Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mathman 2008

Hi everyone! Its a new year and quite a bit has happened. The good news is that the wizards of MD Anderson put together a clinical trial that combined Temidor and Avastin that has shrunk my brain tumors. This is truly a miracle and makes for a great victory.

Unfortunately, we think that one of these might have also killed off my platelet producing capability. Pat and I spent 3 weeks over the Christmas and New Years holidays locked away in a hospital room while MDA doctors tried to figure out why this was happening. Shortly before the Christmas break my platelet counts began dropping - first slowly, then very fast - down to nearly nothing. The counts were so low that I could have faced a calamity were I to fall and injure myself. So, they began a program to infuse me with donated platelets - daily. After three weeks of this we finally decided to come home. The platelet problem is still not solved. I encouraged the team to solve math problems with me and to bring their graphing calculators - ahh, but still no progress.

So, keep those prayers coming. Thank you all of you who donated platelets and kept up our morale with calls and visits and cards. To Mrs. Moore's math class, thanks for that great poster. Please know that it was mounted in my hospital room for all to see and it helped my spirits. You kept helping us deal with all the ups and downs - even though I looked like Wolfman Jack! They would not let me shave for fear I might cut myself! Pat liked the beard, but I thought I resembled Ernest Hemingway. I finally got Pat to get out the hair clippers and asked her to cut the beard off. I am now my handsome self.

With Love
Mike Mathman Sheridan

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer's Over

Hello! Its September 2007 and I'm going along singing a song. Life is good. We are now going through our third clinical trial to fight this thing called a glioblastoma tumor of the brain. This treatment involves IV treatments with Avastin in combination with Temozolomide. We have a great team at MD Anderson and every confidence they are doing their best for us.
There are actually three of these tumors, but they have not grown very much and we have learned to get along well. Actually, having them gives me a good excuse to be a little forgetful and to somehow not hear Pat when she asks me to do chores around the house. See, there's a silver lining in every cloud.
I am back to work at Conroe High School, best school in the US of A and filled with wonderful students and staff. I couldn't ask for a better place to work. I am now the math coach at Conroe High.
If you look closely at the picture enclosed, you'll see that Pat has been trying to cut my hair. Yup, I put a cereal bowl on my head; Pat runs the electric clippers over my head and wahoo I look like John-Boy on the Waltons! Its only hair.
Thanks for all your prayers and many kindnesses. I am a lucky man.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Update

Hello friends. Its been a long time since I last updated my blog. Much has happened- many good things. It is Father's Day, June 2007. As far as the cancer goes, I underwent two separate clinical trials this Spring and failed them both. Each caused a violent reaction in me that caused MD Anderson and us to rethink what we are doing. Right now the three brain tumors are not growing and I seem to be in possession of my mental faculties (Some might argue that I was never in possession of these). We are waiting two weeks to let the most recent chemotherapy wash out of my system before we plan the next course of action.

As you can see from the picture at the left, my two daughters Tiffany (on the left - my right) and Michelle (the taller one to my left) have grown nicely. They are beautiful, loving daughters shown enjoying being with Dad on Father's day. I am blessed to have such a wonderful family. As you can see, I retain my handsome good looks. The family will tell you that I also am still "without a doubt."

To my students! Mathman lives! I continue to live on the surface of this oblate spheroid and to imagine what life would be like in Non Euclidean space. I continue to mainain that pie are not square but very much round and that I can't imagine anything more beautiful than e^Pie(i)+1=zero.

I look forward to this next school year at Conroe High School, home of the Tigers and continuing the Mathman legend.

Love to all. Mike Mathman Sheridan

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Round Two

Hello out there. Well, here's the latest. It appears that I have a little more work to do. Round one of radiation and chemotherapy wasn't quite enough to do the trick. The tumor has reappeared in two places near the original location. They are small and not as advanced as the first time.
The good news is that I have a chance to be part of a clinical study of a new treatment at MD Anderson. I am not sure what it all entails but the doctors there are enthused at the possibilities of success. We are analyzing all the details written up in the documents that accompany the clinical trial and I'll try to keep you all informed of the situation. As you can see, I still have my boyish good looks and I'm still sharp as a tack. Although, I have to admit, those 5th graders on TV are pretty sharp too! Whew, kids are smart.
To my calculus students - Work hard! Pour it on and prepare yourselves for those AP exams. You have an amazing teacher there every day who knows her stuff and is working hard to help you. No kids in this United States of America are any better than you are. I believe in you.
As of right now, today, I don't know exactly what's going to happen as far as my return goes. I miss all of you very much and want to be there with you. I'll do my best to keep you informed.
Thank you for all your calls, gifts, emails, text messages, and visits. They are keeping me going. To all of you out there who donated sick days to me, please accept my heartfelt gratitude. I truly don't know what we would have done without your help. The best thing you kids can do now for me is to work hard and learn as much as you can.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

American Idyl

Hi folks! Well, it was a great day for the race. That's the human race of course. And, so far so good with the Mathman. At the left you see the old man before hair loss. At the right, that same man's good side after hair loss.

Now don't scroll down unless you are ready for a shock. Some improvements were made (I know its hard to improve on perfection) but nonetheless, here goes. First of all is the Scottish Regimental Earflap edition. Check it out.

Next is the Lawn Mower edition. Don't scroll down if you are at all squeemish. The photo you are about to see might be a bit shocking. Don't worry, I am doing OK and will know soon whether I have defeated the beast. I fully intend to do so. That way I can get back to school and lead the life I was intended for.

Unfortunately the lawn mower was set too low and scalped things a bit. Above and to the right of the ear you can see where I caught a fast ball from my brother playing catch out in the driveway when I was a kid. You can see the stitching. I went into the house and told my mom. However, she got upset for me for "telling on my brother."

Hope all you math kids out there are doing your homework. Working hard and not hardly working.

Please know how much I miss all of you and am counting upon you to work hard and learn all you can.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Week Three

Hi out there on the prairie. As you can see, my looks have been improved. What a man. Still have my hair, although they say I'm going to lose some of it. Ah heck, its only hair.
Going along, singing a song, radiation every week day and chemo every evening. Making lots of new friends and enjoying life. It is precious.
To all my friends thank you for your kindness and support. I am truly blessed. To all my students, make sure you do your homework! Hope you are working hard!
Some of the benefits of this ordeal: Getting time to do the crossword puzzle each day in the newspaper, Ice Cream after radiation, Back Seat Driving while my wife drives me to Radiation (not sure if this is really a benefit -it is scary), Reading all the cards, letters, and emails that lift me up, Spending more time with my grandchildren, watching Beauty and the Geek on TV. I wonder; since I wore a holster for my slide rule in high school and had glasses held together with tape, would I have qualified for this show?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mathman is now Maskman

Hi Out There,

Well, the radiation thing is in its second day. Now its a one-two punch deal with radiation in the morning and chemotherapy in the evening. Has to go on for six weeks and then they'll see if I am making progress. Its not that bad an experience. However, this sort of reminds me what it was like growing up with 3 older brothers. Back then it felt so good when I was being picked on by all three of them and one of them would stop. It felt great when only two of them picked on me. With four boys in the family we pretty much drove my sister and mom crazy with our constant wrestling and fighting. Ahh, the good life.

The doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, administrators, are all very nice and there sure are a lot of them! Most of all, my wonderful wife is bearing up like a good soldier. Awfully glad I live in the US of A and especially in the great state of Texas. Thanks for all your wonderful comments. Not too sure who all of you are by the coding on the messages, but your thoughts are most welcome.