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January 20, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: Let's Make It Hot.

It is go time, gentle reader, finally.

Biopsy results are in and, not surprisingly, the lump in my chest is a metastatic sarcoma, born of the first huge lump on my back. So, we presume, are all the little tumors popping up all over my chest cavity. It is in my blood.

That's out of the way. It's time to dance once again with my old friend chemotherapy.

The good news is that I can do the chemotherapy locally. The bad news is I'm doing chemotherapy locally. The first suggestion on the table from my Cleveland Clinic doctor is three days of chemotherapy, followed by three weeks of recovery, then repeat, then re-take the PETscan in Cleveland and hope that we've done some damage to the bad lump.

The further good news is, all things being equal (which of course they haven't been for a while), there will be no more trips to Cleveland for six weeks. Maybe by then we'll have some slightly more reasonable weather patterns.

I have to say that I'm fairly excited to actually start bringing the battle to the cancer, if by "fairly excited" you mean "scared out of my mind." I have a history of responding poorly to chemotherapy, and the fact that we're not using the central chemotherapy drug because of its ill effects on my heart means we're entering the boxing ring with one arm tied behind our backs.

Let me say this once so that it's out of the way and we don't have to bring it up again: what we are looking for here is a miracle. It's that simple. The numbers and probabilities the doctor gave me are not good, not healthy, and not worth repeating. We are coming at this thing with attitude and making our own survival percentages.

One difficult trick to master will be the art of being selfish. It is vitally important for me to put my own needs closer to the top of the list now. I've been pastoring for a while, and it is in my nature to be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others first.

Tomorrow I make the call to my local oncologist and we set up an appointment. Then the ride begins.

Now, if you'll pardon the non-pastoral language, allow me to paraphrase the prophet: I'm coming straight at chemotherapy with the intent to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And I'm all out of bubblegum.

Posted by Dan at January 20, 2005 08:12 PM

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Tracked on January 21, 2005 12:54 AM


i am an atheist. and even i am praying for you.

Posted by: beth at January 20, 2005 10:45 PM

Wow. That has to be one of the top ten signs something in your life is really messed up, when the atheists start praying for you.

If it makes you more comfortable, I am more than happy to accept focused positive energies, mojo, clean auras, and really whatever else you have.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 20, 2005 10:54 PM

So now is the time to fight
With everything you have
And with what you don’t alone

Life is in moment to moment
Never for once giving up
Or giving in, fight the fight

Be yourself in pain or joy
For who you are is enough
You’re loved unconditionally

Whether on your knees
Massive drugs and machines
You’re never alone, oh no

Whether hugging the toilet
Or having a selfish moment
Hold tight to what you know

Be yourself in pain or joy
For who you are is enough
You cannot pay a higher price

Trust in what you know
Hold tight to what you believe
No matter the outcome

For when one knows God
There is hope; no explanation
Let Him carry you and walk on

Posted by: Cam at January 21, 2005 12:06 AM

Hey, Jim and I had an idea! We can combine the Cup Defense with a Fear Factor episode and each of us have to take a dose of chemo after each hole. We can start with the Cantrol stuff and work our way "up" from there. I'm kind of curious about the Napalm that you drink! Stay as tough as possible brother! The Saints are praying for you.

Posted by: Doug at January 21, 2005 12:26 AM

Well, we just have to win then.

Posted by: Ara at January 21, 2005 12:51 AM

Non-pastoral language ahead: Give that Cancer a good old Portsmouth Bitch-Slap!

Posted by: Jim at January 21, 2005 05:45 AM

Kick Cancer's ass, Dan.

Now the cool thing about low odds is how impressed everyone will be when you beat them.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 21, 2005 07:19 AM


That's officer thinking! Now I wish my chances were even worse!

Posted by: Big Dan at January 21, 2005 07:58 AM


The Saints have enough to worry about this off-season already. AND I still haven't forgiven them for passing off headcase Ricky Williams on my Dolphins.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 21, 2005 08:00 AM

//If it makes you more comfortable, I am more than happy to accept focused positive energies, mojo, clean auras, and really whatever else you have.//

um...i'm a pretty un-spiritual person, so i don't have any of that stuff. but basically what you're going through, to me, is a nightmare, and i wish it weren't so, and i don't know how to say that more articulately.

Posted by: beth at January 21, 2005 08:57 AM


It is funny you say it that way, that it's a nightmare. Last night I had a dream and it made me really nervous and tense, and when I woke up, I realized it was all real.

Nutty disease, cancer.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 21, 2005 09:44 AM

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