To: Family & Friends

Date: May 29, 2013

Subject: Treatment #6 (the halfway point!)

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–

I’m currently at the hospital getting my 6th round of chemo. Last treatment they reduced the dose of the Oxaliplatin[1], which is the drug responsible for some of the less pleasant side effects, and that did help during the previous treatment. I’ll be continuing with the lower dose again this time around as well.

I’ll have a couple of days of intense TV show binging as the drugs hit the hardest for the first few days, then hopefully will begin feeling more “normal” this weekend. We’re heading up to the Mountains this weekend with friends as Heather is going to be tackling a 50 mile bike ride. I probably won’t get any golf in this weekend, but the course is open up there (though they got some snow today apparently).

The big news is the results of my PET scan from last week. While we’re still waiting for the formal report, the initial interpretation from our oncologist indicates that the areas of concern:

– small areas in the lungs
– a 1x2cm tumor in my liver (which was biopsied)
– the surgical tumor bed

Are all showing pretty clean (no longer lighting up as cancer areas). I’m hesitant to say things are completely clean until we get the formal report, but the information have is all Good News.

This means we’ll keep going with the current treatment as it appears to be working. So far I have been unsuccessful at negotiating down the number of treatments based on the positive results. I will keep trying, within reason – I’m really dreading the chemo weeks at this point, but I’m glad it’s working.

My weight has continued to rebound, this week I’ve been at 164-165 pounds, down just 3-5 pounds from my pre-surgery weight (and up 25-30+ pounds from my low water mark back in February. I was able to work out 5 times toward the end of this past off week. I think it was important to be able to regain some strength. At some point soon I’m going to have to stop eating milkshakes, ice cream and french fries with impunity, but during the treatment weeks I am dropping a few pounds and losing strength as I deal with the nausea and don’t eat as much.

We’ve had some “interesting” complications with one of my surgical wound spots. It was closed up for about 2 months, then started showing signs of life. Our hunch is that my body is trying to expel the “knot pile” (the bunch of knots that they tie to keep a stitch tight) rather than absorbing the stitches. It got a bit painful and swollen a few days ago before it opened up and relieved the pressure. So far it’s manageable and we’re keeping an eye on it. For the moment, it’s doing OK.

My treatment was delayed this week due to the holiday weekend. We hosted a dinner with some friends and Heather and I played 18 holes of golf on Monday. On the work front, I was able to get some good work done on a project yesterday and over the weekend. I’m enjoying working on building product again and trying to narrow my focus to continue making progress on my big project while also knocking out little things here and there along the way.

The next two treatments will be on Tuesday to keep close to the every 14 days schedule and keep it at the beginning of the week. I like getting the treatments early in the week so that I’m starting to feel better on the first weekend for more quality family time, and the following week being able to work with my team.

I have a trip to AZ planned for mid June for OwnerCamp[2] and have added a day to get in a round of golf while I’m out there. I’m also planning to attend a conference in San Francisco in August, and October will bring trips to Maine and AZ for conferences. Luckily, everything is coinciding nicely with “off” weeks.

I think the conferences will be great opportunities to break away from “home” where I’m constantly reminded of my cancer and instead focus on learning, growing and thinking about the future.

Caitlin continues to handle this well, from what we can tell. We talk to her about it a little, not wanting to make too big a deal out of it but also wanting to make sure we answer her questions and make sure she knows that she’s not responsible and that she can’t “catch” what I have. I told her the other night that my PET scan results were good and it looked like the medicine was helping – she gave me a big hug. She’s looking forward to our father-daughter trip at the Rockies game coming up soon as well.

I am incredibly thankful for all of the support I’m getting from all of you. Thank you all.


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