Thursday, July 1, 2010

Round 1 - Penthouse Suites, Talking Ragtime

I'm pleased to report that the MGH Onocology facilities encompass the advertised spa-like atmosphere (though i did have a little inside help with my expectations). The image above is the view out my penthouse suite window overlooking the Charles River. Additionally, today I got a reflexology foot massage from some nice lady and throughout the day I received visits from social workers, case managers and other supporting divisions to make my stay and my family's stay more comfortable. Everyone one here at MGH has been top notch and super helpful.

Chemotherapy, although failing my expectations as a Clockwork Orange nightmare, is definitely not a walk in the park. The nurses basically force feed poision into your body for 3-6 hours while you sit on a hospital bed slowly getting sicker and sicker. The regiment I'm on is called AIM (which is a combination of Adriamycin, Ifosfamide and Mesna). Adriamycin, commonly referred to as the "red devil," is so caustic to the skin that the nurses must wear long gowns and thick gloves; yet for some reason it's okay to be forced through my port. Ifosfamide is another weird drug that has been the bane of my existence here at MGH. The first night my Ifosfamide was delivered too fast and my doctor quoted me "talking ragtime." I was disoriented / confused, and had hallucinations, along with apparently saying weird things. Finally, Mesna is not a chemotherapy drug. Instead, Mesna is our friend and protects my bladder from developing inflammations from the poisons.

Chemotherapy has been a roller coaster. For a moment I feel fine and energetic, and then the next moment I feel completely powerless and zapped of all energy. I can feel the chemotherapy medicine attacking all the areas of my tumors. My back aches, my legs ache. I lie in bed helpless waiting for the medicine to finish attacking the foreign material. When it's all passed, I feel fine again and ready for the next obstacle. I guess that means it's working :)

Due to my talking ragtime on Day 1 and my low-grade fever Day 2, they're going to hold me overnight and discharge me tomorrow, even though i just finished receiving my third and final chemotherapy treatment for this cycle.

Round 1 is complete!


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  2. My dear Jeffrey, you need to get through all this nonsense and get well. I'm still waiting for that contraption that will feed my grandcat automatically. Such a great idea! Please know that so many people love you!
    hugs and kisses,
    Michelle Litt

  3. "Third and final chemotherapy treatment for this cycle" - what a tremendous accomplishment. I'm very glad that they are giving you a good view and foot massages. Your strength is truly astounding, Jeff. Brooke xx

  4. Yipee! I am GRATEFUL that the first cycle is over! Love, mom

  5. Nice view! (and by that I mean that we can almost see your nipple through the hospital gown)



    Turk says "hi". Nosh says "huh?"

  6. Love your view and you are on the road to recovery Were here if you need us the amdurs

  7. Well done jeff. I'm glad round 1 is over.

  8. Hey Jeff, Noah's wife here. Glad to read that you're keeping a positive attitude throughout this difficult time. Just know that you have two people in Colombia sending you good thoughts, and the further the thoughts travel the better they are ;-)

    My brother's friend has a story similar to yours; he discovered that he had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball shortly after he got married. His wife documented his progress and just a year after being diagnosed the tumor is now considered dormant which is amazing. Here's the link if you'd like to read about their journey and find strength in knowing what the human body can overcome:

    Let's skype again when you have a chance! Give our love to Autumn :-)

  9. Jeff
    Just heard the news... Just wanted to let you know we are all thinking about you... Hang in there.... Plus I need to find you your next Job ;)
    Steve Reinecke

  10. YEA Round 1 completed! Take one day at a time, Jeff. We all need to do that! Even one second at a time. Sending you love!! XXXXX

  11. Happy to hear the first round is over.
    Always thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way!!
    the Feigers

  12. Hey Jeffery - We at Boardwalk are all there for you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Stay positive! Your friends at BF

  13. Jeff and Autumn,

    Happy 4th of July! We're thinking of ya'll. Lots of love and prayers from Las Vegas!

    Jennifer & Carlos Blumberg

  14. Round 1 complete! I'm so proud of you. Remember that each day will get easier as you start your healing process. I love you! Breathe in hope, breathe out love!

    Autumn & Benson

  15. Round 1: Jeff 1 Tumor 0 Yippee

  16. nice work, Jefe, and a great post. I talk ragtime constantly; usually after a few drinks, but sometimes totally unprovoked:)--xx, bsd

  17. Jeff thanks for sharing all of this. I'm so sorry to hear about the cancer. I am sending tons of love and warm wishes your way! Keep the positive thoughts up and I know you and Autumn will get through this and kick this cancer to the curb!! Take care, Heather Habina

  18. Jeff, We are thinking of you! Glad that round 1 is finished! Feel good and keep up that positive attitude!
    Rochelle and Victor Horadam

  19. Jeff, your attitude and humor during this journey is so amazing! We wish we could all approach difficulties like you do. We are in awe of you. Please know we are thinking of you all the time with great positive thoughts and love.

    Mimi & Barry Roth

  20. Congrats!! We think about you every day!! Clark and Sylvie

  21. We will kept praying for you buddy :) the way please try to drink mixed juice,combination of 1 apple, 1/2 fresh lemon (juice), 1 tblspn honey, 1 bit fruit, 1 lettuce. drink that juice every morning after you awake, and evening before sleep time. i gave to mom long time ago, she's cancer survivor already 9 years now.

    Wish you luck buddy and Autumn you are a brave ,smart, wonderful wife for Jeff. You guys are a great couple!

    Love you guys!! xoxoxo

    Merlina, Nathan and Angelica Meyer