Friday, March 9, 2012

Late latest update

Sorry for not posting earlier. I'm not even creative enough to use "brain tumor" as my excuse.

Wednesday was my meeting with Dr. B to talk about where I stand and to start the chemo trial again. Essentially the results are pretty promising. Most of the tumor was surgically removed (the new UCSF computer system is not quite reliable yet, so I didn't get to actually look at the latest MRIs). A small portion of the tumor remains, and word on the street is that Dr. Berger left it there in order to save my vision. As some of you know, I've lost some peripheral vision as a result of the past 3 brain surgeries. The best news was that tests on the surgically removed tumor showed that about 20% of it had already been killed by the chemo I was on for a week! Needless to say, I was excited to start the chemo again.

Beyond that, it looks like the vision loss is really permanent, since it's not happening at the processing level, but at the actual optical nerve. Luckily it's a region that I've only noticed when mountain biking, and I'll learn to adjust.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Amazing weekend!

Sorry for the late entry, but I was flying pretty high after this weekend. The Huck Cancer event was fantastic! Thanks again to...well...everyone! Family, friends, ultimate players, survivors...everyone! Ok, how many exclamation points can I use. Well, whatever! As my friend H-Lo might say, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In many ways it was better to be pulled from the roster and have to "sit" on the sidelines. I got to"watch" so many more people, including my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews. I really want to thank my wonderful friends who helped organize and run the event (you know who you are, and so do I). Pictures are trickling to the Huck Cancer Facebook page and eventually to the website. We also had the head of the Grassroots department at LIVESTRONG stop by, so we forced him to play. He had such a good time that he's promised to bring some more people next year.

Of course, not all of the news was fantastic. A few of my friends were there in honor of loved ones that had recently passed away from cancer. As I've talked about in the past, sometimes I think it's a lot harder to love someone with cancer than it is to have cancer. I think, and hope, that this event helped ease some of the pain.

In the rest of the news, I had my staples removed on Monday, a couple days earlier than I expected since I had to go in there anyway for a blood draw. While there, I gently asked into which parts of my life I can try to step back. Essentially, it sounds like I can gingerly try starting with the basics, and if nothing bad happens (i.e. if the surgical area stays solidly stuck to my skull), I can take the next step. I went to work for the first time since the surgery! That was also wonderful. I'm not quite ready for a full day, but who's gonna complain about that. I also managed to get in some aerobic exercise and stretching, and that alone improves my energy and mood. As for the skull, still looks and feels the same!

Tomorrow I head in to get the detailed report from Dr. B and also re-start the chemo trial. I'll pass on that info as soon as I can. Meanwhile, as you can see, my brother and nephews (once they got here) decided to join in the fun....

Friday, March 2, 2012

I can finally show you all...

...the shaved head! I've been waiting for my brother and his family to get on the plane and ride out here to join in Huck Cancer so that I could surprise them with the "new look". If you recall, Andre Agassi was used historically as a benchmark to decide if I should shave my head or not. With each recurrence, I would once again raise the question, and every time my brother, out of solidarity, would shave his. Of course, his "solidarity" was very literal, in that I never ended up shaving mine. Until this week. And as it turns out, I do kinda look like cross between Andre and my brother.

You also get to see my lovely, puffy face from steroids. Gotta take advantage of this, so I'm headed off to join the NFL!