Whew!

Today, as I sit in chemotherapy with my incredible wife and about 20 other cancer patients at Florida Cancer Institute, I’m reflecting on how “lucky” I’ve been throughout my life. I’ve survived lightning strikes, serious head injuries, broken bones, car accidents, many burning buildings as a volunteer firefighter, driving NASCAR solo at Atlanta Motor Speedway, whitewater rapids on the Chattooga River and other stuff that I don’t want my Mom or kids to know about 😉 The Lord has clearly preserved and prepared me for this cancer journey. He determines all of our longevity.

In the chemo treatment room today, I see patients from every walk-of-life, affluent, dependent, very old, too young, terminal, funny, grouchy, determined, defeated, dedicated, anxious and peaceful. The full gamut of the human experience.

I don’t want to waste my cancer. I know that my experience is meant to be shared. Those who know me, know that I’m a private person that prefers to encourage over promoting oneself. Since I know God doesn’t make mistakes, He must have chosen me to for a specific reason. He has a plan for each of us.

We began this morning dropping the boys off for school, quick breakfast, at 9:15am for blood draw in the phlebotomy room, vital signs (BP, temp., pulse), weighed, medical oncology examination/consultation with Dr. Robbins, then IV (Aloxi & Prednisone), two Amifostine injections (ouch!), chemo drugs (Taxol & Cisplatin). Lisa brought me fruit salad, olive oil sea salt almonds, Raisinettes and chocolate covered pretzels and green tea. Chemo should be over just in time for radiation. Basically, I get bolted to a table by the mesh head mask for about 10-15 minutes five days a week @ 2:10pm (most days). Tomorrow, I plan to attend my monthly C12 meeting at Tampa Palms Country Club. I’ll need to leave early ($10.00 fine) to get radiation back in New Port Richey.

Thankfully, on Saturday I had just enough energy to take my three sons and their friend Luke to All Pro Dad at Raymond James Stadium to listen to Tony Dungy and the Family First team. It was a great experience.

Well, it’s now 2:40pm radiation is over and we are going for an early Sushi dinner (the steroid makes me very hungry).

Whew, one week and one day down, less than seven weeks to go.

Press on friends!

Below is a picture that I shot today with my iPhone of the ceiling directly above the radiation table. The lasers are used for alignment.

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13 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. Wow…your encouragement to all of US is so awesome…thank you, Rich! And that picture made me laugh and stand in awe at the same time! God is so amazing it is UNBELIEVABLE…in things that seem so tiny to others. That “little” thing on the ceiling is just another reminder of who we serve and who is in control…right at that moment you were going through your radiation! It speaks so loudly to all of us who are reading this, too…I am still just so in awe and so amazed and so thankful and so…well, I can’t put it into words…and it is that cross on the ceiling that took my breath away today!!!! Can’t thank you enough for sharing!!!!!!!!! We love you…xoxoxoxo

  2. Thanks for putting “life” into grand perspective for me and I’m sure many others. I do appreciate you taking us all along for the ride.

    And I’m glad you got to take your boys to APDad on Saturday! Awesome.

  3. I pray God the Father will keep you and your family filled with His peace as you go through the cancer treatments.

  4. Rich, I remember something specificly that was carved in the cement of our garage floor in our house in River Ridge.You left that secretly and one day Rob and I found it.You continue to amaze us with each new post! Press on Buddy! We love you!

  5. Richard, I am proud of you that you are seeing this adversity as something to be embraced…as an opportunity to minister to others. We are praying for your healing, for your comfort & peace that passes all understanding, for your Doctors, for your family and for those that you may bless because you have touched them. God bless you in all things!

  6. Rich, You are so inspiring to me and to so many people. I can’t say that enough. I told your boys that yesterday, as if they didn’t know that already. They are so blessed to have you as their Dad! And I am so fortunate to have you as my big brother. Just being around you gives me an incredible strength, and even more as I read your blog. I pray for you every day!

    You are truly an inspriraton!
    I love you so much,
    Stace

  7. Thank you for allowing all of us into your world of cancer and your fight against it – something that most of us pray to never experience and know very little about. And wow, that’s some picture huh? God is always with us.

  8. Rich, We see a lot of inspirational things at each and every All Pro Dad Event. At this one you were it! Your strength was a beautiful picture of faith, hope, and love….Thanks.

  9. Psalm 23 revised for Rich…

    God, you are my boss man
    I am never in want of anything.
    You give me rest when I need it and provide for all my needs.
    You refresh my soul when I am discouraged,
    You help me do what is right cause I am representing you.
    When I go through those very difficult times in life,
    I don’t worrry, because you are right with me.
    Knowing you are in control, it comforts me.
    You provide all things for me when “all Hell” is breaking out in my life.
    You continue to bless me,
    I continue to be abundantly provided for,
    Your goodness and unfailing kindness will be with me ALL the days of my life,
    And I have the assurance that I will dwell in YOUR house forever. AMEN!

    Praying that He will be your Good Shepherd as you walk through this valley…praying for you!

  10. Rich. Thank You again for sharing your journey. I am amazed and blessed by your faith and what God is doing. I will continue to join with so many others who are praying with you!

    I love the picture. I have a little hobby of searching to find the cross of Christ in seemingly random sightings. This is not so random.

    God Bless…

  11. Rich,
    “Values” refer to what people purport to believe, while “character” refers to how people really operate. The way you are allowing others to understand faith and love in such a trying set of circumstances truly is a manifestation of your beautiful character . . . someday many, many years from now, God will recite to you those words all of us hope we’re worthy of hearing . . . “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. All of us at Xcira are praying for you and accept as fact with a passionate understanding in your healthy return. To the extent we can ever be of any help in ANY way, please, please call.
    God bless,
    Nancy

  12. You are totally amazing Rich,

    My prayers continues to join yours while you ride the wave of this journey. We are all with you cheering you on.

    God IS amazing, and I, too, agree with Terri, above with respect to his comment “little” things (Cross) on ceiling is another awesome reminder of who we serve and who is in control.

    I, too, experienced the incredible cross during my during radition experience, and smiled and thank God for being there with me as he assures us that he will never leave or forsake us. That brought me great comfort and I pray it does you as well. Keep on keeping on..

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