Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd - I am cancer free!!

Six months ago (almost to the day) I was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma – a fast growing cancer (Stage 3 – not good). Today, I was declared cancer free!! This is after 8 chemo treatments that were spaced out every 3 weeks over the past six months. On Monday I was given a Petscan and today Lynda and I got the results – there is no cancer left!

My faith has remained strong throughout this experience. I strongly believe in the miraculous power of God and He came thru for me. I believe He works in miraculous ways both supernatural and practical and both have been powerfully obvious to me throughout this. From a practical perspective I can honestly say that I have experienced more love and support from my family and friends then I have ever experienced in my life. Lynda and I never felt we were in this alone there have been friends and family holding us up in prayer and support throughout. Thank you!!

For now, we celebrate (taking the next week off from work) and look forward to getting some hair sprouts back (I have peach fuzz now and it seems more white then the brown I am used to – we’ll have to wait and see). I don’t have another doctor’s appointment until October – when they will do a CT Scan to check that nothing has come back. Assuming nothing comes back I’ll continue to meet with the doctor every few months for basic checkups. We certainly don’t expect anything to come back. Statistically, they tell me that I am in the 80% zone that says I will remain cancer free for five years. After 5 years the odds of me remaining cancer free only go up from there!

Thank you for being with Lynda and me and the kids with your prayers and support – it has been an inspiration and a witness to me to the awesome power of God.

In Christ,


Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4 - 8th (last) chemo treatment behind me

I am thrilled to write that yesterday was my eighth and final chemo treatment! Like the last two treatments this one really sapped my energy during the day and then after we came home. The good news is that I am done with the treatments. It'll take a little over a week to recover from the side effects of this treatment - but shouldn't be anything too bad.

We have scheduled my next Petscan for Monday, June 29. We have an appointment with my doctor on July 2nd to review the results. My hopes and expectations are that I will be given a clean bill of health! If true I'll also find out the plan for follow-up checks.

It has been a heck of a journey (my treatment yesterday came 5 months to the day I found out I had cancer) - I am more than ready to put it behind me. At this point my guess is that I might start seeing my hair start to come back in July (probably later in July). My energy levels will take a little longer to recover - probably six months.

Keep up those prayers just a little while longer - I believe we are almost there!

In Christ,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14 - St. Baldrick's Day

We had a great St. Baldrick's event today here in St. Charles! Our goal was to raise $5,000 for pediatric cancer research and at this point we are at $7,000 and still climbing. You can join the fight by donating here -

We started with seven guys with me ready to take the plunge into the Bald Melon Club - for charity! From left Dan Dupre, Bob Gerard, Jay Synder*, me, John Ceisel* (who co-coordinated the event with me), Tim Hobbs*, David Granger and Chris Olson*. Before we had finished Mike Gombar (second from right decided to join in). Keith Worthington* also joined in the picture (third from right - this is his natural look). Note that the *'s are for new members of the Bald Melon Club - I think this brings it to 17 guys!

Here is the after picture - from left on top (Chris, John, Tim, Bob, Jay, Kieth, Mike, David) and bottom (me, Dan).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5 - Join me in a new way to fight cancer

My friends and family has been so incredibly supportive of me – truly walking with me on my journey towards beating cancer. I believe I am in the home stretch of the healing process (I have two more chemo treatments scheduled – May 13 and June 3). As I get to the end of this phase of my journey I would like to begin to change from an inward healing focus to more of an outward focus – doing something to help others fight against cancer. One specific area to focus on is pediatric cancer – it truly pains me to think of the many kids who have to go thru this process (and far worse).

To this end, I am partnering with Chris Olson, David Granger, John Ceisel and Tim Hobbs (a couple of the many great friends I have at Accenture) who are willing to shave their heads to raise money. We are working thru St. Baldrick’s – a non-profit organization that raises funds to further research in pediatric cancer. I have done some research into this organization and have found that almost 80% of all funds they raise actually goes to fighting cancer. This is a very favorable percentage when compared to other excellent and well known cancer non-profit groups.

On Thursday, May 14 at 11 AM CST we will be doing the shaving. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for St. Baldrick’s. Additionally, I am partnering with my grandfather to provide a little added incentive to help us reach our goal. Together, my grandfather and I will make a matching donation to the first $2,000 in total pledges made by 11 AM CST on May 14.

If you’d like to make a pledge to support Chris, David, John and Tim please do so by visiting our St. Balderick’s page -

Thank you for your continued tireless support of me and my family and for considering a pledge to support the fight against pediatric cancer!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3 - Pushin' forward

My gosh - it is hard to believe that a whole month has gone by since my last post. Since then I have gone thru two more chemo treatments. The biggest change in the last month is that I am more tired. Yesterday, I spent a little while in the backyard pulling Dandelions. An hour of that light activity and I was wiped out. It just doesn't take much to tire me out these days - mentally or physically.

I am in the homestretch - only two more to go! From the pictures I posted in my last blog I know there was almost nothing left a month ago. I believe it is now completely gone. I won't get any more objective proof until the end of June when I have my next Petscan.

The love and support I continue to receive is a huge blessing to Lynda and I. There continues to be a steady stream of cards, meals and other support. The steadfast commitment from my network of friends has been heartwarming and uplifting - a huge contributor to my healing process. I have never felt alone throughout this entire process - my friends have been walking beside me every step of the way!

Here is just one example - another joiner to the Bald Melon Club! Pat just joined in the last two weeks (see picture below). Pat and I go back well over 20 years as friends! I think that brings the total number to 12! Twelve men making such a show of support that they have shaved their heads for me! There is a good chance that a few more will be joining soon - as part of a fund raiser for pediatric cancer. We are finalizing the details - hope to be able to talk more about it very soon.

Peace, In Christ,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1 - Very Good News!

This past Monday was a big day for us - my second scan since starting my chemo treatments.

This test was a Petscan - this is the same scan I took on January 5 which showed that the Lymphoma was a bit more widespread than we wanted to hear. Based on the results of my CTScan a month ago Lynda and I had very high expectations for great news. The news is very good - most of the cancer is gone. The remnant that remains though means that my doctor is planning for me to go thru all eight planned treatments to make sure it is all cleaned out - this means I am halfway thru.

Since I have been so open about my experiences I thought I would share with you images from my two scans so you can see the dramatic improvement. Lynda thinks I have gone way to far here - I just think the pictures are pretty cool and demonstrate the dramatic progress that is being made!

This first image below is from January - the Lymphoma is represented by the firey yellow spots on my neck and lower abdomen (it was growing around my right kidney). The second image is from this past Monday - my untrained eye can't see anything!

The third image shows a little more of the cancer in January growing between my spine and heart. The final image below is from this week and it looks clean (note that the yellow that is in the kidneys is normal)!

When I saw these images I thought I was totally home free - meaning only two more treatments. The doctors see some remnants of the cancer causing them to be cautious - meaning I will get four more treatments. This Friday I meet with the doctor in person and will be able to get a bit more explanation on what she is seeing.

Overall, I am thrilled with the progress that is being made. I am not thrilled with four more treatments but if it means complete healing so be it. My faith in Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the continued love and support Lynda and I receive continue to carry us through. Continue those prayers - we are getting there!

In Christ,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25 - Still Keepin' On

I am happy to say that things are going well for us. Outside of a nagging cough that has been hard to shake over the last month I'm in very good shape. Last weeks recovery from treatment #4 was actually a little easier on me. A couple contributions to this were that one of the chemo drugs was reduced, some of Lynda's family was in town to visit and we had great weather.

I challenged Lynda's family that I was up for some activity while we were in town. We took the time and spent the day downtown on Monday visiting the top of the Hancock building and then walking up to see the Bean sculpture in Millennium Park. Getting outside and stretching my legs was a huge help!

Lynda's brother Tom surprised us by joining the Bald Melon Club. Tom's been a big help to me since day 1 when I learned of my cancer. He is a pharmaceutical doctor and loves to research. He immediately dove into researching Lymphoma. As Lynda and I went thru those first days of testing and diagnosis Tom was able to confirm thru his research what we were hearing from my doctors on the type of cancer and the treatment plan. This gave us big boost in confidence that we were headed in the right direction.

Today is Wednesday and we are looking forward to Monday morning when we go in for my Petscan. This is the big test we've been looking forward to since day 1. I am hoping for a clean scan which will tell me that I have two more treatments and I'll be considered cured!

You'll be hearing from me again by this time next week. Between now and then I have some big plans. Friday, I am going to try nine holes of golf and Saturday I am heading to the Bulls game with my brother-in-law Jim and my uncle Jack. Yes, as you can see from this blog (and others) I am doing my best to enjoy life and praise God I have been able to do so.

God bless,