Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 1: Some Basic Tests & the night before

My First Night

We misunderstood one of the nurses about visitors sleeping in their patients room so I spent the first night alone ( 10PM locked doors) Yea it was still sunset. Being alone was not good since the severity of my cancer finally set it. I was pretty depressed when I heard that most likely I would have to undergo this surgery every year depending on the behavior of the tumors. I probably haven't cried like that since I was 8 years old and when I couldn't get the toys I wanted ( as an only child that used to be a big deal ). I told the nurses earlier that I typically have problems sleeping so they gave me a "strong" sleeping pill which maybe kept me sleeping for about 1-2 hours at a time. Of course I was grumpy when I woke up at midnight and asked for MOAR SLEEPING PILLS until the 3rd one kicked in at 2am which finally got me to sleep until 6:30am (when Connie returned to my room). It was even harder to sleep than normal due to my high levels of anxiety.

My Morning Schedule and Foodz

So the hospital schedule is obviously ass-crack early. They want me to wake up at 6am and go to bed by 10pm (currently the sun sets between 9-10pm in Eastern Germany) which makes it even HARDER to sleep (Yea, no vaporizing THC to help me this trip).

One of the doctors came in around 7AM and attached one of those "vein ports" (not really sure what that's called but I had one during my last surgery) into my wrist vein and took a bunch of blood. She told me to that I have a CT scan appointment at 11:15 so she kept the "vein port" in my wrist for the contrast fluid insertion later (I need at least 2 hours between when I eat and a CT scan). http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/computed-tomography-ct-scan-of-the-body

They delivered breakfast at around 7:30am which was pretty tasty and healthy (it consisted of some breads, sandwich meats, green tea, yogurt and a plum). During lunch they gave me something similar but with 1/3 of a raw cucumber and some gelatin meat thing (not sure what it was but it was moderately tasty). I eat everything now. I used to be picky about flavors and textures of certain foods and I tried to avoid certain vegetables but not anymore. This cancer bitch-slapped the picky eater right out of me. My survival instinct has completely taken over my appetite (which might keep the tumors from growing and spreading in the future).

Day 1 Tests

The CT scan was pretty standard, they made a big deal about it and had me sign these forms but I told them I had more CT scans during radiation therapy than I can count. In America they don't really tell you the health risks associated with lots of CT scans (which probably isn't good for me in the long run). Since the CT nurse couldn't speak a word of English, they had a prerecorded English audio track give me all the directions during the scan. It's comforting to know that this hospital is used to having international patients ( since its the best in the world for thoracic surgeries).

Next they had me do a lung capacity test. Where they put me into a small plexiglass box, plugged my nose and had me breath in many different ways into a mouth piece (kinda like an epic snorkel mouthpiece). Before I left the room they put some chemical on my right earlobe which burned like hell. I think it was to numb my ear because later they took blood samples from it (it was probably as painful as getting your ear pierced, which I have never done).

The last test for the day was an EKG test http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrocardiography . This was a really fast test. They asked me to lie down and they put some electrodes on me for about a minute and I was done. My ear was still burning but they said it would go away after a few minutes.

Afterwards, the doctors said I was done for the day and that I was free to wander around outside with Connie as long as I was back by 10pm. I asked if my "vein port" was needed for anything else and they removed it quickly afterwards ( I think they forgot about it). I visited Connie's dorm and we had a great conjugal visit session before we headed back to the hospital.

The rest of the day was pretty mellow and Connie was able to sleep with me in our tiny ass hospital bed. I asked for more hardcore sleeping pills and they gave em to me. I only took 1 out of the 2 along with lots of Camille tea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamomile (and a snugly Connie) which really helped with sleeping.



  1. Epic snorkel mouthpiece? Check. Bitch-slapped picky palate? Double check? Conjugal visit? Check, check and check. Love the writing and love you too. Oh, and as a fellow only child, I get that way too bout toys too. Keep that chin up ... xoxo Jen and Rob Sevilla

  2. Glad you decided to blog about the trip/journey/experience Kev. It's fascinating and informative and gives everyone (if I may be so arrogant as to speak for everyone) insight into what you and Connie are going through. Plus this should mitigate the otherwise million and 1 emails asking you how you're doing :)

    Best of luck, my hippie friend! (yeah we both cut our hair now, but you'll always be a hippie to me)


  3. hey Jen and Rob, thanks for the love! I probably feel more "alive" now then ever. This experience is really making me appreciate the moment and not the uncertain future (since the future is ALWAYS uncertain).

    ...and my fellow hippie Mike! Thanks for reading and responding to our blog. I was sad to cut my hair off but not having to worry about where to tie up that uncomfortable pony tail makes it worth it. I might grow it back one day once I have the cancer under control. I hope all this info helps others get through a similar situation or even be more aware of their health ( since I did not, but will now! ).

  4. Hey Kevin, I'm so sorry for everything you're going through... except for the conjugal visits, those are probably OK :)

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  6. Yay for sleep! You've probably already heard that deep breathing before bed can help you fall asleep, but specifically what yoga calls "circular breathing" while lying on your back in bed with eyes closed is something that's supposed to instantly relax you (and has other benefits too!). Here are a couple links:



    I'm curious as to what "gelatin meat thing" looks like. Some photos next time, perhaps?

    Much love to both of you!

  7. Keep up that optimistic outlook, Kevin, and know we're all rooting for you. :) I started eating a lot healthier last year, and if you need any tips for juicing goodness after this ordeal is over, do let me know as I'd be more than happy to share.


  8. Thanks for the update Kevin! Like Kymba said, we are all rooting for you and Connie.

  9. Kevin, and Connie, I'm super glad you are using this blog to keep us informed. I'm always praying for you, and can't wait to see you soon. I'm a picky eater too... maybe I should give that up... lol

  10. you have balls of pure steel my friend, were rooting for you!