It was the Day before the 4th. We had the beans strapped in as we headed to run errands. Matching picnic plates & napkins, glow in the dark bracelets, an American flag and pole, Creme De Banana. At the gas station, the meter on the pump spun around and Phil sat silent reading a message on his phone. The kids sang Old McDonald in the background. He asked to lower the music wanting to read me something.
Phil’s old college friend Jay has been fighting cancer since November and keeping a journal. The updates have all shown Jay’s determination to beat this and through each setback his positive attitude and faith have persevered. A marathon runner, husband and father, Jay’s strength and eloquence in facing this latest marathon has been inspiring. On this day the tone turned.
Although still determined to win, Jay wrote what could be described as a goodbye letter. We pray Jay’s cancer retreats and he spends many loving years with his son and wife of 18 years. He is inspiring, brave, and an example of how to live life. His tribute to his wife and her battle with this now and in the future truly puts into perspective what a marriage is and what our vows represent.
From Jay: Other than a non health related update (which I’ve decided to post today as well) I had not intended to post any updates until after the dry run. However, due to certain events of yesterday I am posting this latest health update (which is going to be very straightforward). From the outset the purpose of this caringbridge site was not to have you share in my death, I guess for a long time I truly believed that I will be in this battle for a long time to come. FYI, I do remain with lots of faith in my heart and positive belief that somehow someway I may pull this off and be around for much more time to come; however, I am also being realistic in the situation.
Following my torisel treatment yesterday I headed home only to be called back to the hospital/doctor because I need to receive a transfusion of 3 pints of blood and spend the night at the hospital. My hemoglobin #2 and red blood cell counts plummeted lower than they were before to a level that it was fortunate I was walking around. Before I started the treatment I spoke with my Dr., and she said that the cancer is trying its best to cause liver failure, which will lead to my death. Of course, she is hopeful that the Torisel and Avastin will keep it under control and that I will be able to have sirspheres and that the sirspheres is successful. This is what we must all believe will happen. However, right now the #s are continuously getting worse, and even assuming I pass the dry run on the sirspheres there is a chance the #s will have fallen such that I can not have the procedure.
I did mention how Jake was at camp and just hoping nothing would happen such that we would have to end his summer early to come home and watch me die. Sadly, she could not guarantee this wouldn’t be the case. She hopes not, given we just started the Torisel and Avastin and the #s aren’t moving up so fast that it should effect his summer, I hope that does not occur. However, the reality of the situation is drastic, unless the medicine works and I can have sirspheres my days are probably limited. I know some may say well as long as the medicine works even if you don’t have sirspheres that should be good, yes, it should buy me some more time but not as much time as if the sirspheres works and kills some of the mets.
In short, no one knows the answer, I do remain full of faith and a positive belief that my miracle is around the corner; however, the last few weeks have shown the grim reality of this disease and there is just as good a likelihood that my days are numbered. I am back home now and going to rest. The transfusion helped a little. I want everyone to stay positive and praying for me, but I also want to provide the reality of the situation. I love everyone out there in one way or another and I am wishing that you are having a great 4th of July weekend.
For the non health update, a week from Monday is my 18th wedding anniversary. It will be almost 20 years since I met the most wonderful girl/woman. Lisa has been my rock and pillar throughout. Without her I would not be half the person I am, nor would I have the strength to deal with what I am dealing with now. I wish that there was something more I could give her this year, I know all she wants is my health to be better, and I also know she knows this is more than likely our last “living” anniversary together. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am the luckiest guy in the world to have had her as my wife, best friend and mother to my child. I am also fortunate as I look at my situation to have her as I know that it will be very tough on her and Jake but if anyone has the strength and fortitude to carry on, to take over lots of the things I did with Jake, etc. it is Lisa. I guess I just publicly wanted to state to my wife, Lisa, I love you with all my heart.
All my best,