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My Brother, My Hero

Lego Batman and Superman

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…)

Impact Of Personal Experiences

Water Ripples

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…)

Round 3

round 3

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…)

Infertility

cartoon familyDo 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…)

Finances

accountant

Bills

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…)

Manic Monday

round 2

Back Pain

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…)

Chelsea Berler: Warrior

Chelsea BerlerToday 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…)

Week Three

bracelet

Quarter Done

As we wrap up week three of this process, it signifies what we hope to be the quarter done mark. Four rounds of three weeks is the goal, and I hope that visits with the doctor next week come with indications that things are progressing well, that the chemo is working as intended. The side effects have not yet been as bad as expected, but I can definitely tell my immune system is worn down, and I am noticeably tired for much of the day. (more…)

Cancer Is Real

Streaking Traffic

The Blur

On April 12 I had a surgery to remove a mass from my right testicle. Our focus immediately following that was of recovering from that surgery, but that soon enough turned into a mad dash. On the day it was confirmed to be cancer, it launched us into a barrage of pre-chemo checkups, notifying family and close friends, and preparing ourselves as best we could with our jobs, volunteer activities, and side hustles. This carried over into the first week of chemo, getting to the hospital first thing every morning, and trying to have some semblance of normal in the evening. Then we got to last week. (more…)

Things We Like: Water Bottles

waterbottles

New Water Bottles

My loving wife demanded I get some new water bottles. This is probably three times more than I need, but there are some conveniences to having more than one. We still have an out sized supply of water bottles for two people though, looking forward to that next rummage sale. (more…)