Let me start off this post with some good news. My most recent MRI was great! What that means is that damage done by radiation is still clearing up, and there is no sign of recurrence. I know I have said this before, but those with my type of cancer usually have a recurrence a year after surgery and I am just over a year and a half so that is awesome.

As I reflect on the past year I realize how fortunate I have been. How the people I love have supported me, the amazing trips I have been on, and the amazing health care team that I have. I have learned a lot this past year, things about myself, things about life, and things about relationships.

Sitting here in the still of my home, I am alone. Which is a rare situation these days. Kim is off exploring the grandeur and glory that is NYC, and my wonderful children and spending the next two nights with my amazing in-laws. Which will allow me to focus on work this week, and right now, enjoy this wonderful stillness. 

Recently I met with a brother-in-arms who, like me, dealt with brain cancer, and as I was just beginning treatment he was finishing up. Unlike me, his treatment put him through the ringer. We connected via a mutual friend on Facebook, and as I told him, our first interaction took a while for me to process and respond to. See when you go through something like brain surgery you loss your filter for a while and you say whatever you want whenever you want, no matter what the message is. Trust me, I had a significant lack of filter for quite some time.

People often ask me, “how are you doing, or how are you feeling,” which are very fair questions. Frankly, since I don’t look like I have cancer, work out regularly, often at the office, and traveling quite a bit, it makes sense to me that people ask those questions. Oddly enough, compared to how I felt before my surgery, I feel amazing. And thanks to Ritalin, my current monthly rounds of Chemo treatments don't affect me like they used to.

My brother’s Patronus is a Grizzly Bear, I have said this before. Do not be fooled by his charming smile and easy gate, he is capable of great ferocity and fearlessness. Claws that tear and teeth that devour, he guards and protects his den with vigilance and keen senses.

With my type of cancer as time passes the chances for recurrence of a tumor increases. So it would makes sense that each time I get a MRI I get a bit more nervous. Luckily, the results of today’s MRI came in with all the results we wanted. Everything that needs to heal is doing so, and there is no evidence of any recurrence.

Ten years ago today I said, "I do," to the most important person in my life. 7 months and 14 days before that I made the smartest decision and asked my wife to marry me. 9 months before that I somehow conned this woman named Kim into thinking I was cool enough to date.

With an offer to take the 3rd off instead of the 4th and the ability to work my Half-day Friday from my cell phone and laptop provided the perfect situation to head south to visit Heidkamp South. Usually when we head south we just visit family, but I have been jonesing for a get-together with my old friends

Today started with a trip to the Cancer Clinic to have my labs drawn in search of a Platelet count high than 100. After a nice morning with my wife, a jaunt to the in-laws to pick up the kids, and a short Ed-venture I got the call letting me know that while my Platelet count is up another level is below the threshold to start Chemo tonight.

This week marks the first time in 3 years that I commuted to work by bike. Oh it was wonderful, cool breezy mornings and warm afternoons make early summer and fall the best times to ride. With the better weather and a newly added shower in our office it was the right time to start. I must admit the docs are right when saying exercise helps with the fatigue that comes with cancer treatment, I have a bit more pep in my step.

A quick Google search provides the definition of faith as, "Complete trust or confidence in someone or something."

I know that not all of the readers of this blog are spiritual, and those who are may not believe the same thing I do, so I started with the a definition that we all can agree with. I provide that definition as the context of this post starts with my faith as a Christian, but the implications can benefit people no matter their creed.

On a weekly basis I visit the UofM's Masonic Cancer Clinic to at the very least have my labs taken, and on a less regular basis to meet with my Oncologist and get MRI's. It's a recently opened clinic that in some ways reminds you of an Apple store, even though they foolishly use the Microsoft Surface. With walls of windows and bright white painted surfaces that reflect the light it is a welcoming space. If you have to regularly visit a clinic this is the kind you want.

After my last post I finally worked up the courage to reach out to my old friend Brian. It ended up with an exchange of our individual experiences with Cancer and how we are processing it. My friend Brian brought up an interesting thought. Being that he still has his tumor he wants to think of it as a chronic disease and not as Cancer. As a results he doesn’t like “the stigma of ‘fighting/battling’ Cancer,” that he has “made a conscious decision that what motivates (him) is love not fear or anger.” I couldn’t agree more, but it leaves me a bit conflicted as the title of my blog is Josh’s Fight.

I was in the ER with my wife at 1:30 in the morning when we found out that I had Cancer. One of the neurosurgeons was restitching my incision when my wife casually asked if the results had come in. Not knowing the answer my neurosurgeon said she would check and let us know. Twenty or so minutes had passed when she came in and began speaking in a tone that gave the news away.

As I was leaving the Masonic Cancer Clinic with my next round of Chemo I saw a nurse exit and pull a cigarette to her lips and light. I was struck by the irony of what I was witnessing. Someone working at a cancer clinic imbibing in what could transform her from employee to patient. But that is what addiction does, it causes us to ignore the reality of whatever we are engaging in. Be it overeating, porn, compulsive shopping, we ignore the negative impacts it has on us that those around us.