All Things Considered

It looks pretty good.

Rockin the no-hair look. It’s all the rage… didn’t you know?

Let’s Do This

Today is Dad’s second chemo treatment. I took the day off work to spend some time with him (and work on the crazy mess of a new house we’ve created for ourselves).

The other big news is that typically chemo patients’ hair starts to go after the second treatment, but Dad is special and started seeing his flowing locks falling out sooner than most, so he pulled the trigger. That’s right, he’s a baldy. Don’t worry too much, so far the iconic mustache is still in tact, but they say all hair will go. I asked the doctor why that was. Cancer is essentially fast cell growth. Chemo is designed to attack all cell growth; it doesn’t discriminate between cancerous cells and non-cancerous cells. But they (scientists) have been able to refine chemo slightly to strongly attack fast cell growth, and what do you know… hair is also a fast-growing cell. So there you go, your minor science lesson for the day.

I’ll post a photo of sir baldness later and give you a update on how his second treatment went. Keep the positive energy flowing.


The Fighter

My dad has never been anything but a rock-solid support. In fact, he’s been an entire support system all unto himself. Yet, we find ourselves now with the tables turned. While in the last 18 months I’ve found myself with a dream job, married and a soon-to-be homeowner, I haven’t really felt like a grown up until now.

By now I’m sure most of you know, my dad has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The long and short of it is, doctors found an 7 cm x 8 cm tumor growing on the outside of his kidney after he went to the hospital for lower back pain. His particular type of cancer is one of the most treatable types and his being aggressive makes it more receptive to treatment. Treatment, in this case, is chemotherapy: at least six treatments administered once every three weeks at Maricopa Integrated Health System.

My dad’s not one to back down… this hasn’t always been the easiest aspect of his makeup to deal with, but in this case I couldn’t be more happy. While I never imagined my dad… my  dad would be battling cancer, but knowing my dad… that’s exactly what he’ll do. Battle. No one in this world would or could battle like him. He has the attitude of a solider… maybe he gets it from his father, maybe he gets it from all of his years as an athlete. And maybe it doesn’t matter, because he’s ready to do what he always does: never give up.

The first, and probably the toughest treatment is done and behind us. He was, to quote the nurse, “a model patient.” the treatment was administered in two sets over two days. The second day he received a drug called Rituxan that uses rat proteins to target the cancer cells, or, as my dad calls it, “the rat poison.” The body can identify the “rat poison” as a foreign body and go into rejection that starts with getting flush. He had one momentary feeling of flushness, but it passed as quickly as it came.

And now he’s doing what he always does… still hiking, biking and doing yoga with two weeks to go until his next treatment.

I’ll be posting updates on his treatment throughout the next few months and documenting his experience through photography. Feel free to post comments or shoot me an email at any time.