Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday April 30th 2009. First day of treatment!! Woo Hoo!

Long but exciting day today!! Finally the first day of radiation/chemotherapy and trial drug. It feels like a giant weight has been lifted off of my chest. All these past weeks of tests and waiting and tests and waiting.... finally something is happening.

First things first.. I have to say that I would not be where I am in this stage of healing ... with the surgeries, fantastic doctors, hospitals, the drug trial, everything ... without my wife Jen. She has been MY everything.... From making sure I take my meds on time to getting me to my appointments on time. From cooking dinner to cleaning the house .... you name it... she does it. She has a beautiful soul and am so so lucky to have her. I love you Jen.

4 am - Jen wakes up to wake me up to take my first dose of Kytril (an anti nausea drug for chemo)

Back to sleep.

5 am - Jen wakes up to wake me up to take my first 165mg dose of Temodar (chemo pills) and
AZD2171 (blood vessel inhibitor (trial drug))

Back to sleep

6 am - Jen wakes up to wake me up and we both get up for the day :) I must fast for an additional hour after taking the chemo. So I make some Teeccino and a sprouted grain bagel w/ raw almond butter and a bananna for the ride into the hospital. Jen feeds the dogs and does what she does in the morning and we are out the door by 7 am.

We arrive at Brigham & Women's at 8:15 and make our way to my suture removal appointment!! I am very excited about this... these things have been dang itchy! The pic up top is what it looked like w/ the sutures in. The Doc's used staples on my incision for the first surgery but I liked the sutures by far. Much less scarring and "bumpiness" :P

Anywho... I check in for my appointment and am taken into an exam room to have the sutures removed. Now believe me... this was by no means painful but anytime you are dealing with stitches and scabs and yer cranium.... you know what I mean. But my nurse Nancy had an expert hand and great bedside manner and we got through it in like 2 minutes :) Here's the tray with my used up sutures. Thank you for holding my head together sutures!!!!!

Here's a quick pic of post suture securing :) Ahhhh... relief

Now to the good stuff. With my sutures finally out I can now get my first radiation treatment which to most people probably doesn't sound that exciting but it is music to my ears. We got to the appointment about 30 minutes ahead of time and so we did what we do best..... waited :)

A little after 10 am I got called in (not too bad) and was on my way. Today's appointment is to be a little longer than usual since it is my initial appointment. I had asked the nurses to take some pics and some of them were bad ass but for some reason the setting on the camera was off kilter so they didn't make it onto the media disc.. but I will ask them to take more tomorrow so you guys can see the mask and the whole get up.

They took a few extra x-rays that they will use for plotting exactly where my head sits so it will be in the same position every single day I go in for radiation... makes sense to me. Then they say "OK, we're ready to start the treatment" and before I knew it "OK, you're all set". I mean it was really almost that quick. Maybe 3 minutes tops. All the techs and nurses were so nice which is great since I'll be seeing them 5 days a week for a little over a month. :) My last radiation treatment will be June 12th, 2009. Yet another goal to look forward to! Goals are good :)

Now time for lunch. Luckily Dana Farber has a pretty nice lunch menu in their cafeteria. We had some kick ass salads and fresh fruit and cheated a little with some veggie "meat" balls and sauce with a little bit of pasta. Wash that down with some good ole water and we were satiated. It was now about 11:30 am and I had a prompt 1 pm appointment to have bloods drawn and a urine sample.

We spent some time in the patient services library, surfing the web and checking out some books and an hour passed in what seemed like a blink of an eye and we decided to go check in for the blood draw. 1 pm sharp (I have been so lucky) I was called into the exam room and bloods were drawn... went to the rest room and urine was provided :P and then we were on our way home by 1:30.

All in all a very eventful day but in my eyes a very positive one and a giant step in the right direction. It feels so good to be proactive instead of just waiting for things to happen. A,lso, no side effects to the new medications/chemo today!!!! Feel like I did yesterday but may just a little tired due to our long day and me getting up all hours of the morning! :P

Well thanks for taking the time to read about my day. More to come tomorrow and will have some cool pics of the x-ray - radiation machine. Thank you all for your love and support!!! It means the world.


  1. SO happy you were able to post about your first day and that everything went well-
    also, love that you thanked your sutures ;-)

    and Jen -- oh lovely, Jen -- yes thank God for you, lady!


  2. Well, I'm crying, but I think they are tears of happiness because it went so well for you. The pictures are cool - that you were reading "Coping" was pretty funny. You are my hero, and Jen is my heroine. While I hope never to have your experience, I can only wish that I would be as brave. Love you guys, Cyndy

  3. I'm so happy you are finally starting treatment, and you are so fricking positive. You're amazing and we love you so much! We really REALLY miss you, dood!!

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  5. Chuck and Jen - I can't thank you enough for all the inspiration you have provided us here in Kansas City. The very best to you.

  6. Seriously dude, can you just pretend to be a little less invincible? I'm trying to build up sympathy for your situation, and you're all "la-ti-da," like brain cancer is no big deal!

    Readers, do no believe Chuck for a minute. He is the only person in the world who would shrug at his own brain cancer. This situation is serious, scarey, painful, and tragic. Please support our walk!

    And Chuck, maybe you should let Jen do the blogging so we can actually see somebody being as worried as the rest of us.

  7. You are amazing Chuck and you and Jen are an amazing couple. Sending you love. Jo xx


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