Monthly Archives

August 2015


Health Update August 24th

Today I am on my 8th day in the hospital. It has been very difficult for me this round. But let’s first start off with the fun stuff.

I had my son Brandon in San Diego for 32 amazing days. He is the best medicine :) Fortunately, we timed everything just right, and I was only in the hospital for six of those days.

When I got out, I felt surprisingly healthy. I went to the beach, swam in a pool, took bike rides, threw a frisbee, and played catch pretty much every day. I also learned Minecraft, thanks to Brandon. I remember trying to teach my parents Mario Bros, and they were clueless. They just couldn’t pick it up. That is how I felt trying to learn his game. I guess each generation will get more and more confused by the games our kids play.

It felt nice to feel pretty normal. When I say ‘pretty normal’, I mean far from normal, but not in any pain. More energy.

Now I’m back in. This round is called 3B. It takes place over two phases. You go in for 4-5 days, and then out for a week. Then back in again. They give you chemo for 36 hours, and then special fluids to rescue you from the chemo effects. Your levels have to get down to .1.

The last round, my levels dropped to the desired range within two days. This round, however, my kidneys have suffered injuries. Basically, they got their kidney butts kicked. So my levels have not been able to recover at the same speed. I’m stuck. It is now Day 8, and I am still here.

I think it is always important to stay as positive as possible. That is the best way to heal. But everyone has a breaking point. I will fully admit that this round broke me a bit. This round, this final round, has been brutal. It is like a tease. You will see pictures of me at the beach and think, “Wow, looks like he is getting better!” And I am. But then, the second I go back on chemo, I go right back to where I was physically. I feel so weak right now, like an old man.

This round, I have experienced things that I hadn’t really gone through in all the previous rounds, like post-traumatic stress. I have felt anxious, depressed, frustrated, angry, and, negative. These are all words that I would definitely never use to describe me. Actually I am the exact opposite. But you reach a point, (and I believe this exists in every human), where you just can’t take it. You feel defeated. I had moments of this for the first time in my life, and I couldn’t escape it. So yesterday I just embraced it. I cried a bit, then cried some more, and then a little more after that. I couldn’t help it. But after that, I felt a little better.

Now, I believe there are two ways to recover. 99% of the time I am going to keep it positive. I think it ultimately helps the healing process much quicker. But 1% of the time, If I need to, I will allow myself to crawl in a ball and have a little pity party. It mentally released a lot of frustration, and I am feeling better today.

This isn’t easy. It is not the same as feeling tired and waiting to have energy again. There is no feeling like this. Your body just takes a beating. It really is a war.

The good news is that this is my final round of in-patient treatment. Assuming my Pet scan checks out well, I will not have to stay at the hospital anymore. When I go in for chemo, I will be able to leave afterwards. I will also be taking chemo pills/steroids at my own house. It will still be tiring, but there really is no place like home. I wish I could click my heels and be there now. So I am in a waiting game until my numbers improve and my Kidneys repair themselves.

So back to the good news/fantasy. I am hopeful that the doctors clear me to go home tomorrow. I am optimistic that my Pet Scan will be clear, meaning that Cancer can no longer be detected. Then, I begin my two years of maintenance. During this time, I will grow my hair back, start working out more, take a trip with April to see the fall leaves, visit Brandon, work a couple of days a week at the studio, hang out with my new nephew, enjoy my family and friends, throw on the baseball uniform and play first base and bunt, ride my scooter, go to the beach, eat at restaurants, go to the All Star Game, and just enjoy my body getting healthier every day.

I don’t think these are crazy dreams. I look forward to seeing them come true very soon.


It is a Happy Birthday!

Well, it seems like today is the perfect day to write in my blog. It’s my birthday!!! Eight months ago, who knew if I would have a birthday to celebrate? I am proud to say that I am here, and plan on enjoying many more birthdays. What a crazy journey. Life really is nuts, but I sure do love it!

I survived the big round 2C, and am currently in the first of two rounds of 3B. Each round has been everything that was promised – difficult, painful, exhausting, and very humbling. Four days ago, when I finished taking chemo pills, I was laying on a couch with zero energy. My stomach was all screwed up and I felt weak.

I am constantly stunned by the body’s ability to recover. The next day, the Chemo cleared my system, and poofŠ – I felt great. I went to the beach, took my son to the batting cages, swam in a pool, and was even allowed to order Thai food (my numbers were good enough). When you havent had much variety for eight months, Thai food is especially amazing.

On August 14th, I go back into the hospital. I will be staying in there for maybe five days. When I get out, it will be about a week of feeling no bueno. After that, I get a PET scan and CAT scan. Assuming that everything is clear of Cancer, I will have officially finished all of the intense rounds. I will no longer have to stay in the hospital for any extended period of time. I can’t believe it! I am so thrilled to have gotten through these past eight months.

After that, I will begin “maintenance.” This exciting word translates to still receiving chemo, but going home at the end of the day. After the first few months, the dosage will be WAY less intense than it has been. I will regrow hair, and will even able to build muscle again. So I have a lot to look forward to on the health side of things.

So is this a Happy Birthday? Heck yeah it is! I have amazing friends and family, and my health is on the up and up :) Thank you to all who love and care for me. It has helped me get through this most challenging battle of my life. I love you all.

The very best birthday present that I could ever ask for is to go donate blood. I never understood how important blood donation was. But it is the simplest way to become a hero. You can leave the experience knowing that you literally just saved a person’s life. I have had at least thirty blood transfusions now. That means I owe my life to at least thirty different people.

If you do choose to donate, please don’t put it in my name, to be reserved for me. It is best to keep it random, so that it matches the blood type of the person in need.

P.S.: If you ever want to comment on any posts, the comment wall is the best place to do so. I read and appreciate every single comment. Here is the link. Thanks!