Monday, December 14, 2009

Bush-league, psych-out stuff

I debated with myself for a few days whether or not I wanted to blog about what I'm about to blog about. The last few days I've been feeling quite shitty about what lays in store for me during January. Basically I have a weird chronic disease, that doesn't seem to want to ever go away. In a way, it is just like diabetes, depression, lupus, and a host of other conditions that modern humans may have but can still lead relatively normal lives...as long as they take their medicine. My medicine comes in the form of thyroid hormone pills, which I have taken every day since March of 2005, when I had my thyroid and 52 lymph nodes removed all of which were filled with cells which looked like this:Arranged in the following pattern:When in fact, the thyroid should have looked like this: Unfortunately for me, the little buggers were also in my lungs. Fortunately, the cells can't do much at all if their signal to grow and divide is blocked, which is one of the things thyroid hormone (my pills I take daily) do.

Anyway, this is all to say that ever since 2005, I've had cancer in my body. Although most of it has been killed or removed with 3 surgeries and 4 radiation treatments. There is a blood test that I get every 3 months which is my tumor marker and a good indication of how much disease is left in my body. It has been low, but stable for the past 3 years. The fact that it is still there however warrants hopefully my last radiation treatment...which has been scheduled for the last 6 months for Janurary 7th, less than a month from today.

I generally don't think or talk much about all this. I view it as a part of the natural history of cells, that sometimes, they go awry to no fault of our own...and there's absolutely no 'meaning' to that in my opinion. It is what it is.

My current fear is that, if there are cancer cells in my lungs (which no one is actually certain of anymore), then those cells will concentrate the radioactive iodine I have to drink in January. The problem then, is that normal lung cells get damaged in the process....and people that like to ride bikes quickly, climb mountains, ski down hills, run after frisbees, play with kids, run through the woods, and even scream at cyclocrossers need their lungs.

8 comments:

Sandbox/Gino said...

That sucks professor, but considering everything I've heard you fight through I'm sure you'll be out kicking my ass all over again this summer. Just yell extra loud at CXMAS before you've got to take that little bit of quiet time.

Zach Brace said...

dan...isn't there an alternative treatment that doesn't damage lung tissue? I know that lance dealt w/ this back in the day, his docs showed amazing foresight and used a diff. form of radiation that saved his lungs.

Thanks for sharing this on your blog. I'm thinking you'll still be riding strong in 2010. Happy Holidays!

Trail Monster said...

Yo Prof - Don't sweat the stuff you can't control. Just keep doing what you have been doing everyday: Reading, playing, finger painting, a little work, training, eating, and wrap it up with a cold PBR and a little rest.
The next day repeat...

As for January....If you want I can bring my cowbells, some teammates, and whole shitload of PBR's for chasers, and we can take it from there...
- "Superior Attitude, Superior State of Mind!" -

Bob Jenkins said...

Hey Dan, not to get all "deep" and stuff, but the fact that you accomplish amazing feats of athleticism whilst being a pretty damn cool guy AND suffering from a really shitty disease is why we all think you're so awesome.

I can sympathize a little bit with your meds issue; if I forget to take my Dilantin there's usually a pretty good chance I'll wake up in a pool of my own piss and blood with no idea what my name is or where I'm at.
Hell, I even got arrested once for wandering into a giant water fountain at a hotel in STL. I literally "woke up" in handcuffs with some cop screaming in my face wanting to know my name. Too bad I didn't know my fucking name, so I got thrown in th back of the squad car.It was pretty bad, but I hate to think what would've happened if the cops hadn't picked me up.

We have what I like to call "un-earned diseases".I guess my point is that even though it's a shitty situation you're obviously making the best of it. Greatness has a way of following you around, so just try to carry that badass-ness with you wherever you go and nothing can ever stop you.

We all learn from watching the Professor.

Dan said...

shit, you guys are way to nice.

muchas gracias....seriously.

I emailed my doctor this past week...soon after that post, cus I was feeling so shitty about the situation and I haven't heard back yet, but there's still a small chance that there is a better option to the radiation treatment. We'll see, but my whole problem is that goddamn radiation treatment and the bad shit it does to me and my gametes.

Black Matt said...

You are a solid guy and it's bullshit when this kind of action happens to solid people. If there's anything we can do to lend a hand, don't hesitate to ask. For real. Best of luck with everything, you definitely seem strong enough to take this shit on.

Mitch the Masher said...

I have no doubt that you will be kicking my ass as of Feb 7th. You are strong mentally and definitely physically and have tons of people to help/support you. You're part of an awesome team but more importantly an awesome community.

I love it, you wash your muddy cross bike while it's still on the car, leaving the car covered in mud. I like your priorities!

Casey Ryback said...

Holy fuck, Dan. I think there's also something innate in how you go through life that allows you to pretty much always be the most laid-back positive dude. Call it some super-human strength, but all I know is that if I had the "un-earned" health issues that you have, and faced the shit you face, I would not be able to face it with the same success as you. I don't even know a small fraction of what you have to deal with, but I know enough to know that you have the ability to crush/kill/destroy everything with a huge smile on your face. (Or rather, a small smirk while holding two bottles of whiskey.)

I don't know how you do it, but it's pretty goddamned inspirational.