Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3/11/09 Who is that masked man !!

Well we have survived the first three days of chemo therapy and radiation. Monday was a rather long and exhausting day. Five hours of lots of intervenes drips, steroids, anti nausea drugs, chemotherapy and then finally more fluids and I was on my way to radiation. The drugs certainly do wipe your system out and it has been a struggle to have much energy. I have been pretty nauseated, had some wild chemo hiccups, and have felt really tired but except for that we are getting along pretty well. Eating is a bit of chore when my apatite is not great but we’re doing the best we can and as always Peggy has been wonderful! I’m hoping that some of the nausea will ease up in the next few days.

I have included in this post a picture of the radiation machine and the mask that is used to keep me in place. The radiation machine moves in arch’s and covers a little different section during each arch. There are a total of ten arch’s { Sometime 12 }, and then the treatment is done. Overall it takes about 30 minutes and this week I have not yet been feeling any adverse effects from the radiation but it is a cumulative process so it should catch up to me in a bit. All the doctors, nurses and staff at the facility have been wonderful and I can’t imagine where else we would ever get such personal care. It is such a comforting thing. They are monitoring me like a hawk and will do blood work every week to check on white and red blood cell counts and any irregularities that may arise. One other great relive this week we were finally able to lock in the prescription drug coverage with our health insurance. After several “misunderstandings” and lots of phone calls we are officially locked in. Next Monday will be a long day, peg tube surgery first thing in the morning, radiation, blood work then a visit with the chemotherapy oncologist. Never a dull moment!

As always I am totally overwhelmed by the response from this wonderful community of friends. As of Wednesday afternoon, “For the love of friends” had been downloaded 535 times. It seems like our circle is growing every day. Thank you so much again for the wonderful thoughts and comments from all of you. It really makes all the difference in the world. I will do my best to keep up with posts and as always I look forward to seeing you all at 7:00!


  1. Hi Dan & Peggy,

    I have been following your blog and it brings back so many memories. I often wondered what Butch's mask looked like and now I know. Thanks for the picture. Bruce, Sally and I think of you often. I know the next 6 or 7 weeks will be tough for both of you but hang in there - it WILL GET BETTER! Just wanted to let you know we are praying for you.

    Do you know what you are going to use in the feeding tube? We found some nurishing drink that had about 1oo more calories than Ensure. We use to order it from the Drug Store. But that was 3 yrs ago and maybe there are better things on the market now. I'm sure your doctors will know what is best.

    Will join you at 7:00.
    Phyllis Woodard

  2. Hi Dan and Peg-
    Woa...hang in there. I'm so glad to hear what wonderful personal care you are getting.
    As one of the 535, I echo Maria B.: "BEAUTIFUL!" and Greg McCrea: "Not very polished???
    I've been visualizing you both working and playing around your beatiful farm house and land, and also back up at Meadowlark--walking hand-in-hand by Washington Pond, watching the moon rise over the pond from one of the wooden swings by the shore, playing the strings off the hammered dulcimer and guitar, and the roof off the place, in a grand glorious 'super fast'jam session in the Art Barn...
    I send [as always] love and strength and perserverence and esperence-

  3. Dan and Peggy,

    Never mind the that a picture of Dan!!! in the proximity of a c..c..CAT??

    All though we have not written, we have been "with you" all winter. "See ya" at 7:00.

    Sandi and Cathy

  4. Dan--your willingness to describe all that is happening to you is so useful for all of us at a distance. It's good to hear that the care remains top notch and the insurance worries are at bay for the time being (for good?). Hang in there! Lots of healing vibes coming from Ballston Spa:-)

  5. Hi Dan:

    Thanks for continuing to share "the experience". You've got a great way of calmly describing all this stuff being done to you and continue to maintain a positive outlook.

    I continue to look forward to walking in Trillium Lane with a cancer-free Dan in May!

    - Eric

  6. Dan,

    Ask Peggy real nice like to make you some fresh ginger or peppermint tea for that belly of yours! (You'll be glad you did.) And, look for candy that has real peppermint oil or ginger in it to carry with you. (Have any old candy canes around? Do your travels take you by a Cracker Barrel? They have hard candy with real oil.)

    Also, you might want to consider wearing Sea-Bands for the nausea. Really!

    We're all singing your song out here.


  7. Danny,

    I think some of the 7 pm spiritual power you've been receiving made its way to the hearts and minds of your beloved Orangemen at Madison Square Garden last night! I had your boundless enthusiasm well in mind throughout each of the 6 overtime periods wherein Syracuse had to enlist their own course of mind/body techniques to overcome the physical challenges presented by a very talented team from Connecticut. It proved to be the second longest NCAA game in the history of Division I competition.

    Had we been together, you would have been slapping my hand and shouting for joy, so with that spirit in mind, here's a big virtual "high five" for you! You da man!!!


  8. Dan,
    I'm thankful all is going well so far.
    Hang in there and stay positive.
    We are all cheering for you and playing on.
    Sue C.

  9. Have you had any inspirations for music or lyrics while lying still under that mask for 30 minutes? I am so glad that the medical staff is kind and supportive. I think most people who choose to specialize in oncology are a special breed. I'm sure too that the unique gifts you and Peggy bring to the situation are not lost on them. My aunt, as well as friends, reported getting relief from yarrow-infused creams for skin issues related to radiation. I visualize you well and happy inhaling deeply the pine-scented air of an Adirondack Mountain summer, Peg at your side. I send you Reiki backwards through your song.

  10. Hi Dan and Peg,
    Just wanted to let you know we're thinking of you and as I write this am enjoying For The Love of Friends. It's beautiful.

    We'll be visualizing nightly at 7. Looking forward to another barn concert. Next time Gary will be there with his aunt and I! Makes me smile just thinking about it. Hope it does you, too!

    Take care. You, too, Peg! Keep harvesting the hope!!!!

  11. Dan, Congratulations on completing your first week of treatment. I hope you get plenty of rest this weekend. I'm glad they gave you IV hydration after chemo - that really made a difference for me. If you continue to struggle with nausea, I would recommend asking for hydration again. You can't have too many fluids during treatment! Especially when you start having trouble swallowing, the IV fluids will be even more important.

    As always, we are thinking about you. I'm going to Vegas tomorrow for a few days for a conference, and you should know that I will be thinking of you when I'm standing on the Hoover Dam, when I'm walking along the strip, and when I'm playing the slot machines.

    Take care,


  12. In my experience, ginger tea can indeed help with nausea. Otherwise, it's one step at a time--one day at a time. May the increasing sunshine and warmth of spring lift you up.

    Sally and Lew

  13. Danny Boy....Love ya...Zach passes along a heartfelt "hey"See you later in the Creek.

  14. oh dan!!!! what a beautiful song. im sitting here on my couch catching up on some work, and i didnt get to listen to the song last time i checked the blog because i was in a sales meeting, but i just listened to it..i think i speak for alot of us here that this seems almost backward how we feel we are getting so much love and positive feelings from the both of you during all this!! i've been visualizing lots of nice things for you after all this crap is over! you and i running at allegany on a nice clear morning, you pretending to be harry karry (sp?) while im eating or drinking something and making me choke half to death, me and val coming to see you guys play in the adks this summer, and of course, the barn concert. im picturing you whole, healthy, and strong, like i know you will be. im going to go rock out 9 miles this morning. and ill dedicate it to you, and ill even let you keep your left nut!! and if you're feeling a little crappy this morning, at least you dont have anything wrong with your belly button!!!! let me know if you need a ride to chemo on thursday, i can probably swing something..also, im getting ready to cram a pie into that peg tube of yours, but it probably wont taste as good. see you guys soon, love, stef, val, tim, mark, orchard park quakers.

  15. Hi Dan and Peggy,
    I have been thinking about both of you and have you in my prayers; Kristin asks about you often and sends her love, too. She is watching as I am typing this email and says, "Hope you feel better, call me anytime!"
    Much Love!
    G & K

  16. Hey Dan,

    Just checking in to catch up and to send our wishes and prayers. Our thoughts are with you as always.

    Love to you,
    Scott and Doreen

  17. Dan & Peggy-

    Hi, there ... love and caring from the Cortland UU Congragation. (I've recently joined this one, too.) You are famous far and wide. We are following your progress. Do you still have the beard?? Will we recognize you ... ??

    Love and kisses,
    Chuck Lochner

  18. Dear Dan & Peggy -
    Lots of love, healing energy, visualizations coming from me and all the ripples of Wayne County and Syracuse Peace Council friends.

  19. I'm not being an asshole... but I want to know Dan if you ever smoked. Because I smoke and head cancer scares me.

  20. Hey Dan & Peg,
    The mask beats anything the Lone Ranger ever wore. And we know that the radiation and chemo, tough as can be, are the Silver Bullets that will drive the bag guys away.
    Woody & Elise

  21. Dan,

    Thinking of you as always. Let me know when you're ready for another "story"

  22. Dan, I wish you a good day today. I tried to post a comment several days ago, but it didn't go through. So this is a test run. Be well.

  23. That worked, so I will try again.
    Dan, I have been reading the comments posted for you, and I am so impressed, but not surprised, by how loved you are!!! I just recently discovered your blog and will continue to follow it. It is beautifully written and the photographs are great. I am still having trouble remembering the 7 PM vibe, (despite the fact that you made fun of me for being so schedule and time conscious.) So, I just send vibes whenever I think of you, whether it's day or night, to help fill the time between the 7 PM vibe, power surges. It is awesome to think about all that positive, energy cris-crossing the earth to go to you and Peggy. Thank you for your music and teaching! Cindy M. in PA