You may have noticed some out-of-character posts from me recently. Thank you to everyone for your concern, prayers and support for our family over the past few weeks.
It all was and continues to be much appreciated. Immeasurably so, in fact.
At any rate, I’ve waited to address the situation because we simply didn’t have answers. Now we do:
I’ve been diagnosed with a non-Hodgkins lymphoma, centered mostly in my bladder. There is a chance that it is also in a nearby bone, though that is not certain and will be tested.
Regardless, the doctors are treating to cure. (Also, don’t be too sad. In this instance it could have happened to a nicer person.)
The treatment will work like this: I’ll begin chemotherapy next Thursday or Friday. The course will include three total treatments, one every three weeks. That will be followed by three weeks of near-daily radiation therapy. (If the cancer has gone to the bone, the treatment will be a total of six treatments, one every three weeks.)
Over the coming days, I have a number of unpleasant sounding procedures and meetings to prep for the chemo regiment. I personally hope it begins Friday, May 5, which would make it Cinco de Chemo.
Coming to light: This issue came to light in late March when I felt a pain in my side and back while wrapping up at work one evening. Instead of going home that night, I went to the emergency room, where a racquet ball-sized tumor was found in my bladder.
For a while, things looked particularly grim. Had this been a more traditional bladder cancer that had spread to nearby lymph nodes, the prognosis would have been very bleak indeed.
When the lymph nodes were found undisturbed, discussion turned to possible removal of my bladder and construction of a new one. However, when the diagnosis came back as lymphoma, chemotherapy and radiation became the preferred treatments. (As for the tumor, a large portion of it was removed during a procedure known as a resection.)
There remain landmines to navigate: my kidneys are still tender and may require work; my immune system will take a hit; and a portion of the tumor has gone into the bladder wall – so there is a chance for structural collapse as the treatment takes hold, which would mean organ removal.
Still, I’m 33 not 73 so the resiliency of my body is a big plus. (Just think of all the Spinx hot dogs it has weathered.)
A best-case scenario would see a full recovery by August.
Family and Forward: The person most affected by this trouble is Whitney Rathbone Brock. She has not only had to help me, but is nursing a 5-week-old baby.
It is a lot, and her tears are the worst part of all this.
Isaiah and Oliver, meanwhile, are beautiful boys and both doing great.
Much good can and will come from this situation. Some items include:
• A return to a relationship with God. It may seem cliché, but I assure you it is not. • A chance for others to see Christ in this time of trouble. I have an inexplicable peace about this. And that comes from God. • Once we’re through this, the opportunity to comfort others who experience the same thing. • The chance to step back, reevaluate and appreciate life in a new light. • A reason to get a buzz cut.
And there is much more than that, but I’ll draw to a close.
Feel free to drop me a note or come out to visit. Thank y’all so much for everything you’ve done and continue to do. I hope to see everyone soon!