Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year

Happy belated new year everyone.  I hope all had a safe end to their holiday season.  I can only speak for myself, but I was ready to say goodbye to 2010 and start anew in 2011.

I have now officially gotten through the danger zones associated with my last round of chemo.  I still can't believe that I made it through 6 rounds without a single transfusion and only one bout with neturopenic fever.  As I've harped on a few times, I have been very lucky with how I've handled the chemo and its side effects.

I start radiation tomorrow, which means that for the next 25 weekdays I will be getting zapped for about 30 minutes every morning in a continued effort to shrink my tumor before surgery.  Last week I had to do what is called a simulation; basically they put me on the table in the position that they will do the radiation and take a CT of my leg.  They next put a bunch of marks in sharpie on my legs to help the techs line me up the exact same way every time I go in for radiation.  I am under strict orders to not wash the marker off, so I have to be careful not to scrub my legs or dry them aggressively when I shower.

Also now that I have finished chemo I have begun to try and get some strength back, as I am now able to work out with weights.  It was suggested by my doctors that I not use weights during chemo because of my low platelet count, which could lead to internal bleeding, so I took their advice and avoided the dumb bells for over 4 months.  I can tell you it has been a rude awakening this first week in regards to how much strength I've lost, but I am confident in time I will return to my prior form.  In addition to my old workout routine I have added in some lower body exercises to work the areas around my tumor.  My hope is that this work will make recovery much easier after my surgery and help me get back on my feet ASAP.  Since my tumor is on my abductor muscle, I have begun doing some exercises I never thought I'd see myself doing, like this one here:

Needless to say I feel a bit weird being probably one of the only men to ever use this machine at the gym, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make the surgery easier.

As for new year's resolutions, I have actually really tried to make a concerted effort to make some and live by them this year.  After getting through this first stage and beginning to look beyond treatment to life after cancer I am making a real effort to eat healthier (more veggies/fruits, less red meat) and workout more.  Those are pretty cliched resolutions I know, but seeing as how I am going through a bit of a health scare and have spent my fair share of time in the hospital, trust me, you want to do whatever it takes to not spend days/nights at the hospital.

The next post will be after a few rounds of radiation, so hopefully I won't suffer too much from fatigue, which is rumored to be the main side affect.  In the mean time, I wish everyone luck on living up to their resolutions!



  1. That picture makes me uncomfortable. Is she exercising or about to give birth?

  2. Michael, as a cancer survivor since 1976...Jon said to tell you he uses that machine it must be good luck!

  3. Hope these first couple rounds of radiation go well! So proud of you. I hate that machine, and stay away from it as much as possible. However, if I had known before that I would look like that woman (pictured) after using it, I think I would be on there daily. love ya, virg.

  4. does this mean that "crustless pies" are out of the diet in 2011? Glad to hear things are going well!