Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here we are then

 Well, here we are. Three rounds of chemo into this, and no change to speak of.

 They did another ultrasound, and it has fluid sacks, and solid spots. So, apparently, the old
ones built Robin's cancer. Spectacular. It keeps getting better and better.

 So the Doctors are meeting again to figure out the best way to move forward.

 Meanwhile, Robin and I are trying to move ahead as well.

 Lately, I feel like the only emotions I have left are angry and sad. At least my commute gives me some decompression time.

 Hopefully we will have some real news soon.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Last week I said I would try to post more, and almost succeeded on that.

Sorry everyone.
Well, Robin had her 3rd round of Chemo this week, and it turns out it isn't 4 total rounds, it is 4 rounds of each drug. So, we aren't halfway through it anymore.
 That was a fairly depressing hit for Robin, be it is being taken in stride now. It also sucks, because she is still fairly worn out, just in time for Christmas. It's amazing how something like this can throttle the crap out of your Christmas spirit.

 We are counting our blessings though, since I have many friends, to include my brother, who are currently deployed through the holidays. Stuck stomping around in countries where they hate Jesus and Christmas, and on top of that, they don't want our help anymore. Merry Christmas guys. My heart still goes out to you all.

 The one consolation though, will be that the kids will enjoy it. My kids are looking forward to Christmas tomorrow, and another smaller Christmas later this year when they see their cousins after my brother gets back to the US.

  Hopefully Robin will be able to get a surgery date sooner rather than later, so that way maybe the healing process can actually be started before that smaller Christmas. This cancer crap really is a big ass gloomy cloud over the holidays.

 But, Merry Christmas anyways, go eat some cookies. Drink some eggnog. Eat a ham. Have some Bailey's in your coffee. Merry Christmas everyone!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The kindness of strangers

Ok, so the title today is slightly misleading, since neither of the people I am thinking of are technically strangers, but it is a humbling thing when someone does something completely selfless for you.

 The other day at work, one of the Senior Officers traded weekends with me, so I could have Christmas at home. It floored me. We all do our times away, and for him to give his up for me just amazed me. When I have the chance to pay that forward to someone else, I definitely will.

 Then I got home, and Robin showed me a card she received, unsigned, with a gift card in it, to help us with expenses. Completely unexpected, and once again, we were floored by the generosity of others.

 Through all of this, lots of people we know have been stepping forward and doing lots of little things that help us along the way. It is humbling, and it makes me think of all the times I could have done a little something more for others, and it is humbling.

 So that is a challenge to everyone this Christmas season, take the time to give a little of yourself to others. You never really know how much the little things mean. Even if you don't think much of it, the person receiving it may.

 My challenge to myself will be putting more time into this blog. I fell off a bit recently.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

en serio

 We are on the eve of Robin's next round of chemo, and I think it is really starting to sink in what we are going through. I have also realized that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around potential outcomes. I just don't find myself capable, so I am just going to put it in the back, in the dark and hide it.

 Someone told us to get ready for the next round, because those are the ones that really hit you hard. Awesome. I love advice like that. Unfortunately, there is no other way around it. So, we just get ready and work through it.

 I wish she had other options. I hate going to bed knowing that tomorrow my wife will be pumped full of another bag and vial of stuff that will cause widespread cellular destruction. I hate the fact that we had to start to talk about reconstruction tonight.
 I hate all that she is going through right now, and that there isn't a hell of a lot I can do to make it better. It pretty much all feels like it isn't enough at the end of the day. I just feel kind of helpless.

 I hate it when people remind you it is all part of God's plan. That is really the least helpful thing right now. Hey God, thanks for giving my wife cancer. That's a great plan. There are approximately 1400 people I can think of who deserve it more than her, but she is the one dealing with it now. Even though I am angry with God, I still pray. And I think the great thing is that I can tell God I'm not happy.
 I imagine it is like when Logan tells me in his three-year-old voice that he isn't happy about something. But he tells me, and I listen. So we will just see how it comes out in the end, I guess.

Also, In other news, Elizabeth Edwards died today from breast cancer that spread to her bones. But her PoS ex-husband is still alive, more's the pity. I hope his dreams haunt him the rest of his days.

In other-other news, I started working out again so I can start working up to 5K's again next October, and it hurts.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shave and a haircut

 Robin is a few days out from her next chemo treatment, and she recently noticed her hair was falling out now. So, she made the choice to have me shave it all off for her. It was a strange reversal, with her in the chair and me running the clippers.

 And I realize that I can't even begin to relate to what she is going through this time. Being a guy, it is pretty much my right to treat my whole head as a playground, experimenting with ridiculous facial hair and hairstyles. (the entirety of the 90's comes to mind) I am a guy and society really doesn't care if we are bald or not. This part of the treatment is undoubtedly tougher on women, as society expects them all to have hair. Whole empires are built on servicing and beautifying women's hair.

 But it grows back. An interesting fact is that when it does, it will be brand new hair. Completely different that her old hair. I guess it is a strange side-effect of systemic poisoning, your hair falls at and comes back new and different.

In the meantime, Robin has a nice-shaped head.

Also, in protest of cancer and its a-holeishness, I am growing my hair long, since Robin can't right now. I already have a shaved head, so I am going to go the other direction and take up the mantle of follicular abundance.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Le sigh


 Robin is on the upswing now from her first dose. It looks like that whole first week after the chemo is like being hit by a truck. But now she is closer to being herself. She is still rather tired.

 Then again, I guess having your body pumped full of cell destroying poisons would take it out of you.

 I mean really, the basic idea behind chemo, as I understand it; is that the tumor is weaker than you as a whole. It will die before the rest of you. It is kind of barbaric, really, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

 I guess that is what we are learning through this.

 It is possible to survive just about anything as long as we don't just curse God and die, to cite the book of Job.

 Some days it is harder than others.

 Some days I just wonder why we keep having do go through all of this.

That really isn't the point though. Here we are, and we just have to. This isn't one of these things we can just avoid, and it will go away.

I have to get back to running and working out. It is my Zen. Better than drinking all the time. Then I will have the strength to give when Robin doesn't have hers.

We're lucky we happen to be where our family is. We have a great support group and a lot of love up here.
Above everything we have each other and faith. So, I think we can make it.

We'll just have to remember that at the low points too.

On another note, next year I will be on the ball with Mustaches vs. Cancer. I missed the beginning and only had two weeks to grow. I also want to his up a lot of the runs that benefit the cancer groups. That is the other reason I need to get back to running.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
 Today I was originally going to spend putting up some background about what got us to here, but I decided to focus on the holiday instead. Thinking about Thanksgiving, spending time with friends and family, eating together, doing whatever it is that your family does; it made me realize something.

 The world didn't stop turning, the kids didn't stop making messes, holidays didn't stop coming by.

 I think that is the thing about stuff like this, after that initial shock, you realize that like anything else, you pick up and keep going. And I think part of the healing is in that.

Our life is still happening, this is one more obstacle in the way.

So we decided to enjoy Thanksgiving instead of letting the holidays get us down.

A friend of mine at work, who lost his first wife to cancer told me: "You have to enjoy each day, because If you don't, you'll wake up and find you don't have too many left."

I took that to heart.

Thanksgiving is good therapy.                                                                                                                                      
Fuel Gloss Black X-Large Triple Vented Modular Full Face Helmet
Therapy? I think so


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Breast Cancer at 29

29 years old.

29 is too young for breast cancer.

Not that there is a good age for cancer, but 29 is too young. It is supposed to be something that, God forbid, hits later in life. It catches you when your kids are older, and you are closer to retirement.

They wouldn't suggest mammograms starting at 40 if it got you when you were younger...

So imagine our surprise when the doctor told Robin that the biopsy came back positive. "It is breast cancer," he told us.

Amazing how a few words can change the world in a moment.

That was back on November 11th. Veterans Day.
We had figured it was another scare, since women get lumps from time to time, and it was the site of a duct she had had removed the year before. It must be scar tissue, we reassured ourselves, or a cyst of some type.

Not this time.


So where do we go from here? What do we do now? We don't want this, but it looks like you don't get that choice. My wife doesn't want to be that person that when people talk about her, they say, "it's so sad, she's so young and she has three little kids."

We never got to make that choice.

She started her Chemo on Monday, and it is starting to sink in now. Now where do we go from here? What can I do to help her out? What can we do to help others?

I decided I could start running again, I could grow a mustache, I could do all sorts of things which I will detail later, but the thing I can do right now, is to write.

So that's what I'll do.