Saturday, March 14, 2009


Hello world~
I figured it has been a while and I might want to catch everyone up on my successes. It always seems to be that when things are going good, we have no time for reflection. but it's time to get back into thought. I just had my 6 month check up and am cancer free! Stanford has been great at following up and it looks like I'll be going every 3 months for the next couple years. The check ups consist of blood work and x-rays; and once every year, I'll have one of those nasty radioactive pet scans.

It's unbelievable how much time has passed since I stopped treatment. After part-time was over at work and radiation ended, I jumped right back into my life. Slowly, but surely that memory and mental power that I had missed so much (or did I, I can't recall) came back. While I've certainly taken my share of relaxation in preparation for inner strength over the past year I've gotten myself back into yoga and gym with a new perspective on my physicality. I missed the physical exertion and meditative grace that I love from my workouts. After Chemo began, the most I could manage was a mile walk once, maybe twice, a week. It was mentally painful for me to go from a prime physical space (running a 1/2 marathon and working out religiously) to storing up that energy just to make it through a day hanging out in my house. Things change quick.

After radiation, I developed, and still have a little neuropathy. I forget what they call it, but it's very mild. I get a kind of electrical vibration whenever I physically exert myself (just when you were a kid and your dad made you stick your tounge on the negative end of a battery to see if it was still alive). It only occurs in my legs after I run now and when i bend my head forward after excercise.

Overall, I look back at my time this year and realize that I really don't remember much of it at all. I remember the love from my peops and family and the drive to survive, the long drives to stanford, the way I'd feel after the monday of chemo, but the days wizzed by like lightening. I've thought back on my experience and still am in shock and awe that i'm only 31 and have already experienced this crazy thing called cancer. . . and survived! I can't say that I'm more wise or more introspective than usual, but I'm maybe a little more aware of what I put into my body (grass-fed, less alcohol, organic produce), more patient, more reactive of the changes in my body and definitely I have changed in ways that I'm still figuring out. I think the most important thing that I have learned, and am still struggling to embrace, is that my life of plans isn't in my control. As much as I try to control this world and my life in it, I'm going to focus on allowing. I'm lucky and grateful, and a little in debt, but mostly happy to be healthy and alive. thanks for listening and supporting. i'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Second Chapter: Radioactive

So, i'm back on the treatment track and wanted to catch you guys up on the past few weeks. After chemo was fantastic. My mush brain recovered fairly quickly and my energy was back within the first couple weeks. there's nothing new about it . . . i hated chemo. it was harsh on my body and energy, and I felt like I couldn't even concentrate on my thoughts. i dreaded going in every monday. the days were so long and the treatments, while i was lucky to experience no really extreme physical reactions, gave me a complete distaste for iv's. I can still taste the flavor of the medications and feel them corsing through my veins. It certainly doesn't help that my arms are still pretty worked from the adventure.

Now, i'm in the second week of my radiation treatment. The treatment is fairly simple although the ramifications seem to be more intense than my chemo. Radiation is a dangerous game. Not like any of this has been a walk in the park for my long term health (from the PET scans, which is basically injecting you with nuclear fluid, to the nitrogen gas drug (nitrogen mustard) they gave me in chemo, which is the same thing they used on war protesters to subdue them during the 60's), but radiation is like adding on 10x's the risk. I was told that my thyroid has a 50% chance of failing, and i'm at greater risk for other types of cancer's, blood clots, heart attacks, and burns! great. let's just skip it! but, the routine is fairly simple. i go down to stanford 5 times a week and have a mask (that was made especially for me) fitted on me to hold my head down on this table as I lay still and let a machine circle me, shooting me with radiation for no more than 1 minute per blast. it's relatively painless although i may get a sore throat (which i'm already starting to feel and feels more like a closing up of my throat with pressure) and feel a little run down, in addition to a little nausea and some pain and shortness of breath in my chest. ok. i realize i made that sound pretty simple, but it is when compared to Chemo! anyway, three more weeks to go! i cannot wait!

I've already been back at work for 2.5 weeks and enjoy doing something different with my afternoons than sitting around the house. take care for now everyone! I'll be in touch soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

finished! good riddens

My Chemo Journey has ended! I had my last session yesterday. We had a big posse of people along for the ride. My father in law, roger, came up from Redlands, CA, as well as my parents from Saint Louis. Then of course, there was Brett and I. The chemo went pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the rest of the day took a downturn. one of the drugs I was given cause fevers in patients. I hadn't be getting them, because another drug, i just stopped taking (by doc instructions) suppressed the reaction in me. So, basically, now that I stopped taking the supressor drug, and got my chemo drug, I was totally in fever land. my temp reached 103.4 around 5pm. it was awful. We were really close to going to the emergency room, but the on call doc's told us to just take benedryl and tylenol. it worked and after a whole day of sleeping i'm somewhat back to normal. I hope that's the last of it. thank god it's over!!!!

now, three weeks until radiation. I promise i'll write more later. I'm heading out to enjoy the day with the family. thank you all again!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

9th Chemo Down!

9th week down!! 3 to go!
Last week I had a trip planned to go back to my home town of Saint Louis. It was so nice to be back. I had a great time. My sister and brother in law came in to visit from KC and all my girlfriends from high school had come back with their kids (some of whom I had yet to meet). It had been a long time (years) since i had been back to STL and since all of my girlfriends were back together again. Such a good time.

The week I went home, the doctors mentioned that I had a low red blood count, so I was anemic. I had been really tired, which would have explained something. In general, i have become more tired as the days pass. Chemo is really weakening my body. I had a shot for the red counts last week, and managed to get my count up this past week, but i'm still pretty tired. Got a bit of a cold this week, which has added to it. Overall though, I'm fantastic! I'm so excited that I get to be done with this thing (at least the chemo) in 3 weeks!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Good news! The results have come back from my PET scan! It looks like the chemo is working! The nurse said that my reaction to the drugs gave the best possible results that I could receive. There is no evidence of metabolically active disease anymore and my lymph nodes have reduced in size to practically nothing in my neck and around 8mm in my chest! that is way smaller than the mass they found originally! I feel extremely fortunate and excited!

The bad part of the news is that I have to continue with all my treatment. But, they just want to make sure that they finish it out and that they reduce the risk of it coming back in the future. So, there you have it.

Will write more soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just a Test

Just testing google groups.