Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guess What........."You Have Brain Cancer" March 3 2015 STILL HAVE IT

It's been 1 year since being told "You have Glioblastoma".  A whole lot has changed since then.  New way of life, different fights, deeper causes and more meaning in my life.  I'm not as angry, well except for yesterday when an old lady made racial and rude comments I didn't agree with.  Everything means more to me.  T, the C's and friends.  New friends and old. Family near and far.  CrossFit, PR's or not.  I am happy for the fact that I have had no complications from my oral chemo and seizure meds........until now. Don't know what the side effects are from, but it's my new normal.

I remember this day 1 year ago like it was yesterday.  I was more concerned about the staples being pulled out then finding out if I had Cancer or not?  I'm mentally a baby but I thought I could handle the news.  The news came and I teared up but didn't cry heavily like I was expecting.  I still say to this day "I never used this brain, why did it have to get Cancer?" lol.  John came to visit, Christopher came to visit along with family I hadn't seen in forever. People sent CrossFit shirts, which I love.  Shoes next time, and socks. Kidding I'm kidding.

I'm glad I'm still here and glad I get to smile and laugh.  My memories are different from T's.  I remember the drives to the basement of doom and the horrible county music that I begged them not to play during my radiation cycles.   I can go on and on.

Last year on this day I found out what strength was.  Not a thruster, power clean or squat (although those do improve a way of life too).  I realized that Brain Cancer was not going to knock me down, it would slow me and alter my course but it would not be a stop sign.


Thank all of you.

Below was from last year.


I told you all my story and how I recall it all may bounce around and of course it has.

I went from starting with this It's Not Rocket Science

And then next I added this to the story The Beginning Of Brain Cancer - Part 2

I told you about starting my Radiation Treatments Session Number One Of Radiation

Which brings me to today.  Today I will tell how and what I felt as I found out that I was diagnosed with Brain Cancer.

It happened on March 3, 2014.  An appointment at Dr. Ahmad Khaldi's office who happens to be one of the TOP Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgeons in the Country. Now I don't know what any of that shit I just typed means but he saved my life so I don't need to know.  He performed the surgery and got the "mass" out of my head.  Not saying "Brain" cause it is still being debated if I had / have a brain.

There is also Brenda Glenn who is Dr. Khaldi's assistant.  She is also the short haired hottie that put my head back together with screws, nuts and bolts and plates and then stapled me shut with about 30-35 staples.

Now as we headed to the appointment all I was really concerned about was getting the staples out.  I was nervous about that because I knew that it would not so much hurt but the nagging factor of getting 30 something staples pulled out was not going to be fun.  Boy was Brenda happy to see me.  She was so happy to see me that she jumped for joy over seeing how good my "fault" line as I call it in my head was healing and she was so proud of her work.  She came in and joked and without even a warning or notice..

SHE STARTED RIPPING STAPLES OUT OF MY MELON.  Ok, that may be a little (A LOT) dramatic but it didn't feel great.  I was even making noises that led her to say "Oh, YOU"RE one of those!" lol. Yes I am one of those, I said.

Then Dr. Khaldi enters the office and sits in the chair all relaxed and such and starts telling T and I about the surgery and how he decided to do what he did.  Why he made the cut in my hairline instead of around my eyebrow and then he started telling us about the mass / tumor he took out of my head.  He explained that the surgery went great and he was pleased with how everything was healing.  He was telling us about how the tumor was not near my eyes and that was a good thing.  I loved that Dr. Khaldi was not trying to "Smart talk" us and was very informative about everything.

"You have Grade 4 Glioblastoma and it is a very fast spreading and aggressive type of Cancer in the Brain." He was showing us scans and pic's of my brain and where the tumor was and how there were other Cancer cells around other parts of my brain.  So after all of the talking and explaining and talking I kind of had NO DAMN IDEA of what the hell he even said. I mean I was listening and trying to comprehend but I just didn't understand it at all.  "OK, I said to him.....Can you please dumb it down for me?  Do I have Brain Cancer?"

YES! He said.  "You have Brain Cancer! And like I said it is an aggressive and fast spreading type of Cancer."  Then he gave me good news.  "It will not leave your brain and spread to other parts of your body."  OHHHH, That is GOOD NEWS?!!!  OK, I am thinking shit...I have fucking Brain Cancer.  I didn't cry when he told me.  I looked at T and our eyes met and then I took a deep sigh.  Then my next question.

"Am I going to die?"

Dr. Khaldi "Its not a matter of if but when."

FUCK!  That is when I started to tear up. (Just like I am now as I write this)

Now I am still trying to not lose it and T is calm as can be and Dr. Khaldi and Brenda are giving me hugs and telling me that I can beat this.  Now this is the funny part.  They told me that I was "YOUNG and HEALTHY".  Ok, I'm 41 and I have fucking Brain Cancer.  Where is the Young and who the fuck thinks Cancer is Healthy?

"Nothing you have done or nothing you could have done could have prevented this" they tell me.  Just a freak thing that happened and the seizure is what set it off and let us find out what was going on in your brain."

They tell me that I have a KP Score of 100. (Info on KP Scores) and that is the best score.  It basically says that I have a great potential for recovery.  Doesn't make me feel better but ok.  They tell me that they think since I am in good shape and physically fit that I will have a good chance at beating this even going through the Chemotherapy and Radiation.  They also then tell me that they are fast tracking me for Chemo and Radiation.

So on March 3, 2014 I was told that I have Brain Cancer.  My life has now been turned upside down and inside out.  I'm 41 with a fucking great awesome wife that loves me and we have four wonderful children.  I don't know what to think or what to do.

Me, the guy that CrossFits daily, eats clean, hasn't drank in 7 years, doesn't smoke and lives right has now been informed that I have Brain Cancer.

Life will never be the same.

But without Dr. Khaldi, I wouldn't have the chance to write this and or even have the chance to try and have a life.  I also asked him if doing Chemo and Radiation will make this better.  I can do six weeks of this and then die in six months? "YES, he said but you may also live many years!"

Dr. Khaldi and Brenda. 
And some dude with Brain Cancer.



Liz March 17, 2014 at 9:46 PM   Reply to

Thought you and your doctor might find this interesting: An already-approved drug shows promise in the treatment of glioblastoma. I know about it because I have a friend who has lived with inoperable glioblastoma for a few years.

Donna bogie March 18, 2014 at 6:28 AM   Reply to

Don't ever give up,you have every reason to be able to beat this!
Interesting what Liz said..

Unknown March 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM   Reply to

My Daddy had brain cancer. He made it with a high quality of life for a long time. Fight for every moment. Every moment will be a treasure for you and so much more for those you love.
It's scary now. It will be for a while and then you won't know how to feel. My heart hurts for you, I'm sorry this is happening to you. You are loved by so many you don't even know and so many will move heaven and earth to be there as you need them. Accept the help. Sending good thoughts and tight hugs your way- wymberley Pfalmer

kristygriner March 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM   Reply to

I don't know you, but I feel like you are part of my Crossfit family. You have love and support from us here in Hendersonville, TN. I pray that GOD holds your family tight during this time and you keep on keeping on. Via Con Dios!

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