Friday, May 30, 2008


Today I am in Vienna with my friend and helper, Cookie. We took the Wednesday early evening flight out of JFK and arrived here around 11:00 Vienna time on Thursday morning. The flight was great. Cookie was on time at every check point along the way. The choice of food on the plane was chicken or beef--both ok meals. Cookie had two dinners! And the movie was "The bucket list" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Very sweet and poignant. We connected in Dublin for the Vienna leg of the trip. Let me tell you how easy it is to switch planes in a country that speaks the same language as us!

After the plane landed we walked down the steps to a bus that took us to the main terminal building. We walked down a hall to the customs guys who were very nice to us and stamped our passports. Then we walked down a long hall to the security checkpoint where they ex-rayed our carry on baggage. And then up the stairs and into the terminal. The airport is very easy to get around too. There is a very nice food court off the beaten track in the airport. And, of course, lots of stores--for people who like to shop. The trip from Dublin to Vienna was uneventful too. The big difference is that if you want food, you got to buy it!

We slept alot yesterday, watched tv and had a great dinner of bbq prawns, asparagus and rice for dinner. Terry and Bill are great cooks. Terry and I took the dogs for walks last night and this morning. And now that we are clean and showered, we are going to hit the sights in Vienna with my nephew Nick. So far we are having a great trip.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Numbers Game

In the process of doing my 2007 income tax return, I realized between June 1st and December 31st I went to the doctors a minimum of 31 times. This included numerous tests including a mammogram, 2 sonograms, 3 MRI's, four biopsies, a cat/pet scan, 2 chest x-rays, an ekg and a muga scan. There was surgery on my birthday to place a port for the chemotherapy; and a sentinel node biopsy on that day to determine if there was cancer in the lymph nodes. Then there were 8 cycles of chemotherapy over the course of 16 weeks. The day after each cycle it was back to the cancer center for a shot of nuelasta. And of course, there were follow up appointments with the doctors. It all averaged out to about once a week over a six month period, but really, I saw the doctor once in June and once in July.

Since then I have had three operations, all requiring pretests and anesthetics and more consultations with the oncologist, the breast surgeon and now the plastic surgeon. Then there is the five years of tamoxifin to look forward to.

I tell you this, not so that you'll feel sorry for me, but so you will begin to understand that it is a long and often tiring process, even for the lucky ones like me.