As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.

Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”

I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.

Key West

Key West

Friday, October 1, 2010

Livestrong Day 2010 and the Tour De BBQ

One thing about people in Kansas City is we love our BBQ.  On October 1st I attended the second annual Tour De BBQ which is an event where people ride their bikes from BBQ restaurant to BBQ restaurant getting small samples along the way.  Me and my older two children decided this would be fun and I invited the new girlfriend (NG I will call her) to join us.  My kids had not met her yet and this seemed like a good way to introduce everybody.   It was a great day and we had a great time.  For those of you interested it will be October 2nd this year and will once again start at the Sprint Center downtown and I am sure even bigger than last year.  The turnout last year was more than expected so the lines at the rest stops for BBQ were very long.  Some people were really angry and yelling at the restaurants for not having enough food, service….  This really bothered me  as this ride was not about stuffing our faces with BBQ, it was about raising money for the University Of Kansas Cancer Center and the Livestrong foundation of Kansas City.  It was about spending time with fellow cyclist and in my case new friends and my family.  It was about raising awareness that there are 28 Million people living with this disease in the world.  There were 10, 30, and 100 mile routes and we picked the 30 mile route.  Riding around downtown KC with over 3,000 fellow cyclists was a blast and I look forward to doing it again sometime. It was also very inspiring to see all the teams riding in honor or memory of somebody.  Some of the people they were riding for would be at the start finish line or at one of the stops along the route.  I noticed them all and wondered if that would be me some day.  After the ride they had free beer and food back at the Sprint Center and we sat around and had some cold ones and visited until it was time for my son to head to the airport.  He was heading back to Alaska and I haven’t seen him since.  He is scheduled to be home late next week and I cannot wait to see him.  I always feel bad when I have to call him and tell him about my next surgery or treatment or whatever is going on.  I am sure being so far away is hard on him when somebody in the family is going through difficult times.  I also feel that he deserves my honesty and the truth about what is happening at the time.  We had to talk about what I expected of him should I get sick and also review what to do should I move on to whatever is next.  This was a very odd discussion to have with your son and I think it freaked him out but it had to be done.  It was a great day and the kids seemed to be hitting it off with the NG which was a huge relief to me.  She had become a really important part of my life and even though I suggested she and I stop seeing each other until my health situation was a little more understood she stuck it out with me. 
I was feeling pretty good at this point and the results of the PET scan were favorable so I was thinking I had dodged a bullet and only had one more test to go that would check to see if I had any trace amounts of melanoma in my Lymph Nodes.  If it was negative then I was home free and the chances of reoccurrence were greatly reduced.  I wouldn’t be so lucky but on this day I didn’t even give that a thought.