Lucky for me I’ve got some diamond support. For example: The 2015 CHHS Tigers Baseball team. These fellas threw a MW my way the other day. My buddy David Miller, who I’ve known since I was 7 years old, his son Andrew is a Diamond Tiger (he’s just left of center in the white shorts). They had just shaved their heads in support of a fine org called Vs. Cancer, which was founded by former UNC baseball player Chase Jones, who is cancer free after battling stage 4 brain cancer while he was freshman. Big thanks to these dudes. Felt great getting some love from my high school and proud they are involved in supporting cancer patients. And a shout to Chase for winning his fight! Go Tigers. Go Heels…except when they play UNCW of course. Got us but 1 run in extra innings last night in Wilmington. Dangit.
Completed a 4th infusion yesterday with the good company of my longtime friends Dave and JC. Dave treated me to a veggie burger at Al’s Burgers on Franklin St. prior, and JC treated me post to a beer after at Top of the Hill. Thanks to these fellas for sitting in and making my day better. Things went smooth for the most part. It was the last time I will have the super toxic Carboplatin drug drip. We’ll taper down to only the Pemetrexed for weeks to come, possibly 52+ or more weeks of them. It’s gonna be a long haul. If the Pem quits working or gets me feeling too sick, we’ll go to the PD1 immunotherapy drug that I spoke of so much weeks back.
A nice fella sat across from us that had a chemo port installed in his chest and he may have sold me on getting one myself. He’s had it 10 months and was very pleased. No painful IV installs, which has been a big problem for me. Quick and easy hook up to the chemo drip machine. The port will be a bit of a display while in the sun with a shirt off, but my white, skinny bird-chest has been that for years anyway, so big deal right?
Sat on the back porch tonight with my Pop. Maybe 5:30 or so. Sun sets directly in our back yard this time of year. Beautiful scene. Creek is flowin’. Green grass is poppin’. Flowers bloomin’. Commented on the many birds feeding on this squirrel-free rigged feeder, naming what we saw, listening to the hundreds of calls in the trees. We actually saw one on the feeder we didn’t recognize (it was a Warbler, we haven’t figured out which type). Pops has been a bird watcher since before I was born, and as many of you know, I dig birds too. My bro and I know a good bit about the animal world b/c of our upbringing and respecting nature. Thanks to my Dad for this. For tons of reasons, but for one, it makes 30 minutes in the backyard with him that much more enjoyable and interesting. Every time.
Sitting there breathing it all in, including the pollen too unfortunately, I thought about home. I’ve been here for almost 4 months now – December 1 is when Christian told me I have cancer. I’ve had wicked good support from family and friends here. Jo Ann and Dad have been amazing. Mom flew cross country in the freezing temps to see me for a fun week and I’m gonna head her way soon. Friends and neighbors I’ve known 25+ years stopping by with food, a hug, a joke, whatever. We’ve weathered the very cold winter (as these parts go), and this health mess so far, and it feels energizing and comforting to be sitting at home with my Dad as the sounds and sights of Spring are kickin’ in. There is no other feeling like it.
If you have ever spent any time with a tri-athlete or marathoner, or are one yourself, you know this term well. “I set a PR”. Or possibly “I want to set a PR”.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, PR = Personal Record. I heard it many times this past weekend, friends of mine hoping to set a PR in the 1/2 or full marathon. Lots of my crew is in incredible shape and have done these things a zillion times over. Something I have never tried nor have any desire to, but I admire my friends that do it. It’s no easy feat and takes training and drive and a fair share of blisters and sore muscles. Not sure if anyone got their top time, but hopefully some of my gang had their best finish.
Wasn’t much chatter about setting world records for the 1 mile or 5k on Saturday, but I’m happy to announce that I set a PR this weekend. These are unofficial numbers, but here are my stats over a 3 hour period on Saturday at the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon 1 Mile and 5k afternoon….
First things first. Thanks to UNC for giving every patient in the open area of the chemo floor a TV. Hadn’t really used it the first few times in there, but yesterday spent two hours watching Carolina avenge that awful meltdown to Louisville they had over SuperBowl weekend. Brice had his mojo workin’. GO HEELS.
Now on to the shrinkage. No, it’s not the George Constanza kind I’m talking about here (see the 2:35 mark of the video). I can assure you I have not been any cold pools recently. Where I have been is in a CT (computed tomography) scanner, which takes a detailed pic of your insides. With the help of some iodine in the blood, the cancer cells show up better. We got a good luck at the biggest tumor that’s in my chest yesterday before this 3rd infusion, and it has shrunk by about two centimeters. My body is reacting well to the two chemo drugs. We’re all very happy about this.
This has made it way around Facebook, but luckily EVERY human is not on FB, so I figured I’d put up the word here too.
As a little side event to the Wrightsville Beach Marathon, some good friends have organized a MOJO run/walk in conjunction with the 1 mile and 5k. I THINK there are still slots open for the 1 mile and 5k – come out and have some fun with us, and get yo’ self one of the new MW tees. These will be available at the race, and online after the race weekend on the Without Limits website.
The 1 mile starts at 4pm at the Mayfair Event field on Saturday the 21st. 5 k is at 5pm.
Here are some more details:
Thanks again for all of your support. Looking forward to getting outside with everyone.
There are a handful of bands that I am sure I have seen live 15+ times. Guster. Dillon Fence. Hobex. And The Connells. Lots of fond college memories with these fellas from Raleigh, NC – fondest ones coming at the Mad Monk. They still play a few times a year over at Lincoln Theater, and tonight is one of those times. I had planned on going, and feel pretty good today, but I’m gonna avoid the crowd and cold and hang tight in Chapel Hill. I know my Wilmington posse will be representin’.
Big thanks to the band for having some fun and sending this MW pic in a few weeks ago. A little rock & roll mojo goes a long way.
The last 48 hours have been out of the ordinary, to say the least.
Wacky Weather. Everyone is dealing with it (outside of you Southwesterners). It’s colder in Chapel Hill right now than it is in Anchorage, Alaska. Wha? For those of you out there that think this is normal or is just a pattern, it’s not. But I’m staying off my climate change soapbox today. This cold simply is not for me. I’ve lost about 8 lbs since this started, and ya’ll know I don’t have much to spare. Hunkered down till things get back above 45. It’s gonna be bacon and milkshakes and fries when this is all over.
A trip to Hansbrough Indoor stadium (also known as Cameron) for college sports best rivalry game – UNC vs Duke hoops. I mustered up enough energy, and courage, a few nights ago to take up an offer from my longtime friend, and old roommate, Daniel. Last time we did this was 1996. Outside of the final score, could not have picked a better game to go to. An overtime (free basketball as some of us like to call it) thriller. I brought about as much mojo and one dude can bring, particularly sending it down to the Heels in the second half. But then something weird happened with 4 minutes remaining. It was like a force field was blocking the good Heel juju and mojo from the court. I’m not sure who was responsible for this, but have a good idea. LAETTNER. He was in the building. He sold his soul to the Devils Mojo back in 1992 when he hit that prayer vs. Kentucky. He must have some type of super power that he can use every decade or so to make miracles happen in his favor. That’s my take. Damnit Laettner!! Huge thanks to Daniel for taking me, and for the sweet DEAN shirt. Was a very cool tribute to Coach Smith prior to the game and I was happy to be a part of it.
Hard work, persistence, creativity and being a nice guy = good mojo: Robert told me that Beck’s album sales were up 1400% this past week after the Lord of Douchebaggery (thank you Stike for this name) made yet another appearance the other night on the Grammys. Was pleased to hear this, as I own a ton of Beck’s music, have listened to him since I was 23, and was lucky enough to see him this past July in Raleigh on the Morning Phase tour (thank you Hinson for the ticket). I dipped back into Beck this week, watched some videos I’ve never seen, listened to some tracks I hadn’t really given much time before. He’s an awkward dude, a bit slight…he may have skinnier legs than me. But he is a skinny legged genius. A dozen studio recordings. The latest release is mellow and dark, far from some of the hip-hop style most know him from (Odelay sold 4 million copies, his newest only 300,000), but listen a few times and it’s just easy to to understand why it got so much praise….