Good morning everyone! I certainly hope your lives are filled with never ending joy, happiness and love. I hope you are constantly surrounded by the blessings I get to witness each and every day. Some days are harder than others, but I have to thank my beautiful wife, children, mother, aunt, and mother-in-law for always being there, lifting me up and helping us get through the everyday tasks of living life. Along with our enormous support group, they are what keep me pushing further along.
I apologize for the long lapse between posts. It has been a very busy and draining 8th round. I have a few projects I am working on. We did some traveling, and now we are preparing for my re-staging scan in Houston on Monday (November 5).
I’m not really sure you can prepare for a scan of your body to let you know the status of the battle between your very existence verses a deadly disease. It’s the most grueling thing to ever have to go through. It still does not seem real, but it is what our lives consist of now. We seem to manage, but these days are never easy for us. This scan is especially taking its toll on my mind, body, and spirit. Without going into much detail, a person whom I now consider a great friend has the same disease as I do. They recently received a very big setback concerning scan results about a week and a half ago. It has spread significantly, but they will continue to fight! They were diagnosed at the same time as my recurrence back in March of this year. It is a very unpredictable cancer, and it can change without notice. We are doing the best we can to fight it, and I pray God has mercy on my family and I.
I am scared, nervous, anxious, drained, and pushed to my limits at times. However, I am also filled and surrounded with love, happiness, joy, and family. Fortunately, as difficult as it gets at times, the good have always outweighed the bad. I am so proud and thankful for my wife’s courage, strength, love, and level of care with this journey. I am forever indebted to my mother and aunt for all they have to endure with our lives so intrinsically intertwined now. My mother-in-law is an extension of Andrea and I, and her love and level of care is unparalleled. I am forever grateful for the amount of support, love, and offers of help from all of you. You never go through life wanting to witness such a journey, but should you have to, I hope and pray you have a network of people as strong and dedicated as ours. We have been blessed!
Although I have not written in a while, you have all been on my mind, and I constantly read your messages! I often hear I wish I could do more for; so I set out to prove how the collective is much more powerful than any one individual. I’ve long wanted to keep all of your cards, messages, notes, emails, etc. by my side, everywhere I go. They are all uplifting, encouraging, and allow me to smile when I need it the most. I did just that.
I now have every single message since the beginning of this recurrence. To date, I have over 840 scanned cards, emails, texts, letters in my computer with me at all times. How amazing is that? This averages over 4 messages per day. To me, this is astounding. We are never left alone. God is always looking after us and put each of you in our lives at specific times for specific reasons. Thank you so much for all of your love!
As for my next passion I am working on, I want to be an advocate for my own health. I want to raise awareness for my disease, and help fund research for as long as I possibly can. The implications and treatments that could stem from angiosarcoma treatments are exponential.
With that said, I started a Cycle for Survival Team in Chicago on February 9 (our team site is (http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/AngiosarcomaChicago). Cycle is a non-profit whose purpose is to raise funds for rare cancer. I am honored to spend the day with those already committed to cycling with me. We have a wonderful and growing team of people! There is no fitness level requirement, and you can always go at your own pace. I would be ecstatic if I had to start a second team! We have time slots from 30 minutes up to the full 4 hours. More importantly, any funds our team raises goes directly into funding research for my specific disease. I am passionate about learning all I can to fight this, and we need help to continue the research.
If you are in the Chicago area around February 9, please consider joining our Cycle for Survival Team. It is an indoor event, and we are cycling during the afternoon shift starting at 1pm. Please contact me with ANY questions (517 242 8146 or firstname.lastname@example.org). To join, just go to our team site with Cycle for Survival (http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/AngiosarcomaChicago) and click on Join the Team. Our team password is “curecancer”. It would be an honor to be by your side in this fight!
I want this to be a great time for everyone. If you cannot join us that day, please consider being an advocate for our team and helping us raise funds. All donations are 100% tax deductible. Everyone can donate through our team website, or by searching for our team: Angiosarcoma Awareness with Team Captain: Ryan Humphrey.
A very good friend of mine has made business cards with our team information on them. If you would like some to pass out, please let me know, and I will gladly mail you some! If you are in marketing, we could always use help getting the word out through any media we can. I apologize for the long monologue on our Cycle for Survival event, but I wish to do very well for this cause. Thank you for any and all help you can provide!
As for the plan ahead with me, we have my re-staging scan this upcoming Monday (November 5) at MD Anderson in Houston. The scan begins at 4pm CT. We will most likely get the results the following morning during our consultation with Dr. Ravi at 830am. It is going to be a very long two days for everyone. The scans will determine the next course of action with treatment. We have plenty of options, but any progression scares me to no end.
You are all on my mind, and we so greatly appreciate you standing steadfast with us on this journey. My life is not how I had imagined, but I know God is taking care of us. We are blessed beyond belief on so many levels. I have been given the most amazing wife, most incredible children, a mother with endless love, an aunt whose passion for my survival is remarkable, and an overall life worth being thankful for every day. We all have our moments and obstacles to get through, but we will never have to do it alone. Thank you! We truly love you all, and have a wonderful weekend!