Thursday, March 30, 2017

World Records

Jenny loves Eric.

Eric is doing ok. Slow improvements. He's still discouraged about tasting food. Some days seem better than others. He'll get a quick taste of something, then it will fade. He's also still really tired. He's napping on the couch right now. (Sorry, no pictures.) And his hands are still about the same.

Some fun local news... The Today Show will be at SUNY Oswego tomorrow morning. Al Roker is  doing a week long tour of colleges to set World Records. Al Roker is an alumi of SUNY Oswego, so Oswego is his final stop! They're going to attempt to do the world's longest conga line on ice skates. So if you're up and near a TV, check out The Today Show from 7-9am. And if you're local, our station (Ch. 3) will be live from 4am-7am as well. (They will also be live on Facebook.) And for those wondering if Alex will be there... I have no idea. Getting that kid to answer a text message is like pulling teeth. So if you happen to see him, let me know! Click here for more info if you're interested in learning more about "Rokerthon 3"

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chemo-free Tuesday

Ahh. This is much better. Cheers to no chemo!

Eric is pleased to not be suffering any extra side effects (and wearing that evil pump) today.  We went to Longhorn Steakhouse and had a nice dinner. We both brought home leftovers.

He is still having a lot of issues with his hands and fingers. Buttoning shirts (and pants) is really difficult for him. He drops things. He can't open ziplock bags very easily. It's a big pain in the butt for him to do things that most people don't even think about doing. We're not sure how long these side effects will last, or even to what extent they will stay, but we're really hoping for some improvement soon. 

He has an appointment for a CT scan on April 10. With results/follow-up on April 12. Please send lots of positive vibes his way for a clear scan.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Colon Cancer Awareness Month

In case you didn't know (or if you don't follow Paula on FB), March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Have you had your colonoscopy? I know one of Eric's brothers had one last week and I know Eric's friend Bob had one earlier in the month (both are clear.) Family history is a factor. However, more people get colon cancer who have no family history than those who do have a family history. So if you're over 50, have a family history or if you have any symptoms or weird things going on in your digestive system, go get one! Better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The End of the Weekend

It's the dreaded end of the weekend. Tomorrow is Monday again. Today was a nice day. A lot of relaxing, eating, and watching tv happened today. We also went to the mall and walked for awhile. I can't wait for it to be nice outside so we can walk around the neighborhood again. 

We have nothing going on this week. One thing that's NOT going on this week is another chemo treatment. Yay! Maybe we should go out for a celebratory dinner on Tuesday, just because we can.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Market

We went to the Farmer's Market this morning. It was cold and raining, but thankfully they have a lot of indoor space. I need to go more often, especially since the weather is getting warmer, I always forget about it. It's a great place for fruits and veggies. And Amish baked goodies. 

And of course, these donuts. (That's for you, mom.)

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching movies. We had some excellent bacon cheese burgers for dinner. Eric could taste it too, so he was pretty happy. Things continue to look up.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Activities

Tonight after work, we (all of my co-workers and I) went to Margaritaville for drinks. And Eric got to join us! It was fun to be able to go out and have drinks to start the weekend. We only stayed for an hour, but it was still nice. (And I'm annoyed that I didn't get a photo!) I stopped and got pizza on the way home. Eric said that he's starting to get some more energy. And he also said he's interested in joining me tomorrow morning when I go to the Regional Market for their weekly Farmer's Market. It's so nice to get out do things together again.

Oh and it's also a big weekend for me for another reason. I don't know if anyone else is watching Grace & Frankie (on Netflix), but Season 3 was released today! I'm so excited!! Lots of tv watching in my future.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hump Day Update

I know, I promised I wouldn't take/post another photo of Eric sleeping. He's not exactly sleeping there though, just nodding off a bit. He's still really tired. And his stomach was acting up today. Last week he was all stopped-up, this week, the flood gates opened. (He's totally going to be mad at me for posting that!) But seriously though, chemo side effects suck. And he's still feeling the effects. It's only been a week and a day since the last treatment, so he still has some time before he's really feeling better. I'm really hoping he gets some real relief soon, he needs it and he deserves it. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring is Here.

There's not much to report from here. It's Monday. Back to work and back to the routine. Eric seems to slowly be getting a little more energy. His hands are still funky. He did some research and found that it's most likely not just the neuropathy from the Oxaliplatin. It's a different reaction from the 5-FU, which is one of the drugs he was continuing to get. It's a burning sensation, the one that made his hands peel back in January. He's hoping the reaction this time isn't as severe, but they are still in pain. It's reversible, but he's just not sure how long it will take.

Speaking of reversible, he's been really annoyed with the inability to taste food. He's heard varying reports about how long that takes to return. It could be anything from a couple of months to a year. If anyone has any experience or knowledge on that, let us know! He'd really like to start enjoying food again.

Oh and Spring arrived early this morning. The snow is slowly melting, and it's lighter out later. Things are looking up.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up

We had a nice weekend. Eric is still really tired, so it was pretty low-key. Today we went to Panera for breakfast. Eric decided he needs to get out a little more and get moving, so we did. After breakfast we did some grocery shopping too.

We got a lot of fresh fruits. Eric wants to make fresh "juice" now. We made some today and it was delicious. Red grapes, apples, bananas and oranges. (I still need to cut up that pineapple.) We also put some vitamin water in for some extra liquid, plus some ice. We used the magic bullet to mix it all up, and it was great!

And also, this guy was here all week. You're looking at the extent of his activity. March Madness started this week, so that's pretty much all he did was watch basketball. He's heading back to school tonight. Only about 6 weeks left of the semester! He'll be back before we know it. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

It's Friday!

Eric has been extremely tired the last couple of days. His hands and feet are still really bothering him too. He says they're getting worse. Which is so odd because he hasn't had the drug with that side effect for a month. I'm so glad they stopped giving that one to him. It could have gotten so much worse. 

He never got the Neulasta shot. There was too much confusion with the insurance company and the CVS mail order place, so it was never sent. Hopefully Eric will be fine without it. 

The latest (and last) edition of the Bark Box included a pod of edamame's. It was a green edamame pod with those 3 yellowish-green edamame's in it. She LOVES them. If you stuff them back into the pod, she'll get them right back out. She likes the edamame's more than she likes the pod. And this was unplanned, but the airplane is still right there with her. Hippo is to the right, but not seen. She's awfully possessive of her toys.

Last night I got to go see Wicked. A friend from work had tickets and asked me to go with her. It was nice to get out and be an adult for an evening. And Eric got to stay home and have a long nap without me bothering him, so we both won! It was a great musical and a fun night. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's snowing.

So we got a little snow the last couple of days. Apparently a LOT of people got a little snow. It's still snowing here. It doesn't seem to want to stop. You have to love when a "normal" storm comes through and wakes up the lake effect. So it's like a 2-for-1 thing. I assume it will end eventually. And Spring officially starts next week, so we'll be ok. 

Speaking of ok, Eric's doing pretty well today. He was full of energy this morning then after lunch, he fell hard. He said he had 3 cups of coffee just to try to stay awake. Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight. He's got that annoying pump though, so it could be another restless sleep. But that comes off tomorrow and then he'll be free! 

There has still been an issue with his Neulasta shot. It never arrived via the mail order place and he's supposed to get that shot administered tomorrow. He's prepared to not have it at all, but the Oncology place may have one for him. We'll have to wait and see what's going to happen. Kind of disappointed with the otherwise decent insurance we have.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


He did it! All 12 treatments are done. I know there were many times in the last few months that he didn't think he could do it or that he'd ever be done. But he did it!

The nurse was getting ready to hang the very last bit of chemo drugs.

This was early on in the morning. It got quite a lot worse as the morning went on. It doesn't look like it's going to stop snowing until sometime tomorrow night. 

The 3 amigos. We are so thankful for Bob over the last 8 months. He's been there for Eric each step of this journey. He's visited in the hospital (every time Eric was there) and has been to every Chemo treatment. He's helped with rides and been a great friend to Eric and to me. We'll miss seeing him every other Tuesday, but now we can hang out and do normal things together. Like go to the Cape in September!!!

Eric had a pretty good day today. I actually took a personal day, so I was able to be with him all day. The weather was so bad, we didn't want Bob to have to drive all the way up to our house, so I drove Eric home today and just stayed home. My office ended up closing early too, so it all worked out. 

Eric came home and took a really good nap. We ate a nice lunch and just relaxed all afternoon. I posted a little something on Facebook today about everything he has been through. There was a huge outpouring of support for him, I think he really appreciated all the kind words, I know I did. We really hadn't told a lot of people what was going on, it was good to get it out there along with the good news that Chemo is over. He has a follow up appointment in 4 weeks, where I imagine they will set a date for a scan to make sure everything is a-ok. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Final One

So tomorrow is the big day. The last chemo treatment. It really seems like it's been forever ago since the first one back in September. 6 1/2 months is a long time to have your life turned upside down. Hopefully after tomorrow, Eric will start feeling better, eating better and living better. We are looking forward to being normal again.

And of course, the final day couldn't just be a regular day. It has to be on a day of the "biggest snow storm of the season" That's just perfect, isn't it? There may be a state of emergency in the rest of NY (and the Northeast), but in Syracuse, we just call it Tuesday.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Coldest Ever St Patrick's Parade

I did it. I survived the coldest parade in the history of parades. (In Syracuse, anyway.) It was indeed cold. And windy. And snowy. But we had fun.

Eric was kind enough to be my driver for the day. (And my friends' driver too.) Everything was great and everyone was safe.

The CNY Central mobile leading our pack. The crowds were thin, but who could blame them! 

Since I was occupied yesterday, I went out early today to get our weekly donut treat. This week we have an extra body to feed, so the early birds get the donuts!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Winter Returns Again

It's been a quiet week for us. Which is always nice. We're looking forward to another weekend of rest before the final chemo treatment on Tuesday. Alex will be home tomorrow for his Spring break. And Saturday I foolishly signed up to walk in the St. Patrick's Parade again. And wouldn't you know, it's going to be the coldest day of the ENTIRE winter. Figures. Eric will be staying home this year. I'll be bringing hand and toe warmers. And maybe some Bailey's to spike my coffee with. Gotta keep warm somehow!

This was last year at the parade. It was SO nice out that day.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Exciting Tuesday

We did something a little wild and crazy tonight. We switched couches! I know, we know how to mix it up and keep things exciting.

We had an interesting call from the doctor's office today. Apparently the Neulasta shot Eric been getting after each chemo treatment is no longer covered by our insurance. He only has one more to go! Our insurance is requiring us to get it from a CVS mail order pharmacy. We have to do that with all of our "regular" prescriptions that are long-term (like my thyroid medication) but this isn't really a "prescription", it's a shot that's necessary for his white blood cell count to remain high. And it's also not a long-term medication. So I don't really understand what the issue is. Oh and in case you were wondering, one Neulasta shot is $4,194.

We could tell you some stories about our experience these past 9 months and the unbelievable high cost of not only the insurance and medications, but the medical costs too. And each bill we get seems to be different for the same exact treatment or service. One week Chemo cost $4,000. The next week it was well over $10,000. Thank goodness for "out of pocket maximums." We hit that last year in September. This year we'll hit it in March. If you're going to go through a major medical issue, try to start it in January so you can squeeze it in during one calendar year.

(And I'll get off my soap box now...) 

Monday, March 6, 2017


I got Eric a new hat for our vacation. Doesn't he look thrilled?! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Donut Day

It wouldn't be a weekend around here without donuts. These were fresh from Wegmans this morning. 

We had another quiet day, I ran some errands and got my car washed. We relaxed, watched tv, took a nap (Eric did) and we even cleaned (some of) the house. We're now mentally preparing for it to be Monday tomorrow. 

This is our life

Yep. This is our life. We've got the dog, the giraffe watch, cozy blankets and all of our gadgets within arms reach. Plus a tv (not seen) that is running episode after episode of Law & Order: SVU. And that is how we spend most Saturdays lately. It's not all bad. It's relaxing and warm and comforting.

Eric had a craving for fish yesterday. So I went to the "Fish Cove" in Bayberry Plaza to get some freshly fried haddock sandwiches. And yummy french fries. It was pretty good. And very filling. We'll definitely go there again.

And since people are inquiring, here's the official countdown to the Celebration Vacation. We're going on a 7-day Caribbean Cruise! We'll be leaving from Baltimore and stopping at the ports of Grand Turk, Freeport, Bahamas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. We were going to go to Disney, but after a lot of consideration, and realizing a cruise is about a third the price of Disney, we opted for a cruise. Plus Disney would require a lot more energy than sitting on a cruise ship. I think it will be good for us to get away, relax and enjoy ourselves. Not to mention, with the all-you-can-eat buffets and desserts that are offered 24/7, Eric might be able to put on a few extra pounds!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Update

Last night we had steak for dinner. And au gratin potatoes. (And corn, which isn't in the picture.) Eric is doing well eating and keeping hydrated. He's still very tired. This was his "I just woke up from my nap" face. 

His hands are really bothering him. He's afraid they're going to start peeling again. They're very tingly - he says they feel like they're asleep. He's not sure why they're feeling worse since he didn't get the Oxaliplatin this time. But maybe it's just a residual thing. 

Today our main goal is to stay warm. We have no plans. Maybe we'll venture out. Or maybe we won't. Or maybe we'll just dream about this warm tropical paradise that we'll be visiting in May...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Crazy Mother Nature

Eric had his pump removed today and had a couple of hours of hydration. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and lovely. Today it was 20 degrees and snowing. The commute to work this morning was one of the worst of the year. (The photo above was taken a few hours later, so the snow had melted and been cleared.) But at 8:30 am, I-81 was shut down and the Thru-Way was closed due to accidents. It was crazy. By noon it was gone. It was still quite cold, but the snow had disappeared. 

Exhaustion hit Eric hard today. He was really tired when he got home from work. He took a nap before dinner. And I didn't take a picture of it, I promised him no more "sleeping on the couch" photos. You'll have to take my word for it, he was tired. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hump Day Update

Just a quick one to let you know Eric's doing well today. He survived a busy day at work. We made pizzas for dinner and had ice cream and cinnamon buns for dessert. (Well, he had all of that for dessert, I just had a cinnamon bun.) He said he's feeling a little tired. His throat is a little funky, and his fingers are still numb. He keeps dropping things, which is annoying him to no end. He had some pretty big hiccups tonight, but nothing long lasting.

Tomorrow he gets his pump removed at 10:15. I know he's looking forward to that! He'll have 2 hours of hydration after that where he can hopefully relax and take a nice nap.

And for those keeping tabs, yes, the giraffe is still pregnant.