Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Round 6........ Yeehah

Nick here....

Today is the 2nd day in the hospital for my 6th round of chemotherapy and it has been going good so far. I have been trying to eat as well as I can to prepare for the week after I am out of the hospital where it is hard for me to eat and drink. Last round I lost about 6 pounds in that week but gained back 4 in my good week. I think I am still gaining some now but it is hard to tell since I am on a ton of iv's which make me put on a ton of water weight that I lose as soon as I go home. But my doctor did reduce my chemo this round by 15% so that I hopefully wont lose as much weight and so that I will hopefully recover in time to be able to join my family in our trip to Dana Point, California. I love the beach so I am going to try my hardest to eat and take my meds so that I will be feeling good while I am there.
Just today when my nurse was listening to my heart and lungs (they do it all the time), she said she noticed a little murmor in the beating of my heart. The doctors came in and did the same thing and said it was very subtle and seemed to only slow down a little when I would breathe out. I believe it does this because of my new chemo which my chemo doctor said is harder on the heart than the one it replaced. So now I have all these wires hooked up to my chest and stomach that are held in place by these little sticky pads. I hate it because I have enough wires going into my body as it is. I look like Frankenstein now! The nurse said I should only have the heart monitor thing for a day or two. I personally don't even think it is necessary.
(Mom here for a second... Nick will have a PET scan done on the 29th and another MRI on the 30th. Both scans will be forwarded to Dr. Sharma, the surgeon, to determine whether he will go in and do a biopsy where Nick's tumor was to see if there are any cancer cells still active or if it is just dead tissue. Dr. Chen is going out of town on the 30th so Dr. Sharma will decide to either do a biopsy now or begin round 7 the week of Sept 3rd and not do a biopsy until round 8 is complete. We're a little up in the air for now. I have an appt scheduled with Nick's radiologist to help us read the results of the two scans on Sept 5th.)
The highlights of my good week that I just had are seeing Rush Hour 3, which was pretty good and made me laugh a lot. Also, my Dad took me out to the Larry H. Miller Raceway in Toole where we raced go-carts on an enourmous track outside. These weren't your ordinary go-carts either, for they went close to 40 mph. and could handle really tight corners at high speeds. My Dad and I had the track to ourselves. It should have been a close race between my Dad and I but he doesn't know how to follow instructions and took a wrong turn and had to turn around for it was a dead end. He eventually did catch back up but he couldn't pass me and wouldn't have been able to either. So technically...... I WON!


Chris Ulvin said...

Hi Nick
I just have to add to your story of car racing with your dad - it reminded me of when Stuart was young - six years old - and he and his dad decided to try snowboarding - half way through the first day Stuart said "Dad, do you know why I like snowboarding more than skiing? Because I'm much better at it than you are! Obviously you're better at driving than your dad and you're most certainly a WINNER. Keep your eye on the finish line - there is going to be a lot of people cheering for you in the Winner's Circle. Love, aunt Chris

akparamedic said...

Hi Nick, I've wanted to send you a note since Day 1 but have procrastinated for far too long.

You may not remember us but Kristi and I stayed a night in your home in 2005 following the Raitt/Jasa family reunion. Your uncles took us to the airport the next day when we returned to Alaska. Both Carley and yourself impressed us as wonderful young people (I'm never wrong about these things)and the time we were able to spend with all of your family meant a great deal to me.

One of the things I wished to tell you during your first week was what a fantastic idea your blog is. I am certain it is and will be beneficial to far more people than you realize. I hope you preserve and keep it long after you have recovered.

We recently met in Anchorage an oncologist who has taken hiatus from her practice to work on a National Geographic project here, involving polar bears and global warming. She confirmed what I haven't seen publicly discussed but seems quite apparent; there has been an explosion in the number of young people being diagnosed with cancer. This past spring I was externally involved in a large cancer fundraising event here in Anchorage. I'm embarrassed to say that before then
I hadn't really collectively considered the tremendous number of people I know who have had to battle this disease. The good news is that it also made me look back and realize that the advances in treatment have been enormous. Some people believe their small donations don't make a difference but this simply isn't true.

Our daughter, Kati, has just returned from Seattle where she spent a week visiting a young friend who has also been fighting cancer. She turned 18 while there and she did something she said for years she was going to do. She got a tattoo! Everyone else seems to like it but I think I may never get over the trauma over seeing it for the first time... Oh well, she has been the most ornery person I have ever known since the day she was born. She also managed to not bring back my digital camera. Grrr

Reading through your blog I feel a profound sense of strength and courage from yourself and eveyone around you. I can't imagine how more difficult all of this could be if you didn't have such tremendous support from all these great people. I don't know your mom but she sounds awesome! Please know that you and Amy are especially prominent in our thoughts and prayers, even if we are a bit obscure and off the beaten path. For that matter, you might be a little surprised by the number of Alaskans who know your name (sorry about that, I got a little carried away with the "in honor of" and "in dedication to" portions of various things).

Love ya, man!

Kurt Sorensen

Anonymous said...

Hello Matey!!! You're looking good Nick (especially with the dreadlocks!!!) So pleased you're handling round 6 in fine shape. You are absolsutely amazing - you have managed to stay strong and keep your sense of humor during the ups and downs of the past months. Stay with the "Cowboy Up" 'cause its working. Believe. Sending you love, light & tons of healing - Jennie xx

Jay Paterson said...

Hey Nick, Keep the pedal to the metal and clobber the old guys!
Way to go.

I have a question for you, it's kind of like the old question The Sphinx asked, but it's more recent.

"What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?" is the original riddle of The Sphinx.

My recent question goes like this, " What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and three skiis in the evening?"

And here's the answer.

Fat old guys like me!

You would have roared with laughter had you witnessed my latest exhibition on Waterskis. I'm still athletic,6'3" tall but about 260 pounds. Current styles have me wearing big baggy bathing suits. So, I try to take off skiing to celebrate my 57th birthday. Very fast boat, very big guy. The boat pulls like crazy, the suit fills with water, looks like the Remax balloon, and I can't get up.

Did I quit? No, I'm an old kid at heart. What did I do? I grabbed a third waterski, put it between my legs, took off like a rocket to the peals of laughter from those around, and had a great time.

Remember I asked you and your buddies to come up and ski anytime? Well the offer still stands, and will stand until there is no more water to ski on. We live on The Great Lakes so there is not much likelihood of that ever happening. Guaranteed laughs and a good time.

Now if I can only find a Speedo that looks good on an old coot!

Enjoy the racing, and the beach,and keep on laughing. As they say time and agian in Reader's Digest, "Laughter is the Best Medicine"

Lots of Love from your Canadian Friends,
Jay Paterson

Anonymous said...

One of my best memories of you is at lake powell. You were just a baby and your dad hooked our JOHNNY jumpup to the back of the houseboat. We blew up a plastic swimming pool and filled with water. I'll never forget how much fun you were having. You were just a baby and I was just becoming a man. Nick in the last few months you have been more of a man than I could ever be. The problem I'm having with this is if your "Da Man" does this make me "Da old man"?
your uncle Johnny loves you.
p.s. I am just a little jealous that your hair is growing back.