Thursday, October 30, 2008

It could be nothing...

I got the results of my scan and all is clear.

However, on the PT scan a lymph node on the left side of my throat was measured at 10 mm. On my scan on July 24th this lymph node was at 7mm. The 3mm increase could mean a number of things. It could be nothing. It could be inflamed because of the erbitux.

Or the lymph node could have cancer cells in it.

So today I went in for a biopsy. That was fun. Five needles stuck deep in my neck to get tissue out of the lymph node.

I’m supposed to get the results from the biopsy on Monday. My doctor here said that if there are cancer cells in the lymph node, they’ll operate to remove it.

I’ll tell you right now:

If there are cancer cells in that lymph node, before anyone cuts me open I’m calling my doctor in Germany.

I’ll let you know the results on Monday. Right now, it’s time to take my Thalomid and stare at the floor.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I wasn't going to mention that I haven't blogged in a while. You should have gotten the picture about my blogging habits by now. But the fact is I'm still feeling pretty rotten.  The shingles are gone, thank God, and the erbitux and the pimples I can deal with, but it’s the Thalomid I hate. It flattens you out and turns you into a zombie. I have to take the stuff until the second week of January.

On the bright side, I haven’t stopped working and we’re producing some of our best material ever.  Our movie, The Seventh Python, is headed to film festivals around the world-- so I’ll get to meet a lot more of you-- we’re producing a one-man comedy show that has its second preview on the Sunset Strip on Tuesday (no, I’m not the star), and Burt and I are finishing a pilot script for a hilarious new television series-- and starting to write the other episodes.

So life does go on.  And upward.

Today I go in for my third PT and CT scans to make sure all is still clear.

I have to do this every three months for the next two years, then every six months for the next five years.

The scans combine X-rays with sophisticated computer equipment to produce images of the inside of my body. A scanner is a large box with a tunnel in the center. They stick me on a narrow table and slide me inside. I’ve only got one problem with them: I'm claustrophobic.

So they give me drugs to relax and I've convinced them to put me in the tube head first instead of feet first, so when I get to the other end of the tunnel I can tilt my head back and see the ceiling.

What a pain in ass I am.

One more thing: I was supposed to get the results of the scans later today, but I won’t get them until Monday because my doctor is guesting on a television show.

Only in Hollywood.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. By the way, I hate that word “blogged.” Maybe that’s got something to do with it.  I’m not a “blogger.” I mean, I don’t want to be a “blogger.” But here I go. My apologies if you’ve been waiting or wondering.  It’s been quite month.  And I haven’t felt much like blogging.

I’ve started new maintenance treatments.

Along with my weekly dose of Erbitux that gives me pimples like a teenager, I now take 150 mg of Thalomid (thalidomide) every day that make me feel like shit.

On top of that I’ve got shingles.

For those of you who don’t know what shingles are, I’ll tell you.

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. After an individual has chicken pox, the virus lives in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency from chemotherapy for cancer, or AIDS, the virus reactivates, causing shingles.

They are incredibly painful!

So, other than the pimples, feeling like shit and the shingles, all is well.

I know some of you are saying, Isn’t Thalidomide the drug that caused birth defects back in the fifties and sixties?  It is.  But they’ve found a number of other good uses for the drug. In the States, we don’t take advantage of it, but in Germany it’s part of the maintenance-- or preventive-- treatments. This is what the doctors at The Klinik told me and why it’s important that I take it. 

Cancer cells that are active in the blood have an inflammation that surrounds the cell. Thalidomide removes the inflammation from around the cell then the cell dies. I do this until the second week of January. 

Then they’ll take my blood and check it for micro cancer cells.

If it’s clear, I’m done with treatments.