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December
9
2020

December 09, 2020

Good afternoon!

4 weeks ago today, I was cleared by the Colon Surgeon to return to my diet, return to work & return to life Jason!  Hell yes!!  You did it Couch!  What an accomplishment!  Thank you all again for your love and support through this journey.  

Since that appointment, I've worked hard to extend my stamina so I can get back to kicking ass.  Pushing a little more everyday to get stronger - mentally, physically and yes, emotionally.  

As many of you know, there is a nice park with a few walking paths directly behind the INA building.  For the last 6+ years, I go on a mile walk in the morning, a mile at lunch and a mile in the afternoon.  I've learned that this helps me segment my day and there are SOOO many positives that come out of it.  Over these years, I've gotten to see the same regulars around these paths in the park.  I've given some a nice wave.  I've stopped to talk with some.  I've given some the head nod and I've been attacked by those damn geese.  Lots of opportunities to see so much in the park!  Image seeing this 6'3" bald man with sunglasses and headphones walking rather quickly around the park...  hahaha, what a sight!  

Well, for the last... (I want to say 3 years so I'm going to - haha), 3 years I've been able to do this mile consistently in the 13:00 - 13:30range.  You see, I was gifted with a set of long, strong legs & a power mind that will accomplish anything I set it to - thank you Mom & Dad!!  

However, since getting back 4 weeks ago, I haven't been able to return to that time range.  I was pissed!!  I've pushed & pushed myself to the point that last night my knee, hip and lower back were sore.  The whole time I was wondering why can't I just get back to where I was????  It was so easy.  It was normal. It was almost effortless.   

Then this afternoon, BOOM, it hit me.  I was comparing myself today to where I was yesterday.  I was chasing it.  I was trying to hold myself to the standard(s) I had in the past.  Now, you can tie a lot of this to the last few weeks in my life but I think it's actually bigger than that.  I think that we ALL do this in some form or another.  We forget that we are not (for some reason or another) the same person we were yesterday, last week, last year.  Hell, with the dumpster fire of a year we've all had, how can we even think about comparing where we are now to where we were then?  

So remember that yesterday is gone, stop chasing it.  Give 100% to whatever you're doing right now!! 

I hope to see you on the path sometime soon!

🤘🏽❤️JTC

Ps, my mile time this afternoon was 14:05 😉

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December
6
2020

December 06, 2020

Good afternoon!!

Today is the day!  This morning I took (4) 500mg of Xeloda (a cytotoxin) along with a couple Eggo waffles because, why not?  The prescription says to take with food & Eggos w/ Mrs. Buttersworth is a great way to start your day, right?!  

Hope you’re all having a great Sunday!!

Merry Christmas 
🤘🏽❤️JTC 

December
3
2020

December 02, 2020

Good evening from the Couch house!  

 

What a challenging day today.  Had an emotional breakdown on a conference call with my team when I was talking to them about my meeting with the Oncologist Monday and the next steps in what I’m now referring to as my “chemo journey”.  Later in the day, I was notified by email that I had a prescription ready for pickup at the hospital.  I logged into my medical account and realized it was the chemo pills that I would be starting on for the first cycle.  This news was difficult to accept as it seemed now real that I was actually beginning this next step, not just talking about it with doctors, nurses, insurance, friends, family, etc.  I literally was on the phone with my boss telling him I was leaving early to go pick up the prescription when the hospital pharmacy called me to let me know that the email I received was incorrect and to just “ignore it”…  Lots of confidence now in the medical process – haha!    

 

After work, I ran a few errands before finally getting home around 7:00.  I put together a few leftovers and sat down to eat and watch some television.  As you could probably guess, I tuned into ESPN and college basketball was on - one of my favorites!!  Side note is that since 2006, my sons (Jake – 20 & Nate – 17) have been actively involved in many sports (soccer, football, baseball, track) and I have done my best to help coach, watch practice and attend their games.  Needless to say, sports has a special spot in my heart.  

 

I watched the last few minutes of Gonzaga beating West Virginia.  The next game wasn’t going to start for 40 minutes so that the cleaning crew could disinfect the area for the new teams.  This gave me time to think (not always the best), empty the dishwasher, fold the whites, switch the colds to the dryer, change into shorts, etc.  That’s when the day’s events and everything came down on me hard!!  I had self doubt about the chemo decision.  I had doubt that I could do what was being asked of me for the next few days, weeks, months.  Was it worth it?  Should I give up?  Should I move to Curacao and begin a house painting career (😉)?  

 

I sat down in my amazing recliner that I know I’ve held on to for entirely too long but it’s so comfy and we go way back (haha)!  And that’s when ESPN started the playback of the speech that Jimmy Valvano gave at the 1983 ESPY awards.  I know it’s long but when you have 10 minutes, please watch this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SHKzH6zR8xE

 

I am in no way comparing myself to the great Coach V, but he makes several great points during this speech that ESPN decided to air right as I (Jason T. Couch) needed it the most.  

 

As I sat in my brown recliner watching this speech that I’ve seen dozens of times before, tears started streaming down my face.  I thought about how 37 years ago all this great man asked for was to have 3 things everyday:

 

To Laugh

To Think

To Cry 

 

Coach V goes on to say if you do these things every day – That’s a full day.  That’s a heck of a day!

 

At that time, one of my closest friends called me randomly to check in on me.  Now, this friend and I go way back as we were college roommates and he played College BBall at Idaho so he knew the Valvano speech well.  Shit, now I’m in tears again!  Thank you Bjorn for being a good friend and loving me.  

 

It’s now past my bedtime so I’m going to wrap it up because I have a lot of ass to kick tomorrow, the next day the day after that and for quite sometime.  I have been reminded that today was a “heck of a day”.  Thank you all for the love, support & encouragement!      

 

🤘🏽❤️JTC 

 

Don’t give up, don’t ever give up! – Coach V

December
1
2020

December 01, 2020

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you are all safe, healthy & happy!!!

I had a great meeting yesterday with my Oncologist.  We reviewed everything that has occurred since Friday October 2nd to make sure we were all on the same page.  We discussed a couple different options on how to proceed and we have made the decision to begin chemotherapy in pill format.  I am currently waiting to hear back that the insurance company will approve this and then will begin.  I will be taking one pill every 12 hours for 2 weeks and then will take a week off.  We will then test me to see how my body is doing and to see if we need to increase or decrease the dosage.  This is expected to last about 6 months.  

Thank you for all the love, support & encouragement.  I will post another update once I know more.

🤘🏽❤️JTC 

November
11
2020

November 11, 2020

Good morning!

First of all, thank you to all the Veterans out there for your service!  I appreciate your sacrifices to provide me, my family and my loved ones with that blanket of freedom.  

This morning, I had my post-op visit with Dr. Lee.  After getting checked in & waiting in the room for about 15 minutes she showed up to apologize for being late but asked if would be ok if she finished with the up with the other patient.  What?!  Who does this?  I’ve never had a doctor pop in to apologize for being late.  What a class act!!

Great news!!  I have been cleared by Dr. Lee in regards to the surgical procedure.  The dietary restrictions of a low-fiber diet have been lifted.  I am still required to no lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for another 4 weeks.  I have a follow up scheduled with Dr. Lee in 6 months and will need to have another colonoscopy completed in the next 3-6 months but this chapter of my journey is almost completed.  

The next chapter will begin on Monday 11/30 when I meet with Dr. Majithia (oncologist) to determine then next steps in ensuring we got everything & to make sure it doesn’t come back!  

Thank you all for your love, encouragement & assistance in getting through the last few weeks!  I appreciate the texts, calls, letters, packages, meals, help @ work, help @ home & everything that has been done so that I could focus my focus on kicking ass!  I am truly humbled by the love & support!!

If we don’t get a chance to connect between now & 11/26, Happy Thanksgiving & know that I am truly thankful for many, many things.  I will keep you posted on the next steps after my 11/30 appointment.

🤘🏽❤️JTC 

November
5
2020

November 05, 2020

Good morning & Happy Friday Eve!!

I’ve had a good week thus far.  I’ve been resting, healing, watching The price is Right & several movies.  Today, they are showing the 8,000th episode.  I’ve also increased my walks to a mile each.  Three walks per day @ a mile each - not bad for a week post-op!

I had a good friend & his family come over to clean up the leaves this week.  They spent about an hour and bagged up about 7 bags of leaves.  Thank you Nelson family!  

I’ve had a couple friends that have taken what I’ve been going thru & have gone ahead and scheduled their own colonoscopies.  I’m proud of you both & I encourage everyone to make sure you’re taking care of yourself & taking care of those you love!  Schedule that difficult exam.  Go get a physical.  Get to the dentist.  Whatever it takes for you to make sure you’re here for as long as you can be!  As my Dad (Tom Couch - aka SuperMan) says “ having birthdays is a lot better than the alternative”!  

Hope things are going well with you, your families & loved ones!

🤘🏽❤️JTC 

November
3
2020

November 3, 2020

Good morning!

Yesterday was a good day!  I slept for over 9 hours, got up, showered, had breakfast and watched the 7,500th show of The Price is Right.  I also got to watch a view movies, went on 3 walks around my neighborhood and spent the day relaxing and healing.  Needless to say, I was pretty bored - haha!  

I've made an appointment with an Oncologist for Monday November 30th to follow up and see what steps are next in this journey.  I have also decided that I'm no longer going to be taking my pain pills during the day and soon will be off them completely.  

Hope you all are doing well and thank you for all the love, support and encouragement on this journey.

Love,

JTC

November
1
2020

November 1, 2020

 

Hello Team.


Many of you have asked how you can help and support Jason as he continues his healing. Caringbridge actually has a section that enables us to sign up for things he needs. 

Check out the “Ways to Help” section. The Planner lets Jason post activities and requests into a little calendar that allows folks to sign up to help. Similarly, the Meal Train lets you sign up for days that you could arrange to get him some food. FYI, we found a good resource to guide us in choosing appropriate foods for a low-fiber diet:  http://www.colonrectal.org/low_fiber.cfm

Keep in mind that until Jason has more info from his doctors, the guidance they have given him for now is to protect his immune system, so he is currently very limited on being able to see visitors in person. Hopefully his immunity will continue to strengthen very soon to the point that he can resume normal activities (whatever normal means in a pandemic).

Thanks for whatever you can do. And if what you can do is to offer up prayers or give him a call or mail a card, those are perfect too!