Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ken Graydon Update 3/10/11

Good news from the home front re Ken. He's in his 4th week of chemo and doing very well. The only side effect so far is fatigue. He did an hour program for a group of seniors this morning and said he enjoyed it and things went well but it surprised him to discover how bushed he was afterward. His chemo is an oral capsule called temador. Look it up on the web. It potentially has all kinds of nasty side effects but Ken isn't experiencing them. He takes an anti-nausea pill first and then the capsule. He does the chemo for 6 weeks, then waits two weeks, then sees his oncologist. Don't know what happens then--or next. We'll keep you posted. So far Ken is a great trooper, has a terrific attitude and is doing well. That's it for now.

Best to all of you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Medicine Talk

by Ken Graydon, January, 2011

While reading through the warnings
Of these pills I take each morning,
The feeling comes aborning
That something is awry.
For that which happens to you
As each slowly courses through you
Can cause a sort of voo-doo
When they join and multiply.

For each new medication
Seems to add more information
That further ingestation
Could bring consequences dire.
And as though this weren’t enough
When the going’s really tough
They’ll make it rather rough
‘Cause then they’ll get together and conspire.

Levetiracetam can run antic
It can sometimes leave you manic.
It can cause attacks of panic,
Make you hear things that aren’t there.
It’s designed to ward off seizures
Which can sneak up in your leisure
But it’s dangerous for geezers
For their complications flare.

It can cause hallucinations
And other aggravations
Such as hyperventilation.
Insomnia comes in rollers tidal.
Fevers, chills and rashes may come visit
And you start to wonder “Is it
Time to bite the biscuit?”
It can make you suicidal.

Famotidine’s for fighting reflux
Which is similar to upchucks
And I can tell you, it sucks
When a belch disturbs your sleep.
Use caution if you’re older
For it tells you in the folder
That consequences then grow bolder.
They’re enough to make you weep.

And then there’s Dexamethasone.
This one goes right for the bone.
If you’re osteoporosis prone
It helps you on your way
Along with fever, seizures, chills
A myriad of mental ills
Like weakness, sadness, losing wills,
All for a moderate co-pay.

It says there that your bones might break.
Perhaps your back and head could ache.
It might at night keep you awake
Or give you indigestion.
Do not despair. It’s no upsetter
For the statement’s made in big bold letters.
It’s all designed to make you better.
Now, have you any questions?

Ken's Progress Report 2/08/11

News about Ken's appointment today:

Ken starts a chemo treatment next Monday. He'll take a pill to control nausea 30 minutes before taking the pill that is the chemo agent. He'll do this every evening before bed for six weeks. The doctor says this treatment is usually well tolerated but to call him if things get difficult. "It's not my intention to spoil your quality of life," he said.

And there's good news. The new MRI shows Ken's brain to be clear of the spots that were radiated in December, and a new chest X-ray shows the spots in his lungs have not grown or increased since Nov. 11. The doctor gave Ken the choice of waiting to use chemo until there were changes but he didn't recommend that. He said it's better to work to shrink the lung spots and discourage whatever else is going on right now rather than wait until they've activated and then start treatment. Ken agrees.

We leave tomorrow for a cowboy event in Sierra Vista. Ken is an invited performer. He'll be in various workshops during the day, all of them with up to three other artists in a round-robin situation. We'll see our cowboy friends. It will be great. We'll be home Monday night and he'll take his first pill.

I asked Ken on the drive home from the doctor how he felt about the visit. He was matter-of-fact Ken, "I got the information I wanted and we're starting the treatment. That's all good."

Meanwhile, Ken is drinking green tea and stoking fresh veggie juice. It can't hurt.

Thanks to all of you for your interest and good thoughts.