I know it has been a while since we received the great news and I have severely procrastinated updating my blog, but I still want to keep up on making a running history of what has been going on.
Back in May I had an appointment to head back to New York and go through some follow up tests to determine if the Radiation had made any impact on the tumor and its progression. Again through the generosity of many I was able to get a flight booked and I was able to get back to New York in time for my first follow up.
I ended up taking the "red eye" and arrived at about 6:30 in the morning. Wow that was quite a flight, it was the first time I had taken an overnight flight in a very long time. I had forgotten what it was like to try to sleep on the plane. It isn't very comfortable. I took the subway into Columbus Circle and made my way up to Dave and Jen's place. They have continually been so kind to put me up every time I have traveled into the City. It sure makes things much more comfortable because it feels like home. I can't imagine what all of these trips would end up like if I had to stay in a hotel every time, not to mention the expense. They have been a huge blessing to me and my family.
Because of how the flights ended up I arrived a day before my appointments and was able to meet up with a great friend and co worker Tim Keenan. We spent some time together doing a clinic on some new products for a local sporting goods store in uptown Manhattan. It was really good to hang out and actually do some work while I was there. Nothing like mixing business with fun...OK medical appointments in New York isn't really fun but it just sounded good. :)
On the day of the appointments I started to get some butterflies. I had a good feeling about how things would play out but as I have always experienced around my visits, the nerves naturally kick in each time. You really start to question a positive outcome sometimes. I spent a lot of time praying and searching for strength. As
I got closer to the hospital the nerves picked up and my heart beat started to race a little. I received my scans and then headed over to meet with my Radiation Oncologist. The appointment wasn't for about another hour, so I found a spot in the waiting area next to a window and kicked back , plugged in my head phones and started an episode of the British car show "Top Gear" on my phone. Nothing like cars to get my mind off of things. It worked...I was pretty calm when I walked into the office.
Dr Yamada walked in and casually asked me how I was feeling. He asked about my symptoms and pain levels, if I was taking much pain medication, etc... Then he proceeded to deliver the best news I have heard in a long time.
He said " Your scans look good" "You are a success story" I was so excited about hearing the great news that our conversation was over before too long, and I was out the door. I got my next appointment scheduled in September and then I called Amy and gave her the good news. Her first question was So what does "good" mean? I thought for a minute and realized that I didn't even get details. Had the tumor shrunk or was it gone, was it still there... what??? I felt like a dope, I ended up sending him a text message and asking more questions. A while later that evening I got some more info, the tumor looked stable and since my symptoms were improving dramatically and there was no new growth, this meant that the tumor had responded to the radiation the way we had hoped. Our prayers had been answered.
Through all of this I continue to have constant reminders and witnesses that I am being taken care of. I know that the Lord watches out for me, he knows what I go through, he knows my anxiety and pain. Best of all he knows how to comfort me. I am reminded that even in times of doubt, he will be there for me to give me strength and confidence. These experiences have helped my faith grow beyond what I could have imagined.
I have made it a point to always be grateful for being alive, for being healthy, for knowing the people I know, the friends I have and the support and prayers they give me. I am grateful to everyone for the encouragement over the last few years. It has made a huge difference for me. More than anything, I am grateful to my Loving wife Amy for always being there when I need her, she has pushed through this with a smile on her face and is a great example of Faith to me.