The dinner and silent auction that was held to make sure we didn't have any financial worries during our cancer battle was absolutely amazing. 300 people took time out of their lives and money out of their wallets for us. It was an amazing collection of people I've come across in my 34 years and it was so neat to have them all in the same room. Brett and Amie Babkirk put together an event that anyone would be proud of, oh, and they did it in about 3 weeks!
The other contributions Kim and I are ever-thankful for are the people we've relied on time and time again for babysitting, rides and my friends in the medical community who have entertained my seemingly endless stream of questions without batting an eye.
Now on to the big stuff. We had our first consult with the Cross Cancer Institute doctors. Kim and I made our way into the room prepared to hear that I had Stage 4 Cancer and a plan on how they would attack it. What we got was absolutely gutting. Our oncologist had zero bedside manner and appeared to be nervous and unsure of what she was telling us. One if the first things she explained was that "this is not curable." This hit me HARD. I actually had to lay down on the table and actually sweated through my hospital gown. After rambling about some numbers she came back around and said, "but it is treatable." I half yelled half gasped "you need to say that first!" After this she explained that I would need to be "on chemo for the rest of my life every second week until I become too fatigued either physically or mentally to continue treatment. She then drew us a bell curve and explained that the 50% person gets 26 months. Everyone else ranges from 6 months to 6 years and because I'm young and healthy I'm probably on the right side of the chart.
Devastated, Kim and I walked out and across campus to get some lunch as we had to kill an hour before chemo school started. We got a couple of sandwiches but hardly touched them as we just stared at each other and contemplated this news. After this we made our way back to the Cross and started chemo school. It was at this point I got pissed off and started thinking about all the positive stories I'd read online. So I started looking them up again and realized that what this first doctor had told me was about someone else. This was not how you treat a young athlete, this is how you treat an 84 year old with diabetes.
After chemo school I approached the nurse and asked about switching doctors. She told me it wasn't overly common but got me a phone number and we submitted a request for a doctor change. I also put in a request directly through the Cross for the most aggressive oncologist on staff and I'm happy to tell you that he will be handling me from now on.
The next day we got a call from my original surgeon and she told us some more awesome news. I have to admit, I hated her SO much in the hospital, who was she to find cancer in me? It's ok because I told her before I left, but she has stayed on my case and two weeks ago had spoken with a liver surgeon who said they would do a liver resection if I responded to the chemotherapy.
Attitude readjusted!!! The morning before I was told good luck and ride it out. The next morning I've got a team ready to work for me.
People! Don't always accept the first thing you're told. I refuse to lay down and literally die, I've got too much to live for. Cancer fucked with the wrong guy.
The next step is a CT scan on the 16th to establish my baseline then on the 19th to get a port put into my chest to make getting chemo easier. It will need time to heal and I'll start some time after Christmas.
We're looking forward to getting going and starting with the good news!