Feeling Meh

My latest published article and update. Click photo below to read full Lungcancer.net article. 


I'm glad to share an update to this article. The long iv chemotherapy break has been nice. I am continuing the oral targeted therapy for two of the three mutations driving my lung cancer (EGFR and T790m). Although it's scary to go so long without the treatment, we will be periodically monitoring for cancer progression by labs and scans.


The BIG Five-Oh! and Uh-oh!

 I'm turning 50 next week. Can you believe it? It's hard for me to believe. Five years ago, with the odds totally against me, I said if I'm still alive for my 50th birthday, I'd throw a giant party and hire Tesla to play at the event.

 Well, my birthday is next week and I officially have nothing more than a small outdoor lunch at a local restaurant planned for the weekend after my birthday.

Because of COVID 19, I'm at a standstill, just frozen in my tracks, not knowing what to do and what is safe to plan.  Not only am I facing COVID19, I'm facing it with lung cancer, that puts me at higher risk for complications if I catch the virus and a super compromised immune system while my lung cancer treatments include iv chemotherapy. 

Travel is out of the question. Oh, what would I do for a tropical destination and a beach with the sound of the surf and a big fruity drink in my hand while soaking up the sun!!!?!!!  A huge party or get-together is not an option. I don't need to expose myself to too many people. 

I'm now in the pre-planning stages of an October 2021 beach birthday party with a 5150 theme. Get it? It will be my 51st birthday and my 50th do-over.  We better be able to travel safely by then.

No gag gifts please.

We have all seen the Over The Hill party favors and gag gifts.  I don't need those.  For my August cancerversary, I put out a serious request for stool softeners and laxatives. My friends came through. And I especially appreciated when one wished me a shitty day.  I will say that chemo constipation is no longer an issue.

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!

No need to get me the fake Life Alert necklace.  I got the real deal after a scary couple of weeks and a traumatic experience.

My body was not tolerating the three chemo cocktail. I would end up sleeping for days on end without eating or drinking anything. Sleep and a few bathroom breaks was all I could muster up.  I recognized this behavior and discussed adding fluids infusions a day after my chemo infusions and then a couple days after that.

One day, while home alone, and getting ready to go to a fluids infusion, I passed out a couple times.  The second time I was moving from my hall bathroom to my bed to lay down.  I woke up in my hallway in the doorframe of the room across from my bedroom.  I was confused weak and scared.  My last memory was collapsing on my bed. In reality, I had collapsed in the hall thinking the floor was my bed.

I've always worried about Laynie trying to wake me up in an emergency situation and accidentally scratching and hurting me in the process.  Well, I put her to the test.  And she was the perfect nurse.  When I woke up in the hall, Laynie was right by my side, calm as can be, watching over me.  She kept calm and watched as I jokingly told her to go fetch my cell phone so I could call 911. We've never practiced that and she doesn't know the words/command cell phone.  I may have thrown in a joke about Timmy being in the well and she needed to go find help. I was too weak to even go down the stairs one by one on my butt. I was upstairs in the hall and my cell phone was down a floor in my livingroom.

I eventually got up enough strength to move to the bed. Laynie followed and stuck by my side as I slept more.  I later made it downstairs to call the on call oncologist.  At one point, I got violently ill. 

Looking back, I should have called 911 at that time. The oncologist didn't get the severity of my condition. He advised me to drink some clear liquids, eat dinner and get a good night's sleep. I told him I could only sip Sprite and the thought of eating made me feel more sick. I was so weak and not thinking clearly at all. If I was, I would have caught on that he thought I was experiencing common chemo nausea and didn't understand if I sat up or stood up I felt lightheaded and/or like I was going to pass out again. 

I ended up sleeping for three more days while Laynie kept watch over me.

I'm sure if I would have gone to the hospital, I would have been given fluids and quite possibly a blood transfusion and/or antibiotics.  It took me two weeks to semi recover from this incident. And even then, my red and white bblood cell counts were too low for my chemo infusion. My chemo was postponed for a week to give me time to gain strength.

My biggest present

I've put off getting a port for my chemo infusions as long as possible. With my brain disease and history of stroke, any procedure with twilight or general anesthesia is risky. But I have problem tiny veins in my arms. And I'm done getting poked multiple times for each chemo and fluids infusion.

I will have a port in my chest installed (placed) the day after my birthday. I'm officially over the hill. I'm looking forward to a medical procedure as a birthday gift to myself.

My birthday weekend tradition
One thing that has been a constant for me since October 2015 is the Run the Rocks 5k.  I've celebrated my birthday weekend every year since my lung cancer diagnosis by participating in the event. Not this year. There just wasn't a 100% safe way for them to hold the event in-person. It would have been my 6th year in a row to climb those ramps and steps to the finish line.

I signed up as soon as registration was opened many months ago. At the time, I figured coronavirus would be behind us by now and a socially distanced outdoor event at Red Rocks Park would be possible.

Although, it's not the same as being there, I'll I'll be wearing my Run the Rocks shirt and medal and remembering the last six years of happy reunions and finishes this weekend. 

You can register for the Virtual Run the Rocks and join my Peace Lungs & Happiness team. Click HERE or the photo below and scroll down to join my team. 


Bucket Lists

 Bucket Lists is my latest published article.

I feel weird with the traditional bucket list concept.

My bucket started out empty. I fill my bucket with wonderful memories and experiences. When my bucket gets full, I'll get a bigger bucket or another bucket and start over again. Click HERE or the article snippet below to read the article.


My Chemotherapy Theme Song 2020, TESLA - Breakin' Free

There have been many points over the last 35 years when Tesla has had the right song at the right time to provide the perfect soundtrack to my life. Today, it's Breakin' Free, originally released in 2008. This evening was the premiere of their newest Home to Home TeslaQuarantined video.  They did it gain, perfect timing for me.
Many songs are written with a certain situation in mind. But music is art. The listener can interpret the lyrics and the feeling the music gives them any way they want.

These lyrics helped me through a breakup in 2009.

In 2020, they are helping me to break free from my new cancer progression and to start my next lung cancer treatment chapter. 

I don't care what you say
You'd better get out of my way.
I'm tired of wastin' my time,
Now I'm breakin' free....

I always knew the day would come
When everything's coming undone
Now I've made up my mind, I'm breakin' free.....

Everything's coming undone.  The cancer has formed a new mutation and my current targeted therapy can't keep my lung cancer 100% under control.  It's time to break free and add additional iv chemotherapy treatments to control this newest growth and spread.


GO2 Foundation Virtual 5k Your Way 2020

June 20, 2020
Took Laynie on a #virtual5k today. #GO2SummerJam2020 #beatlungcancer #lcsm
#GO2Foundation #lungcancersurvivor #stage4lungcancer


Opportunity is Knocking Part I

Advocating on Capitol Hill

I spent the last several days preparing for and participating in the Day of Action for the 2020 GO2 Lung Cancer Virtual Summit.  I had the opportunity to be a Co-leader for Team Colorado.  I helped prepare and organize our team of 7 with 5 lung cancer survivors including myself, and 2 lung cancer advocates from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), which is headquartered in Aurora, CO, just outside of Denver.

Yesterday was our Day of Action.  If we were able to travel to Washington, D.C., it would have been the day hundreds of lung cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates stormed Capitol Hill to attend a day's worth of meetings in our Senate and House representatives' DC offices in-person.

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of Washington, D.C. and our whole lives.  But an idea that has come up more than once is, "Lung cancer doesn't stop for COVID-19 and neither does the need for more research."  It can't stop lung cancer advocates either.  We prepared for our meetings via Zoom and held our congressional meetings virtually by telephone conference calls to our DC contacts on Capitol Hill.

I will never say it's easy to attend these meetings in-person or by phone to ask for $20 million dollars.  But as I approach the end of FDA approved targeted therapies and I don't know if there will be a proven treatment option available to me, the ask for funding to increase lung cancer research is more of a plea than a simple question.  It also helps the argument when your teamed up with five others in the same predicament.

The lung cancer community has been given the opportunity to educate Congress about lung cancer and to ask them to restore the Congressionally Directed Lung Cancer Research Program administered by the Dept of Defense to its original allocated amount of $20M in the FY 2009 Appropriations Bill.  The program is currently underfunded at $14M.  
In my home office aka sewing room on the Day of Action

GO2 set up an easy way to meet with members of Congress from our own homes without having to do anything more than practice our elevator pitch and share our personal stories about our connection to lung cancer.  No travel expenses, no risk of coronavirus.  What an amazing opportunity.  Yet, compared to the size of the lung cancer community, there was only a handful of survivors, caregivers and industry members that participated.

Part II Preview:

Click on the screenshot below for my latest lungcancer.net article.


Starting Over, Catching up and Silver Linings

I'm back in the blog game. 

I didn't mean to take such a long break.  

I had plans for a major change to my blog layout and design for my return.  Instead of a major overhaul, I ended up making some subtle changes.  I'm guessing it looks the same to you.  It pretty much looks the same to me too.

To be honest about the break, I was mentally exhausted and needed a blog break after working on my Team Draft Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge fundraising campaign from January, 2019 until February 2020.  I was all in from November 1, 2019 until Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2020 and a then some after that.

I raised a grand total of $13,100. 

Team Draft and I were scheduled to present the $11,790.00 BIG CHECK to Lung Cancer Colorado Fund at the end of March.  We had to cancel the in-person presentation due to Coronavirus and the risks of exposure, restrictions and need for social distancing.

One year on my own.

I still don't feel comfortable going into details on my blog, another reason for the break.  It's time to, at least, let everyone know, I am single and have been for just over one year, officially.  The beginning of May, 2020 marked one year since removing myself from a very toxic relationship, situations and removing my ex from my home and life.  Breakups are crappy.  This one was, no doubt in my mind, The best change I could have made for me and Laynie and at the best time.  It gave me a renewed joy and a sense of freedom to be me, stroke deficits, cancer and all.  It also allowed me to make strides in my stroke recovery.  There was no more holding me back.  I made more improvements in my first couple months without my ex than I did in the whole year and a half after my stroke.  

Quarantine has been treating me well.

Instead of commenting here about the positives that have come to me in self-isolation, I wrote them in a lungcancer.net article, Self Isolation Silver Linings.  
Click HERE
to read all the great things that have happened.

Illistration from lungcancer.net Self-Isolation Silver Linings

I'm a poet.

Another cool thing to come out of quarantine was the opportunity to participate in a Writing with Cancer Workshop offered by University of Colorado Cancer Center.  The above article was written before I participated in my first writing session.  Until Coronavirus, these were in-person, in Denver only, sessions.  They are now offering an every other week workshop via Zoom.  From two sessions, I've written three poems.  I will be sharing all of them with you soon.
A beautiful journal that was gifted to me.
My first poem


Three Interviews and a Fundraiser

I've had several recent opportunities to share my lung cancer story and to advocate for more research funding.  It just happened that these three interviews were released so close together that I am sharing all with you in one post.

Team Draft Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge

I took the challenge this year.  I've been fundraising for Lung Cancer Colorado Fund to support the groundbreaking lung cancer research and treatment developments at the University of Colorado Lung Cancer program.  I earned the chance to go to the Pro Bowl to experience the events while I share my lung cancer story and advocate for awareness and lung cancer research funding.  Click HERE or the Pro Bowl logo to see a Team Draft video about my fundraiser.

You can help me reach my $50,000 fundraising goal .  Click HERE or the donate button to submit a tax deductible donation today. Donations can be made through Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2020. 

Living Lives with Lung Cancer website interview

LLwLC is a website focusing on lung cancer patients and survivors living and thriving in spite of their diagnosis.  I'm lucky enough to be one of the first to be interviewed.  I can't wait to see and read upcoming inspirational stories from fellow lung cancer patients. Click HERE or the zipline photo collage to read my interview.

Cincinnati radio/podcast interview

Melissa and I recorded this interview in November 2019.  I think it was originally an hour and ten or twenty minutes long.  The Medical Apocalypse doesn't really have a Cliff's Notes version.  Melissa did a wonderful job editing that down for the show.  you can hear the interview HERE or click this video.


Joe Thomas Cameo Enouragement Dec 2019

This is so freaking cool!I  received my Joe Thomas Cameo today.  I requested encouragement for my Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge. 

I've watched this enough today I've lost count.  It  smilemakes me every time.  😁


Cyber Monday Discount Giving Tuesday Purpose

Cyber Monday:

UPDATE: Use prmo coade GIVING10 for 10% discount.  Expires 12/7/19.
Peace Lungs & CLE shirts are available.  Place your order today.  Your Cyber Monday Promo Code is:CYBER10 Offer expires on Tuesday Dec 3, 2019. Click on a shirt or HERE to order.  All proceeds will be donated to the Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.


Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is coming. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge.

90% of funds go to life saving lung cancer research. 10% will help Team Draft continue their mission of changing the face of lung cancer with awareness and #survivorship and
providing lung cancer patients, survivors and their families exciting, memorable  moments away from medical appointments, cancer centers and living with lung cancer.

Your donation, of any amount,  may provide the funds needed to research or develop a new lung cancer  treatment. It will brighten my day, put a smile on my face and could possibly provide me with a trip to Super Bowl LIV, the Pro Bowl or the Taste of the NFL. These trips are awarded to the top three fundraisers. As I post this, I am currently in second place, only by a hair.  All three trips would be a trip to Florida in the middle of winter.  I would love some fun in the sun.

The Super Bowl Challenge has given me a focus with an obtainable goal, high but obtainable.  After the past couple years and recent months of recovering from personal devastation and difficult times, the challenge is a wonderful distraction with a possible outcome of a reward and trip away from my everyday reality, challenges and hurdles with lung cancer, progressive brain disease and recovering from a hemorrhagic stroke.

Please donate, share my fundraiser link with everyone
and put positive thoughts, prayers and energy into the universe. 


What is LCAM?

November is LCAM. 

What does that mean?  

Here's my latest article for lungcancer.net that breaks it down and explains the campaign and it's origins.


2020 Lung Cancer Survivor Super Bowl Challenge Kickoff

Because of everyone's generosity, I raised $374 for my challenge.

I kicked off my 2020 Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl challenge fundraising campaign at the Cleveland vs Broncos game in Denver on Sunday, November 3, 2019.

It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, I got to introduce myself, share my lung cancer story, information about lung cancer Awareness Month and my participation in this year's Super Bowl Challenge.  So many tailgaters were more than generous with their time and money.  Browns fans and Broncos fans as well.  It goes to show, no matter which team we root for, we all agree that lung cancer (or any cancer)sucks.
More photos of #CLEvsDEN tailgating HERE.

I have until December 30, 2019 to reach my $50,000 fundraising goal.  Please donate HERE.  No amount is too small.  Every dollar counts, even when you make a minimum donation.