Saturday, July 28, 2012

Popping my vomit cherry

Just wanted to check in. I had a rough night/morning nausea wise.

I threw up for the first time last night and actually felt better after. I decided to go watch my kickball team play, but we didn’t have enough to play unless I played so I decided to play.

It felt good to get my mind off things and I played alright given the circumstances. I got a few hits and even scored a run. I tried to drink as much as I could since I was sweating, but I don’t think I should have drank so much so fast.

I got home and vomited again, pretty bad. My wife called the doctor and he called in some Zofran for me. I took one and was able to keep some food down.

I woke up with a stomach ache, but felt OK. Dina left to get the kids and for whatever reason I got full of anxiety about going back Tuesday and threw up again. I felt a little better after.

Now I’m just trying to write this and take my mind off things while I wait for my wife to get back with the kids.

I really miss them and got a chance to play with Ben yesterday. He still doesn’t quite get the concept of his power wheel, but we still had fun. He has a birthday party to go to today where the Tigers mascot Paws will be there so it should be fun.

My mom is coming to watch Emma and I might go or stay home depending on how I feel.

Well that’s all for now, but with the start of the Olympics I’ll share a song that’s helped me get through some tough times the past day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 5, first cyle

I try to hide it on the surface, but I can be an emotional guy. Most people take me as either shy or arrogant because I can be standoffish. Shy I can see sometimes, but don't know where arrogant comes from.

I try to hide my emotions and end up sort of shutting down. Well as I sit her finishing the final day of my first long week of chemo, I'm a little emotional, but glad I have broken out of my box and gotten to know the nurses here a little bit. They are really helpful and here to make you feel better. They have made my stay much easier and I'm glad they have taken the time to assist me in any way they can.

It's been a hard week not only for me, but for those close to me. I started off the week with a positive attitude and while I'm not quite the ray of sunshine I was Monday, chemo has not broke me yet.

Don't know if I'm making much sense, but just wanted to write a blog to kill some time.

The mornings the last two days have been difficult because of my nerves. In the past I could feel nauseous for the smallest things. Chemo certainly amplifies that, but the prescriptions have certainly helped.

I have three days off after today, which I'm looking forward to. Especially getting to spend some time with the kids. I've been pretty exhausted at times after treatment, but I hope my energy will get up over the weekend. After all I have a 2-year-old in a mini cooper to chase.

Hope I'm not bouncing around too much with the chemo brain. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 3, Cycle 1

Sitting here on Day 4 of my first cycle and feeling pretty good. I had some anxiety this morning and when I got here, but have since calmed down. It’s a long week and something about Thursday just had me feeling like it wasn’t going to end.

Day 3 was expected to be a tough one because it was my first full dose of Bleo, but I handled it pretty well. It has been known to cause flu like symptoms, which can be problematic when your immune system is not full strength.

I avoided any flu like symptoms, which was a good thing. All the nurses here have been extremely helpful and made me glad I choose to use this facility.

I had a few visitors yesterday and my wife’s work send me some cookies to the house, which I appreciated. (I love cookies.)

My mom came over our house after she got off work so Dina could go see the kids. But I was feeling a little better so me and my mom went on a top secret mission to Toys R Us and got Ben a brand new mini cooper Power Wheel. We got a pretty good deal too. The battery needed to be charged, but he was still excited.

It was nice to see him even for only a few minutes. I got to see Emma too, who I hear has been a great girl for her Nana.

I don’t know if my kids will ever read this blog one day, but if they do just know Daddy loves you and you were the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I want to grow old so I can see how great you both turn out and be there every step of the way.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


My first repeat visitor besides Dina. She is No. 1 in our hearts and the power rankings Mary "Insultini" Beth. Fuller, Katrina and Lisa are right behind MB at one visit apiece.

Three wise women

I’m in a writing mood so I figured I would make a bonus post today to thank some of my unsung heros.
First is my wife. She has and will be my side throughout this whole thing. I really couldn’t do it all without her. She makes sure I stay organized. She is nice when I need it and it gives me that extra push when I need it. She does it all not because she wants any admiration or for some future gift. She does it because she loves me. That is the most amazing help you can ever receive so I’m so thankful I have her.
She has said several times she would switch places with me if she could, but I wouldn’t. I think things worked out just fine and will work out in the end.
The other two amazing women in my life I want to thank are my two mothers. My biological mom, who has been there my whole life. She had me at the young age of 18 and always put my needs first. I could never thank her for all she’s done. She continues to do the same and I know it’s hard on her seeing a child go through something like this, but trust me mom I will be OK. I couldn’t imagine seeing one of my children go through this. It’s true you don’t really appreciate how much your parents sacrfifced for you and how much they truly love you until you have kids of  your own. My two babies have helped me realize how hard my mom has worked so that I could have a good life. I appreciate everything you have done and will continue to do for me mom. I love you.
The other amazing woman is my mother-in-law Mirzeta. I like to refer to her as a saint because of he patients and love for my kids and my wife. She has adopted me as her own and I couldn’t ask for a better mother-in-law. She never hesitates to help us out no matter what we need. Even if it’s watching two children under 3 while I undergo treatment. I feel bad when Dina tells me her mom is crying because she is worried about me, but it also shows me how much she cares and how much Aldina’s whole family cares for me.
Anybody that knows the history of me and Dina knows winning over her family is a huge deal for me. I’m glad that I was able to because they are a great group of people.
There are plenty of others I can thank so far during my treatment but wanted to single out these three amazing women.
I love and adore all three of you. I’m one lucky man.

Day 2, Cycle 1 of treament

My second day of treatment went pretty smooth. I had quite a few battles with the hiccups (they can get super annoying when constant). Not sure what worked, but got them under control on and off.

My good friends Jeff Fuller and Mary Beth stopped by, which was really nice of them plus it gave Dina a chance to go see the kids. Visitors are welcome just check with me if you want to come by. I am only allowed two at a time.

Once I left treatment yesterday I was very tired and slept most of the rest of the day. I woke up to eat a light meal and a few other things, but for the most part slept.

I’m sitting here on Day 3 of my treatment and I’m a little antsy. I feel like running around with my girlfriend aka my IV tower.

Made an acquaintance yesterday. An older gentleman recommended drinking room temperature liquids to help with hiccups and it seemed to help. Forgot his name, but he was only here a few minutes today. Told him thanks for the tip.

Not exactly a moment like in the movie 50/50 were he bonds with some of his peers getting treatment, but it’s a start.

Nothing else really to report, except my hair is still intact. Probably won’t make it through the first round, but so far it’s holding on like it has for years lol. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Test photo

Day 1 of Cycle 1

My first day of chemo went relatively well. It didn’t start off very good thanks to a misinterpretation on my part.

My medical port wasn’t drawing back blood when they first tried it. My nurse, who was extremely nice the whole day, went to get another nurse to try it again. She couldn’t get it to draw blood back either.

I overheard them talking about getting the X-Ray from the hospital to confirm and then possibly trying again. I interpreted trying again as doing another port surgery. That with the added anxiety of it being my first day I began to feel like I was going to pass out. I went white, started sweating like crazy and began to feel dizzy. I took one of my medications (Ativan) which helps for anxiety and nausea. I felt better in a couple minutes, but a bit embarrassed. Not the type of start the big strong, young man wanted to get off too lol.

I was later told my port was working and not drawing back blood was somewhat common. The rest of the day went smooth. They pumped a ton of stuff in me including my Etoposide and Platinum along with a test portion of Bleomycin. I get another test of Bleomycin today before getting the full dose Wednesday. From what I read by my brothers at the I know the Bleomycin days can sometimes be the worse with flu like symptoms likely to follow.

I was at the treatment center nearly six hours, but filled my time watching a movie, a Pawn Stars marathon and we even got a chance to Skype with Ben for a few minutes.

After leaving I was a little tired and tried to take a nap, but it didn’t make me feel better, it was almost making me feel worse. I decided to eat something which did make me feel better.

I ended up watching the 1000th episode of Raw with a few buddies and it was a good time. Probably won’t see many of them much until this is over. It was a good show and if you can’t tell by they name of my blog I’m a huge pro wrestling fan. I know, I know, bring on the jokes. I can’t help it though. It’s part of my DNA and I’ve been watching on and off since I was in elementary school. Sometimes I’ll go away for a few years, but it always pulls me back. A co-worker of mine Drew made me a flash drive with a ton of old wrestling on it, which I’m sure I will enjoy during my treatment.

In case you wondering where the name of blog comes from, it’s pro wrestling. It’s named after the wrestler The Rock’s catchphrase Team Bring It. The Rock is a very inspirational guy and just a great human in general. He often send out inspirational tweets on his Twitter account with the hashtag #TeamBringIt.

On the day of my orchiectomy surgery (removal of the testicle) I wore my ‘I Bring It’ Rock t-shirt. I went into surgery with a cocky (but full of anxiety) attitude of I will beat this. I have been kicked down a few times since and gotten back up a few times, but I’m still bringing the cocky (with a touch of anxiety) attitude to chemo. I will beat this because I Bring It.

Not much else to report. Hoping Day 2 goes as well as Day 1. Thanks for reading.

Day 2 preview: Battling a pretty bad case of the hiccups as I type this. Might need to pull up that episode of Phineas and Ferb where they try to get rid of Isabella’s hiccups. It sounds dumb but man these things are annoying.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Calm before the storm

Laying down after my final weekend before I start treatment on Monday. Nothing spectacular to report but grateful for the time I got to spend with family friends, especially my wife and two kids (Ben and Emma) this weekend.

It’s going to be hard not seeing my kids as much as I go through this. It’s unfair to ask my wife to try to take care of me and two kids under 3 so they will be spending a lot of time at my in-laws.

Dropping them off tonight was tough. We have dropped them off to stay the night before, but for some reason this time was different. I held my two-month old daughter before we left and I knew I have to beat this and be strong for her and Ben.

While I wish I didn’t have to go through this at all, I’m grateful my kids are too young to see what is going on. It’s going to be much easier on them.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their support of my first post. I heard from friends I had not talked to in years. Some were even cancer survivors or had people close to them beat cancer. I appreciate everyone that reached out to me and took the time to read my first post.

I’ve had a lot of anxiety this weekend, but I’m also eager to get started and get closer to the end. I hope to check in and report after tomorrow.

I just wanted to leave with a little video of one of my favorite speeches. It’s a speech by Al Pacino’s character in Any Given Sunday (if you watch skip to about 1:40). It’s a great speech and can somewhat apply to my situation. He talks about being willing to fight for every inch. I know my cancer is less than an inch right now, but I’m willing to fight for it. As Pacino says, “I’m willing to fight and die for that inch.”

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First post

Cancer. It’s a word you hear all the time. It’s a scary disease. Everyone knows someone who has battled or died from cancer.

The word takes a new meaning when you hear you have it.

I was alone at home when I first heard I had cancer.

I admit it, I cried like a baby when I found out I had testicular cancer. The doctor told me over the phone because he wanted to make sure I came back in to see him. 

He avoided the word cancer at first. Saying they found a tumor and things like that. But I needed to hear him say it, so I kept asking questions.

He finally said the words testicular cancer and my worst fears were realized. I had been researching on the internet like we all do and had my fingers crossed it was a hernia. Imagine that, hoping you had a hernia?

I remained calm on the phone, but once I hung up I began to cry. I admit I have cried before but never quite like that. I probably looked like a bad actor over doing it. I’m kind of glad nobody saw it, but I’m not ashamed to admit I did it.

My wife knew the doctor had called, but I waited until she got home to tell her.

Learning I had cancer was hard, telling everyone I loved about it was even harder. First I told my wife then my mom over the phone. I wanted to tell my mom in person, but she drug it out of me.

Eventually everyone close to me found out and I began to prep for surgery.

To think it all started because of a little pain. A pain I’m glad I did not ignore like many men in my situation do.

First I had to see my family doctor, then the urologist and then the always fun ultrasound of your testicles.
But if I waited it could have been a lot worse.

I originally thought of doing a blog when I was first diagnosed, but there was a chance I would have it removed and maybe a little radiation then be done.

Unfortunately that has not been the case.

My type of cancer (95 percent NonSeminoma) is not treated by radiation and is a much more aggressive form. But still after I had my surgery there was an 70-80 percent chance the surgery cured me because I was considered Stage I.

For four months I hoped I was done with cancer. I recently found out my battle is not over and I will have to do three rounds of chemotherapy (BEP).

I had a port put in my shoulder on Monday and start chemo on July 23.

Each round last three weeks so I have a rough nine weeks ahead of me.

People have asked me if I’m scared? The answer is of course yes. Who wouldn’t be?

I might be scared, but I am going into chemo with confidence I will beat this.

The odds are on my side (in the 90s). This blog is going to be part of my fight. I’m going to tell all the good things and the bad.

I don’t really like drawing attention to myself, but in this case I will have to suck it up.

People often tell my wife they don’t bring up my cancer to me because they don’t want to upset me. That’s fine. It’s a tough thing to talk about and it’s uncomfortable, but if anyone has a question just ask me. You have my permission.

Well that’s all for my first post. Hope you enjoyed it. I will try my best to update as much as possible. Thanks for reading.