Blending Green – Smoothie Time

Yes, I continue to smoothie daily.

A few folks ask me what I put in my smoothies and that is why I put together this post.

Organic Backyard Garden

This fall when I was running my chemotherapy treatments I started to plant steads in out raised beds the night before we left. Well it was more like at 3am right after packing was done.  I would toss it out there so it would give me something to look forward to coming home to. It was a great surprise to get back home and see new baby sprouts growing.

One of my doctors wanted me to stop smoothies until completed my final round of chemotherapy. This was hard to do. I was a smoothie junkie and had made the decision that no smoothie taste too bad. Remember medicine that is good for you taste bad. That line from Marry Poppins pops into mind now. You can thank me later if “Spoon Full Of Sugar” gets stuck in your head.

I really try to vary what goes into my smoothies from week to week if not day to day. I take in 64 oz of smoothie goodness everyday.

Take care and smoothie on.

-Derrick

Ringing out my last chemotherapy round

I completed my 6th, and last, round of chemotherapy on January 10, 2015

As much as I hated starting chemo, it was almost just as bad stopping the process. Sure, I was happy to have my permanent I.V. removed. With the picc line out I would be able to shower without wrapping part of my body in saran wrap. Without a picc line and without chemotherapy scheduled my body is on its own.  By my mid chemo scan we could tell the drugs were working… “What happens when the drugs are stopped?” is a question often floating around in my brain.

We just wait and scan, and after waiting some more we will scan again

I have a pet scan scheduled on February 17th. We will be running the scan and having a doctors visit the same day at MD Anderson in Houston. I have a full plate of editing work between now and then so I don’t have to think about the scan all that much. If I have much time to do so it starts to scare the crap out of me. Yea, go a head and send me a note or a message to “not worry about it” or “wait till you get the results to think what the next steps might be” but that is easy to say. Yea, I’m staying positive and praying every day. I realize in the last 12 months I have had a cancer tumor and it has gone away. I pray that all tumors will forever stay away. I have a lot to do in life and to be honest I really don’t feel like dying anytime soon.

I didn’t have a video post since my last trip for round 6 so I’m posting it here.

I rang the bell

When I started my rounds of chemo I was unaware of the bell. Here is a photo of the bell that hangs in the Ambulatory Treatment Center.
Chemo bell
When you complete your chemotherapy they let you ring the bell. They have the same setup for those who take radiation. I had mixed feelings about ringing the bell. It is there to celebrate an end, but for me it was a beginning. It is a start of no drugs and letting my body take care of itself.
It worked out like this. I completed my chemo and handed in my bag. I received my white blood booster and then was shipped up to the 8th floor to have my picc IV line removed. The process was fast and we were sent on our way. I was never asked if I wanted to ring the bell, but Kendra thought I should. In the end I’m glad she had me ask If I could. Standing there I knew I could not look at her or I would start to cry. It was one of those moments you know going in it will be emotional, and it was. I tried to get in and out, ring a ding and move on. The nurse who helped us celebrate was not satisfied with my ringing so she helped me out. She went on to let us know she has 5 family members fighting cancer.

I run into folks like this nurse all the time. It might be that I’m just in-tune when someone reaches out with cancer care or the fact God is salt and peppering these wonderful folks in my path. Either way I enjoy the love and affection found in the stories that are shared with me.

This road is hard

I try and try like hell to eat right and make the right decisions day in, day out. This is hard, really tough. One can only have so many green smoothies while trying to gain weight. I’m sitting around 195 pounds and that’s good for me. I’m just trying to make all the right decisions and not think to much about it. Wish me luck with that.

On a positive note we have been blessed with plenty of work lately. I have been spending a few hours a day at Keiwit Offshore in Ingleside Texas.

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We crossed paths with the Browns last week at Coffee Waves. They play music and I had the opportunity to record their studio album in 2000. Here is a short clip of last week’s show.

Browns – Live Folk Music at Coffe Waves | Port Aransas from Big Box Pro Wedding Video on Vimeo.

This week I’m shooting their 2 hour performance. I always have a great time when I get to mix video and music in one production. Well off to bed for now. I’m tired of rambling on and will try to get another post out soon.  Thanks for being a part of all this.

-Derrick

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Pediavance works for me

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This Pediavance stuff was a good find. Each round of chemotherapy I end up loosing fluids. If I only knew about this stuff in my college drinking days.

We will be packing and heading back to Corpus Christi today.

Watch “Chemotherapy round 6” on YouTube

Chemotherapy round 6: http://youtu.be/eL1nE3b2kRw

This video is an update by Derrick Perrin on Derrick Perrin’s 6th and final round of Chemotherapy at MD Anderson.

 

Chemo Souvenirs

On this chemotherapy journey I have picked up some souvenirs along the way. My first came on round one. I was staying inpatient at MD Anderson and they had a reward program for folks who walked. Kendra and I walked a lot so I got lots of colorful dots on my door. At the end I traded in dots for bandanas. Today in my home office I have a red and green bandana hanging from the wall. I’m guessing you could use these to cover your hairless head. Mine were autographed by my amazing nursing staff so they hang on the wall for now.

The next souvenir that has been accumulating in safety pins. I know, not as exciting as nurse autographed red and green bandanas, but trophies none the less. The process of wearing a backpack full of chemotherapy is unique. You have a backpack with IV bags inside and two bungee type umbilical cords that stretch out to my pic line.Without tethering the bungee to your clothing you setup a tug-a-thon with your chemo bag and your skin that the pic line is sutured to.  wpid-2015-01-09-13.07.44.jpg.jpegSo we introduce the safety pin. It attaches to your shirt and prevents arm failure.wpid-wp-1412106258114.jpeg

The safety pins get collected and we start up the next round with a new pin. I believe two pins have done double duty since we only have 3 right now.

Derrick Perrin's safety pin colleciton

My collection of chemo safety pins

Should I keep them or try out what Kyle did? Check out what one man can do with a red paper clip:

http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/

There is always the option to eBay them. I’m just happy to have received my last chemo safety pin and be looking at the end of my treatments. If you have ideas on what can be done with used safety pins please comment below. I’m up for suggestions.
Thanks for the love along the way,
Derrick

Fresh Coffee is Good

Coffee, Is it good for you or is it evil? Well that just depends on who you talk to. Like everything too much of a good think will be bad for you. Don’t drink it on an empty stomach and don’t drink crappy coffee.

So after watching a few online videos Kendra and I got really interested in fresh coffee. Were not talking freshly ground, we are talking freshly roasted coffee. We watched some clips that were very informative. I could write out a lot of facts and bullet points here but its best if you watch

So that got us going on finding a local supplier who could roast green coffee and deliver 24 hour fresh roasted beans. We found a guy who roasted in his apartment and we were hooked. Sure it cost more than the “dead” coffee we bought at the local grocery store. We looked at the pros and cons and freshly roasted coffee beat the low cost vacuum sealed bags from the grocery.

We found our local coffee connection was on a break and we needed a new source for fresh roasted goods. So while sitting for chemotherapy treatments at MD Anderson I made it my personal mission to find a roaster in Houston, Texas. I did and their name is Java Pura. You can find their website at : http://www.javapura.com/
We bought some today and will be roasting it tomorrow.

JAVA PURA featured on FOX 26 Morning News from SKYLINE MOVEMENT on Vimeo.

If you are digging coffee videos here is a good one about Bicycle Coffee

Drink happy,

Derrick Perrin

Medical stats are looking good.

My blood pressure that use to be high is still holding steady. At the start of chemo I weighed in at 190. This is good. Well off to bed with this noisy chemo pump.

 

-Dp

Derrick Perrin Monster Hat

People Hold Hands Here

Today starts my last run of EPOCH-R chemotherapy. When I first learned I had a cancer and I would be taking chemo I could not wait for this week to come. Now that it is here I’m not sure if if I’m ready for it to be over. A friend of mine who has had cancer said to me he finds comfort in chemotherapy. I now know what he is talking about. For me it took a lot to sign up for chemo. I began to have confidence in the poison and realize it is the reason I don’t have a tumor and walk with a limp. I start to think where I would be if I didn’t start and you also worry about what can and cant happen when you stop. While on chemo you take on super powers knowing there will be another round and if we don’t get it on this time we will on the next. Well there have been 5 rounds and this is the last. I won’t have a next time.

I have learned a lot over the last 5 months. There is a theory out there that folks with highly acidic diets get cancer. The flip side to those thoughts is that folks with cancer have tons of acid as a byproduct. So in an attempt at humor at MD Anderson I’m going to conclude that holding hands will give you or your loved ones cancer.

How did I come to this brilliant  conclusion?

Well you cant make it across the cancer center without seeing a few folks holding hands. You walk through the Ambulatory Treatment Center, that is where you get injected with chemo, and see a loved on holding the hand of someone getting their medicine. To the cafeteria and there are hand holders there, to the sky-bridge and there are other pairs holding hands there. So if everyone is holding hands, and everyone here has cancer then we can conclude holding hands give you cancer. Right?

Well I’m going to throw that conclusion out the window with the old dish water.
Seeing everyone hold hands is comforting. I even see my own parents do it here, and they don’t have cancer. I encourage you to do it outside of here. It might lower your stress and help you stay healthy. If holding someones hand is not comforting to you then it might be time to get a new group of folks to be around.
Don’t forget to wash.

So I start round 6 of 6 today and It sends us in to uncharted territory. It almost sets me back to the point of starting chemo. At first we didn’t know what was going to happen. We didn’t know how my body was going to handle chemotherapy. Well now we know my body does extremely well with chemo. We know that it took care of the tumor that was in my body. We run this last round and we will start the process of wait and scan. The doctor will not use the “c” word for another 3 years.

-Derrick, I’m the one making folks smile by wearing a monster hat around MD Anderson.

Setting up for Christmas

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#vscocam

We are on chemo break and about to be on Christmas break, and we are not taking anything too serious.  Well Kendra has plans for home made chocolate covered cherries and that is serous business.

For our business, Big Box Pro Video Productions, we have completed a few commercial shoots and wrapping up a wedding for the perfect stocking stuffer.

We have been praying for everyone’s safe travels and for people to keep the birth of Jesus the center of attention. I know how hard it can be to be distracted by a fat man in a red suit.

Hope you have a great week. Don’t take it too serious, we are not.
Derrick

Today’s labs

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Coming in at a whopping 3 times the normal limit, my white blood cells are at 30.5.  This is down from 70 plus on Wednesday.  As my W.B.C. count drops I feel better and better. That might also coincide with getting a few days away from chemotherapy.

So labs are going good. My hip has a little pan but I think it’s muscle sourness.

Headded into the weekend with a lot of family Christmas activities on our plate plus a wedding shoot on Saturday afternoon.

Have a blessed weekend
Derrick

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