Thursday, January 06, 2011

NW Cancer Specialists

I very much believe it's not always what you know but who you know. With that said, a very good friend of mine, Rollin Perrigo, just happens to be the son of Brad Perrigo who is the Executive Director of NW Cancer Specialists. I spoke with Brad and his new patient coordinator, Amy, who took excellent care of us. They had apppointments set up before we even got off the phone with them whereas the VanClinic and SW took days to get anything done, even a return phone call. I met my NWCS Oncologist on Monday 01/03/2011, his name is Dr. Brouns and he too has been absolutely amazing. Doesn't sugar coat anything but let's us know what we are in for without scaring the piss out of since we're already nervous enough.

From the pathology report from the chest biopsy Dr. Brouns confirmed that the cancer is Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage 2b. In Lamens terms this means I have a bulky tumor in my chest and two other small lymphnode areas effected - one in my neck and one in another area of my chest. I asked him how bad I really have it and he said on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best I am probably a 7 or 8 simply because the odds are in my favor. I am young, and elsewise I am in perfect health - the naturalpath even told me I am the healthiest cancer patient she has ever seen lol. See I knew all those supplments and working out has been doing something good for me : )

Talking it over with Dr. Brouns, if all looks well then I will have 4 months of chemotherapy ahead of me followed by 1 month of radiation then we'll re-evaluate, but that should dissolve the tumor entirely which means no surgery needed. The less knifes the better I say! Side effects though - I will lose my hair and become infertile, that's okay though - I hate condoms anyway : )
Wednesday 01/05/2011 I made a donation of my swimmers to the OHSU fish ladder, or Fertility Clinic as they call it. It was the weirdest thing ever, just cold and obviously not intimate at all. But luckily after only 2 days of abstinence from my wife I gave enough for 1.25 tries of invitro should we decide to have more kids down the road. Wife says I have to go back after 5 days of abstinence to make sure we get at least 2-3 tries, little does she know I am going to be a very horny and grumpy dude for the next 5 days. C'mon I'm 24! : )

From their I had to head over to the Portland NWCS Center for a PET scan, man was that boring. They pumped me full of radioactive isotopes and let me sit for 45 minutes while they spread throughout my body. After being bored enough from that I had to do 7 cat scan photos which I had to sit still for 4.5 minutes - that's 32 minutes people. Hope that never has to be done again!
Finally the thing I dreaded the most ... bone marrow aspiration, Thursday 01/06/2011. Nurse Tanya, Nurse Angie, and Dr. Brouns were awesome. After they pumped me up with Morphine and Adirol I was flying high, crackin jokes, almost falling out of the chair, and making buddy buddy with everybody. Then they flipped me over on my belly ass exposed and I know they meant business. Doc gave me some numbing medicine but damn, that shit hurts no matter what they give you. He took a faily large needle with a handle (which I have photos of below) and went into my pelvic bone and began drilling to get into the marrow. Good night it hurt, and then when we actually pulled out the marrow it sent a joly of pain through my buttock, hip, and leg like I have never felt before. Pretty sure I was yelling at him lol. Then he did this to me two more times - we're such good friends lol. Pretty sure I was hugging everybody and given them pounds on my way out - I can't wait to see 'em all next week : )


  1. I am praying for you. You totally are keeping a positive attitude and really made me smile in your post. Keep up the attitude and continue to pray Mike, I know you will pull through stronger than ever before. <3

  2. Thoughts, prayers and optimal health go out to you Mike!! Keep up your great attitude... seems like this is a temporary speed bump in your life!

  3. Yes, I am sure the supplements were working too. Thanks for putting this blog together. I look forward to following along with you. If you can keep laughing, even when it will be okay.

  4. Mike, you crack me up and make me smile even during a time like this. I was feeling sorry for myself for turning 30 today too! Very best wishes to you, buddy.

  5. I applaud you my friend. Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration for us all.

  6. I watched the whole thing... OUCH! You're AMAZING MIKEY! I'm so glad we are going to NWCS. You definately made the right choice!
    Your Wife

  7. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?