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What is this a Life Rollercoaster I am on?

by arlo tejada 18. April 2013 10:57
Wow, where to start an update I never actually thought I would have to write.

Arlo!Lets call this a rather bad week.

So, start with the little item, right.
It looks like the cancer has come back.

I had my scan on Monday. I really did not think much about it, except for the fact that the hospital messed up the registration and made me wait an hour and a half longer than I should have. I was really more worried about the fact that my truck broke down than I was about the pet scan. Things have just been feeling to good for me to think anything was wrong. But I guess that is why we do the tests.

I was online looking through the shitty photos from the Boston Marathon when I received a text from a friend asking how the test went. This reminded me that I should check my online chart and see the report.

I was in the basement of my friends Jon and Gretchen Fullers when I read the report I was in total shock. I thought there was a mistake and they had put someone else’s report in my file. Two sentence tell all:

“There is a mildly hypermetabolic lymph node in the anterior mediastinum having an SUV value of 2.6 and measuring 15 x 8 mm.” – In my chest

“There is a hypermetabolic mass seen along the medial wall of the stomach measuring approximately 3.8 cm and having an SUV value of 12.” –In my stomach

What these say is most likely the cancer has come back. The SUV is how active the cancer is. 2.6 is really small and 12 is not. Seems like I get all the bad news while I am in basements. I was a bit of a mess for a while. I was not sure I really should even tell anyone but I was crying too much to not tell.

I called my mom after reading the report several more times. She decided to fly out in the morning for my meeting with dr. Prystas. I was really hoping to have the Dr. tell me it was a false positive. I have zero symptoms. No weight loss, no night sweets, no exhaustion (I have been playing soccer and working out pretty regularly), no itching, no new lumps, really could not think of anything that would be a sign of cancer.

She did give some hope.

There are several different reasons for the report. Worse is that it is the Hodgkin’s coming back. This is also the most likely. There is also a chance that it is Non-Hodgkin’s. It is not uncommon for Hodgkin’s to move to Non-Hodgkin’s eventually. Rarely this fast. This is the best of the cancer situations. That is because it would be like a new cancer. And we could start from scratch with the non Hodgkin’s treatment. Next it could be stomach cancer. This also would be bad because stomach cancer is terrible.

Last it could just be an infection or ulcer or such. The issue with this is the second activity in my chest. And makes that rather unlikely.

So…. What Next. I am in the process of more tests. I did not do a CT scan this time with the PET scan. The CT is better at size and location. I did the CT scan here in Moab yesterday and waiting for the results of this. (see below)

Arlo Paddle Caption! We are hoping this will tell us if it is stomach or lymphoma. Next most likely I will have a biopsy done on Monday next week.

Well things change by the second around here. Just as I was about to send this I talked to Dr. Prystas and she said there was no noticeable lymph’s in the CT scan.
She is trying to get ahold of the radiologist to get some more answers.

WOW…What does that mean!

She really thinks (and maybe is hoping) It could be a false positive.

Now, Now What do we do?

We are going to have the CT scan sent to another Radiologist in Salt Lake to get another opinion. Then on Monday or Tuesday I will get an endoscopic test. “The endoscope is passed down the throat and into the stomach. This lets the transducer rest directly on the wall of the stomach where the cancer is. It lets the doctor look at the layers of the stomach wall, as well as the nearby lymph nodes and other structures just outside the stomach. “ –WebMd.

I guess that just means we wait. This rollercoaster is really hard on a person…but if I come out negative I should not complain. Might have an ulcer though.

I also bought a new car. Seemed like a good idea when I knew I had cancer and my other one was broken. Glad I did that yesterday! Ha.

I think I will end this hear and send out another one when I have more information.

(I know that is kind of like a cliffhanger on a Dan Brown novel.)

Thank you for all the support.
Much love Arlo

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story

The history of the Yampa River

by GriffithAdmin 14. April 2013 10:27
Yampa River History

 

The Yampa River, located in the heart of the Dinosaur National Monument on the Eastern end of the Uinta Mountain Range.

Geology
The geology of the Yampa Canyon begins with layers of sandstones, limestones and shales, giving the viewer a unique "look back" at the rising and dropping of an ancient sea. As you travel further into the canyon the sheer walls of the Weber Sandstone become predominant. As the river winds its way through a maze of walls sculpted by windblown sand, walls, such as the 1,000' high Grand Overhang and the stripes of the Tiger Wall will leave the viewer in awe.

 

Yampa River HistoryOnce you leave the Yampa Canyon and join the Green River, entering into Echo Park, the Mitten Park Fault will blow the viewer away. Just after Mitten Park the river enters into Whirlpool Canyon the billion-year-old Uinta Mountain Group formation and the Unique Sea Stacks enter into the geologic picture. Following a leisurely float through Island Park and the Morrison Formation (where dinosaur bones are found), the river makes a dramatic cut right through the Split Mountain Anticline.

More Information on the Yampa River Rafting History.

the Last Cancer update or second to last update

by arlo tejada 10. April 2013 16:08
So I started to write this update months ago after my last treatment in Salt Lake.  I finally, finally am getting to this. Only because I have my “final” PET scan on Monday. So this might jump around a bit.
 
Lets get to the details.
 
I finished my final.. Last forever complete.. end all/the one/  whatever you want to call it . I finished my final treatment of SGN-35(Brentuximab)  on January 8. (I know I should have written then.. but…
 
arloI think that little thing called life got in the way of that….
 
So I have been enjoying Life without treatments, without trips to SLC every couple of weeks, life without PET (well I do have one more (you know for fun)) Scans,  A lot less needles.
 
I can not say I am not looking at the potential of a relapse…Since I started down this path I have had 3 official relapses and lots of little ones. Anyone remember the open heart surgery conversation…just to get to a Bone Marrow Transplant? Boy do I.
 
I am still not out of the woods. The doc gave me 50/50chance of relapsing. The bone marrow folks still REALLY REALLY want to do the allogeneic stem cell transplant.  They are pretty sure the cancer will come back…
 
 I think I was pretty clear in previous posts about how I feel about this. I would rather die than have the type of life that goes with this transplant.
 
So I am just hoping for the best.  They (whoever they are) count cancers in 5 year windows. So the next five years are the big ones.  There is little doubt that a cancer will kill me eventually or some side effect from the chemo or radiation.
 
Things have been going really well for the past year. With each day really better than the last. It is odd to think about how I felt and where I was at even just a year ago. As each day went by I felt better and better and thought I was fully healed, but looking back I realize how weak and struggling I still felt.  Both physically and mentally. Even as late as August I was still really struggling.

It is amazing to think it was a little over a year ago that I started taking a drug that saved my life.(Wow that is kind of hard to write.)
 
I have my PET scan on Monday. I really am not that nervous but it still is…there. In my mind. Something I will have to think about for the rest of my life.
 
 
Thank you very much for your support and concern. Though this has been an interesting and sometimes very difficult journey I have learned a lot from it. Not least of which is how graciousness people are in this world. Even on my harder days it is not hard to remind myself how lucky I am for this town, my friends and the family that I have.
slide

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | Arlo's Cancer Story

Westwatar Canyon Rapids...IN SPEED MODE!

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 10. April 2013 08:39

Watch a video of Westwater Canyons Rapids as if you are the guide. And in Fast Forward. This is from our first Westwater Canyon trip of the 2013 season.

The Rafting Season has started!

by GriffithAdmin 9. April 2013 07:48

Westwater Canyon Rafting in March 2013

We have already run our first two trips of the year!  On March 25th Sheri Griffith River Expeditions took down a group of 12 people on a sunny Westwater Canyon 1 day trip.

Moab Daily Trip April 2013
With Izzy and Arlo guiding, the trip went great! No unplanned swimmers and lots of fun whitewater. Yes, there were even some very brave ones that hopped into Colorado River for fun!


Chris also guided a a 1 day Moab Daily trip with a nice family from South Carolina.  The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and sunny!


Both of these trips were great trips to start off the season. Now the rush starts!


 

New Dates and Trips Open for 2013

Gates of Lodore on the Green River

4 Day Gates of Lodore

Westwater Canyon Rafting on the Colorado RiverThe Gates of Lodore on The Green River is one of the most popular trips Sheri Griffith Expeditions runs. It offers all the elements of a classic river trip: great hikes, exciting whitewater, beautiful beaches and colorful history. This is a journey into a spectacular wilderness. This trip has lots of activities and action. You can choose between paddling with friends in a paddleboat, taking on the rapids with one of our inflatable kayaks or relaxing in one of the oarboats.

Date: July 3

Rates: Adults: $925 Youth: $875


Family Rafting Trips on the Colorado River

2 Day Family Rafting on the Colorado River

Cataract Canyon bookingThe fisher towers section is a beautiful stretch of the Colorado River, with moderate class I-II rapids suitable for everyone. Boat options include oarboats, inflatable kayaks, and sometimes paddleboats. Mild Rapids make this section of the Colorado River especially fun for beginning rafters and perfect for young families. The river is wide and warm, making swimming extremely inviting on those very warm summer days.

Date: May 25

Rates: Adults: $350 Youth: $275


Join Our Community

 

History of Cataract Canyon

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 15. March 2013 08:17

Cataract Canyon History

Cataract Canyon lies in the heart of Canyonlands National Park 65 miles down the Colorado River from Moab, Utah and 110 miles down the Green River from the town of Green River, Utah. These two powerful rivers meet at the Confluence and combine to make some of the most commanding and famous rapids in North America. Cataract Canyon's rapids caused more damage and created more fear in early river runners than those of the Grand Canyon. Cataract's rapids are only part of the amazing story about this section of the Colorado River. Cataract and Canyonlands also has amazing human, and natural history, along with classical river running stories and adventures.

A few of the early River Runners:

  • Nathanial Galloway does the first solo trip through Cataract Canyon in 1894

  • Emery and Ellsworth Kolb traveled from Green River, Wyoming to the Sea of Cortez in 1911 on the Green and Colorado Rivers

  • Julius Stone Expedition runs cataract in 1909

  • "Buzz" Holmstrom makes a solo run of the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1937

  • Norman Nevills runs the first commercial River trip through Cataract Canyon in 1938

Congress established Canyonlands National Park in 1964 after a long history of "potential" development in Cataract Canyon. Before 1921 the Colorado River was know as the Grand River. Congress changed the name under pressure from the state of Colorado in the Colorado Compact, which also designated water rights to the sates that border the Colorado River. The Rio Grande Railroad tried to build a railroad from Denver to LA following the Colorado River in 1889. In the early 1900's steamboats carried mining supplies, fruits, and cattle between Green River and Moab using the Colorado and Green Rivers. There was also an attempted dam site at the Confluence in the early 1900's. The amount of sediment at this location made it nearly impossible to build.

Read More about Cataract Canyon History.

Dark Canyon waterfalls.

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 28. February 2013 12:13
One of the prettiest places we visit. Dark Canyon on our Sights of Cataract Canyon trip.
Dark Canyon Waterfall

It is a Waterfall type of week!!

by GriffithAdmin 23. February 2013 05:29

Indian Creek Waterfall in Cataract Canyon. This is one of our favorite waterfalls on the Colorado River. waterfalls in Cataract Canyon

Want to Raft for FREE!

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 20. February 2013 06:58


Group Rafting Trips

Sheri Griffith River Expeditions is pleased to offer significant discounts to our guests traveling in groups. We know what a wonderful and bonding experience a rafting vacation is when shared with family, friends, co-workers, or club members, and we are experts at developing group trips. More information on FREE river trips.

With 42 years of experience specializing in Adventure Vacations with a Touch of Class, you can rest assured that your group's rafting adventure will be an experience of a lifetime. We specialize in custom charter trips and can tailor rates to your budget through adjustments to amenities. Our responsive and creative Guest Services staff can develop multi-sport packages, book lodging, restaurants or conference space, provide transportation options, and more-we will help your group leader with every step of the adventure planning.

Call 800-332-2439 or email info@griffithexp.com

Join Our Community

Gates of Lodore Trips Almost Sold Out!

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 19. February 2013 06:00

Get you seats reserved!

Gates of Lodore

Gates of Lodore on the Green RiverThe Gates of Lodore on The Green River is one of the most popular trips and 2013 is no exception. We have sold out of two of our dates and only have two dates left. Our last two launches on June 15th  and August 4th only have 10 spots left!

Don’t miss  this journey into the spectacular wilderness of Dinosaur National Monument . The Gates of Lodore trip has lots of activities and action. You can choose between paddling with friends in a paddleboat, taking on the rapids with one of our inflatable kayaks or relaxing in one of the oarboats.