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Gilroy Relay for Life

We were very fortunate to be part of an amazing and powerful Relay for Life the weekend before last here in Gilroy. It’s funny how things come full circle in life. Years ago Kathy got involved as a volunteer coordinator for the annual event when it was still fairly new in town. She pulled me and the rest of the family in to help out, and we loved it. Fast forward to this year when I was honored to speak at opening ceremonies as a survivor, and Kathy did an incredible job speaking at the luminary ceremony as a caregiver.

We had a wonderful team, “BUCK Carcinoid”, that was spearheaded by Stephanie with lots of help from Stacy. I was completely overwhelmed by the support from friends and family, several dozen people all wearing our black team shirts emblazoned with zebras. My parents were here. I was totally surprised by my best friend Derek, wife Leanne and daughter Faith when they showed up (seen holding our hands in photo). They actually slept in our house the night before and I didn’t know it. Well played. There were too many other people there to mention, but every single person truly touched me and Kathy.

Our emotions were fried through tears of sorrow and joy. We walked, played, reminisced and just had a great day. By Sunday morning when closing ceremonies rolled around I was spent. Several of us survivors stood up at the stage and watched lots of young people cheer for us, then come forward with signs saying things like, “It’s okay to be sad”, “Keep fighting”, “Stay strong”, and the one that made me really start bawling, a 5-year-old holding a sign that read “We’ve got this”. Ugh!

Well over $100,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event so special.

As for my health, I’m doing well, feeling good, and really working hard. I’m in a holding pattern just waiting to see what the next round of scans and labs reveal. Kathy and I will be off to LA in late August to visit my doc at Cedars-Sinai and I’ll be sure to post the results after that.

Take care.

Resting at Home

Not much to report, but I’m so glad to be back home and finished with PRRT. Unfortunately I feel worse this time than the previous trips. I think that after four rounds my body is just screaming, “enough already!” I’m tired and queasy and just a pleasure to be around. Thank God for Kathy and her TLC.

I head to LA in four weeks for a 2-day follow-up at Cedars-Sinai with my oncologist. Then the first week of May I’ll be returning to Houston for a couple days of follow-up scans and evaluation. As long as everything remains stable, or hopefully even shrinks a little, we’re in good shape.

I know I’ll feel much better in a week or two. I had my monthly injection of Sandostatin LAR yesterday, the first since October, which will help with my symptoms. I’m so looking forward to regaining some strength and stamina. I will keep posting with more news from the doctors as it becomes available.

Home Again

I’ve told Kathy that we’re not leaving home again for a two week stretch unless it’s for a vacation in the Mediterranean or the Virgin Islands. It’s just too long to be away for this medical nonsense. Fortunately my fourth and final treatment next month is only a four day trip.

Kathy and I were thrilled and surprised when we got back home late Saturday. The kids had decorated the outside of our house with Christmas lights and baked lots of delicious Christmas goodies that were arranged on the counter. Kathy cried. I ate fudge.

I’m feeling much better than I did after the first two rounds of therapy, although I still have almost no energy and generally feel beaten up. My appetite and queasiness both come and go. I’ll be heading back into the office for a few hours Wednesday through Friday this week. Then I have the luxury of being off until January 3rd, which will afford me lots of downtime to recuperate. Our families are being great to us by celebrating the holidays on New Year’s weekend instead of this weekend so that I can enjoy them more.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year!!

Great Fun at Gilroy Golf Course

Last Friday was a perfect day! It was awesome to see everyone having such a wonderful time at the golf tournament and dinner. Kathy and I continue to be humbled, amazed and overwhelmed by the incredible support from the community, friends and family. Thank you so much to everyone who planned, volunteered, supported, sponsored and participated in the event.

We’ll find out some time next week just how much money was raised, but it looks like the final tally will be well over $20,000. Amazing. This is one of those “Only in Gilroy” moments that we’ll always cherish. THANK YOU!!

Glad to be Back Home

Well we’ve been in Gilroy for about a week now and it’s great to be back home. We really missed everyone and especially missed our comfy home. The trip back was uncomfortable for me but that was to be expected. It was great to be able to crawl into my own bed. Unfortunately Kathy had to stay in the guest room until Wednesday as an added precaution.

I still have abdominal discomfort and queasiness that comes and goes, but that’s getting a little better every day. My energy level is also improving. I went to work for a few hours Wednesday – Friday last week. My post-therapy symptoms are considered normal and I didn’t have any complications. I was able to get my regular monthly injection of Sandostatin LAR on Wednesday so that helps me feel a little better.

I go back to Houston for round two in October, the 11th through 15th. It will just be a 5 day trip, with an MRI on Tuesday afternoon before the Wednesday therapy, then flying back home on Saturday. Hopefully that MRI will show some tumor reduction.

Fundraising is still moving forward at an incredible pace, with just over $46,000 donated to date. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed. The first big benefit event is this Friday afternoon, a golf tournament at Gilroy Golf Course. The tournament is already sold out, but there are still seats available at the 6:00pm dinner for $25 each. If you’re interested in joining us please contact Mark Derry at mderry@gilroydispatch.com. I’m really looking forward to a great day spent with many friends and family members. Also please mark your calendars for another fantastic benefit event scheduled on October 8 at 6:00pm – a dinner and auction at the Portuguese Hall. Please contact Mayor Al Pinheiro for tickets and more information at al@pinheiroinsurance.com

Thanks to all of you who are following along here, posting your supportive comments, sending good wishes via text, e-mail and phone, and for giving us the strength and support to keep on fighting the good fight. Take care.