Sunday, August 22, 2010


I asked my oncologist about why the fingernails on my thumbs and big toes had a dead  top layer that was growing out.  He said that the chemo 'killed' them and now they're growing out.  He compared it to how the rings inside a tree date it and how they can tell if there was a drought, etc..  This picture was taken about a month ago.  Now, the ridge is on the tips and will be cut off with my trimming next week.  You may ask, as I did, why just the thumbs and big toe nails?  He couldn't say.  The others had white lines and were indented, but not dead.  They were only...mostly dead.  The toe nails grow much slower, so they're only about 1/3 of the way grown out as of this post.  Weird I know, but would you expect anything else from moi?  Speaking of useless information...

As you can see, my hair is coming in again.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not.  It's coming in super curly!  Candice rubbed her hand through it and came up with, "Dad, you've got poodle head".  So that's my new nickname.  Poodle head.  At least it's still soft and not coarse.  My friend Ron Hogeland went through cancer/chemo over a year ago.  He had curly hair before.  His came in straight.  Mine was straight, now it's curly.  I've been told that it will grow out and probably return to its pre-chemo state.  At least it's hair.  Right?  As several of us were talking about it, we also were trying to decide what color it is.  The best description came from Seth Leishman.  It's pewter.  I'm told it's subject to change without notice.

Generally, I'm doing really great.  As of my appointment this past Wednesday, I've gained 12 pounds since my low after starting the daily Revlamid chemo pills.  I'm up to 170 lbs.  Good news.  The bad news?  Apparently either the Revlamid or the monthly super calcium infusion of Zometa is adversely affecting my kidney function.  The Doc adjusted my last Zometa infusion to see if it's that.  We should know by my next appointment at UCSF on Sept. 7th.  At least it hasn't hurt my appetite.  I'll be meeting with my orthopedic surgeon the same day to discuss a plan for fixing my 4 remaining collapsed vertebra.  Oh, and by the way, I found out a couple of weeks ago that I have a cataract in my right eye.  Chemo also causes cataracts to grow very quickly.  The small one in my left eye should be cooked enough to require surgery a few months after I've gotten the right one done.  More on this later.  Remember (now that Hillary's moved to So Cal and I'm on my own with this), when I haven't made a post in a while,  that no news is good news!  I've got more good news to report, but I'm going to keep you in suspense for a few days... To be continued...


  1. Thanks for the update. You did well on your post, even without Hillary's help! If I didn't know better (since Bruce saw you at Avila) I would have thought you'd run off to Tahiti with Dale. (You're considering that now, aren't you?)

    Love the hair. And I think curly looks good on you. I know that Ron's straight hair looks good on him.


  2. Finally an update! We have been waiting.
    Glad to hear you are doing well enough to chow down. Keep it up.

  3. spencer has the same thing on all of his fingernails! so weird, i figured that is what it was! it has been like that since he had his more harsh chemoes so now they are growing out! His eyelashes have come back since the last round of harsh chemoes and are now blonde, he is really worried about his hair coming in differently! so strange what this crap does to your body!