Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JimA eyes

Even though I should probably go to the ofc, I think I won't bother today. Just finished at the eye doc. Don't think I will drive downtown for just a couple hours.

Happily, no developing cataracts. Apparently, I have lost quite a few eye lashes and this can contribute to the eyes not being able to lubricate properly. It is effecting my vision. He doesn't currently see any damage to worry about - just treat the irritation and symptoms. But, he doesn't think glasses are warranted.

So...I have an Rx to fill for a cream that I am to put on the lower eyelid 2x per day. Tobradex. And he gave me a couple types of drops to try.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

OK Tuesday was Tuesday - about one week after my chemo. Not a bad day. Slept in a little (normal nowadays) and got into the office late morning. My eyes are still bothering me - though not quite as bad as initially. I see my eye doc tomorrow to see what he says. Have been eating a lot. Jill has cooked a few things - jambalaya, a chicken crockpot dish and tortellinis with her homemade sauce. And, Ive been drinking the nutrition drinks. This AM, I was up 3 lbs over last Wednesday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

pretty good day

Didn't really sleep well last night - 3rd day on steroids. But, after sleeping a little late, I had a pretty good day. Got to the office a little later than usual; but, nobody ever seems to care.  Did a little work "stuff" and read the news. Nice lunch with the VPs and hung around for a while longer dealing with the usual little things. Got home a little early so Jill and I could get out and get some groceries before I wore out. Turns out that I lasted OK. We've been eating at home quite a bit; so...we spent more than usual on food. Feel pretty good right now. Have been addiing a nutrition drink per Dr E to kick up the calories. I'm sure that chunky soups are probably not the best thing in the world; but, I have found a few that I like and we'll see how that works out. Certainly easy to make. They are way too much sodium for Jill - she's been having small sandwiches - which gives her her "6 bites" pretty well. And, she snacks once or twice as we watch TV. Looks like I will need to make an appt to see my opthomalogist about my eyes. I have been stalling and hoping they would clear up. They seem to not be getting lots better; so...I better get them examined.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Xrays, doc visit and 3rd chemo

Today was a medical day. First, I had a chest xray & blood tests. Then I saw Dr Einhorn. Finally, I had my 3rd Alimta infusion. All went well and actually stayed pretty much on time. My xray was good. Dr E says that there was some clearing in the upper lobe of my right lung. Since he sees progress, we will continue through the max infusions for this chemo - three more every three weeks for total of six. Dr E examined my eyes and doesn't know what it is. He hasn't seen it as a chemo side effect. I'm gonna make an appt tomorrow with my opthomalogist. Dr E isn't happy that I continue to lose weight - I'm down around 50 lbs since Feb. He said I am simply not eating enough and wants me to add 3 nutrition drinks per day. Luckily, I actually like them; so, that shouldn't be a problem. I drink that Kroger brand of Ensure - tastes the same and is much cheaper.

After all the doc stuff, I went into the office for a short while. Had an important memo/email that I had to get out. My VPs had drafted the memo.  But, I don't like to send out anything under my name without proofreading and editing.  Also, Melissa got me an omelet and it was waiting for me when I got to the office. Cindy and Melissa sure do take good care of me!!

Tonight, Dancing with the Stars results show!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Junk blog

Once again, someone was able to post a nonsense, junk blog on my cancer blog. Let me remind you that it is probably a junk blog if it isn't about my cancer/health, my family, our travel or such topics. I absolutely will not post anything related to politics or controversial topics.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

Friday, September 18, 2009

IndyStar article about Melvin's funeral

Below is the IndyStar article about Melvin's funeral.

Powerful friends bid goodbye to Simon
By Will Higgins
Posted: September 18, 2009

12:50 -- 'My Way' ends funeral service

Two thousand mourners packed the synagogue for the hour-long service, after which shopping mall developer Melvin Simon's casket was wheeled out with Sinatra's "My Way" playing again.

Simon the founder of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group died Wednesday. He was 82.

Simon became one of the most powerful businessmen in Indianapolis as his firm grew to dominate the shopping mall industry. He was a co-owner of the Indiana Pacers.

President Clinton was among the speakers at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, 600 W. 70th St.

Clinton called Simon, a good friend, "one of the most remarkable people I've met."

"He made a lot of money," Clinton said, "but he didn't sit on it. He shared it."

Clinton recalled Simon's playful and competitive sides as well, telling a story of how he was playing golf on Simon's home course one day, and the host took great pleasure when Clinton started struggling. Simon went so far as to graciously offer his guest some new clubs, Clinton recounted to smiles.

Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, also attended the funeral.

Simon was an important contributor to Democratic candidates.

Larry Bird, who worked for Simon as president of the Indiana Pacers, took his place in the synagogue. Also joining the mourners were retired Pacers All-Star Reggie Miller and Sidney Taurel, former chairman of Eli Lilly and Co.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, his wife Winnie; Sen. Evan Bayh, his wife Susan; and NBA commissioner David Stern also attended.

Before the service, Melvin Simon’s brother and business partner, Herb Simon, greeted mourners who arrived early outside in the sunshine.
EARLIER -- Big names expected at Simon's funeral

Celebrities, sports figures and government leaders are expected to attend today's funeral for Mel Simon.

Former Vice President Al Gore and NBA Commissioner David Stern are among the guests expected at the funeral for Simon, the shopping mall developer and co-owner of the Indiana Pacers.

Simon, who died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was 82.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, 600 W. 70th St. The funeral will be followed by a private interment.

Others expected to attend are Pacers President Larry Bird; former players Quinn Buckner, Mel Daniels and Reggie Miller; current player Danny Granger; U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh; Gov. Mitch Daniels; Mayor Greg Ballard; and former Mayor Bart Peterson, according to a Simon spokesman.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Vincent Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis, IN 46260, for the Joshua Max Simon Primary Care Center.

Melvin's funeral

Went to Melvin Simon's funeral today. More than 2000 attended. First time I've been to a Jewish funeral. Was primarily a memorial including numerous talks by family and friends. Bill Clinton spoke very eloquently about Melvin and Bren (wife). I liked how each speaker included at least one humorous anecdote about Melvin - he would have enjoyed that.

Other attendees included Al Gore, Evan Bayh, Reggie Miller (and about half-dozen or more other current or former Pacers), David Stern (commissioner of the NBA) and many others I recognized by sight but not by name. I'm sure loads of state/local Democratic politicians were there; but, I don't know them.

I'm going to skip the memorial open houses at Melvin/Bren's home this afternoon and tomorrow and the memorial service at the synagogue (I think tomorrow). I'm not much for mingling - which is what I expect will be the case at the open houses.

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration for Melvin.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Been a while

Apparently, it has been a while since I did an update. I know because so many people have emailed asking how I am doing since I haven't blogged for a while.

Before I write about my health, I need to mention my friend and business mentor, Melvin Simon. Melvin passed away today and this is a very sad day for me. He has been a big influence on me and our family during the past 15 years. I was privileged to spend a good amount of personal time with Melvin.

The Indy Star has quite a few articles about Melvin today. He was a huge personality and his influence on Indianapolis will be felt for many years. For me, I will always remember the private times and travels with Melvin. If you don't know much about him, read the articles today at His life, business success and good deeds are worth learning. for me, I am doing so-so. Mostly, I am experiencing significant fatigue. This is an expected side-effect of my latest chemo - Alimta. However, I am never quite ready for this type of fatigue - even though I've had it several times.
I am sleeping a lot - 10+ hours every day. So...I haven't blogged because I've been sleeping. I can be watching TV and just fall asleep for a hour or more.

With the added muscle fatigue, I can't do much of anything physical without feeling wiped out. Dr Einhorn says I need to just run the course and get through it.

That means that I haven't been to the office for two days. It wouldn't be safe for me to drive right now. My blood oxygen saturation level has been good at 95 to 98. So, I am not having an issue with oxygen intake. I'm taking it one day at a time for now.

I've had two infusions so far and am scheduled for another next Wednesday. I will get around six to eight total infusions. So...I guess I better get used to this.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Tomorrow is Labor Day Monday. Another day to pretty much sit around and relax. Haven't done much this weekend and I don't expect tomorrow to be much different.

Eyes are a little more irritating than they had been for a few days. But, I'll just keep pampering them to see what happens. Skins rash not much of a factor - some sores; but, not bothering me much either during the day or at night.

Muscles are feeling a little fatigued - particularly my legs. Right side (surgery side) has been pretty stiff the past few days. Not really what I would call pain. But, the stiffness sure can be uncomfortable.

Oxygen saturation level is maintaining very well at a 1.5 setting. But, fatigue is tough on me even when activity doesn't take my O2 level down. While I can be fatigued from activity, my oxygen sat level is still over 95 - sometimes 97-98.

Guess I'll still just keep getting lots of sleep, eating and relaxing as much as possible.

PS - For anyone who saw the posting on my Blog titled "Bush", I want to let you know that I did not post that entry. I haven't figured out how it showed up; but, I have deleted it everywhere I have found it.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day weekend begins

So far, so good a few days after Alimta infusion Wednesday. I have pushed to eat a little more - picked up some Dove Bars. And, as Dr Einhorn suggested, I have started taking ambien every night. weight loss is holding steady and I'm getting more sleep.

Today starts the beginning of the Labor Day weekend. Probably noting special. White Sox game on Fox tomorrow afternoon. Other than that, will probably just sit around and try to relax.

The rash is pretty stable and doesn't really bother me much. The itchy eyes have let up a little. I think, with the increase in food and good sleep, the fatigue is letting up a bit.

My recent new toy, a pulse oximeter, has indicated that I am running pretty well on blood oxygen saturation. Most times I have checked and have been over 96 - with over 93 being the target. I go down a little if I take off the oxygen and exert a little. But, it shows that I am doing very well at the 1.5 setting versus the previous 3 to 4. That should mean that I can reduce the setting a little more or even go without the oxygen occasionally.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2nd Alimta

Today was my second Alimta infusion. First was blood work and an appt with Dr Einhorn. Happily, my hemoglobin and white blood cell count were OK. Lowering white blood count is one possible side effect of the chemo. Dr E said mine was normal.

Now...the hemoglobin was a bit different - he said it was within "my normal range". Apparently, normal for men is 14 to 16 according to a google search. My normal seems to run 9 to 11. Don't ask me to explain that. In any case, the counts were good enough for him to approve the chemo infusion for today.

I also discussed my other symptoms. Rash is considered slight and actually doesn't bother me anymore at night as long as I take ambien. Dr E said I should hesitate to take the ambien every night since a good night sleep is very important for me.

The itchy eyes seemed to stump him. But, he said that even though this is not a normal Alimta side effect, I have almost always had odd side effects. Definitely doesn't think it is pink eye. Should just keep using lubricant drops and clean cotton balls to wipe the eyes.

He made a minor comment about continuing to lose weight. He wasn't too stern since my blood counts were acceptable. I am now down around 44 lbs since February. Gonna be time to get some new pants and belts soon.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.