When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…

I know that this title is corny and very cliche, but I thought it best describes the month of November for me.  November was probably the second worst month I have been through since being diagnosed with cancer.  I was feeling so good before November started, its scary how things change so quickly and how I started to feel so bad.

On Halloween weekend, Annie and I went to Boston to see our two favorite bands with some of our best friends.  We saw Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth.  The shows were amazing and filled with energy.  Yonder of course had high energy and it was a hoedown all night long.  I was really looking forward to the RRE show because it was my 30th show that I have seen.  I was also happy to get some of my friends to their first RRE show.  Nothing like getting some new fans to jump on the hobo train.  I was hoping for a ‘Buddah’ and I got it in the first set, so I was pumped.  Annie wanted a ‘Dandelion Wine’ and she got hers in the second set.  We were happy hobos.

Overall, the weekend was success.  My only complaint was that my back was bothering me.  I blamed it on when I was driving my boat and hit a wave really hard.  I got home and the week was OK, but I was still in pain.  I also noticed that I could not talk for a long time without getting out of breath.  The week and the weekend passed, so on Monday I went in for a CT scan of my chest to see what the deal was.  There happened to be a significant amount of fluid on the right side of my lung.  I was admitted into the hospital.  I took some great painkillers to numb the back pain and I just waited to see what the doctors would say.  Apparently fluid developed on the right side of my lung, but not in my lung, but on the outside of the lung.  The fluid built up enough to make the lung deflate.  The doctor came to talk to us to discuss our options.  The one guy was not too optimistic that my lung would expand after we took the fluid out because of the nodules that are in my lungs from the cancer.  This put us in a shitty mood, so we waited some more.  One of the docs came to tap the fluid out of the area.  He numbed my back up and stuck the needle in to take the fluid out.  He took out a huge bag of fluid from my chest.

On Wednesday, I went in for surgery to get the rest of the fluid out of my chest.  Also, to get my lung glued to the inside cavity, so that fluid would not build up again in that area.  Fun stuff!!  Got the surgery done and now I had to stay in the hospital a couple of more days to recover.  The worst thing that happened in the hospital was when I had trouble peeing one day.  I just could not go.  They had to run a catheter up there to get the urine out.  Well, the first nurse could not get anything out, so a ton of pain for nothing.  They had to get a new nurse to stick it in there and get the urine out.  This time it worked.  I ended up staying at the hospital till Sunday.  I received my new round of chemotherapy on Saturday.  I was in the hospital for about a week.

I received adriamycin and cytoxin for my new chemo regiment.  I will lose my hair from this chemo, actually most of it is gone as I write this.  The first week was the usual nausea related symptoms.  The second week I developed some painful sores in my mouth and because my WBC (white blood cell) count was so low, my immune system had trouble fighting and killing the sores.  It took a little longer than expected for my sores to go away.  Because of my sores I did not want to eat anything because it was so painful.

November sucked!! Hopefully December will be better, but who knows.  I get another round of chemo soon, so who knows.  All I know is that I got to keep fighting and eating to beat this shit.