Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the latest on me

hello everybody......figured I better post a new blog as it has been 
awhile since my last one.....hmmm...lets see where shall I begin....I
guess the past week and a half or so has had its share of ups and
down....which I guess is generally how my life goes these days.....on the
positive tip some family members of mine (uncle,aunt,two cousins) arrived
here from New Zealand for a visit on April 28th......they flew in to the
SF Intl. Airport so pops and I went to go pick them up in two separate
vehicles as his Honda Element only seats 4 and we needed adequate room
form them and their luggage......they were quite tired after a 12+ hour
straight flight from Aukland, was great to see them because I
hadnt seen my uncle in 19 years and one of my cousins, Jess, I was
basically meeting for the first time because the last time I say her she
was like a year old and now she is 19.......last saw cousin Kala and Aunt
Sue in Feb. 2006 right after my surgery and start of my chemo so it was
definately good to see them over the six days that they
spent here we tried to hang out as much as we could even though I was
on chemo for three of the days....but we got to do a little sightseeing,
a fair amount of shopping(them shopping...hehe), we went to Festival de
la familia at Cal Expo, took them to one of Maritza's softball games,
and other stuff....well all in all it was a good time to catch up on
each others that was cool.....they shipped back out on Thursday
the 3rd for some more fun while they visit New York, Miami, and the
Cayman Islands, etc. and then Kala and Jess will be back her in Sac. on
May 23 for a longer stay of two weeks.......cant wait to see them again
and hang out........

Tuesday the 1st I had round number 32 of chemo and met with my
doctor.....while meeting with my doctor I expressed my concerns over the
continual increase of my CEA count but he reassured me that it is not the
most reliable factor in pinpointing the current status of my disease and
that other factors in my system can cause it to fluctuate up or
down......I pray that he is correct because I am quite concerned....however my
own research about CEA seems to parallel with what he told me so I
guess I should try to be calm about anyways my chemo session was
long and boring as usual and I couldnt wait to get out of there.....I
tried to watch a movie called "Banditas" starring Salma Hayek and
Penelope Cruz during my session hoping that their combined hotness would make
me feel better but the movie was kinda boring and lacking in a good
story in my opinion so naturally I fell asleep during it and never watched
it to the end....hhehehe.......

Wednesday the 2nd was Marissa's 30th bday so I put together a last
minute small gathering for her which actually turned out quite well despite
my feeling crappy from chemo and its side effects....we had some good
food, good laughs, and good evening all in
all......kinda doubled as a send off party for my NZ relatives too as it was their
last night here.....

Friday the 4th I went to Kaiser and got my take home chemo line
disconnected(what a relief) and once again requested my latest CEA count
numbers...hoping for improvement....however yet again I was met again with
what I would call concerning counts rose yet again from 760
to 1221.....yes 1221.....another all time high......surprisingly though
I wasnt as bummed as I was when I got the 760 news....just tried to
keep what the doctor had told me in my mind to ease my
nerves.......additionally I did a few things to help myself feel better such as finally
using a gift cert. for a 50 minute Swedish Massage at Arden Hills Spa &
Lounge (?? i think thats the name of it).....that was the first
professional massage I have even gotten and mannnnnn let me tell ya it felt
good.......the masseuse worked wonders on my poor aching body and put a
lil spring in my step.....then after that I went over to my favorite
"economy" lunch spot Teriyaki to Go (on Howe) for some "chicken rice bowl"
action....damnnn I love that place........

Cinco de Mayo was pretty much a lazy day that started out with waking
up at 10:45AM....doing pretty much nothing....and then watching the
slightly boring Will Ferrell movie "Stranger than Fiction" on
DVD.....looked pretty nice out that day but the wind was quite strong so it was
kinda better to stay indoors.........kinda wanted to venture out to Chevy's
on the River for some Cinco action at lunchtime but I suspect there
probably was like a two hour wait to get in on such a festive day so I
squashed that I still didnt feel to great having only been
off chemo for a day.......took an afternoon nap...which made me feel a
bit better...and then later that evening we had dinner with Marissa's
fam at Moxie for her bday......we had a good time and I had some
bomb-azz salmon covered in peppercorns....mmm mmm good......

hmmm...lets see...what else is on my mind......oh yeah....I think I am
going to request that my next CT scan be done at two months rather than
three since my CEA counts keep spiking......the last scan as you may
remember was stable so I'm hoping for the same to calm my nerves....also
you know I've kinda been wanting to type this up for a while but one of
the most common questions that I am asked by a majority of my concerned
family and friends is "What can I do to help help you?....Name anything
no matter how big or small......" to which I most commonly and politely
respond....."just keep me in your thoughts and prayers".....however
some of the loving and caring people im my life are still not satisfied
with that response and some of them have suggested that I create a "wish
list" of things I might need or might make me feel better and that I
update it periodically to show what I have received or still need/want
etc......doing a little thinking lately I've concluded that...hmm well
maybe I should create such a list....and be more receptive to others that
want to do something to help me....whether its mentally, physically, or here goes in as much as I dont want to sound
needy or let people know that I am not always doing as great as I
portray myself when in actuality I am continously looking for sale prices,
coupons, freebies, or just plain and simply going without, cutting
corners where I can......=)........(in no particular order of need or

"Nate's Wish List"

1. Cash (always a good thing though I hate asking for it)...for Maritza (god forbidding something happens to me)... .for the
ever increasing costs of healthy food that I try to buy to eat good in
the hopes of improving my situation, bills, and gasoline, home
improvement/maintenance, auto maintenance for my poor aging generic looking 2000
Honda Accord 4-door sedan with 118,000 miles ....
2. Size 8 ½ all-white Nike Air Force One low-top sneakers, any cool
looking style/color of Nike Air Jordan Sneakers, size 8 ½ ......
3. Size Large shirts from Pac Sun, any color, any style (Famous Stars
and Straps, Volcom, Hurley, Quicksilver, Element). i especially love
4. Gift-certs for restuarants so I dont have to cook when I'm feeling
crappy and/or to get me out of the house......(chillis, tower cafe,
mikunis, ernestos, zocalos, etc.)
5. Gift-certs for anything, anywhere. (target, home depot, sears, old
navy, macys, Rack, trader joes, bel-air supermarket, nugget market,
malls, etc.)
6. Buy and wear one of the t-shirts I have created and sell at
(more styles to come shortly)
7. Nominate me for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.......=)
8. Punchline/comedy club tickets, sac kings tickets, concert tix,
movie tix, etc.
9. Standard size pool-table ( i love playing pool)
10. Electronic treadmill (its often hard for me to get outside and jog
based on the weather and/or I have nobody to watch Maritza while I am
out jogging)
11. Playstation 3 and/or Nintendo Wii and games.....=)
12. Subscription to National Geographic Magazine, Road & Track, Men's
Fitness, etc.
13. Wine glasses
14. Outdoor sprinkler repair/replacement
15. Paid Membership to 24-hour Fitness
16. New lawnmower(gas-powered)
17. an I-pod micro or nano
.....thats all I can think of for now.....

hahaha and just in case and for the hell of it in case I have any
millionaire friends out there........a list of cars I like

1. Ford Mustang GT/ Black or Silver, (2002 or newer)
2. Chrysler 300, Black, Silver, or White (2005 or newer)
3. Dodge Charger, Black, Silver, or White (2006 or newer)
4. Ford F-150/F-250 Extra Cab/Crew Cab, Black, Silver, or White (2004
or newer)
5. Infiniti G-35 Coupe, Sedan,/ Black, Silver, White/ (2003 or newer)
6. Any 3, 5, 6, 7 series BMW sedan/coupe (2003 or newer)
7. Any Cadillac Escalade/Chevy Tahoe/Avalanche (2002 or newer)
9. Any 1960's classic/restored/good working Mustang, Camaro, Impala,
Chevelle, Cutlass, Charger, Olds 442, other muscle car.
10. Any Range Rover (2003 or newer)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

the latest

hello everybody...sorry for the lag time between the last blog and this one....I know alot of you check on me daily and were probably wondering "dude....where has this guy gone"...hehe or anyways as the title above reads this indeed is the latest.......lets see well on March 20th my brother Justin came one step closer to old age as he had his 29th birthday and since it took place on a weekday we didnt get to celebrate until the weekend which was saturday March 24 I believe...the celebrations consisted of a nice family gathering that took place during the day at our parents house and then bowling later in the evening with some of Justin & Marie's closest friends and yours anyways bowling was fun that night and Justin enjoyed his bday.......Monday the 26th was another milestone day for me with another CT scan at Kaiser scheduled for 4:45PM......did my prep work which involved downing two rather tasteless medically enhanced banana milkshakes that were fortified with lots of lovely radioactive stuff to help my insides glow like the goo that leaks out of the nuclear reactors on the Simpsons show......and then headed off to Kaiser with my fingers crossed and a slightly nervous internal feeling but with nevertheless a positive there.....checked in with the front counter.....waited for my name to be called as I sat with Marissa who accompanied me there.....heard my name and followed the radiology tech who asked "how are you today" to which I responded "fair.......I've had better days..." we approached the all too familiar now scan room I felt a bit optimistic about hearing the results in a few days and prayed for a good outcome.....entering the room now I follwed the instructions given by the tech to lay down on the flat board bed that is connected to the "giant washine machine looking device" (the ct scanner) and subjected myself to the 3 years worth of radiation blasted into me invisibly to see my that went well and then a few days later I emailed my oncologist Dr. Mandell asking if he had gotten any results back which he responded....."Good News: No changes from your last scan, so we will proceed with the same regimen of drugs for the next 3 months".....***whew*** what a relief I guess......I was hoping to hear "your situation has gotten better" but I guess finding out that my situation is STABLE rather than worse is better than here I am now and the fight April 3rd I endured my 30th yes 30th chemo infusion and try to remain positive as the debilitating side effects are slowly starting to kick in.....a friend of mine name Chris sat through my session today so that was helpful in getting me through mentally...."thanks Chris, you rock dude"........well sports fans.... "I'm Nate" and thats the news for now........keep those prayers up and keep posting the new SuperNate fashion line pics.....I love em and I love you all....


Friday, March 16, 2007

CBS Evening News-Katie Couric Story my picture showed up on the CBS News Website as part of Katie Couric's segment on Colon Cancer.....wasnt really sure if it would get picked but sure enough it did......heres a screenshot of what it looks like......Image Hosted by anybody is interested in going to the actual link to see pics of other people as well here is the link:
so click on it and then scroll down until you see something on the left side that says "Faces of Colon Cancer"...and thats where you can see all the pictures.......

oh yeah...also I've been wanting to say that March is Colon Cancer awareness month......

well thats the news for now...round 29 of chemo coming up for me next Tuesday, March fun fun........=)


Thursday, March 8, 2007

this is me.....

oh yeah this is I have my own blog in addition to my myspace page ......My Name is Nate Barrell. I am 31 years old and live in Sacramento, CA. I am the single parent of an 8 year old daughter named Maritza and a 4 year old Shiz-Tzu named Nena. Currently I am courageously and bravely battling the Stage 4 Metastatic Colon Cancer that I was diagnosed with in January 2006. I have received all of my treatment and care at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital located at the South Sacramento location. They have been awesome thus far in handling my situation and making sure that I receive the proper treatment that I need, and I am quite fond of the helpful staff that ensure my visits run as smooth as possible. Upon initial diagnosis I had many questions regarding my future, health, and treatment so I made a decision to find out all I can to beat this thing despite the tremendous odds against me that say I have an 8% percent chance of surviving 5 years even with treatment. My research has included bombarding my oncologist with numerous questions, consulting with a very well respected nationally known oncologist at the University of San Francisco, internet research including but not limited to many visits to the American Cancer Society and Colon Cancer Alliance websites. I have attended a conference put on by the Colon Cancer Alliance that included presentations by several oncologists and others that specialize in the field of cancer. I try to share the information I find with family, friends, coworkers, acquaitances, myspace friends, colon cancer alliance buddies, and anybody else who is interested in the information that I have to share and I am always more than welcome to share my own personal story.

Living with and having cancer, especially in such a serious case as mine is extremely frightening as it affects daily life and affect future plans, dreams, goals, and aspirations. Indeed the chemotherapy involved in the fight is somewhat of a beast all in itself. Side effects I experience regularly include: Neuropathy(loss of sensation in hands and feet), bloody noses, lethargy, blood from my "tail pipe", heartburn, loss of appetite related to nausea. Most of the side effects are temporary and only last during my chemo week but the neuropathy caused by exposure to Oxaliplatin remains permanent so far even though I have been off that stuff for a good 6 months or so.

well thats me in a nutshell for now......thank you in advance to any and all potential readers of this cancer fighters by wearing a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet or support me by wearing a SuperNate "N" t-tshirt available for purchase at the following link: .... a wonderful friend created this store for me so I can get a lil extra $$ to help me through my struggle because prayers alone cant keep the bills paid.....if you happen to make a purchase please take a picture of yourself with the item and email it to me or post it so that I can see it and save would mean the world to me.........

much love