Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pre test results, pre the Grande Boucle

Ann and I are heading off to Houston, Texas, tomorrow for CT and MRI scans on Thursday.  The scans will show if there has been any progress made in fighting the cancer, or if cancer has made any progress on me by growing and infiltrating more of my body.  The main focus will be on the tumor in my lung, which is kind of floating there and easy to measure and compare from the March PET scans.  On Friday, my case will be reviewed and we’ll meet with Dr. Patel to review the results and make a battle plan.  If biochemo therapy is working then we’ll continue with a third round of biochemo starting next Friday. If it is not working, we’ll likely switch it up and I’ll enter the TIL (tumor infiltrating lymphocyte) clinical trial at MD Anderson next Friday.  Not sure what we’ll do if there is no result at all.  I recently read a blog called Melanoma Mom of a young woman with a very similar case to mine where her two treatments prior to entering the TIL study actually shrunk her tumors enough to avert the need for anything else, so there’s as much chance of great news as of bad.  Needless to say we are on pins and needles awaiting the results.  All I can say is that I feel great now, two weeks after my last biochemo treatment, and I know my body has been busy kicking cancer’s ass.  I’ll let you know the results over the weekend.
Also this weekend is, much to my wife’s dismay, the start of the 98th Tour de France.  Being a cyclist and pro cycling fan this means 23 days of the most amazing performances of individuals and teams, epic battles steeped in a hundred years of tradition across 2,131 miles of the beautiful fields and mountains of France.  And very dear to my heart is the greatest cyclist in the history of le Tour, seven-time winner Lance Armstrong.  Especially so this week, pre-results, as I consider what my cancer diagnosis means to me.  I believe in the bottom of my heart that we ultimately determine what things mean to us and that in turn determines our future.  Life’s roadblocks, setbacks and failures have more of an impact on our lives than successes and bouts of contentment.  This setback in my health has the potential to have an enormous effect on my life, and that can be a negative or positive.  I’ve determined, and am committed, that it will be positive.  I will come out the other end of this fight a better man, a stronger father and more loving husband.  I'll come out a more complete human being with a new fire burning in my gut to try to prevent this from happening to others.  In short, this will be a turning point for me, a lesson in life that I’ll take to heart to make my life – and hopefully that of others – better and more complete.  And I’m not alone, studies show that most cancer survivors come away from cancer with a sense of blessing.  Lance Armstrong was crystal clear on what cancer meant to him.  He said:
     “Without cancer I would have never won a single Tour de France.  Cancer taught me a plan for purposeful living, even that in turn taught me how to train and win purposefully.  It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things – whether health or a car or an old sense of self – has its own value in the scheme of life.  Pain and loss are great enhancers.”
     Whatever the results on Friday, I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that having cancer is going to make me a better person.  Take that cancer, and stick it where the sun don’t shine. 


  1. I pray for your health and recovery, miki moore

  2. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Much hope for Friday! All my love

  3. That is awesome, William - and I hope you get great news on Friday! I can't wait for the tour either - I DVR it and watch it every night, its the only sport I ever pay any attention to. When you are done with this cancer crap you'll have to ride the tour route to celebrate (http://www.topbike.com.au/tdefrance.htm). And by the way, the guy who owns the house we are staying at is a huge cyclist and he gave me some German cycling magazines - do you speak German? (Oh duh, well of course you do - I'll bring them back for you).
    Good luck - glad you are feeling good! We will be sending you lots of energy for Friday!

  4. We are hoping for good results and send our prayers and best wishes with you.
    Love yu and hugs,

  5. You can handle whatever will be thrown your way Friday. We'll be with you in spirit!

  6. Your strength in conviction and purpose to meet this challenge is an inspiration to everyone whether in the same boat or on dry land. We pray for you and the navigators that the course can be fixed and followed.

  7. We hope this day will bring great hope. Will, you are in our thoughts this and everyday as you are making this noble journey,

  8. Just came across your blog via MRF. Our teenage son was diagnosed with melanoma in September and he is currently halfway through his year of Interferon. He is an avid biker and the Oncs gave the thumbs up to complete a 500 mile ride along the coast of Oregon and CA - he is doing it now! He also admires Lance Armstrong and has contemplated meeting him through his Make A Wish choice. You can check out his blog that I write at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahhenderson
    Beat the Beast!

  9. Hello William! I really felt compelled to write you and share that I am with you, even though we have not met. I finished 5 rounds of biochemo and when I say your photos I know how it feels! I know... Melanoma has changed my life and I am also fighting the fight. Keep it up!! Sincerely, Steph Bowen in California