Friday, June 19, 2009

"I'm so lucky"

Every time my brother, Rocky, and I talk he keeps saying to me, kiddingly, "you're so lucky" going through all these treatments. And, while he is just saying it in fun, today I got a real sense that he may be more of a prophet than I gave him credit for being. I just finished my first full week of radiation treatments and so far everything is going great (knock on wood). I am now 25% through my second round of treatments (7 down, 21 to go) and so far so good. I am not experiencing any nausea nor tiredness so far. I truly believe that all the prayers that are being said on my behalf have had a very positive affect on my situation. Keep it up everyone, please.

The reason I say I am lucky is in part due to a woman I spoke with just today at the radiation treatment waiting area at Duke. Her husband was in being treated at the time. I had been talking with another woman when this one overheard me and came to talk with me. She said her husband (close to my age) had the same type of treatments I had before, he even had the same team of doctors I have, and he had his esophagus removed way back in October, a full 8 months ago. Well he hasn't been able to eat ever since, has lost 60 lbs., was pushed in on a wheelchair by his wife, hasn't felt good since the surgery, and has been on a feeding tube ever since the operation. He looked terrible and old. His wife said to me "they wish he never had the surgery." His cancer has come back, it is spreading, and his prognosis isn't good. Then on top of all that she, who was probably in her early 50's, said the really sad part is they have a 13 month old "surprise" baby. Shocking. It was a real awakening for me. All I could think of is that could have been me. If God hadn't stepped in when he did who knows where I would be today. Thanks again to all of you who continue to pray for me.

On Wednesday I saw one of my medical oncologist who was very encouraged by my progress. Yesterday I saw my radiation oncologist who spent about 10 seconds looking at my bare chest and back and said "you look great." You and I both know that what he meant to say was "you look marvelous:)" So, yes Rocky, I think you're right, I am so lucky!!!!!

Now I think sometimes my mother doesn't really believe me when I say I am feeling good so I am going to attach a couple of new pictures that were taken a week ago when we took our boat out with Annette's oldest son's family up on Jordan Lake about 1.25 hours from our home. That's me tubing and waterskiing. This week Annette and I played golf twice during the day up in Durham, went in the pool at the hotel, went out for dinner with Annette's oldest brother, Ike and his wife Diana, and last night we went to a Duham Bulls (Triple A farm club) baseball game. See Mom, I really do feel good.

I keep on knocking on wood each time I say I am feeling good because during the first round of treatments back in February/March, I made the mistake of telling one of my doctors that "if this is as bad as it gets I can handle this no problem." His response was "it can change in a hurry." Well all of about 2 hours later, after an allergic reaction to one of the chemo drugs, I was hospitilized for two days with a fever, terrible chills, and a horrible all over body rash. Then I felt like hell for the next 5 weeks. I've learned to keep my mouth shut or knock on a lot of wood.

That's it for this update. Annette and I hope you are all well. Thanks to all who keep sending us cards of encouragement and, of course, for your continued good wishes and prayers. Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there.


One Lucky Guy, Husband, and Dad


  1. I think you've got quite a few Guardian Angels Dad. They intervene when necessary. I love the pictures from the lake. Even I can't waterski and you are SO much older than me. ha ha

  2. Hey cuz! Boy am I impressed by your water skiing photos! You must be feeling strong and that's terrific. I was really moved by your story of the couple that you met at Duke. You must feel lucky indeed! I continue to keep you in my prayers. :)

  3. It's an inspiring reminder. How it makes you wonder. And I think we're all more than impressed with the waterskiing.