Happy New Year! (A Little Late)

Posted by Casey on January 13th, 2009


I can’t believe it’s already mid-January. For as miserable as our winter has been, I’m grateful that time is at least not standing still. I’m also VERY thankful for the last few weeks of fun over the holidays!

It all started with our family getting together in San Francisco. It’s my favorite city, and I got to spend it with my family hiking, biking, stair climbing, hat hunting (thanks Ben!), Golden Girls trannie watching, movie viewing, museum exploring, golfing, shopping, and most importantly, fine dining thanks to the talents of Jill, Ben and Mom. We also got to see my aunt and uncle Joe & Nell and my cousin Dan.

And while there was a lot going on, there was also a lot of time to relax and hang out just the five of us (plus Ruby). But as always, the time flew by, and suddenly 8 days were gone. Luckily, Jill and I were just getting our vacation started.

On New Years Day we left San Francisco for Park City for our second ski trip with the M.D. Anderson group. We consider ourselves very lucky to get to join such an amazing group of survivors, their family and friends. This year I got to ski with Heike as my sole trainer, and once again she was skiing circles around me. But I must say, I was pretty excited on the first day to see that skiing on one leg is a lot like riding a bike… I picked up basically where I left off a year ago and was able to improve my skills throughout the week. And despite having a cold for a couple of those days, I got a few days of great skiing in with the group.

There were a lot of familiar faces, and a lot of new additions to the group. One of those additions was another guy named Casey. He and his wife were along for the trip to film a documentary on osteosarcoma survivors, their experiences, the talents of M.D. Anderson and Anderson, MD. I’m anxious to see it when finished.

Week #2 of my vacation quickly slipped by and it was finally time to say goodbye to Jill and head back to Houston with the rest of the group. I met up with Dad and headed to the SpringHill for another couple of nights. I had a day of appointments scheduled for the 9th, starting with an MRI and EEG in the morning, and doctors visits with Wolff and Slopis that afternoon. I have to admit, I headed to Houston feeling a bit nervous.

I’ll spare more suspense and tell you that the bulk of my test results came back positive. My MRI is basically a mirror image of my October MRI. It’s still showing the hot spot in the area just inside of where the removed tumor once lived, but there are no signs of growth or increased intensity, so the doctors are not concerned, and we’ll be moving back to my standard four-month checkup cycle.

In discussing my increase in seizures and migraines, I mentioned that I had one the night prior to my appointments. However the EEG showed basically the same results as my test in December with “mild to moderate” activity that was basically normal for someone with my type of surgery. In looking for treatment options we’ve decided that I’m at a cap on my current medications. I could take more, but would be basically sleeping all day (from too much Trileptal) and crabby as hell when I was awake (from too much Keppra). So instead of raising those doses, we’re taking a new approach.

I learned that migraines and seizures are actually somewhat related in how they can affect each other. People who suffer from seizures often get migraines, and people with frequent migraines can sometimes end up having seizures. So to deal with having both, we’ve decided to attack from both sides. Dr. Slopis has recommended a small dose of Inderal (a drug usually prescribed for high blood pressure) to help soften the migraines which will hopefully in turn lessen the seizures, which will in turn lessen the migraines, and so forth. I’m certainly willing to give it a try, and will keep you posted.

In general, it was a successful trip to M.D. Anderson. And to celebrate, Mike and Rose (Ben’s parents) joined for an evening of dinner and conversation. They’re currently living in southern Texas and drove up to Houston to say hello. It was great to see them!

We left Saturday for what is normally a direct flight back to Minneapolis. Dad was lucky enough to follow that norm. I, however, had what is certainly the strangest route home from Houston. I flew from Houston to San Antonio to Denver to Minneapolis. What???!

I was lucky enough to have Meg come and visit me at the airport in Denver. I had a four hour break so we hit up a bar for some margaritas. It was the perfect end to what is certainly one of the nicest holiday breaks I’ve ever had.

I hope you all had great holidays and wish you a happy new year.


P.S. I’ve added some photos from San Francisco and Park City to the Photos page.

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5 Responses to “Happy New Year! (A Little Late)”

  1. "Karen Andrews"

    “Congrats – that’s great news! We’re so glad you’ve had such a nice time with family/friends/other survivors lately. Hopefully this new approach will lessen the migraines/seizures, or even better, eliminate them all together! If you have time to get together again one of these nights for dinner, we’d love to see you!

    - Karen & Todd”

  2. “Sounds like it was some great times!! Good luck on your new meds-hope they work well!! Later!”

  3. “Wonderful news, Casey! We’ve been keeping you in our prayers… Mom (Aunt Rita) will be glad to hear your news. We spoke of you today, so I will be sure to give her the good news.

    Take care, Casey and thanks for keeping us updated!

    Cousin Jane”

  4. “So happy to hear that things are going well and that you’re able to try another approach for the seizures/headaches. I hope it works for you! We should have lunch soon and catch up – miss & love you Case!”

  5. "Casey's Wife"

    “I’m glad to know that I’ll continue to be known as “”Casey’s Wife,”" even after the ski trip! :)

    Glad to hear that things at MD went ok. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon!