Tag Archives: Life

The Peloton Part 2: A Brief Follow-up to a Previous Post

I received numerous questions about a previous post titled The Peloton. Here I try to answer them.

 

Lynn greeted me at the Kansas City airport on a Friday afternoon in early June and eagerly relayed the plans for the following day’s kick-off to the “Vision Tour”. There would be twenty-five serious cyclists in the peloton. This was a collection of men serious about their bicycles. For them, a one-hundred-twenty mile excursion seemed like a delightful way to spend a Saturday. Then there was me. My love for and desire to support my friend compelled me to endure the soreness and inevitable chaffing that would follow. I was glad to learn that I had been assigned the task of driving the “sag-wagon” (a support truck for anyone who found themselves in distress) and would join the pack for the final fifteen miles into Manhattan.

The details, as Lynn laid them out, had been carefully arranged, but there was one aspect outside the realm of careful planning that could make or break the trek: weather.

A meteorologist friend had kept a vigil on the climate in the week leading up to the event. An early prediction of a beautiful sunny morning soon gave way to an ominous storm front bearing a torrential downpour. Cyclists are a dedicated bunch known to willingly endure tremendous physical suffering as they charge up the side of mountains or ceaselessly pedal into a fierce wind coming across the plains of Kansas. They are not, however, crazy. When weather conditions promise lightning and flooding, plans get rescheduled. By five-thirty Friday evening Lynn made the decision to delay the launch of the tour to Sunday.

For me that meant a number of things. First, my return flight to Dallas was Sunday afternoon so I could no longer participate in the experience. Second, I was able to sleep in without kids jumping into my rib cage asking me to make pancakes. Third, the delay allowed Lynn and me to spend a wonderful Saturday afternoon together. Lastly, my entire Sunday wasn’t a loss as I was able to play a quick nine holes of golf with my brother-in-law before being dropped off at the airport.

The peloton was somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka by the time I stood on the first tee box and sliced my golf ball into a lake. What was impressive, however, is that of all those who volunteered for the ride the only person who couldn’t make it because of the rain delay was me. When their friend was in need they made room in their schedule to be flexible and showed up.

My flight back to Dallas allowed me the opportunity to think about the incredible number of people who are in my family’s peloton and showed up when we were most in need. We are all eternally grateful for everyone who carved time in their schedule to send cards, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, care packages for the boys, run errands or travel to Dallas for a visit. We treasure the encouragement and continue to love hearing from you as we “ride on.”

 

The rain delay scratched both the bike ride and the basketball game. But I stand ready...

The rain delay scratched both the bike ride and the basketball game. But I stand ready…


The Peloton

My usual breakfast fare doesn’t normally include a hotel buffet line three miles from my house but when my friend Lynn is visiting Dallas and there is only a mere hour to spend together before the demands of work drag us back to our respective careers, I will make do with whatever is on the menu. This meal was the first opportunity for us to talk since his wife passed away a few months prior. Small talk isn’t his style so the conversation dove deep and the tears flowed. We are each, it turns out, suffering through a loss. He was grieving his spouse while I mourned the loss of my health and the planned future for my family. We comfort each other over bowls of tepid oatmeal and discussed the need to re-imagine life, one forged in the fire of this suffering.

“Bruce,” he said and a grin spread across his face, “I’ve got something in the works. Something, I think, that is going to be big,”

Lynn is a dreamer, always looking at the big picture. I was instantly intrigued by his proclamation. “Alright. Lay it on me.”

“I’m planning a bike ride to cast a new vision for my life.”

“Okay. Where are you going to ride?”

“The ‘vision tour’ will start in Kansas City and end eight-hundred miles later in Crested Butte.”

“It’s your personal Tour de France, but with fewer mountains and no yellow jersey at the end.”

“Yes, and I want you to join me.”

“Uh, what?”

“In cycling there is a big group of riders that in tight formation who work together and become more aerodynamic, can ride faster and farther while expending less energy.”

“Yeah, sure, the peloton.”

“Exactly. Come be part of my peloton.”

“Man, I don’t know if I could ride eight miles right now, let alone eight-hundred.”

“Not whole way, just for a day. Ride the first leg from Kansas City to Manhattan.”

“How far is that?”

“One-hundred-twenty miles.”

“Lynn, God didn’t build these skinny legs for endurance sports. I’ve tried and the result wasn’t pretty.”

“How about this, you could meet us along the way and ride the final fifteen or twenty miles into Manhattan.”

“I might be able to survive twenty miles, but I haven’t touched a bike in two years. I don’t even own a bike anymore, it was stolen out of my garage.”

“I’ll find a bike for you to use. Think about it.”

Lynn isn’t crazy, he’s a cyclist, and cyclists are fanatical when it comes to their sport. They have their own social clubs, language, clothing lines and, for many, their own rules of the road. They push their bodies to endure through the sweltering heat, bitter cold, driving rain and thrashing winds then celebrate the suffering while sharing hard earned pints of beer. It’s a fantastic world of camaraderie and friendship for those who find pleasure in the sensation of leg muscles burning in protest as the mind forces the body to peddle one more mile and to summit one more steep hill. For men like Lynn, who have a garage bursting with bicycles, are known by name at the bike shop and talk intelligently about pelotons, panniers and sag wagons, hours spent “in the saddle” are better than therapy.

Lynn’s “vision tour” across the Amber Waves of Kansas and into the Rocky Mountains made sense because he understands that life’s most difficult moments, the one’s that disrupt the routine of life and destroys best laid plans, whether caused by the death of a spouse or a terminal cancer diagnosis, are opportunities to reinvent yourself and experience God in new ways.

Not every person, however, plans a grueling bike ride to cast a vision for their life, but the process of re-purposing is a vital part of the healing process. There comes a time when it is necessary to face the suffering head on and forge through the jungle of emotions and uncertainty in order to understand how these experiences will impact the future.

I began re-envisioning my life the moment, twenty-one months ago, the doctor’s words, “The test was positive for cancer,” filled the silent hospital room. The re-imagining process is slow and tedious and there isn’t a single aspect of life that escapes the examination. Parts of life that seemed mundane were put under a microscope and scrutinized anew.

When I walked through the front door of my house after two weeks in the hospital it felt as though I was entering for the first time. Through the filter of a terminal cancer diagnosis the furniture, tile floors, ceiling fans and even the grass in the back yard felt new, as if I had never been in that house. My children greeted me with tender hugs and I wrapped my arms tightly around them, kissed them and savored the scent of their hair. The joy of that aroma was immense and I wept.

“Why are you crying, daddy?”

“I’m so happy to be home and see you again.”

“I’m glad you’re home too.”

At that simple act of a hug from my sons ceased to be a mechanical process of bending elbows, pressing flesh and a quick squeeze. Each hug from that day since serves to re-iterate the motivation for the hard work and sacrifice my wife and I put into nutritional therapies that are repairing my immune system so it can rid my body of cancer.

Scrutinizing the present and renewing passion for the future doesn’t happen overnight and requires asking both the big and little questions:

“Am I living for my highest calling?”

“How can I use this new knowledge to help others going through similar experiences?”

“How do I do a better job of managing stress?”

“Will the Kansas State Wildcats compete for the Big 12 title this year?”

“Am I doing enough of the right things to allow my body to heal?”

Following nutritional healing protocols is difficult work that requires complete transformation of habits and thought. Progress is tracked through a number of tests and the results I’ve received indicate healing is well on its way. Additionally, my physical condition, stamina and abilities continue to improve (this past weekend I scored the best nine holes of golf in over five years). These results are a gift from God that give hope on days when I am consumed with fear.

 

Lynn finished his vision ride but didn’t do it alone. There were a peloton of riders with him at nearly every stage along the way who sheltered him from the fierce Kansas winds, motivated him to push through the fatigue, engaged in probing conversations and celebrated when he crossed the finish line.

Like a group of cyclists whose communal efforts allow them to cut through the headwinds, travel faster and encourage each other to power through the fatigue our family continues to be carried along by the support and love of family and friends. Life, like cycling, is best done in a peloton.


The Object of the Game

Thrilled to be surrounded by balls

Thrilled to be surrounded by balls

I was five or six years old when my father built a basketball goal, effectively converting our driveway into my personal arena of hoop dreams. He coached me on the rules and techniques of the game: dribbling, shooting, rebounding and use of the backboard. We played games of horse and one-on-one where the winner was the first person to score ten points. From that moment I considered myself an athlete. Like many young children I would eventually test my abilities at several sports but none of them suited me like basketball. Football, they used me as the tackling dummy. Baseball, to this day I will strike out in slow-pitch-softball. Track and Field, they once awarded me a ribbon for good sportsmanship. Swimming, I was assigned a personal lifeguard. Basketball, however, was a perfect fit and I devoted countless hours to the game even into my adult years, participating in basketball leagues and “working on my game” into my 30’s.

I’m a few years away from building a basketball court over the driveway for my sons but it’s never too early to acclimate them to sport-themed paraphernalia. When my youngest turned two a few weeks ago Teri suggested a “ball” themed party. Teri, her parents and Hudson decorated the walls of the house in “ball” stickers and inflated about 50 plastic basketballs, baseballs and soccer balls for party gifts. Maddox has a blast with all of the children running through the house terrorizing each other with the inflatable balls and kicking them into the neighbor’s yard (sorry about that Cesar). After we sang “Happy Birthday” and the candles were blown out I held my son on my lap while he ate his special chocolate vegan truffles and became a little emotional. Overcome with the joy of the moment. Partly because my youngest had officially entered the toddler years, but primarily because in the months leading up to his birthday as I dealt with the realities of my cancer there were moments when I questioned whether or not I would be alive for this moment. From the oncologist’s perspective the prognosis was so grim that I found myself praying, “Lord, please let me make it to see my son turn two.” His birthday had become my goal. It had become the means by which I started keeping score.

My last visit to the oncologist’s office was the most difficult and emotionally debilitating day of my life. I left his office and cried for hours as fear and doubt took the upper hand. Even now, four months later, I find I am still recovering from emotional wound delivered during that appointment. Despite the foreboding medical opinion, however, the visit to the doctor revealed something profound. When he looked at the image of my body on his computer screen and issued his ominous proclamation I discovered there were two cancers I was fighting. One is the melanoma and the other, a much more serious cancer, is fear.
Fear is a cancer whose roots are planted deep into my mind and spirit. Its presence robs my life of joy. Fear and joy are forever at odds and cannot co-exist. Where fear reigns in my mind, joy is nowhere to be found.

Healing the mind of fear, I am learning, is a spiritual and emotional process that requires a different means of keeping score. Initially I tried keeping score by hoping for favorable results when I slid into a PET Scan machine and had the results interpreted by a doctor who provided a prediction about my future. I quickly tired of being told “eight to twelve months” followed by a consoling pat on the shoulder. Fear is not purged with a scan. Technology will never advance past primal fear. Medical machinery will never trump human instinct. Fear cannot be removed on the operating table. The surgeon’s scalpel cuts deeper than flesh and bone. It slices through the mental, emotional and spiritual tendons that make up a whole person and these must be repaired in order to affect recovery.
A different way to keep score had to be found. A method that doesn’t rely on a prognosis but takes into account the state of my mind. I had to find a way to measure joy. This is how I do it. Each day I ask myself a simple question, “Am I able to greet the morning with joy, thanking God for the day and possessing the ability to spend time with family and friends?” If I can answer that question, “Yes!” then I am winning. When I score what is truly important I find it is possible to win regardless of what happens with the melanoma.

Will I ever drag myself back to oncologist’s office for another scan? I can’t say for certain. In many ways I feel like my five-year-old self again, learning the rules of a game for the first time. I’ve traded the basketball, backboard and driveway for faith, nutrition and the discipline of a daily routine. And the object of the game isn’t to score the most points or have the most scans done, but to live each day with the most joy.

*****

• Teri and I are so thankful your constant encouragement and participation in our journey. You are a source of joy for us and we love hearing from you.
• Our experiences and research over the past eight months have taught us so much about health, nutrition, eating, and treasuring life. We are eager to share our experiences and learn from your experiences as well. To that end Teri and I are going to host people in our home semi-regularly to impart some of what we have learned and further participate with you in this journey. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know and we will add you to the invitation list.
• I am going to be posting these emails and, from time to time, other curious essays on the website http://www.brucebbriggs.com. Please feel free to stop by for a visit and subscribe to have the posts sent to your inbox.

Paws off the vegan chocolate birthday truffles!

Paws off the vegan chocolate birthday truffles!


Conversations with 4-Year-Olds

One recent morning as I drove the boys to their school and day care the following conversation took place.

Hudson started commute singing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of his lungs. After the song ends he says…

Hudson: Daddy, when can I go with you to your work?

Daddy: You want to go to work with me?

H: Yeah, I’ve never been to your work.

D: We can arrange for you to go with me to work someday.

H: I’ll have to think about what snack to take.

D: Yes, that’s important.

H: Maybe we can take red pepper

D: I like red pepper, too.

H: Yeah, I like it too.  A lot.  I don’t know how God is changing me to like red pepper.

D: God changes us a lot of ways.  He changes our hearts and sometimes he changes our taste buds.

H: He’s changing me to like red pepper, but I don’t know how he’s doing it.

D: That’s a mystery.

H: That IS a mystery.

Maddox starts singing Jesus loves me.  The words are almost entirely syllabic grunts, but the melody is there.

H: Hey daddy, Maddox is singing.

D: He sure is.

Hudson joins in singing and they are howling, at the top of their lungs, a duet of “Jesus Love Me” until we turn into the school parking lot.

H: On no. We’re late today.

D: Yeah, we’re a few minutes late.

H: It’s probably because I was racing my cars instead of getting ready.

D: That’s one of the reasons.

As Hudson is getting out of the car…

H: Maddox is going to cry when I leave.  He’s really going to miss me.

D: He will miss you, but then he’ll be happy to see you again this afternoon.

H: Yeah, he will.

D: Have a good day at school, buddy.

H: Bye daddy.  Tell Maddox it’s okay and I’ll see him later.


The Race is Not to the Swift

Hudson and me at the race

Hudson and me at the race

 

“3. 2. 1. Go!”

Hudson, my 4-year-old, sprinted across the starting line, weaving among the moving forest of legs. The throng thinned and he sped by walkers and stroller pushers. He yelled over his shoulder, “Look at all the people I’m passing.”

My announcement earlier in the week that the family was going to participate in the Sudan Goat Race 5K and Family Mile was still hanging in the air when Hudson said, “I’m going to beat you.” For three days all I heard from him was variations of the same piece of trash talk, “I’m going to beat you so bad,” “I’m going to leave you in the dust,” and “It’s okay daddy, I still love you even though you’re slow.”  The kid loves to race.  Sadly, he is burdened with my DNA, so the chances of him winning an actual race are slim.

Determined not to let me lead, Hudson jumped back-and-forth in front of my feet during the opening steep-downhill portion of the race. I dodged side-to-side to avoid trampling him under my size thirteen shoes.  We had run just half-way down the hill when he tripped and fell face-first onto the pavement.

I quickly lifted him out of the way of the oncoming mob

Tears.

Hugs. 

Kisses on scraped knees.

“Do you want to keep running or ride in the stroller?” I asked.

Wiping away tears he mumbled, “Ride.”

Teri strapped him into the stroller and walked the family down the hill and onto flat road. Hudson’s friends were running all around the stroller and as we turned to loop back to the finish line he yelled with excitement, “I want to race, daddy.”

“You’re feeling better now?”

“Yeah, and I’m going to leave you in the dust.” He jumped to the ground and his little legs churned as fast as possible among the crowd of racing children and patient parents.

The road back to the finish line transformed the steep downhill section into a sharp uphill run. While it is easier for a 4-year-old to maintain balance going uphill, the incline also exhausts his little legs. His breathing became belabored and just halfway up he stopped directly in my path, “Daddy, can you carry me?”

That was a fantastic question. 

Seven months prior to the race I was reduced to a crippled mass of flesh and bones after a thirteen day stay in the hospital where a surgeon removed a softball sized tumor and four feet of small intestine. By the time I was discharged the “Cancer Team,” comprised of family and friends across the nation, had been working around the clock to jump start our knowledge of the healing processes.  When the car pulled into the driveway, delivering me home for the first time since checking myself into the emergency room, the nutritional cancer therapies began immediately: a vegan diet, constant juicing, nutritional shakes, the Budwig protocol. Additionally I devoting extended periods of time to meditation and prayer and went on walks as far as my body could endure, which during the first couple of weeks getting to the mailbox was monumental.

The thing about nutritional cancer therapies is that they are rooted in eating organic food, are therefore non-toxic and won’t cause my hair to fall out, induce uncontrollable nausea and vomiting, steal my ability to taste or deaden my nerves.  As my body works to rid itself of the disease, the detoxification side effects I experience manifest in the form of minor rashes, “traveling pains”  (momentary pains that appear in one part of my body before subsiding and moving on to the next), occasional dizziness and intermittent fatigue. One of our primary goals is to repair my liver (whose role in the body is to detoxify) so it can function at peak efficiency and eliminate toxins. Every four to five weeks the cells that make up the liver are renewed. Restoration of a damaged liver to health can take twelve to fifteen generations of new cells, about eighteen months.  Dr. Max Gerson, creator of one of the leading nutritional cancer therapies once said,

“The cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones. Within the span of 18 months a bad defective liver, if given the correct fuel, can grow a new liver by virtue of replacing the defective cells with fresh cells. The key is giving the body the right nutrients, ingredients for the recipe. Someone who has spent a lifetime throwing the wrong ingredients into the body with the result of defective organs, plagued with cancer, cannot, in the manner of a mere few weeks or months, replace all of their cells with healthy ones. It is possible for that person’s bodily functions to begin to operate correctly immediately after the introduction of correct nutrients. The old liver still functions as a liver, not as a rusty metal can.”

There is a long way to go before the “rust” is cleaned out of my body. Most of the time, however, I feel very good. This past weekend, in fact, I managed to sneak in an hour at the gym and my muscles were sore after lifting thirty-pound weights (I used to workout with 100-pound weights), and I was exhausted after twenty minutes alone on the racquetball court.  From time-to-time I can even challenge my son to a race.

*****

He asked me a second time, “Daddy, can you carry me?”

I stood in the road quietly deliberating whether or not my body could make the trek up the hill carrying a squirmy forty-pound load.

“Daddy.” He was getting whinny now.

“You bet buddy.”  I swept him off the ground and set him on my shoulders. Together we marched to the top of the steep hill towards the finish line.  At the summit I set him on the ground and the race resumed. For the remaining 200 feet he zigged and zagged to stay in front so I couldn’t win. The race MC announced, “Here comes Hudson Briggs just edging out his father.”  I lifted him high in the air and said, “You won buddy!”

Hudson looked around, a bewildered look on his face, and asked, “Where’s my trophy.”

*****

We are so thankful to God for the love and generosity you have shown us.  Each week we are buoyed by an encouraging note in the mail, a delivery of groceries, an unexpected financial gift, or an offer to watch the kids for an evening. The battle with cancer is a full-time job and a full-time paycheck and most weeks it takes more than Teri and I can give. We have tried as best as possible amidst the chaos to thank everyone personally, but some of the gifts have been anonymous and sometimes we simply lose track.  I wanted to say thank you to everyone who shared in our struggles.  You are saving my life.

Lastly, every day we deal with challenges related to cancer and the subject is never far from our minds.  Here are a few of the topics of constant conversation at the Briggs house. Please keep us in your prayers.

  • We continue to research and consult with experts and there are many scientifically backed opinions as to determine how to address my cancer. We need wisdom and discernment to know what to adopt and what not to adopt.
  • Daily Teri and I wrestle with finding balance between the protocols, work, the kids, time together, and getting the rest needed for healing.
  • Last week we had a consultation with an expert who analyzed drops of my blood under a microscope. The results showed areas of my health that need improvement, naturally, but the results also revealed that I have “strong blood,” “there is good constitution,” and, “I’m not far from where I need to be.”  We are very encouraged to have some scientific data that indicates healing is happening.
  • Hudson and Maddox, now 4 and 2, are resilient kids and are adapting to our regime without complaint. They are particularly fans of the spinach, kale, banana, peach and blueberry smoothies.

 

The boys and me at an Easter Egg Hunt

The boys and me at an Easter Egg Hunt

 

 


The Razor Sharp Talons of Hope

* Originally published March 23, 2013

 

I am an English major. Not an English major guru who takes special joy in correcting other people’s grammatical foibles at Thanksgiving dinner. No, I’m just a regular guy with an English degree. Five years and over $30,000 spent at Kansas State University and I emerged with a degree in a language that was taught to me from the moment of birth.  Since the inception of my collegiate tenure I answer the question, “What does one do with a degree in English?” no less than four times per year. This is a serious question which requires the most serious of answers. An English major is good for two careers: becoming an English teacher or a 3rd World Dictator. When I graduated the career board at K-State was a little short on 3rd World Dictator postings and, being the son of two teachers and consequently spending my childhood summers painting houses, I had no desire to engage in the noble career of teaching. Naturally I embarked on a career path of blazed by countless English majors (and history majors) before me, toiling in miserable entry level positions until deciding on a career in insurance. While my chosen major did little to prepare me for life post-college, it has, to my delight, come in handy in my new role as a professional cancer fighter.  I recall taking a course on early American poets where I wrote what was, undoubtedly, a marvelous research paper on Emily Dickinson.  A poem she wrote has come to mind with frequency since my diagnosis,

 

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

 

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

 

It was just over a month ago when Teri and I met with an oncologist in a tiny room, crowded with the three of us, where he explained, with stoic timbre, the results of the PET scan, according to his training. We solemnly filed out of the room and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry.” In the five weeks since that meeting Teri and I have experienced a year’s worth of emotions. Fear and peace, sorrow and joy, doubt and boldness all sweep over us like a thunderstorm thrashes its way across the plains. Though abashed by the storm, hope allows us to press on with joy.  When the oncologist gave the same look as my parents when I told them I wanted major in English but didn’t plan on teaching, we looked elsewhere for solutions to the problem that confronts us.  And hope has not disappointed.

Our hope is not founded on a wishful dream. We have discovered the tools needed to battle my cancer built into creation. Encouragement arrives daily in the form of new stories of people around the world who have overcome the very form of cancer I carry by employing the same nutritional cancer therapies we have adopted.

This hope does not, however, make us naïve.  The future is uncertain, as it is for all human kind, and we are learning to live in uncertainty. Each day carries both emotional and spiritual challenges that, at times, shake us to the core and leave us holding each other gently praying.  A passage of scripture, a lyric from a song, or a scene from a movie may trigger tears of joy or fear. Our hope, however is built on unshaken trust in God and, to borrow Dickinson’s metaphor, the bird of perched in our soul is a giant falcon with razor sharp talons and a giant hungry beak looking to devour cancer cells.

 

 

Thank you so much for sending emails, text messages, voicemails and cards.  Hearing from you is an enormous encouragement. It’s difficult for us to communicate directly with everyone who touches our lives, but let me offer this meager attempt. My sons love cookies.  They’re virtual addicts.  Yesterday my oldest woke in the morning asking to have cookies for breakfast. Naturally, we said yes. One of the recipes Teri discovered as we changed our diet is a fantastic vegan no-bake cookie, which, because of the ingredients, can also be eaten for breakfast.  If you desire, make a batch of these cookies and know, as you make them, we thankful for you.  Then send us a message letting us know whether you enjoyed them and thought of us as you ate them.

 

Hudson’s Awesome No-Bake Cookies

  • Mix together the following ingredients in a bowl:
    • 2 ripe mashed bananas
    • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1.5 TBSP honey
    • 2 TBSP almond butter
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • a pinch of salt.
  • Mix well and roll into 10-12 small balls and flatten them into cookie shapes then place on a plate or cookie sheet and freeze (30 min.)
  • Enjoy!

 


We Press On…

* Originally published February 4, 2013

 

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me and my family and sent an encouraging text, email or card in the mail. Our spirits have been sustained by your vigilance.  Today’s meeting with the oncologist spawned an array of emotions we are still processing and once we’ve had an opportunity to get some distance I will send a more thoughtful update. In the meantime I want to give the new details of my situation:

  • I do still have cancer.
  • The cancer has not spread.
  • At the last PET scan 3 months ago there were 8 spots, today there were 2.
  • One of the spots has grown significantly, baseball size, and is comprised mostly of dead cells.
  • The other spot is small, marble size, and indeterminate as to whether or not it is actually cancerous, though it is likely.
  • The growth rate for both of these spots is considerably low (previously it was high).

 

I will provide more details as we are able to process them both mentally and emotionally. In the meantime, if you feel compelled to call, email, text or stop by our house late in the evening we welcome the opportunity to tell the story.