Hello everyone, welcome to my blog. Never in a hundred years did I think I would ever have a blog, but since my news and the overwhelming outpouring of love from all of you, I figured this was the easiest way to communicate moving forward. I’m also secretly a really good writer so trust me as you are about to be amazed. But seriously folks, I’ve never done this before, not easy to bare your soul in this way publicly but I think it will be a good thing for me and all of you who are now in my corner. You’ll notice the tag line above is ‘I Got This’, an expression my brother, friends, even co-workers have said that I use often and what we hope will be a good rallying cry for what I am now up against.
Most of you are already in the know about my situation, but for those who may be hearing this for the first time I will get right to the point. Almost 4 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. It was a great shock to me, my family and friends. I like to think of myself as a moderately healthy person, I exercise when I can and eat fairly well. On top of that I am not a smoker and I am on the younger side for this type of prognosis. I had developed a bad cough and severe shortness of breath in late November and after multiple tests, doctor visits and antibiotics in December, my Dr.’s could not figure out what was wrong with me. NYE had came and went, my birthday the week after and January had begun on a high note. I was driving back from a client meeting when I got one of those calls that I’ll never forget………’You Have Cancer’. I literally almost drove off the road. Hey Doc, a little piece of advice, next time you give someone this type of news, tell them to pull over. Thanks pal.
My brother and parents flew out to Los Angeles right away to be with me, while my closest LA friends gathered by my side and friends from NY rallied from afar. Over the next week I received more news that my cancer had metastasized. It had spread from my lung to my hip and tailbone and was confirmed to be inoperable and at Stage 4. How about some good news? I was due and finally got some. I tested as a genetic match for a targeted drug called Tarceva, a highly successful treatment that works for 70% of lung cancer patients. I started the Tarceva drug right away and though I have some side effects, a rash on my face and body plus fatigue, it is a small price to pay (thank you DK) if this works. And more good news, is that it already seems to be working. My cough, non-stop and intolerable for the past 2 months, is almost gone and my breathing capacity which at one point was measured as low as 30% has improved and should be back to 100% in another month or two. Tarceva is not a cure, the average patient in my situation is only expected to live 3-4 years from diagnosis. As you can see this has been a roller coaster but with every twist and turn, my family and I are somehow lifted by the kind words of a friend ‘You are not average’ Thanks LS, DW, DF, JL, PA for this and everything. ‘You are the exception’ Thanks AG, JDW, DR, BC, JRS……too many to name just yet but you are all the friends that I could not get through this without.
I have been inundated with texts, phone calls, emails, cards, gifts and offers to visit. I can’t say enough about how lucky I am to have all of you in my life as how you have raised my spirits and kept me motivated these past few weeks. My brother Dean, Mom, Dad, family, friends near and far, you know you are……..Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
This is just the beginning and I am getting stronger every day. Where things looked bleak a couple of weeks ago, we are starting to think there is more hope than I can imagine for my future. So this will be the first of a few or many blog posts that I will use to update you all on my status and goings on. I even joked about a series of flashbacks that I will write to take you through the first few weeks that have led up to today. But I promise this will not be too serious as that is just not me. This is a big part of my life now but still just a part of my life. The blog will represent my fight but also represent who I am and have always been. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll unsubscribe or you might even get inspired and learn something. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else so while I do my own work to beat this and find out how this happened to me, I want to educate others to make sure it does not happen to them.
So as soon as my brother got to LA, he moved into my spare bedroom and we literally spent every minute together over the next few weeks. He became my caretaker when I needed it, which was early and often, my planner, my nutritionist, my driver when I could not, my friend, my everything. We were both consumed by this and after talking about it for too long one afternoon, I asked if we could take a ‘Cancer Break’, we both laughed and started talking about football. So we’ll take cancer breaks here too.
My Dad pulled me aside the other day and said ‘Cancer is Tough, But You are Tougher’. My mom looks me in the eye often and says with certainty, ‘You are going to beat this, I can feel it’. Telling my parents what I had was the hardest thing I had to do and in fact, I made my brother do it at first. When I called them an hour later that night, all I could do was apologize to them for this news. They were both strong and have been throughout this process. I believe the words they say above and I believe I can get through this.
So I will leave you with lyrics below and the title of my first ever blog post from my new favorite song, ‘The Man’, by Aloe Blacc. I have been playing this song all week, I love it and its sort of become my anthem as of late. The words inspire and motivate me and they might do the same for you. So watch the video below and turn up the volume.
And thanks for the love everyone…….I Got This.
‘Somewhere I Heard that Life Is a Test, I’ve Been Though The Worst But I Still Give My Best,
This is My World,
Stand Up Now and Face The Sun, Won’t Hide My Tail Or Turn and Run
It’s Time To Do What Must Be Done”