Friday, March 28, 2014

All Aboard!!!!!!!!

A good friend of mine battled cancer for years, and is thankfully cancer free now.   He compared his treatments to a roller coaster ride, and it is the perfect analogy.  And this "ride", like the Shock Wave at Six Flags, is a roller coaster I've been on before and know well. 

Starting back on Sylatron tonight is a known entity.   I know it well, and know what to expect......that is the good thing.   If I was starting a new drug like Yervoy, there would be the unknown side effects and timing of said side effects to deal with.......but my long lost friend Sylatron, we know each other well.  I know how I'll feel around midnight tonight.   I know how I'll feel in the morning and how I'll feel standing on a soccer field tomorrow afternoon.    Side bar:   Why can I yell (encourage) my girls to spread out or run faster, and they ignore me, but if I ask in a whisper "who would like ice cream?" they all scream and run to me??   But I digress.......    I know how I'll feel Sat night, Sunday, and Monday.   THAT in my mind is a good thing.   I'm a planner, I like things organized and on time, and Sylatron NEVER fails.   And having a week on, week off schedule is hopefully a good thing also.   I know going in the roller coaster is pulling in tonight, and will be back in two weeks.  The up and down and loops in between is predicatable, and known........and that is a good thing too.  

All aboard!!!!!!!!

Side bar II:

Don Juan is still an idiot.
Nikki should be an Abercrombie model.
Yes I had to look up how to spell "Abercrombie"
The BBQ judges in FW apparently had radiation and can't taste too.
Full Draw BBQ is back to catering......get your orders in NOW.
Cozi is a great family calendar.
How many years does a hot water heater REALLY last?
How could anybody possibly know that?
My birthday dinner at LUCK was great with great friends.
We may not be allowed back in LUCK for a year.
Just like our year long ban from Victory Tavern.......I see a theme here.
Jimmy Fallon over laughs at his guests.
And I miss Circle 6 Farms.


#Sylatron    #Whydopeopleaddthesethingstoeverything  #C6Farms   #Fulldrawbbq   #I'mrunningoutofideasforthese#tagthingies  #Godbless  #IsitoktosayGodblessinahashtag?
#SixFlags   #ShockWave  #LUCK  #Sylatron  #Campbell  #Avery  #Barkley  #Bella  #D  #RedStonePeeps  #HotWaterHeaters  #Thanksfortheprayers!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mount Everest Ear

I finally figured out the perfect way to describe my ear a couple weeks ago.......Mount Everest Ear.   Don't even try, I've already copyrighted it, trademark and have the rights to    Do you remember seeing the guys come off Mt. Everest, and they had a couple people on their team die on the mountain, and they made it down but lost 4 fingers, 5 toes and an ear?   Well, that black charred, frost bitten ear is Mt. Everest Ear.   So, mine wasn't quite that bad, and it looks pretty good today as 3 layers of skin have peeled off and is looking better every day.   My neck looks 100 times better and feels better every day.   And my taste is SLOWLY coming back.......which is a good thing.    I do have a PET/CT scan today at 11:30 am.   I'm not worried about it because the last one was in December and only showed the small reoccurance in my neck that was removed.   I'll start back on Sylatron in the next few weeks, probably the week after spring break and a big BBQ competition we have in Ft. Worth.   And I'll be on a week on/week off protocal, and on a short leash as far as side effects and if they have a negative impact on quality of life.   But, back to more important things.........I see "Mt. Everest Ear" blowing up.  Kids everywhere wearing a plastic ear for Halloween.  Licensing deals so Ohio State can put a little OSU logo on the ear (they will buy anything because they are usually intoxicated).  Aggies could buy one to put on Reville with a little upside down Longhorn.   The possibilities are limitless!!!!!!!!!!!   Shark Tank here I come!!!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Radiation Day!!!!

20 up, 20 down.   My last day of radiation was Monday.  Very kind and sweet people at UTSW that I'll miss.   From Jerry the valet kid that just got engaged and has his bible open on his stand every morning.   To the girls in back that asked about soccer every Monday morning and the entire staff there that couldn't have been kinder or more professional.  If you have to get strapped to a Mega Radiator 2000, I would highly rec UTSW for all your "radiator" needs.   Even if you feel like you are "teetering on the verge of insanity", they will get you through the treatment.   (you're welcome Bart)

The side of my face and neck are still really burned.   Especially my ear and behind my bad in fact that behind my ear started bleeding this morning.   Poor K in my office......she is a mom of 3, so I immediately call her in the kitchen to look at my ear, assuming correctly, that a mom could check it out and offer swift medical advice, which she did.   "Don't touch it and switch ears when answering the phone."   Good advice......thanks K!!!!!!   My throat feels better but my taste is completely jacked up.......everything tastes like paste or cardboard with a hint of metallic. 

So I head home after work on Monday to two very excited little girls that had made posters.    (is "that had made" correct, not sure......Mrs Ward or Becky, can you chime in here?)   Here are the posters:


The first one is from Campbell......."Let's have a party"  "Radiation's Over"  "No More" with the 'buster' thingy through it is my favorite.   And the second one is Avery's.........."Happy Radiation Day" and "Peace Love Joy" are the highlights.   Both of them came down to UTSW early on and got to see the machine and me getting strapped down, so they both attempted to draw a picture of the stick figure with the mesh is ME!!!
Very sweet girls and I'm very blessed.

Dasha and I met with Dr. F yesterday, and we set a plan for treatment going forward.   In March I'll start back on Sylatron, but will try and do every other week to reduce side effects.   If they get bad again and start to affect quality of life, I'll stop all together.   (again, is it affect or effect and when??......M.A.W. help me out here)   We are keeping Yervoy as the drug to use if there is a reoccurance, and some other bad mamma jamma that puts you in the hospital for 10 days.  Over all very happy with Dr. F and the plan going forward.
So on to bigger and better things.    My boy Nicholas won Top Chef.    If I ever need an assistant for Full Draw BBQ you'll be in the running Nick!   And if Brad screws up the turn in times again, I just may be!!!!!!!!
Don Juan has his pick of 30 chicks on The Bachelor.   So I have a party trick........I can pick the finalists getting out of the limos......but only on Bachelors, not Bachelorettes.  Nobody cares about 30 dudes, they just hang out like a fraternity and have a great time.   Now the chicks on the other hand, they fight like rabid dogs........which makes it watchable.   So, back to the limos......the last 3 Bachelors I've been able to pick 3 of the 4 finalists, 4 of 4, and 3 of 4 as they got OUT of the limo.   It just shows, guys don't care if you have a kid, are psycho, talk like a duck or have wooden leg.......if you are smoking hot, you will have a shot at winning his heart!!!!!!!!!
I don't have a Big Momma or Lincee with I Hate Green Beans following, but I'm working on it!!!!    Hmmmmmmmmm..........Big Daddy or "I Hate Sweet Potatoes" has a nice ring to it!
Thank you to everyone for your emails, texts, calls and most importantly prayers.   I feel covered in prayer constantly, and am humbled and blessed daily.
(now as I hit "post" I also call Mindy to tell her there is a new post, my twin likes to be the first to read's a twin thing)


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Hate Bluebonnets

Don't get me wrong, there was a time when I loved the sight of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet.   On a deer lease in Valley Mills I was on several years ago there was a field that was covered in bluebonnets, as far as you could see.....and there was nothing prettier than turning the corner to the blue blanket of spring.   But now, that pesky blue weed is going to haunt see the kind folks at UTSW decided that I should get to see something "soothing" on the ceiling when I'm bolted to the table and the Mega Radiator 2000 spins around me.  So in the ceiling above the table, is a backlit picture, that looks like the one above.   So that is what I get to stare at, well kinda.  Imagine looking at the picture through a tiny peephole in the Hannibal mask......that is my view of the mighty bluebonnet.  Now you see why they are quickly becoming my nemesis.

So 16 down, 4 to go, because of the MLK holiday, I limp into my last treatment next Monday.  (thanks a lot Bin Laden)  I'm tired but that is nothing that can't be managed.   My taste is changing quickly, and not for the better.........not that I can think of any ways that your taste could change for the better other than everything tastes like Kent Rathburn prepared it.....but I digress.   Everything tastes "metallic".   Even water tastes odd, like I have a ball of tin foil in my mouth with the water.   And food just tastes odd, or muted with an odd after taste.   I'm really hoping that goes away at some point.   My throat is raw and swollen, but hasn't gotten any worse in the last week, so that is good news.   The side of my face and neck looks like a have a sunburn, and feels like it too, but nothing that can't be managed with a gallon of aloe vera lotion daily.  The hair on the right side of my face and neck has stopped growing all together, so the GREAT looking grey hunting beard that I have every fall will be a thing of the past.  Zoom in on the caribou picture and tell me that is not a great looking hunting beard!   And the hair on the back of my head on the right side is falling out by the I have that going for me!!!  And my right ear feels like it's swollen shut......but who needs two ears anyway.    I did mention the more annoying of the side effects to Dr. C last week, and her answer to everything is "that is expected, would you like some pain meds for that?"   If anyone would like hydrocodone, I'm a seller.   Philip Seymour Hoffman was a potential client, but I guess he switched to smack..........too soon?????????   (idiot.........but let's have a big tribute to him next year at the Oscars, by then he won't be the only one)

I'm cheering for Nicholas to beat Nina in Top Chef tomorrow night, even though I think Nina will win.       Actually we are ALL winners because they show Padma in a bikini in the previews.   Full Draw BBQ is registered to compete in Ft. Worth in March and Arlington Supercross is less than two weeks away.   Life is good.

4 to go!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hold still.......

7 down, 13 to go.   Not that I'm counting or anything. 

The first week of treatment was fairly anti-dramatic.  Getting in and out of UTSW is easy, and the staff there is great.  I walk in, take my shirt off, and lie down on the table to get clamped down with the Hannibal mask.   So from the time I walk through the doors to the start of treatment is literally 3 minutes tops.  A few adjustments on the table, pulling or moving me slightly, and checking the green lasers that come from the corners of the room to make sure I'm in the exact position needed, and the tech says "Ok, here we go.........hold still!!!!!!"

Hold still, really?   Do you think that I can move, or slide any direction?  I can't move my lips or my eye there a real fear that I'm going to move 5 inches down the table?   With that said, this is me, bolted to the table, getting ready for the Mega Radiator 2000 (which Mindy mistakenly called the Mega Radiator 1000 this I would use that old 1000 technology!!!!!)

A guy in the office that saw this picture on my cell phone said "dude, you need sun!!"   To which someone said "did you just tell a guy with melanoma he needs sun????"  Well played.
So the first week is over, and other than a swollen jaw and some discomfort there, and a slightly sore throat, no big deal other than starting to feel overall fatigued.  
7 down, 13 to go......did I mention that?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Good luck in the "Tunle"!!!

I have great pure accident, luck and mostly because of my wife...but they are great Christian kids.   CC, AMP and I have a little thing we do.   I write in a journal, leave it on their nightstand, and they write back and leave it on my nightstand.  (I can't take credit for this.......another D invention)   But the "letters" that we write each other are great, and their insight and humor is classic.   Much like the post it note that was left on my mirror, and the journal entry that AMP left for me last night.   Side note:   The girls don't know much.   They know Daddy had surgery, and he's had them before and always seems to be ok, and that he sometimes feels crummy, but again, always seems to be ok.  But they started to ask more questions over the weekend after multiple people have reached out to us and mentioned treatments starting today.  So D explained, best you can, to a 9 and 7 yr old the process of radiation.   A wrote me this note:

AMP is in first grade, so she can write a full letter, but almost all phonetically.   If you need translation:   "I hope it doesn't hurt when you get in the tunnel."

And I had this on my mirror:


Yes, I feel loved and covered in prayer today, through friends and family, and my wonderful girls.   Yes, a little nervous just because of the unknown.   I'm such an "expert" at Interferon and pegated Sylatron......switching to a new treatment brings the unknow.   But notes like those above are priceless!!!!!


Friday, January 10, 2014

And now the plan has times!

This morning I got to UTSW at 9:55 (I'm VERY timely) and didn't get to go back until 10:40 (they apparently are NOT).  Not that big of a deal, but if this is a preview to how "on time" they run, it's not a good sign.   I went in the radiation room and the Mega Radiator 2000 is pretty cool.   Some very high tech stuff going on from the hallway, where they have 10+ monitors, and screens to see you in the room, and the room and machine itself are pretty cool.    On the table they bolted me down with the Hannibal mask, and moved me all around to get me set, then the table "shakes" a bit, as it's moving in fractions of a millimeter to get me in the same position every time.   They took some scans and xrays and I was done in about 10 minutes.    It should take 15 minutes each time, with an extra 10 minutes once a week for additional scans with the treatment.   I did laugh once when I tried to open my eyes a bit, and my eye could see out a very small hole in the mask, and I saw bluebonnets on the ceiling.   Not just a painting, but when the machine turns on, a backlit mural peaceful and calming, I almost forgot I couldn't breathe!!!   (side it "breathe" or "breath".....either way, you know I couldn't suck in any air.   And if you ever want comedy, have Avery do her fake British accent for you......classic)

I also got the schedule with times for the next 4 weeks.    They warned me the first week sucks, as I'm low on the list, and they were right.  

Monday 5:20 pm  (traffic will be fun)
Tues 8:00 am
Wed 10:30 am
Thurs 5:20 pm
Fri  5:50 pm

So Monday, Thurs and Fri will suck, but oh well.   Every day after that I'm the first appointment available for head and neck at 7:30 am, which is a good time.

I'm ready to get this show on the road!!!!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Have a Plan!!!!!

If you know me, you know that I like it when there is a plan in place........and we have a plan.   We have decided to go with UTSW Radiology and started the process last week.   As I mentioned in the last post, I had a dentist appointment last week.   They took a bunch of xrays and said everything looked pretty good but he wanted me to start getting checked by him every 3 months.   Seems the Mega Radiator 2000 can be hard on teeth........mainly the roots of a tooth, and apparently in dental school they learned that teeth need roots...who knew!?   If at any point I start having issues with the lower jaw on the right side, I'm thinking "Pull them all!!!!!!!!"   I've seen those infomercials on at 2:00 am, I can get a perfect set of choppers for $200!!!!!   Yes, I have to travel to West Virginia for the new teeth, but I think it will be worth it!

Plan for the teeth in place, on to the Hannibal mask.     They want to fit the mask, and do a CT scan right after.   So the mask thingy is pretty interesting.   It starts as a hard plastic sheet, in the basic shape of your shoulders and looks like one of the silhouettes that you shoot at the pistol range.   They put it in very hot water, and wait for it to soften a bit, then holding my head in the exact position they want, push it over my face/head and bolt it into the table.   Then the techs push it tight against my face and neck, and start blowing cold air on it from a hose, to help it harden faster.   After a couple minutes it's back to solid plastic, and I ain't not a millimeter.   Slide me in the CT scan and I'm done in 10 minutes.   The techs pull me out and put some tape and write with a Sharpie on the form some numbers and measurements.    Pop the form off and I can breathe again......good times.

This Friday at 10:00 am I have a "practice run" through the entire process.  They want to make sure you can get back in the form, and the Mega Radiatior 2000 goes through it's calculated movements, just without the radiation.    Just making sure it goes and points at the correct areas.    Then Monday I start the actual process.   Not sure on the time yet.......I would love to have the 7:00 am every day, but that is a "very popular time Mr. Peters".    Old people......they like to get up early, get zapped, have the LuAnn platter at 4:15, and bed after the 5:30 nightly news with Brian Williams.  

But we have a plan, have dates set.......5 times a week for 4 weeks starting Monday.......Giddy Up!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Radiation Appointment #2

There are times when I'm amazed at great customer service, not because I don't expect or hope for it, but because it seems to be rare these days.   This morning I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. C walked in and said "Dr. F and I have met a couple of times to talk about you and your case, I know your history of treatments, surgeries and current choices for first of all, how was your bow hunting last fall, Dr. F tells me you love to bow hunt."    Dasha and I were thrilled with her level of explanation of the radiation process, and why she thought the 5 bigger doses of treatment was NOT the way to go (although she said it would work fine also) but instead to do 4 weeks of lower dosage 5 days a week.   The main reason for the change in protocal is the tissue around the area that is being radiated isn't effected negatively as much with the lower dosage.......or so is the hope.   Another interesting thing is they want me to see my dentist today........because the lower jaw on my right side will have some nerve and blood flow damage, so any dental work that may need to be done should be done now, and they want to have my dentist set a schedule for cleanings more often, ect....   I tell Dr. C that I've been trying to get in to see my dentist for 2+ weeks (after Radiation appt #1 told me the same thing)......her assistant asks who my dentist is, steps in the hall, comes back in 5 minutes and says "you have a 9:00 am appointment in the morning, I talked to your dentist, and we are all on the same page."   Back to that customer service........I'm impressed.   I also have a 1:30 appointment back at UTSW Radiology tomorrow to have a CT scan to map out where vocal cords are, salivary glands, ect.....   And I'm hoping they also fit me for the super cool Hannibal Lecter mask that I wear during treatments.    It takes a week or so after the CT scan and Hannibal mask fitting before I start radiation.   After all of the calculations are run through the computers and set up on the Mega Radiator 2000 (my name for it) and then I'll get scheduled for my first Gamma Ray blast (again, my nickname for it) sometime soon.

If at any time I sounded like I know what I'm talking about in the above post, it's pure luck......hence my trust in Dr. F and Dr. C.   Only lawyers are able to talk about medical procedures and sound like they know what they are talking about, going back to my LONG time belief that "All lawyers want to be doctors".   And when my family of lawyers start talking "law" stuff around the Thanksgiving table, I occassionally say "Tort reform, good or no?" just to see them salivate at the thought that I'm encouraging "law" talk!!!!

Peace out!