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6/13/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Thank you for your support, for your words of wisdom, hope and encouragement, and for caring. However, I appreciate your prayers more than anything!
The bad news is I have cancer. After that bombshell, almost all the news is good news, so hang on and read this through before you get crazy!
Last fall my family doctor told me it was time to see a specialist about some things he was observing. I thought he was talking about a plastic surgeon or a psychiatrist but he said there was nothing any doctor could do about my looks or the fact that I am completely crazy. He was sending me to see an urologist. After some extensive tests, he confirmed on January 5th that I have prostate cancer. It is aggressive and I am having surgery on June 19 to remove it. Only after surgery will we know the nature of the cancer, my necessary rehabilitation or the need for any type of additional treatment. Return to this site for updates, especially around June 19 when I am still on drugs - some of the posts may get really interesting!
Turns out my urologist may have saved my life! My story continues. In all his testing for prostate cancer, like my family physician, he too saw some numbers that needed to be checked out by yet another specialist, an oncologist. After more tests, my oncologist confirmed that I also have multiple myeloma. Unlike the prostate cancer, I do not have a "bad case" and we caught it very early. My oncologist said less than one-in-ten experienced urologists would have caught this issue at this early stage just from looking at the numbers from his tests. We caught it so early that it has not "presented itself" anywhere in my body. My urologist is my new hero. My next test, tomorrow, June 13 will give us more information about the multiple myeloma. Treatment starts after my strength returns following the June 19 surgery.
Please include my family in your prayers. Pray for my daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Matt, as they try to explain my health situation to my wonderful grandchildren, James, Mary Woodall, Spencer and Caroline. Pray for my daughters, Mary Beth and Anna Katherine, as they help me recover. And especially pray for Martha, my wife of 42 years, who will try to support all of us, but must be careful to take care of herself first.
Pray for my students. The timing of this news is intentional, in case you were wondering. I tutor math, develop personal strategies for dealing with learning difficulties, teach study skills and generally mentor some of the most fantastic students on the planet. I did not want my personal challenges to impact these young folks in any way during the school year. So, I am choosing to let everyone know now so we can deal with things over the summer and be ready to move into the fall with the focus we all need to be successful.
If you are one of my students, nothing changes. If you have questions, ask them. No question is too trivial and I will always give you a completely honest answer. I also want you to understand how important you are to me. Losing one student relationship because I have cancer would be far worse and more tragic than having cancer. You are my therapy. On the other hand, when you no longer need a tutor and are ready to move on as an independent learner, I will still be the happiest guy in the room!
Parents, I know I say this all the time, but thank you again for the privilege of tutoring your awesome and hard working students! There are no plans to slow down or quit tutoring. I could not possibly walk away from the opportunity to positively impact the future of so many deserving young folks. I cannot even contemplate the end of tutoring. I am all in, totally committed. Sorry, my passion is showing!
I plan to win this fight with cancer. I plan to be the most empathetic and supportive cancer survivor you will ever meet. I plan to be the best possible husband, father, grandfather, tutor and friend. All I need is your help in petitioning God to approve my plan! Thank you!
Return for updates! I will post information as soon as my doctors update me!