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by arlo tejada 18. January 2013 16:54

Hello Everyone,

arlo and his momI can always tell it has been too long between updates when I start getting flooded with phone calls and emails. I can not believe it has been over two months since I left the hospital. In many ways I have forgot or not thought about the last 8 months and have really just focused on the week ahead in the best sort of way.

When things are going well I forget to write or don't think it's as important. It is also harder to write now that I am back to living life instead of living in the basement.

I think I might have put this off for so long because I need to make a ridiculously long thank you list and want to truly do it right. Which is intimidating. I might save that for post tests emails.

Anyway lets move to my timeline since I last wrote. I have to go all the way back to the beginning of November.

One of the great moments that sticks out in my mind is going to dinner at a local restaurant, the Peace Tree. At the end of the meal when the check came instead of a bill it was a piece of paper that read "Dinners on me, We are glad you are back in town and hope you recover quickly." It was really awe inspiring moment and made me feel that I had come home.

In a sadder moment. I also went to the wake of a local rafting legend Smitty on Nov 13th. Smitty was famous for running the local daily for days, or weeks on end. He was everyone's funny uncle that always had great stories and the best dirty jokes. He lived life his way and enjoyed everyday of it. Having stared at my own mortality for that past year and half, I was profoundly moved by his passing. Also the outpouring of support in a way he would have really love made me sad that when I do die I won't be around to share in the party. (though I do not plan that to be here for a long time)

I got sick for the last three weeks of November. Really not fun stuff. Snout, cough, flu like exhausted. It made me wonder if I was going to be sick for the rest of the winter. (Since I am writing months later I can say that I still have minor illness regularly but it is getting better everyday.)

arlo I went to SLC to finish up with some "focal radiation" starting on November 21. This is where they shoot radiation in a very specific spot. In my case it was under my left arm pit which has the swollen lymph. I went up for three days then came home for thanksgiving than went back up on the 28 for 5 more days. The focal radiation was a breeze. Which was a real relief since my last experience with radiation was not pleasant. So hopefully this was my last treatment but it was rather anti climatic. It took about 11 minutes from entering the hospital to leaving the hospital. And that was if I had to wait. Most of the time I showed up a little early and was out before my scheduled time. Wish everything was so efficient.

Thanksgiving was great. For the most part. It was so long ago, so I am putting a rosy tint on it. Now that think about it…it was hard. I was still sick and my appetite had not come back yet which really sucks at thanksgiving. It was great to see my family. But I could not spend a ton of time with them and spent most of it on the couch trying to recover.

The first week of December I flew to Reno for a rafting conference. I usually really enjoy the meetings and tradeshow and talking with fellow river company owners. This time it was a real struggle. I walked a lot more than I had in…6 months? I was basically only tokenly there.

I also struggled with eating up until Mid December. I also started to get my energy back around then.(that probably is not coincidence) On Dec 12 I was able to play a little pick up soccer. I have been playing soccer weekly since.

The past two months have been a non stop reminder of what home is. Just a ton of fun events and gatherings with friends. From dressing up at the martini party, to play poker with the boys it has been everything and more I dreamed of while I was stuck in the hospital room.

arlo and friendsChristmas was great even though my presents did not arrive on time and my house was sprayed with skunks. Which meant we had to move the festivities elsewhere. Kind of a bummer since, after the year I had I was looking forward to playing host to my family. A great part of Christmas is many friends come back to town to visit. So I was able to see old friends like Bart, Erin, Kalen, Cecily and Kellen.

I also was able to get out to Canyonlands National Park with my mom and friends. Which was, as always, wonderfully beautiful. With my energy coming back I have been able to get out a lot more. It also helps that the weather has been crazy nice with highs in the low 60's for the past 4 weeks or so.

Just to rub it in. here is my fun activities I have done in the past month or so. Sea Kayaking on the Colorado River with only a couple of Ice burgs, Full Moon hike to delicate arch, all day trip to Canyonlands national park, hike twice a week up moonflower canyon with Lulu, on new years day we went for a picnic/shooting guns day, at least once a week throwing disc golf, Bowling for Zachs' Bday and we are still playing soccer outside.

arlo sea KayakingSo lastly I will come back to talking about cancer. My final tests were moved to February. If the tests are too close to the final radiation than there could be false positives. Which means I will not know results until then.

I think I should be nervous or maybe scared of the results or not knowing. But I am really not worried about it. Well "worried" is not the right word. I not thinking about it. I am worried about it cause I really do not want to die. Especially after the last two months I just had (not to mention the previous 31 years). But I am not letting it affect my life. Either I still have cancer or I don't there is really nothing I can do to change that at this point, so need fretting over it. I do know the day I go in for the test will be the scariest most nerve-racking I have ever had.

It will not be just the PET scan I have to do but a variety of tests. Heart and Lungs. I already lost 18% of my lung capacity from the first set of Chemo done a year ago. So I am hoping to have better results this time. This 18% I will never get back. I don't know if that really matters.(I am not Lance Armstrong) I just use it as an excuse when my hiking partner is kicking my ass up the delicate arch trail or when I'm slacking in soccer.

All right enough thinking about that. I will send an email out very quickly after the results to let everyone know what is going on. I might send one before, when I get the exact date of the tests also. I think a lot people would like to know.

arlo and famI do have to send at least one (two) thank you's in this email. I am not sure I have mentioned this in previous posts but we(as in the arlo team) raised $105000 for my medical expenses! The number kind of blows me away. We only really pushed fund raising for about a month and a half. There are SO many wonderful people. I don't really know where to start. So I wont and will thank everyone in a follow up email. But I do want to thank my family both near and far. Not just for fund raising but I received wonderful care packages and cards from them all the time. It really was extraordinaire. Also all the people that worked so hard to get the Cancer Free Arlo event off. Many worked on it like a full time job. I can not say thank you enough. But I will try.

Alright that is really what is going on with me and my recovery. I am getting my energy back though my motivation is still seriously lacking. It is hard to be at work. I just don't care as much as I did before. I hope that changes because I love my job. Maybe when I get out on the boat I will remember why I love this Job.

There is one thing I'm a little bummed about. That's my hair growing back. I loved not shaving. And it is growing back so fast and thick. Crazy. I think I look good with a shave head but it is a pain to shave your head all the time. I don't know how Bruce Willis does it. He must pay someone.

Thank you everyone. Love you. Arlo


Arlo's Cancer Story

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