Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two Down...Four To Go!

I had my second chemo treatment yesterday and it was a different experience than the first as it was at a treatment center here in Syracuse and not in my hospital room like in Boston. It is like this huge open lounge full of people getting treatment. Everyone seems to be really upbeat and friendly. They administered other meds first via IV (steroids, allergy meds, stomach meds) and the allergy meds literally knocked me out so I got to sleep during the entire treatment, and from the way people were staring at me when I woke up, I think I snored pretty loudly.

I feel OK now and don't expect to get sick until tomorrow/Monday like last time, and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will still be mild like it was before. They are not sure what to tell me to expect because the drug I am getting (Taxol) is one that is normally administered every three weeks instead of weekly. On Tuesday afternoon I have to go in for a walk-in surgery to get a port installed in my chest, where they can take my blood and administer the medicine without having to do an IV each time. I am happy about that as the IV nurses don't seem to have an easy time finding good veins in my arm for the treatment. I am also trying to find instructions on the Internet how to use the port they install to drink my coffee intravenously...that will save me some time and will get the caffeine I need to function in my blood much more efficiently than drinking it! Just kidding...

When talking to the chemo nurse and doing some research on the drug I am taking I found it interesting to learn how carefully they need to handle it. One of the reasons they are doing the port is for my safety, as if the IV were to leak and the Taxol were to get on my skin it would cause irreversible tissue damage. They have to wear special gloves when handling it as well. I guess that's good in the sense that it sounds like it's good at it's job (killing cells) but it's kind of scary that they are so worried about getting it on my skin while they pump it into my veins!

I just want everyone to know I still feel great and if you saw me you still wouldn't know there was anything wrong with me. My attitude about this hasn't changed and though I am anxious about the next 4-5 weeks I am still amped up to fight this and can't wait for the next round of tests. I joked with my doctor this week that I am one of the few people who is actually hoping for open-heart surgery, as that will mean the plan is working. I am going back to work on Tuesday and am really excited about that, as one of my doctors told me last week that I wouldn't be going back to work for awhile (of course that was before they decided to delay the surgeries I need to give me chemo), so I have to look at that as a small victory. Thanks again everyone for all the well-wishes...I can't believe how much support I have received. It's been unbelievable and I am literally moved by the support I have received from my family and friends, from my employer (The American Heart Association), from Crouse Hospital and from everyone else who has been involved in helping us get through this.


Aunt Kate said...

Great idea for direct administration of caffeine! Maybe you could patent it and make a fortune.

Love you,
Aunt Kate

Anonymous said...

Hi there- you must be sitting in the new big leather recliner on your laptop or your blackberry- that new chair will make your "working from home" days that much more productive-Everyone in the office is anxious to have you back especially- Pam, Angela and mostly Phyllis.

You are such a strong person-your courage and positive attitude are as powerful as the drugs together they are beating this.

You and Shana are in our hearts and deep in our prayers. Will- we think about you all of the time and continue to send positive energy your way-

Love- Sammy Mills and Family

Anonymous said...


You are so amazing! Your such a stong man! I love you and am so glad to hear that everything went well yesterday! We are always here for you and Shana if you need anything! Cant wait to see you soon!
Love you both!
Steph, Darryl, Kyle, Sydney and Alex

P.S. the kids say they hope you liked there pictures!

Chris Shields said...


Said a prayer for you tonight at mass. I hope you feel good enough to watch the Bills "Squish the Fish" Sunday. We haven't been 6-1 since '93, I think we're due! Butler and Schobel are still out and won't be playing but I have faith!

Let me know if you need anything!

Anonymous said...

Just got on to the blog and read all of the updates/comments. Wow, when you pull through this were going to have a bigger gathering than the one for your 29 1/2 birthday, Shana threw. We may have to rent out the oncenter.

Your uplifting spirt is inspiration to all of us. Your perservierence can motivate even those without ambition. And Your family is a model for all of us, on how to love and care for one another.

In each blog there is more and more optimism, you can one believe that there is more good news is on the way.

Why did they send you to the women's hospital?

Were here if you or Shana need anything.
Gary, Michele and the kids

Melissa Chirico-Brown said...

Will and Shana-

I am so glad you have this set up it is great. I just wanted to say Keep a strong mind and be positive through this. You will beat this. I am here if you need me. You are in great care here in Syracuse as well. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you fight this!

Melissa (from softball)

Danielle said...

Hey guys,

I could tell every time I saw you together that you are an AMAZING and strong couple. I know you have all the strength in the world to fight all of this. I was absolutely devastated when I heard the news. I know I have not know you guys for long, but I know that you both are beautiful people that do not deserve any of this.

Will, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please do not hesitate to ask if there is anything at all I can do!

<3 Danielle

Mumsie (shana's Mom, will's favorite Mother-in-law) said...

Hey, Will, while we were in Boston, our congregation announced the request for a mountain of prayers for you! When we went to church today, everyone asked how you were doing. They offer their warmest wishes and positive thoughts, and PRAYERS galore! Our church is well-known for their power of prayer, and now the Prayer Laser Beam is aimed your way! These are wonderful, caring, sharing and religiously strong people, and they are all yours now, Will! We lifted you up today for special graces, and to be put on the inside track with none other than God. I am sure there will be a surge of power from which you may draw!! I have never seen so many people put their hearts together as these people do. They have a strong history of success, and you are now their Poster Boy (okay, Poster Man). Stay strong, and feel free to use any and all of the *coupons* these people access for you! We love you, Will, and you are constatnly in our thoughts.
Much love, Will!!

Armbruster-Long Family said...

We've never met, but I've heard a lot about you from my sister (Giovanna).

Glad to know that you are on the mend and in high sprits. I've been praying for your.

All my best to you and Shana,
Jason (G's brother)

jennoonan said...

You sound amazing Will!

Keep up the great work!

Linda Mc said...

Hey, Will. Hope the next couple of days when the chemo hits are easy. Best, best, best wishes to you.

Cindy Dout said...

Hey Will,

You're brilliant! Where can I get a caffeine port?

I hope coming back to work brings as much energy and spirit to your recovery as having you around, no matter how little, will have on the TCS.

Anonymous said...

Hey Will! We booked our tickets for the weekend of November 15-16! Can't wait to see you! You and Dom better brush up on your pitch-playing abilities because Shana and I plan on kicking your butts!

Glad to hear you are still feeling pretty good and are going back to work soon. Keep up the positive attitude! We are still praying for ya! Love ya!

Andrea and Dom (and Princess and Captain!)

Anonymous said...

Will, hope this e-mail finds you feeling great after your second treatment. Sorry about the Bills. Should be an interesting game in a couple weeks when they play the Pats. We miss you on the caging and capture team, but you are not forgotten!!!! You remain in our thoughts and prayers. Keep the faith!!! Chip

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your second Chemo treatment. Hang in there. It is all worth it, because you are going to beat this thing. We are all praying for you and proud of your positive attitude during this ordeal. You are awesome. We all love you and are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Ryan, Lynda & Vanessa

Beartooth said...

just checking in to send some more love your way, will and shana!

Michelle M.

Matthew McCaffrey said...

I just want to point this out...Your doctor said to you that you wouldnt be going back to work for a while, and then within two weeks your back...last year everyone said that Eli Manning would not play for a while after separating his shoulder against Dallas on September 9th, and he was back the following week, and he went on to win the Super Bowl!!! What does this mean??? I can't wait until you are hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy over your head in January!!!!

Joyce said...

Since I'm not a coffee drinker, I tried usng my port for Pepsi but we were never able to get past the carbonation part! Good luck with that. Funny what you said about Taxol being so toxic, I always wondered the same thing! Hope you handle the accelerated schedule of treatments well. Please remember that you both are always in our prayers. Congrats on going back to work. Normal is good.
Ajima Joy & Uncle Lenny

Anonymous said...

Hey Will...It's Judy Sears, fellow AHA employee. I have been thinking of you often and thinking very positive thoughts. I am inspired by your incredible attitude and I have faith that you will survive this. I have a friend who has been battling breast cancer for a year.....and winning! She too has been a source of great inspiration with her "I will beat this" attitude. Keep fighting Will!!!!
Judy Sears

Marianne and Scott Spratt said...

Glad to hear you are back home for a while. We have been praying for you and Shana. You will get through this - you have Goode blood in you and are a strong person! My best friend was diagnosed at 27 yrs old - it was a tough battle but that was 12 years ago and she is doing great today. Your family loves you and is here for you for anything you need. We will be praying for you and our church - St Patrick's in Chittenango will also be adding you to their prayer list.
Thanks for keeping us posted on this blog - it is nice to hear from you and see how you are doing. Take Care - Love, (your cousin) Marianne and Scott and kids

Mike said...

Good luck with all your treatments Will. I am up at college and heard about your situation within a day of everything taking place. My mom has been keeping me updated on all that she's heard. I hope everything goes well for you and your family. My family will always be there if you or your family needs anything!

However Will I am a J-E-T-S fan so this weekend I cannot support the Bills for ya.

Good Luck,
Mike Bielak

Anonymous said...