Tuesday, February 26, 2008

yesterday... all my troubles seemed so damn close

Sorry if my last post seemed a little downbeat, but hey, that’s the way I was feeling. I know a lot of people may be blaming themselves for the whole mole thing or, at the very least, shaking their heads with a “I told him to get that checked out.”

It’s not your fault. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s mine, but I’m not really blaming myself either. ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda’ doesn’t change the past, present or the future, so let’s move on. I am going to beat this crap by hook or by crook, come hell or high water, etc., and am not against improving my chances.

The Military Hospital was 98% convinced that my brain tumor was a glioblastoma. Dr. Klener told me 80% and was saying 50/50 to his colleagues. That, along with his golden-handed reputation, made me choose Homolka over the Military Hospital. And I’m very, very glad I did. But, I digress. More on that later...

So, thanks to everyone who posted links to clinical trials and alternative treatments. I’m looking into a lot of them. When looking for clinical trials and treatment options, please avoid anything that says 'phase 1' - where they're only testing for toxicity, ‘randomized’,
‘double-blind’, ‘control group’, or ‘placebo'. If I wanted to play Russian Roulette with my life, I would buy a gun and spin the cylinder :-)

I had a pretty busy day yesterday, it being my first business day out of the hospital since January 14th. I went to the embassy. I had everything filled out and ready, but my pre-op pictures were too small. So this will be my passport photo for the next ten years:

I then had to go back to Homolka to get my RTG, MRI, and CT scans on CD to put on my server and share with other doctors and the public at large. I’m only missing the PET scan at this point. I also got a ton of papers from Pavlina at the Foreign Visitor’s Office with all my other tests, blood work, etc.

But I first went to visit Vlad’a, whom I found in great spirits and smoking on the balcony. He said he felt “reborn” and is very much looking forward to going back to Karvina by ambulance tomorrow. His new, soon to be former, roommate, Zdeněk has played Carnegie Hall. Vlad’a was not impressed, as he had never heard of it. He did, however, love the framed portrait of himself that I did.

Mom and I had lunch at the cafeteria for old time’s sake and the fact that I was late with my pills. I had two large salads with my nealko. Then it was off to Apolinářská to see Bo, Johnny and little Vinny Ceccarelli:
While we were there, Bo (who looks great BTW) got the news that she was coming home today. We were all ecstatic. Spoke to Mirek, who after a miraculous recovery at Homolka, suffered a setback where he is now, but was doing much better already. I’ll go see him tomorrow. Ah, hell, I can’t resist, yeah, I held the baby:

So, I’m out of the hospital, Ivan’s out, and Bo, Vlad’a tomorrow, and Mirek in about a week. How do I feel? Pretty good. Great, actually. I met with Dr. Nováková this morning. She gave me a full neurological exam and I passed with flying colors.

I’m sleeping better, getting much needed exercise, and back to eating more than my share. Shiner’s fading and arms are healing. Even my hair is coming back fast. So don’t jump the gun and get a sympathy cut like Vrat:

who would have done anything to get his picture on the blog :-)


Pamela said...

OMG that passport picture is hilarious! I think my fearsome laugh scared the toddler. Thanks for that :>

I don't blame you at all for avoiding those clinical studies. Ru and I were talking about how crazy anybody would have to be to do a clinical trial where they gave out placebos. WTF? I know they have to check to make sure it really works, but imagine being part of the unlucky 50%? No thanks.

Selfishly, we hope you do a trial in NYC - if only because I would love to see you visit us - walking down 145th street in Harlem with a head scar and a shiner. You would be one whitebread in Harlem who would not be messed with.

Love the positivity. You're a star!

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, Mike, special formats for US passport photos. The same thing happened to me: for ten years my passport photo was of a hungover woman with messy hair, yesterday's mascara and an old sweatshirt. But hey, it's only for ten years :]

BTW, I like your attitude about the past conditional. Should have, could have, would have don't solve a thing, do they. Who knows, maybe if you had gone to the dermatologist to have your mole removed back then, you'd have been hit by a car on the way there and you'd be long dead by now. The situation is the one that exists today and we can only work with the information we know now, not the what ifs of the past.

Your cheerleader,

Liz of Brandys

Anonymous said...

Hola Mike,
Con esas pintas te vas a pasar horas en inmigración... ten cuidado con el de los guantes de latex!
He encontrado una página en Español que parece muy interesante. Explica los distintos tratamientos posibles para el melanoma en estadio IV, y adjunta las referencias de los estudios además de un link a otra página en inglés. A mí me resulta complicado entender lo que dice, pero supongo que tú estás más habituado que yo a la terminología.

Mantén el ánimo y haz otras cosas además de buscar tratamientos. Un abrazo,


Anonymous said...

Just ran across an informative littel podcast about what to expect during chemo. There's also a transcript. For what it's worth , my dad was on chemo (pill form) for lymphoma, and was relatively side effect free.



chihuahua lady said...

dear mikey, you look cute like a weird toy.
so good to hear your fightin' spirits are in full force, all your posse is right behind you.
cool to see you got to give vinnie a cuddle!
sending you one too
jane and johnny and the two hamsters we got last week