipsticks and nail polishes and bleach blond hair.
Medicine, I am clueless about and probably know only enough to be scary. 
When the doctor told us he was going to explain the "report" I sat up a little further forward in my chair. My palms sweaty and my heart beginning to quicken....
Words. Medical words. The worst medical words.
Fear. Gripping fear.

Large Cell Undifferentiated Neuroendocrine Carcinoma is one of the rarest forms of cancer. It has little to no information and success rates are completely unknown.  
It is cancer of the Endocrine Glands and cancer of the Nervous System. 
I have never seen my husband show fear EVER. I have seen him cry at a sad movie especially ones involving animals. "Milo and Otis" made him weep. "Old Yeller"? Forget about it! 
I have seen him sad but never scared. Sadness is not fear.   
From the corner of my eye I see that his hands are trembling. Tears in my eyes. I could feel the tears. Huge big stupid tears splashing onto my notes and my copy of the report.
The doctor is talking and the room spinning. 
18 months. 18 months. 18 months?
For the seventh time the words "18 months" keep repeating from his mouth as if on a loop.
18 months. He won't say the words but gosh, we're not idiots. 
He says to remain positive.  To enjoy the time left on Earth. To look at the blue sky and the green grass. 
18 months. Be happy he loves his wife.  18 months. Reflect how he ran a company that was in the family for over a hundred years and made it a success.
Enjoy the small things and love the big things. 
My husband looks at me. Our eyes lock. We stand. My legs feel like lead in my pink Louboutin's.  My knees buckle and I have to be helped back up to standing. I want to yell and hold my arms out and run down the halls knocking down everything in my path. Run thru the halls of the medical building and crash over carts, careen into patients and be a weapon of mass of destruction.

We head for the door. All I want to do is go home. 
As we are walking out the exam room door the surgeon stops and tells us "Oh, we may have to do that tracheotomy if this treatment doesn't work so your airway isn't blocked and you can breathe. There are also alternatives.  Cut off the tongue. Remove the voice box, thyroid and all of the salivary glands. A complete throat redisection.  This is if the Chemo and Radiation don't work. It may buy a bit of time."
We are in complete shock. I see my husband almost quake at the thought. I feel that if I open my mouth a scream of sheer horror may be heard for miles. My teeth are biting into my lips to remind me to hold myself together.  
Cut off his TONGUE??
Dissect his entire throat? To live for only 18 months?
 All I am and all I want is to escape this nightmare and go back to our beautiful lives. 
18 months? It's a death sentence.

We are going to fight this like I have never fought before. I am going to eat positive for breakfast lunch and dinner. I am going to spit it out and live it and give it back to my husband every day. 18 months is not acceptable. 
Day 2 of treatment is tomorrow and my big girl panties are getting tighter by the second. 
We HAVE to fight!
18 months will come and go and God willing my husband will be with me December 25, 2012. 
18 months.

P. S. Your notes and letters keep us both going. We have spent so many hours in waiting rooms sitting in stiff chairs and hunched on exam tables.
 I love to read each and every one of them to my husband. It makes me so proud to show him how wonderful this world is and that the people in it are angels. At least the ones that have touched our lives are. You.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today ended up being the worst day of all.
Are you all sick of me yet?  
I sure am. 
I can't even look at myself anymore. A good friend that has been thru something similar told me to get up every day and put on lipstick. Do my hair. 
I really don't care anymore.

Weekends are ok but week days are the worst. 
Doctor appointments. Tests. Scan. Needles. Yada Yada
The mask we went to have fitted on Friday is done! 
Whoop-de-Freakin-Ding Dong.
My husband has played football and basketball with pain so great it would bring a lesser man down. Not him. They'd throw some novocaine into a pulled hamstring or torn ligament in  his knee and back into the game he'd go. Three broken noses his Senior Year in college ball. No big deal.

Claustrophobia is another matter all together. That mask freaks him out! The mask is fitted very tightly to your face then clamped down to the table while your arms are in chains to pull your shoulders away from your neck. Seriously, it looks like a Medieval Torture Chamber.

Today: 8:45 a.m. Home.
I give my husband who has never taken a drug in his life 2 mg of Xanax to relieve his anxiety of the mask. 

9:15 a.m. The 4th CaT Scan is scheduled with the dreaded mask to calibrate exactly where the radiation beams will go on the neck. Thy say they will salvage what they can. One salivary gland and maybe a slim chance to salvage the taste buds and voice box and his bottom teeth. His throat will be blasted by radioactive beams 5 days a week for 15 minutes a day for 8 weeks.

9:30 a.m.  An IV put into place. Time to put on the mask and get the CT Scan. He panics and refuses.
My heart drops. No mask= No treatment. He will have to wear this mask everyday of the week. 5 days a week for 8 weeks. The Xanax is useless. I coax and plead and cry and beg and  bargain with him. He has dug in his heels and says No! OMG. 

12:00 p.m. I am exhausted. Myself and three nurses have worn ourselves out but we finally,  2.5 hours later convince him to get the scan with the mask. Thank You Jesus! (How kind and amazing there are to take so much time and energy to CARE)
Claustrophobia sounds lame but it can be so debilitating. 

3:00 p.m.  First consult with the Chemotherapy Oncologist. 

The Pathologist Report. 
This damn report has dogged me all weekend and I almost want to burn it right there in the padded ugly purple chair and run like the wind while the ugly chair and the report ignite and are never seen again by mankind or the decorator that chose that ugly ass purple chair.

Chemo will begin after the G-Tube and Chest Port for Chemo are surgically installed. One will Feed and the other will fill my husband's veins with deadly chemicals to kill cells in it's path.
The report again. God, I don't even want to write to you what that ugly thing says.
The secretary of our family doctor was right. 
(From this date forward, her name will not ever be mentioned in my house or while I breathe air. She seemed to enjoy telling me that news.) I want to poke her eyes out with a spoon.

The Report........................................

My wonderful kind and gentle husband has not ONE but TWO kinds of cancer.  
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he pulled the very short straw. 
We went to tell his 95 year old Mom the bad bad news on Sunday. She at first thought he meant that SHE has cancer (Remember, she does. She has a mass on her lungs but we never told her. Her affairs are in order. At 95 what does it matter really?) It seems that every male in his family has died of cancer. HOW did we not know this before????
He has Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Throat AND a very rare form of very aggressive Large Cell Neuroendrocrine Cancer. Survival rate is slim. 
Now we know and now we fight but for what? 
75% chance it will return after treatment. 
My fight is dimming. His fight is all but gone. I don't even pretend not to cry anymore. I am so raw and scared and quite frankly I worry that he will suffer and then after 4 months of radiation and the chemo he will be seared and burned and poisoned and THEN he will die. I feel hollow. He talks about when he's dead and gone now.  Instructing me on what to do when he is...

I once knew a woman in real life that hated my YouTube Channel so much. She told me I had weird and bizarre people that watched my videos and that it was all very revolting to her. She would post about me on gossip sites and called my own brother to get him to make me stop posting videos. She thought all of my viewers were freaks. 
Not So. Not even close. I feel sorry for her closed up mind.

I have found that since being on YouTube, some of the most genuine, thoughtful, caring and most of all loving and giving men and women in the world has ever known! 

Today, I have cried tears all day long. 
Tonight I cry while typing this to all of YOU. You are so strong and steady and I have been sucking the very souls from all of you and your amazing strength and love you have shown to my husband and to me... perfect strangers. I have never been as blessed as I am right now, in a time of sorrow and fear as I am by each and every one of you.
Let me copy a Tweet for you...

@LanaIndianax Here's today's 

hug {{HUG}} The first beautiful flower you see on 

your path today is from me ;)

That is just ONE example out of the thousands I have received since this began less than 3 weeks ago.  Every day I get notes and comments and letters and messages and warm hugs and LOVE from you.  You are all angels here on Earth and I love you more than you know.  Thank You.

P. S. I saw her flower today as we walked out of the Oncology building.  It had the most beautiful bee buzzing around it. Loving it.
I stood there on the green grass of the perfectly manicured lawn and hugged my husband and cried.  See, I never ever took much time in a day to stop and LOOK and see the pretty flowers and what God has given me.  Given Us. Maybe God needs a warm and gentle, sweet and caring man in Heaven.
Maybe he will let me keep him.
I need him and I need all of you too. xo

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting My Big Girl Panties Ready for Tuesday

It's Sunday. 
Yesterday and today we seem to have a bit of respite. No tests or reports. 
No appointments. These two days we are calling "Our Positive Days." 
Saturday. Sunday.
No thinking talking or looking at negative allowed, only positive. 
If we squint our eyes really tight, I mean REAL REAL tight, these two days we can almost forget this mess. Ha! Who am I kidding? I tried it and it isn't working.

On Friday around 4:00 our family doctor and friend's office secretary called. 
The Biopsy Pathology report was in..... Breathe.
What will it say?
My husband left his cell phone with me in case she calls and told me to have the results sent to
1. Our Dr. at IU Med Center
2. A Dr. we were told is the BEST at MD Anderson, Huston    
3. Here. Home.
He left to go sign papers at his office (which he has neglected.)
His cell phone rings. It's the Path report. I tell the secretary who and where to fax it and she begins by telling me... 
"It's Bad, Lana. Really really BAD!" I am floored. 
"How Bad?" I ask.
"What about it makes it bad? Tell me. I have to know. I have to be ready before he gets home!"
She just keeps repeating those words... 
"It's Bad! It's not good. It's Bad. It's Bad."
By now I am like an animal. Feral and screaming. Sobbing. Begging.
The faxes are coming in. Page after page after page. I can't read it thru the tears and begging her for information. Medical information that I am clueless about. I have the papers but feel like a 2 year and can not READ it. What does it mean? What does it say?
She repeats over and over that it's Bad finally telling me it's against the law to tell me any information over the phone!
By now I am hysterical. About to literally climb up a wall.
"Tell me now! What does it say and what makes it so much more BAD than what we already KNOW! PLEASE!"
She hangs up saying "I can't tell you."

I go into complete and utter despair.  I finally gather myself enough to call my daughter in law who is an RN and she flies here leaving my 3 grandkids and my son with a rushed message "Watch the kids. I'm outta here."
We pore over these reports watching the clock like Russian Spy Double Agents going over secret documents at the Pentagon . We can't have this report in our hands and my husband walk in the door!
 It would be horrible for him to see us in such a state. I text his office to tell them:
 Keep Him THERE!

This is a Pathologists reports with stains and graphs and medical lingo we don't understand. I call my brother who is an anesthesiologist but is in Singapore. 
27 pages of info and we only make out a few words that jump off the pages. The fear leaves us both ice cold.
Three words jump off the pages:
Endocrine Carcinoma

My daughter in law and I are clutched in absolute fear. She asked me if I want her to be there when my husband does get home to tell him what the report has circled and underlined? (Medical words and phrases that may as well be written in Chinese.)
God No!
To have my sweet DIL be the one to tell him anything bad would be horrific and unfair to her. What do we do? 
Do I tell him? Do I hold this secret all weekend until we see the Biopsy Surgeon on TUESDAY???? Oh my God! I will never make it to Tuesday.
My DIL leaves.
2 minutes later, my dear husband comes home and dilemma I'm in is answered the second he sees me. "You look like you just got ran over. What's wrong. What does it say"?
We read it together but thankfully, he can't make sense of it either so we wait.....

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Word For Today: Bleak

Today is Friday. 
I used to love Fridays. Fridays were days my husband and I would end our busy hectic week and have a "Date."
Date Night.
Fun dates for old farts?

We would get dressed up in our best. 
Pretty dresses with sparkles and sequins. 
High heeled stilettos. 
My husband always in a suit. Two people in love doing a simple thing. Enjoying a lovely dinner together and connecting. Romance.
 We found a quiet romantic French restaurant about 45 minute drive from our house or if we were both away, we would make the extra effort to save Friday for each other. Our favorite French waiter. Our very own special booth. Dark and cozy.  Candlelight. 
A romantic dinner. No discussing troubles of the week~ only absorbed in each other. It was like glue. It brought us back to us and our marriage and kept it exciting.
French Bread smothered in rich creamy butter. Baked Alaskan Salmon with a Lemon Mousseline Cream Sauce. Couscous. Grilled Asparagus. Shrimp Cocktail. Creme Brule.  
(Date Night is highly recommended even to those just dating or those married for years.) It doesn't have to be a fancy restaurant just time spent together.)

Today is an average Friday except....
Now my husbands throat hurts like mad.  The surgeon called me yesterday to check on him and told me he had to cut and used forceps during the biopsy to remove the equivalent of a shot glass full of cancerous tissue to allow him to breath until treatments start. 
Pudding, scrambled soft eggs and milk shakes. Nothing romantic about that menu.
Today. Friday.  Right now. I am sitting in an Oncology Waiting Room while my beautiful husband is in a room away getting fitted for a Mask. 
Wait! What? A mask? 
After the Oncology Doctor told us untold horrors of what this radiation will do, he is set up with a mesh formfitting  mask to mark where the beams will go and more importantly hold his head and neck still when they clamp it to the table so the beams only go to the affected neck tumors.
Naturally, this lousy support system,  ME,  broke down and I had to race out of the room to sob into a very ugly painted hospital wall wailing and once again be a complete basket case.  I would never want me on my side in a crisis like this!  Strong? Ha! I'm pathetic.

Some of the symptoms of radiation to your neck and throat:
Severe sore throat.
Loss of hair
Loss of taste
Loss of saliva
Loss of teeth
Get a feeding PEG tube placed next week in the stomach to "eat" six to eight cans of Boost or Ensure a day. 
Loss of feeling in your mouth,  tongue and throat.
No shaving. (I used to love to watch my husband shave. It is such a manly ritual.)

No After-Shave. (I love to see and smell his face with Old Spice or whatever the cologne of the day is. Real men smell good)
No lotions, sprays or any other products anywhere near the head or neck to avoid extreme skin reactions. 
All of this five days a week for 7 to 8 weeks. Treatment to begin in a week or so after a trip to MD Anderson in Huston for a second opinion.
I don't paint a pretty picture, huh? The word for today is Bleak.
Well, this is just Radiation Oncology.... Monday is Chemotherapy Oncology. 
That's where the bad really begins...
I need to get my Big Girl Panties on and be ready for Monday.  Chemo is no joke either.
Watching someone you love and to see and know how bleak the future looks in regards to THEIR pain and suffering, is as difficult as it gets. My very heart is breaking.
If I could in ANY way take this cancer and it's difficult treatment and do all of this for him, I would jump at the chance.

Where ARE my Big Girl Panties anyway????

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Bloody Bad Day

Today was misery.
We woke up at 3:30 to be at the hospital at 6:00 a.m.
Answer questions for charts and more records.  Allergies, meds etc. Red Tape.
The RN who was so sweet began an IV but blew a vein straight away. 2nd try. She infiltrated the vein this time. I saw the Lactating Ringer solution well up into a huge bolus under the skin on his arm. All the fluids settled there. Call in a back-up 2nd RN since they have a 2 Stick Rule and this one got it. Whew.

Next, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist came in. One detail was discussed that if the tumor was too big for my husband to be intubated (The Dr. breathes for you thru a tube inserted in your airway) so that he would have to have a tracheotomy)  A tracheostomy is a hole cut into your throat to be used for an airway, food, water and to talk. That also involves a week-long stay in the hospital and the trach would have to stay in place thru radiation and chemo treatments so that is over 2 months with a hole in your throat. All while getting the crap sizzled out of your neck with radioactive beams. Not Fun.
They take him to surgery at 7:30.

At 9:00 the RN comes to tell me that the surgeon still hasn't performed the surgery biopsy. The tumor is 
 6 inches across and pressing hard against the windpipe. 3 more weeks and it would have suffocated him. No air and you die.
You can live 
3 weeks with no food
3 Days with no water
3 minutes with no air.
These two wonderful Doctors worked for well over an hour but they got that tube down his  airway so NO TRACHEOSTOMY!!! Good News and I truly do think all of YOUR prayers helped with that one. Hey, I'll take one miracle at a time.
2 more hours... Both doctors come to find me in the surgery waiting room. 
The tumors are growing at lightening speed. Radiation and chemo are imperative now or as in two months ago! His neck has many other tumors, some small and some large. One is 6 times the size the surgeon has ever seen.
They tell me he will have a very rough road ahead. You only get ONE shot at radiation in your lifetime, at least in your neck. Too much and it can kill YOU and not the cancer.
We won't even think about if the Radiation doesn't work....
Two nurses come to get me. He is in recovery but family is not allowed back there. My husband is very agitated and asking for his wife so they let me back there into those secret halls where family never enters.

OMG. When I see my wonderful football/basketball player husband lying there so vulnerable, I just about melt. I want to crawl into the next bed over and cover my head and his too.
His throat is a bloody mess where they took a biopsy from one of the tumors. 
They "de-bulked" the largest one so he can breath. (I assume de-bulked means to cut part of it off.) Ouch.
 His mouth. His mouth is so full of blood and pieces of tissue. His skin is ice cold as I put my lips on his face. I can see his pain but former athletes never whine. I do! His pain scale was a 10.
 I told him he had to get the morphine offered and he finally does. I convince him that it's not being wimpy to take pain meds. 
Oh, the rest of the day was more scans and pokes, prods, meds and procedures. So many wonderful nurses and doctors to help us. My husband has never been sick! No surgeries or broken bones, no ailments or treatments since he had his tonsils removed at 6 years old.
What causes this type of aggressive ugly cancer?
Smoking. My husband never smoked a day in his life.
Drinking. My husband has a few beers with the boys once a week, if that.
More men get this type than women. 

I do know that I have never felt so helpless and incapable in all my life. We are like two children here and I am more lost than he is! I can evacuate a burning aircraft of 215 passengers in less than 90 seconds but I am a complete dolt when it comes to any of this. 
I cried for 20 minutes when I couldn't find the thermometer but finally did when I found it clutched in my own hand. I didn't know I had it. 

I need to learn to slow down and be calm. No longer one day at a time but one minute at a time. 
He's home now and resting. He describes his throat as a Lawn Mower that had a party in his mouth.
Thank You all for everything from your advice and instructions to  Prayers and support but mostly for being here for me.  Being here for us both. You are all amazing! 
I had my iPad in my bag with me in the Recovery room and the Tweet beeps and incoming email beeps were going off like fireworks. It gave us both so much comfort. You were right there with us!
My husband said that with each beep you let him know that he's still alive. 
Right now, I want to go eat a medical dictionary. 
WHY didn't I pay more attention to my First Aid courses? Why?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blue-Capped Vial of Blood :(

I apologize for not posting yesterday. Yesterday was brutal. I took a day off. 
I wish Cancer would.
I can't stand that word. It makes me want to rage and pull my hair out and go kick someone right where it hurts. You see, we all go on living our lives in such a bubble of innocence. Sure, I have friends and heard stories of cancer and illness. Who hasn't? But when it comes to visit  YOUR house like some unwanted filthy houseguest to wreak havoc and steal your life, then you're changed forever.
Yesterday our office trip to Inner Vision for the PET Scan began at 7:45 am. 
Blood work, EKG, Chest xRay, another CT Scan ended at 3:00. 4:00 was the consult with the surgeon for the biopsy on Wed morning surgery. 
It's funny, the nurses give YOU the blood to take to the lab be analyzed. They also give YOU a CD that holds your life on a disk. All of your scans, reports and results are on this disk. I wanted to take it home put it in my MacBook and hit "Reject."  
Be gone you cancer bastard!

They gave me his 4 vials of blood to take to the lab. I had it sitting right next to me in the passenger seat of my car  like a VIP passenger. One 1st class ticket to the lab. 
I get it there safely and the tech tells me I didn't have the "Blue-Capped" vial of Blood. 

What the hell does that mean? 
I have this blood in a sealed bag with red and yellow stickers all over it. I stood there like some confused passenger that ended up in Shanghai when they were supposed to have landed on a beach in Monaco. 
I think my mouth was even gapped open in confusion as I stood there at the lab window.
The rude tech said "You didn't bring the Blue Capped Vial of Blood. Go get it! You have to go get it! I need more blood here, lady!"
I felt as tho I had failed everyone. I had one task to do and I couldn't even do that right. 
I stood there in the middle of the Medical Arts building in my wrinkled up linen suit and cried. 
I completely lost it.  
I don't mean tears running down my face, I mean full-blown sobbing and wailing.  It wasn't pretty. I can usually hold it together but I even failed at that.
I completely lost it. It took restraint to keep from throwing myself on the marble floors and curl up in a fetal position and cry...
I  did finally pull it together, went back to Inner Vision, got the nurse to enter the suite that my husband was getting his juice for the PET Scan, draw more blood and took it back to the lab. 
I truly wanted to pull a scene like from the movie "Carrie" and envision all that blood on that rude lab tech dripping down her head and say "Here! Here's your Blue Capped Vial of Radioactive Blood!"

These days I look at my husband and cry. 
I thought I was this strong strong woman. Boy, was I wrong. I have been thru some unspeakable things in my life. My childhood could be a really bad Made for TV Movie and I thought it made me like work-horse strong. I thought so many things about myself that I am finding to be horribly wrong. 
The thought of what lies ahead for him makes me shudder. 
If his prognosis is simply Stage 4 Squamous Carcinoma of the Throat, he is in for some really rough months ahead. If it is worse than that... I can't even imagine it.

Each and every note from all of you has gotten us thru and my husband and I appreciate them and your wonderful offers of Hope and Support more than you could ever know. 

I have been given hundreds of perfect stranger's home phone numbers to call and 

I have had offers from people to come live with them during this.
I have had offers to come here to cook and clean for us.
Offers to do our laundry.
One sweet and wonderful friend has offered to let me call her at 4 a.m. or any time just to weep and she will listen in support.
I have had offers to drive us around to appointments.
I have had offers to take our two dogs until this nightmare is over.
I have had offers to call Doctors in Huston and pull strings for quick entry into the medical system there.
So many offers.
Most importantly, I have had thousands of offers to PRAY. 
Prayers from perfect strangers. What amazing people all of you are. I am so Blessed.
Truly Blessed.

Tomorrow is the biopsy surgery. If all goes well, we will have answers and options. 
If not, I don't know. The surgeon will put a probe with a camera down his throat. He will look inside his throat lungs, esophagus, stomach etc. They will hopefully get a tube past the cancer in his throat to breath for him during surgery. If the cancer has blocked that tiny hole then they will have to do a tracheotomy which is cut a hole in his throat to allow him to breath thru. I pray it all goes well.
Michael douglas went thru this and seems to be in remission. I am so Thankful for that.
His beautiful wife, Catherine Zeta Jones... She ended up in the looney bin. I can see why!
(I wonder if she ever dropped the ball on the Blue-Capped Vial of Blood?)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's in the Future?

What does the future hold for anyone? 
We go thru each day doing our daily activities and never know what the future will hold. We have been experiencing a Time Warp of a Future on Crack! We don't know what we will be doing tomorrow, the next day or even next week. 
I blew up my car. Do we buy a new one or do I stick with my Company Car even tho I'm not doing "company" things? Do I even need a car right now? Does that even matter? 
In the Grand Scheme of thing....No!

Tomorrow is the PET Scan which is a full-body scan to see what's going on inside you. They inject you with a mixture of radiation dye and glucose. No carbs or sugars the night before or you will overload. They leave that hot-juice in your body for 1 hour then run you thru the scan to detect anything and everything inside you. 
If this cancer has spread beyond the head and neck, we are FUCKED! Sorry but it's the only way I care to describe it.

Yesterday, we were to attend our friends daughter's gala wedding but instead, we went to look for cemetery plots. Not that we are not being positive here, we are just being REAL.  
I had shopped and searched for the perfect dress for the last 2 weeks for this wedding. It was crucial that I have the right style and look like class. Everyone we know was invited.
 A gorgeous Zac Posen dress was in my possession with cute Jimmy Choo shoes to match. I was giddy with excitement. You know how it is when you feel your outfit for that upcoming special event looks good on you and you just know you will feel confident and the stress of being worried about your style is non existent. Ha!
That dress and shoes don't mean a thing. Handbags and lipsticks? They mean zilch.
JuicyTuesday wrote me a note and told me something that really sticks in my head....
Health is Wealth
I will write that again.... 
Health is Wealth.

Anyway, back to Zac Posen.
I told a dear friend of mine that we were going to spend our day on Saturday not going to the wedding but instead going to find Eternal resting places side by side. She gave me one very good idea...
Wear the Zac Posen to the cemetery! 
I did just that. 
My darling husband, Jimmy Choo, Zac Posen and I all traipsed thru the serene grounds and we found the perfect place. 
You may think I am being morbid. It wasn't at all. It was actually very peaceful and had a comforting presence there among the tall trees and beautiful quiet of flowers and silence. We found a spot near a sloping hill with sunshine and whispering trees nearby.

I hope all of you don't get depressed by my blog. It's theraputic for me. I am usually crying big tears as I type. It's also a way for me to express my thoughts and give family and far away friends an update. I know I need to announce this to my wonderful YouTube viewers in a video but I am so raw right now, I'm not sure I can. I appreciate you all more than you know. Each and every note and letter I get is going in the pocket inside my husbands heart tomorrow and all the good wishes and prayers will be going thru that PET Scan as well and I hope they come out on the other side with just ONE day of GOOD news. 
If not... 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scans and Needles and Probes... Oh My!

Remember what seems like months ago but was only days ago I was BEGGING for answers? 
Ha! Now I don't want any more answers. I want to rewind to two weeks ago when we were just a normal happy American couple living the normal happy American Dream.
Working, laughing, enjoying life as everyone else does. 

If only it could be that easy.
I look at my husband and I have to rush to a room where I can close the door or hide behind a bed or wall to cry. I must stay strong. If he sees me break I swear he may crumble and we have the fight of our lives ahead of us.
We drove for miles to get a biopsy consult. This was supposed to be No Big Deal. The Ear Nose and Throat specialist was to tell us what kind of biopsy and how the procedure would go. Instead, he read the previous CT Scans and decided to do a light probe right there in the office. He stuck a very long piece of cotton gauze soaked in a numbing agent up his nose, left it there 10 minutes, came back and then shoved a light down his throat and looked around. 
As of now the official name is Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tonsils and Throat. 
The EXACT same cancer that Michael Douglas had. 

He has ordered more tests. A PET Scan, EKG ( to see if he's strong enough for what's ahead) and more Blood work on Monday. 
A PET Scan is a full body scan to check to see if this monster has spread to other organs. 
Dear God, please let it not have spread.
The lymph glands are 3 times the size of what they should be and his windpipe is being strangled by these cancerous tumors. There are 6 lymph glands in your neck. 5 of his are huge and growing.
 Time is not our friend anymore.
We used to make lists of things we had to do:

*Fly to Miami
*Gas up the cars
*Pack for a trip
*Buy new shoes and a dress for a gala event
*Go to a Wedding today

Yesterday, we made an entire new kind of list that made me want to hide in a closet and never come out:

*Buy a cemetery plot
*Pre-pay for our funerals
*Get our banking affairs in order
*Tell his 95 year old mom that her only son has Stage 4 cancer
*Meet with all the kids and break the news
*Tell as many of our friends that we can
*Call our dear friend and cancel our plans to attend his daughter's wedding. (I bought the most fabulous Zac Posen dress to wear but now Who really cares?)
*Find a doctor in Huston TX at MD Anderson that specializes in this type of cancer
*Decide if before treatment begins to get a feeding tube placed because his throat will be burnt to shreds by the radiation. Drinking water will be like entering the gates of hell for 6 to 8 weeks of radiation and chemo.

I apologize for being so depressing. You all know me. I am always one to make droll boring things into funny fabulous things. I can't seem to find one thing fun or fabulous anymore. At least not right now....

Friday, June 17, 2011

The "C" Word

Typing this out and even putting that word out into the stratosphere brings me to my knees. We have a name for it but what kind of cancer?
What can we do about it? 
What are our options?
I know that our next step and our next one after that in this horrible journey is going to be important but WHAT do we do? Let's get started!
I am a sleeper. I can sleep thru tornados, noise, turbulence, anything. I once fell asleep at a Harlem Globetrotter's Game in Atlanta. Packed house. Embarrassed but hey, it was a great nap.

Lately, I wake up 6 -7 times a night and think "Ok, this is all a really bad dream."
Who's nightmare did we stumble into anyway? This doesn't happen to us. 
We're young and fabulous. Smart and funny. We pay taxes!
My husband and I have always had a great relationship but now, we are like two tiny seahorses clinging to each other in a very big and extremely rough sea. 

The CT Scans showed some ugly tumors, more than 5 on his neck. One is so large it is beginning to block the windpipe. That's why all the bloody noses and coughing up blood. (Those have all but  stopped now and that fact makes me nervous)
Today, we have to go 3 counties over to get the best but also the quickest consult on a biopsy. Time is a factor now.  They keep saying that but yet nothing through this has moved quickly. 
I have so many questions but no one has any answers. I suppose this biopsy will tell at least part of the story and I fear it. 
There are two words I do NOT want to hear. 
Esophageal Cancer. 
It's a sad day when you almost welcome the thought of "Throat Cancer" as it has a few options. Hey, we will take anything that has a chance to fight against.
Michael Douglas fought it and won and so can we.

I want to Thank each and every one of you for all of the wonderful heartfelt prayers and notes. Each one makes me cry and each one is a Blessing. You are all appreciated more than you know. Just the thought that you are sending messages to God above gives me hope.
PS. Take extra time for those you love. We take each other for granted. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Now that we have done what we were ordered to do by the powers that be, our doctor, we sit and we wait. Why am I adding myself to this equation? Because I can. When a loved one gets sick, it effects everyone not just the ill one so I suppose I'm allowed to say I am a part of it all even tho I don't want to be. I am on the outside looking in. blah blah blah.
The doctor ordered CT Scans and blood work and clinical exams but we have been at this almost a week now and do we know what is going on any more than we did on Day 1 ? NO!

As women, we are programmed to fix things. Fight the things that hurt those we love. 
What am I fighting here? 
I haven't got a clue! That is the worst, most helpless feeling ever! I have my sleeves rolled up, my fierce fighting  face on and here I sit....
I cancelled my entire life not knowing what to do next. 
I had a court case today at 2:00 but was in the doctor's office. Again. I was to fly to Tampa yesterday but was too worried to leave. My husband says he wants to buy me a new car. Am I excited by that? No.  We have a wedding to go to on Saturday. Do we go? Do we kick up our heels and dance and try to ignore this big black elephant that is sitting on top of us?
I see this dark black hole in our lives and it is called our FUTURE? Am I being dramatic? Probably.
Everything. I mean every little thing is riding on the outcome of these tests. 
Family, friends, the people that are a part of our lives want answers. How is he? What do the doctors say?
He's ..... I'll be damned if I know.

The lumps on his neck are growing. What was once 3 lumps is now 5 lumps. What was once the size of a lime is now the size of a larger lime. The bloody noses have all but stopped. He still coughs up small amounts of blood but it's not as scary as it used to be. His voice is getting worse and his difficulty swallowing is an issue that is getting more to be concerned about daily and what are we doing about it?
I want to cuss and poke someone right in the nose!
Ok, deep breath.
The weekend is coming and what will we do about it? Again, nothing. Get up each day and do what we have been doing.
Here is my husbands quote of the week.  
"Life's journey is not to arrive at your grave safely in a well preserved body but to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 
"Holy Shit!... What a Ride!"
I like his style and told him, "Let's fly to Pompeii. Let's spend the next 3 days in Australia. 
Let's go do something really crazy." 
Where is he right now? Back at work.  At his desk putting out fires and solving problems. 

I want to make a video. Yeah, one about how I do my hair. 
It seems so lame so I won't.