Archive for the 'Whitney Street' Category

Man, I Need a Break

May 12th, 2006

It’s been quite a week since last we spoke. Let’s see how much I can recall.

The biggest news is, Barb and I have found a new house and our offer’s been accepted. We’ve got an inspection on Monday, so sometime after that I’ll put up some photos. We’re both tremendously excited, as there’s so much that’s absolutely perfect about this house. When we bought our current abode, it never quite felt like home. First, we had a good solid year’s worth of work we had to put into ti just to make it liveable. Then with its location and such, we always knew that we’d be moving at some point once it came time to be havin’ little chilluns. This new house is it. The Last House. At least until the kids all grow up and we get moved to an assisted living community.

One of the many truly excellent things about the new house is, it’s ready to move in. It could use a little paint on the walls, but that’s IT. We can immediately start settling in to this place. We don’t have to rip the kitchen down to the bare studs before we can cook anything. We can move our boxes and furniture into the house, unpack the boxes, stash our stuff and STOP! I cannot put in to words how amazing that is. Let me see if I can do it with a picture.

Me in our old kitchen.

This, to me, is the one photo that typifies everything we’ve gone through with this house. There are SO many more that do an equally horrifying job, but… well, let’s just zoom in a bit here.

The eyes have it.

Yes, I think the look in my eyes says more than the rotted floorboards could ever say.

Cancer-wise, life has really sucked as of late. I’m done with the chemo, but this one has finally done me in. If I go up or down the stairs here, I have to rest wherever I wind up for awhile before I can even think about making the return trip. My pulse races like I’ve been running a marathon and I’m just as out of breath. All from one flight of stairs, taken very slowly. This really sucks, to say the least.

I went to the doc’s yesterday to get checked out because of it. Actually, I was taken to doc’s ’cause Barb had to leave work and come take me. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to actually drive myself there and back. I’m just that tired.

They drew some blood and my red cells are okay. Low, but workable. My neutraphils, however, were in the basement. These are the things that your white blood cells are based off of, so it’s a key as to your immunity from illness and infection. They start to worry a little if your count gets down to 1500. Mine was at 400. So now I have to stay away from groups of people and children, wash my hands like I have OCD and wear a mask if I’m feeling energetic enough to wander out into the world. Fortunately I’m too tired to make it to the front door let alone go out it, so I don’t have to worry about the mask too much for now.

The medical folks are thinking this might all be a reaction to stopping the prednisone, the steroid that makes up the last “P” in MOPP. Dr. D gave me another prescription for the pred that we can taper off this time, as well as an antibiotic to help head off anything bad I might catch until my counts come back up.

So now I just take pills and lie around the house. It’s not as glamourous as they make it seem in the movies. the next thing on my medical agenda is a PET scan on Friday the 19th. This will be the one that determines what we’ll be doing next.

One more good thing about the new house – it’s 19 minutes away from Yale Medical. That means if our timing works out right with the closing and the stem cell transplant, I won’t have to stay in a hotel after the SCT! That would so rock.

I think more than anything, I need a cancer break right now. I would love to just have one day where I didn’t have to think about it. No pills to take. No aches and pains and tiredness. I’d stay away from the hodgkin’s forum and eat whatever I want. I’d go down to my new workshop and build something. Spend the day making something instead of thinking about dying. Yesterday was my one year anniversary. I’ve been fighting this thing for a whole year and I’m tired of punching.

Hockey-wise, things have been even worse. The Devils are down 3-0 in their series against Carolina. I blame myself, as you can see from my playoff picks. Everyone I picked is getting their ass handed to them. The Avs were swept, the Devs are down 3-0, the Sens are down 3-1. Edmonton’s putting up a bit of a fight and hanging in there, down 2-1, but still. The way the Devils are looking right now, I would not be surprised in the least if they lose on Saturday and are swept. Being the team they are and on the cusp of elimination, I would also not be surprised if the win on Saturday. But the way they’ve been playing in this series and, more importantly, the way the Hurricanes have been playing, I don’t see the Devils making it through to the next round. Still, the playoffs are where the miracles happen, right?

Still Alive… Mostly

May 5th, 2006

Hey everybody – I’m still here. The MOPP! has been wearing me out for the past week. Yesterday I didn’t even wander in front of the computer until 11:00 or so at night. This has been more of an all over exhaustion, akin to the post-hospital recovery times more than the chemo-tiredness. My body’s weak, my brain’s cloudy and I just can’t seem to get out of my own way. So let’s get you updated before I pass out at the keyboard here…

Barb’s game went well – the students beat the faculty, 12-7. Last year was the first year the faculty won and they only did it by one run, so being five behind isn’t all that bad. Especially compared to some of the past shellackings. Barb even got a hit – atta girl, slugger!

The open house went well as well. We got a few interested nibbles, including the former owners of the house. Barb and I came home from Wallingford to find them all sitting in our living room – quite an offputting sight. They loved what we’ve done with the house (how could they not, considering the condition we got the house in) and are hoping to be able to buy it back. Probably not a likely situation since the house price has doubled since they sold it. Of course, the value has quintupled at least.

In hockey news, after the first round of the playoffs, my predictions are at 50 percent (warning – large, wallpaper-size graphic ahead). I told you I didn’t know jack about the Western Conference. But then, who would expect none of the top four seeds to make it in? As for the East, Philly over Buffalo was more wishful thinking on my part, since I didn’t want the Devils to have to face Buffalo. Of course now that things are underway, I remember that the Stanley Cup isn’t a straightforward tree structure to allow for home ice and such, so it doesn’t matter that Buffalo won anyway.

In keeping with sticking my neck out on the line, I’ve made a revised playoff tree (warning – large, wallpaper-size graphic ahead again). We’ll see how I do in this round…

Now I’m gonna go lie down…

Get Out the Brooms

April 29th, 2006

And it’s a Devils’ sweep! And Gionta got a short handed goal! Elias now has five goals and six assists! Gomer got a goal!

I have to say, I really do respect the Rangers’ coach for pulling their goalie with three minutes to go after the Devils took a penalty. It showed that he wasn’t ready to let his team give up and they actually made up a little bit of ground. Kind of the opposite tack that I usually think of anything associated with Jaromir Jagr, but it probably helped that he re-injured his shoulder on his first shift. That let the rest of the Rangers play tough and not give up. Still… sweep time, baby!

On the chemo front, I had another good night. Looks like taking Zofran an hour before the chemo drugs is the key. I’m still going to wait until after Wednesday before I have any tomato sauce again. Wednesday I get another blast of vinblastine, so by Thursday I might be secure enough with my belly to eat red things.

Barb’s faculty vs. student softball game is tomorrow, but I’m not going to be able to be there. It’s down in New Haven at 10 and we have the realtors coming over at 12:30 to get the open house set up. Since I won’t be able to race back and forth (it’s about a 45 minute drive, even at Brianspeed), I’m going to be sticking around here to make sure they get in the house and get set up okay. I did get to go with her today to watch their practice. I don’t know what the students look like, but the faculty was looking pretty good. Nothing like seeing all of that gray hair flying through the breeze…

And so it Begins…

April 28th, 2006

Well, I’ve been sprinting around like mad trying to remember all of the places in the house we’ve touched since the last time we showed it because… a real-life realtor’s going to be showing the place in about half an hour. Woo hoo! Now I just have to figure out where I’m going to go for the next hour or so.

Oh, and since I didn’t mention it last time, if you’re looking to buy a house in Hartford, our open house is going to be this Sunday from 1PM-3PM. The contacts on the page are our rockin’ realtors. Say you’re a fan of the site and you’ll get a $1 discount on the price of the house!

Okay, this is really frickin’ creepy. For some reason I have the song “Just Once” by James Ingram stuck in my head (please shoot me). Being the meticulous blogger that I am (as evidenced by my site’s complete lcka of tpyos), I went over to AllMusic to make sure he’s the one who sang the song. I go there only to find that their album of the day is James Ingram’s Greatest Hits: The Power of Great Music, which includes “Just Once.” How often could something like that happen?

The first person to say “just once” gets a slap.

Last Night ROCKED

April 28th, 2006

Well, I suppose last night rocked. I don’t know since I was ASLEEP! That’s right – I had a puke-free night with the Zofran. For future reference, I took one Zofran a little over an hour before I took the chemo piklls and that did the trick. I’ll tell you though, taking those chemo pills last night was the hardest thing I’ve made myself do through this whole cancer experience. There’s definitely something in me that doesn’t like making myself sick. I guess I’ll never have that girlish Lindsay Lohan figure.

In house news, we signed our contract last night and went over all the particulars. Our real estate guys, Evan and Scott, are great and exceedingly thorough. The deadline for getting real estate ads into the newspaper was yesterday at 1, so they went ahead and got the ad placed just on our word that we’d sign that night. They’ve also set up… an open house! This weekend will be the first big showing of the place with Barb and I hiding in the close…. I mean… out shopping or something. Far away from the house. Yeeeeaaah.