Thanks for visiting my site. Your kind thoughts and prayers mean the world to me!
I was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer on January 18, 2008 after a colonoscopy revealed a mass in my lower intestinal tract. Click "read story" for more details.
On January 14, 2008, I had a colonoscopy after noticing some significant changes in my daily routine. The procedure revealed a mass in my lower colon. CT scans that followed revealed that the cancer had already spread to my liver (most likely some time ago) and that we were already at Stage IV.
For the last three weeks I have been preparing myself for the fight of a lifetime, and I have a team of doctors, caregivers, family, colleagues and friends ready to stand by my side in battle. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy will begin Wednesday, FEB 13th in an effort to fight back and shrink the cancer in my liver and at my primary tumor site. I'm currently soliciting the opinions of numerous Doctors in an effort to determine the most aggressive, curative approaches available to me in an order that we stem the tide of this disease and get me back on my feet as soon as possible.
Things that I've learned over the past month or so:
1. NEVER LOOK AT THE INTERNET. While the web is nice for looking up the newest research and innovations along with phone numbers of experts in the field, it is NOT the place to go looking for particularly accurate statistics. Many studies done on colorectal cancer and the percentages that come from them are compiled from "all comers", meaning that the study groups include the young, the old, people who got treated and those who chose not to. I believe that since cancer decided to grow inside of me that my youth and health makes me a better candidate for successful treatment than, say, a 78 year old person who may or may not choose the most aggressive methods of treatment. The only percentages you need to know are your personal ones. Treatment is successful or it isn't....surgery is complete or not. It doesn't matter if 3 people you know didn't succeed....you can if you have the will. That's my attiude.
2. YOUR SUPPORTERS WILL BE YOUR STRENGTH. In addition to my family, who have always been behind me no matter what, I have recieved HUNDREDS of calls, emails, meal offers, and cards from my friends, current and former students, their parents, my poker group and my FABULOUS colleagues at work. I am convinced that no one knows how to rally better than a school community, and The Episcopal Academy does this IN SPADES! Thank you to all of you!!!!
3. YOU HAVE TO LAUGH A LOT. Kacey, One of my dearest friends, told me that it is a must for your health to laugh at least one, full-out, full-volume belly laugh every day. Whether it's my friend Scott calling my chemo port my "blowhole" or someone else with a well-timed joke, you have to hand it to friends and family.....they bring this out easily.
4. WHEN YOU NEED A BRIGHT SIDE....LOOK TO KIDS. It doesn't matter when you're down, if you find a kid to watch...even for a second...you find something to make you happy again, believe again, or forget troubles again. Often it's my children (Christian, 4; or Lia and Olivia, 1); but it's even my students or my 32 year old brother :). Seeing people really happy, laughing and content really puts me at peace. My daughter Olivia has this habit of snoring as she falls asleep...I think I could listen to it for hours. My son's excitement when he succeds at something, the girls laughing hysterically, and the many other "childish" moments that reveal themselves in life can make you forget the rough stuff, which even for a moment is great.
Thanks for all of your continuing love and support. There will need to be another lifetime for me to properly thank everyone who already has given so much. I am one lucky (and greatful) guy.