Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fletcher Flyer Inspiration Dinner Speech

Hello, it's been a long time since I spent a Saturday morning at home - I've been either playing golf or cycling each and every Saturday since February.  One of the things I wanted to get done today is to get the video of my speech from the FF Inspiration dinner up on the web and I've done it - here you go:

Some have asked me this question, so as a footnote, when I gave that talk, I knew I had a mass in my lung.  Thanks to Rachel for shooting.  My incisions are healing nicely.  Taking it easy at home for a few days.   Happy Father's Day to HLR III and all the dads out there.  Dan

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Post Op Report

Hello everyone, this pic at left is of me and my brother-from-another-mother, Keith McElrath at the Hasentree Member-Guest, taken Saturday.  That day I had a "mystery mass" in my upper right lung.  Today that mass is in a lab and I have about 10% less lung capacity today, but I'll get that capacity back.  The mass is identified as an  infection surrounded by a cocoon of inflammation and scar tissue called a granuloma ...but NOT lymphoma!!  The operation to get the biopsy was more involved than we first thought.  Dr. Chang had to put a breathing tube in my left lung, then collapse the right lung so he could work on it - "wedge out" the infected and inflamed tissue, staple the lung together, and exit the diseased tissue.  He left a tube in my chest cavity - actually in my side - to drain fluid out after the
Kenyon and Buddy Jake mugging with their masks on in my room at Rex
operation.  I am hoping to be discharged from the hospital today.  Of course I have some pain at the two incision sites (one still has the tube in it) but still today is the target for going home.  All in all, we believe by faith that the Lord answered all the prayers of His people, out of His abundance of love and grace.  I simply stand in awe of His work in my life and I want to use these trials to bring Him honor and Glory.  Thanks everyone for your support, prayers, positive thoughts, and note/FB posts, etc…..I'll update when I get home - Dan

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fletcher Flyer Weekend and Upcoming

 ** Don't miss the medical update at the bottom **

Start of the ride - 1,000 cyclists

Greetings friends and family.  Well, Renee and I (and Rachel) had a stupendous weekend in the mountains of western NC.  After 5 months of training, I completed the 100 mile Fletcher Flyer bike ride!!  I went 17 miles further than  I had gone in any previous training ride, and finished strong and sore.  I raised $5,000 for LLS in the process, good enough for 2nd place among the 50+ TNT riders - and my thanks go out again to all those who donated to the cause!
On the Course with the Triad Team

After driving out to Asheville on Saturday, we checked in to our hotel and got ready for the inspiration dinner, a gathering of all the Team in Training (TNT) participants and their families.  I was asked by the TNT staff to give the survivor's perspective and I will have the video up soon if you want to check it out.  It's about 22 minutes in length.

The ride itself traces out a labyrinth of roads that generally criss-cross through beautiful river bottomland and the towns of Brevard, Mills River, Etowah, Horsehoe, and, of course, Fletcher.  The course had a total elevation gain of something like 4,300 feet, but over 100 miles, that's not too heinous.    4 other riders came out from the Raleigh team with me, and on the ride I met a bunch of great TNT folks from Greensboro, Winston Salem, Georgia, and Northern Ohio.  The team spirit and camaraderie were outstanding.  There were 6 rest stops along the way, each equipped with porta-johns, fresh and packaged foods, water and gatorade, a first aid station, and a bike mechanic tent.  Since we were not 'racing', we made good use of the rest areas!
Finishing Strong with David, Wendy, Liz, Beth, Rob, and Singh from the Triad Team

At mile 49, the course passed the gravel road that goes to my sister-in-law Karen's house.  Renee, Rachel, and Karen were out there to cheer us on (link to clip --->  HERE )

After the ride, Renee and I spent Sunday evening with Karen and Scott (Rachel had to motor back to Raleigh to be ready for her first day of work on Monday) at their cozy mountain cabin in Mills River.  Then Monday morning we drove up the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to Blowing Rock, NC to spend another lovely evening with Bill and Michelle Joyce at their mountain retreat.  Wonderful views, wonderful friends, fabulous food, and great wine.  A blessed time.  Back to Raleigh on Tuesday to face new challenges.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day, I had my 6-month CT scan.  On the tuesday following, Dr. Kritz called - which is never a good omen, because when the tests are negative he has a staff nurse make the calls - and let me know that the CT showed an anomaly in my right lung.  Since I am not showing any signs of pneumonia, that can be ruled out as an explanation, but there are innumerable viruses and bacteria that can cause infections of different types, some which carry little or no symptoms.  So, it's likely either a lymphoma relapse or an odd infection.  We are going with a surgical biopsy so that there are no mistakes or indeterminate results this time.  We will have a consultation with Dr. Albert Chang tomorrow (June 5) and schedule the biopsy from there.  Dr. Chang is the same doc who performed the operation in September 2011 that ultimately determined that I had lymphoma, not lung cancer.  ---->  Update today, June 9:  after a PET scan this morning, we consulted again with Dr. Chang and will proceed with the biopsy, tentatively schedule for tomorrow, June 10th, pending insurance approval.

As we face another time of uncertainty and stress, we are "battle ready" - we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is with us, He is for us, and He has everything under control.  He wants us to trust Him completely with this life and the next, and we do.  Until my next update, we are wishing you God's best….Dan