9/17/14 – Brian’s Song

Another tough week on the Cancer front. I don’t have all the information yet but apparently the last 10 days of radiation plus the high dose Carfilzomib did not work enough to continue. Preliminary numbers show that we haven’t moved the dial.

Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night in so much pain I just had to look at Helene and tell her that this is not how I am supposed to feel. Something is way off. We called Dr. J and drove into the city for (ANOTHER) consult. As it turns out I had a fever and my pulse was racing. I was trying to fight this thing back – whatever it was – in the midst of radiation and chemo.

So – again – more down time. I haven’t even been able to get in and out of the car without pain. They gave me some new pain meds and an antibiotic to cover me in case of infection. Truth be told, I am feeling much, much stronger today than I did yesterday and much, MUCH stronger than I did on Monday.

The issue now is what is our next course of treatment? I am not sure we know that yet but Dr. J says we have many things at our disposal to throw at this. That’s what I needed to hear. Many options. Tomorrow I am going in to have a port installed in my chest because my veins are getting a little crusty. I am also getting a blood transfusion as well so my energy should keep increasing.

I had a lot of time to be introspective this week. I wrote in a previous post about Cancer “fatigue” and how this is now a part of my life. I am very fortunate in that I tolerated my early regimen very well. 12 cycles of Carfilzomib and Revlimid and the Autologous SCT. It was a breeze. I was in the gym every day. Doing my kickboxing. I was always able to rally – even on the WORST of days – for a business meeting. I was kicking Cancer’s ass. Mind over matter. I was going to do it all. Work, family, writing football articles, coaching. There wasn’t anything Cancer was going to stop me from doing.

But somewhere over the last month – mind over matter changed. Cancer fatigue set in on me. And YES – I know – rest is important. The body has to heal. But here’s the thing – this shit is toxic and it is CUMULATIVE. I now have almost two years of toxins in my body plus two doses of radiation. And YES – I know – it is SUPPOSED to kick my ass. But I have to find a way to overcome that. Even if it is just a little bit each and every day. I walked Stella around the loop today in the neighborhood. I can (and I always do) stay hydrated. Acupuncture. All of these things contributed to my success early on but I gave them up because of Cancer fatigue.

By the way – just to add insult to injury – when I got home the other day the movie BRIAN’S SONG was on. Oh …. GREAT! Had to watch it though, right? And here’s what struck me. In the 1960s when the doctor said you had Cancer it was a death sentence. Cancer is more IN our control than ever. My movie is NOT going to end in a hospital room with Helene in the corner in a three way hug with Gale Sayers and Joy Piccolo. It’s just not.


I just wanted to get a quick note out to everyone tonight because it’s back to school night and as difficult as this is for me, Helene is the one who faces the community day in and day out. I am doing fine. I feel a thousand times better than I did Monday. I am not going to go to BTS night tonight so I can conserve my energy.

As soon as I hear anything at all about the next treatment regimen I will update the blog. It is obviously very fluid right now so I don’t want
to speculate. There are many facets of life to coordinate as well so I don’t want to be too vague and leave things up to interpretation.

Thanks for all of the support everyone. It’s time to take back my rightful dominance over Cancer again. #betterdaysahead – MUCH BETTER DAYS AHEAD.

12 responses to “9/17/14 – Brian’s Song

  1. Keep strong Brad. You are a fighter and this is just another detour. Thinking of you and your family and wishing good and positive thoughts.

  2. Thinking of you always and sending positive energy your way!! Thank you for keeping us all in the loop! Love you and your family and will always have you all in our thoughts and prayers!! xoxoxox

  3. Hey Brad,
    Sitting here recovering from ankle surgery, and thinking what a sorry wimp I am compared to you. It is such a drag to feel so physically compromised – luckily I have your attitude to kick me in the butt! 🙂 Please keep it coming. Love ya Cuz

  4. Brad,

    you are an absolute inspiration…along with being one of the funniest people I have ever had the great pleasure to call a friend…keep up the good work…all the best to you and yours, HBE, Jr.

  5. Thank you Brad so much for writing! You really put it put it out there. I am so sorry for what you are going through. You and your family are amazing.

  6. Brad,
    Do you tire of hearing how you inspire us? Hopefully not. I cannot believe how grounded you are. Good that you have surrounded yourself with strong, loving family and friends. That is key. As you know, I’m walking 13 miles Sunday along w/ my team and we will be joined by thousands of others whose lives have been touched by cancer. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts on Sunday. Stay strong man.

  7. Beyond every cloud, there is a RAINBOW!
    Your courage and inspiration is our Pot of Gold!
    Thinking of you and the family often. Stay Strong!

  8. Dear Brad, Sometimes we have nothing to say except keep your positive attitude and we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Uncle Herb & Aunt Roberta

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