360 degrees in 365 days

Last week I turned 55. One year ago to the day today, I was facing a really ugly tumor. Let’s just say this last year is amazing grace. I just got back from backpacking in the mountains of Colorado with some inspiring friends. To have the strength to do this is indeed a miracle.

A few things I am thankful for today:

  • I am alive
  • I am strong.
  • I am healthy.
  • I have a beautiful wife that loves me, in spite of me.
  • I have two beautiful daughters that are amazing.
  • I still have my Dad and he’s happy.
  • I have a group of friends and colleagues that are lovers of life and God.
  • I live in a beautiful place with the love of my life.

Yea, we had some tough times. Times when I wondered why God was punishing me. But I survived with the support of a lot of people, and those times only served to strengthen who I will be when God is done with me.

I now know those times are just chapters in a really cool novel with MANY chapters.

I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Weakness in Healing. 3 Weeks Post Radiation

Yes, that picture is me on my 50th birthday. I’m just a couple of years older now but have been through more. It seems to me that without THAT strength the process I’ve just been through of enduring two surgeries and 30 radiation treatments would have been MUCH worse.

So the preface for the little pity rant I have now is that without preparation and strength, weakness would have been MUCH worse. I thank our trainer and coach Adam Hammett for making this real. Without him, I’m really not sure how this would have gone. Worse for sure.

So I finished radiation treatment three weeks ago. I was excited for the discomfort to come to an end.

It hasn’t.

In fact, it’s stayed pretty consistent. Headaches, fatigue, sinus pain from the treated area and some other things I won’t bore you with. Let’s just say I still can’t taste or smell. I must admit to getting a little irritable. When I met with our Dr. last week I asked how long this will take.

‘They don’t know. It could be two more weeks, months or even years. “. She says.

Well shoot. Time to get used to the new normal I guess.

Look I’m thankful it wasn’t worse. I have my eye and all my brain still in one piece. But I gotta tell you until you see the light at the end of the tunnel this is annoying.

So I go searching for some kind of uplifting passage about pain and healing. This one came up.

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:4-5

Like many of you, I’ve read stories about the suffering endured on our behalf. I have to admit I still don’t really get it. I’m not suffering I’m merely annoyed and hurting a tiny fraction of what He endured. Why are we so weak? I do not feel strong today but I know I am, because I know I am not alone.

I’m looking forward to getting through on the other end of this and being the man that endured and thrived.

Until then I need some pain medicine. 👍 .

Pity party over. Carry on.

10 Days Complete. Feeling stronger every day.

I completed radiation 10 days ago. I must admit I haven’t felt any better over the last 10 days until today. It was small and I’ll spare you the details. But finally a small improvement.

I guess I had expected the effects of radiation to wear off faster. No taste, burned sinuses, burned face and eyes. Yesterday I was able to hit the 10,000 steps demanded by my Fitbit but then I slept for 12 hours.

Oh and it doesn’t hurt that we are on a cruise with our friends. 😎

More to come. Feeling stronger every day.

Screw You Cancer. I’m winning with ALOT of help.

So today marks 15/30 treatments. We took our caregivers cupcakes. Not sure why but that made me feel better. I also started feeling some side effects. Mainly the driest nose on the planet. Everything seemed to make me sneeze and it’s so dry it just hurts.

Still I have it really easy.

Today also marks the day a good friend of ours had surgery to remove a portion of her tongue. Poor thing has it way tougher than me. We are praying hard for her tonight. She’s got a long road ahead.

All I can say is this disease sucks. It’s way too commonplace now. It seems that everyone is impacted at some point in their lives. It’s also super sneaky and so many different varieties I don’t know how these doctors keep up. I’m so thankful for the technologies we have and the power we have to fight this shit. This radiation machine is amazing.

All I really know is that I’m winning and there’s no way I could ever beat this alone.

Say a prayer tonight for everyone who is suffering with this awful disease.

And say a prayer for the amazing doctors, nurses and technicians that make the healing possible.

The Probability of the Improbable Thing

I heard a very interesting quote this week.

“Never underestimate the probability of an improbable thing happening to you”.

We all do it, oh I can text and drive, I’ll be fine. Oh, I’ll have one more beer and head home, oh I can smoke, it won’t catch up to ME. Well, I did it too. I assumed that since I eat right, workout, don’t smoke or do drugs I’ll be fine.

Nope, I got one of the rarest cancers out there. Even my doctor who has done 1000s of surgeries has not seen this. Mary calls me the “rare sinus carcinoma guy”. She’s guessing I’ll be part of some paper sometime. Cool, I’ll at least be famous that way.

The point is this, live your life today. SOMETHING is going to happen that you don’t expect. Get over it. In business, I called these “Scuds”, which as you remember in the first gulf war the Iraqis would hurl these huge inaccurate missiles over at Saudi Arabia and you had no idea where they are going to land.

In my business life, the first big SCUD was the crash of 2002. It killed my business. Crap, well gotta get up again. The second big scud came 6 years later with the 2008 crisis.

You know what, we survived. You will survive.

Plan, be ready for it, have backup contingencies, but most importantly, don’t live in fear and live the life today that you dream of living.