Friday, November 30, 2007

Snowy day in the northland

I'm working nights right now, and have been very happy to have had no calls in the middle of my beauty rest. Two nights ago I stayed up too late planning the sauna. Last night my Captain, Gaetan, and I worked on a material list. So today I'm staying in North Bay, going around to hardware stores to get some prices. I'm not so keen on the idea of prefab anymore. Seems to me it would still be a lot of work to assemble, and the final product would be sub-par. So I'm seriously considering building it from scratch myself.

Yesterday's workout was Elizabeth. She's 21-15-9 reps of 95# cleans and ring dips. That was just over 13 minutes. The day before was 'CrossFit Total.' CFT is one rep max. of back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift, i.e. you warm up with some practice lifts in each of those lifts, until you hit your maximum. I squatted 225 lbs, a little less than my record, pressed 125, which tied my record, and deadlifted 335, the same as my record from 2 weeks ago. So my 'Total' is 225+125+335=685, a gain of 10 lbs over last time I did this in September. Today's workout will probably be a run through snowy North Bay. Brrrr....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sudbury Road Trip # 5

Sorry I haven't written in the last few days. A bomb exploded inside our house. Anna's mom came up for the weekend and helped us move Anna's office into the dining room and the dining room into the office. The result is a much bigger office for Anna and a much brighter dining room for both of us. We also did a major purge and cleaning of the basement. All in all, the feng shui in our house is better now. Change is nice too.

We are on our way back from Sudbury right now. Anna is typing, I am dictating. We saw Dr. Herst today for about 10 minutes. Left home at 9 am and will get home at 10 pm. All for a 10 minute consultation. But he had good news for us. I think we can say now, as conclusively as we'll ever be able to say anyway, that I "only" have Stage 2 NHL. The bone marrow biopsy showed, "no evidence of lymphoma in the sample provided," and the gallium scan showed, "no evidence of galliium-avid lymph tissue." We must admit that we were somewhat apprehensive going into today, so I wore my pink shirt as a talisman. I also spiked my mowhawk, which Donna the oncolgy nurse loved. After the consultation we got our prednisone prescriptions and our next appointment date, January 11. We also learned today that Dr. Herst is no big fan of naturopaths--no surprise there. I am okay with that, but I will still be taking advice from both my oncologist and my naturopath. We spent the afternoon with our friends Sarah and Dayv and their baby girl Ada. They fed us dinner before sending us on our way. The snowstorm has stopped and we are watching a big orange harvest moon rise in the east.

Feng Shui Enema

There are so many things in our lives we have no control over. And some things we do. Something shifted in me about a week ago as I tried to settle in for another winter in our small house, and my small office. My office is the end of our living room. We have done a lot to make this space as functional and compact as possible. And yet the office and work still spills into the living room, especially when I am busy and thing pile up - literally. We decided to rearrange a few things. Picture switching dining room and office, rearranging kitchen furniture and overhauling basement storage and organization. My mom is great moral, design and physical support for this kind of thing, so I called her up and she agreed to come up this weekend to help us. Bob and I have talked a lot over the last few winters about how to rearrange my office. I had resisted many of these ideas and all of a sudden it seemed like exactly the thing to do. NOW! I was feeling particularly stuck for a number of reasons... and the desire for this physical change grew fast! Within a week of the initial urge, it is done! Well, almost. The furniture is rearranged and there was a good amount of purging of old stuff. There is still a bunch of little clean up to do, but with the amount we accomplished in a weekend I felt like we were on one of the HGTV shows! In 3 hours the office was dismantled and moved and the dining room swept and set up and dinner served to my mom and Bob's brother Dave, who was driving through town! Phew! It was also great to have Bob feeling like himself and right in there with us plasticing windows, hanging new lights and hauling and sorting basement stuff. We are more than halfway through this chemo cycle! YAY Bob! Tomorrow I will finish cleaning up my new office and settle in to the new space. I like feeling and being in the new arrangement and energy of the house. It may not be a new house, but it feels refreshed! I am welcoming the change with open arms. Thanks Mom for helping us clean out the blocked up energy and space and make room for new good things!
(this post is by Anna - who was having blog problems tonite...)

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Rx's

Anna and I just got back from a day trip to Huntsville to see a naturopath. This guy specializes in cancer, one of the best around. More on him later, as it's getting late and I don't want to take too long with this post. But the thing we're most excited about is one of his "prescriptions" for us.... get a sauna! We've wanted a sauna for a long time, but it's just moved to the top of the priority list. I think we'll buy a prefab storage shed and retrofit it into a sauna. It'll go in our backyard, behind where my gym is right now. Apparently saunas are good for lymph circulation.

Oh, and I got my pink t-shirt today. Aline (the intuitive healer) told me that when there is fear, wear pink.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


All five of us were at Station 3 today, so I wanted to get a photo of my crew to share with you. Left to right we are Captain Gaetan Marcil, Steve Vibert, myself, Claude Massicotte, Terry Hargrave.

So many offers of help, from nearly everyone--friends, family, acquaintances, even people who are almost complete strangers. One example of help sent: My friend Michelle wrote today and said the usual: "Anything I can do to help?" Then she answered her own question, and sent a joke. Here's the joke:

An elderly lady goes to the doctor and tells him, "Doctor, I don't know what the problem is, but I've been farting all the time. It's not really a problem socially because they don't make any noise and don't smell. I just can't stop farting all the time. In fact while I've been in here I must have farted at least 20 times."

The doctor nods and gives her some pills, "Here take these for two weeks and come see me again when you are done."

So she takes the pills and returns two weeks later as instructed. Infuriated, she confronts the doctor, "What kind of medicine is this? I'm still farting just as much! They still don't make any noise, but now they stink terribly!"

The doctor nodded and said, "It's all right, now that we have your sinuses cleared up, we'll work on your hearing!"

Anna and I both laughed out loud (she even snorted). You know it's a good joke when Anna snorts.

Today's Living with Cancer lesson: It's important to keep up with your normal activities, so Anna and I are still dancing (though not as much as we'd like to). Click HERE for a short little video from our last dance class.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another short post

Nine o'clock and time for bed. Was up at 4:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I just got up and left for work. I had a good day at work, perhaps a little more tired than usual. I rarely sit down during the day, always moving somewhere doing something, but I spent a few good spells in the recliners. I'll be at work again tomorrow, but will be off Friday for an appointment.

Did the workout 'Helen' at lunch. I wasn't going for gold, just going through the motions. Helen is 3 rounds for time of a 400 m run (4 times around Station 3!), 21x30 lb. dumbbell swings, and 12 pullups. My time was 11:02. That actually beat my old record by a few seconds, but the old record was set in a different location, so perhaps my 400 m measurements are off. Nonetheless, I was somewhat surprised and certainly pleased. I had considered skipping the workout, I felt so tired, but I though, "no, just go don one." The workout revived my spirits, and I was able to keep the tiredness at bay until late in the afternoon.

Thanks to Charles for the suggestion on the China Study. I'll look it up, sometime after I get through the mountain of cancer books I'm innundated with right now. I'm starting to think that I should give the research a rest and start reading either fluff or philosophy. I was on a global warming book phase just prior to diagnosis, maybe I'll get back into that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks Caryn!

A short post tonight. It took me two flippin' hours to get home from work. I was stopped for about 50 minutes by construction south of Marten River. The day at work was pretty good, I had adequate energy levels, though it did drop off a bit as the day wore on. Myself and Tim (one of the union executive) met with our long term disability insurance broker to discuss options should this progress to that. It was a very good meeting, the broker and the insurer should be very accommodating.

When I got home I found that a food-fairy had been into our fridge. Caryn Colman, local gourmand and proprietor of Smoothwater Outfitters, dropped off three dishes--heritage carrots drizzled in birch syrup, local cheddar and onion pie, and chicken aspic. She definitely does the "neighbours-helping-neighbours" thing in style!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What to feed me when I come over for dinner

My brain is going buggy from reading about diet and cancer. Most people, doctors and the Canadian Cancer Society included, will tell you to eat a "balanced" diet. This means following the Canada Food Guide, which means lots of bread and grains, some vegetables and fruit, a bit of meat, a bit of milk, and an eensie-weensie bit of fat, candy, etc. This is also known as the "four food groups." In terms of macronutrient ratios, this is a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. I happen to think high-carb diets--the diet that most nutritionists will tell you to eat--are bunk. Homo sapiens did not eat bread and pasta and rice until 10,000 years ago. Our DNA has still not evolved to handle huge quantities of carbs. Coincidentally, cancer, diabetes and heart disease were unknown in palaeolithic humans. Sure, some say that palaeo-man didn't live long enough to die of cancer, he was eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger instead. True, perhaps, but that does not imply that palaeo-man would necessarily died of these, "old age diseases." Besides, I'm 33 and dying of an old-age disease! No tigers in sight!

Over the last year or so I've been eating a loosey-goosey version of the Zone diet. The Zone is often maligned as a high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diet, but it actually strives to provide 40% of your calories from low glycemic carbs (e.g. broccoli), 30% from lean protein (e.g. salmon), and 30% from unsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil). Basically it takes the Standard American Diet (SAD) and cuts out the junk and the grains, and makes sure you get a little bit of protein and healthy fat at each meal. Between the Zone diet and CrossFit, I've lost over 10 lbs. and gone from over 20% body fat to around 10%. By our society's low standards, people have usually considered me pretty healthy (I wasn't fat, after all), but until about a year ago I was a heart attack waiting to happen. Apparently, though, I was also cancer waiting to happen.

When I started thinking about diet and cancer, I kept coming back to one basic question: What do cancer cells eat? It turns out that they eat glucose, which every diabetic will think of as blood sugar. Here comes the really interesting part. Cancer cells cannot metabolize protein or fat. Just sugar from carbs. Now, how does your body make blood sugar? It eats carbohydrates. Remember all those veggies and fruits and breads, but especially the cakes and cookies and all the other junk that we modern humans love to feed ourselves but never ate much of during several hundred-thousand years of evolution? Cancer thrives on carbs, and especially junk food.

But wait! Don't all the other cells in your body need glucose? The answer may seem obvious to anyone who has used a granola bar as a pick-me-up. But the real answer is, no. In the absence of glucose, your body switches over to something called ketone bodies. I don't fully understand the biochemistry (I was a social science student, after all). Think back to our palaeolithic ancestors. What did they eat? They ate meat, a few nuts and seeds, maybe a couple of bushes or berries in season. They did not eat WonderBread and Skippy Peanut Butter, mashed potatoes, or even Granny Smith apples! And they didn't get cancer.

So the take home message is that I might be able to starve my cancer while feeding myself. Before you think I've gone haywire, there is scientific research to back this up. I've read the abstracts. Unfortunately, none of them deal specifically with lymphoma. I've seen three studies, involving brain, prostate and breast cancers.

Now I'm not naive enough to think that I will cure my cancer by eating only chicken and almonds. But perhaps I can slow it's progression by going light on the carbs, completely eliminating the junk, and loading up on healthy fats and adequate amounts of protein. I dislike militaristic analogies, but think of my diet as the artillery, softening up the enemy so that the ground forces (chemotherapy) can go in and do the heavy lifting.

Mmmmm.... All this talk about food has me hungry. I'm off to the grocery store, then home for dinner.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why I became a firefighter

Today's my first day off prednisone. It's 11 am and I'm getting a little run down. Anna and I went out for a walk and breakfast at the Busy Bee. It's a beautiful blue sky day, mist rising off the lake, frost melting on the lawn. Then we visited Scott and Barb at the ambulance base, catch up on the gossip. That may be all the running around I can do today. Now I'm just sitting on the couch hoping the wireless internet keeps working.

I wanted to share with you all a little YouTube video on why I became a fireman. Just click HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Red Hair....kinda

Well we both now have red hair. Kinda reddish anyway...more purpley red. That was fun. We'll post a pic when Bob gets up.
He was awake for hours in the night and is sleeping in. I hope he is actually able to sleep and not just resting. The whole prednisone-high warning we got from the nurses doesn't seem to be holding true for Bob. No manic cleaning frenzy for days (well he did clean yesterday, but Bob normally gets in that kind of productive cleaning mode - though maybe that was prednisone!?) and no energy crazy unable to go to sleep stuff. Last night he wasn't sure he was going to make it through the movie without falling asleep. Though being awake so much last night didn't sound fun... It doesn't look like I expected. When do things go as expected though?? We have learned that one this year!
Today is the last day of prednisone and tomorrow we are told Bob won't be feeling great (actually we are told he will feel awful). I am hoping for merely tired.
I am amazed and thankful that Bob is so positive. It really is amazing. I am so lucky to be blessed with Bob in my life. I feel lucky for us that this has been a good week (relatively speaking). I don't know what I was expecting, but I think it was worse than this for this first chemo week. I know the down cycle hasn't started yet (where the white blood cells fall off before rebuilding). Bob has had mostly good energy and the anti nauseants are working when he needs them. It seems so weird to say and feel that it has been a good week. Am I allowed to say that? I don't want to minimize what is going on - I am just thankful for days where Bob and I are smiling and joking and laughing together! This week has had many of those moments in it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not feelin' so hot

This morning was pretty good. I was on a prednisone high. I washed three loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, did some gardening, vacuumed the house, and sorted some papers. After lunch I got a little tired. Anna and I went for a walk--initially I thought we'd make it to Pingue Lake and back, but I figured out pretty quickly that that wasn't going to happen. Picked up the mail, went to the hardware store, and then dropped by the ambulance base to say hi to Ed and Kim. By that time I was beat. Thankfully I was able to make my way home and lay down on the couch. Snoozed a little, read a little, found a radio station that plays digeridoo music. Anna made a lovely spaghetti squash and chicken pesto with steamed artichokes and garlic butter. Yum, yum. Now we're going to dye our hair red, watch a silly movie (Blades of Glory!) and go to sleep.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feelin' pretty good

Day one post-chemo and I set a personal record on the deadlift! Anna was headed up to New Liskeard for an acupuncture treatment this morning, so I figured I'd tag along and spend some time at the fitness centre. I did the workout from last Thursday (deadlift 3-3-3-3-3). That means deadlift a barbell three times, then add some weight, and continue for a total of 5 times. I started at 135 lbs. and worked my way up to 315 lbs. That tied my one rep maximum, so I decided to keep going with some singlets. Tried 335 and failed. Rested and went again at 325, got that. Rested again and tried 335 again--got it!

I'm feeling pretty good. Took one anti-nauseant earlier. I have some grumbles in my belly. But I'm not tired. Maybe that's just the prednisone talking. We'll see on Sunday. Apparently the day after you stop prednisone you're knocked down flat. Until then I'll use my energy up in the daytime so I can sleep well at night.

It's snowing outside and Lake Temagami is looking cold and icy grey.

By the way, Anna gave me a mohawk haircut last night. No photos as yet!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

To do list . . . Chemo cycle #1 . . . check!

Tired and nauseated. That's how I feel.

Went to New Liskeard today for the CHOP part of my chemo. The nurse there, Lynne, is fabulous. How many other places would the nurse give you her home phone number and say to call if you have any questions?

We started the day with an anti-nauseant, which has worn off now. Then came vincristine, followed by the "Red Devil" doxorubicin. Lynne actually sits there and pushes it in with a syringe. If we can get our photo posting problem resolved, we've got one of that. Finally there was cyclophosphamide. Anna drew a picture of an open fire hydrant on the bag, with the high-vol hose leading down to the IV line. I see the chemo drugs as the water used by my little firefighters to put out the cancer-fire.

After leaving the hospital we went into town and picked up some groceries and a movie. Tonight we watch SpiderMan ("He's got radioactive blood!"--just like me!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good vibes

Today was my first chemo treatment. We started the day in Sudbury with some normal saline, then acetaminophen, IV diphenhydramine to deal with nausea, and finally 56 mL of rituximab. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody (I think I mentioned that before). It actually seeks out and destroys my cancer cells, while avoiding all the other rapidly dividing cells which are often so impacted by other chemo drugs (like the ones I get tomorrow). I envisioned the little ribuximabs as firefighters, pulling hose through my arteries, sniffing out the cancer-fire, and finally attacking them, putting out the fire.

The whole treatment took from about 9:30 to 3:00. I didn't have any of the side effects I was told to watch for, but I did have occasional pins and needles. It felt like I was being pricked by a small needle two or three times in my hands. Then it would go away as suddenly as it arrived. The diphenhydramine (Gravol) did make me drowsy, which I'm just getting over now.

I'm typing this up in the car on the way home. We'll take the dog for a walk, then I hope to go for a run. It's too dark and cold to play in my jungle gym, and there is no gym to speak of in Temagami. I'll run to the playground, do some tabata sprints, and some pullups. Yesterday's workout was Nasty Girls (3 rounds for time of 50 squats, 7 muscle ups, and 10 x 95 lb. hang power cleans). My time was 10:52.

Having trouble uploading photos, in case anyone's wondering.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Well, all the sperm that I'm going to bank are on ice now. Anna and I are leaving Toronto soon and driving north again. There's a lot of driving involved in cancer treatment when you live anywhere but downtown Toronto. Drive to Sudbury, 2 hours. Drive to North Bay, 1 hour. Drive to New Liskeard, 45 minutes. Drive to Toronto, 5 hours.

Anna will drop me off at work, then go to the pharmacy to pick up some prescription drugs and a thermometre. Apparently if I get a fever over 38 C, I'm supposed to go straight to emerg. Fever means infection, means low white blood cell count, means delaying the next chemo, means the lymphoma gets more time to grow unfettered.

Tonight at work I'll do a good workout, maybe the Nasty Girls from Nov. 4. I'll feed myself well, hold the carbs. And I'll try to get to bed early. Hopefully we don't get a big call. Wake early, make some food, and Anna will pick me up at 7. Then off to Sudbury, and my life changes again.

Here's Anna and I at Mount Sinai earlier today.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rocking Chair

You better believe it baby! Let me tell all of you about this rocking chair - it is a handmade double seater rocking chair. Rockers curve just right to give an excellent rock - not too far back, but far enough, just before the point where we feel we might rock over. Just wide enough for our 2 butts and a couple pillows for softness. Actually, I think the date is for 63 years from now. I believe it is set for when I am 98 and Bob is 95. So that would be in the summer...
I am scared too. All this fertility stuff still kinda feels "normal". (weird) It will feel like cancer is more real Tuesday when we walk in to the chemo room and they hook Bob up. That doesn't quite seem real yet. Any thoughts or prayers or energy for us in the moments when it becomes more real would be appreciated...
Thank you all for such great support!

60 years from now

Anna and I are heading to Toronto today for the last sperm donation. Monday we'll drive back and that evening I'll go to work. Anna will pick me up Tuesday morning and we'll go to Sudbury for my first round of chemo. Working Monday night is my way of denying what is going to happen the next day. It's my way of keeping things normal up until the last moment. Sometimes this feels very unreal, like maybe the pathology was a mistake. What makes it real is starting treatment. I'm ready, I'm strong, I'm scared. I need to keep reminding myself that Anna and I have a date in a rocking chair on our porch 60 years from now.

Finally did a workout today, after a week off. Felt like having a run, so I looked through the past few days of workouts and found this one.

Run 4 x 400 m (rest 2 min. between runs). Time: 11:48

Friday, November 9, 2007

Anna, Mom and me in Sudbury

Anna, Mom and I were in Sudbury today for a consultation with Dr. Herst. Here's what we know: The results from the CT scan may indicate a swollen lymph node in my right axilla in addition to the two in my neck. If this is confirmed on the gallium scan, then it likely means I have at least Stage II lymphoma. Could be higher yet. We're still waiting for the radiologist's report on the gallium scan. And the bone marrow biopsy results will be at least another three weeks to come in. Also, one of my blood tests showed that my immunoglobulin levels are slightly elevated. This MAY indicate that I have an indolent follicular lymphoma which has transformed to a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. What's the difference, I ask? Indolent lymphomas are common. They are slow growing and often simply monitored. They may never require aggressive treatment. However, some will transform into the more aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The diffuse large lymphomas are curable. The indolent lymphomas are not.

The intent of treatment of a diffuse large lymphoma is cure. The intent of treatment of an indolent lymphoma is palliation.

Cancer was more fun when I thought I had a curable disease.

This blood result does not mean for sure that I have an indolent lymphoma transformed to diffuse large B-cell. But it may. Regardless, the treatment is the same. I start chemo on Tuesday, with a full day in Sudbury. They'll give me rituximab, a monoclonal antibody, and watch me closely for side effects. Rituximab sounds really cool, it is a protein that specifically targets tumour cells. This means it has very few systemic side effects. If I tolerate the rituximab well, I'll get the full course of CHOP chemotherapy on Wednesday. CHOP is a cocktail of three drugs given IV (cyclophosphamide, doxyrubicin, and vincristine), as well as one drug given orally (prednisone). Assuming my white blood cell levels remain high enough, I will get CHOPped every third Wednesday for eight cycles, or until mid-March.

I'm kinda bummed right now. Should I hope I have the deadly-but-curable diffuse large lymphoma alone? What is the silver lining if I have an incurable indolent lymphoma?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gallim scan, interpretation please?

Finished the gallium scan today. The results are below. My liver and kidneys are clearly taking up the gallium, as they show bright white in the scan. Other white areas include some of my groin and armpits and abdomen, all places where there are lymph nodes. I hope this scan doesn't show that I've got tumours throughout my abdomen and torso. I guess we'll get the whole story from Dr. Herst tomorrow.

No workout today. Actually, it's been four rest days in a row. I'm feeling a little too rested. Monday we were in Toronto. Tuesday and Wednesday I was at work, and couldn't carve out the time for a workout. This morning I was in North Bay finishing up the scans. This afternoon should've been better, but I spent my time putting the winter tires on the car instead.

Last night the three of us (Anna, Mom and I) went out to Heidi's for dinner. Nice to catch up with her, and she did a good job of accommodating our respective cancer and fertility diets. Thanks Heidi!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm radioActive!

Who say's you can't have a little fun with cancer? This morning I was injected with the radioactive isotope gallium. Then I went to work and started playing with our 'geiger' counter. It's from our haz mat trailer, for use in case Osama succeeds in exploding a dirty bomb in North Bay (or in case a truck carrying radioactive material crashes on the highway, a much more likely occurrence). The counter showed a background radiation of less than 10 microsieverts, but when you point it at me you get about 20 microsieverts. When the counter was placed on the right side of my neck (where my tumour is), it shot up to about 40 microsieverts. That shows that the gallium is doing it's job, going to the tumours so that they will show up on tomorrow's x-rays. Maybe tomorrow I'll run the counter over my whole body--anyplace the radiation levels rise above 20 microsieverts should indicate a tumour location. On the other hand, maybe I'll just wait for the oncologist to go over the x-rays with me!

Rainy day

Sometimes the rain refreshes me. I am ready to be introspective and mellow and inside. Other days it drags me down. I am truly solar powered. it is raining and I find myself exhausted. I know there are lots of really good reasons to be is all a bit much going on.... but it doesn't make it any more fun.
I need to be able to concentrate on work. I am working on two different jobs right now and both are me alone at home working away. I am normally VERY good at this. Since the C word entered our lives, I have been a little less productive and a lot more tired. I need to be able to relax and have fun when I am not working.
It also doesn't help with the grumpies! Thanks for the reminder Jodie that grumpies are normal in normal life and to be expected in this intensity we are in right now. Hooray for being able to work it through!
Bob and I are doing pretty well with the silliness and good humour. YAY TEAM! Thanks sweetie - I am so lucky to have you too! And we can do this. We will come out the other side stronger than ever.
Well, lunch and then back at it. I need to get things done this week before Friday. Friday we will hear results from the oncologist and I think have some decisions to make about how this unfolds. Need to be as rested as we can for that.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Third deposit at the bank

Anna and I are in Toronto today. I have a third appointment this morning at the Mount Sinai reproductive centre's sperm bank. They want as much from me as they can get, which might mean a fourth trip there about a week after the gallium scan is done (as long as I haven't started chemo by then). I guess you don't want spermies too soon after having radioactive gallium floating around in your body. We'll have lunch today with Anna's mom, Di, as well as Dan, a teacher at Di's school who has a non-agressive form of NHL.

We drove down last night, both grumpy the whole way. First I was grumpy about stupid things, then Anna was. It seesawed like that for four hours. I'd like to blame my grumpiness on cancer, but I get like that sometimes regardless. Sorry, Anna, that I take it out on you. You don't deserve that. You're the most wonderful woman and I'm incredibly fortunate to be sharing this life with you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Fall Back

Ten hour days at work, plus an hour drive each way. Tiring. Just enough time in the evening to make and eat dinner, write a quick blog post, then off to bed. I know I will use my extra hour of sleep to its fullest. (Still have to be up at 5:30 though.)

I'm following a near-ketogenic diet. This means about 50% of my calories come from fat, 30% from protein, and 20% from carbohydrates. Fats include healthy oils, nuts and seeds; proteins are lean (chicken, fish, hemp, soy), and carbs are low on the glycemic index (e.g. cruciferous vegetables, berries, a little fruit, and almost no grains). You can check out my FitDay account to see what I'm eating. I'm not able to post here every day, but it gives you an idea.

All this blogging of workouts, diet and (eventually) allopathic and alternative treatments is my way of charting my progress. Perhaps at the end I'll have illustrated how living healthy, with a positive attitude and top-notch medical care, can see you through the big C.

Today's workout: Diane (21-15-9 reps of 205# deadlift and handstand pushups) 7:12

The photo below is of my CT scan last Tuesday.

Keep 'em coming!

Thank you so much to all of you who are holding us in your hearts, thoughts, prayers!

Thank you so much for all of you who call, visit and write.

I have been watching the posts on this blog and on the CrossFit site where Bob was featured! My famous sweetie!

I am so glad he is an inspiration to so many (myself included).

Thank you for all of the posts that have been coming across, all the stories and well wishes. They really do help me and us so much. We really are going to make a compilation of them!

Thanks for brightening my day and providing more hope and support.


We are so lucky to have this support. Thank you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Some days are harder than others is very true. Some days are harder than others. The last few days have been hard for me. Bob is doing really well, as you can see - very positive and confident. Bob says he feels the confidence deep inside. So do I. Bob will be fine out the other end of this. I know this in my heart. And I am overwhelmed by it all. The whole year has been rough (do I keep saying that?) and this is such a big thing - lymphoma! We are still in the stage of so many unknowns. I am looking forward to knowing more about the staging and the treatment.

We have one decision made - Bob likes the New Liskeard cancer treatment room better so he will be doing chemo there (what doesn't happen in Sudbury anyway). One small hurdle crossed.

There are so many things in my mind and heart. I am focusing on organizing what I can about appointments etc. It helps me to be doing something and I have the patience and persistence for it. Turns out it is recommended that we have more sperm I set that up. It has been a VERY frustrating week of trying to get a hold of medical people. They go on holiday and no one calls back!! We have a short time frame here people!! I am still grieving our recent miscarriages and that brings a particular intensity to this whole thing as well.
The range of emotions I am feeling in any given day this last 2 weeks is amazing...sadness, deep grief, frustration, anger, bitterness, laughter, joy, silliness, amazement and awe...
Bob and I are so lucky to have each other and so lucky that we both love to be silly. I think silly will get us through this.

My 15-minutes of fame

Check out today's CrossFit posting for an interview with me taped at last weekend's Toronto cert. There's a photo and video and lots of wonderful encouragement from fellow CFers in the comments below.

Today's workout: Isabel (30 x 65 lb. snatch) 6:18
Yesterday's workout: Tabata something else 342

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mom's thoughts

I asked my Mom to write something for the blog, and this is what she sent me:

On October 21, 2007, I received the worst phone call of my life. I have received other phone calls, which have altered my life but it must be the ultimate worst to hear your son say, “I don’t have good news, Mom.” And then he continued to tell me that he had been diagnosed with B-cell Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s. I listened in silence and shock as he confidently told me what he knew so far and what he figured was in store for him in the near future. Anna was on the phone also and I was assured that they had been researching this on the Internet and that, although it was a very aggressive form of cancer, it was also very receptive to treatment and very beatable.

I had no idea how to respond to this news. How do you say something supportive and comforting and not get emotional? It wasn’t easy and I did what every mother would do . . . I cried.

Bob assured me that he was completely fine with whatever lay ahead; he was ready to tackle this hurdle and ready to beat it. It was not going to control him; he would have the upper hand.

I already knew that Bob was very aware of good health habits; he exercised, he ate well, he was strong, he had a positive attitude, he has lots of support from family and friends. I knew what he was telling me about his well-being was good and this would hold him in good stead to meet this new challenge, but I still cried.

A week later, he stopped in for lunch. It was nice to see him so confident and relaxed. His comment to me was “Don’t you worry about me, Mom. I’m going to be fine.”

And, you know what, he will be.