Sunday, July 6, 2008

I am still in the fight

As I go back over this post I realize that my brain is not working very well at all. I have lost the ability to write in such a way that really brings my reader along for the process. I apologize. Below is what I have managed to put together for you.

I have been away from Internet accesses for a long time. After my last (2 second] post. Here is what I have done.

1.Long drive home with Granny doped out of my mind on anti nausea and dope drugs.

2. Spent several (a couple) very nauseous days at home doing daily injections to increase white blood cells for harvesting.

3. Ate very few solid foods

4.Went from too skinny 163lbs. to scary 148.

5. On Tuesday night got a fever, went to the ER at Roseville and spent Wed. thru Sat in the hospital.

The hospital was great. Lots had been going on at home. Granny had flown out to help me thought this (First) two and a half week phase of the BMT. However, before she left her hubby came down with some very scary symptoms. Granny stayed good to her word and flew out to help me thought the first part of this phase, going to Stanford for a Chemo injection. While we were in the middle of Chemo her hubby went in for a biopsy. The biopsy came back with some bad news and Granny rightfully flew home to start the hideous phase of determining how bad her beloved husbands cancer is. Right now we are waiting for more results but either way he has got cancer and my best goes out to him. No one deserves this mess and in seems more and more to me like the ones that deserves it the least get it.

Anyhow Granny leaving left us in some significant need. Her jobs was to take care of me. The ChickenHawk got on the phone and got sister Cris (aunt Cris) AKA little blue scwhinn on the message board. Cris hopped the next plane from SoCal and jumped in as full time kid wrangler. She is one of best kid wranglers this side of the Rockies. She took the kids on lots of great local outing while making sure they had lots of fun time at home. Cris you helped us immensly in a real time of need. There are very few people that could help the way you did and we can thank you enough. Mike thanks for letting her come. It was huge for us.

I started writing this post yesterday while I was having the first round of stem cells removed from my body in a process called aphersis. It took me one day. I now have a two week break before I start the process again. (A big chemo Injection) then daily injections to boost my White cells. Feeling like crap. Breathing through a filter and eating special foods.
najor nausea. This is all stuff that I have had to do for the last two weeks so I am feeling relieved that I don't have to for now.

I spend my time combating anxiety by telling myself that the fears that I feel about eating and living were created by the Chemo that I took 12 days ago. Most of those side effects are out of my body and I can live my life again. That is mostly working and with the help of Ativan I am almost all the way there. That means no more basket case until we start the whole thing over in about two weeks. That is OK I've got two weeks off. I am going to try to eat and exercise as much as possible for the next two weeks.

So right now it is very quite around the house. The kids are in Oregon for the summer and we miss them dearly. I want to take this moment to reach out an say thanks to all that have helped us so far with meals, planing, babysitting, housework, logistical support, driving, spotting me, dancing with Sarah, and so many other things. I am at a loss how to say thanks. While I was in the hospital I spent a lot of time alone and it was really good for me. I enjoyed it because I got to think of all of my friends; what you are going through right now, what you are working on, your successes, your challenges. I am really proud that I know you. You are the fuel that burns my inner fire. So do me a favor, in the next two weeks, send an email, give a call, leave a comment. I want to know what is going on with you!

Thanks for reading and again I apologize for the scattered writing


Anonymous said...

Great post, Spencer. You are in the midst of it now and it must be scary but how strong you are in all of this. You are more lucid than you think. During the ride you lifted your head and gave directions easily without notice.
I am proud you are my son.



Anonymous said...

You are so strong! Keep up the good work. Our hearts with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so amazed by your strength and clarity in the midst of all this.
Please remember that we are all on the road sides encouraging you on this tough sonofa b@*^& climb.
love, pantani

Anonymous said...

Dear Spencer - I am so proud of you for thinking about thanking the rest of us while you go through this nightmare. How brave you are! Pete and I had the girls for a few nights and had a great time with them. I'm glad you know the chemicals create a lot of the fear and worry. You are strong and we love you dearly. Sending our best wishes,
Aunt Judy & Uncle Peter

Anonymous said...

No problem on the Aunt Cris loan. She enjoyed helping out. She adores your family. Get Well soon. Love,
Uncle Mike.

Jot said...

My mom is also Granny. I remember when she came into town to be with me and drive me to the hospital when I had part of a lung removed.

My kids are on vacation. I'll join them soon. I miss them.

You are an inspiration. You don't know me.

Win Spencer.


Anonymous said...

Hi Spencer!

So glad to read an update after worrying about how things were going over there on the smoky side of the valley. Please tell your mom that she is in our thoughts and prayers as well.



Anonymous said...

Dear Spence,

I'm writing to tell you about us, and to tell you how brave I think you are. Life is good for us. We're making offers on houses here in Napa, and put one in today on a place we all really like instead of just think will work. Didn't sell our land yet, which makes things more complicated, but it'll work out. Alessia is a groovy little chick, and Marco is psyched for the death ride. Ale and I will go to North DAkota for a family reunion this weekend. Even been there? A real destination....

I really enjoy my new business of being a personal trainer. IN fact I wonder why it took me so long to find it.

Got to do a T trip last week. Flipped in Rock Garden. Yup. First rapid. I take my confidence so for granted, to it was a good wake up call. Felt kinda rough for a few rapids with those long sticks in my hand, but redeemed myself in Clavey when I had a sweet run and the rest of the trip trashed their way down the Falls. That raft guide stuff is a lot of work, Can't believe I used to do it everyday!

Not much else to report, except that tomorrow I turn 45. Get well soon so we can look forward to celebrating your 45th together. Lotsa love, Bessie

Marc and Laurence said...

Hi Spencer -thanks for all the details -
Damara, Quinn and I send you all the best energy in the world! Thanks to you i have been riding my bike as much as possible and looking forward to riding with you soon. I am busy trying to keep Bio Bio Expeditions alive - People seem to be staying closer to home and traveling less but we are hanging in there - I will be down in Coloma a few times in the next month or so - please let me know if there is anything i can bring you or do for you!
Stay strong my friend!
(I got a smile on my face when i heard Beth flipped in Rock Garden - i did not know that was possible)

Tourmaline OTC said...

It was so great to hear your voice today!!!You sound like you weigh at least 170! I know you are ridin one heck of a rollercoaster but I love it when you throw ya hands up in tha air and scream WHEEEEE! You are truly amazing. Wow, Bessie flipped. See? some days are good and some days are crrrrazy! Way to get back on that horsie Bessie! My guess is you kicked its you know what. Your standards are just too high! Just like Spencer's....I thrive in both of your shadows...Spence, don't worry. I got that dancing with the Chickenhawk thang handled. Need me take your bike out for a spin? or eat some pizza for ya? you got it dude! Anything for you. don't hesitate to call on us and keep eatin!
lots of love,

Tourmaline OTC said...

P.S. the title of this post is the very best part.....

bikesgonewild said...

..."i am still in the fight" tourmaline sez "the title of this post is the very best part...& while you may be bloodied & bowed, we know you're a fighter & we know you've got a focus & in a sense, we expect nothing less from you...

...remember those photos & videos of le blaireau, the badger, monsieur hinault in le maillot juene, years ago w/ the bloodied face ???...i forget the actual circumstances but he was crashed by someone else & rather than sit there on the ground & wait for med help, he was back up & on the bike to defend his position...

...his determination was written in his eyes, burning through the mess that was his face...well, sir, you've got 'a bit of a mess' to deal w/ yourself but keep up that fierce strength you possess...

..."le tour d' spence" gets won by one man & while some of us can do no more than offer 'bidons et mussettes' of support, we're there, monsieur rubin, we are there, handing up our best...

...hope you're feeling well enough to see & enjoy some of the tdf & in the tiny moment i got to share w/ you on the phone, you sounded 'solid'...

...stay good, stay strong & keep on fighting...just WIN, spencer, just WIN...

Judi said...

My blogging buddy Spencer! SOOOO very glad to see this post and glad to see you fighting so hard! I am very sorry about Granny's hubby. Cancer sucks. STAY STRONG! xxoo judi

ronaldo said...

Oh Spence, I am in awe of your strength. You, Sarah, the whole family. For the first time I am writing you and I can't stop laughing. Betsy cracks me up!Marc cracks me up! One time Dave Hoyal was working for us, he flipped at rock garden and had not tied 4 days worth of beer which went floating down river as he yelled obscenities standing on his drifting flipped raft. We were all chasing the huge beer mesh bag. To keep the laughs going... remember when I fell off the roof of big john at the T put in? I think you were there. I had a women's crew who had requested a girl guide. At 7,000 cfs and a concussion we had a lot of carnage.Not pretty. But I too redeemed myself at Clavey. I am laughing with you Betsy!
Spence, I look forward to floating the T with you again. I know you like biking better but c'mon, put away those tights, throw on your harpos and let's go chase some beer bags down rock garden. You are the man, hang in there! Love and Aloha !Ronaldo

Anonymous said...

good post...i'm so glad you are up to posting becuz my friends and family want to keep up with you...and i'm too busy to call them becuz i get to play with the grand girls! i know what a sacrifice it was for you two, but know we are making memories that we will always remember! luv nana

Anonymous said...

Spencer, so very great to see you back in writing and fighting form! You have a remarkable family, and I wish your Granny's hubby all the best with his challenges. Please update us with his progress as you are able.

Go, Spencer, gooooo. Kick cancer's ass.

Anonymous said...

I am overwhelmed by your kind words of encouragement. I read him the comments and it keeps his spirits up.
Spencer kayaks, sails, rafts, fights cancer, makes friends, and unfortunately, vomits, with Superhero talent. He is in the midst of a serious nausea episode, so I'll keep trying to get him back in the blogposting saddle, but gotta handle some hazmat situations first....
He's a superhero though- always trying to keep his spirits up! PS- if you want to join his LoCo Care website, email me
PS- Bessie really flipped at Rock Garden...!!?!?!? Bessie: enjoy those jello buffets in North Dakota :)

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Aunt Cris! She is the best kid wrangler. You are so lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive family and, in turn, they are so lucky to have you, Spencer. Stay strong. We're pullin' for you.

Montana Greenbaums

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow we run the upper gallatin for you! Moose Creek Flats to Lava Lake. Was wild last week. We were in high gear the whole way. House Rock? Maybe. Too high last week. Down to 2700 CFS today from 5200 a week ago. Lovin' our 13' Aire Tributary. Did an "easier" part of the Gallatin today. Quote of the day, "Trees happen". A few log jams along the way, but a blast none the less.

Paddle hard.

The Montana Greenbaums

katie liz said...

Even with all the drugs, your posts are amazing, Spencer--we admire your honesty and articulateness and your supreme determination. And, Sarah, we appreciate your positivity (yes, I am shamelessly using this "new" word) and your wit. May Haz Mat decrease and may Spencer's weight increase . . . Cathy & Ray

Anonymous said...

It was so good to see Sarah on Saturday. In case she forgets to tell you I thought you would like to hear that colin who just turned three June 19 is fully riding his bike without training wheels. He asks to go on bike rides at least two to three times a day! Brianna would rather be picking flowers than riding the bike but she usually comes along reluctently.

I hope you are enjoying the tour. If you had to choose a month to be on the couch recovering watching TV I guess July would be it!

I am sending lots of love to you and Sarah. You are both an inspiration in so many ways.

Kelly B.

displacedcalifornian said...

i, like many other posters here, seem to be riding my bike a whole lote more lately, always with spencer in mind. i don't know if you get a little twinge at any point during your day, but that's probably the cyclists equivalent of your ears ringing when another rider whoops and hollers in your honor. i now ride my bike most of the way to work (traffic kills bikes in ohio) and keep constant vigil on my livestrong bracelet that is never mossing.

i just finished a rotation on the orthopedic oncology service at the cancer hospital at ohio state. treated dozens of multiple myeloma patients, mostly with various surgeries or radiation. thought of you constantly, of course.

sherri's mom is back at ucsf with recurrent primary brain lymphoma, so she's actually in Ca to visit right now. we're all crossing our fingers right now for her too.

so i guess the point is, should you get goosebumps at any random moment, it's because we're riding our bikes with you in our hearts and at our sides. betcha didn't know your fight is helping global warming!

strength, brother



displacedcalifornian said...

ps psyched about the impending arrival of my new jersey. also waiting for death ride details.