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)


  1. Keep fighting Dan O'!
    We're all with you every step of the way.
    I can't tell you how much you inspire me.
    See you on the 28th!

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  3. I am very jealous at you... U2 concert??? They are amazing, great... no words for it... I did not have the chance to see them this time... but I am sure that I will see them again... still don´t know when :))

    And I have a duty for you... keep all your strenght for Colin's wedding... I want a photo report of the wedding and ask somebody to carry you camera so I will see you dancing and smiling all the time ;)

    Come on!!!! You are going to defeat the beast!!!

  4. Hi Danny... IT'S GRANDMOM HERE... I AM AT AUNT RONNIE'S AND AM DICTATING TO HER AT THIS MOMENT.... You are such a strong human being.. this is going to go away... because Grandpop's spirit is with me and you and all of us, and together we know the Lord is always with you! Grandpop is looking down on you, and he (Grandpop)and I (Grandmom) and of course, our dear Jesus will always watch over you because you are so special to all of us. I love you prayers are always with you; and my brothers - Uncle Edward and Uncle Frankie - their thoughts and prayers are with you constantly also! Looking forward to seeing you soon. I LOVE YOU FOREVER!

  5. Hey Dan ... The Southern Tier of the country is thinking of you too. Our prayers are with you everyday. I'm totally jealous too about the U2 concert. They came to Raleigh last weekend. Terry and I were suppose to go too, unfortunately our plans fell through (long story). We heard it was amazing. Back in the 80's during "Joshua Tree" when Terry and I were "just friends" we went to Giants Stadium to scalp tickets. Tickets were crazy expense! so we just ended up in the parking lot listening and partying. We thought we'd have a date "do over" this weekend! I guess that date was just not meant to be. " It was a terrible horrible no good very bad day. I guess some days are just like that ... even in Australia. " (Judith Vorist) Anyway, I'm so glad you got to go! Just thought I share that. Love and miss you tons!!! See you soon. - Carol

  6. Dan- good to hear you're getting a break and getting to enjoy some things (ie- U2 concert and Colin's wedding!) I'm hoping to make it to the 5k. Love you, buddy. Hang in there. Praying for you.