August kicked off with the joy of being back home for recovery, though I wasn’t quite as independent as I’d have liked to be. There were some tasks that while I could have done them myself, but they left me so tired and would take so long that I had Tiah help me with them. We had frequent visits to the hospital for blood work and consults, carefully monitoring my blood work to ensure the blood thinners were in a specific range. (more…)
It’s been some time since I’ve delivered an update for everyone. Tiah has posted some small updates on the Facebook Page, but we realize not all of you use Facebook. I had a grand vision for regular updates here this summer, but while I avoided much for side effects for much of my treatments, July presented some not entirely unexpected complications. (more…)
What were you doing?
September 11, 2001, started like any other day. I woke up, showered, had breakfast, and went to school. At this point I hadn’t realized what had happened. When several teachers were scurrying about the hallway, all trying to find a TV to bring into their classrooms, I learned what had transpired. I wanted to hear more news as information was relayed to the country, but only got enough information to know that 2 planes had hit the World Trade Center buildings, it was chaos, and there were supposedly more planes with targets. But my classmates and I would not be able to sit and watch the news. On this day, we were taking the ASVAB. (more…)
Many years ago I received a message from my sister asking if she could have an essay she wrote about me published. If my sister writes something that someone wants to publish, of course I’ll agree to it, but I also wanted to read it, so she sent me a copy of it. I have since republished it a few times, because she writes well and I’m proud of her. (more…)
It’s remarkable how personal experiences in life change the way you reflect on things. A year ago cancer was a thing that happened to people, but it wasn’t dramatically impacting my life. It’s not a thing I really knew how to respond to. I’d give a “that’s really unfortunate” kind of response, help how I could, but largely move on with life. Now I’m sitting on the other side of that equation. People generally don’t know how to respond. It’s a terrible thing to go through, but people don’t understand what it’s like, and I really don’t know how to explain it. Similarly, I can’t grasp with what Tiah is going through, as the one who takes the brunt of my bad days. (more…)
We have begun Round 3. This seventh week marks the beginning of what we expect to be the last half of treatments for cancer. Reviewing the blood work yesterday, our doctors have noted that everything continues to look great! The key cancer indicators continue to drop, and while the white cell count was a bit low again, it isn’t stopping us from charging ahead. Chemo side effects continue to be minimal, although I have a new appreciation for those with tinnitus. We are trusting it is a side effect that will fully go away once this is over with and there is time to recover from it, but for now it is an annoyance, as well as a struggle for me. My hearing has always proven to be excellent, so it’s hard to hear things and know I am not hearing them as they should be. (more…)
Do You Have Kids?
“Do you have kids?” asked Dr. Wos. “We don’t,” I replied, which led to his explanation that the chemo process is not kind to a guys ability to create sperm. He was up front that our options were limited, that infertility might already be our reality, but I know an option you don’t pursue isn’t really an option at all, and I had no hesitation telling him we would want to visit the fertility clinic. This led to a quick trip to Fargo, which included a visit to my sister, and some stories from my brother-in-law you can’t help but laugh at. (more…)
One thing that should come as a surprise to no one is cancer is expensive. I haven’t looked at things in as much detail as Tiah, but she tells me each chemo treatment is thousands of dollars. Thank goodness for insurance! Nevertheless, even with insurance picking up most of the expenses, there will still be thousands of dollars for us to pay before this is all over with. Along with that comes shifts in priorities and timelines with our finances. (more…)
This weekend was a little miserable for me. Over the course of last week a pain started to grow in my mid-back. Right as the weekend hit the pain jumped up to a new level, which made simply existing a lousy thing. On Saturday my massager arrived, which is nice and helped with the pain, but it was only a band-aid on something that seemed to be a larger issue. So first thing this morning we drug ourselves out of bed to visit Chuppe Chiropractic as soon as they opened. Thankfully they were able to get me in right away and noted that my back is pretty tight. They helped loosen me up and I have felt better today, hopefully in the follow up visits they can get me squared away and this won’t come up again. This is how we’ve begun round two of chemo for this cancer. Maybe not quite a manic Monday, but nonetheless a lot going on. (more…)
Today I would like to give a shout out to Chelsea Berler. I came to know Chelsea via Twitter around 10 years ago, back when it was geeks and early adopters and still a place of conversation. We share the bond of being small town North Dakota kids, specifically, southwest North Dakota. I’ve been able to watch from afar as Chelsea has built her business, the Solamar Agency, into a well regarded house of creativity. Chelsea was also diagnosed with breast cancer, and has been battling it for some time. (more…)