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Friday
Sep202013

Chemo Round 58 and my THREE YEAR CANCERVERSARY

I mean, should we really talk about my last round of chemo when I celebrated my three year cancerversary this week? Don’t we have better things to talk about like beating the odds and remaining positive and living way longer than initially expected? That’s alright, let’s start with business first. And business is recapping my week with my beloved FOLFIRI and Zaltrap.

Chemo Round 58 was sort of magical, I’m not going to lie. There was something about this round that – despite the gross headache and general ick that comes with it on Tuesday and Wednesday – simply put, clearly showed me that I am turning a corner. Turning a corner with this treatment getting easier, with my appetite getting better, and with my breathing improving pretty measurably. I felt way less weak, way less achy, and was pretty much back by Thursday. This has been unprecedented since I said au revoir to Avastin and started on Zaltrap. Usually, I’m lucky to feel decent by Friday. But on Thursday, which also happened to be the 3 year anniversary of my diagnosis, I was pretty much a beast. Was able to shower, get it together, and get to Norris for fluids, then went to a WNBA game at Staples Center after that and, after that, scarfed on some vegan pizza and worked/watched TV/celebrated the fact that I’m alive until about 3am. Dudes, that was a great Chemo Thursday.

And here I am, on Chemo Friday, feeling awesome. Belly feels great, head feels great, energy levels are as high as they’ve been in several months, and my breathing is as good as its been in several months. I had gotten a little worried about hosting my Foundation’s huge event next Thursday (have you not heard about this? Check out www.stayclassy.org/CancerWarriorAwards for details), but this ridiculously impressive body of mine got me right in shape just in time. I couldn’t be happier with how things are going. Oh, and one more thing – not only did I maintain my weight this week, I gained about a half a pound! Yessssss.

Now that business is taken care of, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the fact that I’ve lived three wondrous years since my cancer diagnosis. I remember the day I found out that I had Stage IV colon cancer like it was yesterday. Instead of being upset, it’s like a light went off in my mind, my heart, and my soul. It was a moment when I realized what at least one major purpose of my life was to be. It wasn’t about me just fighting the disease and surviving, which was a tall order at that. But I knew, somehow and in some way, my attitude, my leadership, and my love for people and desire to help them would transform this supposed “curse” into one of the biggest blessings of my life. Funny that I had that feeling all the way back then, but I really did. And now, look at how far I’ve come. With a blog that helps people to a Foundation that helps people to The Wunder Project, my biggest endeavor yet that seeks to really and truly help people by curing colon cancer entirely. I was called to this life. This was the life I was supposed to lead. And despite the physical struggles, which are but a passing thing, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I love where I am, I love what I’m doing, I love my team of family and friends and colleagues and doctors and cancer warriors. I love my life. And I am so, so incredibly grateful to be living it.

On this big milestone, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank certain people that have been instrumental in my survival and in my happiness. First, to my mom, who has my back more than anyone in this universe. Next, to my dad and Will – two guys who would do anything for me. The rest of my family is incredible too – big shout-outs to my grandmas who pray for me…really hard…every single day. And my friends – man, what would I do without you crazy people? I love you and I’m so grateful for the joy you bring me every single day – Tim, Rhett, Morgan, Jesse, Tracy, Erin, Sabrina, Nick, Aymee, Jessica, Jordan, Ruth, and the rest of you troublemakers who make my life so incredibly rich. And big props to my surgeons – Ramos, Sugarbaker, and Genyk – you guys have literally looked the beast in the face and did everything you could to get it out while keeping me safe and sound and intact. You are geniuses and heroes and wonderful human beings.

And finally, to my partner in crime, the person I just couldn’t do this without: my oncologist, Heinz-Josef Lenz. You are with me through every single step of this, plotting out our plan to defeat cancer not only in my body but for everyone. You are my greatest collaborator, my confidante, and one of my best friends in this world. I admire you, I respect you, and you know I love you. I wouldn’t trade this cancer-killing life of mine for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that I wouldn’t have known you had it not be for my diagnosis. You really are one of the best people in this world, and I’m humbled and honored to be your patient and friend. Thank you for taking such good care of me, HJL. Being under your care makes me the luckiest kid in the world.

So that’s that, ladies and gents. Round 58 rocked, and my 3 year cancer anniversary was pretty stellar as well. And to celebrate in true WunderGlo fashion, I’ve rented a yacht this weekend and about 40 or so of my closest friends will be joining me as we sail, soak up the sun, and tell cancer to go screw itself.

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