Mustering courage to open up my world. My students know this, but others might be shocked. Since May I have been undergoing tests. Final diagnosis: Stage IV breast cancer. Prognosis: Not a winnable fight. Chemo until drugs don’t work anymore, which could be 10 years or more.
But here’s the weird cool thing: During two months of ever-worsening diagnosis I got my act together and have felt steadily better. Now I’m back to teaching and practicing, and I’ve decided to go to Germany for immunotherapy. I’ve cancelled my chemo. On Friday my oncologist confirmed what I knew, that my tumors are shrinking rather than growing. I feel well and am doing well. Sport and I will show at the AKC trial this weekend.
I’m deeply grateful to my students, who have protected my privacy while explaining my circumstances to others. Words cannot thank my best friend and kick-ass trainer, Karen Kay. These people saw me at my worst! Thanks to Tom Ackerman for tireless help with apt hunting in Munich during Oktoberfest! Who goes to the world’s biggest beer party for cancer treatment?! Thanks to so many of you for all the notes, health food, and good thoughts. Such great medicine!
I promise to start a blog about this adventure, so others can keep up with how my fight is going. I will be better about corresponding now that I have opened up. First step in Germany is apheresis, harvesting, culturing and infusing my T cells and killer cells. If I have to take down my immune system with chemo later on, so be it. But here and now I’m going for the win. Don’t bet against me, I’m a two-time national champion and two-time international champion. Not much of a quitter.
Please keep Karen’s spirits up, as she will be very busy taking care of everything here at home. So far all the nay-saying by doctors has been neutralized by my steady family. It has been a lot for them to carry. Opening up is scary, but I feel like you are all on my side as well. Thanks.