Wednesday, December 29, 2010
As of December 29th 2010, I had my port removed. It's a big step in the "recovery", especially mentally.
There's way too many people I need to thank and I hope you all know who you are. If it wasn't for all of you, this would have been a long tough journey.
"So what happens now in 2011?" You may ask...
Well I will defiantly keep my sunny disposition
But this year it will be about goals that I'm setting myself that I can use to help others.
http://www.root66raceseries.com/- Local mountain bike series that I can use to spread the word about what I've gone through...
http://www.seaotterclassic.com/- Hopefully going out here to race, spread the word and help out Airborne Bicycles by doing some tent time.
http://www.patspeak.com/summer/bike.php- 24 hour mountain bike race in New Hampshire... I need to get riding. I hope this to be a major fundraiser...
http://www.warriordash.com/register2011_new_york.php- A 3 mile or so run up a mountain with good friends, obstacles and beer at the end...how cool is that? Maybe have some t-shirts and info there too.
And finally I'd like to try to fit in a triathlon someplace.
I NEED to get back to working out and eating right, I guess...
The plan looks to be that I will be starting another blog (or maybe just use this one...who knows)
where people can come and read about events and the training and the groups I will be helping.
Donations will be solicited through here into a Paypal account that only I will be able to access and pay out.
I also hope to incorporate friends into this process and give them the ability to do the same... solicit, blog, etc.
Please offer any ideas and suggestions on how I can get start-up $$$, Website ideas, jerseys, t-shirts, stickers, hand outs, entry fees and/or logistics done.
Also if you have an event you would like to challenge yourself to for others, don't hesitate to ask me to get you on the website!
Thanks everyone and may you have a healthy and happy 2011!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Those morning where I got up at 5 am and walked a couple of miles, or the mountain bike rides I labored through or being there for just about every drop off and pick up at school... these where all things that I fought through and frankly, are ways that I impressed myself and hopefully inspired others.
Now that I'm not doing those things like I was before (for various reasons/excuses) what am I now? Not as strong? Lazy? I think I really need to break a couple of habits I developed over this past year or so and take that "next step" in my progression and transformation into a better and stronger person.
2011 is right around the corner...wish me luck!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Feet are doing ok... Although they are killing me by the end of the shift at work. I think I'm going to have to spring for some fancy sneakers for work.
I've been getting some weird allergic reactions to something lately. A couple of weeks ago I took a muscle relaxer for my back and then got an allergic reaction. Last night when I got home I had some soup, then the same thing.
Hives, itching and swelling. Benedryl cleared it right up after a bit, but I can't figure out what's causing it. I'm going to have to start keeping a record of what I've been eating and such.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This is my second stint there...basically my job will be to build bikes that are safe enough for the kids of cheap parents.
"But Todd, you can pretty much walk into any real bike shop and get a job there...why Dick's?"
Good question. There's really two answers:
First, I don't have a personal vested interest this time around. If I was going to go to a shop I'd be feeling too guilty about taking time off and also worrying alot about all the other crap that goes along with working for a small business. I'm only working part time right now so I'll do my best job, but not take it so personally to try to change the culture of the bike dept. I tried that last time and came up getting screwed by some. I'm promising myself not to let it happen again.
Second, The hours work out better for me right now. I go in around 5 and can work until 10... I don't have to work Sundays (like I would at a smaller shop..I hate working Sundays), and the pay is better... it just works out for right now. It's nice that they need me more than I need them... Stop by the Newington store and say Hi...
Not much riding since I locked up my back a few weeks ago. Just stretching and strengthening the area. Plus, Damn, it's been cold...
Heading out to Ray's Indoor MTB park ( http://www.raysmtb.com) in Cleveland in January... should be a neat experience. Meeting up with a few fellow Airborne Flight Crew members...Expect some cool video and pics.... Connie and the kids are going to visit some of her relatives in PA on the way.
Well that's all I got for now... stay warm!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
So what do you do when you feel obligated to keep a blog alive, but then the reason for the blog ain't around anymore...?
This something I've been wondering about the last month or so. I'm really thinking about killing it off, but another part of me says I owe it to people to keep it going. Well It's something I need to seriously think about (OK, it's not that serious...)
I guess if I'm going to keep it going, I have to take the next step in my paying it forward and write about the trials and tribulations of that. I just need to get off my ass and do it. Something to think about as this year comes to a close and a new fresh perspective arrives in 2011.
I promise to do this and keep you all posted...
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The big news is that the last scan came back clear! I'm still cancer free. The doctor was very happy to see it and so was I considering how bad it really was. Lucky I guess.
The next step is to get my port removed. I'll be getting that done on the 29th while Connie's off from work. Not a big deal really, just a bit tired when I get home and a bit sore because it's near the shoulder and such. Next scan will be in March to see what happens.
I've been going out riding with friends on Sundays on what we dubbed the SSDR (Super Secret Dudes Ride). We've been having alot of fun out there. Although I did wrench my back this past Sunday so it's all locked up on me now. Getting better though.
I do need to get out there and find some work... Connie's been dropping some big hints...lol..
My feet numbness is getting much more tolerable now and since my scan is now clean, I feel better about going out and finding something.
The other project I've been dragging my feet about is my website. All these things take money which I don't have. If anyone knows a business that would like to sponsor it, let me know. Basically it will be a website for people to solicit donations for athletic events they may be doing for charity (think MS Walks, Cancer rides, etc.)
The working name is www. DoIt4Others.com ... Catchy, huh? (thanks Mark!)
Finally, how good did you feel about yourself when you climbed that 'big" hill in your neighborhood? This is insane...
Now stimulate the economy, go buy lots of gifts!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving. We should all be grateful for what we have. One thing I've learned, no matter how bad it seems, there is always some one who has it worse.
I'm so thankful for what I've gained this past year. The community and friends that we've surrounded ourselves with have been a blessing that I can't even describe.
I have to be thankful for my health. I know it's been a tough year, but I know plenty of others who are fighting too and compared to them, I got off easy.
There's a group of people in Ohio and some others scattered about the country who have also kept me going. Thanks go out to Airborne and the Flight Crew! Can't wait to meet you all!
I can't forget my good friend Bill and the other guys at Biker's Edge for helping me out this past year too. I hope to be able to pay all of you back next year!
The Dr's and nurses who helped us through all of this. Your help and positive attitudes even during the dark times are a true inspiration.
Finally, Thanks go out to my family. My wife was always there for me, even when other things in our lives made it hard. My kids always making me laugh (usually) was great medicine. And everyone else who sacrificed their time to help us out. I thank you all.
Happy Turkey day everyone!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
At 42 years old and in reasonable health, I wasn't your "typical" candidate for colon cancer. But some how I got it. Well my dad looked back down the family tree and found out that his dad (who no one really knew) had died from colon cancer.
I guess my point is that anyone can get it no matter how "healthy" you think you are. It's an easy test and easy to take care of when caught early.
Get yourself checked soon!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Yesterday a local rider that I consider a hero passed away after a long bout with cancer.
Michael Patrick and I were at best, casual friends. We'd run into each other and have pleasant conversations and such about all things bikes and races and how he's been feeling.
It always amazed me how he was able to ride, let alone race with all he's been thru. His treatments for brain cancer were brutal but he always kept a positive attitude and never gave up.
Having gone thru treatments (and nothing anyway near as brutal as what he was going thru), he earned my utmost respect for him and what he did. He's a was a true and courageous fighter.
Because of him and people like him, I feel it's now my obligation to keep the fight alive in me and do all I can to help those who are fighting this crappy disease.
The world was a great place with Micheal and now has taken a step back with out him....
Let's all move forward a few extra steps and live life to the fullest like Michael did....
Monday, November 8, 2010
Unfortunately I haven't been able to ride last couple of weeks due to weather, illness and family obligations.
Yesterday's ride was at a place call Tyler Mill which isn't terribly difficult but you're always on the pedals due to the constant acceleration/deceleration of the trail.
I have to say that this bike handled it like a champ. I finally have the handle bar/cockpit issue figured out and this bike rides fantastic!
One of they guys asked if I'd been riding because I was "on" today... I just had to smile and look at the bike. I hadn't realized that an aluminum frame could be so comfortable yet still maintain that racy characteristic that I like.
Couple of quick notes...
- Initially I mentioned that I was pedal striking with the 12" BB height. This has become a non issue now that I've made the adjustment. I appreciate the stability that the design gives the ride.
- This was my first ride on the SPID OEM saddle (what's a SPID?). It was deceptively comfortable. It disappeared under my rear end. Nice choice.
- I'm still having a hard time getting used to the 2x10. Having been on the standard 3x9 system for so long, I'm still trying to figure out shifting patterns. It'll come. I'd love to see some one come out with a slightly smaller big ring (37ish) for the 2x10 crank. That would rock!
Ride was fantastic. Great fall day that started chilly but warmed up nice in the woods. Unfortunately my feet went totally numb (from side effects) at the end of the ride so getting out was a struggle, but wouldn't trade any of it!
Sorry no pics or video. Batteries in my Hero video camera were dead. Still figuring out how to use it...lol
Great job to everyone at Airborne!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
There really hasn't been anything to report, and I'd hate to bore you all with the day to day monotony.
Here is pic of the new Airborne 29er that I'm lucky enough to ride and share with others. This is absolutely one of the coolest bikes I've been on. Airborne hit the nail on the head with this one. I saw the mock up decals for the productions model (mine is a prototype with non stock parts and decals) and I have to say it is pretty darn pimpin'...
The bad news (bad on a personal level, not business level) is that they decided not to call it the "Big Todd" (although the nickname seems to be sticking in the inter-Flight Crewm communications).
I am a bit disappointed because not everyone has a bike named after them,but I think I new deep down it was a name that just wouldn't work out. I'm really cool with it. It's been a privilege dealing with everyone in getting this bike into production.
So what's the new name you ask? Well here you go, just in time for Halloween... it's going to be called the Goblin... This isn't the logo or anything for it, I just borrowed it off of Google. The name is definately growing on me...
My health is doing pretty well. Still having the regular nerve issues in my feet and such, but I'm learning to live with it in a day to day capacity.
Halloween sucked... I'm really tired of the rudeness and the feeling of "invasion" from the out of towners. It's really over whelming. I'm thinking that Halloween next year will be spent some place else....
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Anyways, because of the cold, haven't really been on my bike, but here's a pic and a video from a recent ride. I'm really not allowed to give full details yet, like the official name, but it's a great bike from Airborne... They're really up to some cool stuff over in Ohio.
This is my first time posting a video, so I don't have all the bugs worked out yet...
Anyways, just getting ready for Halloween and all the kids driven in from Hartford...
Not much else for now... but I will keep everyone posted on events taking place.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I'm doing pretty well. Physcally I'm finding that I still tire easily. I started working out reasonably hard and consistantly, but I think I was over doing it and was having a hard time recovering. I had to back that off a bit.
Feet numbness is still around and doesn't seem to want to go away anytime soon. By the end of the day, my dogs are barking! This has made it kind of hard to go back to work because I can't be on my feet for more than a few hours at a time. But now that I know what to expect, I'll be back working for the man soon enough.
The kid's soccer season is almost over. I'm one of the coaches on Noah's team so that takes up a few days a week but it's worth it. He really enjoys it and he's taking a liking to goalie and is pretty good at it.
Luke enjoys the practice part of soccer but not the games, go figure that one out.
One exciting thing that happened is I got my new bike! It's a new design from Airborne that I had input in the design of. What's really neat, the name is the Big Todd! How cool is that?
I'll get some pics posted soon!
Talk to you all later and remember, live each day to the fullest!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Well as alot of you probably know, this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month (Colon Cancer Awareness month is March) and I was reading an article about the survival rates of the different stages of breast cancer. As I read the article, I decided to look up survival rates of the different stages of colon cancer, Stage 3 in particular (which is where I was classified. One is the lowest, four is the highest).
The results? 40 freaking percent chance of survival! Only 40%? Are you kidding me.
I'm glad I didn't know that at the time, my attitude might have been completely different.
I'm not saying this to brag, but to remind people, these are just numbers. Don't let them effect your fight. You're in control, not a statistic.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Fighting diseases, inner demons and such isn't a battle, it's a war (I hate to use those terms out of respect for those in the Armed Services, buts it's all I could come up with).
I think two things help. One is surround yourself with friends and family who offer a great support system and lean on them. Don't just hide away and cower! Use them (It took me awhile to ask for help).
Second, every morning get up and look at yourself in the mirror and say "Cancer (or what ever the demon is), I'm going to fight you all day today and do my best to win!"
At the end of the day, look back and yell at the nastiness again. You might not always come out on top, but try as hard as you can. "(Demon), you may have won the battle today, but I fought you hard and I'll fight even harder tomorrow! Too many people are counting on me. This war isn't over!" Every day do that. The mental aspect of winning far outweighs the physical.
I know it sounds corny and simple, but it's the attitude you have to take.
I hope this helps explain things and maybe help others out there who are struggling.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Still dealing with this weird feeling of anxiety once in awhile that is kinda scary. Just feel it in my upper chest. Coincidentaly, it happens when the kids are around... I don't see a pattern.
Last night I was really proud of myself. As most of you know, I have been riding here and there the last six months but I've been picking up the frequency a bit. Problenm is that I need these long rests during the ride that just tacks on more time. No big deal, but not the rides of pre-cancer. Well last night I told myself there will be no stopping. If I can't make a hill, I get off and walk. If I need a rest, fine...just keep moving. except for a quick tweak of my brakes, I did just that. Kept moving. It feels good to finally be able to say that.
The other project I'm working on is getting a website up and running that will allow people to solicite donations and pledges for atletic events they are doing for charity. My first thought was to form a non-profit. Well that ain't happening. Met with a friend who runs a non profit and she showed me what I have to do. Lawyers, Board of Directors, CEO's, etc. I really have no desire to go thru all of that at this point. I need something between a true non-profit and just a hack job. I just want to keep it low key for now and legitimate. So if anyone has any ideas, let me know.
That's all for now... see ya...
Monday, September 20, 2010
Well around half through my chemo sessions I decided that I'm going to need to get myself back into fighting shape (Ok riding shape) and I want to look good for my lady again. P90X seems like a simple to follow yet intense work out, mix in riding and it's just what I need.
For the time being I'm doing a hybrid program until I'm back up to full capacity... figure a few weeks to get used to moving again...
Well today I did "Core Synergistics" and all I can say is "Holy Hell"... This guy is the mutant spawn of Satan and Jillian from Biggest Loser.
I couldn't do all the exercises and my feet felt like they were in cement shoes due to the neuropathy, but I promise to keep up with the program as best I can.
Look at that smug smile on his face....
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This past Wed. was my 12th and final round of chemo and on chemo days I usually meet with Dr. Davis first and we just check things out and go over tests.
Connie and I thought it was strange that we didn't hear from him for the 5 days or so after the PetScan and leading up the appointment. It was unusual because he's very good about not keeping us waiting for news, good or bad.
Well he called us into the office and personally I saw a glum look on his face... "OH CRAP!" was the only thing going thru my mind. Well to make a long story short, he forgot about the scan and never received the results so it wasn't doom and gloom.
Obviously as most of you know by now, everything came back clean and clear and I'm cancer free.
There's always a chance that it could come back and a slight chance it could pop up some place else, but I'll be put on a vigilant screening process to combat that. In fact I have another scan right around Thanksgiving.
Vigilance is the key to fighting colon cancer. Again, I emplore you all to stay on top of it.
Last night I decided to watch the Stand UP 2 Cancer special. I wasn't going to at first because I wanted to be far away from any reminders on my last day of chemo. But then I realized that cancer is a big part of my life now and I have a responsibility to do anything I can to help wipe out this disease. It amazed me how much I ended up crying, both tears of sadness and tears of joy. There's where many stories out there that I couldn't ignore.
We decided to make a donation and again I was amazed when it took us about 40 minutes to get thru.... others must have been touched too. Thank you all.
Full day on the soccer fields today for the boys... I'll probably see most of you out there at some point...Later
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Well this is it.. tomorrow should be the last session! Can you believe it?
I say "should" because I still haven't gotten the results of my PetScan yet. We did do a scan before the chemo and nothing was there so I can't see why/how anything is there now, but I need to be prepared just in case.
Feeling pretty good. Feet are still numb though. I've upped my fiber the last few days, but still can't seem to kick this damn Diet Coke problem I have. I've definately limited it, so that might be a start... I can beat cancer, but not soda...go figure.
Got out for a ride with a couple of good friends yesterday. Felt pretty good all things considered.
In fact I was introduced to some new trails at the Res. I didn't know about. Marcus headed out for the first time in years and did a fantastic job! (Although he needs a new bike...wink wink, nudge nudge).
Stay tuned for some info on an Octoberfest type celebration featuring Stoney's beer and Ladder Ball. It will be held here at ScopeThatColon HQ.
I'll let everyone know what's going on when I get home Wednsday (or maybe Thursday..Noah has soccer practice that night)
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I was at the hospital at 6:45 for a Petscan to see what's going on inside me. A Pet Scan is very similar to a Catscan but a bit more general in where it looks. It's basically looking for inflamed molecules that a cancer cell may have attached itself to. The problem is that I won't know the results until Tuesday at the earliest (damn holidays...).
People have asked me if I'm nervous. I can't say I'm nervous, maybe aware is a better word. I'm pretty confident that I'll be ok, but if not, I'll take it on again like I did this last time.
Cancer has changed me (from an introspective point of view anyways....). I definately feel more at ease with myself...call it inner peace. I'm OK with who I am and will be stronger for what's to come later in life.
Other than that, yesterday afternoon I looked Earl square in the eye and said "I'm going for a ride!" OK... it wasn't a ride of mythical proportions, but I did get out....
Monday, August 30, 2010
- Things are going well on the illness front. Big difference without the bad meds... feet still numb though.
- Connie and the boys went and visited my cousin in Boston this past week end... I was able to wash a couple of windows and rest... thanks hun!
- Turned 43 last week... I was actually pretty good with that... is 43 the new 33?
- Kids start school on Wednesday!
- Connie is off this week...
- Pic is from the famous "I quit" ride..
That's all I got... might try a couple rides this week and we should do some much needed "fall cleaning" of the house...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
When I sat down with Dr. Davis and we chatted, I mentioned my problem with numbness and tingling in my feet. This set off an alarm in his head to take me off one of the other drugs called Oxaliplatin. This is another cell killing drug, but this is the one with the nasty side effects so for this session and the last, things should be a bit easier on me compared to others. He figures at this late in the game, two weeks without the Oxaliplatin won't hurt.... I'm down with that!
Next Friday I go in for a PetScan to see what's in there and what the course of action will be when the chemo is over... 7a.m. with 8 hours of no food and a really gross drink right before.... I know you're all jealous.
Talk to you all later....
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ladies and gentleman, I present the new face of colon cancer awareness....
Ben Buttason !!!!!!
BTW, Noah came up with the name himself and proudly has this picture hanging by his bed
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Ok, I know the pic is a bit over the top, and all things considered, I have been doing ok in the ride department, but on the drive home, that's exactly how I felt. By the time I got home, I was alright with it and totally accepted the fact that I was still able to do a solid hour of fun riding.
Later in the day I started feeling nauseous again. It really sucks having the side effects last this long especially so late in the treatments.. but what can you do? Two more left and I'm done!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
But in the end, what does it all mean to me? It's more than a physical ailment. It's mental and emotional too. Right before my last session I was able to get out for my mountainbike ride/push and I actually started tearing up thinking back to what we've been through and the fact that (so far), I've beaten it. But is that what it is? Just beating it?
Well my oldest son Noah (who's 7) defined it for me a few months back. Alot of you know this story, but it's worth repeating and and living....
Noah, Luke (5) and I were sitting one morning eating breakfast and Noah turned to me to ask if he or Lukie will get cancer. Well I was taken aback, but we always try to be open and honest with the kids (within reason, of course).
I told him the truth and said that because it's "in the family" there's a chance that one of them may end up with colon cancer.
But I wanted them to know two things..
One, they are way too young to worry about it. If it does happen, it won't be until they are much much older and there is no need for them to worry about it right now.
Second, if they do get it, by that time there will be a cure and better treatments than what they are watching me go thru so it won't be as bad.
Noah looked at me and accepted the answers... after pondering a few seconds on what I said his reply was
"Well if we do get it, I hope I get it so Lukie doesn't have to go through it...."
If we can all just remember things like this and not be selfish, the world would be even better than it is now....I think in the end, this defines cancer for me...
Full disclosure...... about 10 minutes later, Noah hit his brother in the head with a light saber ...
Monday, August 16, 2010
Just the basics. I can't believe that I feel as crappy as I am after all this time. The nurses said the last few can be tough, but this tough?
Fatigue and nausea are reaking havoc with my daily goings on here at "Scope That Colon!" Headquarters but luckily I have great family and friends to help out.
I've also added a pair of old man compression socks to my wardrobe... I've been fighting foot neuropathy the last few sessions and the socks seem to be helping. I think the size I have are a size too big, but damn, they aren't cheap...
Well really that's all I got for now. Still trying to drum up more followers. We're up to 25 which is awesome, but I hope to get closer 50 by the end of all of this. Tell your friends and family!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Second ride I decided to leave the technology at home and just enjoy the fact that I'm lucky enough to be out there riding a bike knowing I only have three chemo sessions left. There were a few times where my eyes where actually swelling up knowing that I beat this round! It's a really good feeling seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Now if I can just get my energy and strength back...I can usually do my "standard" loop in about 50 minutes or so, well now we're talking over and hour and 45 minutes...yikes!
Other news and notes:
- (Post-post edit here) I have a nifty new side effect that I'm dealing with now. My feel keep falling asleep and are always numb...yipee!
- Not that big of a response to the t-shirt give away (except for a certain some one who can't seem to figure out how to leave a comment). What gives? No one likes free t-shirts?
- Recieved a great present the other day... a bootleg copy of P90X. Looking to start that in October. Welcome to the gun show!
- I need some help with a website name. This fall I have a goal to start a website that average Joe athletes like us can use to solicite donations to give to charities. I'll get into more details later, but I need a name and I can't come up with one. I need something in the line of "ChallengeYourself4Others.com" butt (I typed butt...ha ha ha) shorter and catchier...anyone out there have any suggestions?
- Expect to see a couple of posting regarding some fundraisers I want to organize this winter. Nothing in stone yet, but I have some ideas.
- Anyone have any quick and easy (and yummy) casserol recipes they want to share (and I mean quick and easy and yummy). A family I know is going through some rough times and I want to be able to get them some meals to put in the freezer... thanks...
Well #10 of 12 is tomorrow and after all these months I still get a bit weary but I know I need to stay strong and finish hard!
I'll check in with you folks later!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The first 8 people who leave a comment on my blog answering the following question, get's a free Airborne Bicycles t-shirt (sorry, I only have Mediums and Larges left).
If I need to send it to you and I don't have your address, I'll get in contact with you.
The t-shirt question is...
Who is your biggest inspiration, and why?
Tell me what size you need, too...
Monday, August 2, 2010
Made it thru the week end with the usual amounts of fatigue, a bit of nausea and the fun cold sensitivity...
I guess no news is good news ... I don't think I could handle another set back at this point.
I'm hoping to be able to sneak out for a ride or two this week, which would be sooner after a session than usual. I'm felling like it might be the best thing. I'm ready to move on from this. Now I just need to get a handle on my damn diet. Too much comfort foods....
Took the kids to Six Flags last week and managed to tweak my back... great timing. Getting old really sucks.
Talk to you all soon!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Things this time around went really smoothly. They used a numbing spray on the new port which made it painless, which was nice.
After chemo is done, there will be a couple of years of tests to make sure nothing snuck back in, and some visits to get my port flushed. They keep the port in for a few extra years just in case it's needed again.
Other than that, just expecting the usual fatigue this week end and cold adversion hanging on for about a week or so, and maybe even a bit of constipation if I'm lucky....
Speaking of fatigue, I found a new product I can highly recommend. Those of you who know me, know that I have a "problem" with diet coke, particularly of the fountain variety. I've been trying to kick the habit with crappy results. I really need the caffine but I hate coffee.
On a whim, I tried this...
It's been great. Caffine isn't the main "energy" ingredient. It's on par with some of the colas at about 35 mg but more than half that of coffes and energy drinks.
"FRS is fueled by quercetin, a powerful antioxidant found in foods like blueberries, red apples and grapes. Quercetin works by naturally triggering the body's ability to produce more real energy. The more energy your body creates, the longer you're able to push. And the longer you can push, the farther you'll go."
Yes... I cut and pasted that off the website...
Stuff works really well, check it out at FRS.com
I get my stuff at Vitamin Shoppe. I use the concentrate so I can mix it with the correct temperature water that agrees with me.
Any ways, just passing on some info.
All I got today... see ya all later
Friday, July 23, 2010
Look for something cool on the next post about my rides...video perhaps?????
Later gators (I'm on an '80's kick)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Yesterday and today (so fartoday anyways, I have to pick the kids up soon) have been really good compared to the previous week or so. Hopefully the tweaks in meds helped out.
It's hard to tell if it's the meds or just me mentally having enough of the depression. Hopefully a bit of both.
Take care all!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One I think it's theraputic for me to just kind of "let go" and let it all out.
Second, I really want/hope that this blog can help others who need it. Cancer really sucks and every little bit helps in the end, even from some hack blogger....
Well here it goes.... This past week and change I've really been dealing with a severe bout of depression. I'm walking around with the head down and a black cloud following me around that wants to open a can of whoop ass on me.
I'm contantly exhausted and down. This has happened to me before during this, but not for such a long time. There are times where I just find myself tearing up and asking "why me"?
Usually when I get like this, a small bit of physical activity usually helps, but this time I can't even get out to do that. Makes me wonder how much of this "exaustion" is physical and how much is mental. I would bet most of it's mental.
I feel really bad for my wife. I've been a pain in the ass to be around and really not contributing much. In her words, "she's a fixer, and she can't fix this" . It's hard for everyone.
Being the "fixer" that she is, Connie took the intitiative and called the dr's and decided a slight tweak in meds is in order. Well that starts today and we'll see how that goes.
The port problem was a real set back mentally. What makes it hard is that there's only 4 more of these damn things and then that's it. But it's hard to keep your head up when it's one step foward and two steps back.
Ok, well that's it for now. Thanks for listening......
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot erode faith
It cannot eat away peace
It cannot destroy confidence
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot shut out memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot reduce eternal life
It cannot quench the spirit
It cannot lesson the power of the resurrection
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Well as most of you know, I had to get a new port put in. Alot of people ask me what a port is and what it does. Well it's a nifty little contraption that they install just below your collar bone that has a tube running/attached to an your atery. It is placed just under the skin for easy access. They give these to patients who need continuous injections without the constant bruising of going directly to a vein. It shouldn't hurt at all because it's just a small peircing of the skin then into the port. Once it's accessed and the "needle" is taped down, you shouldn't feel it at all, and that was the problem I was having. I really felt it when it went in and it was fully accessed. All is well now..I hope.
Let's see, what else is going on?
The Airborne Bicycles relationship has slowed down a bit due to MY wishy washiness on whether I deserve to get a bike from them right now or not. They are willing to send me one, but I feel guilty taking it right now knowing that I can't ride it. Hopefully things will go smoother with them later in year when treatments are over. I do have some cool shirts and a video cam from them though. Reed and Jeremy @ Airborne are two of the coolest and most patient guys I've ever e-mailed and Facebooked with....lol. I'm really hoping that I can meet them in person someday and help them develop the brand over the years.
Sunday is a busy day first we have an event we're going to try to do (depending on my health).
It's the Errace walk in Avon to help raise money for the Livestrong Foundation. They are having bike rides of various lengths a 10k and 5k run/walk. We'll be walking the 5k. I hope the kid's can make it that far....
Then it's Nenie's birthday. Nenie is the kid's grandmother and she turning 36....wink wink.
Other than that, I need to find some new wheels and a few odds and ends for my cross bike and get out and do some pedal turning .
Take care everyone!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm very sore from where the new port was installed and they told me no heavy activity for three days or so. I was hoping to be able to do a mountainbike ride Sunday but it doesn't look like that's happening now.
If you're not doing anything on July 18th...
If you want to donate, let me know....
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Couple of things:
- I think I'm ready to become a bike rider again. Just five chemos left and I think I'm going to have to force myself to exercise and ride through it. Enough of this always tired crap. May not be pretty, but it should work. ( And no, O.W.B.C. I won't be joining you ....)
- This fall I think I'm going to become a bit selfish and just do what I want and try to forgo a real job for a bit (Hell, we've made it this far). This includes doing the little things to help my family out too. Things have kind of fallen apart here at the compound.
- The guys at Airborne bikes are really cool and been very patient with me and my wishy washiness. Thanks Reed and Jeremy! Flight crew, keep up the good work!
- I have to get thank you notes out this week while we're away, so alot of you should expect something in the next week or so.
- Is it Setember yet? freakin' kids are already driving me crazy.
- We have a realy cool public pool here in town.
- There's no cable TV at the cottage...how the hell am I suppossed to watch the World Cup?
- Looking foward to the next week.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
This is a much harder disease than I thought it would be. It's not like the flu where you're sick for a couple of days than you get better. This is a long played out stuggle.
One thing that amazes me me still after 3 months is how much of a mental struggle it is. You have to be sharp and positive mentally no matter what your body says to get through the daily grind. After this, all those "minor" stuggles I bitch about are going to be a piece of cake.
I also didn't realize how fatiguing it would be. In the beginning I had all of those problems with the side effects (I've sincegotten straightened out) but now it's just constant state of fatigue. I was ready to become everybody's hero and ride, work out and maybe race during all of this. I can't say I failed at this goal, but I've definately had to "tweak" my plans a bit....
Went for my normal walk last night and that seemed to be a struggle from the beginning. It will be interesting to see what happens when/if I try to ride this week end. But you know what, I'm out there and can enjoy the great outdoors with a new perspective. Cancer or not, there's alot of people who can't or won't try.
People who know me well know that I have a running joke that "I hate the people" (Years and years of retail do that to you...). This whole experience is starting to turn me (not completely, just a bit). Between the doctors and nurses, friends and family and everyone in the community who have sent well wishes, prayers, food, smiles and so much more our way... it's really easy to see and appreciate the good and the beauty in the world around you.
Cancer is a crappy disease, but I think I might be lucky to have it....
Monday, June 7, 2010
It was bad enough enough that I had absolutely no energy, but then put the feeling that I was in a shower on top of that due to the humidity and UGHHHHHH... long week end.
Big difference today with a good nights sleep and cooler air, not great, but alot better.
Nausea doesn't seem to be much of a factor anymore, just extreme exhaustion and still fighting the cold neuopothy. I did hop in the pool real quick this week end to drop the core temp down and that didn't bother me too much temp. wise, so that's a bit promising.
It now helps knowing what kind of pattern I'm in and what I'll be up against folowing chemo sessions.
Still wish I had more energy though....
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I was much less "inspired" and less energetic and on myself for what's going on,
especially after my ride on Saturday.
I need to accept the fact that it might be awhile before I'm back to where I was physically and I just need to stay strong mentally to get thru this.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Here's what you do, First, get cancer.
Second, load up your bike and drive to your favorite riding destination.
Lastly, push your bike around your favorite destination due to lack of energy and strength...fun times.
Well it wasn't all walking, but there was alot of it this morning.
I don't know how much of it is physical and how much is mental, but it sure gets frustrating....
Friday, May 28, 2010
Bad news...because of the holiday, I go in on Wed. this week which means a shortened "good week" going into the next round.
Good news.... It's #6 which menas we're halfway there!
Got out for a ride yesterday, hope to be able to squeeze a couple more in before Wed.
Other than that, we're still stunned and grateful for all that everyone did for us last Saturday. It's an experience that none of us will forget.
THANK YOU ALL!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This is my thank you from the fundraiser...keep in mind that it was meant to be read aloud by me, not printed... So ignore any mistakes...
On Februrary 4th when Connie and I found out that I had cancer, the one word that always came to mind was "stunned". Getting cancer was never anything that I would have thought could "get" me. Now I can say what has happened here tonight has stunned me also.
When I first heard what was being planned, my intitial thought was "That’ll be fun, friends getting together having a few cocktails and some laughs. I never thought it could balloon into something like this. I’ve had these feelings of overwhelmingness, a sense of embarassement, and awe.
There are some people here tonight I need to thank. In not really knowing the full scope of what people have done to put this together, I know I won’t mention everyone that needs to be, but I’ll do my best to hit the highlights.
Stacey and Scott Tinker....Just the work and the effort that you could for someone is unbelievable. I’ll always be grateful
Deb O’Leary... Not just for this, but also for the fun chats we have at the playground in the morning which helps makes things easier.
Fellow stay at home dad Jim Bankowski, who couldn’t be here. Always there for a laugh...
Nicole Hart, Kathie Monroe, Teri Carlson, Nicole Sidwell, Pam and Dan Harrison, Nicole Mitchell, Nancy and Jim Arnold, Michelle Zwick, Deanna Cawley, Caryn Russell and Kim Joyce. Judy Carson of Savory Palete... all I can say is WOW to what she’s done.
Scott Guay for always being around so we can bust each other’s chops.
And I know there are A LOT of others, but we’ll be here all night.
Everyone who donated items or baked food to plump me up, or called or wrote or have watched the kids so I could nap and on and on.
A big thank you.
I want to thank my family. My dad comes up every over Monday and spends the day tending to the kids so Connie can be there at the chemo sessions with me. This is our quality bonding time... On Weds, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Sandy pick up the kids at school so I can make my appointments and then be able to nap.
And there is a reason besides the obvious on why I think so highly of you all. As much as this disease blows, I almost feel lucky to have it. Over the years I’ve gotten complacent in my life... wife , kids and life tend to do that... And I’ve taken a lot for granted. Everyone here is an inspiration for me not only to beat this, but to appreciate everything I have and get more out of my and other’s people lives. A lot of what comes out of tonight will help me accomplish that.
You are all an inspiration to do things and to continue to pay life forward, and help those not as lucky as I am, and that’s what I’m the most grateful for.
Most of all, I need to thank my wife. 15 years ago when we got married, none of this was part of the plan. I know you have to find out a lot about how I feel from others or on my blog, But I hate to worry you. We’ve always stuck by each other, and you’ve always done it with a strength and tanacity that I admire. Thanks for choosing me.
Cancer is a really tough disease. I’ve always said that it’s 80% physical and 20% mental. I might even bump that up to 90/10 as I get further into treatments. The 80% kicks the crap out of you but it’s the 20% that gets you through it. It can be a lonely disease, too. You just feel like crap all the time and no one really "gets it" unless they’ve been through it themselves. Everyone in this community has made the 20% much easier...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Find my name at the bottom of the page and help raise money for cancer research! Best of all, it's free!
Search Under "Todd" then scroll down to "Todd H. rides for me..." No idea why my full name doesn't work
Here's the link to me...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
) some details about the incident ( reportedly part of the public record.. but verbally transmitted to the Recreation Committe at tonight's meeting).a) incident happened in 2002b) riding a mountain bike - she was/is a very athletic individualc) Racing a friend (male) .. he took the fire road west to east that has Overlook road intersection on the left.. she took the Red Road ( black top) going 'backwards" .. down the hill and hit the closed barrier ( yellow painted pipe) at a high speed. She admitted she was racing, not looking up and hit the barrier. Said she didn't know there was a barrier there. Her friend said they were racing and she was at fault.d) broke some vertebrae ( don't know the full extent of the injuries)- but apparently is once again very active athletically.e) MDC records show the barrier was always locked long before the incident and was only opened for special events.f) no info about an appeal of the judgement.
WTF is wrong with people today?
Everything looks good so far, sat there for 3 hours...blah blah blah.
I asked the doctor "how do we know if this works?. His reply? "You don't get any tumors again"
Simple and makes sense, I never thought of it that way, but I like it. I'm not a statistic with percentages labled to them, so I'm ready to keep going.
He was surprised that my weight has been maintained. I had to explain to him it's not "good" weight, it's from all the wonderful "comfort" foods from my fantastic family and friends...lol.
He laughed and said he understands now.
Why does it take D.O.T. forever to finish their bridge projects?
My attempt at riding over a bridge while I take a pic... not so great idea...
Well not much else to say... fun party coming upon Saturday... Can't wait to see old friends and meet new ones....I just hope I'll be able to stay up for the whole thing....
Friday, May 14, 2010
Bad news is that the chemo cycle starts again on Monday. Knowing you only have 2 days left weighs pretty heavy on the mind. If I think about it too much, those higher energy levels seem to magically dissappear...lol. Gotta stay strong.
I need to tweak my diet, too. Too much comfort food and not enough of the good stuff for me lately....
Still not surre if the race on the 23rd is going to be doable for me. It falls right at the end of the chemo week and the side effects are lasting longer everytime.
To the ladies of O.W.B.C., I promise I won't let you down and get in a few races during all of this!!!
Enjoy the week end !
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tough time mentally too. Just kind of in the doldrums and lonely.
Lot's of people checking in, but still not the same....
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Many times, colorectal cancer can be prevented. Still, it's one of the 5 most common cancers in men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer is also one of the leading causes of cancer death in the United States. Don't let these 5 common myths stop you from getting the lifesaving tests you need, when you need them.
Myth: Colorectal cancer is a man's disease.
Truth: Colorectal cancer is just as common among women as men. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and about 50,000 die from the disease.
Myth: Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented.
Truth: In many cases colorectal cancer can be prevented. Colorectal cancer almost always starts with a small growth called a polyp. If the polyp is found early, doctors can remove it and stop colorectal cancer before it starts. These tests can find polyps: double contrast barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy).
To help lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer:
Get to and stay at a healthy weight
Be physically active
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
Eat a diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less red or processed meat.
Myth: African Americans are not at risk for colorectal cancer.
Truth: African-American men and women are diagnosed with and die from colorectal cancer at higher rates than men and women of any other US racial or ethnic group. The reason for this is not yet understood.
Myth: Age doesn't matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer.
Truth: More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases are in people age 50 and older. For this reason, the American Cancer Society recommends you start getting tested for the disease at age 50. People who are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer -- such as those who have colon or rectal cancer in their families -- may need to begin testing at a younger age. Talk to your doctor about when you should start getting tested.
Myth: It's better not to get tested for colorectal cancer because it's deadly anyway.
Truth: Colorectal cancer is often highly treatable. If it is found and treated early (while it is small and before it has spread), the 5-year survival rate is about 90%. But because many people are not getting tested, only about 4 out of 10 are diagnosed at this early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Not much to report. Same thing. My Doctor's appointment checked out pretty well and I got in a nap during chemo.
Other than that, I was able to get out for a "training" ride yesterday and Thursday with mixed results, I'm traing for a race in Winstead on the 23rd. Saw a fellow racer I know when I was struggling a bit and he basically said he was impressed I was out there trying. So that made the second half of the ride a bit better...thanks for the kind words Charlie!
Well that's it for now. I'm ready to go watch some Office reruns.
I still hope to have some realy REALLY cool bike news soon, too!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The nausea and cold sesitivity are hanging around a bit longer with every session, but I think I can deal with that. It's just learning to adapt a bit and maybe changing a few diet items that may trigger the nausea more. I'm thinking dairy may be a "trigger" food.
I heard thru the grape vine that my brother was willing to shave his head in solidarity and support if I started loosing my well groomed head of hair. I thought it would be funny to call him all depressed saying I had to shave my head so he would too.... My wife then played the "kharma card" and talked me out of it. Bret, you owe Connie one.
Trying to get my excersing in when I can with walks and bike rides. Now that I know I don't have any cardio problems, I'm ready to start "opening things up" a bit. Try to start a bit of weight lifting and yoga too.
The new plan is to race on May 23rd, the day after the fundraiser. Of course my race would have to be first thing in the morning, but what can you do. Looking foward to just finishing and claiming my life back.
I'm even thinking about getting a new frame and debut it at the race (Winstead Woods, sponsored by my friends and Biker's Edge), but I just can't bring myself to spend the $$ right now.
Well today is one of those posts that just fill up space, so that's it for today. If I have anything else important to say, you guys will be the first to know (actually, maybe the second, I have to do a better job of telling Connie what I'm writing before I post it....)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I'm tired and tonight and tomorrow are the tough nausea times, then of course there is always the week end surprise to keep the dr's and nurses on their toes... well see what happens this time
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Not much to report. Doctor Davis thought that due to the stress related heart rate issues I had last week, a true anti-depressant might be a good thing "just to keep me even keeled" during all of this. We'll see how that works, luckily it's a very low dose so it shouldn't effect my day to day operations.
Cold neuropathy is really bad this time around, even room temp liqids are a tad rough. Looks like it's lot's of hot chocolate and soup for me this time around.
I think I've develpoed a strange comfort food. For some reason Honey Roasted peanuts do it for me lately... go figure.
Here's a pic of what the pump that's in my fanny pack looks like, luckily it's pretty idiot proof:
Essentailly it's give me a slow dose of a second cheomo with a tube running up to here:
That will probably leave a tan line....
I'm thinking that ScopeThatColon.Bolgspot T-shirts might have to be in the works... I'll keep you all posted.
And I might have some really exciting bike news to share with you all too!
That's it for now, Haskins...Out!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Crossing the washed out bridge at Case Mtn....
Post rain waterfall...
All in all, a great ride. Then went over to watch a race in Farmington to get even more inspired...what a day!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
It's a hard question to answer because there's really "two" me's right now.
One is the fun loving, sarcastic, pain in the ass, who would rather be just riding his bike than anything else...Todd that you have all come to know and love.
The second is a beaten down, leave me alone Todd that, well, really sucks. It sucks for me too, not just you guys. So when it's polar opposites, it's hard to describe.
The new medicine regime seems to have really helped out the last week or so and it seems everything is much easier to control.
I think that if this progress keeps up, I'm only going to become a better person after all of this (I know, it's hard to believe "this" can get much better). But now it definately feels like there is optimism in the Toddre camp.
Cancer and chemo is a funny thing, it really beats you down physically and mentally but if you can mentally stay really strong, the physical part is much easier to overcome. Brain definately trumps body in the fight.
Because of the wonderful advice from Dr Davis, I really feel that now I want take this on and beat it. Notice I said "want to take it on", not "have to". Looking back on things I can say that mentally, I've never been the strongest person . I feel that changing now, and in a weird way, I owe it to cancer.
Monday I start my 3rd week of chemo, and my body may hate it, but I'm developing the mental tools to be able to overcome it all.
I'm ready to beat this thing....
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Basically it seems like I have no "cardiac" issues, but a perfect storm of issues that makes it seem like I do.
First is the standard nausea. I think we finally found the right medicine that works for me.
On top of that, I'm still dealing with a constipation type of problem from the colon surgery that gets compounded while on chemo.
Next we have dehydration. I tend to dehydrate easy anyhow, but when you feel like crap and then have to deal cold neuropathy, you get tired of room temprature water and Gatorade. That's something I have to work on because dehydration can really spike your HR.
Then we have an axiety issue because of all of this that's just turning my stomach inside out causing heartburn and the like.
So we're taking a new four pronged attack at the problems using Gas-x, Prilosec, nausea meds , Atavan (for nerves and anxiety), and lots of fluids. So I'll report back in a couple of days let you all know how it's going.
On a kind of funny side note on the Atavan. The nurses told me Dr. Davis wanted to give a perscription for it and I told him not to bother because I had plenty at home from my surgery. When I would take it like he suggests, I couldn't figure out why it would wipe me out for hours. Well last night we realized that I was taking double the dose I should be taking in this situation ...
Moral of the story, get the script correct...lol
Monday, April 12, 2010
I gotta say, it's was nothing like what you see on "ER". They seem more concerned on TV.
Essentially 7 hours got me a bag of fluid, my B.P. twice and a couple of blood tests.
Results... "we don't know..." or "you might need to see a cardiologist" or "maybe it's stress"..
Gee, thanks doc.
I'm just going to have to have another sit down with the oncologist to get to the bottom of this...
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Well guess what, none of it is true. The truth is I haven't had much to say.
I got over the reaction to the Zofran with some Benedryl. The Dr. still isn't convinced it's an allergic reaction, but we decided not to take the chance anymore. So now I'm on a pill that only costs about $175 a pill... who says we need healthcare overhaul? Hopefully they work!
I've been able to get out for some bike rides although not at the intensities I had hoped. Still might shoot for my race date on the 18th, but who knows at this point. I do need to do a better job at remembering to take pics on the rides to post. We live in a beautiful area.
Yesterday's chemo went by with little fan fare... another 4 hours of hanging out with my wife "talking"... I don't which is worse.. the chemo or the talking...(just kidding, hun).
Fighting a bit more of cold neuropathy this time around. People must be looking at me funny as I wear gloves and a hat in 70 degree weather. Cold drinks are a bit of chore also, nothing like a room temp. soda.
Hopefully with the new nausea meds I'll be able to do a bit more exercising that I did last time around. I really think it does help both physically and mentally. The key will be the balance of excercise and rest... wish me luck.
here's some words for everyone to live by...
Sometimes we fall down, can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
Till it's to late, it's not too late
I'll check in with everyone tomorrow or Thursday.. see ya then
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Lots of nausea, tiredness and gas in my hips that just doesn't want to go away...
And to add to that, looks like I'm one of the 1% of people on Zofran (the stronger anti-nausea medicine) who are allergic...great...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
It was a long day and we both came home exhusted. Lots of thanks go out to my dad who came up at 6:30 in the morning to get the kids off to school and generally just hold down the fort.
Luckily the 3 1/2 hours of chemo went by quickly thanks to our John Candy movie mini-marathon!
Starting to feel a bit of the side effects. Cold drinks feel a bit raw on the roof of my mouth and the cold raw air today is tingling in my figers a bit. Tomorrow and Thursday we'll really start to see what happens.
On a plus note, I now get to wear one of these great fanny packs for two days every other week:
I know you're all jealous, but if you get colon cancer, you can wear one too. I now have to wear a pump for two days that will slowly realease another medicine to help me out. This one may be the the one that gets me really sick...we'll see...
Talk to you all later.