Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tick... tock... tick... tock...

Monday evening I climbed, scantily clad, onto a large metal tray. I was affixed with headphones, a rubber bulb to squeeze if I panicked and a large gauge needle deep in my arm for a "contrast" injection during the procedure that awaited. This was, to me, the most important MRI of my life. That's saying a lot as I've had quite a few in the last two years.

Tuesday I got the results. That's actually very fast. The results were not horrible. But they were not good. The chemo I'm on is not really fighting the cancer. It's not even holding it back. The current chemo is allowing the cancer to grow at a very slow rate. What this means, in essence (not in Essence magazine, but in the extracted importance of this over-written paragraph), is that my prognosis of three to nine months to live just became... well, three months to live.

In the end there may be more or less days. There's another drug I'm going to try that is not a chemotherapy drug but just a really horrible pill, with really horrible side-effects that, in rare occasions, has done well against colon cancer. (Which is really in my liver, not my colon. But that's a different and unimportant story.) I'll probably try the pill. I've been on it's "cousin", if you will, during my first regimen of chemo. It was not pleasant. The side effects involved painful rashes and bleeding along with a myriad of uncomfortable and embarrassing side-show performers. But I'd do almost anything to be here just a little longer with my wife.

That's the frustrating part. No matter what we do, the biggest goal we hope for is a "little more time". To be cured, cleansed of this horrible disease that is trying to kill me from the inside (much like the political ads that have just begun airing on our TV and radio air-waves), would be a miracle. As I've said, "I absolutely believe that God has the ability to heal me. I just don't think that's in his plan this time."

All this, or most of this, being said (I'm never quite sure I've said it all), I became a slightly more desperate man. My story recently has been the selling of ad space on my urns (there are three now, and at my weight, plenty of ashes to go around) in order to cover the cost of my cremation. It worked. We (that's not a "royal" "we", but a reference to my wife and I who are going through all of this together) sold enough ads to purchase and paint a third urn, thus covering the cost of cremation and a little extra to pay down on some medical bills. But the sub-plot to this story we've been writing was to get on a national venue in order to tell the world how amazing my wife is. How she's stood beside me, held my hand, fought for me, cried with me, scared the crap out of the occasional doctor when we didn't feel they'd listened to us... how she is the most amazing wife, friend, puppy-mama and love God could have ever put in my path and how I couldn't, and probably wouldn't, do this without her.  I want the world to know all she is and has done for me.

Recognizing that Ellen stopped filming shows for her season in May and that I, most likely, wouldn't make it to the fall season, I decided it would be better to at least take her to the show (which we both LOVE) than not see it at all. Unfortunately tickets for the show this season were booked out. So I found every email address I could for any and all executives on the Warner Brothers lot and began emailing. Not to get on now. Just to get tickets. One person came through. We received the call yesterday while being interviewed for a story on our local ABC affiliate, KEZI. They're giving us tickets to the show! I will be able to keep the promise, that she didn't even remember, I made to my wife last year that one day we would go see the show. I get to watch my wife dance and laugh aloud.

Nothing makes me happier than to hear Kristin laugh. Nothing.

So, as you may have just caught, we're done selling ad space on my urns. Since we've covered the cost of cremation and my time is now more limited than ever, stopping now was just logical. I'd like to thank those that contributed:

Terese's Place, Cry Baby Ink, Harper valley Photography, Frank Gibson, Attorney at Law,,,, Brian McGee of Re/Max, Marty's Plumbing Co.,,, Antique Peddler,, Betse Green & Bill Cernasky, Bill Phillips, Springfield High School Millers (via an anonymous benefactor) and finally P.E.T.A. 

Thank you to all who got the word out, passed along links, wrote Ellen, donated, prayed and just loved us. I will go to my... er... ceramic container knowing that there is much love here on God's green earth.

For the record, and with no offense to others who've covered the story, the KEZI story and KATU stories are really my favorites so far:

The KEZI story where you can clearly hear my wife say, "You're my dork." is here: but ends abruptly in an odd way.

The KATU story is here:


corey said...

You are living such a good story. I am inspired, awed, and extremely motivated to love my wife more. I will carry your story in my heart is an eternal kind of story. Thank you for your willingness to share with the world.

Razster said...

Fight the good fight every moment
Every minute every day
Fight the good fight every moment
Make it worth the price we pay

c r e a t i v e i r e said...

You and your wife are amazing, and I wish the very best for you both.

My Mom is fighting the same cancer you are, it's in her liver too, and the drugs for it are truly evil, unless they help. Then they're only sort of evil.

I hope every day you have is filled with love.

Stephanie said...

You are one amazing husband. During everything you're going through you are constantly concerned about your wife. You are the example that all people should follow. God bless you and may you outlast us all.

Maryn said...

Maybe you haven't done all that you wanted to. But with what you are doing with the time you have, you will certainly hear the words, "Well done."

Peter said...

I worked with your wife at Bush about 8 months ago, and i saw you once...didn't get the privilege of meeting you. I've been following your story, and weirdly it fills me with joy and sorrow at the same time. It's weird to say, but I feel immense love for you. You are truly incredible, and will never be forgotten. I know this is all flowery writing, but sometimes thats the only accurate way to express emotions. I look forward to sharing a beer in heaven :).

Fyrewolf said...

I just wanted to say you are an inspiration to many. May every day be filled with love and as much joy as possible. My prayers are with you