You had to be there.
Today was one of the most inspirational days I have ever been a part of. A group of about 65 individuals, consisting of family members, friends, friends of friends, colleagues, fellow Rotarians, fellow Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times counselors, and even a couple of high school buds (from 45 years ago – yikes) made up Team Craig – Get Fuzzy at the Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk. As you know, I’ve been shilling for this program for the past 6 weeks or so and it culminated in this morning’s event.
Our team was by far the biggest fundraising group, raising more than $11,000. The 2nd place team was less than half of that. But as my wife properly reminded me, it really was not about competition. It was about raising funds for Moores Cancer Center. You know, that place that has helped keep me alive for the past two years. And while I do not know what the final result was in terms of overall funds raised, I do know that our team provided a big chunk of that. Did I mention we came in first? Oops, sorry Kim. Those dang competitive juices again. But it was all for a very good cause. They even asked me to say a few words (gulp) as the top team. Click on the photo for the full effect.
But the inspirational part came from all of the supporters we had. While we were fortunate to have a few very generous donors making large gifts, we had more than a hundred others that contributed to our team, and thus to the Moores Cancer Center’s, success. But even though the goal was to raise funds, it wasn’t about the money. On a larger scale, it was about raising awareness for lung cancer research and treatments. Lung cancer still gets the short shrift in terms of research funding because of the stigma associated with the disease. The perception is that lung cancer patients are smokers and have done this to themselves. Heck, I probably had that opinion before I became an active, if unwilling, participant. So getting the word out to clarify that misconception is a constant battle.
On a more personal note, and thus the title of this blog, I was just floored at the support given me from all walks of my life. There was so many positive vibes flowing that, even though the event was about lung cancer, I forgot I had it for 3 hours or so. I am still in awe 12 hours later as I finger poke this blog. It’s kinda difficult to put it into words, and as a follower of my blog, you know that is unusual for me. Suffice it to say I was, and am, very humbled by the outpouring of love and support I witnessed first hand. For those that participated in one fashion or another, I cannot thank all of you enough. Just wow.
On the medical front, nothing has happened since I returned from Hawaii except for the reading on the bathroom scale. Reading as in 5 pounds heavier. Once again, my onc-doc will be very proud of me and happy at that result. Unless of course he hears how I gained it (Mai Tais, Rombauer, steak dinners etc.). I know when to keep my trap shut.
Since I have my next set of scans a week from tomorrow on the 27th, I will await the results of those tests to determine my next course of action. I am trying to get a second opinion from the brain oncologist at Moores to confirm (or not) the reading of my next brain MRI. Unfortunately because he is outside my health plan, it most likely will come out of my pocket for the 1-hour consultation, to the tune of $550. I guess we’ve been spoiled since we have such awesome health insurance and have had to pay next-to-nothing. I will be requesting a waiver for our insurance to cover this appointment but I’ve been forewarned not to expect it to happen. But I think I need confirmation that re-zapping that apparent fuzzy in my noggin is the proper course of action since it will be riskier than the first go-round.
We will also be doing the regular kitty-cat scan of my lungs to see how those troublesome fuzzies are behaving. Hopefully they are taking a little break with little to no progression from the last tests. Gotta stay in the trial long enough for the next new thing to come around. After hearing about some upcoming clinical trials at today’s walk, there may be something else for me in a few months. Maybe. We shall see.
Next Saturday, thanks to the generosity of one of the members on the Moores Cancer Center board of directors, my wife and I will be attending the big Spark Gala fund raiser. Here we will get to meet all of the major players in cancer research at this world renowned institution. Plus I’m sure we will drop a few more bucks in support of this wonderful establishment. Can’t wait.
On May 1st I will also have the pleasure and opportunity to jet off to DC to attend the 3-day Lungevity National Hope Summit. Hard not to notice the similarity in their group photo (if you click on the link) when compared to the team shot we took today. This is another “can’t wait” opportunity as I will finally get to meet a bunch of other survivors/bloggers who I’ve only met electronically.
Stay tuned for another update after my next set of scans.
Business as usual. Day at a time.