Monday, February 11, 2013


Leaving hospital in Chicago!! Will be Cali bound tomorrow.

Pain still there, but being managed. Heading to Stanford later in the week for another endoscopy to follow up on the ulcer's condition, healing, and next steps. Thankfully this is my week off from chemo.

Thanks to everyone for all their texts, emails, and phone calls of support. I really appreciate it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow in Chicago

Quick update:

At a different hospital in Chicago, where I'm still in ICU, and about to have another endoscopy.

The initial endoscopy I had yesterday revealed the bleeding was being caused by a duodenal ulcer that's either a product of radiation, chemo treatments, or potentially tumor abrasion from the outside. I'm still waiting on the biopsy results.

They're currently giving me blood and platelet transfusions. I've not had any more vomiting.

Doc here says that after I finish my rounds of chemo that I should be able to go to surgery to try to take out the tumor given my health and age.

More updates:

Had another endoscopy to squirt some sealant on the ulcer. Then had angiogram to embolize the duodenal artery in the area of the tumor. Biopsy results inconclusive.

Now waiting to heal up and get my counts back up. Sounds like I'll be here until Monday or Tuesday.

I'm out of ICU and in a private room, which is nice as I can get better rest and am not always having a nurse come in to take blood, vitals, etc.

Lots of snow on the ground out here. Chicago looks good.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I had a several firsts on part of the trip to Johns Hopkins.

Prior to the flight out, the previous day, I had a platelet transfusion just after I had chemo.

The day of the flight my wife and I stopped at O'Hare for a connecting flight I suddenly experienced a wave of nausea. I hot-footed it to the bathroom and promptly vomited up what looked to be a pound of Red Vines and accompanying juice and realized that I had just vomited some blood. I've never done this before. It was rather disconcerting.

My wife and I then hightailed it to the gate to talk to the agents about getting to the hospital and reclaiming our luggage when I had another wave of nausea. This time it wasn't as much and it was darker in color. Needless to say, I wasn't happy.

The agents at the gate changed the departing gate for the flight as the paramedics needed to use the gate to bring me out to the ambulance. They rocketed us to the hospital with lights and sirens going (when needed). If I didn't feel so shitty I probably would've been more excited to be riding in the ambulance.

Once we got to the hospital and into emergency, I got to experience something horrible. An NG tube. God I hate you NG tube. They had to put it in to suck out the contents of my stomach to see how much blood was in there. It involved shoving a plastic tube in my nose, down my throat, and into my stomach, while I'm awake. I cursed the first time they tried and finally got it in the second time. There was not much blood present, so I was able to have the tube removed. Vomiting blood was more preferable than having an NG tube inserted.

I'm now in ICU and am having a red blood cell transfusion. A GI doctor is seeing me in the morning and will likely do an upper endoscopy to see if they can determine the cause of the bleeding. We're still trying to make the appointment at Johns Hopkins on Friday. It's a whirlwind.

To recap the firsts:

1. Platelet transfusion
2. Ambulance ride to the hospital
3. NG tube (I hate you)
4. Red blood cell transfusion
5. Vomiting blood

The worst thing is that I'm in Chicago and I can't eat anything. All I'm craving is some genuine deep dish pizza, and I can't have any.

Oh well. Soon. Let's get this bleeding thing figured out, catch the flight to Baltimore, get home, and then maybe celebrate with my West Coast Chicago-style deep dish: Zachary's. Spinach and mushroom.