To: Family & Friends

Date: July 16, 2013

Subject: Treatment #9 Today

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.

Hi Everyone–

Today I’m receiving my 9th of 12 FOLFOX chemo treatments. My doctor reduced my dose of Oxaliplatin so hopefully we’ll see a corresponding reduction in side effects. This is “on schedule”, and it’s likely that drug will be dropped entirely for treatments #11 and 12.

While I’ve been impressed at how well the medical team has been able to generally mitigate side effects to make my infusions tolerable, I am very much looking forward to the end of this treatment regimen.

We spent last week in Minnesota visiting Heather’s family and feeding the local mosquito population. It was great to spend time together and the cousins had a great time playing together. Caitlin is 2 years younger than her cousin Emma and 6 months older than her cousin Levi. Of course Caitlin looks up her her older cousin and the two girls spent the time half playing with and half ganging up on Levi. I believe a good time was had by all.

I started adding sit-ups back into my workout in the previous week and a few days later I had a surprise. An area of my main incision started to get “angry” and eventually spit out a part of a stitch while we were in MN. The area looks fine now and has gone back to normal, but watching my body do this (multiple times now) has been rather remarkable.

I opted out of the fishing trips this year in favor of a few rounds of golf. My favorite round was at a course called the Classic at Madden’s:

http://alexking.org/sports/golf/2013/07/11/the-classic-at-maddens-brainerd-mn

It was the first time I walked 18 since my surgery (I’d taken a cart for my other rounds). It was also the first time I’d walked with a caddy (I’d previously played with a fore caddy a handful of times). For that day, the swing changes I’ve been working on all clicked, I made a few good putts and overall struck the ball very well. A more fun and satisfying round than I’ve had in years. I’m really excited about the swing changes I’ve made and the results I’m seeing – I’m going to try to get a ton of golf in this fall once my treatments are over. :)

I also did some work on a project for my personal web site, moving some data around and building a content-based projects page. Previously there was just an out of date list of projects, now the list of projects and exposing updates to projects is powered by the content I post in my blog. I’m very pleased with the change as it better reflects my current and previous project.

On the work side of things, my team continues to do well. We are getting close to putting up a new site for Crowd Favorite, we are releasing updates to 3 of our products this week.

I’ve also been building a QA testing app, which my team has been adopting over the last few weeks. I really enjoy building stuff and I’m very glad I’m able to amongst the chaos of medical stuff, business responsibilities and contributing to other projects we have going on.

Being able to be in the office and working part time has been great. I don’t try to do too much in the days directly following treatment, but I do enjoy getting things done.

This weekend I expect to be spending some time in front of the TV watching the Open Championship and getting in a round of golf with the boys on Sunday. Hopefully I’m be up for that; I may need to ask for strokes.

I’m starting to experience more general fatigue these days. They are working to make sure that the other side effects aren’t permanent by lessening the dosages as appropriate. I’ve also been warned that it will take months, not weeks for me to get my strength back once the treatments are over. To that I say, “Challenge Accepted.”

I’m hoping to be able to return to playing volleyball at least one night a week this fall, but if my experience playing “tag” with the kids this past week was any indication, I have some cardio work to do first.

This weekend Caitlin will be heading to Seattle for a week with my Mom. Heather and I will be taking (separate) trips during that time, but I think we’ll be able to get in some quality couple time as well.

Whew! This summer has not lacked for things to do and schedule. :)

Thanks again to everyone for their support and kindness through this process!

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