THE MAN, Vann

Over the last year I have been very fortunate to spend time with a man named Vann Troutman. We visit one another every other week at the infusion center at St. Joseph’s (Emory). We often spend hours together talking about past & future plans (vacations we want to take) as well as stories about high school, college, and pro football.

Vann Troutman is the epitome of a true warrior and is one of my heroes. For the past TWENTY FOUR years, Vann has battled cancer. With TWENTY SEVEN surgeries under his belt, he remains as optimistic as ever and his positive mental attitude is not just a mood; it is his way of life. We’ve spoken quite a bit & I have asked him what has kept him going (kept him alive) — and his answer is “my children”. As most of you know, we are expecting a baby boy this November & like Vann, our child is my “fuel” to fight and to win.

I started another new chemo regimen today and will be facing more nausea and will most likely start losing my hair in the upcoming weeks. After speaking with Vann about this trivial matter, he is such a great reminder (as is Hollis Youngner) that attitude is everything!

Never Give Up,

THB

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The Roller Coaster Continues- 6/4/13

Hey, guys. We’ve had some recent news that I want to share with you all. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a series of tests performed (on me) to ensure I was 100% ready for surgery. Those tests included another MRI, CT Scan, PET Scan and meeting with both the chief of surgery as well as a thoracic surgeon.

My MRI and CT Scan were performed about 3 weeks ago and after these tests, I was immediately notified that I have a blood clot in my left lung. This is not necessarily bad news, and may not even be cancer related, but is a complication that could delay surgery for 2-3 months.

Now, here’s the hard part to discuss. We received my PET Scan results late yesterday afternoon. We discovered that I’ve had some new cancer activity show up in a few of my lymph nodes (upper chest and lower back). Honestly, these enlarged nodes could have been there this entire time, but, they were just noticed due to the increased sensitivity of the PET scan versus the CT scan I had a few weeks ago. My primary tumor and liver still appear to be in stable condition, and unfortunately the doctors are not willing to perform surgery at this time because the cancer is considered “active”. Again, we cannot have the surgery if there is any “active” cancer due to the fact that I wont be able to have chemo before and after surgery (we don’t want the cancer to proliferate while I am
recovering). Anyhow, every problem has a solution right? Well, after a long meeting with our Oncologist today, they’ve agreed to change up my chemo regimen to eliminate / fight the cancer. I am hopeful that this new drug (Docetaxel) works and we will have another CT scan in about 8 weeks to see if the drug is effective.

I don’t ever ask much of anybody, but I am asking each of you, near or far, that you send your love, prayers, and good vibes to our family. I want to get healthy and put this behind me! I am strong as hell, I am determined to win, and I am NOT going to take no for an answer.

Here is my upcoming treatment schedule:

Chemo @ St Joes: 6/5, 6/25, 7/16

Much love,

THB

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