OK, this is a BIG anniversary coming up … and I almost forgot.
I just went to the Marin Cancer Institute for my monthly sandostatin injection when my oncologist Dr. Alex Metzger reminded me that it's been almost a year since I started this regular treatment.
It was a year ago on June 8 when I was in surgery at Stanford Hospital to remove some suspicious lymph nodes that showed signs of carcinoid cancer.
It was tough just to get out of bed with the pain from where a team of surgeons led by Dr. Jeffrey Norton sliced open my gut. For days I pushed myself harder and harder, turning the laps around the hospital ward into an endurance race — one I couldn't lose.
A week later I started the injections. The chemical mix seems to be doing the job by keeping the cancer at bay. Even if it hasn't disappeared, at least it isn't spreading, according to the latest scans.
There were a lot of ups and downs during an uncertain year. Constant scans and tests made me nervous — but not radioactive — although everything seems to going as well as it can.
The recovery wasn't easy — on me or my family. I still had a bandage over the incision a month later when Tracy and I stood in the winner's circle at the racetrack in Sonoma and exchanged wedding vows in front of more than 35,000 people during the NHRA drag races.
That's another anniversary to celebrate next month.
So, how do we celebrate this month? What exactly are we celebrating?
We're celebrating life: another year of birthdays and anniversaries, a year of changes and hope, a year of happiness.
We'll celebrate with friends and family — and good food. We'll celebrate with warm hearts knowing that we've survived a year of challenges and we're stronger than ever. We'll celebrate with wishes for an even better year to come — perhaps without quite so many obstacles.
For more information on cancer and carcinoid cancer, consider these sites: