I've been up since 3:00a this morning, and there's no way I'm getting back to sleep. I "tried" to sleep til about 3:40, then read a book on my iPad Kindle app (thank goodness for the white on black iPad setting, which is the only way to read a Kindle book at night) and then decided to get up.
It's 5:15a now (Mark Knopfler tribute, I guess) and I figured I'd peck away at my DELL lappie for a bit. I'm down in the kitchen while the rest of the family sleeps. I'm comforted only by the enchanting sounds of Drone Zone, my cup of Earl Grey tea (which I'm drinking out of a Sixers mug instead of a cup like this), Phillies the fish, and the occasional meow of Elvis, who refuses to come in the house, even though there's a perfectly usable cat door connecting the garage to the kitchen.
Ever since we moved to Marin, the dumb-as-he-is-adorable furball won't come inside. We think the previous owners had a dog, and he just can't get used to the smell. He splits his time about 80/20 between outside and the garage. Last night we decided to put his food in the kitchen, just inside the cat door. He did actually come in to eat but promptly ran outside when he was done. Maybe we'll coax him in yet.
So why the ^&$^#@ have I been awake for upwards of 2.5 hours now? I think it's gotta be the Dexametasone, a steroid that often accompanies chemotherapy cocktails. Yesterday, I began a five-day outpatient stint of chemo at the California Cancer Care institute in Greenbrae, CA (Marin County.) My doctor (who rules, by the way) hooked me up with them for treatments and tests that don't require my presence at UCSF. The CCC is 8 minutes by car or 25-30 minutes by bike. More on that later.
Yesterday, they give me a low dose "Dex" pill and then an hour of Decitabine via IV. The plan is to repeat this exact recipe every day this week. I'm going to ask if the Dex is really necessary, because this artificial burst of energy side effect is not fun. They gave it to me before at UCSF when I did my last consolidation round... for more than a week, I slept five hours a night and woke up with my mind racing, adrenaline pumping, and body tired -- not a great combination, especially if I'm trying to build my endurance. There, I was in the hospital. If I needed to nap during the day, I could. I mean, I can nap here, but I'm trying to stick to a schedule of working from home in the morning, doing the chemo in the afternoon, etc.
But I digress... I've actually been instructed to work on my cardio and muscle-building. You see all of this: the week of chemo; the putting on weight; the conditioning; it's all to prepare my body for the upcoming bone marrow transplant (BMT) which is slated to start in about 3 weeks. The last 4 months ain't squat compared to what I'm about to go through, so now is the time to build strength.
So last week, in addition to buying Yota, I bought a new bike. Ironically, my old bike got stolen about six weeks before I was diagnosed. I suppose it was meant to be, as we probably would have detected the Leukemia a bit earlier had I continued to ride. This could have (1) put my disability benefits in jeopardy -- I joined Salesforce.com in mid-October 2009 and there's a one-year work requirement for certain benefits (2) impacted our Mexico trip, which, even though I was feeling pretty crappy since the disease was running rampant, was a welcome reprieve from the daily grind. Here's a great pic of me and the two kids in the pool from our casa in Mexico:
Kinda wild seein me with all that hair. I think I like the buzzed look better. Here's another shot of all of us at a restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta:
Pictured front to back right side: Havana, Orion, Heather, Floyd, me.
left side: Brandon, Shannon, Dawson, Carolyn, Mary, Melinda
Anyway, back to the bike. When we moved to San Rafael, the plan was for me to commute to work via bike to Larkspur Ferry. The new Cal-Park tunnel had just opened, and I was excited to check it out. For those who don't know, the new Bike Pathway and Cal-Park tunnel (video here)...
... is part of a brand new bike route connecting San Rafael to the Larkspur Landing. It will be part of the future SMART corridor with a planned station just behind the Larkspur Century Theater. Bicyclists and pedestrians will be completely separated from the future train by a tunnel within a tunnel, and the tunnel includes cell phone access, security cameras, and emergency access points.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, yesterday, I biked to my chemo appointment. I took the D street / Wolf Grade ridge there (whole trip was 3.8 miles with 250 foot ascent/descent) and the flat route via the tunnel back (6 miles). I was hoping to do the same thing today as the rain is going to start tomorrow, but unless I get a late-morning nap, I kinda doubt I'm going to have the strength.
When I got to the Larkspur Landing (Ferry Terminal area) I timed my ride from then on. It only took me 18 minutes to ride home -- and I'm in piss-poor biking shape. I should be able to cut that down to 15 minutes easily. That's going to be such an awesome commute! Just gotta get this BMT done and recovery from it.
One more bike tidbit. On Sunday, our friends Eric and Gina (and their kids) came up for a yummy brunch (lox, whitefish salad, bagels, the whole nine) and Eric brought me his old Burley trailer which he no longer has use for. After his nap, I took Floyd for his first ride in it!
Eep, Orion is stirring which means Floyd can't be far behind. Time to make espresso for mommy. I'll come back in to finish and publish this post.
I will kick its ass,
P.S. Salesforce.com folks: keep your eye out for a get-together-with-jg drinkie-invite-thingie from Benji sometime next week before I go in for my BMT.