To: Family & Friends

Date: February 25, 2013

Subject: Snow in CO, Sunny in AZ

This was originally an email written to my family and friends on the date above. I decided to make these public in the event they may be helpful to someone in the future who is embarking on a similar journey to mine.

Hello Everyone–

Looks like we picked a pretty good week to escape to Arizona; our friends back home are all snowed in.

Last Friday we met with the oncologist for the first time. My next steps are:

– a PET scan to make sure there is no obvious spread of the cancer (probably next week)
– install a “port” for the delivery of the chemo drugs
– FOLFOX chemotherapy every 2 weeks, for 6 months – to kill off any lingering cancer cells

Once every 2 weeks I’ll go in for several hours of IV chemo, then I’ll go home with a pump that will deliver one of the three drugs for another two days. The whole thing (the port, pump, side-effects) sounds terrible and I’m 100% dreading it. At least it doesn’t start for another week or two.

The doctor did say that I am likely to be able to get back to a more normal schedule – at least every other week – during the chemo. That would be nice.

I’m fully off the Percocet now (for over a week). There is still some pain around the incision while I’m on the Tylenol, but it’s manageable and preferable to the fog that the Percocet put me in.

On Saturday we flew from Denver to Tucson. I highly recommend navigating the Denver airport from a wheelchair. I was wheeled to the front of lines and was delivered right to my gate where I was given pre-boarding privileges. Sitting for the flight was a bit uncomfortable and there were about 10 people requiring wheelchairs on the flight, so I made a calculated guess that the Tucson airport probably wasn’t that big and that I could walk it – and I did. The next day I was sore from pushing it, but I’m feeling like I’m starting to stretch out the scar tissue in my abdomen a bit, and am able to stand up much straighter these days. If only for a short time.

Today we went to the Desert Museum in Tucson ( I had a wheelchair, but got up and walked a bit too. My steps are getting longer and I’m not tiring quite as quickly. I’m also starting to be able to sleep on my side and flat on my back a little (rather than requiring a 4 pillow wedge). I definitely feel like progress is being made.

Caitlin is having a blast playing together with her cousins (Heather’s brother’s kids). They are wearing each other out wonderfully each day. I’m trying to “enjoy the moment” this week and not think ahead too much.

This post is part of the thread: Cancer – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.