Monday, August 17, 2009

Little Victories

First, I apologize for the lack of entries over the last week. It has been a busy one with lots of trips to Hershey Med Center and a few glorious days relaxing at the beach. After starting Course 2 of chemo two thursdays ago, I had four consecutive days of chemo then I was able to sneak away to Bethany Beach for three nights. Let me tell you that was way better medicine than any anti-nausea meds or blood transfusions. I spent the time with the whole, amazing Gabler family, as well as some other very close friends. It was such a blessing just to feel that sand and smell that ocean air. I'm definitely never taking those things for granted again. The three days were filled with lots of sun, some great food, tons of laughs, and, most importantly, hospitals, chemo injections, or talks of blood counts. I came back for four more consecutive days of chemo which ended yesterday. Now I have a couple days off and will go back on Thusday for three more kinds of seems to never end. But, there is a big bright spot this week as well. Hanna and I are heading to the Keith Urban concert on Tuesday.......I think I'm gonna have to go cowboy hat and boot shopping today......or at the very least acquire some sort of obnoxiously large belt buckle.

This round of chemo has been particularly rough. I have lost my appetite and have been extremely exhausted most of the time. The last few days I have been dealing with fever symptoms and lots of aches, pains, and headaches. Nothing has been too unbearable, and I am the first to recognize and thank the Lord that I could be in worse shape, but I have just not been comfortable or felt like myself much the last week.

I guess the other looming stress has been the question mark about a transplant. I feel like I could be gung-ho and focused on the attack more if I knew for sure what was gonna happen. It is still unclear whether the Dr. Claxton will recommend the chemo only option or a transplant. Both are scary and have their risks, both short and long term, but it is the uncertainty that is killing me right now. I want to go full steam ahead one way or the other and it is difficult to just put the brakes on and wait for a bit. My brother Joe went into the hospital last saturday to be typed for his bone marrow to see if we are a match. Siblings are the safest and most likely donors so that would be ideal if we matched. Its a 1-4 chance. I will keep you all posted on those results.

So, during these tough next few weeks, I am going to take it day by day and avoid the big picture until it is more clear. There will be little victories in every day and I will make sure of it. A date to a concert with my gorgeous fiance, an email from an old friend who used to live down the street, a hug at the right time, a good meal, one more day checked off of treatment, a college friend training to run in a marathon for the Leukemia Society, getting back in touch with members of my high school class who are doing amazing things, a day on the beach. Its the little victories that mean the most and help you overcome the biggest obstacles and lead you toward your ultimate victory.

I want to share one more story of the last couple weeks. On the first day of course 2, there happened to be another 28 year old male who had been diagnosed with ALL there starting his first day of treatment. He has been married 6 years, has 2 children, and has already beaten testicular cancer. He is back at it for his second bout with cancer before the age of 30. I was inspired by his demeanor and his readiness to fight. I am hoping that he and I can stay in touch as we go through this together. Please keep him in your well as another friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with MS.

Keep the prayers coming as always. I would not be where I am without the people who are reading this blog. I owe you so much. Thanks for walking the walk with me and alwyas assuring me that.....
ALL will be well

"And I'll be awful sometimes, weakened to my knees; but I'll learn to get by on little victories" --Matt Nathanson

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope" (Jeremiah 29:11)


  1. Hi Danny.... Well, it certainly sounds like you have a pretty strong grip on everything! I'm so happy you had some relaxing get-away days .... I'm sure more of those days are in your near future. It was so nice seeing you last Saturday, and I know we'll see you again soon. Have fun at the Keith Urban concert - hope you find those boots, or at least the belt buckle. As always, you are in our prayers.
    Love, Aunt Ronnie

  2. Hey Dan,

    Uncertainty is the worst! I can speak from my own ongoing experience of my 20s of just waiting... for good news... bad news... cancer news... remission news... no news... some news... any news...

    I've yet to find a foolproof method for just accepting the uncertainty. But I know that listening to how you're handling such huge, overwhelming gaps of silence about what is next and what this all means has inspired me to just take a deep breath sometimes and focus on what little victories are alerady right here with me.

    Your willingness to share your struggle and anxiety is a gift to me, and I'm sure many many many others out there in the land of life and internetting...

    Thanks for being awesome!

    I'll be thinking of you, your brother and your new friend this week hoping for nothing but the best news!

    Have fun at the concert. I vote that you buy the hat, boots AND big belt buckle. Do it up! Yee-haw! ha.

    Lots of love.

    Laura C.

  3. Congrats on everything Dan! I am inspired by your toughness and perserverance! You are always in my thoughts and prayers :)

  4. Dear Old Pal,
    I know you've had it rough but with all of our prayers and everyone else's, you're going to come through 100%. You are a great grandson! Enjoy the concert and tell Hanna I said hello. Love you forever, Grandmom

  5. Dan,
    I have been touched by your faith. You are one amazing young man, Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
    Love to you,
    Trindle Bowl

  6. It was great to see you at the beach Dan, and it was even better to have lunch with you today by the Potomac river in Old Town. Your strength and determination amaze me. Keep the fight going big guy!