Nov 27

Rituxan #3

On Saturday, 11-24-01, the physical therapist came by again and we reviewed the exercises she taught me on her first visit and showed me some new ones to help me with my balance. Things seem to be going well for me on that front as I STILL haven’t had to use the wheelchair or walker to get anywhere yet. I’m feeling pretty damn proud of that one!

I even took a short walk from the house to the nearest store the other day to buy some snacks, just to get out of the house and to test my stamina. It took a while, being 3 blocks away, and I was pretty tired afterwards and had to take a short nap. But the feeling of freedom and independence it gave me were well worth it. On top of that it was good exercise.

My daughter, Casey, spent the weekend with me like she has since I got out of the hospital and, as always, it was great just having her around. You look for little +’s when you’re out of action with something like this, and one of my little +’s is that I’m near my family and especially my daughter these days instead of on the road somewhere working.

We played on the computer and watched DVD’s and just generally hung out together. She brought her report card and it was generally pretty good. She made me a turkey in typing class made of keyboard letters that’s pretty cool too. It’s called ASCII art. Maybe next weekend we’ll go see Harry Potter.

She asked if I’ll get better until I’m like I used to be, like when we used to go to amusement parks and stuff. We LOVE amusement parks. Our favorite is Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio because we’re big time roller coaster fans. I told her that I would and decided that’s one of my new goals: Strong enough to make a Cedar Point trip when it opens next May. Hey, I figure if nothing else, we’ll get to the front of the lines with my wheelchair access!! ( GOT to find those little +’s !! )

On Monday, 11-26-01, I went back to the Cancer Treatment Center and got my 3rd Rituxan treatment. This time I was out in the lounge area with everyone else, sitting comfortably in a recliner next to a fellow named Wayne. Everything went well and even though the Benadryl made me a little groggy, I stayed awake the whole time. ( OK… I took a nap when I got home! )

I played games and jotted down some thoughts and notes on my Palm III-C, had a lunch mom got from the cafeteria, joked with the nurses and chatted with Wayne. ( When he was awake, that is – He took a couple of naps… )

Wayne is an older gentleman ( maybe in his 60’s or 70’s? – I didn’t ask ) and was there getting his treatment as well and we had a nice conversation that was pretty interesting. It turns out that he has NHL as well and he’s had it since 1991.

It’s been in remission 5 times for him, so this is his 6th bout with it. The first 3 times he had it he got chemo treatments and it went into remission. Then Rituxan came out and it did the trick alone for him the next 2 times. This time he’s on the Rituxan again and feels confident all will go well. He looks very healthy for his age, cancer or not, has a great attitude and you just can’t help but like the guy.

He told me that I’m the first other person in all those years that he ever met that also has NHL. He was really interested to talk with me because of that commonality, and I was very interested to talk with him as well, since he’s already been down a path I’ve just barely set foot on.

When I got home I thought it might be nice to find some other folks that have that common link to me, NHL, (Ok, ok… I took a nap first ! ) so I went to my favorite search engine, Google, and went looking for some. I found them here: LRFA’s NHL Forum. <-(Update 6-22-2013 – that link/site seems to be gone now.  Try this NHL forum instead.)
LRFA = Lymphoma Research Foundation of America.

There, I found a LOT of people just like me and my family and friends that are all dealing with various forms and stages of NHL. Some are new like me, but some are a wealth of knowledge and resources, having traveled this path for years. It was like stumbling onto a gold mine for support and encouragement and camaraderie. They gave me a warm welcome to the group and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the folks there.

It’s only been a few days since my Thanksgiving update, so not much has changed physically for me. Lower legs, ankles and feet are still swollen and sore, so I’m not quite ready to go jogging yet. My left thumb and forefinger have been numb for a couple of weeks and today my left arm seems to be feeling it a little as well. I don’t know what that’s all about because I kept forgetting to ask, but I’ve got it in my Palm Pilot now with the rest of this week’s questions for the Oncologist on Monday. If it doesn’t feel any worse I’ll wait till then, otherwise I’ll make a phone call and get to the bottom of it. Stitches are still… uh… stitched. They should be coming out on Monday as well when I visit the good doctor.

Other than that, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m still in good spirits, exercising daily and learning what I can about my disease, treatments and all that.

The force is with me!  Yoda smiley gif