August 16, 2013

F*ck Off Death, This Guy is Living and Loving Life to the Fullest! ROCK ON, Cory!

A blog…me? Wow…who would have thought. Linda was looking for someone to help her on her blog for those Chemo days that you just don’t feel like doing anything. I thought I would give it a go and see if people wanted to hear what I had to say. I have a different view on cancer and such and some people enjoy drawing motivation and strength from me and others just like to laugh with me (or at me). Either way I am fine with it.

So, the first blog entry is kinda rough, so I figured I would fill you on my journey as people like to call it.  I prefer to call it what it is … suck factor. So I am a former military guy. I did a lot of years in the military. Got out, got married and had a good life. Soon had two kids (both boys), owned a successful company and then on September 2011, I got the news. Stage IV Colorectal cancer with mets to the liver. I was 42, my oldest was 6 and my youngest was 4. You know, as I sit here, I really thing the numbers 9 -11 are bad for me. I was Diagnosed with cancer, the Attack on 9/11 occurred and I married my first wife on September 11. Nothing good happens on days with those numbers. Anyway, we were living in Germany, my wife is on active duty. My Oncologist there was less than understanding and said to enjoy Thanksgiving and Xmas that year because it would probably be my last. WOW, that was a kick in the pants ( I am trying to keep this clean for everyone). I went home and had my pity party went on for a while, probably like 15 minutes. Then, I decided that she was a quack and didn’t know me so her opinion meant nothing to me. I was medevac’d out of country within a week and sent to San Antonio for treatment. My wife and kids had to stay behind until they could arrange for them to move permanently to the US. Took about 6 weeks. THAT is a lifetime to go without your family during a very stressful period in your life. Fortunately my sister in law and her two daughters were stationed in San Antonio so I stayed with them. During those six weeks, I started chemo and looked for a house at the same time. I had a very good realtor who understood everything and agreed to go on my schedule. So I looked around online, drove various neighborhoods and finally settled on 15 houses. So my realtor and I spent one day going and doing walk throughs. Found my house and closed within 30 days. Total time…40 days… had to wait for the wife to get her to approve, no way am I buying our first house without her saying yes. 

Stopped chemo in Jan 2012 to get ready for surgery. Did a Disney Cruise and 5 days at Disney right after the cruise. I love Disney, but that was A LOT of Disney. Got back from our trip and had my APR surgery. Now a lot of people get stressed and depressed over the changes in your body. For me, it is great. I NEVER have to sit on a public toilet again. Save a money on toilet paper… it is all how you look at it. Recovered fairly well from the surgery except for the minor thing of they left a sponge in me and had to go back in 2 days later and get it. How do you leave a sponge in … I mean there is nurse called the SPONGE NURSE, their job is to keep track of the sponges. Really? I am a medical type and so is my wife, so I understand stuff happens, but come on…I don’t have enough to deal with? Anyway, recovered and started a quick round of chemo - 4 doses, stopped in June 2012 and had liver ablation surgery for the 3 tumors in July 2012. THEN NO CHEMO UNTIL Jan 2013. Unfortunately, the ablation didn’t work and the 3 tumors are still there. BUT, in Sept 2012, I was able to write to my oncologist in Germany and tell her, well - I am trying to keep this clean - go away and go back to med school. I am not dead. I feel great. Still am damn handsome (at least my wife says so, but I think she is lying) and had no plans on leaving anytime soon. My philosophy on my cancer and what is going to happen is the same as the military taught me in the various selection courses I attended. You aren’t done until someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “You’re done, get on the truck”. Until then you keep moving forward and putting one foot in front of the other. Cancer happens. It happens to some incredible people and to me, but it doesn’t define you. It just happens, you didn’t do anything to get it most of the time, though if you are reading this and you smoke. Really? Are you stupid? QUIT NOW. Cancer is just a disease process - it is bad, but so was HIV in the 80’s and early 90’s…how many people die from it now? Numbers have dropped significantly. 
So where do I go from here? I am in the process of getting ready for a liver resection at MD Anderson. I am excited by it. Even though I am medical, I have learned so much about the liver I didn’t know it is an amazing organ. Anyway, should have my surgery in a few weeks and after that, well, let’s see how surgery goes and we can go from there. 

My closing to you all, fight the good fight! Don’t quit. Don’t let your obit read “he/she slipped quietly into the night.” Let it read like mine will “He went kicking and screaming. Death definitely had to work to take him and will have to take a few weeks to recover from the fight”. Believe the positive stuff your medical care team says, but remember, anything negative they tell you is an opinion. They don’t know anything for sure. The cure for cancer is not “right around the corner” and I don’t believe the will find it in my lifetime, but you have two choices when you are diagnosed. LIVE OR DIE … and I personally don’t like that second option. 

No comments:

Post a Comment