Update from Sam


29 Jan , 2015  

In the spirit of Throw Back Thursday, a year ago today it snowed on WB. A rare sight. Had a good time playing for a bit with some friends. Had a few cocktails. Watched folks push their kids, and dogs, on sleds down the beach. There were a few guys surfing at Oceanic. I remember thinking “those dudes are nuts”. Too cold. A classic and memorable scene.

Fast forward a year and the weather is chilly again, but the scene has changed a bit (for me at least…some of you may be frolicking on the beach today, who knows. Still too cold). Yesterday I was randomly picked in the clintrial to start with chemo, so here we go. I have a chair at 2:30pm today. Dad and JoAnn will be with me on this first round and I’m ready to get the show started. If the chemo doesn’t work well over a matter of a few months, or gets me gnarly sick at some point, they will likely convert me over to the immunotherapy. That is an option we will have. Me thinks that won’t be the case and it’s going to work well, but only time will tell.

Last night I whipped up a few different drafts to post today. One had a bit of a hippie-ish mood to it. “This is gonna be a long, strange trip” kinda thing featuring the MW Bus that Josh drew. All aboard. The other was channeling Rick Flair, GAME ON, Rocky Balboa …Eye of the Tiger type mood. Really wasn’t feeling either one, I think because it was late and I was tired. I’ve been in the hospital 3 times this week, and have had two friends pass from cancer just in the last few days. Grrrrr. Will talk some about them down the road.

I checked FB for a message before hitting the sack and saw something that changed my attitude about today…

Chris Rosati is a Triangle native, we are not tight friends, but hung out long ago and he is close with some of my hometown buddies. He has been battling ALS for years. Robert and I dedicated our ice bucket challenge to him. Here’s what Chris posted last night on FB:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.06.11 AM


My buddy Steve told him: “This post is powerful and there is not a tougher decision a person could ever have to make.” Chris is a true Mojo Warrior and I will do everything I can to come within a fraction of his spirit. Got into bed last night wondering where things will be in a year. For me. For Chris. I plan on being done with this mess. And hope for the best path for Chris and his family.

Thank you again to ALL of you that have been so fun, attentive, helpful, funny, poetic, caring…and another 1000 or so words that would describe your support and encouragement so far. Send some mojo my way, and to Chris and his family, and like he said, go hug someone you love today.


48 Responses

  1. Shawn Moran says:

    What a great post. Good luck today, Sam and my thoughts are with your friend, Chris. Whew. Tough to read. Love you.

    • ginger connett says:

      You are carrying us all with your words and reflections. we thank you for this. All who love you read breathlessly with hope ..and fear.. as we have to be bystanders in a script we all wish we could rewrite for you. I read this post and remembered a strong quote that is eternal to all from Joan Baez..paraphrased– we can’t choose the how or when in life’s worst. We can only decide how you’re going to live. Now. That is something we can hold onto. ps. make your medicals dance before you let them take care of you …I always thought this might be a hoot for all .(Or they will wonder about your humor!) love ya

  2. Michelle Riley says:

    Wow. Thank you for the update and I will be thinking of you during your chemo. And praying for Chris and his family as well as you, my old friend. Big Hug!

  3. Laura Jacobs says:

    As I mentioned before, I am walking through this journey with my dear friend Beth, and I believe you will follow in her footsteps. She is on her 4th round of chemo and has tolerated it all well — aside from getting pneumonia, she has had to walk the fine line of feeling “ok” and things being “normal” with remembering that she has cancer. My prayer is that your journey will be much like hers – minus the pneumonia – and that you will come out stronger than ever.
    Thinking of you and praying for you daily. My sons have you in their nightly prayers, and if I’m lucky, I can get them to flash some mojo warrior signs this week. Thanks for allowing us to join you on this journey.

  4. Amie says:

    I love you, cousin. How have we let so much time go by? So many lame, cliche things for me to say about ‘hanging in there’ or ‘I feel your pain’, but I don’t. I cannot. Without words…

    Our family knows. You know.


  5. AP Blake says:

    Good luck my friend!!!
    Stay strong . You are with us in our thoughts and prayer.
    “Mojo Warriors”

  6. David Hinson says:

    Love you brother. I will be sitting right next to you today when you’re in the chair, rooting you on. You and Chris are inspirations to all of us. Much love, _David 🙂

  7. Meredith says:

    your post made me cry. Love you. You will definitely be in all our thoughts today. Go big, Sam!!! ❤️

  8. sandra says:

    Great post Sam … really puts things in perspective. I appreciate your spirit, your attitude and your strength of character…
    and I will continue to send good thoughts and prayers your way.

  9. Cristina Conte says:

    You have such an awesome spirit and so many wonderful friends and family that are all behind you, praying for you, sending the positive mojo your way. You are in my prayers everyday.Love-Cristina

  10. Monica says:

    Sam Todd we love you and are sending you all the mojo we can muster. This was a powerful post. When you are feeling down, remember we are all pulling for you and praying for you and thinking of you every minute. Let the Cancer Butt Kicking Begin.

  11. Jim Paddison says:

    Kick some a$$ Sam. I’ll be cheering for you for sure!

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help !!

  12. Sherry Gardner says:

    That was a wonderful post/update. Praying and declaring God’s healing for you!! Stay strong:)

  13. Mary Timmer says:

    Will be thinking of you today…. Xoxo

  14. Big Love, Hugs, Encouragement, and High Frequency Vibrations coming your way from the Folds Family. I think about you everyday Sam. You are an inspiration to all of us. Mojo Warriors for Life!!!

  15. Jessica says:

    Wow. Puts so much into perspective. I actually cried this morning when i had to leave my kiddos for a business trip, i cant even imagine what your friend Chris must be going through. Your strength and humor through this journey inspires us all. I knew you were a positive light before but now you are more like a sun. The days ahead will be tough but keep that good “MOJO” flowing and I believe you will fight this. You are in our daily prayers as I’m sure many others. Kick that cancer ass!!! ❤✌

  16. kristin kash says:

    Amazing words. It’s a great day to kick cancers Ass.

  17. Susan McLeod says:

    That is a powerful post… Sending love, prayers, positive vibes your way as you start today and begin the process of kicking this. So much love from so many out there. Great messages being shared daily by so many that care about you!

  18. Moore County Shelby's says:

    So you begin chemo in two hours. As you wrote, who would have thought one year ago that you would be sitting in a chemo chair? Not our health-conscious, active and oh-so-much fun Sam. Chris’s post is heartbreaking but powerful. We will hug each other and send positive feelings and prayers your way today and everyday that you deal with this awful disease. We love you so much.

  19. Joy Taylor says:

    Thinking about you my dear friend. Sending lots and lots of virtual hugs today and always. Can’t wait to give you one in person. Stay strong and when you are feeling a little weak, know you’ve got an army of people here to hold you up.

  20. Mary dukebarnwell says:

    My thoughts are with you and all the caregivers!!

  21. Michael Joyce says:

    Thinking about you today Sam, you got this.

  22. Maribeth Wright says:

    You are a rock star!!! You are such an inspiration! Keep on inspiring! Keeping you always in my prayers!

  23. Ellen (Teer) Eaton says:

    hey Sam, I’ve been following your path these last few weeks and I think of you often. Good luck as you go down this new path. Chris Rosati is a very close friend of mine, we went to HS together. Both of you demonstrate amazing courage and determination. Stay strong and kick cancer’s butt.

  24. Iris says:

    you are in my prayers everyday!! Do not know Chris but sounds like a very cool dude..of course he is- he is a friend of YOU!!! Much Love Sam- xoxo

  25. Duane Auman says:


    I just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and praying for you to win this battle-you can do it!!! The extended Auman family is behind you as well…

  26. Kary Green says:

    Praying for you Sam

  27. Anita LIebscher says:

    Sam, my thoughts are prayers are with you! You are one amazing man!
    I am sending you healing thoughts and big hugs.

  28. Brad Linton says:

    Great post and love the picture of WB. I do miss Wilmington. Wishing you well with your treatment, You got this!


  29. Tiffany Williams says:

    Sam- I continue to say prayers for you! I have always thought of you as such an amazing guy, and it’s no surprise you are inspiring all of us at such a difficult time. Much Love to you Sam!

  30. Debbie Pickles says:

    Chris’ story is , indeed, a gripping one. My mom, dad, and only sibling, whose name was also Chris, have gone ahead of me to eternity and I KNOW I will see them again.
    In all of our lives, we live with the events and circumstances with either hope or despair. I live with great hope , because God has promised us eternal life. Life on earth is a temporary experience for me. My real home is in heaven , where I will spend eternity with God.
    Who would not want to know that hope? Would love to come and pray with you one day. Be comforted by the prophet Isaiah ,” Thus says the Lord, who created you and formed you, ” Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine.”

  31. Tabitha Spencer says:

    Great blog Sam. We are praying for you! You have a warrior spirit and will beat this beast. After my husband got cancer my son brought home a Valentine’s Day card for him that had the following words written five times on the front. “Cancer Sukse” (The school let him make the card and use that word, but would not help him spell it because it is technically considered a bad word and school. He was in first grade.) Ever since then it’s our hashtag. #cancersukse

  32. Jenn says:

    Been thinking of you so much today Sam. Took a “MW” pic in your honor. Your positivity is incredible. Sending you a huge hug from the Southern Hemisphere.

  33. Tracy Upshaw Kabeshita says:

    Loved your comment about “all who have been so fun…” You know, I always TRY to be funny, but that was your job. Mine was to laugh. Good medicine.

  34. Eric Ferris says:

    so glad we ran into each other at the Heels game. Next time will be before and after the game having a few beers. We are with you my man. Kick ass.

  35. Mary Rowe says:

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love and healing light your way.

  36. Chris Rosati says:

    Thank you Sam. Praying for you. I’m optimistic for you. God bless.

  37. Kristi Balding says:

    Great post Sam! Praying for you daily! Keep up your strong spirit! You and your posts are very inspirational.

  38. Tate says:

    hug hug hug

  39. Kathleen Baylies says:

    Sending you love and all the mojo I can muster.

  40. Jon Zahlaway says:

    Kim & I are sending some major mojo your way from Philly, Sam! Love & miss you.

  41. Amy Buck says:

    Thinking about you Shelby. Hope the 1st round of see ya C went well. Sending loads of Bali beat it love. xo

  42. Maxine McCullough says:

    Dear Sam,
    unfortunately we have never met but have heard so many wonderful things about you over the years from Mom my 1st cousin, so your now meeting your 2nd cousin. I love you even tho miles apart and your a part of my wonderful cousin. Please know you will be in my prayers and just reading your wonderful blog God must have a miracle planned for you that we just do not know about yet. Like Tabithas little boy said “CANCER SUKSE”, Love Maxine

  43. Sean says:

    Wow, what a powerful post. I have been meaning to post for weeks but found myself getting angry w God every time I started. I came across one on my favorite verses of scripture that helped me come to blog here today so I am hoping it will help you as well.

    “…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5: 3-5.

    Like I was saying, your story has really made me wrestle w God more than I care to admit. I have seen a lot of seemingly needless suffering over the decades but not quite so close to home . I know you are wrestling w God too my man. As I read your blog I was blown away by the number of people impacted by you and blessed by your kind, funny, gentle, joyous spirit over the decades. You have more “mojo” support than I have ever seen. This is where I finally saw the face of God in all of this for you and all of us and it reminded me of a story of someone else you know. A story that changed the way I see God.
    I was mad at God for a long time as a kid because he allowed my tomboy mom to contract polio at 14yrs of age. I was always perplexed because she never seemed upset about it like I was! Pretty strange right? It wasn’t until decades later I asked my mom why she didn’t seem upset at God for her polio. She said something I have never forgotten and made me see that God’s plan is always more mysterious and better than ours. She said all she could remember from those days was the overwhelming love and support poured over her by the small South Dakota community where she grew up. Further, since she was hospitalized and confined to beds for so long, she became a voracious reader. Her passion for sports was no longer available because she could’t run. She had nothing else to do, so she read several books every day. As you know this made her a little smarter than your average bear and eventuated in a prolific, fulfilling career in academia. So, I look at your situation and trust God’s mysterious plan. May you “lean not on your own understanding” and trust in Gods plan, even when it hurts my man. I hope and pray you you can see God as loving and compassionate, even in the midst of storms. Yes, even polio, cancer, ALS and any other trial in this staggeringly mysterious place. I see Gods love is in the hundreds or Shelby lovers or “mojo warriors” we all see here, not unlike the South Dakota community that lifted up my mom when she was thrown a curve ball. I can already see God chiseling you through this challenge by your decision to turn your suboptimal hand into good through the creation of mojo warriors and reaching out to love and support others in the fight. We are all grateful for you and your decades of friendship. We all love you my man and are going to continue to be the face of God to you until this is all over. I am praying a lot more than I ever have. Let me know if you need anything. You are about due for another mix CD and a trip to Brass.

    Blessings and much love,
    Booker Creeker, Sean

  44. Nancy Jane says:

    Praying for you and Chris!

  45. Jennifer Lucas says:

    You’ve got this! Sending positive thoughts your way. #MOJO

  46. Beck says:

    Many prayers from Kentucky. Don’t know you but praying for you AND your dear friend with ALS. God and your friends and family are going to get you through this.

  47. Maria Fernanda Setti says:

    Sam Sam,

    Love you! You are in my thoughts and my prayers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *