Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On to course 3!!

I am officially a week into the third chemo course. It feels good to get back on track and start crossing off these days one at a time. There are two main drugs that they are using in this course (it should have been 3 but they eliminated the one that causes the neuropathy and numbness in my fingers and toes.....that's good news for my dreams to become a concert pianist). The good news is that the drugs don't affect my blood counts quite as much so I don't have to go in for transfusions quite as frequently. The bad news is that I have had terrible morning sickness (think Arnold in 'Junior'.....still think the Academy robbed that fine piece of art). I have trouble keeping food down, but really just in the morning then I get progressively better as the day goes on. piece of big personal news: Hanna and I set our wedding date for April 10th!!! I am beyond pumped to spend my life with her and can't wait for that amanzing day and every amazing day that will come after. Its less than 6 months away so it is gonna come up pretty quickly.....yikes, i had better start practicing some crazy entry dance to "Thriller" or another 80s classic. that I can put on youtube and gain mediocre fame for. Speaking of time flying by, my friends Colin and Kathleen are getting married this weekned. It's going to be beautiful and I am really looking forward to spending the weekend with their amazing friends and family. I am still unable to put weight on (if only Mcdonalds sold Shamrock Shakes all year round) so I will have to try to beef up for the next few days to get into my tux. I am realy proud of both Colin and Kathleen and am excited to be a part of their lives together.

My dad has had some good news recently. He had been on a chemo drug that was administered 24/7. So he had to carry with him a box with a tube and a needle that was incredibly demoralizing and frustrating. The hospital was able to replace that pump with some pills. This will give him so much more freedom and peace of mind. Praise God! He has a blog at

Thanks again to Kelly Fisher and the rest of my high school class and senior officers for organizing a fundraiser to help me through this ordeal. It will be part of our 10 year reunion (can't believe I'm an old man) over Thanksgiving weekend. Check it out at

I am currently trying to get permission from the State to work part-time from home. There is lots of paperwork and red tape involved and papers signed just to get new papers (ahhh....government work). Pray that I will be able to work a little bit in the near future. It will give me peace of mind

I guess that is my update for now. I can't believe that I have been fighting this beast for over 4 months now.....some days it even feels like a lot longer. But, I can't stop until the end is in sight. And now there is April 10th to focus on!! This fight is tiring, boring at times, and incredibly scary so thanks from the bottom of my heart for sharing it with me.

much love and ALL will be well

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chemo break!

After over two months of fighting, I am finally through with the 2nd course of chemo. This was such good news because this course really brought me down at times. It put me in the hospital, it forced me to go to Hershey 4 or 5 times a week at times, it destroyed my appetite, affected my coordination, and a whole bunch of other unpleasantness. For the last week or so, I have been in recovery mode so that my red and white blood cells can recover. Just over the last couple of days, I have started to feel a ton better so I should be ready for the next course to start very soon.....its gonna knock me down again but it is worth it to take one more step forward, one more step toward curing this beast.

The last few weeks have not been all time spent at Hershey. I was able to go to the U2 concert in DC which was unreal. It was my first time seeing them and one of those things that I have always had on my life "to-do list". Evan and I went and met some friends when we got there. Despite a fall on the way in (the drugs have caused me to lost my coordination and some motor function and people probably just assumed I had enjoyed tailgating a little too much), I was able to last for the whole concert and hung on every word Bono had to offer.

The next step as far as treatment is another meeting with Dr. Claxton on Monday. He will examine me and see how the treatment is progressing. Hopefully he will clear me for the next course so that we can get closer to the end. I won't have any "real" knowledge of how the cancer is reacting until the 3rd course is over. That is one of the hardest parts: having to wait and just question how well all this is working.

Since my loss of sensation has been pretty bad in my fingers and toes, the doctor and nurses have decided to eliminate one of the chemo drugs, vincristine, from my regimen. So hopefully I start to get that feeling back and some of those motor skills without losing much with regard to quality of treatment. I am hoping to be in good shape for my good friend, Colin's, wedding in a few weeks. We have traveled the world together and he has been there every step of the way and I can't wait to celebrate he and Kathleen's marriage with floor: watch out, I've been working on my human worm.

I want to send lots of love to my Trinity High School class of 1999. As a part of our upcoming 10 year reunion ( makes me feel old just typing that), our class president, Kelly Fisher, and many others are planning a 5k to support me in my battle to get this cancer out of me. There will also be a bone marrow registry drive as part of it so that we can get the word out about the importance of registering. It will be November 28th (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and all the info can be found at Of course I would be running and winning this race if I were healthy (thank goodness I can play the cancer card!!)

I know I have said it about a billion times but I can't tell you how much everyone's support has meant to me. Hanna has been at my side, making me smile from day 1; my parents, Evan, Colin, Kathleen, my PMA coworkers, and the Gabler family have helped in so many ways. And then there are those who are not close by, but have given me strength when I have needed it and reminded me to keep talking to God, even when it is hard.

And so the journey continues and cancer does not stand a chance because ALL will be well!


All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.
(prayer written by a 14th century mystic.....I smell copyright infringement)