Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
This weekend is an informal 35th reunion of my Union High School class of 1977 that is generously hosted by Joe Falgares at his house on the water in Toms River. Last year was a blast and it looks like the turnout this year is going to be even better. People are coming from all over the country. I can’t wait.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I just got home from chemo treatment #4 of 2012 and before I hit the couch for an extended visit I wanted to try and get this belated status post done.
All remains status quo with treatment, etc. Side effects although challenging remain in the realm of manageable so I try not complain about them at all. I’m most bothered when nice weather presents a bike riding opportunity and when I can't pull it together for some chemo-related reason. I’m hoping that as the change in seasons really starts to kick in that I’ll be able to steal rides on occasion at the end of my work day.
Slowly but surely our Mintz’s Mentschen numbers have been increasing with regard to the number of team members and fundraising. But it’s really only been a trickle and not what we were hoping for considering our goal to try and kick things up a notch this year. I may even try to get small community interest pieces in the local newspapers as a way to help our recruitment but for those of you still reading here it would be outstanding if you could consider joining our team to walk/run (5K or 10K) or ride (multiple distances to choose from). We do train together for the biking events and will help to coach anyone that is new to cycling and/or new to group riding. Whatever type of event you choose I can guarantee that you’ll have a fantastic time and that it will be an experience to remember. The event is over the weekend of August 18-19 this year. If you aren’t able to join us please consider a tax-deductible donation. You can join us or donate by clicking here and clicking the applicable button on my webpage.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
For those of you that are still following along here on the blog I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to post a status update until now. The delay really has been that it was a tough week all around. It was definitely a bit strange to be back in the chair and connected to IV’s. The treatment itself was fine but the aftermath while not completely horrendous was more than enough to knock me down pretty hard.
I had hoped to be up and around by Sunday and ready for a bike ride but for various reasons that was not a good idea and Amy and I opted for a leisurely stroll on the canal towpath In Princeton. Treatment #2 was yesterday and although it may seem odd to those unfamiliar with chemo I’m generally “OK” the day after treatment. That’s why I’m making sure to get this blog update done NOW because things typically take a downhill slide from here. I’m stubborn so once again I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get out this Sunday for a bike ride.
That’s about it from here. The chemo process and juggling EVERYTHING around that schedule has begun.
As a parting note I do have to make a plea for our 2012 LiveSTRONG campaign. You can read my comments in recent posts where we’re looking to recruit new team members to walk, run, or ride with our Mentschen team this year. And, of course, if logistics or schedule won’t work for you it would be terrific if you could consider a donation. Links for all of that are in my prior posts as well as via my LiveSTRONG link in the LINKS section on the right side of this blog. Response so far has been disappointingly slow. Please help to pump up the Mentschen… and ME by joining/donating. THANKS!
Monday, February 27, 2012
I don’t really have much to say right now but since tonight is not just any old eve before treatment moment I feel like I should at least make a post to mark the date.
Yes, as happens whenever we start a new chemo protocol I’m a bit anxious about tomorrow. Mostly it’s just fear of the unknown and that I want to quickly establish the routine I’ll need for this specific chemo protocol. Will nausea be an issue? Will taxotere affect me as it did in 2008 when I had mouth sores, lack of appetite, and significant weight loss? Will my immune system be impacted to where we’ll need to use neulasta as we have in the past? What is this 2-weeks ON, 1-week OFF schedule going to be like?
I’m not scared… just anxious. I feel very well cared for by Dr. Richards and the nursing staff. I look forward to giving Debbie, Marie, and Sharon big hugs and to get this show on the road. Dr. Richards will have to settle for a hearty handshake. Ha!!
Of course one of my biggest hopes as we get underway with Chemo Party 2012 is that I’ll be able to continue bike riding during treatment with meaningful frequency. Following the results of the PET/CT I have had strong rides of 42 and 40 miles that help me just as much mentally as they do physically. We’ll see how things go.
I’m thrilled to say that today we had two people register for our Mintz’s Mentschen LiveSTRONG team in Philadelphia. Most importantly these are two people that have not ridden with us before. This is exactly what we need as we strive for our goal of $40,000 this year. Hopefully this is a positive sign for many more that will be able to join us. Keep those cards and letters coming! And.... if you aren't able to ride/walk/run with us if you're able to consider a donation it would be greatly appreciated (yes, I haven't really been clear that there is also an opportunity to run or walk as part of the Mentschen LiveSTRONG team).
Thursday, February 23, 2012
First, let’s wrap up the Cycle for Survival topic. Last year the event raised a record $4.7 million and with the $6.1 million check presentation at our event early this month clearly this year had broken all CFS records. Imagine our surprise this week when we received emails broadcasting that total fundraising had surpassed $8 million! Absolutely amazing. Thanks again to everyone that donated so generously.
With 2011 as yet another year where my vacation days were used for chemo treatments I was very excited for Karsyn and Matthew’s wedding to enjoy a very happy occasion as well as a couple of days with extended family on Marco Island. It was everything I hoped for and more. It was a very unique gathering that included Erin, Bailey, and Sasha as well as Amy’s sisters and all of the Durkin family. Below is a picture of the Mintz clan from the wedding weekend taken at Amy’s sister Robin’s house.
The metastases on my liver showed enough activity to where we need to start with chemotherapy again. My first treatment will be this coming Tuesday, 2/28. Amy and I met with Dr. Richards and we wound up choosing one of the chemo options that had been suggested by Memorial Sloan-Kettering when we went there at this time last year. The drugs we chose are two that I’ve had before but never together, docetaxel and irinotecan (aka taxotere and camptosar). Docetaxel is one of the drugs I had back when this all started in 2008 and it contributed to what was a challenging and “interesting” chemo experience. While I’m confident docetaxel will do its job I’m also hoping that it doesn’t kick my butt too badly. Especially since this will all be administered as two weeks on and one week off. i.e. I’ll be getting a treatment two weeks in a row before a one week break.
That about sums it up except that, of course, this recent development definitely kicks up the emotion that I have for our Mintz’s Mentschen participation in the 2012 Philly LiveSTRONG event. As usual it is in August but this year we’ve already set some big goals for our team. As you all know, we have collectively raised over $140,000 through these past 4 years of riding in Philly. Last year alone we had 23 people raise over $34,300. This year we want to reach $40,000 and to do that we’re making a plea for new Mentschen team members. Event routes range from 10 miles all the way to a full 100. I can’t predict what route I’ll be able to ride come August but I have ridden the 10-miler while in treatment before and I know that minimally I’ll be able to do that again. Please join us!! Experience level is NOT a factor. This event is a ride and not a race and we'll be preparing by riding/training together in advance. Believe me, while having an absolute blast of a time it is not uncommon for people to come away saying that it was a life-changing experience for them. And the minimum fundraising requirement is not at all difficult at only $250. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me (917-533-9097) with any questions. Click here to register and join us. I'd be thrilled to have you join us.
If you aren’t in a position to ride with us please consider supporting us with a donation of any size. Heartfelt thanks in advance for your generosity! Click here to donate on my fundraising webpage.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
The next week will be a bit of a whirlwind since I’ll be traveling for work, then to Florida for a wedding the day after I return home, followed by my PET/CT the day after I return from Florida. As always, I will share the results of the scan here as soon as possible.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Hey, hey!! No, I’m not referring to what you’re probably thinking. Let’s keep it clean! On Tuesday I had a regular 6-week visit with Dr. Richards and I always get that “it still works!” feeling of relief when they access my port and I see the blood flow into the catheter. Oh, the small pleasures. LOL. Port insertion/removal were not my favorite procedures so as long as this one keeps on ticking I'm happy.
Dr. Richards wrote me the prescription for my next PET/CT and I have already scheduled it for February 14th. I didn’t specifically choose to have it on Valentine’s Day but that will be our first day back after a family wedding in Florida. I’m really looking forward to have our family together for such a fun occasion, even if it’s only for a weekend.
Cycle for Survival is 2 weeks from today. Donations from family and friends continue to come in and I can’t thank you all enough. I wish the event itself was a little closer to home but Long Island isn’t that far away and the cause is more than worth the effort.
I’ve really been itching to set some more significant goals for 2012 but it’s so hard to plan or commit to anything while thinking that the results of my next scan will have me back in treatment. Right now I’m focused on February 14th and I’m hoping that my chemo vacation gets extended. We’re still also thinking about the Tour de Hot Chocolate and when that might happen. Time will tell. We're now having some complication due to winter precip but hopefully the weather will cooperate and I'll be up to the challenge sometime soon.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I hope that 2012 has gotten off to a good start for everyone.
I have a routine appointment with Dr. Richards next Tuesday for a port flush and I should even get my prescription for the February PET/CT. It would be good to get the Rx because I’ll get my choice of date/time when scheduling the actual scan. Not that I haven’t been through this just a few times before but I’ll still be a bit anxious with hoping that my chemo vacation won’t be ending so soon.
Although February of the past 4 years has rhythmically coincided with the start of chemo I am hoping to break that streak. Since beginning this break from chemo following my November 1st treatment I have been pushing myself on the bike (as I have mentioned more than once…. I know). I have plunged ahead with little regard for thoughts of, “it’s a bit too cold to ride…” or “there’s no way you should be trying to ride this far…”. After a ride or two where I stepped single-ride mileage up into the high 20’s I took significant leaps to a couple of rides of 46-miles before getting sidetracked by the holidays.
This past Saturday I was back on the bike and although I had no business even attempting it I was hoping for a 50-miler. We wound up finishing just short of that at 49 miles but it was warm enough that I was compelled to do it in SHORTS! You should have seen the look on the face of other riders as we passed them on the road. It made me feel like a real rebel. Ha!
I have leveraged the knowledge of my body that I acquired in my youth while running track in high school and college. I know what will and won’t cause me harm and getting a little tired ain’t gonna hurt me (not too much anyway…). I’ll continue enjoying my “no rules” approach to cycling for now and hope that my 3 month break turns into at least 6. Please come out and join us! Shoot me an email if you’re interested.