10/24/16 Army Update
Today I cried and it wasn’t a sniffle either, I mean there were definitely tears flowing. My wife was with me and she too cried as we held each other. She chose to come to work at my office so she could be with me when we received the call, unconditional love is amazing.
So in my pre cancer life, the weekend was all about being outdoors, drinking cold beers over-looking the ocean, and basically any other mindless activity. Well with cancer your life changes, your daily activities are very different, your ability to do what most would call simple all of a sudden become a struggle. This past weekend we had the pleasure of going on a date to the Kaiser Hospital. The halls were totally empty as everyone else was enjoying the beautiful LA day (yup still beach weather here). The CT Scan department was open however, for the lucky ones, like myself. We were scheduled to do our second scan since the day we found out we had this little b***h of an issue called cancer.
Oh don’t feel bad for me, feel bad for the CT technician. I probably smelt like a combination of 500 dogs as I was still wearing the same clothes from the morning. We went to the Wags and Walks charity walk and got to enjoy thousands of little angels running around. Don’t dare call them anything else but angels, those dog owners can get really protective, not saying we are one of them at all. J
So this is where you get totally mind f***ed for days which is one of cancers’ weapons. You get a scan done, then you wait and wait and wait and wait. You (sorry English teachers, I know you said not to start sentences with ‘YOU’ but I don’t really care, it works for me) get the enjoyment of sitting around and thinking about what the results will be. Little aches and pains that you did not feel before start creeping up on you as all you can think about is whether that little discomfort is growth of your bully. It’s really hard to concentrate guys, even Sunday football couldn’t get my mind in a peaceful place.
So the best part of the Dog event was watching this lab mix go ape shit in a mini pool full of ice. He was totally showing off as a crowd starting building around him, cheering him on. In a weird way, or maybe not so weird, I felt like the dog had a similar personality to me. I have to say I always enjoy being dead center of any situation. Funny part is that I was as shy of a child as you know.
Back to the important part. Adopt a pet, don’t buy one. There are too many that need a beautiful home and your selfish ‘I want a pure bred bla bla bla,’ is just crap and sooooo overrated. It was such a great time watching the spirit of animals that once had no hope and were treated in ways of torture. Wanna talk about unconditional love, look into the eyes of a puppy.
So here we are to Monday, the weekend is good for taking scans but not to get results. Weekend is done and every thought possible goes through your head. Doctor Milani said he would call today with the results. Does that mean in the morning? If he waits to call does that mean its good news, because if it wasn’t of course he would call immediately, right? What if it’s really bad news and he wants to give me a couple more hours of not having to deal with it, maybe that’s why he hasn’t called?
Last time we had pretty good result but it did shed light on the bone issue so it didn’t feel like a home run. This is the day, the day that many are told to go home and get their Will prepared. A day that many hear the cancer has spread to the liver, lungs, kidneys or other organs. What you need to understand is that every time a cancer patient has this day, its life changing. You have to prepare for the good and regardless of how positive you are, you must prepare yourself to deal with the bad. Each second feels like an hour and you have to strengthen your mind on this day otherwise you will drive yourself crazy.
RING RING RING, wife and I jump out of my office as we know the call is finally here. I swipe right once, twice, three, four times and my phone lets the call go to voicemail. I can’t make this stuff up guys, lol, that really happened and my phone sucks, as my wife is yelling at the phone. So I call the number back and have to go through a couple loops to get to Oncology. In that time, I had my phone on speaker, I saw an email come in followed quickly by a voicemail. My hands are shaking as I am trying to explain to a nurse that I need to speak with my doctor, and trying to pull up my email at the same time. I get to the email first and open it.
Imagine taking a ride on the highest roller coaster that is just a straight drop. Multiply that by about 100 and that’s how you feel as your body and mind gets ready to take in what is coming within seconds.
I read the first two words and immediately my mind goes to the most humble place I have ever been. ‘Great News’ is how it started. Please don’t get ahead of ourselves, we still have battle to go, but the message basically stated that the scan came back and there was NO growth of the cancer. Every ache and pain left my body, was it even there in the first place and do I need to strengthen my mind to stop letting thoughts dictate a feeling that is made up, possibly. Dr. Milani is very happy with the results as we are in a stable condition and can move forward with chemo as we are now. Chemo is no joke and so many people have to stop it due to a bad response (usually meaning cancer growth), or their body can’t handle the magic potion and poison of chemo. This is a huge WIN Army, thank you so much for fighting for me and winning this mini battle. This results leaves many options on the table for a Final battle and Win, that is what patients lose the most in the fight, options.
We have not met our end goal of completely defeating this bully, but we are getting closer and we are winning. I feel like we have to take a more aggressive stand against cancer, which means a much stricter diet and more focus on the good items we are already doing. I think we can fuel the fire to defeat this bully in a way that will allow others to defeat it. So far we have done great, but you can always be better and we owe that to the future fighters. We march on.
I held my wife, crying, called my mom and cried, spoke to my dad and cried, spoke to my in laws and cried, talked to big Sis and cried, then I talked to my little sister and held myself in check, ok. There is something about being a big brother, I only get to be that to ONE person, that I feel the need to specially protect Shelly. Just ask her friends how college was for them with me around. I cried because I thought of all the hours every day my wife spends on this fight. I cried because the constant thought, daily, hourly, for my entire family is on me. They deserve this good news, you all deserve this good news. OUR ARMY IS STRONG AND HEALTHY AND WE PROVED IT ONCE AGAIN TODAY. For that I will do my best to return your fight back when needed. In the meantime, go adopt a Dog.
Rough Riders Roll Out,