Together we are stronger…

Life is getting back to normal. Daughter two is home from swim team. Daughter one is watching Gilmore girls with my wife as they pretend to do the dishes. Normal. Normal is good. Cancer is not normal. It is the anti-normal. Cancer throws your life into a tail spin and some families never recover. We went to visit a friend today. A normal visit in every aspect…except she has terminal cancer. I wish you could have seen her. She was magnificent. All 63 years of her. She tells great stories. Stories of growing up. Stories of falling in love. Stories of cancer. I wanted to talk about her, she wanted to talk about me. She is amazing. Through all of this she is still concerned about others. She is strong and lovely, still looking up. 
Late this afternoon was tough. Seems silly. I was overcome with emotions. Nearing the end of my journey back to health. I realized it is almost done. What a journey. Thank you for coming with me. For your comments. Your letters. Your inspiration. Your friendship. I have heard your stories of cancer. Your stories of survival. Your stories of grief. I am forever changed. I am reinvigorated. I am now helping four of my new blog friends through the process I just faced. They will get through this just like I did. With support from others. 
Think about it. We have done this together. We have had a visit. Cancer is our bond.  A bond no one wants but a bond that brings us together. A bond that makes us stronger. We are better together. We are stronger together. We can make great things happen together. Someone in your life needs you. Look around. Reach out. Help bring their life back to normal. You can do this. Reach out, together we are better. 
If I have not said it often enough, there are people going through much worse than me, please keep them in your prayers tonight. 
Day 39. Thanks for stopping by. 

For inspiration I have added a polar plunge picture. Many of you know my love of Special Olympics MN. A movement of over 8000 athletes who constantly inspire me. I have plunged over 150 times to raise money for This glorious movement…this is the time I was a blueberry. I know, inspiring costume 🙂
God bless, 
-Ian

Advertisements

The beard lives on…

Today was one of those days. A fine day. But something was off. Something was askew. My bottom lip. The spot where my cancer first blossomed. My lower lip has erupted. Blisters have formed and it is a tad bit uncomfortable. It is also a part of the healing process. Uncomfortable, but I got this. These blisters bring along a bonus for fans of facial hair. I could not shave my beard. I will be lumber-sexual for yet another day. Small setbacks are common. You expect them in this journey. I just wish these setbacks would disappear, quickly, like a fart in the wind. 
Today was about my lip. It needed attention. Looking at my lower lip in the mirror I saw a reflection into the closet. I saw my suits. My work clothes. I starting thinking about my first day back at FOX 9. Which suit to wear, which tie. I want to get back to work. To see my friends. To interact with the exceptional people in that building. To crack bad jokes in meetings. To feel the thrill of live news. To know that when I am finally there I am healed. Healed…
Day 38. Thanks for stopping by. 
Pics of my lip below, you can see my scar! Makes me look tough…or not 🙂

God bless,
-Ian

Choices…

Choices. Coffee or tea. Chicken or fish. Still or sparkling. Empire strikes back or Revenge of the Jedi. Not life changing choices, but choices nonetheless. Today my daughters were choosing courses for next school year. It made me realize that life goes on. It moves forward no matter the circumstances. The chaos of life inevitably tumbles forward. When it does, make a choice. Look up or look down. Long ago in a galaxy far far away I made the choice to look up. To be positive. That was before cancer. Before surgery. Before chemo. Cancer can make you look down. The past 7 months have been challenging. At times unbearable. These are the times to look up. Positive wins. It does not make the hurdles go away. But it does make them smaller. A smile always helps, always. Even on the days where a smile takes every piece of energy you have. Smile. Just smile. I managed to do it. To stay positive. To smile. It took persistence. It took energy. It was not always easy but it helps that I am a Jedi. I got this. 

My face has been very quick to heal after chemo. Still a little red. Still a few tender spots. Still peeling and itchy. Still bordering on kinda but not really, really ridiculously good looking. My bottom lip is slow to heal. The area where cancer blossomed. Still numb. Still sore. Still blistered inside from the chemo. It will heal. I got this. 

Now my big choice. Beard or no beard? I kid. Sadly the beard goes away. I want to get back to TV. Ties, suits and weather maps…I can’t wait. Heal baby heal…bottom lip don’t fail me now. 
Day 37. Thanks for stopping by. Smile.

God bless,
-Ian

Time to do a little healing dance…

I got this…we got this

An interesting day. A day dominated by emotions. A journey that began with surgery, became chemotherapy and finished with healing. A journey dominated by emotions. My emotions. Raw and real. This blog is emotional. Therapeutic to write. Perhaps that is why I choose to write. To sit in the same chair every night. Twenty minutes. That’s it. Then read it back to my family before I publish my words. There are always tears. A few minutes of tears every night. It has been hard. But I got this. My journey is almost complete. Now, my next task. Helping others. I won’t let you down. Your Cancer journey becomes mine. So many of you have reached out. We got this. You got this. Together. 
Day 36. Thanks for stopping by. Cancer sucks. 
God bless,
-Ian

Super Sunday…

The Patriots, The Falcons and a lady named Gaga. A Sunday dominated by a big game. We love the big game. It means a family picnic in front of the TV, every year. Today was super for other reasons. It was my first Sunday back in church. It was a Sunday to heal. It was a Sunday to reflect on my family friends and all they have done. It was a Sunday to hang out with my daughters Jordan and Kaiti. It was a Sunday to think about shaving. I mustache you a question…but I can shave for later. 

The red continues to fade. The pain is almost gone. Now it is about peeling itchy skin and a few very sore spots. As it all fades away the cancer fades with it. That was the game plan. To win my big game. The biggest game of my life. The game MVP is my wife. Thank you Christy. I love you. 
Day 35. Thanks for stopping by. 
God bless,
-Ian
How about these cookies from our friends Eric and Stephanie… awesome. 

A great day…

Today was a day for family and friends. A day to heal. A day away from the blog. A day that now finds me snuggling with my girls. Watching the Jungle Book. I have a fantastic life…skin cancer and all. 
Day 34. Thanks for stopping by
God bless, 
-Ian

A fantastic life…

What a difference a day makes. 24 hours. 1440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. Some of the red, gone. Some of the thumping pain, gone. Some of the nasty bits, stayed. Not bad, two out of three. Almost done. I have a fantastic life…skin cancer and all. 
It started 7 months ago. A small pimple on my bottom lip. Almost imperceptible unless you are a manscaping Metro like me. A small pimple that caused inordinate amounts of pain when touched. The dermatologist knew right away. The biopsy confirmed it. Squamous cell skin cancer. Wait, what? It’s just a pimple. It was actually the tip of the tumor buried in my bottom lip. MOHS surgery came two weeks later. Seven MOHS procedures in 6 hours. Then home for the night. Home with a gaping wound where my bottom lip was supposed to be. That was Monday, Plastic surgery was Tuesday. It’s called Plastic surgery but near as I can figure, there was no plastic used. Two days of surgery, 42 stitches and the loss of a third of my bottom lip. Quite a journey. Almost done.
I offer this look back so that you can look forward. Make an appointment. See a dermatologist. Then look forward. Look forward to a long life with the ones you love. My life is fantastic. Skin cancer and all. 
Day 32. Thanks for stopping by.
God bless, 
-Ian