Update from Sam

The Change Up…

15 May , 2015  

The Change Up. It’s a pretty darn good movie, but didn’t make too big of a splash at the theaters. Has a quick appearance by my actor buddy Gabe Wood – good work dude! Wish that what this entire post was me rambling about this movie and it’s funny parts but I’ve got other news to report though that involves some change.

A while back I said I was thrown a curve ball. This entire scenario that we’ve found ourselves was one mean pitch back on December 1. And now we’ve been thrown another pitch. This one was a changeup (click to read what type of pitch this is in baseball). Here’s why I’m categorizing it as that: Went in for my 6th infusion yesterday, and to have my port put into my chest – which allows for an easier time getting treatments. No more IV’s and tearing up my veins. Had the port put in early, then went to go talk to my doc. I’ve been having some back pain and general discomfort on my left side, and it has progressively been getting worse, especially the last week. Told this to my oncologist, who had me go take an unscheduled CT scan. Radiology came back, and the cancer has spread a bit into the back of my chest cavity. The current chemo has quit working. We’ve been thrown a changeup, one we were not expecting quite this early in the game. Thought the pemetrexed may be what we were doing for the next few months at least, but not so. So we cancelled the chemo, and I’m now due back in there next Thursday.

We are going to respond to this “changeup” by taking a swing with the PD1 immunotherapy drug called Nivolumab. It’s made by Bristol Myers and is the trial drug I qualified for a while back. It’s working very well and proving to fight many types of cancer. It has it’s own side effects, but should not be as bad as chemo. Frankly, I’m very excited to get going on this treatment and confident it’s going to make a big change for the better. We didn’t start with this b/c I got randomly selected to start with traditional chemo.

That’s the latest. I will have more next week. Keep the MOJO flowin’ folks. For me. Your family. Your friends. Whoever is in need of some good juju, vibes, prayers, support etc. I’m gonna hit a home run with this new treatment and need your encouragement through it all. Big hugs out to everyone. Batter up! ~SS


Luckily they gave me the hair net so my hair would not fall onto my cheese slice or anyone elses grub.


39 Responses

  1. Laura Jacobs says:

    Got you in my prayers, Sam. Another good friend of mine had the same sort of “changeup” last month, and while we hated she had to switch game plans, her newest game plan has her going in the right direction. Praying the same for you.

  2. Suzie Lude says:

    Prayer Warriors got you covered and you got this!❤️

  3. Ashlie Berry says:

    Only you can bring on the laughs through the news of this blog! I did see a few extra hairs on that head at lunch Wed, super glad they are kept from the cheese, kinda thinking you need to be handling a different kind of cheese at this point!!

    Hang in there Slim, keep that sense of humor and positive outlook, and we will all keep the Mojo coming!! You are going to knock this one out of the park!!!

  4. Laura King says:

    Sam, I am continually praying for you. You’ve got this! I love your spirit and great attitude!

  5. Jon Zahlaway says:

    Baseball prediction: Shelby puts one over the wall on the first swing. Cancer loses. F**k you, cancer.

  6. Bud Wawner says:

    Keep up the positive spirit homie! We’re all pulling for you! You got this!


  7. Warren Widener says:

    Continuing to pray for you Sam. Keep smiling as you think of how many people are with you on this journey.

  8. Betsy says:

    Love the hair net! (And you were always kinda cheesy) 😉

    Sending lots of mojo love from Olivia, Bailey and me

  9. Van Davenport says:

    Sambo, it’s been said that “your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” Buddy, your attitude through all of this has been nothing short of incredible. (Not that you’re lacking in aptitude.:)
    Prayers are being served up for you on the daily here in Raleighwood and I hope to connect with you either in the Triangle are as your up here or in the ILM.
    Keep fighting the good fight and being the warrior that you are! You GOT THIS!

  10. Michelle Riley says:

    Thinking about you and sending positive thoughts out there cause you are what you think. Big hug, Sam.

  11. Cristina says:

    I pray for you daily! I love your positive energy and wonderful spirit. Prayers and strength being sent your way-

  12. Kristi says:

    Good thing you will not have hair in your cheese…that would be enough to make you gag!
    Keep up the positive attitude! We are praying for you.

  13. Andrea Morris says:

    Praying for you Sam! Your positive attitude and laughter are so important, you can do this!

  14. Lindsey Hess says:

    Thank goodness for that hair net! Keep up this fight Sam, we are with you! Lots of love and hugs!

  15. Howard Collins says:

    Continued prayers Sam. Sorry to hear about this changeup. We all know you can beat this!! Hang in there old friend.

  16. Emily Madison Baucom says:

    Send you lots of love and vibes and juju and mojo, Sam T. Shelby.

  17. Pedrina Salinas says:

    Praying every day for you my friend. I honestly thought you’d say it was in your spine. So glad I didn’t read this! All that good mojo put a block on that! To comply with the baseball analogies- I predict many innings but you get the win! I’m staying in the stands until you win.


  18. Bret Parrish says:

    Thinking about you, cuz. Hopefully this is a minor setback. Love you man.

  19. Kelly Flowers Steggles says:

    Praying for you Sammy and sending you lots of MW vibes! Let’s do this! xxxoo

  20. Anita Liebscher says:

    Praying for you, Sam. You got this! Sending you lots of love and good vibes!!

  21. Paige says:

    You’re awesome Sam, so positive and brave! May the force be with you! (From another good movie;)

  22. Carol Gentile says:

    I’ve been doing what you are just starting to do for 5 1/2 years. I wasn’t suppose to live this long. My mom says I’ve always been stubborn and that’s probably what’s kept me alive so long. I’m not going to kid you and say it’s been easy. A couple of years ago I thought I was ready to call it quits. I am soooo glad I didn’t. This new immunotherapy drug I am on is ????? How do I describe it??? It’s not like I felt before I was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t think I will ever feel like that again. But now I feel hope. A few years ago I was thankful for every year. Now I am looking at 5 to 10 years in the future.

  23. Adrienne Moore says:

    Batter up! Swing for the fences! You are one incredible guy!

  24. Brandi Reynolds says:

    You are incredible. Keep the strength and faith in full force. Hugs and love coming your way.

  25. Julie says:

    HANG IN, my friend. Sending best vibes your way.
    The new drug is gonna knock it out. Cancer SUCKS,
    but you are the best! xoxox

  26. hillary says:

    You are an amazing spirit! Even though you are in the midst of pain you are still encouraging others. You are a true man of integrity! You are continually in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for healing for your body. You’ve got this!!! Love your strength!

  27. Gabe Wood says:

    A changeup can be ripped out of the park when timed correctly! Take a big rip, Shelby. Mad mojo your way, brother!!!

  28. Moore County Shelby's says:


    All we can say is that we love you and are hoping and praying that the PD1 can do for you what those nasty chemo drugs could not. This is tough, we know, and we are behind you and beside you every step on this journey.

  29. It is a gift to be able make people laugh … thank you.

  30. Dana says:

    Sam, that picture makes me laugh. You have this!

  31. Nicole Gallimore says:

    Continued thoughts and prayers for you my friend. Keep the mojo vibe up!!

  32. Emily says:

    God’s going to hang this change-up right in your wheelhouse, Sam! ❤️

  33. Sheila Balnis says:

    Sam – always pulling for you my friend. You really are an amazing spirit. Lots of good vibes and positive juju coming your way. Love you!

  34. Carrie says:

    Thinking about you Sam! I know you were eager to give this new treatment a go, and I’m praying that you knock it over the fence! You are an inspiration, hair net and all. Thank God for your fabulous sense of humor.

  35. Kris Boberg says:

    Sam Shelby—“Batter Up!” is right!! You are going to knock it out of the park!! Sending tons of MOJO your way. ❤️

  36. Amy Moeller says:

    Sam sending some Moeller Mojo from San Francisco! I used to smack the s*** out of curve balls when I played softball back in the day. I had the belief I could hit it, the support and confidence from my team that I could hit it and the physical strength to knock it out of the park! I see a lot of parallels here and I know you will smack the living crap out of this “ball”!!!! My prayers and Mojo strength! XO Moeller

  37. Katie Greganti Hall says:

    Love and hugs to you and the Shelby fam. Kick a$$!!

  38. Melissa Pappas says:

    Hang in there Sammy! Hopefully the new treatment will do the trick! Don’t stop fighting! Tons of prayers and positive vibes being sent your way. I know you’re going to beat this!!!

  39. Stacy says:

    I didn’t even think about the hair net until I read people’s comments… funny! You are always in my thoughts. I’m sure it is rough trying to be positive every day, but boy do you do a great job of that. The immune system is an incredible thing – let’s get the new therapy going! Miss you.

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