Things have been on the up swing for a solid three weeks now. That could also be the lengthening of the days and the coming of spring.
Town has started to fill up with festivals and the start of tourist season. Which also means boating season is right around the corner!
I have been pushing myself a little bit too much in the last couple of weeks. Starting with the San Juan trip. Then I did some good hikes with my friend Dave. My 4th round of Golf ever. (I scored nothing over 9 and nothing under 5. Not bad for clubs from the pawnshop. In fact the shop owner gave me a great deal on the crappy clubs because “once you get pissed off at the game you will throw the clubs into the water and I will get them back anyway.) A little to much stress at work. And a day of Kickball. This has left me a little drained and I got sick on Monday March 12. So I have been trying to take it easy now. That should be easier with March Madness going on, probably not going to leave the couch for days.
A little bit of a side note I wanted to mention something. I have a lot of peopling tell me that I am brave. I wanted to express my feels that I am not brave or a hero. (I am fine with people thinking I am an inspiration but not really) Being brave is going into something that could be dangerous to help others. Like Firefighters and marines. I am not going anywhere dangerous. I am stuck where I am and just have to deal with it. I do not have the choice to run away. I explained this to my friend Charli and her response was perfect. “So You are not brave you are just L-I-V-I-N!” my new motto.
I received news that I will be able to do most of my treatments here in Moab on March 5th. This is makes me amazingly happy. I love meeting with friends in SLC but it just is nice to recover at home.
I went to the high dollar donor dinner for the Skinny Tire Festival (a highlight of my last couple of weeks, And that is saying something)
The event is for those riders that raise the most money for cancer research. These are such dedicated individual and wonderful people that really love both biking and trying to help find cures for cancer. Mark Griffith and Beth Logan are the organizers, and they gave me a ton of gifts one being a Porsche!!! Ok it was a Hot Wheel Porsche but still I was stoked!
The highlight and hard part was I was asked to tell my story in front of the group, about 12 people. I went over how I found my cancer and had to go to SLC for all my treatments. I also explained the process of how I chose to do a BMT over radiation. At this point I broke down crying. I had never really told the story but to friends. And In my updates. The part that really got me was when I explained that my life expectancy after a failed BMT was about 18-24 months. I looked up and the whole room was balling. Which sent me crying even more. There was another featured guest an ex Professional rider who help Lance Armstrong win the first two tour de Frances. I remember looking up at him and he was crying pretty hard with the rest of the group. It was hard to continue. I went over the new drug and how it worked. I also thanked them for their support because without their help I would not be able to do the rest of my treatment in Moab. The Skinny Tire Festival and all the money it receives help pay for the infusion center at the hospital.
I had to repeat this story the next day in front of 250+ riders. I did much better as far as holding it together. I was honored that Mark and Beth asked me to speak. (I have to admit I love attention, even speaking in front of groups about something very personal. But all of you knew that already.) Here is the story written in our local paper about the event and my talk.
We (Sheri Griffith Expeditions and the Tejadas) have helped to support Skinny Tire from the beginning. We did it because it was a great cause at the time and to honor our friend Duane Griffith as the inspiration. Sitting in the Moab Regional Hospital infusion center for my second treatment I could not help but think about the irony.
On to the real story. My second round of was on March 13. It was in Moab at the new infusion center. Which had the most comfy seats I have sat in for chemo, ever. The seat had a heater in it, like a luxury car! Crazy. The drug did not go down as well as last time. About 1/3 of the way through I started to get short of breath, overheated, light headed and nauseas. Instead of calling over the nurse I just try to concentrate on not vomiting. I keep thinking damn “Arlo don’t puke on this nice new chair” I finally did call over nurse, at this point I was a bit out of it. He stopped and checked my vitals. After a little while may 5 minutes things came back to normal. It took another 5 minutes for my stomach to settle down. We then decide to run in the drug at half speed. This helped and I did not have any more issues.
The drug seems to act fast. Or it is just in my head. But I felt great all evening. To the point I could not sleep and wrote most of this update then. I still feel great today. I could not go to sleep so I stayed up most the night filling out college brackets (might have to check those in the morning) and organizing my music and photos.
Thank you all for your emails. I really appreciate getting notes from people I never have meet. There is something cosmic about it. Maybe that is the wrong word but you know what I mean. It’s just nice.