Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh how I hate Ohio..

I was raised in a family where you don't use the h-word and we share that same value with our kids. BUT, on Saturday after my Wolverines fell to the undefeted Buckeyes, it seemed to be the only verb that could come close to describing the feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I know, I know…it’s only football and more so than ever it is over marketed and a gross sign that Americans have nothing better to do than cheer on 19 year old kids with a veracity that could solve world hunger 7 times over.

The beautiful thing about this rivalry is it reminds me how two football foes make each other better given their shared goal to win a championship. Through taking on the foe of Myeloma, some of my dearest friends who are helping make me better and stay on track to kick cancer and dominate life are those who saw nothing wrong with parading Jim Tressel around the field, as if he wasn’t the reason that their 12-0 season means very little to ESPN college football commentators.

It is the passion these Buckeyes have for their team that I find them transferring to other worthy causes that can make a monumental difference in lives of others. They will paint their face, drink their kool-aid and never lose hope in their Buckeyes. It may annoy many of us who don’t understand how invested someone can be in a sport they never played or a school they didn’t go to, but I have learned to embrace that passion of some Buckeyes, who have had a deep impact on my life.

Below is one of my most memorable photos of the year. It includes my good friend Barb, a diehard Buckeye from Columbus, who’s mother passed away with Multiple Myeloma this year. She paced me through the Chicago half marathon so I could reach my goal of finishing in 2 hours. Believe it or not, I crossed the line at 2 hours and 34 seconds. She not only has become a running coach of sorts for me, she has also raised close to $20,000 for cancer research at..guess where??...The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center of all places. She doesn't allow allegiance to her football team get in the way of advancing research towards a cure. She has been has faithful in my journey as she is with her Buckeyes in the fall. For that, I am thankful.

Before I get targeted as a heretic by the Michigan faithful, I will add that three of the people in the car are Michigan Alums who also ran the race with me and assisted me in my domination of the race. So the hatred for Ohio has in some cases turned to love, but I still think often about stiff arming Buckeyes. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Maintenance Update

Slight nausea, slight peripheral neuropathy and fatigue.

That’s how I sum up the toll that the increased maintenance treatment has brought on. After months of staying up late (after 10pm some nights!), I am slowly slipping back to crashing beside one of the kiddos before 8:00pm hits.
I am very thankful that I was able to stay healthy to coach Ocean’s soccer team this season and I am hopeful that we can make it through the end of the year without any major health issues. The kids continue to grow and entertain Cassie and me. Ocean has lost his two front teeth, Iris turns 5 in a couple of weeks and Ruby got stitches without shedding a single tear. Life is beautiful.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the way, I can’t think of a better way to end the year.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Team + Training = Cure

This weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to motivate all the people who participated in the LLS Team In Training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I spoke directly to the mission of Team and Training and while giving my motivational speech, it hit home that there is a lot for us all in our own cancer journey to learn from.

The talk might as well have been titled, “Team + Training = Cure”.  As I worked on my speech, I reflected back on the last four years with cancer and The Team, The Team, The Team (as Bo Schembechler would say) is a key part of keeping the hope alive. It’s been the meals delivered to our doors, the support of our family, friends and church. It’s my medical staff, the other cancer patients and the countless others who have made an effort to say keep on keeping on!

Along with My Team (to left are a few who have been big supporters throughout my journey after first connecting on the BMT floor of UMHS), training to get my body back in shape has been crucial. It’s easy to tell myself that I should take a nap, or sleep in. No one would ever question an extra long nap on Sunday. But, I think there has been a direct correlation in 2012 between my overall health and the amount of time I spend exercising…imagine that! So training for a 5k, 10k or half marathon has been so critical to a healthy well being, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

When you combine the support of community (aka The Team) and physical training, I think this improves the result for a cure. I am still very focused on beating Myeloma for good, not just for a little period. We are on that path and through the support of The Team and the continued Training, I think we will get there.

Thanks to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society TNT for helping me see that this weekend!

Go Team!!!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

NBC Sports Illustrated TV Show, 1:30pm EST, Saturday, Oct 13th

So, I must apologize for being slow to let people know that I will be on TV today on NBC at 1:30pm EST. All of this happened really fast. One day we were vacationing at Emerald Isle, NC, the next I was interviewed for a featured Sports Illustrated article, and before I knew it, there was a NY based film production studio at my house recording video of my family, me and my right leg attempting 44 yards kicks in the Big House, like I used to easily swiftly kick over 10 years ago, but not so easily now.

So for those with tevo, no Saturday soccer games to attend and tailgates to attend (like myself), tune into NBC at 1:30pm EST, and get an inside look into the interesting world of kickers, and the brotherhood that is formed throughout the years due to the intensity of the position, and the often brutal outcomes of some missed field goals at the end of the game, and the occasional make.

Keep dominating!