There are several aspects of today that I could share but nothing else is as important or surprising as our appointment with our neuro-oncologist.
After reviewing the MRI from today she told us that we didn’t have to complete the last round of chemo that was scheduled to start on Monday.
That means that we are completely done with chemo. No more monthly blood tests. No more having to ensure that we finish eating by a certain time so that I can take my medications. All of it is done.
We were elated, surprised, taken aback and caught off guard by the news. We never imagined that it was even a possibility.
The hundreds of messages, texts and emails that I have received over the hours since posting about it on Facebook and Twitter have been overwhelming.
Of course, our doctor told us the great news right after we had just paid $700 for next week’s chemo medications. The pharmacy can’t issue a refund for them but that is ok. I will gladly pay $700 to not have to go through another round of chemo.
As I began processing everything I thought back on the last 18 months since I had my initial seizure. Besides the obvious experiences, such as my injuries and recovering from my surgeries, I have had other experiences that we can now laugh at including:
- Laura feeding me Smashburger when I was first in the hospital. I don’t remember it at all because of all of the pain medications that I was on. Apparently I asked her to get it for me, including a shake, and she fed it to me as they were taking me for a scan. Several weeks later I told her that I had a craving for Smashburger which is when she told me about it.
- Typing these daily updates for the first few weeks with only my thumbs and my phone. I couldn’t use my laptop so, even though at times it took hours to type, it helped to focus my mind on something other than what I was experiencing at the time.
- Watching all 90+ episodes of Parks & Recreation that were available on Netflix within a 2-3 day period of time since I was confined to our bed when I first came home from the hospital.
- Having the pharmacy send me only 12 chemo pills instead of the 15 that were ordered. I didn’t notice it until I was in Cleveland to speak at Content Marketing World. They had to mail them to me overnight and I didn’t receive them until around 30 minutes before I had to fly to Boston to speak at Inbound.
Other memories I am really proud of such as:
- Swimming while we were in St. Lucia only 5 months after my shoulder surgeries.
- Completing my first Spartan Race one month before getting medical clearance from my orthopedic surgeon.
I could type forever about my memories, both the painful ones and the ones that I would never trade for anything.
While I would never wish the pain that I’ve gone through on anyone, it has helped me to build a deeper bond with Laura, with my family and with my friends, colleagues and broader community.
Laura and my mother-in-law are the real heroes and are the ones who should be celebrated, not me. What they did for me over those first 7 weeks go beyond any physical accomplishment that I have made. They are the reasons why I was able to push myself physically as hard as I have.
And with this incredible news means that this will be my last daily update, one week earlier than planned. It is interesting because it is something that I will miss doing.
I have never missed a single day. 545 posts straight. 175,000+ words.
One time it meant having to type an update at 2:00a after landing in NYC from St. Lucia and spending time with our niece who was only 2 weeks old at the time.
Another time we had gone to Cabo on vacation and I totally forgot to bring my power cord so I spent the entire week conserving my laptop battery until it finally died and I had to publish from my phone
And there were so many other times where I had to stay up late after Laura passed out just so that I could get an update published.
There were times that I felt that the updates weren’t strong or inspiring or they were just repetitive. Those always seem to be the days that I received the best response.
What started out as a simple Facebook update while waiting at the ER that first night turned into a motivator for others to lose weight, take their dream vacation or help them through tough times in their life.
I never imagined that this experience and sharing it online every night would be that helpful to those who have followed this journey.
As I move into the next phase of Built Unstoppable, I hope that I can continue to inspire those around me. While it won’t be with daily updates, I will write articles about other topics that I hope will be helpful. I will also begin working on the Built Unstoppable book.
The only thing left to say is thank you. Thank you to every single person who has ever liked, commented, emailed, texted, called or reached out in some other way.