Sunday, January 29, 2012

How Was The Weekend?

From the 27th to the 29th...things have gone very well.

Friday I skated again; Coach Donovan came out for a while and we passed the puck around. Felt very good and got a good work out. After my appointment, it was also suggested I take some precautions for when I am out in the sun. Due to the medications I am on as well as my new bone marrow, my skin is very sensitive. This weekend, with some help, I picked up some new clothes. I now have a few outfits of sun clothes and a couple of sun hats that I can wear while I coach. One hat I picked out, and the other Molly picked out. We'll see if the soccer teams go for it like the bare feet and the sunflowers seeds, which I will probably still do.

I got up early on Saturday and played with Adeline. We hung out as a family all day. Molly and I even got some cribbage in. Sunday, Molly and Adeline let me sleep in and went for a ride and breakfast. I have been eating smoothies all weekend. The blender has been fantastic. Again, magnesium is something that I have to get into my system at a very high the tune of 16 magnesium plus protein pills. Eating spinach helps, but who wants to eat spinach all day....well...I have been putting at least 1/3 of a bag of frozen spinach in each serving. That doesn't sound very good, but when you throw in some frozen berries, a banana, almond powder, a carnation instant breakfast and some vitamin water, you have a pretty darn good drink, and very healthy too. At least for a magnesium hound like me.

As far as health, I have felt pretty good. Still some headaches, exhausted at strange times, but overall, I have felt very good and I am at day +57. It has went fast and slow. The 'hometel' is starting to feel a little cramped and I can't wait until I can go to Port Washington. I hope that everyone is healthy and happy, enjoying the unseasonably warm Wisconsin weather or the weather wherever you may be. Tony

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day +54

Wow, it has been a few days since my last report. Life at the 'hometel' remains mostly the same. I am grateful to the Ozaukee Ice Center for giving me 30 minutes of ice time here and there. Many of you know, I am not fond of running. Basically, if I am chasing something, or if something is chasing me, I will run. Other than that, I'll have a stroll thank you. So far, it seems no news is good news. Doctor told me to make sure that I stay out of the sun, which at this point isn't too hard. I may need to have a different signature barefeet. Bear Bryant had some sweet hats that covered his ears and face, that may have to be my new look or the Indiana Jones hat was always one of my favorites. My doctor also wanted to make sure I continue the exercise and the eating. It has been difficult making sure I get all my vitamins and minerals. However, Colleen, another wonderful person in the Homestead community hooked me up big time!! A blender and some good smoothie recipes that include everyone's favorite...spinach! Spinach has a ton of Magnesium, so, Spinach it is. I was able to drop the puck at the Cancer Awareness game between Homestead High School and University School of Milwaukee. I had to wear a mask of course, but it was so incredible to be at the rink, watching the team play, even for the shortest of times. Every little thing that I can do helps make my life feel a little more normal. Also, big props to the student sections for the game. Both schools showed up big for a great cause and a great game. Homestead came out on top 5-3 in a well fought battle of two top ten teams. The doctor cleared me to drive again, which is nice and thinks that soon I could go back to my actual home in Port Washington. She did stress again that it was still early and not to overdo the exercise. But I am optimistic, My next appointment is on Monday and hopefully I'll get some more good news. I hope this finds everyone healthy and happy, nearing the end of the week! Headed to Friday, hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thanks Wisconsin Prep Hockey for the awesome article and great pictures!

Tony Navarre

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Adeline was the morning alarm going off at 5:45am. I am still not sleeping very well, so this was not a welcomed event. Thankfully, my fantastic wife got up with Adeline and they played and went for a walk and a drive until 8:30! So lucky. I didn't sleep great through that 3 1/2 hours, but it was well worth it!! After getting up and enjoying my oatmeal, pomegranate juice, and green tea for the day (good for magnesium and potassium) I played with Adeline for a little while and watched some television. We took a drive to pass some time and came back to the 'hometel.' Molly and I played some poker and a game of cribbage....I lost both. Finally, we decided on a BWW dinner. We took a drive there to pick up our order and enjoyed some wings. We are again listening to the Badger Hockey team taking on Alaska-Anchorage. Good luck to the Putnum Ratz ; they are at the US Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nakomis! I usually play...unfortunately, I couldn't make the trip this year. But, next year I'll be ready!! Adeline took a bath and hit the pack and play while Mols and I listened to the end of the Badger game and I lost a couple more game of cribbage. This coming week I hope to get to the rink a few more times and keep getting the leg strength up. I will also make sure to get the arms going and do YOGA at least two times this week.
Hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys their day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day +45

Had another very good doctors appointment today. I am down to one appointment a week now. That is really exciting. My blood counts were all good and I still feel good. My transplant doctor was wondering if she should go to an Admirals game or a Badger Hockey game. I said, there is nothing like a Badger Hockey game at Kohl Center. The Seive chant, the band, the student section, the gotta love Badger Hockey. Certainly one of my favorite sporting events to attend. We got to talking, and the quote of the day, for me was..."What do you call the little cage they put players in who misbehave?" LOVE IT! As for the rest of the day, still same old same old. Very cold outside, and of course I am wearing masks whenever I step outside my 'hometel' doors. Exercise has not been easy, but I have done at least 20 minutes of some sort of exercise everyday....trying to keep things fresh, I go from hand weights, to YOGA, shake weight, ice skating (which has been hell on the legs and low back), elliptical, and the treadmill. So I get a good mix of things, I just wish the lungs would come around faster...I still get winded very easily and it takes a long time to recover. I think, at this point, that has been hardest for me. Knowing that I used to skate and shoot, and pass without thinking about it. Or, run for 35-40 minutes during a soccer game and be able to maintain high quality. Maybe get a little winded, but nothing serious. I am not a patient person; My pulmonologists said that it could take as long as 2 years for my lungs to recover, and even then, it will not be completely. That also means that I have to continue to work at it....but I have the time, so I just need to keep up the attitude. Good thing my YOGA disc is Jillian Michaels...she'll keep me in line.

Hope everyone is healthy and happy. Until the next time....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Its all Packers

Well, I'm getting off my chest now, and I am not talking about it again.

This hurts like Super Bowl 32...
This hurts like 4th and 26th....
This hurts like Favre's last throw as a Packer....Brett Favre's last throw as a Packer was in the 2008 NFC Championship game against...the New York Giants.

My opinionated and self centered take.
I am a coach...therefore, my first criticism has to be the coach of the Green Bay Packers. McCarthy remained conservative throughout the game. Tom Coughlin showed he wanted to win the game when up by three with 57 seconds left, he didn't kneel on the ball, he attacked and tried to WIN the game. The Packers did not. There were really no down field attempts. The team had dropped passes, fumbles, blocking mistakes, and 2 onside kicks which were both unsuccessful. That leads to the offense! What the heck guys? Come on! We had, what...6 fumbles all year, what the hell happened? Blocking for Rodgers on obvious passing downs was no good either. Dropped balls on critical downs just can't happen. Special teams fumble and 2 missed onside kicks. Granted they did block a field goal....but what does that matter when.......DEFENSE. We all knew you were bad, but holy cow, this was awful, I don't think the giants ever cared if it was third down or not because they knew they were going to get how many yards they needed anyway. NO pressure on the QB, yes, Cullen Jenkins must have been that important. Cal, John, Serge, Bill, Rubber, Siegel...can anyone explain this to me. I do not want to hear, they caught the Giants at the wrong time or any of that. WOW, just terrible. I am going to bed now.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy...or for some of us healthy :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are You Ready for Some Packer Football!!

The weekend has gone well, Molly and I have been watching some movies and at her suggestion, I picked up Moneyball, The Help, and Crazy, Stupid Love. Made it through The Help, and Moneyball, threw in Crazy, Stupid Love, and what a funny scene. See if you like this scene...Crazy, Stupid, Love. Molly and I got a pretty good kick out of that one. As far as health goes, things are still going well. A little more tired today, but I think that is a result of the week prior and the need for a solid nights sleep. Got a med to help a little more with the sleeping, so we'll see how that works tonight.

Hope everyone has their Green and Gold ready to go for tomorrows game against the Giants! GO PACK GO!

TODAY is also MOLLY'S official Birthday! Happy Birthday Molly, everyone tells me a few things...

1> How did you get her?
2> You really out kicked the coverage on that one.
3> Were you her only option?
4> Did you trick her?

Again, my answers:

1> Got the right job.
2> I am a good kicker.
3> As far as I know, I was the closest.
4> Yes

Have a great night! Love you all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Awesome Day! 2 Big Steps in Getting Back to Normal

Well, it has been a pretty darn good day. Got up early this morning (Early for me 7:00ish) and got a good breakfast in me. Oatmeal, a banana, and orange juice for all those wondering, and headed to Ozaukee Ice Center. I had talked to my transplant doctor about getting on the ice and she said all was good as long as I stayed clear of all the locker room areas and the rink wasn't busy....from the picture, you may be able to tell how busy the rink was. So grateful to my friend Chris at OIC for helping me get back out there. I remember thinking in the hospital, after the doctors told me I may not be able to walk for as long as a year if ever due to the length of the paralysis, what does that mean for skating....will I ever get to skate again? No soccer? Jeez, for a while there, I was stairs? Today, I was skating, mind you, I almost fell out of the players box, and nearly hit the ice a couple of other times after experimenting with some quick stops...but I maintained my balance and never fell. Thank you Homestead Blueline for keeping me warm, the jacket is incredible. My muscles and feet are sore, my hands were not the silky smooth dangle masters that they usually are, but I was skating, shooting, and passing the puck around. Felt a little more like my old self. After getting back from the rink, I cleaned up and watched Kung Fu Panda 2. Pretty decent if you haven't seen it. Kind of a tear jerker for a little while. I know, I am such a cry baby, take it easy Thane. After the movie, I waited for Molly to get home and then we went out to dinner! Granted, we did a hand off in the parking lot with Adeline going to Grammy and Tony going with Molly, but we made it to Devon Seafood Grill just before 4:00. I wore my mask into the restaurant, and until we got food, but then was able to enjoy a nice dinner for Molly's birthday. She had a great coupon. The server asked if I had food allergies and we explained the whole 'mask thing' to him. They were AWESOME...server let me know if any sauces had uncooked ingredients in them, I knew from all the hospital folk what foods I was not allowed to eat and the meal was awesome. Great for my first meal out since March 5th 2010, and Molly's birthday. Then when we were finished, the server let us know that they gave us the appetizer on the house because we chose them for my first meal back. What a nice gesture....very cool. I wasn't actually sad, like in the picture, but I am pretty sure that alcohol and 15 medications is a bad idea. In fact, I know it was a celebration with water. And also, stop staring at my beautiful dome and keep reading. Did you just look back up at the baldness? I bet you did. Then we headed back to the 'hometel' for the remainder of the night. Adeline is looking fantastic in her pink Harry Potter glasses. She doesn't seem bothered by them too much, although it is certainly an adjustment. So, all in all, a pretty darn good day. I am going to try to keep up my exercise everyday. I have my next appointment on Friday, and I will meet with my transplant doc to see how my blood work is, and find out any new information.

Hope this finds everyone healthy and happy,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day #38 continued

So, post Leukemia appointments wrap up:
-Thing went very well
-Blood work looks great, no concerns
-Need to keep piling in the magnesium and phosphorus
-Dr. Palmer will see me next Friday and I will have a more informative appointment

Non-cancer related (as you can tell from the obvious pictures of Cancer blood and non cancer blood):
- Good luck tonight Homestead Hockey against Cedarburg! Go get em' boys, have yet to beat Cedarburg as a part of the Varsity...sooo, I guess to this point, I will miss it again, because I am confident in you guys tonight!!
-Adeline got glasses today, not enjoying them at all!

Helpful links:
Leukemia Lymphoma Society
Team in Training
Caring Bridge
Highlander Classic
Ozaukee Ice Center

Hope everyone has a great night,

Appointment...Day #38

Things are still going well on the GVHD front. Still no fevers, no GI problems and no rashes. (The three things that I am supposed to look for everyday) It gets a little monotonous checking my temperature four or five times a day...but, if that is what it takes, what can you do? So far, the 'hometel' has been pretty much as expected. Lots of rest, exercise, and watching TV. I know, I know, you are sooo jealous of how AWESOME my days are! I will update my blog for today after my doctors appointments and keep up with any changes. Also, Molly is going to run the Green Bay 1/2 marathon and is participating in Team in Training. To support her in this Marathon, click the Team in Training link for more details. Team in Training supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

HHS Hockey is one game down in conference and one win with a victory last night over Germantown. Again, if you are up for some great hockey, check out the Highlander Classic.

Hope everyone has a great day...future blog to come post appointments.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Proclaimers, a Commercial, and a Promotion

I could walk 500 miles....well not really, that would take me forever! I did just stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...well, not that either. Actually, I jogged a mile in 14:28 minutes tonight at the Residence Inn, which is the same thing. That is essentially a record for me. I was very tired and worn out, but felt pretty good afterward. I don't know how much better I'll be able to do than that, but it is a heck of a start. It also felt incredible to get into the shower without wrapping my arm up like a mummy. Small steps people, small steps. My doctors appointment went well also. I only had to give three vials of blood this trip, which was nice. All of my liver numbers have come back to normal, and my white blood cell count is good. There are still some quirky numbers (Low red blood cell, hematocrit...etc..boring) but all in all, my doctor says, "The numbers look good." I have been a bit paranoid. I talked to Molly and my doctor about this, its in my head, but so far post transplant has gone well and its almost like I am waiting for something to go wrong. Dr. Palmer says it is still early, and Molly says not to worry either, the nurses even said a little GVHD is ok. With my past, though, it is hard not to worry. Finally, I am excited because I asked, and Dr. Palmer said I have to stay out of locker rooms and I can't be around anyone yet, but I could skate as another form of exercise. Wow, never thought I would get the chance to skate this season. I am not too excited, because I know I cannot yet go out with friends or be in a group, but, like I said above, small steps. Small steps everyday and soon enough, I will be 'back at full strength,' not debatable.

For all you Badger hockey fans, I threw that in there. Great game so far tonight from the Hockey Badgers (up 4-3 as I type) with Justin Schultz getting his 100th, what a defenseman! Sweet, also as I write, Jefferson holding off two RIT gentleman from getting in a friendly conversation during the Badger game. No fighting guys, no fighting. No Packers tomorrow, because they have a bye as the number one seed. I am excited, the week off will get them healthy and they'll be ready to face whoever the following week. The Penguins have fallen to third place in the Atlantic Division but sixth in the Eastern Conference. Injuries are really taking their toll on the Pens. Ryan Braun's latest is that he will probably not be able to overturn the 50 game suspension. How does Brauny feel about it? "This is all BS. I am completely innocent." Well, lets hope. As for the Homestead scene, The Highlanders had a nice win over Oshkosh 2-1 and go into this coming week with four conference games. Important week for the Highlander boys. Also, great opportunity to support Homestead Hockey by watching or playing some pond hockey in this years Highlander Classic. I think that covers the Badgers, Packers, Penguins, Brewers, and Highlanders. Sorry to those of you who don't need the sports update, but too bad.

Hope this finds everyone happy and healthy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

V-P Day

Today I had a victory! A victory over my PICC line. I have had a PICC line since I was diagnosed and today, I no longer have one. I can shower without having to have cling wrap in the bathroom! I no longer need to get chemotherapy, IV drugs, or medication. This is great news! My appointment today was also very informative. My doctor let me know that "Your blood work looks great." (not yours, mine) I also learned that sushi is not out of my life. It will be gone for more than a year, but knowing that it is still in my future is great. I also know that there are 8 markers to determine bone marrow matches and that my match was 8 out of 8. I am in a great mood today...this appointment could not have gone better.

I also wanted to make note of the t-shirt I am wearing in my photo above. (Sorry, my computer camera gets it all backwards) I got a great letter in the mail with two 'AS ONE' t-shirts. What a fantastic message. I feel it speaks a lot to the wonderful people around me. I have never felt like I have been facing cancer by myself, but with my friends, family, and other supporters AS ONE. You have all given me the strength to fight this disease and today, in my opinion, is a huge triumph. So again, I say thank you to everyone who has supported me and my family.

I do not want to talk about the end of the Badgers Football season. I can't...maybe in a post next week I will vent, but it is still too fresh right now. As long as I can always say, I have the PACKERS. How about Matt Flynn? Jordy Nelson? Great game for those two and excellent 15-1 season for the Pack. Not excited that our defense gave up another monster game, or that Calvin Johnson looked like a cyborg against the Packers defense. But, as it seems to go for the entire season, a win is a win, and if they keep winning, who am I to complain? I just want them to keep it up in the playoffs.

Thanks to all!! Great V-P Day!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day +30 ... Big day in Sports!

Hope this finds everyone safe and well recovered from the New Years celebrations. I am reversing the order of my blog today, so, if you are not a sports fan....skip to the CANCER UPDATE. Plus, I figured we dont always have to start with the cancer stuff. Lets start putting cancer in the rearview mirror.

What a great day for sports today. Molly, Adie, and I are planning on watching the Winter Classic...great outdoor hockey game...AND how can you not watch the Rose Bowl!! I am a little worried about the Wisconsin Badgers in today's game. It is going to be fun to watch, that is for sure. Mark May said that he likes the match up the Badgers have and I agree with him. I totally disagree with Lou Holtz who said that the Badgers offensive line was fat and slow...that the weight they carried was a spare tire. DISAGREE, have you see those linemen get out in front of Ball and White to block? Those guys are athletes! I am always impressed that the lineman can get around the corner and protect our running backs. So, that being said, I hope that the Badgers can keep up with the Ducks. I am more worried about our defense. Either way, after last years Rose Bowl, whatever happens this year will be fun to watch. I do not feel like the Badgers are going to get blown out, and that would be the only way this game is a dud to watch. As far as the hockey game goes, I am not a fan of Philadelphia at all. I dislike them completely. This is a team, whose fans booed a Cancer Awareness ad in their own arena because some of the NHL stars in the ad were from rival teams. What a bunch of hacks...ok, so I am not a fan of the Flyers. That being said, they are playing the New York Rangers. I am also not a huge fan of the Rangers. I do not dislike them, but I wouldn't chose them over many other teams. So, I am hoping for a Ranger win with lots of goals and excitement. Make people see how much fun hockey is to watch. I am also excited for this new sports network...which was versus but is now NBC Sports. I am hoping this means we'll get some more televised hockey games for those of us who don't have NHL Network or Center Ice. At any rate, good day for sports and hopefully things go the way of Big Red!

So far, things are pretty consistent. The medications are a little annoying, but I know they are a necessity. I am taking 35 pills a day total, spaced out 4-5 times during the day, one IV that takes 2.5 hours to finish, and an inhaler 2 times a day. It gets to be a lot to remember even though it is pretty much the same everyday. It is also a lot of pills to swallow. Hopefully, at my appointment tomorrow, they will discontinue the IV drugs and possibly take away some of the other meds. I do not know the plan though. As far as the 'hometel' goes, things have been pretty good. The people here are incredibly nice. They do a great job cleaning, and they also do that all according to our schedule. Very handy, especially because there are still some strict rules that I have to go by. I have to use a new towel every time I shower, I have to have new sheets at least 1 time per week, I need to have my own set of dishes, or have dishes cleaned a lot. So this has been great as they change the sheets whenever we ask, give us new towels everyday, and I can run the dishwasher as much as I need. It is hard because I know it is not very environment friendly, but that is the way it is for now. This week will be tough...My mom is coming to stay with me while Molly works. Molly has a very busy work week, I will have at least two doctors appointments, and of course, Adeline. It is going to be tricky getting her and all of us into a routine between hometel, Port, work, Dr. appointments, weekends....I am sure it will work out. As I have said before though, anything is better than being in the hospital. As far as any side effects from the transplant, I have been spared...knock on wood. Want to keep that up for as long as possible, if I was one of the 20% of people who didn't have side effects, I would be ok with that. Molly and I have said numerous times that we put in a lot ... A LOT ... of hard work in at the beginning of this whole cancer business, having an easy-ish go of things post transplant would be pretty darn nice. I KNOW that the prayers and thoughts have helped. It feels like, now that we are 1/3 of the way through things, or close, that time will go a little faster. By 1/3 of the way through things, I mean the 100 days that are most critical after transplant. I am excited for my life to get back to normal. I really want to see friends and get back to work.

Enjoy the final days of break, for those that had time off, and Go Badgers!!!