Tuesday, May 31, 2005


ABVD MAY 31st 2005

Another treatment down and three more to go. Had lab work done this morning, met with doctor, and had treatment. White blood count was the best it has been for a while. I only have to take two booster shots before my next treatment. Doctor said that everything appears to being going okay.

The treatment took about three hours and forty five minutes. Had some trouble with port at the beginning. Nurse could not get blood to back flow out of port. I was getting ready to have to go in for x-rays when port finally started doing what it was suppose to do. I didn't eat during treatment. Probably a good thing the guy next to me was throwing up. I felt like I could have joined him. Im feeling a little like crap right now. I am very tired and the nausea is kicking in.

The doctor said that I should be very tired that this is a rough chemo to be on. So I guess in reality even though I have not felt the best I am tolerating it pretty well. Also I don't really have a choice. I believe more than ever 80-90% of this battle is mental. Its hard to stay positive and feel good when they are pumping poison into your body and you think to yourself this should really be making me sick. You have to tell yourself I will be okay there is a reason for this feeling sick and in less than three months I will join the cancer free club and will write the word remission in this blog. There has been about four people from the message board I am a member of that joined the cancer free club this week. It helps to see others get there.

To the people starting treatments who have just been diagnosed with Hodgkin's be strong. Just face the fact that it will get worse before it gets better. Everyone that goes through this gets tired of the treatments some where along the way. Your human not superman. It is ok to feel that way but don't let it last long. Pick yourself up and keep fighting. I went through that feeling the last couple weeks. Im on the down hill side of this battle now.

I still receive many messages and comments from friends, family, and other Hodgkin's killers. I appreciate it. I know sometimes it may be hard to know what to say. I know it was always hard for me to know what to say to others when I was in your position. It's really not what you say it is just knowing you are there. I am very lucky to have wonderful friends and family.

What doesn't kill ya makes you stronger. Killing cancer one day at a time. Thanks again for you prayers.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Made it back from K9 training. It was a pretty good week and Moose did well at training. It was our 5th week of training with about two weeks to go. Did a lot of tracking training which means I had to run a lot. I also did a little fishing on Milford Lake. Getting ready to give myself another shot. I have one today and tomorrow to help boost my white blood count. It seems that you just start to feel better then its time for another treatment. I have four more left, only two months to go. Radiation should only take four to five weeks after that. So hopefully if everything goes good and the chemo is doing its job I will be done in September. I'm not sure what I am going to do when this is all over. It will be another speed bump in life that will soon be in the past. I have to say this one has and will continue to be one that has taught me a lot. My next treatment is on Tuesday. I have made the decision I am not eating during treatments anymore. I was creating a list of foods I can't even think about without gagging. I don't want to add anymore to the list. Everybody have a good holiday weekend and be safe. I will be working the entire weekend. That's one of the bad things about being in Law Enforcement you miss all the holiday fun.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I'm back after a good weekend. Took a little time and went to Kansas City Saturday with Amy. We stayed at the crown center Westin and gambled at the Ameristar Casino. It was great to get away from everything even it was just for two days. I did win some $$$$ playing roulette. Hit the black lucky 8 two times in a row with a $5 bet. Won a quick $350. Mallory and Avery stayed over Sunday night. I am leaving for Wakefield, Kansas Monday for four days of K9 training. As far as my health I'm hanging in there. Feeling much better than last week but still not 100%. This port a cath is a real bugger. Its ok as long as you don't cough, sneeze or yawn. I have an appointment for lab work Monday and get issued two more shots to take later in the week. Starting to dread the treatments but at least it is getting closer to over. I really can't complain last week I met a lady that was getting her 66th treatment. I have only 8 total. What a trooper she is. Well I will be back in about 4-5 days. See ya. Fight 2 Win......

Friday, May 20, 2005


Hello, I have not posted for a few days. I guess I needed a break from this whole cancer thing. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. I just can't wait to get back to normal I miss those days a lot. You really dont miss those normal days til you don't have them. I have come to realize that most people will never understand that. I sit and watch it everyday. As far as how I am feeling I'm okay. Its hard to explain. Something like the mild flu that doesn't go away. My port a cath did wonders for speeding up treatment, but to be honest I dont like it very much. Its just hard to get used too. It's getting close to feeling better time that usually comes on the Friday or Saturday following treatment. I know I sound pretty negative today, but I think it is important to be honest so people better understand what this is all about. I just want to thank all of my family, friends, and people I didnt even know for the support they have given. I really want to thank Amy for being a great girlfriend and supporting me everyday. I get pretty cranky and she puts up with it. Im halfway there and cancer will be conquered. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Last night was rough started feeling bad during treatment yesterday and continued on the downward slide through the evening. Nausea, headache, and vomiting consisted of the evening events. Did not sleep very well. Felt a lot better this morning. Went to doctor at 10am to learn how to give myself shots. I am now receiving G-CSF (Neupogen) shots. These shots put your bones in overdrive producing white blood cells. I get 4 between each treatment. Side effects include Flu-like symptoms, chills, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, bone pain, and decreased appetite. I can deal with these side effects, the alternative is to stop chemo and with Hodgkins your success rate drops off if you interrupt treatments. So I am lucky they have this relatively new drug. Its a life saver. The nurse also gave me some new nausea medicine today. It is called zofran. It is a high dollar medicine that is suppose to work well. Amy's mother Mary made me some chicken and noodles that I can freeze and eat later. Tried some today for lunch, very good, thanks Mary. Again I would like to let everybody know that your comments are very welcome and help me make it through each day. I have had questions about looking at all the post use Archives to get to them. Thanks again. As the doctor once told me," I am going to make you sick to make you better." Bring it on chemo, bring it on cancer, I will win. Tip of the day, remove all negative people from your life (TOXIC PEOPLE).

Monday, May 16, 2005



Wow, what a difference a port makes. Had treatment today and it only lasted three hours and forty five minutes. I'm very tired. Port is still a little sore. It was quite tender when they stuck the needle in. I guess they said they have numbing creme you apply 30 minutes before they stab you. However they told me that after the fact and later I learned that that stuff is called sissy creme, so I will just tough it out. After they poke you it is painless. Met with doctor this morning. I asked about scans to check on progress and he said they are not doing them til after chemo is done. He said thay wait til after 4 cycles on everyone. My blood counts are getting low and I have to start getting booster shots to get them back up. My WBC is at 2.6 should be 4.8-10.8. Doctor said this is expected and everyone who is on ABVD gets these. They are fairly new came along around 1992. Without these shots I would not be able to continue chemo. Side effects from the shots are bone aches. My bones will be working overtime to get new blood cells made. Justin Gracy went to treatment with me today. My brother Zach, step-mom Renae and girlfriend Amy stopped by also. Thanks, I really appreciate it. I am going to rest now. KICKING CANCER'S ASS ONE DAY AT A TIME. On a message board I am a member of I talk to other people fighting Hodgkin's. They often leave short sayings at the end of their post. Several are worth mentioning. Kate said, " Cancer thanks for all you have taught me, now you can go away."

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Recovering from surgery and getting used to my new friend in my chest. Still a little sore but other than that feeling normal. Had to go into Doctor yesterday. Had a ear bleed? Not sure why or what was going on. I was sitting at my desk and my left ear felt like it was filling up with water. It turned out to be blood. Ears checked out fine and doctors had no answers. Justin Gracy, a good friend of mine from Kansas City, called and is coming down Sunday evening and going to treatment with me on Monday. I have had several people ask about stopping by the cancer center during treatments. You can stop by anytime. I have my treatments on Mondays from about 0930-300. I always have my cell phone so call and I can give you directions. Its located at St. Francis Hospital. If you have other questions you can email me at jasonbarker4@hotmail.com. Spent last evening with Amy. She has been a wonderful girlfriend in times when I have probably not been the best boyfriend. Thanks Amy. Guess what? I am still Kicking Cancer's Ass and it doesn't stand a chance. Remember to use Archives to view all post from day one.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Had the best night of sleep I have had in the past week. Drugs are wonderful. Im talking about legal ones. Just a little sore this morning but feeling great. Yesterday while in recovery the nurse came in and said so your a "smoker"? And then she started to give me the speech. I stopped her and told her I didn't smoke. She said you told the people in surgery you did. So I guess as I was waking up I must have been asking for a smoke. I thought that was kinda funny.

I recently added a couple new things to my blog. One of the items was a counter to keep track of the number of visits to my blog. This is the green number at the bottom of sidebar. Another addition is the donation button. The decision to add this was not an easy one. After several days of thinking I decided to go ahead and add it. The reason for the donation link was to help pay for uncovered costs of treatment. The treatment for Hodgkin's or cancer of any type is very expensive. Even with insurance there are a lot of bills to pay. I do want to emphasize that getting donations is not the purpose of this blog. I have had several people ask about donating and I wanted to make it an option. Half of all money received will go towards unpaid medical bills. The other half will be donated towards Hodgkin's Lymphoma research.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

UPDATE MAY 12 2005

Surgery has been delayed until 230pm. Surgeon was stuck in Chicago. Hope he slept well. One good thing I did'nt have to be at the hospital at 0530. Well finally had surgery at about 3pm. Surgeon fell asleep during surgery and cut my neck open. He blamed it on jet lag. You can blame the loritab for me making up that story. Everything went okay I now have a port a cath. It doesnt look very impressive kinda makes me sick to look at it. Im feeling a little sick, I think going 15 hours without food or water didnt help. Have two incisions one on upper right chest and one lower front of neck. My dad went with me to the surgery.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I often sit and think what all this means to me. Well I have not been sleeping well the last few nights with a lot on my mind. In a way I feel guilty and in another way a little lucky. Dont get me wrong "CANCER SUCKS". I feel so bad for the people with cancer who don't get a second chance. I have recently read journals from some very strong people who lost their battle to Hodgkin's some of them very young. I have had people ask me, " do you ever ask why me?". Dont' you ever get angry for having cancer after everything you have been through? Honestly, I can answer that by saying, "why not me." Earlier I said something about luck. Am I lucky or unlucky? I have to say I am a very lucky person with cancer, if that is possible. My example of unlucky would be a police officer being shot and killed protecting people and never having a second chance or saying goodbye. They say God never gives you more than you can handle. After going through a divorce last year I told myself I can make it through anything. Well, I sure would of liked to have a little more time before the next test came, but oh well. I just want everyone to truly know how special life is and to not let those little things consume you. Material things are not important. However things like family, fishing, vacations, walks, sunsets, laughing, watching your children grow up into adults are very important. People take these things for granted everyday, I did. A recent George Straight song says it all, " I never saw a hearse with a luggage rack". Thats for damn sure. So live each day as it were your last and own the decisions you make in your life because you have to live with them. My thoughts and prayers to all the people out there fighting cancer. FIGHT 2 WIN......and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Eight days since my last treatment. This has certainly been the roughest time since treatment started. Sleeping is getting to be a hard thing to do. Some of the nausea meds do cause insomnia. Just felt a little under the weather since the last treatment. Having a lot of numbness in hands and fingers. Also a lot of pain and soreness on the inside of both arms near elbow region. This was area that burned a lot during treatments. Have been applying Emu oil to area. They said it works I guess it helps. Im glad an Emu is able to help someone. Had lab work yesterday must still be doing ok have not heard anything. Still scheduled for surgery on Thursday to have port put in. Its going to be great not to get stuck anymore. Overall Im worn out and ready to get the next one over with that will be the halfway point. Its downhill from there. Had my daughters Mallory and Avery tonight. They are awesome. Talking about something worth fighting for, that's it. Thanks again for all the comments you don't know how much it helps to hear from everyone. (Blogger education: To see all post use Archive section) Also this site can now be found on search engines Ex. Yahoo type in( Above and Beyond Hodgkin's).

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers. I thought I would update everybody on what has been happening the last few days. I finally started feeling much better on Saturday and back to normal today. Last week was not much fun but I am still very fortunate there are many out there a lot worse off. I had a little nausea a lot of heartburn and had to go on an antibiotic for unknown infection, kidneys not getting enough flushing I guess. I have lab work on Monday and an appt with surgeon on Tuesday for Surgery on Thursday to have port put in. Spent weekend landscaping with the help of my dad and stepmom. Went to dinner with my brothers family, my mom, and Amy. Ate too much.. and I am still kicking cancer's ass.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

UPDATE MAY 5th 2005

First of all I would like to say thanks for all the comments I have gotten. It is great to hear from everyone. Well it has been three days since chemo treatment number three. I felt fine Monday and Tuesday. However Wednesday night and Thursday have been a bit rough. Been extremely tired and had some nausea. On top of that cranky and some shortness of breath, but still cant complain. Have been scheduled for surgery next Thursday morning to have port a cath put in chest. Have to be in hospital at 530 am sounds kinda early to me. I will be glad to have that put in my arms have been sore. The Friday after treatment always seems to be the day I start feeling better and that is tomorrow so wish me well. Oh and I still have hair. Thanks again everyone.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


May 2nd, 2005 ABVD Treatment #3

Saw Doctor before treatment. Blood count still holding up good. Prescribed new medication to help with nausea I had the first 3 days after last treatment. He replaced prochlorperazine with dexamethasone it works but makes you eat like a horse and not sleep. I only have to take it for 3 days. Asked about radiation after chemo and it looks like 20-25 treatments.

Treatment was long again. Lasted 6-7 hours. Had problems while recieiving DTIC drug. It is causing burning and tracking of veins. Had to slow med intake and use extra saline. Meet with surgeon this week to explore having porta-cath put in chest. This is a port to hook a IV into that is surgically place under the skin. It makes treatments a lot easier and saves your veins in your arms. Most people get them in the beginning. I tried to make it without it because we were concerned the bullet proof vest I wear at work would rub on port site. We are going to see what we can come up with.

Also learned that if you are getting Adriamycin dripped you might want to request to have it pushed by nurse with syringe. It is a lot safer this way, that is some wicked stuff. I had different nurse this time and she won't do it any other way. By wicked I mean if this stuff gets on skin or tissue it like pouring battery acid on you.

On to better things, I had this treatment in different chemo room, with only 3 chairs and a TV you can actually see. It was much more comfortable. I also learned the inside on how to get into these rooms each time. It pays to be nice to the nurse.

My Mother went to this treatment and to my doctors appointment. Like I said if you can get somebody to hang out with you for a while it really helps. Thanks Mom.

As far as hair it is still around but showing a few signs of getting ready to depart. I also gained another 3 pounds for grand total of 6 since treatment started. Actually this is pretty common with this type of chemo. The doctor said not to worry about it and dont diet during treatment just keep eating. However he also said don't gain 30 pounds! So long til next time.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


April 18th, 2005 ABVD Treatment # 2

Met with my doctor prior to second treatment. Doctor reviewed lab work and area above my collarbone. Said everything was going well.

Second treatment was much like the first a long 6 and half hours. Thats a long time to sit and watch an IV drip. Like I mentioned on my last treatment it is great if you can get a friend or family member to go along with you. Had some burning with DTIC drug. This happens sometimes when they dont run enough saline with it. That resulted in a little soreness in arm for a few days. Felt nausea for three days after treatment which I did not experience with first treatment. Took prescribed meds but they didnt work will check on something different. They have several doesnt hurt to try them all to see what works for you. Have gained 3 pounds since starting treatment. Thought I might at least get a diet out of having cancer doesnt look that way. Hair still around I was hoping for Mr. Clean look but the old hair will do. My girlfriend Amy went along for this treatment. She has been great and very supportive. Not sure how I will pay her back when this is over but Im sure she will find a way. On that note everybody has been supportive from friends to family. Thanks everyone.


April 1, 2005 ABVD Treatment # 1

My first trip to what I call the Chemo room. A room with about 15 recliners and a TV. Not what I expected but I guess I didnt know what to expect. One person after another coming and going. Basically all the drugs are given by IV. The first treatment took about 6 and half hours. I had pictured about a 45 minute procedure, I was wrong. The first two treatments require an 1 hour observation to check for reactions to one of the drugs. Everything went well with the first treatment met a lot of great people. It was odd a room full of people with a awful disease and they all had such positive and outgoing attitudes. The nurses were also great.

I was told that after the first treatment it is common to have a fever the first night. I was also informed of the other side effects. My first night came and went without anything unusual. It was not until the fifth day after treatment that I experienced anything out of the ordinary. I woke up at about 3am and had a sharp pain in my right arm. The pain would come and go about every 30 seconds from my elbow to my finger tips. I thought I was having a heart attack. My heart rate seemed to be very slow. I waited for it to stop but it continued and I finally called my doctor. I had already had a lab visit scheduled the next day so he said he wanted to she me when I came in for that. Long story short the pain continued for three days straight then diappeared not to return. I was told it was probably nerves being pinched from the mass in my neck decreasing in size. No other side effects encountered from first treatment. My dad was the lucky co-pilot on this trip.