Tag Archives: larry

Week One Complete + All Sorts of Other Stuff

Yep, the first week of Larry’s chemotherapy is complete.  It’s been a whirlwind, a rollercoaster, and exhausting, and I don’t recommend it for anyone.  But it’s all in service of the fight that we will be winning, and I am frankly glad to get it started.  No more quarter for these fucking cancer cells in Larry’s liver.  No. More. Quarter.   Get the fuck out.

The beginning of the week was when Larry had to go and sit in the treatment center for about 3 hours hooked up to an IV.  He’s taking the Folfox treatment chemotherapy which is the standard method of treating colorectal cancer.  We didn’t do Avastin this round, which will likely be back for Round 2.   With this therapy regimen, Larry will go every 2 weeks.

On day one of each cycle, he’ll get chemo in the center.  Before he leaves, the staff then attaches an infusion pump that attaches to his port and he carries around with him, which keeps administering the chemo.  He keeps the pump with him for the next 48 hours, and after that, can then go back in and have the pump removed.   His regimen is then over for the next 1.5 weeks.  All things considered, it is something he has to deal with for like a full 2 days, but after that, he can get back to just building his strength and living his life.

Obviously it doesn’t come without side effects.   Neuropathy, nausea, and fatigue are the main ones we experienced, but I don’t think they were too overwhelmingly bad this round.   I don’t know what we can expect as this continues, but I do know the key is to keep him eating, drinking, and exercising.  So that’s what we’ll be doing, dammit.

To prepare for naps and relaxation on the couch, we got some help from Nicki to go to our storage unit and grab the chaise part of the sectional couch.  We’d put it away as our apartment just really wasn’t big enough to have it present…but now it’s like, fuck it, we want to be comfortable!

Honestly, while the walking space was intruded upon, you can still get by.   And it’s amazing to have a full couch again.  You can truly sit a few people there now to watch TV!  And I like having a chaise option to sit in.  Sometimes you don’t want to chill in the chair, right?

On the weekend before chemo, on Saturday, July 14, Larry and I happily made it out to the Hollywood Bowl.  We’d had to miss our first planned show around July 4 as we just weren’t feeling good enough to make it, but Larry’s made huge progress in feeling back to normal, at least as much as he can.  It was a huge happiness to make it to the Bowl this time though, as the performers were Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and Michael McDonald.   Yep, the Kings of Yacht Rock were all together, and the songs and performances were amazing.  AMAZING!  And that place was sold the fuck out, as obviously many are unashamed in their love of smooth pop rock!

Anyway, that concert was a nice thing to have right before heading into chemo.  We got through the week of chemo with its ups and downs, but this isn’t really the place to go into all of that.  Just know that Larry made it like a champ, and he will continue to fight to be free of this cancer.  His youth will be an asset and we’re going to take advantage of that in this fight.

So on Friday night, Mila and Sveta dropped by and it was just a blast.  We had dinner, talked, drank wine (well, Sveta and I did), watched TV (showed Sveta the first episode of Pose, which is one of our favorite recent shows as it’s glorious) and just overall had an amazingly fun evening.

On Saturday morning, Larry & I went for a brisk walk around Glendale, and Brand Blvd was shut down in advance of the annual car thing they do here.   So here are some pics of that:

This weekend, we had yet another Hollywood Bowl concert in store!   On Saturday, July 21, it was a screening of the movie Jaws accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra.  As a reminder, Jaws is a fantastic movie, and even with it being 40+ years old, it still thrills and kicks ass.  Seeing it with a giant crowd makes it even more fun, as it was clear there were some who weren’t ready for some of the scares.   Chief Brody’s snap to attention when the shark nearly takes his arm off is still fantastic.

And now it’s today!  We just came back from seeing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! and gotta say…it WAS FANTASTIC.  So much fun, they got some of the deeper ABBA cuts into the song (“Andante, Andante” was a particular delight), the new members of the cast portraying the younger versions were amazing, CHER was wonderful, and the story ended up being very poignant.  The ending scene might have made me cry just a LOT.  But then there were the upbeat numbers to “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, and happily, “Super Trouper” that just made my heart swell with happiness.  ABBA is the fucking best and will always be.  And I’ve heard that Cher is going to release an album of ABBA covers and that just makes me so happy.  Anyway, go see it, you’ll be very happy you did so.

Finally – I have to share that my Daily Double clue from my game way back in 2016 ENDED UP IN THE 2018 JEOPARDY DAILY CALENDAR!!!  And it’s today!   And I’m so stoked.  I had seen my super bestie from the taping (Vicki) had posted a few weeks back in the J! group that her clue had showed up in the calendar.  I had bought the 2017 calendar thinking maybe my clues would be in it, but I think that the production schedules of that never would sync up – so it makes sense our clues wouldn’t show up until 2018.   So I was motivated to find a copy of the calendar (got it on eBay) and quickly flipped through it to find anything that looked familiar…and there it was on July 22!   It’s not correct that it was a Final Jeopardy (I WISH), but still, I’m psyched that my question made it:

This Guy

You may have seen some of the Facebook posts I’ve put up over the last month or so having to do with Larry.   We’re going through what we’ll have to call our “cancer period.”  Yeah, Larry has cancer.  More accurately, he has colorectal cancer which spread from his colon to his liver.   Fortunately, it has not spread beyond the liver.   Spreading to the liver is the typical place that colon cancer travels to if it does spread, so right now we’re dealing with “run of the mill” colon cancer that’s spread.   We obviously are relieved it hasn’t spread further.   There’s lots of emotion right now about the whole situation – some of it is fear, some of it is anger, and a lot of it is hope.  Lots of the latter, honestly, but there are days when the other emotions can threaten to overwhelm hope.   I don’t like those days.

Larry’s going to get his chemotherapy port installed on Tuesday.  A port allows a much more efficient way to administer chemo and take blood without having to destroy a person’s veins.   Also, chemo can’t go directly into veins as it’s toxic.   He’ll then start chemotherapy shortly thereafter.   We have gone to get second opinions at another specialist doctor at UCLA and then another at City of Hope.   We think the therapy will be folfox avastin but City of Hope’s proposal was to do something called folfoxiri avastin.   Basically, it seems that folfox avastin is a ‘doublet’ treatment while folfoxiri avastin is a ‘triplet’ treatment.   You’re getting more drugs injected into you in the triplet and it’s much more aggressive at fighting the lingering cancer in the liver, but of course the toll is greater.   The City of Hope doctor believes Larry’s age will be an asset here and he’d be able to respond well to it.  So we’re currently in that stage of running that information by our current oncologist at UCLA/Burbank to see if he agrees.

All of these things are a lot to deal with.  Some days are better than others, emotionally.  Send out good vibes into the world for Larry, for everyone.  This diagnosis is so fucking messed up – he’s 43 and diagnosed with colon cancer.   You’re not even advised to get a colonoscopy on a regular basis until 50, although we’ve been learning that guidelines were recently changed advising it at 45, and thoughts are that it may even go lower because there are more and more incidents of early colon cancer being observed.

I’ll try to keep updates coming either here or on Facebook – the good vibes do help, as do the stories of people beating this.

Some Movies, Some Drinks, Some Videos

Well, that past week of time just went by and there were no interludes at all by me on this here website.  I pledge to do better, as I really do enjoy posting.  But last week was a little busy and rough, and I hope that there is good news ahead.  If not, I continue trudging forward and looking to make sure that good news does end up coming my way.

So maybe I’ll go in reverse chronological order and post the videos I just made this evening while Larry was making dinner.  I had realized that while I take lots and lots of pictures, there’s rarely much in the way of video of us together.  Or even by ourselves.  Not that I need to be in video (my Jeopardy! appearance attests to that), but hey, it’d be nice for posterity.  So here are some videos:

Apparently my voice is very high still.  One day puberty will come.  This next video is an instructional one as Larry demonstrates how to effectively drop hard pasta into boiling water while also being a very scenic display.

The Grammys were fun this year, and I loved that Adele, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars performed a lot.  I think Beyonce was robbed in either Record or Album of the Year – Adele could have taken one and Beyonce the other, but what can you do.  I liked that Adele recognized that too.  Beyonce’s video for “Hold Up” is still ridiculously awesome, as is the rest of Lemonade.

Last night was a lot of fun.  Larry & I were invited by our friend Amy, who we had met on our 2011 Mediterranean cruise, to meet her in LA with some friends to celebrate her birthday.   We Uber’d there and had a fun time catching up and talking with her friends, who quickly became our friends too, as they were huge fans of the movie Spy too, so yeah, good people.

We also went and saw 2 movies this weekend – on Saturday we saw John Wick: Chapter 2 and today we saw The LEGO Batman Movie.  Happily, both were great!

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Well, if you enjoyed the first John Wick, then by all means, go see this movie as it effectively picks up shortly after that first one ended.  The mayhem awoken by the events in the first movie don’t let up and Keanu Reeves’ John Wick only has more and more hell unleashed upon his world which he handles in gorgeous, stunning scenes.  Plot points that could take up a whole movie on their own get resolved in short, violent order and lead to the next epic takedown.  Happily, no dog gets killed in this one – but that poor little puppy in the first one really is the catalyst that changes John Wick’s life forever nonetheless.  If you haven’t seen the first movie, go and do so.  It’s insanely good.  But alas, if you don’t have the time, just know that John Wick is a retired assassin who gets dragged back into this underworld and effectively declares all-out war on it.  There are allies all around, and one of the best parts is the Continental Hotel and its status as a safe haven, but for how long and for whom is a question this movie wrestles with…  Honestly, this movie just kicks so much ass and needs to be seen to be believed.

Then today, we saw a much lighter movie!

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

If you saw The LEGO Movie from a few years ago, then you’ll appreciate where this year’s LEGO movie is coming from in terms of humor and creativity.  Will Arnett again voices our caped crusader Batman in this movie, which deals with Batman’s predicament in being unable to form lasting bonds with anyone due to the scars from losing his family.  Enter the endlessly charming Dick Grayson (Robin), the new Commissioner Gordon (Barbara Gordon), and his trustworthy butler, Alfred.  Don’t discount the importance of having a life-long nemesis in the Joker either!  Oh yeah, EVERY single DC character shows up in this, along with a very great number of surprise villains.  The movie is very cute, very funny, and has a lot of references that’ll make you chuckle if you catch on to them.   It’s a movie worth seeing, that’s for sure – although be warned it’s over 100 minutes, so don’t be like me and drink a medium soda and think you can hold it since the end must be coming soon.  The end is not coming right then – the movie has a surprisingly long Act 3.

Movies Seen in 2017:

Fantastic / Rave-worthy:

Very Good:

  • The LEGO Batman Movie

Okay / Wait to See at Home:

Fun Times in Vegas

This past weekend was a wonderful getaway.  Larry & I flew up on Thursday night to Las Vegas to meet up with Fran and Joel.  They were in this neck of the woods because they were headed to a conference in Phoenix this week, so why not meet up in a fun middle ground?  So of course, we were in for that!

We all stayed at the Palazzo, which was unsurprisingly fantastic.  It’s a huge hotel and has a smallish casino, to be honest.  But it was good enough as I ended up having quite a bit of luck playing there.  Well, the first night, not so much:  I decided to try Blackjack that Thursday night before going to bed and immediately lost $100.  ROUGH.  But it was on Friday when I played some craps and holy shit, I had a fantastic roll.  I was at the table by myself, which is usually a risky move, but it was $10 and sometimes it’s nice to not have the pressure of others betting on you and your roll. But that morning?  I was on fire.  I kept hitting the points and rolling 6s and 8s like crazy.  Started with $100 and walked away with $450.  That’s a nice session.    Our first activity that day was walking around the Strip in that area, as Fran hadn’t been in Vegas for over 40 years so it was worth walking her through a lot of it.   We walked south from the Palazzo, past the Venetian, Harrah’s, through Flamingo, then past Bally’s and into Paris.  We finally took a drink break at Paris and enjoyed the ambience.

After that respite, we crossed the street over to Caesars Palace as that is definitely something that can’t be missed when looking at over-the-top splendor.  The Forum Shoppes suitably impressed them, as did the curvy escalators!  After that, it was time to walk on back to the Palazzo and past the Mirage, which we’d return to on Saturday night.

Another drink stop back at the Palazzo casino bar area, and then it was finally time to get some Roulette in!  I don’t usually play, but it was the game that Fran was up for as Jon had asked her to play some #s.  Well, crazily enough, she was able to get some wins in – hell, so did I!  The best one was 33 hit, which I had bet on, and on the next spin, it came up again.  Sweet, and I had put another dollar on there.  35-1 odds, buddy!

That evening we had dinner at the Lavo Italian restaurant in the Palazzo, which was pretty great.  Joel’s boss and wife were also meeting us there for dinner.  The food was great, but I ended up unable to finish off my veal parmesan as it was ginormous.  But very good!

On Saturday morning, we awoke and instead of having breakfast again at the Grand Lux Cafe, we found Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro – quite a trek to find, but sooo damn good.  It’s a French restaurant and oh man, their weekend menu is delicious.  I ended up getting one of the specials, chicken with waffles, and it was fantastic.  Perfectly cooked chicken…bacon in the waffles….delicious.

After breakfast, that day’s walking adventure was to take the Monorail down to the MGM Grand so we could then not only see that but also see the New York New York casino.  We had to show them the fun theming there, even if it is kind of lame.  We then walked through the Excalibur and into the Luxor, where we had another drink break.  It was a lot of fun to stop there as they were playing music videos and all of them were just a blast to watch.  Larry & I could have probably hung out there, drank, and watched videos all afternoon!  We did then check out Mandalay Bay before catching a cab back to the hotel in order to get some rest.

We still had a fun night ahead, as we had gotten tickets to see the Beatles’ LOVE show at the Mirage!  Yay!  Michancy also joined us, so it was a blast.  I was excited to see it again (yes, again, I know) as for its 10th anniversary, they changed it up a little.  After having seen it, I think I preferred the original version to the tweaks that were implemented.  It’s not a giant overhaul by any means, but there did seem to be additions and removals that changed the overall excitement, maybe?  Regardless, still a great show and the newbies all loved it.  After the show, we then headed back to the Canal Shoppes and got dinner at Sushi Samba, which is quite an experience.  Really good food in a fun atmosphere.  Michancy suggested keeping going, but both Larry & I were done at that point, so we walked her to her car and then headed back to the hotel.

And then it was Sunday and time to go home.  We actually did have a good bit of fun in the morning, as we had breakfast at the Grand Lux again (their beignets were so good and their French Toast is insanely thick) and then after getting packed, we killed some more time at the casino, with Fran able to play roulette for a while longer and I went over and played craps again.  It was great as I was able to win some money – although not as much as some guys who were playing one of the particular-table bets I’d not seen before – Repeater bets, in which if you roll two 2s or three 3s or four 4s etc before 7-ing out, you get insane paydays.  It’s of course bigger at the 6 and 8 (120-1), but the 2/12 is still 50-1 I think, and it just goes up.  For those rolls in which craps numbers get rolled a lot, which sometimes happen, these bets are ridiculous.  One of the guys at the table literally won $1000 on those bets alone.  But I know full well that those are sucker bets too, as those great rolls don’t come all that often!

Anyway, it was wonderful to see Fran and Joel even if for a little while.  They drove off to Phoenix while Larry & I took our brief Southwest flight home.  I freakin’ love flying to Vegas now – so much less stressful.

A Christmas Catch-Up Post & Pics!

There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas.  She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm.  These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go.   We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show.  The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act.  At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her.   It was freakin’ Deven Green!  Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?

Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole.  But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!”  Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t.  So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person.  She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with.  I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.

Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives

The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.  It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming.  I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality.  Highly recommended!

A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can.  It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.

There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.”  It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it.  I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.

Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form.  It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it.  I’m not wrong:

I’ve found Larry’s doppelganger

The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry.  I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry.  It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.

Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas.  Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.

Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures

One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time.  Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool.  You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.

On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent.  It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day.  We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it.  Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think.  I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system?  Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing.  And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions.  🙂

Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam

Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon.  We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?

Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.  

I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year.  Yep, not moving after 2 years this time.  Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.