Monday, November 7, 2011

The difference a month makes

I am returning to the b-log, yet again, with some good news! Last post, I had just found out that my facetumor was back and hanging out in my left sinus cavity. For a few days, I felt sorry for myself; I moped around and questioned why on earth I was dealing with this stupid thing Again. Then, like so many times before, I accepted it and moved on. Last week was my first week off, but for the previous four weeks, I received a weekly infusion of Rituxan - the same drug I received three years ago for the FT. My experiences this time around were different from those three years ago. Most importantly, we caught the tumor early enough that I never started getting any of the meddlesome side effects that happened in 2008. No hearing loss or nerve damage, no drastic appetite and weight loss. I did, however, have a constant sinus infection and an epic cough for the past six months.

Since I started the Rituxan treatments, my sinuses have pretty much cleared up, and my cough has all but Completely Disappeared!. Though there will be side effects from the Ritux, the long and short of all of this is that I feel healthier than I have in an extremely long time (we're talking years, here). From here on out, I will receive the Ritux treatments once a month for the next six months. I will continue with the immunoglobulin therapy for as long as necessary... Though we still have no idea how long that will be.

I can't believe how crazy it feels to wake up every day having slept through the night without coughing, to be able to breathe through Both nostrils, to not have to take any Sudafed or Tylenol, to be so thankful for all of these blessings. For all these reasons and a handful of important ones more, I have set a crazy goal for myself. In April of 2012, I will run a marathon. I am doing this for myself, but more importantly, I am running for First Descents, the non-profit here in Denver that provides kayaking and climbing camps for young adult cancer survivors. I've written on here before about my experiences with FD; my gratitude to and for this group is boundless. My experiences with and the people I've met through FD have quite literally changed the path of my life. I can say with some certainty that I would not be living in Denver if it weren't for FD. More pertinently, I don't think I would have believed in myself enough to either sign up for much less actually train for and finish the Chicago Marathon. Yet all of these things happened, and I am tremendously happy with where my life has gone and continues to go. God, I am So Happy in Denver.

Anyway, an opportunity has arisen for me to give back to First Descents in a crazy, impossible way: I can run a marathon next spring and try and raise $7000 for FD. That money would send seven young adult cancer survivors to a camp of their choosing at no cost to them, would allow seven more people to experience the magic that is First Descents. Running 26.2 miles is a crazy challenge in and of itself, but for me, the real challenge will be finding the motivation to train through the Winter. It is going to get cold and snowy! I moved out of Chicago and while Denver winters are (supposedly) milder, I didn't exactly move to Florida. But like I've written before, First Descents has truly taught me that anything is possible. Including running a marathon; including running when it's dark and seriously cold outside; and definitely including raising $7000 for a cause I believe so strongly in.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been following this b-log for the past nearly five years. (Has it truly been almost five years? holy crap.) Your support and comments and e-mails and even just the knowledge that I have friends and family and strangers in the world have cheered me through some dark times and a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Once again, I am asking for your support. If you can and would like to donate, that would be Awesome, but you can also tell your friends about this venture! You can Definitely tell your friends and any survivors you know about First Descents! Or come to an event in Denver that I'll be putting on in the next few months! Or you can just send me positive vibes because I'll need those more than anything. The link to my fundraising page is below, and I'll have a handful of updates as I receive them, especially in regards to what marathon I'll be running.

Again, thank you for reading, for checking in. Life is Great; the future is full of potential and I can't wait to see what happens. I hope you are doing well and enjoying fall and have something awesome to look forward to tomorrow. Happy Tuesday, sad toad. I'll see you at the finish line. Peace.

My FD page: