Thursday, December 22, 2016

Aardvark Races!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After getting home to a big "Welcome Home Daddy" sign Saturday evening and seeing the Jackson's off to Lubbock Sunday morning I was exhausted by the time we got home from church.    Hanging out on the couch most of the day, taking it easy was the plan.   Unfortunately, I had taken the horse steroids for 4 days, then stopped while waiting for my script to be filled for 24 hours.   NOW I know that aardvarks don't like that inconsistently, and most of my Sunday looked like this (imagine aardvarks running):

I had already cancelled my flights to Houston for Monday, because there wasn't a chance I was going to go through with the 4th double treatment.   By Sunday night I was miserable, and Dasha begged me to book flights to keep my appts at MD Anderson Monday morning.   A late night call to Mindy to let her know, and 3X the cost to re-book the flights I had just cancelled 6 hours earlier, and I was watching a Supercross 2017 Preview show at midnight.  

Made it to HOU easily, did blood work and waited to see Dr. Patel.    Here is the recap.........

  • I'm done with the double treatments.   The nivo/ipi did it's job and jump started the Tcells.
  • I might NOT do the nivo 2 year regiment, depending on what Dr. Ross says
  • Dr. Patel is thrilled with the reduction in tumor sizes
  • Next step was to email Dr. Ross's team (surgeon) and get back down for scans in Jan
  • Then Dr. Ross will decide if he wants to do surgery or wait and watch
From the beginning I've placed my trust in the amazing teams at MD Anderson, and will lean on Dr. Ross's expertise on when to do surgery.   Dr. Patel said my stomach issues Sunday were 100% from stopping such a heavy dose of steroids cold turkey for 24 hours.   So she put me on a stair stepping down script for the next 3 1/2 weeks.   My arms look like I'm a bad heroine addict.   Completely bruised up with track marks from so many needles last's a good look!

I have something next week that I've never had in "work life"......time off!   Splunk's office is closed from Dec 23rd through Jan 2nd!   I'll still be "working", but    (sorry Damon.....high 4?)

Merry Christmas everyone.........thank you again for thoughts, prayers, meals, and more love and support than I can wrap my head around.    I'll update as soon as I have a plan with Dr. Ross and his team.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Escape From Plano Presby......Snake Plissken style

Image result for snake plissken

Escape From it didn't win every award in 1981 is beyond me, great movie.   Snake Plissken, played by Kurt Russell is offered complete immunity if he can get the President out of Manhattan, where his plane was hijacked and crashed.   Oh, and Manhattan was made into a maximum security prison, walled, and abandoned to be run by the inmates and falls into anarchy.   VERY much like the scene at Plano Presby last week!!!!!!!!

One of these scenarios is be the judge. 

Scenario 1:   I've had enough of hospitals beds, and am ready to get out.   I call my dear friend Dick Cheney and have a copter come in the cover of darkness and hover above the CareFlight landing pad right outside my 4th floor window.   I barricade the door, to keep from having my blood pressure checked during the escape, and tie thread count 20 bed sheets together into a rope.   Scale down the side of the building to the waiting rope ladder of the helicopter.   Climb up and shake Mr. Cheney's hand as he says "let me get you home Snake.........."

Scenario 2:  Mon/Tue/Wed and Thurs morning SUCKED.  I'm not saying I was in bad shape, but Tuesday night I played poker with Mickey Mantle, Bob Hope, and Arnold Palmer.......and they invited me to dinner the next night.   Long story I'll get into later, but after getting on the steroids that have only been tested on horses, I'm feel 100% better by Thurs evening.  Liver #s are slowly coming back to what they should be.  Saturday I have blood taken at 6:00 am, and I'm waiting for a # below 160 to go home.   Comes back at 203ish.   Several "hospitalists" come in and I can EASILY talk them into sending me home, then the GI comes and says "I'll make you a deal".....and I like deals!!    "Let's draw blood again (it's now about 4:00 pm), and if it's come down, you are trending in the right direction, I'll let you go home, if it's higher or the same, you can get comfortable again because you aren't going anywhere.   90 minutes later the numbers came back lower, and I'm being unhooked from IVs and heading out into 20 degrees with a 30 mph wind from the north.   Hey, I was TOLD it was 70 earlier today????!!?!?!    A big "Welcome Home Daddy" sign was waiting for me when I walked in the door, what a great feeling.

A bunch of people helped Dasha last week and "thanks" doesn't begin to say how much it meant to us.   I'm not even going to try and mention everyone here, but just know that I'm humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.    Thank you very very much.

I was home Sunday, had a rough day, and headed to MD Anderson for a face to face with Dr. Patel and her team Monday.   I'll update that important meeting and the plan going forward in the next day.
Favorite Snake Plissken quotes:

Bob Hauk:  You going to kill me, Snake?
Snake Plissken:   Not now, I'm too tired.
Snake Plissken:   Maybe later.

Bob Hauk:   I'm not a fool, Plissken.
Snake:     Call me "Snake".

10 min later....
Bob Hauk:   We make one hell of a team, Snake!
Snake:    The name's Plissken!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Plano Presby Beds Suck!!!!

I'm at the office on Monday, and I haven't been feeling great for the last week.   I have a really bad aardvark (see previous blogs if you just joining us) then another.   I call the boss (Mindy) and ask her if an aardvark is supposed to be red.   We google, and only see an aardvark that was cruelly dyed red as a prank.   Pool little guy.   Mindy says that is one of the 2 things that you drive straight to the ER for.   I call Dasha and hop in the car and drive to Plano Presby.  Get here about 3:15 and check in, and waited 90 minutes to be called back.   The ER doc was super nice, but even me writing on a post it note the correct spelling of nivo and ipi had him confused as the next steps.   They did a scan of my stomach and the liver and colon we very inflamed.   They checked me in and moved me upstairs to a room, started an IV and fluids.   Tuesday they got aggressive with anti-biotics and started running more tests.    My liver numbers were way off so they started to use that as the barometer for when I could leave.   Dr. Choi here at PB called Dr. Patel at MD Anderson, and Dr. Patel relayed the seriousness of the situation.........."He's not going anywhere for multiple days, maybe Sunday at the earliest."   UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I've been here since Monday, I didn't eat anything other than 2 crackers, 2 bites of chocolate pudding, and a sip of broth since Sunday evening.   They have run a ton of tests and I'm constantly getting pricked for blood sugar test or blood drawn or moving an IV.   My left arm looks like a pin cushion.........good times.   And the beds......let's just say it's not the Ritz.   They are about 5 inches thick, and trying to sleep is a distant thought being tied to an IV, and with nurses coming in every hour to do something.

Today I've had two "meals" of spaghetti with butter and tomato soup and feel 100% better.   The girls came to see me yesterday and I had to lie down most of the time they were here, so Dasha brought them back up today to see me doing so much better.   I would LOVE to get out of here tomorrow, but I just talked to one of the AMAZING nurses and they said 'probably won't consider it until Sat at the earliest'.    I've heard it's cold out, but from my view out the window it just 'looks cold'.   I did see CareFlight land right outside my window, so that was cool!   (small taking a lap around the 4th floor and calling that a walking victory......yeah Mike!)  I did have an AMAZING "nurse" step to help this afternoon..........

Thank you to Dasha, my Mom and Dad, Gary and Sue, the Jacksons and everyone that has been helping Dasha with the girls.   Neighbors this week have carpooled the girls to school, volleyball and Girl Scouts.   They picked up Dasha's X-mas list for the girls and went shopping.   They bought hundreds of dollars of groceries at Costco and dropped it all off on the kitchen counter.   Kelly Head, Anissa McCurdy, Wendi  Berge, Allison Noon, Chris Calandro and Leslie you!!!!!   To Luann Glatch, Wendi, Sherre Barton and Allison who carpooled the girls all over Friscco and McKinney.     Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also I've been simply overwhelmed with the amount of visitors.   Sorry I've been a barrel of laughs as I've been sleeping for your entire visit!   Also, Mindy the Wonder Twin made a surprise visit today as she walked through the door today.   Flying up this morning from Houston to surprise me, then catching the 10 pm flight out of Love back to H-Town.

I'm more blessed than I can tell you or put into words.   Thank you everyone.   I'll update tomorrow or Saturday if I get more details on going home.

Mike and Dasha

PS   I was really saddened today to hear of the passing of Craig Sager.   A champion and a fighter until the very end was also being treated at MD Anderson and graciously lent his voice and fame to the front page of the MD website to help spread the word and raise funds.   RIP Mr. Sager.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Don't make me call Mindy"

Quick post to let everyone know that I'm not going to MD Anderson tomorrow (12/7) for treatment.   Side effects have been acting up in the last week or so, and I've been acting like they are no big deal.   But they have been getting worse, and bordering on what Dr. Patel would say is 'worrisome'.   Dasha said "Don't make me call Mindy".   That is the ultimate threat!!!!!!!   It's like President Trump getting ready to hang up the phone with North Korea, and saying "where is that nuclear football??" just loud enough so Kim Jong-bad haircut can hear him.  So I emailed Dr. Patel and her nurse, and they said to wait at least a week.   I'm in Washington DC next week for 2 days on business, so this is a probably a good thing and a blessing.   I gave the nurse the week of the 19th go get me back down to Houston, and I'll update when I have the appointments lined out.

Speaking of blessings..........I've tried to think of a way to express my gratitude for the Go Fund Me page, and after going through 10+ ideas, I decided to honestly tell a story......

So, I've had a stack of bills in my backpack for a while.  (yes I'm too old for a backpack, but I work with 20-30 somethings, and they give everyone a Splunk backpack when we start)   Some are from the surgery in November of 2015, some from MD Anderson, some from random treatment stuff.   As anyone who has had a bunch of surgeries or treatments knows, you get all kinds of bills long after the surgery.   (example......a company in Oklahoma that makes the surgical socks that compress and release on your feet during surgery)   So that stack had grown to a solid inch and a half plus if I set it on my desk.   I took that entire stack out and wrote checks to each and every one of them.   I can't express the lingering stress that stuff like that creates, and the GFM allowed me to pull them out, and be 100% done with them.   What a blessing......thank you.

Mike and Dasha