Thursday, October 6, 2011


I apologize for not getting a new blog post up in a long time. I was reminded by a friend that I was overdue for a post. Feedback certainly encourages me to post more frequently.
As everyone can see the fundraising is going great and we still have a week left to get more donations together. Please try to circulate the letter/flyer that I worked up to anyone you can think of. Remember, I do not care about the size of the donation. I just want to see a huge number of donations.
This last chemo session was particularly difficult. I felt so good before this session started. I did not get to start this cycle when I would have liked to. My oncologist informed me that my blood counts had not bounced back to where he would like them to be before each session so I was delayed in starting. This was a major concern for two reasons. First, because I had the cycles timed out so that I would be as far away from the 3rd cycle as I could be on race day. Second, because it was a new hiccup I had to deal with. I had to come to the realization that I cannot control when I get to start my chemotherapy cycles.
When I did start, everything seemed the same as usual for the first three days. Day four I noticed that I felt nausea throughout the entire day as opposed to just feeling it in the morning and after taking my dose at night. Taking my last dose was very problematic. I gagged several times in trying to get each of the three pills down. I still shutter thinking about it right now. Tuesday morning I woke up and tried to start to get ready for work but could not make any progress because I had to keep running back to the bathroom and heaving. It was painful because as I mentioned in my last post there was nothing in my stomach to get up.
I still do not feel normal. I have had a lingering sense that I might throw up for 2 days now. Just think of that feeling you have when you’re extremely nervous because you’re not prepared for something really important. I have to step out side for air to try to prevent the pending threat.
Before this cycle started I was tricking myself into thinking that if I trained hard enough I could actually do the half in 1:30. Now I’m realizing how limited I am. We’re a little more than a week away from the race and as any runner can sympathize after taking a week off I feel pudgy and out of shape. I feel right now that I’d be lucky to finish the half.
I am limited because I can’t think my way out of everything with positive thoughts. As crazy as it might sound, somewhere along the way I had actually convinced myself that if I wanted anything badly enough I could make it happen.
The truth is I cannot will my cancer to go away and never come back. Nor can I force my body to be ready for a chemo cycle when it is convenient for me. These may seem like obvious statements to most of you but to me, these are hard truths I have had to come to accept in this last month
While that is certainly the case for some things I can still will myself to do more. I find it a useful exercise to take note of the things that I can control in my life. I can control how many days a week I run. I can control what time I get up and put those miles in. I can control how many people I tell about my fundraiser. I can control the attitude I face these challenges with.
I find a lot of inspiration in the life of Steve Prefontaine. For those who don’t know he was considered among the most talented American distance runners ever. However, if you asked him just what his talent was he’d gladly tell you that he just had more guts than any other person. I have always kept this mentality in the back of my head when dealing with whatever cancer throws my way. If I don’t allow something to bother me than it won’t. Now I realize that I am limited in that respect.
However, Prefontaine’s coach once reminded him “Everyone has limits. Steve be thankful for your limits because you’re as limitless as anyone.” I just need to find the balance between guts and limits.
On an entirely separate note, Steve Jobs’ death was a tragedy. He was the Howard Hughes, or Thomas Edison of our time. In a time when it is hard enough for most of us to stay current with technology he had a way seeing ahead and shaping the curve. He told us what we needed/wanted before we even knew we did. The lesson to take from all of this is that we need a cure to this ASAP!
Cancer does not care about your brilliance or wealth or kindness. Steve Jobs and I were in the same boat and unfortunately more people join this fraternity every day. Those of you who have contributed and supported me have decided that you have had enough! Now we all need to help others decide that they want to say they have had enough as well.


GROGIS said...

I Miss You and Love You Johnny P! You are tougher than I ever could have imagined. I should have known that when you slammed Brando in my front yard during that hurricane party!! Hope to see you soon, we'll get some peeled shrimp.

XOXO - Grogis

buffy said...

You are my hero! Your blogs are inspirational to so many. I will be cheering you on to the finish line.

ddbmc said...

John, It is amazing to read your accounts of what you're going through. You are so articulate and concise, yet the emotion of what is happening comes through. It helps us all to understand the mountains you are climbing, in your fight against this disease. Thank you for sharing your inner heart! Your mom calls you "her hero!" Well, you are hero to a lot of us! We are praying and pulling for you every step of the way! Caroline is also your big champion! The love that surround you in your battle against "The Crappy C" is fantastic! Much Love,

John said...

John, keep writing. You have a wonderful gift to explain the things that are deep inside of all of us. Your voice through your printed words reach many more in many more ways than "going door to door." You have discovered the power of this network, social or otherwise.

Anne Bombard said...

You really have given me insight into what you are going through, and what so many people struggle with everyday. It's so hard to imagine that such a strong, funny, loving person like you has to face these struggles. You are in my prayers every night and I cannot wait to hear about your victory this weekend! We will all continue to fight against this!