Happy weekend all - I successfully made it through round #1 of 6 of the chemo, and the day afterwards, which had all of us a bit nervous for my reactions. Thanks to the incredible cocktail of drugs they give you (as much as they gave the original cast of "Coccoon") the after affects on the digestive system have been minimized. I'm holding food down, and reasonably comfortable.
As has been requested - I've got some images of my Dad's stellar work on shaving the melon. We didn't go all scalp this time, more of a Matt Lauer motif. Once the stuff starts truly falling out in a couple of weeks, I'll find a good barber with the old fashioned straight edge to go to the Howie Mandell Level. Ironically, the last time the melon was this 'tight' was the final year of Lickety Split Cycling (remember that all you testicle tech alums?) when we shaved our head for Bike-A-Thon. I forgot just how nice it is to wash your hair with a bar of soap!
Apparently, the cancer drugs go after any and all fast-growing cells in the body, including the healthy ones. Besides the cancer, the other area of your body with the fast growers are related to the breakdown of food - so hence the history of nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, heartburn, etc. However, the past decade has brought some great advances and they have medicines which minimize this problem. So far, this stuff is working after round one. I was tired as a dickens yesterday, but am starting to get my mojo back. Amanda and I went for a short crutch/walk around the block to get the mail, and took a few minutes to stand at the end of the street looking towards the mountains. Let me tell you folks, when it's a clear day here on the east side of Denver, there is nothing more humbling and beautiful than taking a minute to look over at the Rockies. So wherever you are, get off your ass and make a visit to them once in your lifetime - you won't regret it.
The next item I'll try to address is my incredible gratitude for all my family, friends, co-workers, employers, and everyone else who has given us well wishes, thoughts, encouragement, and prayers. Mom and Dad - I can't say enough, other than "I love you and thank you". They have been a rock for the both of us and we are blessed that they are just a few minutes away.
As Amy Burkett, my boss, said when I told her the news - "Just let people love you Bill, and it will be amazing." She's right, and I especially want to thank her, Rick, and the other leaders in the office for working around our schedules to let us get the diagnostic testing and chemo on the way. Also I want to thank Amy for bugging me to go up to the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail for my "bad gimp". I'm convinced those doctors' early catch of the tumor saved my life. I also want to thank everyone at the office for the incredible support they've given as well, with offers of food, dog walking, cleaning, etc. You all are amazing.
It doesn't stop there, with our old friends and co-workers back in Cincy everyone from MSA - Mike, Dwayne, Keith, Rick, Cindy, & Annette - your calls and well wishes of support are amazing. Especially Mike & Dwayne calling & checking in every couple of days to keep my spirits up and giving me encouragement. Also, our old college friends both near and far calling to check in on both of us, as well as my childhood best friend Craig calling to check on Amanda and myself - I couldn't be on this path without any of you!
Adversity brings out the best in people - and I am realizing that my life is truly blessed.
So I end this Saturday rambling, one day before my 37th birthday knowing that a mere 5 more rounds of drugs, and a few nukes at the hand of a radiation machine, and I'll be back on the saddle again!