Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chemo is my friend

CHEMO IS MY FRIEND, the right attitude, thanks Stacy. CHEMO, THE ULTIMATE DEFINITION OF TOUGH LOVE, thanks Kevin, from a man who knows. THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY ALLY, the military analogy, from a nurse at Huntsman. I like the military analogy because it really fits what is going on here. We are at war with an enemy we must defeat and there is only one exit strategy. No negotiated peace, no white flags or unconditional surrender, complete annihilation is the definition of victory.

The first step in the process (or at the risk of beating this metaphor to death) tactical operation is stem cell collection. This is comprised of four days of continuous chemo infusion. Similar to someone on portable oxygen only my tank is filled with a chemical cocktail and my tubing goes directly into my bloodstream rather than to my respiratory tract. I have just finished day two and everything is going just fine, a little nausea but nothing of any consequence. Every patient is different but they say whatever the side effects are they are usually the worst around days four through six. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to, don’t you think?

Following this short stretch of chemo I will receive a shot called Neulasta. This is to stimulate my marrow to release stem cells into my bloodstream increasing the concentration of cells to help facilitate the collection process. This is followed by stem cell collection which takes from two to ten days to get the optimum cells they want for transplant (approximately 20 million). But I am getting way ahead of myself here. My plan is TO TAKE THIS ONE DAY AT A TIME, to think about this whole process is just too overwhelming and can really get you down. The old saying I learned as a child is trite but true. ”Inch by inch life’s a cinch, but yard by yard it’s kind of hard”. So I think I will stop right here and keep you posted as events unfold.


PS Thanks for all of your kind comments, they have meant so much to Lynn and me and have done wonders to lift our spirits.


GStarr said...


Here's a blast from the past... Gary Starr, we worked at E&S together. I'm grateful to Vilate Trussel for passing your blog URL to me. I've been reading it for the past 15 minutes and marveling at the attitude and courage with which you are confronting this major challenge in your life. I feel fortunate indeed to be your friend and to have had the privilege of spending some of your life with you. I will enjoy watching you work your way through this experience and know that I will learn a lot from you in the process. I'll pass the word to a few other former E&S employees who work with me at the Church I know will be interested in keeping tabs on you.

May the Lord be with you and you will be in my prayers. Hang in there, my friend. We're right here behind you, pulling for you all the way.

Gary Starr

the kings said...

Dad -
Notice I said DAD not Steve, wow I am really being nice to you! You'd think you were sick or something. I just wanted to say that true to form you are hilarious. I'm loving your awesome attitude and ability to keep up the humor through it all. You are the best -hang in there WE LOVE YOU!
- Kell

Nancy's Update said...

Hello Steve,

I am touched by your story, and your journey. Thank you for the kind words concerning the love of my life, Nancy. She was able to inspire while she lived, and continues to do so even in death. Vilate told me of your blog and I had to write few words of encouragement. I wish you great success in your battle. Your love and faith will help you endure anything that cancer can send your way. Bless you and your family.

Brian Bowers

the Halversens said...

Okay, as if I wasn't scared enough before, now Kelly is calling you 'dad'? Something really is wrong:)

You're attitude is the best. I quite enjoy the military analogy. Shall we make yellow ribbons or something?

Go get 'em dad.


the Halversens said...

Dude, I signed my name twice. Lame.

Just once this time.

Curtis said...

Steve, I must admit, I've never heard Kelly call you "Dad" either...anyway just wanted to say hello from Massachusetts - and send my best wishes. Those piddly little bence-jones proteins don't stand a chance, man! You are obviously in great hands.

Curtis Andrews

Georgia said...

Steve and Lynn,

I received your news through the Bird Family gravevine. Thanks for sharing your blog with us...and keep up the great attitude. I'm sorry you have to go through this! You have to stick around for a long time still so we can have more Bird cousin get-togethers, Steve! We are definitely due to have another one!

You'll be in our prayers!
Love to you and your family,

Your cousin, Georgia

Jana said...

Steve and Lynn,
thanks for including us on your blog list. We love you and we are impressed with your courage. Fight the Fight you can do hard things. You are in our prayers. You are the best. Jana Wahlen

vickiticki said...

Thank you for sharing this time with us. Uncle Steve... you have always made me smile. Thank you for your continuing incredible faith and love.

Way over in Korea... we are praying for you and sending love
~Vicki and Joe

deloy said...

Hi Steve,

I just want to wish you the best during this trying time. I really enjoyed working with you on the MPC project and the time we had exploring Tokyo.

We should do it again sometime and I promise I will do a better job trying to find a Korean Resteraunt for you so we won't be harrased by the locals.

In reading your blog, I can see you are attacting this with a great attitude. I see some of Nancy in your words.

Take care my friend.


Mark said...

Remember Steve that Chemo isn't just a dinner entree but a breakfast food too. I'm sure that it has more flavor than anything that I have every fixed.

A quote from General Conference (yes Steve I watched.

'The wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.' However.......

'Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome'.

Shall we go over to 4th street park and play some baseball?


Paul, Sandra, Hailey, Sophie said...

Steve, Brother this is tough tuna my friend. I move away then come back to Davis county never call you guys up, keep in touch(kind of) through Katie's blog and Kelly's link .I know ,I know the phone works, I still work for Qwest. Katie called me last night after she saw Kellys Blog and she gave me the news and of course I had to Call your bride to get right after this.We had a good cry but I think we laughed even more(not about the condition your condition is in).Steve you are one of the best men I have ever met and I know with your moxie, faith and best of all the love of your famliy you will go very, very far in this battle. You are a true warrior, I love you so much, you were there for me at my darkest time and I wont forget the love and friendship you shared with me and my famliy.Take care, God bless my friend. Paul W.

Annie said...

Just wanted to say hi. I think I'm having sympathy pains, or something, Steve, ...and all my achy bones must be the big C and I better go get them checked out. Really, I'm just thinking about you a lot and hope things aren't going too rough!