Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dream interupted....

Those who know me, have heard me many times refer to my life as..... "Living the Dream".
I do live the dream, I squeeze out every bit of life that i can.
My dream has been interrupted by an unwelcome guest.
I have been diagnosed with Lung Cancer..... Adenocarcinoma to be specific.
It's very serious, and it has a bit of a head start on me.
The symptoms that landed me in the doctors office were started about 8 weeks ago, and included stridor, shorteness of breath when exercising at a high intensity, and a dry persistent cough, eventually the stridor was happening all the time.
Of course I am a knucklehead and the symptoms scarcely slowed me down, shit 3 weeks ago I rode a 92 mile Gran Fondo at Sea Otter... IDIOT!!!!
After returning from California I initiated getting to the root of the problem because it wasn't getting any better, and actually at Sea Otter it seemed a little worse.
There were several other things that fell into the differential diagnosis to figure out what this was, Lung Cancer was never really in the mix,  and my doctor was as stunned as I was.
I have been doing my job long enough, and seen enough "bad things" happen to good people, to know, that there is no need to waste a lot of energy on the "hows" and "whys", there is no explanation sometimes.  The only true risk factor that I carry is my job as a firefighter.
Our family has a rough road ahead of us, I told my daughters yesterday and it goes down as the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but we will get through this.
I have given myself a couple of days to be stunned, crushed, sad, and accept my circumstances.
I am now putting on my game face, and I am gonna do what I do....Kick Ass!!!
The next steps are, more diagnostic testing with PET Scan of my body and MRI of my brain on Monday.  Next Friday May 15th will be my first consultation with Oncology and Radiation.
My brother Andy is coming in from Boston to be there with Regina and I as we map out a plan.
We will be initiating immediate treatment here in Olympia while simultaneously seeking out 2nd opinions on treatment options from SCCA and other well regarded cancer treatment centers.
I have the full support of the Olympia Fire Department and they are willing to do anything they can to support us.  Because of the administrative nature of my new position I should be able to work as I go through treatment.
Our family will indeed need support through this next chapter but we really don't quite know what our needs are going to be.  I am not too proud to ask for prayer though.
We are going to do everything we can to maintain a level of normalcy to our lives, I am gonna go to work as i am able, ride my bike, go to soccer matches, track meets, laugh, live life.

I got these wise words from a friend a couple of days ago:

These things I promise you:
Statistics do not apply to me.
With my family by my side I can face anything.
I will fight this with everything I have inside of me.

-Big Daddy


  1. My thumb has swiped & stumbled across humorous, angering, sad, inspiring countless blogs over the years, however your blog Jim is one of irony, as we share a mutual connection through Troy Churchwell. If my memory serves me right, he is/was in the same FD as you are.
    Please pass my "hello" to him .
    For you I send love , prayers, positive vibes & strength to Hold Fast .
    ~ Stephanie

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