Nightmares

Last night I had a nightmare. I dreamed that the Nazi’s had decided that I was to be executed. I kept talking to my family (Not my actual family, I have no idea who those people were), telling them that I was getting concerned about this. The problem was that everyone was busy with other things. They just kept telling me, “don’t worry, it’s gonna work out!”

I guess it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what that’s about. These types of dreams are happening with greater frequency. Oddly, last night’s dream didn’t really bother me all that much. The ones that really disturb me are when I dream that someone is taking my dog from me. How funny is that? I can live with the idea of Nazis executing me, just don’t take my Lola!!

Last year, when I first received my cancer diagnosis I was given a prescription of Valium. I’ll bet in the first 12 months that I had that prescription I only took a very small handful. I think we did have to get the prescription refilled once. Today I am steadily up to 2 a day. I’m allowed one every 12 hours, and I can tell when I don’t have them.

It’s been 6 weeks since I last received Chemo. Physically, I feel better than I have since before my diagnosis. I feel strong. I’ve lost 100 lbs. Emotionally, I’m a wreck. I’ve felt like crap for a year and a half. I mean there were days that I didn’t have the strength to even pull myself out of a chair. All the while though, I knew we were fighting this thing that’s inside me. No matter how bad I felt. No matter how much I really wanted to just curl up in a ball and stay in bed, I was always able to get dressed, put a smile on my face and do whatever had to be done.

Today feels totally different. Physically, I can do anything. I even mowed the lawn a couple of weeks ago for the first time in well over a year! Yet it gets harder and harder every day to even get out of bed.

It’s been 6 weeks since I last received Chemo. It’s been 12 weeks since I found out that the Gemzar didn’t kill off my cancer. That’s when we decided to bring out the big guns and try Foflorinox. I don’t mind telling you, that treatment kicked my ass! I was grateful for it though. I knew that if I felt that bad, it was working in my body. What’s more, we were taking regular PET Scans so that we could track our progress.

In the 6 weeks that I was on Foflorinox, it did absolutely nothing to slow down the progression of my disease. Now, here we are, 6 weeks since my last treatment. There’s no telling at this moment how much it’s progressed without any chemo.

Dr. Mahmood, my local oncologist, told me that we have exhausted all conventional treatments. There is nothing else approved by the FDA for the treatment of Pancreatic Cancer. My only option now is to find a clinical trial that may be able to help. In the absence of a clinical trial, my life expectancy is less than one year.

It’s been 6 weeks since I last received Chemo. Did you know that nobody wants to pay for clinical trials? The VA, who has, up until now, provided all of my healthcare, will not pay for any treatment that is not approved by the FDA. Lisa’s insurance says that because of my pre-existing condition they will not extend coverage to me for 1 year. Once that year is up, they will cover me, although they do not pay for clinical trial either.

Now wouldn’t you think that the drug companies would pay for these trials? You’d be partially right. They will pay for parts of the treatments. Clearly they pay for the experimental portion of the treatment. What they don’t pay for are the labs, doctor visits, scans, ect… What’s more, because there is an experimental component to the treatment, neither will insurance.

OK, so what does that leave? I wish I knew. Obviously people get enrolled into clinical trials every day. Without them, there would be no new drugs. When it comes time to talk about money, everyone points the finger at everyone else and tells me that I may be responsible myself.

My anxiety isn’t from the fact that I have cancer. It isn’t even that I may not survive to see next summer. It’s purely from the frustration of inaction!!! Much like my dream last night, everyone is busy. I know they’re busy with very important things too. But, I’m dying and I need help.

I’ve had a lot of time recently to think about dying. Honestly, I’m not afraid of it. It’s just that I really love my life! I have a family that I love, a couple of jobs that I love as well. Oh, and don’t forget about my dog! I don’t want to leave them. I don’t feel like I’m done. I have so much more to do.

I’m 45 years old. Husband and father of 2. I’m a 10 year Navy Veteran and a successful businessman. Yet, I can’t call anymore to talk to the money people at the hospitals or the VA without breaking down into tears. Thank God for Valium, it really does help.

Don’t get me wrong. We are not giving up. Not by a long shot. Every day we call MD Anderson, the VA and any other lead we get. We will never give up. That’s a promise I made to my family and I intend to keep it. Just the same, the frustration and the strain of this takes it toll. I would so give up feeling well for them to start pumping drugs into me again. I can totally live with the nausea, the needing my cane, the carrying a chemo pump with me everywhere I go. I would go there in a heartbeat! It’s the waiting I can’t stand. That’s the part of this that is killing me.Image

Rescue Dogs In Japan

Check out this GREAT STORY from CNN on the search and rescue dogs in Japan.

Emaciated Dog Back in Loving Home – KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Emaciated Dog Back in Loving Home – KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend.

This is an incredible local story here in the Corpus Christi area. The story of a beloved pet digging out of the yard and being lost…..since December! Recently in the news after being found tied to a school jungle gym, the dog was reunited with its owners! I have to confess, the photos are shocking. This poor Weimaraner lost half of its body weight and is so emaciated. She is an inside dog so her survival skills were seriously lacking. But she was released by the vet back into her loving home for rehabilitation!

You know, this happens all the time. It’s so important to have a secure backyard and if possible, never leave the animals unattended. Leaving an animal in the yard when you leave the home is just asking for trouble and should be avoided whenever possible. Dogs get bored and get destructive. Sometimes they get scared and try to escape by digging out. Sometimes a cute female comes along and there is another reason to jump a fence. It’s just bad ownership in my opinion.

But we have had escape artists in the past…..you put them out to do their business and they are gone in a flash….or a neighbor stops by and leaves the door open a split second too long and they bolt out the door before you can even get “Don’t let the dog out!” off your lips. It happens. That’s why proper identification is also a must! Start off with a collar. At least the Good Samaritan will know there is an “owner” and may keep an eye out for your posters, soon to be plastered all over the neighborhood. Better yet, go to your local hardware store and buy an engraved ID tag. Name and phone number is really all you need in my opinion. I was able to return many a stray dog thanks to an ID tag. The last one being a 125 pound black lab who was happy to slobber all over my passenger seat as I chauffered him home 😀 Other people swear by microchip. I am not too familiar with the practice but it sounds very effective. Especially if your dog is injured and lands in a shelter or a vet’s office. They will “scan” the chip and have all your pet’s information in order to provide her with better medical care! Ask your vet about it!

This family was lucky……they just happened to be watching the news and saw her story and knew she was their dog. So happy to be reunited but so crushed to see their beloved dog in such poor condition.

Adorable Dog of the Day!

Blind Man Gets Dog For Himself and His Blind Dog!

You never leave a good man….or dog….behind!

This is Graham Waspe, living in England partially blind, along with his  seeing eye dogs. Unfortunately Edward, his first seeing eye dog, developed cataracts that left him blind at 6 years old. There was no way Graham was going to trade his dog in for a new model so instead, they got Opal to help lead them BOTH!

“They’ve become quite good friends and get on happily together,” Waspe said. “There are certain times I’m sure where Opal will help and Edward is happier by having another dog around.”

The trio now visits local schools raising awareness about the blind and their guide dogs. Edward has become even more popular than when he could see! Mr Waspe said Edward will continue to be a part of their family no matter what. Saying  “until the day that either we go or he goes.” 

Good dog Edward!

FX’s “Wilfred” – Elijah Wood Goes Dog Gone Crazy!

I know this looks bad…..or really quirky…..but as super fans of FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philledelphia” and “The League” I am sure we are going to give this a try…..and I can’t even describe it…..just check it out for yourself…..and be sure to watch the trailer because it looks funnier than the article can give it credit for……

Check out “Wilfred”

Premiers in June!

Adorable Dog of the Day!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everyone!

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