Friday the 13th

Seventeen months ago today I found out today that I had cancer. Technically, the following Monday the lab tests confirmed the adenocarcinoma but who is counting. Words are hard to describe the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that I have encountered along the way. You really cannot capture it all. I did write in a journal for the first 6 months or so and then got too lazy to finish the drill. I have recently started writing in it again and it is amazing how therapeutic it is for me. Let me clear about this…it is a journal and not a diary so keep your smart aleck comments to yourself.

You know, part of me wishes that I had been diagnosed sooner. What do you mean?! I do not think there is ever an opportune time to be diagnosed with cancer, but it has made me a stronger man of my faith, a stronger husband, and a stronger friend. I really feel like that it took me 31.5 years and a cancer diagnosis to mature.

My soul, body, mind, and spirit have been completely been torn apart and rebuilt with something much better. My perspective on life is so much different. I have clarity. I dont’ sweat the small stuff (ok, I am fibbing a little bit…I cannot tolerate blue tooth earbuds), I could care a less about traffic on Peachtree, and I could care even less about people complaining about their “case of the Mondays”. I was most certainly that guy pre 4/13/12.

I have learned to love deeper, to laugh more, to be less judgmental, and to appreciate life and everything it has to offer. And trust me, life has so much to offer. Another day above ground is always a good one! I continue to work out 5-6 days per week, ride my motorcycles, and spend lots of time at Chastain Park contemplating life and walking. If the doctors would clear me to run, I would probably run to Florida and back. I refuse to let cancer slow me down. Seriously, cancer can take away a few things from you, but you cannot let it run your life anymore than it already does. The tiresome treatment schedule, nausea, and paranoia are enough!

As far as my health updates are concerned, I had a not so favorable meeting at Johns Hopkins about 4 weeks ago. It seems there is a small pocket of fluid in my abdomen that may be cancerous. All of my other organs are still stable, but, JHMI was more concerned about it that than the previous doctors. Most thought that it was basic fluid retention from the prolonged chemo (side effect). We have not completed a biopsy to confirm that it is cancerous so I am really not worried about it. When I have my next scan in a few weeks, we should know more. If the area of fluid has enlarged, than it is more than likely cancerous…if it has not, it is just fluid. Again, I am not worried about it. Whether I have 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years left on earth, worrying about it will not change the desired outcome.

I continue to have chemo treatments every other week (next Tuesday) and my hair is growing back, although it looks kind of weird (think steven seagal).

Enough already about the “c”, I want to thank everyone again for the endless support and love that has been shown to my family and I. We could not have made it this far without you all. Have a great weekend and Seize the Day!

HB

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