Monday, July 20, 2015

Weddings, babies, benefits...

Hold Fast Benefit:
There are events that are landmarks in life, some are sad but hopefully many more are happy.
Last weekend our community put together a benefit/celebration ranks amongst the high points in my life up there with my wedding and the birth of my children.  Paul and Stacey Bakala, Troy and Mark took the lead, and put on an event at the Westside Tavern on July 11th.  Myself, Regina, and my mom were picked up and shuttled to the Westside Tavern in a limo, and during the course of the evening in excess of 400 people came through the bar to wish us well, offer support and prayers, and participate in fundraising.  I have to confess it was overwhelming to me at times and many emotions were flushed out.  People from all walks of our lives came out and many of my worlds collided.  Very generous efforts at the event has left us with a sizable "war-chest" for the Cancer fight.  I did my best to address the crowd and NOT cry, I failed. Hold Fast Talk
Thank you to our entire community:
Paul and Stacey Bakala  

So whats this "Hold Fast" business anyways....
4 years ago today, my father died, it was the hardest thing I have ever been through.
After the fog of grief lifted, I went and saw my friend Travis Puckett to get a tribute to memorialize my father. My dad was a career Navy and Coast Guardsman so I decided to ge the nautical term HOLD FAST tattooed on my knuckles.  To me those words remind me to stay strong when things are tough, and to persevere through, essentially it is my dad reminding me to stay the course and get through it with my chin up, not matter what the trial or tribulation.
At the time I was completely unaware of HOLD FAST references in the bible, since my personal battle has started many of my friends have pointed them out to me.

On June 25th, I went in for my first Chemo, I was heavily symptomatic with coughing, stridor, and shortness of breath.  Dr Eaton was able to appreciate a 1cm tumor under my right clavicle, it was really easy to feel, and Regina was even able to feel it.
Well.......3 weeks later I go in for treatment #2 on July 15th.
No stridor, no coughing, and Dr Eaton was unable to find the tumor under my clavicle!!!!!
The mindset this puts me into is difficult to express.
Next CT scan is on August 4th for definitive progress, but these things can't be ignored.
Treatment #2 went well, since I wasn't battling symptoms, I didn't need to take heavy meds to suppress. I was tired and run down from the Chemo, but able to function.
After some medication adjustments the heart palpitations have stopped as well as the near fainting spells.  I am actually gonna start working out again this week, easy bike rides, a little stairmill, maybe some weight lifting.  #winning

Love from J-Pow:
Several weeks ago I took a phone call from current National Cyclocross Champion Jeremy Powers.
J-Pow wanted to know if I was ok with him "putting a little something together" for me.
I was honored and I said sure thing.  This is the result: Grit and Grind
The Facebook Page is here, with course info: Grit and Grind FB
Thanks J-Pow, Rapha, Motofish, Nuun, and Olympia Coffee. 
The ride takes place on August 2nd and is in Elma, Washington during the Rapha NW Classic Junior Stage Race.  Guess what??!!!!  I'm gonna sign up for it.

Thanks for taking to time to read and catch up with me.
Warm Regards,
Jim #holdfast #gobecauseyoucan #fullthrottle


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