Long time, no blog…

by Brandon

So yeah… it’s been a while. April, I think. Sorry about that. I know I promised to take you with me on this cancer ride, but I honestly didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to do something as simple as writing a blog. So what, you ask, has happened since April?

Whew boy… way too much to sum up in a single blog, but I’ll give you the highlights. I’ll go into detail on some of these in later blogs, but for now, I’m just playing catch up…

Well, in April, I went to northern Virginia to see a specialist. He took one look at me and decided I needed emergency surgery. Here’s how one of the doctors put it: “Surgery is dangerous in his condition, but we have basically two choices. We can risk surgery now, or he can die a slow, painful death.”

Obviously, my wife opted for the surgery.

The surgeon detached my lower intestine (yes, I now have a colostomy bag), and for a while, it looked like the surgery had gone well… until I wouldn’t wake up. I ended up unconscious for about a week. I was so weak, the doctors truly didn’t expect me to survive the night after my surgery.

After about a week of coma-ville, I shocked everybody by waking up. A couple weeks later, I was onĀ  my way back home to prepare for the upcoming chemo and radiation.

During my coma (for lack of a better term), I did have a near-death experience, but I’ll save that for another blog. After you read it, you can decide if you think it was a delusion or something more.

So anyway… I went through a few months of chemo and radiation, then went back to northern Virginia to see if the tumor had shrunk enough for a second surgery (which will eventually be necessary). The good news: the tumor had indeed shrunk. The bad news: It hadn’t shrunk enough for the doctor to be comfortable with the surgery. He decided I need more chemo.

There’s much, much more, but those are the highlights.

Today, I still have cancer, and I’m currently about halfway through my second round of chemo. It’s been (and is) a rough road. Sometimes the pain is intolerable. But thanks to the love and support of my family and friends, my wife and I are persevering. We’re pushing onward, and we’re all (including the doctors) still sure we’re going to beat this thing. It won’t be easy, but nobody promised me it would be.

So hang with me, folks. I’ll try to blog more often, I promise.

And when we beat this damn thing, I will absolutely finish the Day Soldiers series and I will absolutely finish the Man From Newella series. Just hang tight. Read ‘em again if you gotta’… just don’t forget about me!

Thank you, guys, for all the support. I’ve said this time and time again, but the support I’ve received through this has been downright staggering. I know it sounds trite to say this, but I genuinely love you guys. Truly. I have so many stories about my experience I plan to share with you. So much has happened that I haven’t mentioned here. I just have to organize my thoughts (I have chemo-brain, so it’s sometimes hard).

You will hear from me soon. Please take care of yourselves, and please let those around you know just how much you love them. If you don’t tell them, you will regret it one day. I promise.

Peace be with you.
May the force be with you.
E.T. phone home.
Yo Joe.

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