Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The First Day and . . . a Few Thoughts on Oregon

First of all, thanks to Joyce for posting a blog that so touched my heart. It says everything I could ever want to express, and more. I have always felt Joyce and my job as a parent was to guide Blair and Niels in the acquisition of the skills that are necessary to make decisions that will lead to them enjoying success in life while they explore their passions. You see, I love my job and am already missing terribly the day to day interaction with the wonderful team at TY and our wonderful clients / Friends. One of the numerous gifts I have been given in the process is understanding this. I intend to receive this gift and make it work as I transition to outstanding health. Spending time at UO has felt like home in this regard. There is just this sense that the people up there are encouraged to be themselves and they view a major portion of their role as the facilitator of these discoveries. Most of you know I went to Chico. I love that place. I felt the thing they did best for me was to learn accountability of self. Sure, there were numerous opportunities to party. And trust me, I chose to take advantage of them. But, on balance, I spent "enough" time on studies to gather a solid academic education. The thing I learned at Chico that many students at other institutions didn't, was the social, balance, accountability education. It has been invaluable in my life! I REALLY BELIEVE THAT UO WILL DO A BETTER JOB THAN CHICO DID FOR ME, AND THAT IS AMAZING. As a parent, it doesn't get any better than that for me.

I also left UO with the confidence that Blair has been able to see just how wonderful a college experience can be. I know she will enter school next year with a renewed committment to creating opportunities for herself. I love you Sis and I am so excited for your future.

I really didn't mean to get on such a riff, and I don't intend to sound preachy. I just wanted you to hear how excited I am for Niels and Blair. AND JOYCE AND ME!

Simply put, today's treatment could not have gone any better than it did. Joyce and I arrived at UCSF a little before 7 AM. They drew my blood and and ran the tests STAT so I could begion my chemo at 8:30. Well, each and every one of my levels that they track, white cell counts, red cell counts, magnesium, calcium, etc. came back very normal. As a cancer patient, I love it when someone tells me something is "normal". I want to thank Jime Kelley and Jim Gebhardt for guiding me to Dr. Michael Defino. I know these results would not have been so great without his guidance and Jim and Jim's support. Thanks Jim and Jim, I love you guys. Also, a huge thanks to Joyce, Blair and Niels for tolerating my change in diet and being willing to explore new ways. I know it is not easy, especially for teenagers. Mr. Kelley also led me to Michael Wagner. He practices healing touch. I have only seen him once (so far), but I am also certain that his work to help facilitate energy ovement around my body has been invaluable in my ability to reamin calm and receive treatment. I am counting on it helping me through the likely numerous side effects to come. Thanks Jim, I only know how to repay you with my deep love and care for you and your family.

Back to the details - Receiving the great lab news we proceeded to spend from 8:30 to 3:00 PM being infused with benadryl, cetuximab, hydration, a cocktail of anti-nausea drugs, cisplatin and hydration. We followed this with a trip to the basement for radiation. All along the way they were willing to laugh with me at my stupid jokes. I know I have siad this before, but they are an amazing group of care providers. I don't know who is the CEO of UCSF Med Center, but whoever it is they have done a marvelous job of creating an environment that I am hopeful to replecate at TY. I have been provided anti-nausea drugs that we are hopeful will mitigate the nausea. I am hopeful and continue to follow their many suggestions. My last comment about todays experience is about the other patients that I shared the treatment room with. I think it would help to provide a brief description. This is a room of approximately 20' X 20'. On either side of the room are 3 recliners and in between each recliner is the rolling stand for the infusions. There are three such areas in the "Infusion Center". So, if you 3 or 4 people in one of these areas, the traffic is managemable. This morniong was such a time, but in the afternoon we had 4 pretty amazing people (plus me) receiving treatment. We were able to have some pretty terrific conversations. I am very hopeful I will be able to get to know some of these incredbly courageous people a lot better. I wish them all great health and god speed!

Be well,


Ghia said...

Your attitude is truly inspiring! Stay strong!

With love,
Ghia from San Diego

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Glen and your first day of treatment...I am so glad that you have Joyce by your side...You both are remarkable people...It must be satisfying to know that you have prepared so well for this time and that you have so large a number of people standing with you to help you on your way...You are a truly wealthy man...Love to you all...Karen