Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DAY 125 - Day 28 in Recovery Paradise

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get." Ann Taylor

I am getting tired of watching TV and movies. My throat is still sore, but my mouth is improving with the new Mycelex tablets. I have a hard time swallowing the mucus without gagging. Lost a bit of dinner tonight from one of the gagging sessions. Usually I just gag, but this time I lost a bit of food. I hate the vomiting thing.

Today was a sleeping day (catch up on energy). I took a nap from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. When Lise came home from lunch we walked around the block. It was a bit too warm for my liking, but I was able to do it without slowing down or feeling exhausted.

I fixed dinner for the girls tonight: spaghetti, broccoli and salad, plus apple slices and cheese. We had birthday cake (from the freezer) and ice cream for dessert. I watched--ha. They like it when they can just come in the door and have dinner ready. As chef, I like it when they eat it all.

I have a small infection around the feeding tube entry point. A bit of blood and stuff. I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and put antibiotic ointment on it. I hope it clears as I hate going to the ER or even doctor appointments. I hate the waiting.

I have both my follow-up visits with the radiology oncologist and the head and neck doctor this month for my first diagnosis of success with the treatments. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Song of the day: Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down

Monday, September 29, 2008

DAY 124 - Day 27 in Recovery Paradise

I had a full night's sleep for a change. I didn't get up in the middle of the night. I was still tired though when I woke up and took a nap after the girls left for school and work. I used my zero gravity chair for the nap. I slept for about 1.5 hrs and then took another nap after Lise came home for lunch and headed back to work.

I will try to have a full day of 500 cc drinks at meal times. It really fills me up, so Io will switch from every 2.5 hours to every 3 hours. Each meal is 600 calories, so it would be a 3,000 calories meal schedule. I was up to 140.5 pounds this morning. That is about a two-pound gain. Tonight I still felt full at 6:30 pm , so I had just one can of nutrient instead of two. That puts me at 2,700 calories for the day.

So far the feedback on yesterday's adventure has favored the poor little freaked out hamster versus me with a rodent in my pants. Ha.

I fixed dinner for the family tonight: roast beef deli rolls, corn-on-the-cob, salad and peaches and strawberries for dessert. I had my feeding tube. Not quite the same. I can still smell everything. I miss eating. When the saliva comes back, I would love to sit down to dinner with my family. My mouth is still a bit sore and my throat is sore. The meds are slowly catching up.

Song of the Day: Creedance Clearwater-Long As I Can See the Light

Sunday, September 28, 2008

DAY 123 - Day 26 in Recovery Paradise

I decided to up the calorie-content on each meal to gain some weight. I want to be in the mid to high 140 lbs. I have decided to go with two cans of nutrient drink each meal instead of 1.5. That is 500 cc of drink with 600 calories. If I can do this for 5 meals a day, that would be 3,000 calories instead of the current 2,4oo (not gaining any weight). I have done that twice today and feel really full each time.

We went to a concert Lise was playing in--a free children's concert at the local high school. I missed my lunch meal, and so I am running late in meals today and have to do another around 8:00 p.m.

My mouth is really sore and so is my throat. I have a pretty good case of thrush and can't seem to get rid of it. Today I got a new prescription for it--tablets that are supposed to dissolve in your mouth (if you have saliva). They work, but it takes a long time due to my dry mouth. Most of my daily discomfort revolves around my mouth and throat.

I thought I had experienced just about everything, but got to add a new one to my cadre of stories today. After telling Sarah to be careful in playing with her miniature dwarf hamster outside the cage because it might get loose in the house (many times), the inevitable happened. Lillian made The Big Escape in Sarah's bedroom. Her room is like every child's room--far too much stuff for a dwarf hamster to hide in, behind, under, etc. We had Mom, Dad, Sarah and her friend Heather all scrambling around with baskets, cupped hands, buckets, etc., trying to dig her out from behind stuff and catch her. We moved the bed, stacked toys, etc. The poor little hamster was totally freaked out, scurrying around past all these yelling, jumping, grabbing people. Finally, the hamster ran right at me and past me into the corner. Sarah jumped behind me to grab Lillian, and that is when she decided to run up and hide in my pant leg. I stood up and grabbed the cuffs of my pants tight around my ankles. We finally had her captured--INSIDE MY PANTS! Now what to do. While I duck-walked to the bathroom with my hands holding the cuffs tight to my ankles, Lillian decided to explore her new environment by going up and down my legs and back and forth in my crotch and across my bottom. Lise and the girls were laughing hysterically, as if that would somehow magically help the situation! I managed, amidst the laughter and rodent antics, to hobble into the bathroom and hop into the tub. I was able to stand up and "encourage" the hamster to leave my pants and run down into the tub. I can now recommend a surefire way to capture loose hamsters in the house.

Got a cool email and recommended song from my sister about how close I am to getting back to where I was before treatment.

Song of the day: Paul McCartney - Get Back

Friday, September 26, 2008

DAY 121 - Day 24 in Recovery Paradise

I'm still feeling a bit better each day. I can't seem to sleep through the night, however. I wake up around 4:30 each morning. Either I have to go to the bathroom or I am too warm.

After Lise and Sarah head off to work and school, I generally take a one-hour nap from 8:00 to 9:00. My little alarm goes off then as it is time for my second meal. I have my nutrient drink--either drink it or by tube--at 6:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and again at 4:30 p.m. Once again I was able to drink it without much problem the first three meals today. Once the mucus starts in the afternoon, I can't swallow without gagging. A monumental day will be the day I can take all of my meals by mouth. Once I get the tube removed, that will be great!

Dustin came by today with Tilly, whom he referred to as his girlfriend for the first time since they've been together for over a year. He came by to mow the lawns for me, as I am not up to it physically. Love that guy. He is really a good kid. He should transfer to Sac State in the Spring.

I am starting to do some stretches--not really exercise or anything that breaks a sweat.

Song of the Day (video): OK GO - Here it Goes Again

Thursday, September 25, 2008

DAY 120 - Day 23 in Recovery Paradise

I'm still not as strong as I would like to be, but I'm getting a bit better and stronger each day. I made beef stew for the family today. It turned out OK. Lise likes to come home and find dinner ready to go.

I had three meals orally today--a bit more each day. My throat is still sore.

I bought Showtime today for a six-month offer. I figure that by March I won't need it any more. More emails from my sister and a friend from high school.

Song of the Day: Chicago - Feelin' stronger every day

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DAY 119 - Day 22 in Recovery Paradise

I had a little breakthrough yesterday. I was able to once again take some nutrients orally. Two of my six feedings were with Ensures and Instant Breakfast by mouth. I lost the second one, though. I just can't take anything unless my mouth is dry. I can't swallow anything when I've got mucus in my mouth. I had two successful Ensures and Instant Breakfasts today, so I'm slowly making a little progress.

I made a crock-pot dinner for Lise and Sarah today. Chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup, white wine, carrots and green beans, assorted herbs. Both girls ate everything on their plate, so I'm sure it was OK. The problem is I can't taste anything, so I can't tell if anything is OK until they put it in their mouth. I did this dish from memory.

Lise left the house this morning telling me my mission was to KILL THE FLY, and I must say, I was successful in that mission as well. I also pulled a few weeds and watched TV for the rest of the afternoon.

Song of the Day: Doctor My Eyes

Monday, September 22, 2008

DAY 117- Day 20 in Recovery Paradise

I had appointments with the ophthalmologist and my chemo oncologist today. The chemo oncologist said we did all we could do to kill the cancer and now we just wait through physical recovery to see the results. He says it will be two to three months before I will feel normal again. He is so like Jackie Chan in facial expressions and laugh and speech. It is just like talking to Jackie Chan, so I can hardly follow what he is saying without a big grin on my face.

I changed to five meals a day; now I am not having the late one. I have been having to get up in the middle of the night from having so much liquid. Last night I choked on phlegm and got the dry heaves about 2:00 a.m. It was hard to get back to sleep after that.

Lise had a rehearsal tonight, so Sarah and I did the study thing together and cello practice. We had a fun evening together.

Lise and I have purchased a lot of tickets to performing arts events over the next few months, and I think I'm ready to enjoy them. We got season tickets to the Camellia Symphony, The Sacramento Ballet, the B Street Theatre Family Series, and the Sacramento Opera. We had planned on this before I got sick, so we voted to keep it intact.

My mouth has been the same as yesterday: dry in the morning and mucus-y in the afternoon/evening.

Song of the Day: Tom Petty - Saving Grace

Sunday, September 21, 2008

DAY 116 - Day 19 in Recovery Paradise

Long Day. I woke up with swollen ankles and had to go to the medical clinic. They checked me out as I also had a small fever last night. The doctor said I would be OK, so I got to go home. I've gained six pounds in the past week, taking in 2700 calories a day. This may be too fast, so I am cutting back to 400 cc of nutrient 5 times a day instead of 6 times.

My mouth was dry the first half of the day and mucus-y the second half. My throat is just a little bit sore now. I seem to have a bit more energy, but I'm really tired of the same routine every day.

I helped Sarah this afternoon with her school work. She has a book report and diorama due on October 2nd. She finished the book ("This is the longest book I've ever read!") and came up with a great concept for the diorama. She built a set of stairs out of cardboard, all by herself. I didn't help at all; in fact, I told her it couldn't be done! Ha- proved me wrong!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

DAY 115 - Day 18 in Recovery Paradise

I had my last visit from the home health nurse yesterday. She said I was OK without home nurse visits. My blood pressure was OK, though they are concerned that it is too low. She did a blood test to check my Cumaden level, which is going up, so no changes in my dosage of Warfarin. My throat was not so sore yesterday, but I still had lots of foamy mucus. I'm still carrying my spit cup everywhere.

Saturday: Did not have a good night's sleep last night. I had to get up twice, woke up at about 6:00 and could not get back to sleep. I did not take my early morning nap today. Made coffee for Lise and did exercises with her instead. We had a family outing today and that was a great change from my boring days. Went up to a park for a American Heart Association Walk/Run/Fair. It was supposed to run until 1:00 pm, but it was ending just as we got there at 11:00 am. Sarah was disappointed, so we got her some balloons and went out to lunch and for a yogurt treat after. The walk to the event from where we parked was exhausting, so I guess I am not ready for big outings. We went to the grocery store later, and pushing the cart was a lot easier. It felt good to get out of the house.

My mouth was dry all morning and my throat a little sore. The mucus came back in the afternoon. I have to spit every couple of minutes. It gags me if I swallow it. My throat is not so sore though. I felt strong enough to steam clean the stairs. They still had tea stains from when I fell down the stairs that night some weeks back. I changed a couple of light bulbs and ironed a couple of shirts. That about finished me off for the day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

DAY 113 - Day 16 of Recovery Paradise

Today was a day much like yesterday. I took two naps in my zero gravity chair. (I love that thing.) I woke up every two and a half hours from 9 to noon for my feeding. This afternoon I walked around the block. I felt weak and tired by the end, but I made it. I also watched a movie, "Time Cop: The Berlin Decision." Good movie; worth watching. This evening we all went up to the video store. I picked out two more movies for tomorrow, and then we shopped for a few groceries. I tried reading, but my vision is too blurry.

The soreness in my throat has improved a bit more yet. The mucus is now kind of dry and foamy. I can't swallow it without gagging. I have three big plastic popcorn cups that I keep--one in the entertainment room, one in the bedroom, and one downstairs--and one has been a fixture in my hand for the past few weeks. They are about 20-ounce cups, and I started using them when I felt like I might throw up. Lise and Sarah noticed this evening that I was without a "spit cup" on several occasions. Hopefully, that means there's some improvement there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DAY 112- Day 15 in Recovery Paradise

I still have foaming mucus, but my throat is not so sore. My mouth and tongue are not so sore. I have special medicine (Nystatin) to rid fungus from inside my mouth. There is a concern I am not getting enough water and that that is lowering my blood pressure. We are doubling the amount of water before and after my formula feedings, and I can drink water in between.

For a couple of hours, I misplaced my skull cap, which had me all upset. It's a little knit cap that just covers the top of my head. It was donated to the radiation clinic. Sarah picked it out for me. I thought it was silly at first, but it really keeps my head warm now that I have almost no hair, and I've become quite attached to it. Thank God Lise found it.

I met with the home health nurse. She says I am doing great. Very chipper. She says Friday will be her last day visiting me since I'm doing so well (other than the blood pressure issue).

I took two naps today in my zero gravity chair. I also watched a movie, "Heist." It was a good choice. You never could tell what was going to happen next and I couldn't guess the ending until the last 30 seconds. That's the kind of movie I like.

I may walk around the block once tomorrow if it's not too hot. The last time I did, I was pretty well exhausted by the time I got back to the house--it's a pretty large block--and I was moving pretty slowly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DAY 111 - Day 14 in Recovery Paradise

Last night was the second of two good nights' sleep in a row. For 20 minutes before I got up this morning, I almost felt normal again. Then reality struck in and I realized I have a tube sticking out my stomach and I have to sit for 25 minutes at the dining room table holding and filling a syringe with nutritional formula in order to survive. The followup visit to the doctor this morning revealed that my blood pressure is still too low and I need to adjust one of my heart medications to balance the low blood pressure versus atrial fibrillation issues.

My mouth is still sore, but the doctor prescribed Nystatin (again) for thrush. This is already helping. My throat is not as sore today. I have a runny nose. I still spit constantly; just can't swallow the mucus.

I'm now at goal of 300 cc of nutritional formula per "meal," six times a day. That's 1,800 calories per day. Now I will try to increase the amount per meal so that I can reduce the number of meals each day. Less time sitting while slooooooowly pouring the formula in will be an improvement.

I spent my day watching a movie (The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan), listening to NPR (Neal Conan, Talk of the Nation), and watching a football game (Iowa vs. LSU).

Monday, September 15, 2008

DAY 110 - Day 13 in Recovery Paradise

My mouth is still sore but not as much. My tongue is still very sore; talking aggravates the sore edges of my tongue. My throat is still sore but not as much. The phlegm/mucus is still there but not as bad. Eight cases of supplement were delivered today. That'll be good for quite awhile.

Had a home health nurse stop by to check on me. She says my blood pressure is low. They will recheck it at my regular doctor checkup tomorrow. I tried to get it moved to an earlier time to work better with Lise's schedule, but then they called me to say someone canceled the appointment. The HHN fixed it so it is back on again. She will stop by again on Wednesday and Friday.

Moved up to 250 cc for each "meal" six times today, so I'm almost there. The goal to maintain my desired body weight is 300 cc six times a day. I'm still trying to break 140 pounds. This morning I was 135.5. I've lost nearly 30 pounds.

Song of the Day: The Ventures - Wipe Out

Sunday, September 14, 2008

DAY 109 - Day 12 in Recovery Paradise

Lise says even though I may not notice it, I am doing better. Better than last week or even two weeks ago. Last week there was no way I would have been making spaghetti sauce, or ironing, or going downtown to the Nutcracker rehearsal/parent meeting, or going to Blockbuster and then meeting Lise and Sarah at the grocery store at the other end of the strip mall. I did all these things today.

My mouth and throat are still very sore. I find it difficult to talk. Mucus is still so bad that I have to carry my "spit cups" with me wherever I go. My hearing and sight are affected also. I'm seeing my ophthalmologist on the 22nd.

Song of the Day: The Beatles - Getting Better

Saturday, September 13, 2008

DAY 108 - Day 11 in Recovery Paradise

Yesterday was pretty decent in terms of no surprises or hurdles. Got my 6 feedings in with no bad results. Bad night sleeping again: coughing far too much, can't sleep in the bed, keep Lise awake, can't get comfortable. Am sleeping in the zero gravity chair. Still bad, but can doze off occasionally.

Hurdles today. Spent the better part of Saturday in the ER again. I recognize almost everyone down there, and Lise and I pointed out the 5 different rooms we have been admitted to. Had a fever of 102.5 and so we went in about 8 a.m.; got out about 4 p.m. They took lots of blood and X-rays and gave a prescription for antibiotics. Boring. I hate going to the ER. You wait and wait and wait with nothing to do, and it is cold, so you are wrapped up like a mummy in blankets--except for the arm with the IV in it.

ER is priority management, so an old guy with a temp goes last. Got to give myself 100 cc of water through my tube though.

My mouth still seems to be the major source of discomfort. Full of foamy mucus, which I have to spit out constantly. If I swallow it, it gags me. Throat is sore today again. There were a few days last week when it wasn't sore, so I thought I might be past that. Wishful thinking. Tongue is severely sore, and when I talk, my teeth scrape the sides and it is very painful. Lise and I have relegated ourselves to her talking in Yes or No questions and I respond with a thumbs-up or -down. She is the best ever caregiver. I truly would be lost without her. She sits for 6-8 hours in the ER with me doing nothing as I can't talk, without complaining. Our anniversary is this Monday. Thirteen years--boy, am I a lucky guy!

Back home now and had a successful "meal" dinnertime: 150 cc of formula and 100 cc of water. Another turn at 8:30 pm.

Sarah's hampster died, so we had to have a burial service when we got home. We cleaned out the cage, and she and Lise are off to secure another critter.

Song of the Day: The Hampster Dance

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DAY 106 - Day 9 in Recovery Paradise

First feeding this morning was vomited right back up. That means my first two feedings at home were not successful. Went to the Emergency Room. Spent the afternoon. Had X-rays of my stomach to make sure there was no blockage. At the end of the day, they wanted me to go slower with the feedings and not pour it in too fast. Sent me home with a new anti-nausea drug. Tried stringing out feedings this evening over 30 minutes instead of 10-15. Long and boring, but it seemed to work. So...I had my two first successful feedings at home.

Song of the Day: Food, Glorious Food

DAY 105 - Day 8 in Recovery Paradise

Finally got to come home! Had my first four meals in almost a week. PEG tube is installed. Nursing staff gave me the first three. Took my first meal at home at 10:30 p.m. Filled my stomach totally so that when I tried to take my pills it caused me to vomit. Quite unexpected. Big mess. I was wondering if I would still throw up, even though I wasn't swallowing food, and now I know the answer. I feel a lot stronger as a result of my stay at the hospital. Lise says that I look better and look stronger. The tube sticking out of my stomach is about 10 inches long and is kind of a hassle to tape to your chest so it doesn't get pulled on. I've decided to shave the hair on my chest (temporarily) so I can quit pulling the hair out each time I pull the tape off. Feeding schedule is every three hours, six times a day, starting at 6:00 a.m.

Song of the Day: Gene Vincent - Peg O' My Heart

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DAY 104 - Day 7 in Recovery Paradise

A note from Lise: We waited seemingly all day for the PEG tube procedure. When I arrived at the hospital at 9:15 they were suggesting that it would be in the a.m., at any time. Then the news came that the doctor wanted to wait a full 4 hours after stopping the heparin drip, so we were told we'd have to wait until 1:15. And then the update was that it would be between 1:30 and 2. Finally, by 2:10 they came to take Bob to surgery. For me then, it was another 1 3/4 hours of waiting. For Bob, it was more like waiting 45 minutes for them to start...and then they were saying it was over, before it even seemed to start. He's doing well, though he's feeling some pain at the PEG tube site. A good night's sleep without much moving around should improve things considerably. We hope to get the lessons on how to take care of the PEG tube and how to use it tomorrow morning, and then be released sometime tomorrow. And then it's on to continued, gradual improvement in condition. With sufficient nutrition and hydration, the recovery phase will be much easier to manage.

Monday, September 8, 2008

DAY 103 - Day 6 in Recovery Paradise

A note from Lise: As expected, Bob is looking and feeling MUCH better with continuous intravenous hydration! He wanted me to be sure to note on the blog a new milestone: He has actually been ingesting something other than Ensure, although it's all of the clear liquid type: Jello, clear broth, apple juice and tea. He is especially pleased to be eating Jello. Red Jello works, but orange hurts his mouth.

They were not able to install the PEG tube today because his blood has been too thin due to the Cumaden he takes for his atrial fibrillation. They are regulating that, though, and it looks like they will be able to install the PEG tube tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

DAY 102 - Day 5 in Recovery Paradise

A note from Lise: Took Bob to the E.R. at Kaiser Roseville, arriving at 10 a.m. this morning. It took over five hours before he was finally admitted and receiving hydration. Not sure how long he will need to stay in the hospital, and we won't really know much more until after he is seen by a doctor tomorrow morning some time. (He's in Room 3104. Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center, 1600 Eureka Road, Roseville, CA 95661.) While Bob is very sad to be away from his family, I'm so glad he is where he can get the best care and close monitoring and I am positive he will be feeling so much better within the next few days.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

DAY 101 - Day 4 in Recovery Paradise

Odd day. Managed to get down two Ensures throughout the day by taking four gulps at a time and then sleeping for 20 minutes. Special VIP treatment by my wife. Fortunately, it was Saturday and this schedule worked. Still scheduled to go to E.R. tomorrow and check myself into the hospital to get a feeding tube installed.

Song of the Day: The Beatles - And I Love Her

Friday, September 5, 2008

DAY 100 - Day 3 in Recovery Paradise

I met with the radiation oncologist this afternoon. I am hydrated enough and my white blood cell count is rising, but I have been losing too much weight too fast. Lost 10 lbs in 8 days, so if this does not improve tomorrow, I will check myself into the ER on Sunday for an overnight stay at Kaiser Roseville Hospital to have the dreaded PEG tube installed before I starve myself to death. Can't even get one Ensure down without losing it. I vomit several times a day, even with nothing to come up.

I can't even walk anymore. I shuffle, like I'm one of the walking dead. Last night I practiced trying to walk not like that but was too unstable. Apparently I've got two weeks to one month more of this before I can start noticing changes for the better.

Wish I could eat a cheeseburger!

Song of the Day: Cheeseburger in Paradise

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DAY 99 - Day 2 in Recovery Paradise

Bad night sleeping. I need to get more rest. I was not able to keep much food down today. Seems mostly to be the buildup of mucus on my throat. It keeps gagging me when I swallow.

Got another cool card from my sister. She is a pillar of strength in all of this, and I owe her big time, along with my wife. I could not bear it without their support.

I have an appointment tomorrow with the oncologist nurse to see if I need to get hydrated before the weekend. I hope so. I always feel better and rejuvenated. We will talk about the feeding tube and whether I can outlast the gagging.

Song of the Day: U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 98 - Day 1 in Recovery Paradise

Day one of post recovery. A long way to go to make it back down the hill to the grassy fields below.

I've lost a lot of weight--down to 137--about 25 lbs below my bulked up weight before treatment. Don't know if I can lose much more. It's hard to keep Ensure down. I keep throwing it all up along with the heavy mucus on the back of my throat. I am getting pretty weak. It's getting difficult to even move around. My eyesight is negatively affected, so it it hard to sit up and type this blog.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DAY 97 - Day 0 in Recovery Paradise

Finally, Day zero. The end of treatment. I know it's going to get worse in the next two or three weeks, but it really is a milestone to reach the last treatment day. I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I got to take my mask home, and I got a certificate from the radiation oncology staff for graduation day.

From this day forward, I need to focus on getting better, even though today's treatment effects will last for the next two weeks.

Song of the Day: Huey Lewis and the News - I want a new drug

Monday, September 1, 2008

DAY 96 -Day 1 in Recovery Paradise

Long boring day - But is the first day back down the hill to Paradise. Not much to do except sleep and watch movies. My eyesight is poor and I can't concentrate long enough to read. trying to keep the ensure down - not having much luck - down to 137 lbs.

Don't know if I can out last the effects without getting a feeding tube. Eill meet with staff on Friday to discuss nutrition.

Too weak for more right now.

DAY 96 - Another Day in Paradise

I'm sick and miserable. It's been a very long weekend. The good news is tomorrow is my last treatment. Yay! I've gotten lots of good birthday wishes. I also need a haircut, which is kind of ironic. Just on top, though. Getting my haircut by my wife is one of my favorite activities.

Rented more movies today. Movies and sleeping seem to get me through the days.

Got a birthday present from Lise--a cool moisture humidifier. The other one was hot steam, which I couldn't abide. This one should work out well. It also works for 24 hours instead of four. It's a good present. I think I will use it a lot. I love my wife very much...mucho, mucho, mucho, mucho, mucho. She takes very good care of me. I know it's got to be a tough job. [A note from Lise: No, it's not a tough job, because Bob is so self-reliant!]

The mucus seems to be the biggest problem because it builds up in the back of my throat and gags me. It is so thick that it stopped up the sink in my bathroom. We'll have to get some Draino at the store.

I dropped down to 139.5 pounds this morning. This is the lowest I've been in 30 years. But I weighed 130 in college, so I have a few more pounds available. I've had three Ensures so far today and intend to get one more down tonight. That's the best I've done for a week.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow being the last treatment so I can finally start the upswing. Thanks to everybody out there that's checking up on me. I love you all.

Song of the Day: Weird Al' Eat It