Not the best start to 2019

IMG_3067.JPGThis year was supposed to be a more positive year. New year, new goals, new hope. I have never been one for resolutions, but I did see it as a chance for step forward. A little before Christmas I did an MRI and they found something. That led to an appointment at the local cancer center. The MRI showed one tumor and heavy shading on another part of my brain. They recommended a spinal tap and a PET scan. The spinal tap was used to pull fluid from me to test and see if cancer cells were present in the fluid. The theory is that brain cancer is usually the secondary location. It travels from elsewhere to the brain via the spinal fluid. Well that test was positive for cancer cells. I was referred to Sunnybrook in Toronto. They did another full round of testing, including a PET scan that searched for the primary source. The PET scan came back negative. That was not expected by the oncologists so I was unique. So I have cancer, but it is not presenting like the typical patient. I still can’t believe I am saying those words. I have brain cancer.

My vision gets blurry on and off. I pass out here and there. It has been wonderful (sarcasm). The headaches are unbearable at times. The list of drugs in my cabinet increases.

I have been strong before in my life. I lost a bunch of weight and did an Ironman. Of course, that is what this blog was all about in the beginning. I even did some book writing that people liked, lol. Maybe now the blog will have a new focus, who knows. I should be wanting to fight. I should look at it like just another challenge, but this feels different. It feels insurmountable. Life has left me without the energy to fight right now. I feel defeated.

I am still training for a summer Ironman. Maybe I have my head in the sand and that won’t be in the cards. The docs have presented me with options and I am pondering them now. I am on a regular regimen of testing now to monitor the changes in the size of the tumor, cancer cell count in my spinal fluid, etc. All of this which is just delaying the inevitable chemo treatments. I put more value on quality of life rather than quantity of life so chemo may not be in the cards for me.

As people have heard the news they all say the same thing, “What can I do?” Honestly if I could ask for one thing it would be that this disease not be the topic of all of our conversations. I want to just be Mike, not Mike with cancer. I haven’t changed even if there is something growing in my brain. It is hard to constantly have to answer the “How are you feeling?” or “Do you have any more news?” questions constantly. Maybe that is just a phase I am going through, I don’t know. I do know however, that 2019 is not looking as bright as I had hoped.

See you at the finish line…..

(Funny how that statement I have closed my blog with for years now has a different meaning)

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