Saturday, March 12, 2016

Honesty, Transparency, Perspective...

McLovin' is in the house.
I have just completed Chemo Round #14. 
I started treatment 39 weeks ago.
I was diagnosed 10 months ago.
Results from my most recent CT scan 3 weeks ago indicate that my disease continues to be "Stabilized and Minimized"..
In the interest of honesty and transparency I will say that while I have had great results, the battle has been wearing me down recently.
I try to keep my chin up and put on the strong front, but it is a grind.
I recently came across a video about a guy with a very similar situation to mine, he is 60 rounds into this, I am not even 1/3 of the way into as many treatments as him.
He looks really good and it gave me inspiration.
Dave McDonald changing the face of Lung Cancer 
I feel like I have been less disciplined in the last 6-8 weeks with my game plan, I need to hit the reset button and buckle down a little bit, meditation, nutrition, exercise, supplements etc...  I need to balance out the priorities, remember that my #1 job right now is beating cancer everyday and living life to the fullest within the reasonable limitations of disease management and treatment. 
I continue to have amazing support from family, friends, and co-workers, and it has made this journey much easier across the board for our family.
As I sat in the waiting room at SCCA I looked around, and I am reaffirmed that there are many who have it a lot worse than I do in the battle.
This is a challenge that I never saw coming, but now it is my reality, it is my fight.
Despite my honesty about the struggle, don't think for a minute that my resolve has weakened.
I am a Warrior 
I am am the Exception.
I am a Thrivor.
I choose the Miracle.

I intend to stay in front of this disease.

Round 14 with Chris Johns
 As would be expected my life perspective has been changed by my cancer diagnosis.
It has been a roller coaster ride with some very deep lows, and some very high, highs..
Everything I choose to do, comes with a price that is much higher than it ever was before.  My baseline when I am at my best is physically about 80% of what I was before illness.
By working with my therapist Mark Hurst I have come up with a process to make impactful decisions that takes into account the following three items:

Time:  Do I have the time to do this? How is it going to impact the rest of my schedule? Does it work around my treatment?  How does it effect my family and work schedule?

Resources:  Do I have what is needed? equipment, money, support, help?

Energy:  What is my energy cost to do this? What are the long term and short term effects of my actions, and how do the effect my well being and my family?

After I have run it through this model I then consider the benefit or downside to my choice.

For example taking the family skiing/snowboarding.

Time:  yes I have the time, weekends off.
Resources: yes we have all of the gear and everybody has season passes.
Energy: yes....depending on where I am in my treatment cycle.  If I time our trips around Chemo I have 2 out of 3 weekends where I feel up to the effort.

It does indeed take energy out of me to be on the mountain and typically I feel it for a day or two, soul is fed by being on the mountain with my family.
Every time I go to the mountains, I take a piece of my life back, and for the day I have beaten cancer.
The detraction is that I feel it the next day with regards to energy levels and fatigue.

The verdict is that the benefit is worth it.....

Feeding my soul at the mountain.

I am really struggling with the concept of fitness through my treatment.
For the large majority of my life I have consistently had some sort of organized fitness plan, running, cycling, triathlons, circuit training, mountain climbing, snowboarding, etc...
Since I have been diagnosed, I for the first time in my life have a physical limitation that prevents me from doing what I want to with regards to working out.
The side effects from chemo put a big dent in my energy for 4-5 days, so I have to take it easy.  During the rest of the cycle I have been trying either walk on the treadmill or go for walks from the fire station at lunch time.  A couple of weeks ago I was even doing some hiking out in Priest Point Park.
As is typical for me I think I overdo it at times and then I pay a price.....
Balance....I have to find a balance.
As the rain eases up here soon I plan to start getting out on my bike, I think a steady diet of road riding would really help my cardiovascular fitness without beating me up too much.
I also feel like I need to do some strength training to help balance things out, we are set up at the fire station with a get fitness room, just a matter of carving the time out in my day and getting up there.
Due to the effects of the illness I have lost muscle mass and gained some weight, not a place I like to be, but considering the circumstances, could be a lot worse.
I look forward to taking this piece of my life back from cancer.

Further Perspective:

Recently there was a devastating tragedy for a family in out community, Regina was directly effected by it and without going into detail I will just say It is a parents WORST nightmare.
When I see something like this I look at my own situation and I realize how blessed I am and that I need to remain thankful and humbled by my life's circumstances.

Prayer Requests:

Complete healing from Metastatic Adenocarcinoma.
Peace and comfort for my family.
Restful sleep for everybody.

Thank you for checking in.

Warm Regards,
Jim #holdfast

My 14th Father/Daughter Dance

Filed Trip to Museum of Flight with Phoebe

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you every day. I'm so proud of you. You're an amazing fighter!