Wednesday, January 26, 2011

26th - The Goal Line Is In Sight

A big thank you to Stuart's parents, Bill and Cathy, for spending the past few days with us in Charlotte.  It helps tremendously to have extra hands around when I am not feeling well.  Thank you to Bridget Ruller, as always, for being Cooper's favorite babysitter this morning while Stuart and I went to Dr. Frenette's.

Now, on to the best news I have heard in a long, long time.  The results are in from Monday morning's PET/CT scan and things look very good.  No metabolic activity was identified during the scan (a.k.a. no abnormal cell growth).  It also looks like my lymph nodes are about as small as they are going to get.  Those two facts together have led Dr. Frenette to decide I can stop my treatment after 6 months.  Unless something really odd happens, it looks like my last treatment will be on March 17.  I called my Mom on the way home from the doctor's office and she pointed out the obvious irony of the date...St. Patrick's Day...a day of luck (and faith) for any Irishman.

I am so happy at this point, I do not quite know what to do with myself.  It has been all about the "what-if" over the past few months and now I need to start to focus on finishing treatment and on "survivorship".  This is the phase after you survive cancer when you need to readjust to having other priorities in life.  Lance Armstrong put this really well in his book, when he said:

"How do you slip back into the ordinary world?  That was the problem confronting me after cancer, and the old saying, that you should treat each day as if it might be your last, was no help at all.  The truth is, it's a nice sentiment, but in practice it doesn't work.  If I lived only for the moment, I'd be a very amiable no-account with a perpetual three-day growth on my chin."

Further philosophy can wait for another it is an all-out celebration.  Please celebrate with me, you each deserve it for being such wonderful support partners in this so far.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

23rd - Treatment #8 Done

8 down, 4 to go.  PET / CT scan tomorrow morning at 7:45 AM.  More soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11th - Reflections From Halfway

Well folks, I am glad to say that treatment #7 is squarely in the rear-view mirror.  As I have said before, I do believe my treatment will be 6 months long rather than the normal 8 months, but in either case I am somewhere near the halfway point.  The nurses at Dr. Frenette's office have started to ask me how long it has been...which is a sure sign that I have logged some serious hours with them.

As I reflect on what I have learned so far, a few things come readily to mind:
  • I have a wife that loves me unconditionally and has never doubted that I will be cured (even if I have at times)
  • Young children do not get the credit they deserve; they do "understand what is going on" and amplify their love and attention accordingly
  • You are always someone's son or daughter, no matter how old you are
  • If you are extremely lucky, "work" is not just a place you go to earn a paycheck, it becomes an extension of your family
  • When someone asks if they can help you, "yes" is most often the right answer
  • Life is short enough, never treat it like a race

Monday, January 3, 2011

3rd - Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!  I am convinced that 2011 is going to be a phenomenal year.  I look forward to good health, time with family/friends/co-workers and balance across the many facets of life that make it worth living.

Before I get too far into this post, I need to say a special thank you to the Cieris, Kerrins and Nestors for the wonderful food that they have given to us over the past couple of weeks.  Moe, not surprisingly, makes one kick-ass Lasagna.

The hangover from the last treatment was a little longer than those prior, so I expect the cumulative effects of chemo to continue.  Even if it does continue to get worse physically, my mental game is strong and will carry me through.  I have "made the turn" and am now headed for the finish line of a long and successful treatment.

Treatment #7 & 8 are this month, followed by my second PET-CT scan on or around January 31st.

Before I wrap this up, I want to wish my Virginia Tech Hokies well in tonight's Orange Bowl vs. the Stanford Cardinal.  Who do these guys think they are having a singular cardinal as a mascot.  Everyone Hokie fan knows birds are like interceptions...they are better in bunches.  My prediction is (of course) a blow-out for the good-guys...VT 45 Stanford 27.

Oh yes, I almost promise to post a couple more requested hairstyles...
"The Bieber"

"The Trump"