Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike's Celebration of Life

Sunday, May 2
2-6 pm
Starks & Menchinger
2650 Niles Road
St. Joseph, MI 49085

Funeral Service
Monday, May 3
11 am
The Chapel
4250 Washington Ave.
St. Joseph, MI 49085

Thursday, April 29, 2010

War of My Life

"Come out angels,
Come out ghosts,
Come out darkness,
Bring everyone you know.
I'm not running,
and I'm not scared,
I am waiting,
And well prepared.

I'm in the war of my life,
At the door of my life,
Out of time
and there's nowhere to run

I've got a hammer,
And a heart of glass
I gotta know right now
which walls to smash
I got a pocket
Got no pills
If fear hasn't killed me yet,
then nothing will
All the suffering and all the pain
Never left a name

I'm in the war of my life,
at the door of my life,
out of time
and there's nowhere to run
I'm in the war of my life,
at the core of my life
Got no choice but to fight til its done

No more suffering, no more pain
Never again

I'm in the war of my life,
at the door of my life,
out of time
and there's nowhere to run
I'm in the war of my life,
at the core of my life
Got no choice but to fight til its done

So fight on,
fight on everyone
fight on
got no choice but to fight til it's done
I won't give up
I won't run
I won't stop for anyone"
~John Mayer

Michael Vincent Kacynski
November 25, 1980-April 29, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Loooong Week

This is Stacy (wife) and Angie (mom). We'll do our best to update ya!  But we apologize in advance that we aren't as good of a writer as Mike is. 

Last Friday morning (April 16)  Mike felt short of breath and spiked a small fever.  His dad took him into the oncologist office and they checked his oxygen level while he was walking in.  It was somewhat low (in the 80's).  Dr. Paloyan suspected that Mike could possibly have a rare pneumonia called pneumocystis (PCP).  So Dr. Paloyan sent him immediately to get a chest scan at the hospital.  The scan showed very small blood clot in his right lung.  They admitted him and started him on blood thinners.  Blood clots can form and break off in your leg due to inactivity.  The blood thinners work to help dissolve the clot back into the blood stream. the week progressed, Mike's breathing was still bothering him.  They decided to put him on some extra oxygen.  Nights were long, and he wasn't getting much rest.  By Wednesday, the Dr's just weren't convinced that this tiny blood clot was causing this much breathing distress. Another one of Mike's Dr's brought up the PCP concern again.  He said it is VERY common for cancer patients to get this type of pneumonia due to a weakened immune system and also from the high does of steroids.  They started him on strong antibiotics to get a jump start on the infection (even though they weren't exactly sure it was that).  They decided to do a bronchoscopy on Thursday morning (go into the lung with a scope and squirt some fluid, suck it back up, and culture it).  The cause of this breathing distress could be due to a list of things: infection, PC pneumonia, or tumor.  After the procedure, Mike was moved back up to his room to sleep off the sedation.  He had a little bit of lunch and continued to rest while we waited for the test results. 

Later that evening, Angie felt Mike and he felt extremely hot.  His breathing was still very fast and his temp was actually rising by the minute.  You could tell that Mike was exerting too much energy into trying to breath instead of resting to heal.  We cooled him down with an ice bath and fan.  Within that hour (which seemed like forever) it was decided that in order for Mike to rest and heal, it would be best to intubate him (put him onto a ventilator). Well, being on a ventilator requires you to be in ICU. 

So...we made the move to the ICU late that evening.  They got Mike very comfortable with sedation and pain medicine.  We got to go in his room ( a couple at a time) to talk to him and give him kisses.  They want him to be very sedated to rest and heal, otherwise he will exert too much energy into breathing instead of resting his lungs.  So he is pretty much "out of it", though he can hear you.  After saying our "goodnights" we all decided it was best to go home and get some rest.  

Friday we arrived back early in the morning to find out what the plan was.  The bronchoscopy test came back positive for PCP (not more cancer, thank God).  So the plan is to let Mike rest and heal on the ventilator for a week.  He knows when we are in his room (eyes open and responding with shaking head yes/no).  But we really don't want to overstimulate him, because he tends to fight the machine instead of letting it breathe for him. 

This morning we arrived and the nurses said that Mike had another restful night!  At one point Angie was in his room, quietly talking to the nurse, and Mike opened up his eyes wanting to communicate.  We asked him questions and found out that he wanted a mouth swab (little sponge dipped in ice water to wipe out his mouth).  He used the mouth swab himself, and wanted another.  Then he made the motion that he wanted to write something down.  He knew he couldn't talk because of the tube in his throat.  We handed him paper and a marker and he wrote "what floor". He wanted to know what floor he was on and we explained everything to him.  It's good to see his personality and alertness.  But rest is what he needs most right now.  He's a strong, young guy who will bounce back in no time!  Just another "bump in the road". 

Our plan is to keep you updated throughout the week, as best we can.  We know Mike loves your comments, so keep them coming, please! We know it will mean a lot to him when he gets back on here and reads them!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

focus now

I am not making this up, but a side effect of the treatments I am enduring right now is lack of focus or lack of the ability to dedicate attention to certain tasks, such as reading, writing etc.  I have found this to be so true.  It all comes back to fatigue and exhaustion.  My Aunt Ann, who was on same main treatments I am on expirienced the same, which was reassuring.  Its always nice to know that, although everyone is diffeerent, I am not alone in this.  I was a bit scatter brained to begin with.  I was always writing myself notes on scratch paper, but I am now more than ever, and hardly ever seem to get anything I write down done.

So anyway, thats my excuse for lack of blog postings and such.  Please do not take it personal.  Keep the messages and support coming.

These blogs, for whatever reason, end up being about medications and the battle with those that I am facing.  Unfortunatly, that has become my life recently

The ongoing battle for balance continues.  I feel its the one constant that will remain through out this fight.  I think I mentioned it before.  Daily its as though I wake up and evaluate the situation, usually with the same response of "now... what the hell is this thats acting up?"  The balancing comes into place with medications ofcourse.  Too many of these cause weakness, but not enough and there is pain... you learn the difference real soon.  The same goes for other drugs, with opposite effects.  Also, its time that I wean off of some and move onto others, and the transitions are never smooth it seems.

There is sooo much technical jargin that goes with all this medication, its nearly a fulltime job staying on top of it all.  A new drug was introduced today to help restore bone integrity and steriods were reduced again, to help with same deal.  We have paper work, charts we make to keep track of it all, I still am confused.  I had chemo again today.  Thats a bitter sweet moment.  I know it will hand me a handfull of struggle, but relief seems to come from it as well, so thats a good thing.

Can not thank my dad, ol TK, enough.  Its been a tough week as I have had some tough bouts with pain and weekness, and we, should I say, he, managed to get alot down for me, and with me.  Ofcourse, Stacy... I would have no idea where I would be without her here for me.  Everyone's support comes in and fills in any loose seams and voids here and their, making it a bit easier.

I think I need to get off of here and onto to something more like pudding, maybe a milkshake?  These are my latest kicks.  Oatmeal too.  I have instants, for the quick fix, or the old fashioned hand made larger original versions.  Its acutally just like my pain meds, I have the original long lasting, good stuff, or the fast acting "instant reliefs"....  I think soo... pudding it is.

I will try to see if I can keep up on this thing a bit better than I have.  Anyone know where the Cubs have been this year?  4-4 aint horrible, but come on.... I still have hope... we'll see.  Go Tigers!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Last week through me a bit of a curve as far as pain goes.  By weeks end, it was to the point that Dr. Paloyan ordered some blood work, hooked me up to some nutrients via IV... and when was all said and done, ordered a new set of MRI's.  Due to the fact that my legs where quite weak, it was thought to be best to do the MRI's as inpatient, therefore I was admitted to the hospital friday afternoon, overnight until saturday afternoon.The MRI's were ordered to rule out any spinal cord compression, causing the recent pain and leg issues.  Good news, was that there is no issues with the spinal cord.  They have boiled the weakness and pain down once again to medications and their side effects.  We are working on that as well.  There is sooo much going on, between the medications and treatments its hard telling what causes what.  I could bore you with the details but I wont.  We have also started physical therapy at home, and will start an out patient therapy program as well.

Mean while.... this past week Grandpa Bill was in a battle of his own.  Same time I was dealing with my issues, he was battling an infection, the same one he was a few weeks back.  It flared up again and landed him back in the hospital.  Also just so happened friday was his birthday as well, an I wouldnt miss that party for anything!  We had rooms right next to each other, although, visiting was not much of an option with our conditions.   Even more ironic, is the procedure he had to have was on the other end of the hospital, main floor, right next to where I had mine, at the same time.  Its just unfortunate tha tthe circumstances with the infection and such, prohibited much contact between all of us.  He was in "isolation"... which we had to honor in hopes of getting him better and preventing my from getting ill.  We snuck this pic at the end of our stay.

Its been a bit of a mental struggle as of lately, keeping up and up.  It really is no different today than it was fighting this 2 weeks ago.  Everyday offers a different challenge than the day before, bit its nothing that cant be over came.  Its simply something that I just need to find a balance of and take it on.  Its hard not being able to do the simple things in life.  I guess its just one of those things where I need to swallow my pride and get admit that I may need help, or assistance, as humbling as that may be.    Keeping focused on things has been the biggest challange as of lately, and my Aunt Ann could relate, saying the same thing.  Simply reading magazines or writing these blogs take alot of focus that I just dont seem to have some times.  BARE WITH ME.  They call it "Chemo- Brain"....  My Aunt Ann, having been through this before, lent me words of advice saying chemo is not going kill me, and it wont.  I just need to accept that for the next few weeks, months, I wont be able to do the things I want to, or always have with out help, and thats ok.  Fortunatly, I have people there that are willing to help.  Its hard for me to take a step back, and let others do thing especially with weather the way it is right now.  Its gorgeous out, but we will get through this.  There is no other option.

Keep the positives coming...I love and appreciate the support.  It helps more than I can express.

Time for me to do the exercises... post away, and I will try to keep up to date.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Just a breif update.  Been working on the pain management and think we may have that in our grasps.  All and all its been tolerable, and I am able to get through the day without too much trouble.  Each day I seem to figure out a new trick to managing the day.  The radiation, chemotherapy and medication all seem to be having a positive effect just upon phyiscal examinations and such.  The ablation procedure perfromed by Dr. Jordan a few weeks back seemed to have a very good effective.  It relieved pain in the area and through out the left leg.  The procedure was done in the left Iliac wing... (left lower back/hip area).  At that time of the ablation I guess they took a biopsy, which resulted in showing no active cancer cells where those particular lesions were.  Whatever that means, its gotta be better than the opposite.  Ofcourse this is just for that area, and their are plenty of other areas through out my body that are active, but none the less, thats good news, and the fact that the ablation was pain relieving, is reassuring.  In a few weeks I will determine weather or not to procede with some more ablation, after we go through another set of MRI's.

Thats about it for now.  More chemo next week and just pluggin away until then.  The side effects are a bit more noticeable but like I have said before, its all part of it, ya gotta take the good with the bad.

Thanks to all again and again for all that you have done for us.  The food, the visists, messages, etc...

On a side note, please keep my Grandpa in your thoughts and prayers as well, he is going through his own battle and the treatments seem to have a bit more of a toll on him as of lately.  Love that guy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

One Thing

Through all the treatments, its very common to loose a sense of taste, or difference in taste.  Everything ends up tasting the same.  Everything tastes salty to me.... EXCEPT MILKSHAKES.  A good old chocalate mileshake still tastes like a good old chocalate milkshake, and thank god for that.  Being spoiled like I have been as of latley, Stacy just served me one that was about a half gallon, and I now find myself trying to stay awake for the second half of this suprisingly good basketball game.