September 21, 2013

A Positive Attitude Can Kick Cancer's Ass!! By Guest Blogger: Cory

This chemo "cumulative effect" sucks! Now that I'm towards the end, I am more drained, more beat down with each additional treatment. Just getting out of bed to shower is exhausting. This is the point were I really have grown to appreciate how wonderful all my family and friends are for their compassion, support and help - especially at this point in the game!! It's great to know I have such tried and true friends out there who really care about me and reach out to me to offer their ongoing support ~ I LOVE YOU GUYS!! Thank you! xo

I want to thank Cory once again for doing more heavy lifting as I recoup from one of my last few chemo treatments. Even though I've never met Cory, I have  great admiration for his determination, strong will and exemplary attitude towards his treatment. You are amazing, Cory! I feel like a wimp in comparison! LOL :-)

Cory- we'll be anxiously awaiting an update after your October 1 surgery! As soon as you're up for it, please let us know all is well! I will be saying prayers for you and for you wife, wishing her a safe deployment in Afghanistan!! 


Guest blogger, Cory! 

Well, apparently someone out there likes how I write…or what I write. I was asked to do it again. I am not really sure what to write about to be honest, I have explained my views on Cancer and my disease and there isn’t much to elaborate on that. I see it in black and white terms. So, I will fill you in on my adventures.

Since we last spoke…or I wrote and you read, I have had some changes in my treatment plan. I went to MD Anderson and was seen there. The decision was made to remove the right lobe of my liver in order to take out the 3 tumors that decided to call it home. The liver is an amazing organ. I come from a medical background, but I never really paid much attention to the liver…I will admit to sleeping through that class. BUT, I have determined that the liver has got to be one of the greatest organs in the body. Of everything that goes on in the human machine, do you realize that the liver is the ONLY organ that can replicate itself…not only that, but it will do so in about 30 days. So on Oct 1, they will remove my right lobe, which is about 70% of my liver…the left lobe will grow and by 30 October, it will be back to full size and full operation….if everything goes as planned. That amazes me…of all the places to gets Mets, the liver is a pretty good one. I am looking forward to it actually…think about it…70% of your liver is gone…imagine how much you will save on liquor bills for those 30 days. So what happens after the surgery? Will, previously I told you that my first Oncologist basically said enjoy the year because it is all you will have. My second oncologist was a great guy, and never got excited or discouraged about what was happening with my body…very middle of the road. My third oncologist is still completing her fellowship so she hasn’t seen many patients like me. I have always known that I will beat the cancer, what choice do you have really? It took me 2 years to find a Surgical Oncologist who agreed with me. The basic plan after the surgery is to wait. Scans every 3 months…and see what happens. I have a couple of pesky nodes, but nothing dramatic and we will watch them. I haven’t made it to my 5 year survival mark, but I feel good…look damn good (at least my wife lies to me and tells me I do) and am positive.
So having said all that, I want to educate some of you on the US Military and what they do for their service members. They often times get a bad reputation and sometimes it is deserved. I served 12 years in the military in a special operations environment. I enjoyed it and got to see and do things people dream about. I married my wife who is active duty in the Air Force. My oldest son was born overseas on a military base, and my youngest son was born in the US on a military base. We are a military family and believe in what we have sacrificed in order to keep our country free. I was diagnosed with my Stage IV cancer in Germany after we had been assigned there for a year. Within 2 weeks of my diagnosis, the military had sent back to the US to start treatment. Took another 6 weeks for them to get my family here, but they took care of us along the way. I was treated in a military facility for the first 18 months of my cancer…and they did a couple of surgeries, my chemo and radiation treatment there. Every one of my providers has been great and I received great treatment…even when they left the sponge in me, I still don’t have bad things to say. The military then sent me to MD Anderson for a second opinion and they have picked up my case. So now the military pays for me to go to Houston for my appointments and my surgeries. They are allowing my wife to accompany me to Houston for surgery and assigning her there temporarily to care for me. We are incredibly grateful to the military for their treatment. They have definitely stepped up to the plate in taking care of the family. My wife just got orders for a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan. We talked it over, and even though we COULD play the cancer card and get her out of the deployment, it never crossed our mind to do it. We went to her commander, who is new and didn’t know about my condition and explained to him that the ONLY way she would get out of her deployment was if I had to go back on Chemo during that time. Deployments are a part of the job. I deployed when I was active duty, and now she will deploy. I am nervous…who wants their wife to deploy to a combat zone, but at the same time, I am proud. Proud of my wife for going, proud of my family for supporting her and proud of the military for doing all they do for us during this difficult time in our lives.
So, I have let you in on a little more about my life, why? Same reason as last time…If I can have Stage IV Colon Cancer (the second most deadliest cancer), and still deal with the other issues that face American military families today, you can change your attitude and realize, YOU CAN BEAT IT. You just keep going on with your life, live it, enjoy it…be normal. Cancer doesn’t define you….

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just got reading through a few of your posts and I had a quick question. I am involved in the cancer community and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks! - emilywalsh688(at)