I now realize that running, training, and competing in marathons was conflict which developed my character. The conflict was self induced, but it caused me to reach deep inside myself and sometimes to rely on God and others to finish these long runs of endurance. Bleeding toes, aching muscles, cramps, blisters, and general pain. Each month of training and each of the five marathons helped me to live a better story.
My story with cancer began in 2008. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. At the time and for the next three and one half years, it was treated as a solitary plasmacytoma. Spinal surgery, rod inserted in spine, 8 weeks of radiation, and 6 months of chemotherapy. In September of 2011, my wife Chris, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery followed by six weeks of radiation. More pain to develop our stories. Chris has now had twelve months of clear scans.
On July 12th of this summer, I visited my oncologist with swelling in one of my testicles. More doctor appointments and tests before they all agreed that I needed an orchiectomy. I was assured that my cancer did not usually spread to the testes. On July 27th my oncologist called the house with tough news. Not only were plasma cells present in the tumor, he wanted me to get evaluated for a stem cell transplant. Since that time:
- 7/30 - Bone Marrow Biopsy
- 8/2 - Medi-Port Installed
- 8/3 - Accepted into Stem Cell Transplant Program
- 8/13 - 8/16 - Hospitalized for 4 days of extensive chemotherapy
- 8/30 - Lost Hair
- 9/8 - 9/12 - Hospitalized for 2nd round of chemotherapy
- 9/28 - Lumbar Puncture and intrathecal chemo
- 10/3 - Lumbar Puncture for spinal blood patch
- 10/10 - 10/14 - Hospitalized for 3rd round of chemotherapy
- 10/15 - 10/24 - Chris drives me everyday for Neupogen shots at Medical City
- 10/25 - Stem Cells Harvested
- 11/7 - 11/13 - Hospitalized for 5 days of chemo
- 11/14 - Day of Rest
- 11/15 - "DAY ZERO"
- Hospitalized for approximately 2 more weeks
- 1 week of staying locally for daily treatment and tests
I write all of this not for pity or attention. The best information and encouragement I have received have been from others who have gone through this procedure. I am blessed that God has allowed medical personnel to fine tune such an unbelievable process. I praise God that there is a treatment which can give me more time. I am thankful for my wife, Chris, who has been with me every step of the way. I am thankful for my children and grand children. I am thankful for humble, praying nurses and doctors. I am thankful that I have been chosen to run this race.
Please Hold Fast with me!
II Timothy 1:23