Friday, January 30, 2009

e-mail to my support group this morning

has it really been two years?

Good morning everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that our meeting yet again has served to both enrich my faith and empower my struggle. I thank all of you who were at last nights meeting or who have e-mailed; with smiles and hugs. You are, to me, the most amazing and strong 'face' to what is good about humanity. Each of you have become a better angel unto my heart. God, I love each and everyone of you.

Last night severed as both a Jan/Feb event, which of course started my mind to wonder. It was Feb. of 2007 that I first came to a meeting. I know, I have way to many doctors, a bunch of wonderful nurse and health care providers and a family that is first rate in every way. Yet, it is you wonderful people who apply a salve which no one else provides. It is all of you that I pray for each day on the radiation table. It is all of you who have shared this journey. It is all of you that have made me a better person.

One of the most gratifying feeling I have is meeting new people who have been brought to the group. I hope in some way that you get to have the wonderful experience that I have gotten from this collective of strength and warmth and love that is OUR support group.

I also wanted to say thank you to those who remembered my mother. I will be picking her up this afternoon and bring her back home. The time and insurance has ran its course. Some of you know that I take care of her and she is so much an inspiration for me to live yet each day.

There was a lot of talk around the table last night about what this group is about. What it provides. The nuts and bolts of why we meet once a month and why we participate beyond that according to our dictates. I have decided to share with the group my thoughts. As it is hard for me to talk to you I have decided to include something I wrote a while back. I have not shared this with you guys other than Mindy. I hope and pray it will help answer any questions as to why we are here.

remembering mike herman

Sunday, Dec 30, 2007

when i found out i had cancer i began looking around for a support group. mostly on-line and mostly either general cancer or breast cancer groups where all that were out there.

as i began radiation treatments, there was a flier on the wall at the cancer center that was talking about a head and neck support group. that was closer to what i felt i needed, so i made it a point to contact them and maybe start getting involved. i called the number to get additional information.

i got a recording which was very hard to understand. it was mike. what i could make out was something about his trip to hawaii, however, i was not sure. i left my name and number and over the next few days mike and i played phone tag. we finally got a hold of each other. i remember how upbeat and positive he was and how important he felt attending the next meeting would be for me. his voice was gone really and very hard to make out. i just remember the feeling that if it was important to him, it was important to me.

well, i did attend the next meeting of the support group. only to find out that mike had passed. i remember the tears and the sadness. i also remember introducing myself to the group and the love and support they showed me even at that sad time.

mike, i'm so sorry that i was just a little late in having you be a part of my life. however, you are a part of my life because of what you left behind, for the group, for me and for you. thank you and i just want you to know; i do so appreciate your efforts.

It is because of all of you that I refuse to be shackled by my disease. It is in fact, my higher calling.

Be strong because Cancer sucks.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a funny

Yesterday I was buying 2 large bags of Purina dog chow at Walmart, for my dogs Winston, Chief, Gus, and Maximus. I was about to check out when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
What did she think, that I had an elephant?
Since I had little else to do, on impulse I told her that no, I  didn't have a dog and that I was starting the Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't because I ended up in the hospital last time.  On the bright side though, I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of every hole in my body and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.  (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was enthralled with my story by now.) Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food had poisoned me.  I told her no, I had stopped in the middle of the parking lot to lick my butt and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was
laughing so hard!
WAL-MART won't let me shop there anymore.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

odds`n ends a time of catch up

these are some pictures that i just got around to downloading off my camera. sorry, as i was ill and indisposed for awhile. i will attempt to be better at taking and posting pictures.




congrats to heather for getting through high school.



william doing something to my tv



where i have to go sometimes, this is mayo clinic scottsdale where i get a lot of test done. the radiation area is underground and i call it the bat cave.



it’s a heather thing; she started me taking pictures of my shoes?? don’t ask, as i have no clue.



lame-o son #2, aaron.  i pick on him a lot but he is kind of special to me.



you have seen my ps3; this is my x-box 360



the cat with no name is still here and haunting my very existence.

The Cute and the Sinister: Huggable Primates

because you guys like pictures of cute little fuzz ball animals. here from one of my favorite web sites (Dark Roasted Blend), we have  The Cute and the Sinister: Huggable Primates.



this one reminds me of that thing in Captain EO that my daughter so loved.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

more words to live by.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out, leaking oil, and proclaiming, "WOW, WHAT A RIDE!!!'"(Bill McKenna)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bioethicists Save Organ Donation by Tweaking the Definition of Death

there are issues coming to my grandchildren that i can not even comprehend.  i sit here and think about what their world will be. the questions of what is life. what will my grandchildren have to deal with? i sometimes tell myself that i have to deal with issues that are difficult. i think each generation does. we all deal with some dilemma that out parents could never have conceived of.

this may surprise some of you, but i have had to make decisions about my cancer and how i want to continue. it is, for me, not just a simple yes, do what you can in order that i live. at some point;  i have to just accept. this is challenging. but are my decisions simple compared to what will be faced by those that come after me.

as mankind continues to continue, i wish them luck and i just hope and prey that they find their way in a world that will be beyond any i could ever imagine. i prey everyday that my grandchildren will live in a big, exciting and wonderful tomorrow; i fear that it will be dark and unsure of itself.

That the line between life and death could be so blurry is a uniquely modern phenomenon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

club 33 expensive? naw

i was just talking with a friend who has been there. they reminded me that it was expensive and i said yes, it may be; however, i have never been. one of those thing i can only hope to do some day. the bill below is not my friends.




Judge buys into “videogames made him do it” defense

i sometimes want to just thank God that i have been blessed with wonderful children who not only had/have a good head for what the gaming environment is. they can inhabit that environment with an individually that is both engaging, humorous and yes…helpful. now, i will admit that my youngest son tends to have a flair for the ‘dark side’, the truth is, he has to much on his real world plate to be consumed by the beasts which inhabit the underbelly of the gaming world.

i or we will never probably know the ‘truth’ of what happened in this family. i by no means judge. again, i pass these stories along as something to make you stop, give pause and be at least a little proactive about what goes on in your own living room or in your child's room. there is no substitute for YOU being in YOUR CHILD’S life.

sad story here

oh, thank you GOD, they all turned out just fine with your help.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

High Flight

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."



By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
(Killed In The Battle Of Britian, Age 19)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

more fun for doktor sleepless fans

thanks to Avatar Press see here


Cisplatin, my cocktail du jour

Original Article:

Cisplatin (Intravenous Route)

Drug Information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Names

  • Platinol-AQ


Cisplatin belongs to the group of medicines known as alkylating agents. It is used to treat cancer of the bladder, ovaries, and testicles. It may also be used to treat other kinds of cancer, as determined by your doctor.

Cisplatin interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by cisplatin, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur for months or years after the medicine is used.

Before you begin treatment with cisplatin, you and your doctor should talk about the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.

Cisplatin is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, cisplatin is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer of the outside layer of the adrenal gland
  • Cancer of the breast
  • Cancer of the cervix
  • Cancer of the endometrium
  • Cancer of the fallopian tube or lining of the abdomen (spreading from the ovary)
  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Cancer of the stomach
  • Cancer of the lung
  • Neuroblastoma (a certain type of cancer in nerve tissues that occurs in children)
  • Cancer of the prostate
  • Cancers of the head and neck
  • Cancer of the liver
  • Cancer of the thyroid
  • Cancer of the anus
  • Cancer of the vulva
  • Cancer of the bile duct
  • Cancer of the skin, including types that spread to other parts of the body
  • Cancer of unknown primary site
  • Cancer of the lymph system
  • Hepatoblastoma (a certain type of liver cancer that occurs in children)
  • Thymoma (a cancer of the thymus, which is a small organ that lies under the breastbone)
  • Tumors in the ovaries
  • Gestational trophoblastic tumors (tumors in the uterus or womb)
  • Wilms' tumor (a cancer of the kidneys occurring mainly in children)
  • Retinoblastoma (a cancer of the eye occurring mainly in children)
  • Cancer of the bones (in children)
  • Cancer of the muscles, connective tissues (tendons), vessels that carry blood or lymph, joints, and fat.
  • Autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)–associated Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of cancer of the skin and mucous membranes that is more common in patients with AIDS)

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder for Solution
  • Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Hearing problems and loss of balance are more likely to occur in children, who are usually more sensitive to the effects of cisplatin.


Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of cisplatin in the elderly with use in other age groups.


Pregnancy Category

All Trimesters
Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Chickenpox (including recent exposure) or
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)—Risk of severe disease affecting other parts of the body
  • Gout (history of) or
  • Kidney stones (history of)—Cisplatin may increase levels of uric acid in the body, which can cause gout or kidney stones
  • Hearing problems—May be worsened by cisplatin
  • Infection—Cisplatin decreases your body's ability to fight infection
  • Kidney disease—Effects of cisplatin may be increased because of slower removal from the body

Proper Use

This medicine is sometimes given together with certain other medicines. If you are using a combination of medicines, it is important that you receive each one at the proper time. If you are taking some of these medicines by mouth, ask your health care professional to help you plan a way to take them at the right times.

While you are receiving this medicine, your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids so that you will pass more urine. This will help prevent kidney problems and keep your kidneys working well.

This medicine usually causes nausea and vomiting that may be severe. However, it is very important that you continue to receive the medicine, even if you begin to feel ill. Ask your health care professional for ways to lessen these effects, especially if they are severe.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

While you are being treated with cisplatin, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Cisplatin may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.

Cisplatin can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:

  • If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising; black, tarry stools; blood in urine or stools; or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
  • Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
  • Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
  • Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.

If cisplatin accidentally seeps out of the vein into which it is injected, it may damage some tissues and cause scarring. Tell the doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Also, because of the way cancer medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Cough or hoarseness accompanied by fever or chills
  • Dizziness or faintness (during or shortly after a dose)
  • Fast heartbeat (during or shortly after a dose)
  • Fever or chills
  • Lower back or side pain accompanied by fever or chills
  • Painful or difficult urination accompanied by fever or chills
  • Pain or redness at place of injection
  • Pinpoint red spots on skin
  • Swelling of face (during or shortly after a dose)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Wheezing (during or shortly after a dose)

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Joint pain
  • Loss of balance
  • Ringing in ears
  • Swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Trouble in hearing
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Loss of taste
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
  • Trouble in walking
  • Agitation or confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Change in ability to see colors (especially blue or yellow)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sores in mouth and on lips

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Nausea and vomiting (severe)
Less common
  • Loss of appetite

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Decrease in urination
  • Fever or chills
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Loss of taste
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Pinpoint red spots on skin
  • Ringing in ears
  • Swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Trouble in hearing
  • Trouble in walking
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
Portions of this document last updated: Dec. 1, 2007

Copyright © 2009 Thomson Healthcare Inc. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.


Mayo Clinic

Monday, January 12, 2009

Detection of weather and cancer

i have had a long term love affair with the weather. i am a regular viewer of the weather channel and one of my heroes is jim cantore. add to that list Stu Ostro, Senior Meteorologist. here is a link to his blog entry today and i am just amazed at where i find inspiration and a pause to think about the human condition. i never expected this connection, but it makes considerable sense.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


A new series from Warren Ellis and Lea Hernandez.
Look for Poppy in Rumble Girls 5, 6, and 7.
Coming Soon From Image Comics.

For more, visit Lea Hernandez at:
and Warren Ellis at:

Friday, January 9, 2009

How to take a shower without drowning?

And I thought learning to live with a feeding tube was the height of my scientific career. What (?); with all the knowledge I now possess about gravity, I think I should be offered the 'Isaac Newton Chair' on gravitational theory at MIT.

Now comes along something called an 'laryngectomy', which is surgery to remove the voice box (larynx), usually because of cancer. This starts our new career as what is referred to as being a 'laryngectomee'. This is lesson one. Spelling the damn things must be lesson 287.

OK, so now I have cancer and I have no larynax! How bad can that be? No one ever listened to me anyway. Don't lie to me; I have 4 kids.

I want to share with you some of the more (to me) humorous moments of life as a laryngectomee, and after the fog of denial floats away along with memories of lying in the hospital bed with a hose in your nose. Sorry, I digressed. I have a habit of that I think.

Your new best friend in life is your speech therapist. She (in my case) is the one that answers questions like how do I blow my nose? Will I every be able to be in public and not feel like everyone is staring at me? How to remember to put the tissue over your stoma and not you mouth when you sneeze? What do you mean I have to stick that long thing in there and get the gook out in order to make sound? On and on and on. She is able to look at me with the disgusting problem of seepage and keep a straight face. She helps with all the 'toys' of the trade as it were. The how, when and where of not being able to be in public without embarrassing yourself. Never mind helping with speech. Mine is a god send. ~~Steve, put the tissue over your stoma please. ~~

A new occurrence in your life is the strange spots that appear on your shirt or jacket. You get use to changing your cloths a lot and keeping up with the wash.

Not that I eat out a lot, but I do have a love for KFC mash potatoes and gravy. What, no drive through? I have to go in and hand them a piece of paper with my order? Yeah, sometimes you just can't get the 'voice” working. This leads to meeting three (3) types of people. All of which are very nice and helpful. The first is the one that knows that you can not speak normally and excepts that fact and reacts back to you with a normality in their interaction with you and speak to you as with anyone else. The second type is most appreciated. They realize what is what and ask the question. 'Can you hear?' The third type is a hoot. What I call the pro-wrestling fan. They take the note paper I gave them and write back. I get a kick out of this. Sometimes, all three types can raise the level of their voice for some odd reason.

Some other issues which cross your mind, even as you develop and use your voice. Most people have difficultly understanding what you are attempting to say. This gives one pause at the aspect of having to make any sort off 911 call. Daunting!

You find out that stoma guards come in different colors. I'm big on matching my wardrobe. Scarves are our friend.

Did you know that the prosthesis come in different models and that a cleaner for brand A doesn't work in brand B?

My cat is scared by that strange noise which I can make when I cough or sneeze.

I miss being able to have my mother understand me when I tell her that I love her. My grand kids seem to understand when I talk to them with no problems.

I just felt an urge to express this to you guys as I miss you and want to let you know that I am still out here kicking and living and loving my family and friends. I hope you don't mind.

Life as a laryngectomee can be stressful in the shower. One must always ware the shower guard, face away from the shower head and always ring the water out of the rag before washing your face and neck. I can drown.

I leave you with these words which are not mine:

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass.......its all about learning to dance in the rain

Be strong because cancer sucks!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the internet’s undersea world

just something to make you scratch your head and say hummm that’s interesting

The Year in Violence: 2008

some of you may have strong feelings about violence in any form. for some reason, violence in ‘games’, has been a real lighting rod for a lot of parents.

i know that it is a daunting dilemma for some of you that want to get a gaming system for the family but may be unsure as to which system or even may be unaware of the content of some games. even ones which appear on the surface to be cute, innocent and safe for most or all family members.

i wanted to pass this along as information and to give you something to think about if you need a hand in deciding on which/what/how/why video gaming is a real daunting endeavor for parents who care.


this is no means my opinion. i agree with some and not with other aspects of this article by Michael Thomsen. i do find it very thoughtful and balanced to the subject at hand.  i leave it to you to decide what is best for your household gaming requirements. i have several of the games mentioned and as an ‘empty nested’ adult i have no issue with the games in my possession. you may…so buyer (or parent of a player beware).

See why 2008 was one of the most impressively violent years in the history of gaming.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

even in japanese, watchman looks amazing

as anyone who knows me, one of my goals in life is to live long enough to see the watchman. i have not put a lot of these on the hovel as most anyone who is interested has more than likely seen every bit of footage that has been released so far. however, yet another reason i would like to live in japan;  and it does contain footage i have not seen to this point. lawsuit aside, damn i hope i make it to the opening of this. if your a fan….enjoy

Monday, January 5, 2009

for those of you in ‘heavenside’




Photo for - created by prophesise<dot>tumblr<dot>com/post/66057905 - seen in secret DOKTOR SLEEPLESS community.

an once more into the breech

as i have stated before, i really do try and keep the faith with my fellow friends in disease. it is hard but i do try.

the calendar has turned pass the holidays and now the reality will slap me in the face yet again. the mask has been made and the baseline will be taken this afternoon. that will be an hour of x-rays that has to be endured on the table. i have filled my prescriptions for the times ahead. 

every afternoon i will be at the center getting my neck zapped into oblivion, yet again. once a week blood draws and chemo chair begin as well.

i do hate this so much and i will be honest; it hurts. feedings through a tube to just stay alive and feel like crap. i suppose in the end, it will be worth the effort (?) i hope so.

i will attempt to post as often as i can to share what life's cards i have been handed. i make no promise, but i will try as best as i can. i will also continue with things i find amusing or interesting.

i enjoy hearing from all of you so please continue to e-mail or drop a comment. i also need your prayers.

i will endure by god’s grace in this and the helping hands of you all.

be strong, because cancer sucks.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

hamster on a piano

ok, it is official…i spend way to much time on the internet. all you animal lovers get ready to say ahhhhhh! me, i need to go lie down and have dreams. this is way to scary to me.

sunday morning and my trip through shyftr

just a few of the interesting things i ran into this morning while drinking coffee and browsing on shyftr.


this is a sure sign of the importance of gaming

Who - or what - decides the length of a science fiction novel?

larry mcreynolds on the importance of the daytona 500

team alpha at it again, this time they have a few new Home glitch videos…for you ps3 owners

postsecret is off and running in the new year

Saturday, January 3, 2009