Tuesday, Jan 28th, 2014

Hey folks, I have some time so I thought I would post an entry to our blog. Not much to report so this blog will be very sarcastic as I’m in a great mood. On the train heading back from NY and I feel like being funny. I’m sure I will be greeted at the front door (after she reads this) with the typical “Leip, why must you be an ass?” I admit, I love that look on her face when she is embarrassed by me! Classic.

Our world is good. Kids, work, life – pretty normal for as “normal” as anyone’s life is. We had chemo Monday. It was only one chemo, not the triple dose she gets next week. Again, her scans were good in Jan, she is doing great. Long road but she is just gonna be that miracle. Pam, her chemo nurse, is awesome and even tolerates me when I get fresh. Jess told her she could hit me if she wanted to. Lol. So funny how people want to hit me. Seriously it is great to see Jess be comfortable with Pam and Pam really cares and takes such great care of her.

Our routine at the hospital has become pretty standard. Every Monday morning we get up. Well, I get up and then have to drag the lump that is my future wife out of bed. We get ourselves ready and the kids ready for school. Debbie, the Monday morning savior, comes and gets the girls for school. She has really been amazing with all this. All her family has. So lucky to have them helping us.

Come 7:45-8am, we head out to Boston. As we drive, she tells me every turn to take while I ignore her, tell her how lucky I am to be with her. It’s an awesome routine.

As we get to the hospital, she gets out, heads in to the 9th Floor, while I park, hit up Starbucks (which I friggen despise), I get Jess her iced coffee, a fruit cup and oh I manage to throw a bacon, egg and bagel sandwich down my throat as I get upstairs. Some days I eat it with all the patients waiting to get their treatment. Yeah, those people can smell my bacon and egg sandwich and they all give me the evil eye. Great way to start my morning.

I actually get a lot of work done while there. Amazing what technology allows us to do. Especially for me, part Brad Pitt, part Bill Gates. Just who I am! Ok ok. I will stop. Sorry. It’s amazing how Jess is getting chemo but when I need to make a call or handle some business, she just smiles and says “it’s ok, go ahead”. She is such a sweet kid. Just nice at her core when she is trying to choke me.

Other than that, not sure I have any thing else to report. Got my kids this weekend. Circus at the house I’m sure but always so much fun. Gonna try and do something with all of us this weekend, even if it’s just out to dinner or something. I know it’s the hardest part for me as my kids get older and even with the divorce. I just do not see my rats enough. It’s ok, I will visit them at college (which I will have one there in 3 years!!) I’m sure they will love when Daddy just shows up. Ha

I hope everyone out there is doing well. Stay warm and don’t forget to smile and have fun while on the planet. Jess and I, and our four rats are having a ball!!

Loves!
Scott

Scott’s Post – January 13th, 2014

Hello everyone from the blog world. I think I’ve posted on Facebook, Twitter or even on here that sometimes I’m at a loss of words for what’s gone on with Jess and our world.

Well today is not one of those days. I’m so happy for her. Little victories. I’ve coached basketball for a long time and every win has it’s place. I love the little wins, and the big wins. Today was a big win, for Jess, our children, and for our life we are building.

She has a long road ahead. No way around that. I think she will be on chemo her entire life. So it is still scary and crazy.

But to have the doctors tell her the news. The great news. The unreal news. The complete opposite of “sit down, we need to talk” and all that crap. Just amazing. I heard the words “tumors are shrinking”, “the treatment is working”. Jesus. Just incredible.

See people I’m amazed at this woman. She has such a strength, an inner confidence and just a focus of what her life is about. I am so lucky to have found her. Blessed. To learn from her. To live with her. To watch what she has been through. She doesn’t complain. Doesn’t whine. Just gets up and does what is necessary and way more from where I sit.

And trust me, I’ve got a couple stories where she was so stubborn and a complete bitch and I almost threw her out the window. She has her days, like all of us. But she doesn’t get rattled. Doesn’t quit. Does not lose sight of what’s important. It’s a rare quality I’ve come to learn with people. I’m so proud of her. Changing her diet. Staying positive. Still doing what she needs to do!!

Last week. Her good friend Sarah passed away. It was Monday when they had the wake. Jess had chemo, she came home, laid down for a bit and got up and we went to the wake. Damn chick had a full work up of chemo and there was no way she wasn’t going. And in Marblehead no less. Two hours with traffic. Pain in the butt. But that’s who she is. Just gets it done. Amazing. I know Sarah is watching over her. I know she had a hand in those scans. I just know it. So thankful for her.

On the funny side, we got the two little ones into school. Izzy over in Holliston and Hannah in Ashland. I will post more about these two next blog but to see Jess’ face last week as we finalized the details. They started today and all went so well. Jess was so happy for her girls. No better feeling than when your kids are happy and healthy.

Well it’s late. I’m headed to NY tomorrow. Someone has to work in this house. I’ve got 4 hens and my crazy son and they are sucking me all dry. Ha! I wouldn’t have it any other way, to be honest.

It is still a long road ahead but it’s a road I get to go down with my buddy Jess. I wouldn’t change our world for anything and everything.

Loves to all my peeps!!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

My first post of 2014.

My first scans of 2014.

I have been on this particular chemo cocktail of 3 for 9 rounds, once a week.  Its the longest one I have been on without side effects setting me back or more tumors rearing their nastiness.  I knew I would have to tolerate 9 rounds before I would get scanned.  I counted down every single week.

Sarah Ruiz passed away on January 1, 2014.  This amazing girl was my guidance through my journey so far.  She grabbed on to me and held my hand.  She made me feel like I had total control over this disease.  If I had a question about a side effect or a supplement or a weird vegan recipe, I would consult her first.  She would always give me the best recommendation and I would pretty much do whatever she told me.  I avoid any of the doctors prescriptions that fill my medicine cabinet as much as I can.  One night, I couldn’t sleep, I had terrible anxiety and heart palpitations from my chemo that day.  I was texting Sarah around midnight, she recommended something and I sent Scott out at 1:30 am to get some herbal remedy that she recommended and I have taken it every night since then.  If she was having a bad day making good decisions about eating healthy, she would reach out to me and we would get each other back on track.  She would scribble notes down for me and take a picture of them with her phone and text them to me.  We both shared with each other that we were glad we had someone who was in the same boat and could lean on each other emotionally and get real feedback on questions.  She would always tell me that she wished she could take my pain away and I would say the same to her.  A few days before she passed, she texted me “love you” and I knew that would be the last time I would hear from her.  Selfishly, I felt lost but I am happy that she is at peace and free of pain from this awful effin Metastatic Breast Cancer.  She was the bravest person I have ever met and I will never stop fighting for her.  Rest in Peace Sweet Sarah.

Of course, there was a concern for mets to my chest.  That scan came back clear…NO cancer in my chest.  The massive amount of tumors in my liver have shrunk in number and size.  This is amazing and my oncologist is thrilled.  As you can imagine, I am as well.  I have worked so hard to keep on track with only putting good things in my body.  The liver is the body’s filter and everything you eat ends up in the blood stream making its way through the liver.  Since mine is infested with cancer and cancer feeds off sugar, I refused to feed those tumors what they like.  I know that I cant control the cancer cells, but I can control what I feed them and I have worked my butt off to make sure I was on top of it.  It has paid off big time so far.  My bone scan came back showing the tumors that were surfaced in my spine as being “treated”.  Which means right now, the cancer cells in them are no longer “lighting up”.  The malignant tumors in my bones have been hiding and have surfaced with chemo.  My oncologist calls this “flaring”.  She also stated that there may be more hiding but the treatment I am on is doing its job and I am responding very well to the chemotherapy.  My primary breast tumor is now just DCIS.  There also were no more palpable lymph nodes today, which is also amazing.  I do still have fluid around my heart (pericardial effusion) that is a little worse that last scan but not bad enough to do anything about since I am not showing any cardiac symptoms at this time.  My doctors are thrilled and amazed that I am responding so well.  The only thing that didn’t get scanned was my brain because my insurance company refused it because I don’t have any neurological symptoms.  My oncologist was not happy about this, so today she told me in the office “you now have headaches”.  My liver functions and my tumor markers are also stable.

Soooo, the plan is to continue this weekly cocktail (every Monday), for another 8 rounds.  Ugh.  I hate the side effects but it is working, so I will take it.  I am aware of the fact that eventually these chemos may not work for me so I am lucky to be where I am at for the time being.  I am scheduled for surgery to put the port in my chest on Feb 3rd.  My veins are crapping out.  This is very emotional for me, because it makes having terminal cancer more “real” to me.  I will have the power port implanted under my skin on the left side of my chest, since my breast cancer is on the right side.  This will make it easier for me to have chemo and for tests, since all my tests require injections in my veins, my port will be accessed for everything including lab draws.  I will have the port for the rest of my life.  That makes my skin crawl.

I will have my abdomen scans, bone scans, head scans and heart ECHO in 8 weeks and then go from there.  I am hoping to stay on this track.   When I get to a “sterile” place, meaning the tumors are not lighting up as malignant or they have been destroyed, I will then go to a treatment plan every 3 weeks for “maintenance”.  I can never stop treatments, I already know this, but I could very well get to a place where I can have a good quality of life and that is what I am fighting for right now. My oncologist told me the next chemo I will be on (3 again) will be less toxic and my hair will grow back.

I know I am forgetting stuff but I am a little overwhelmed so I’m sure I will be adding to this post in the next few days.

I absolutely cannot say THANK YOU enough to every single thought and prayer that has been sent my way.  THEY HAVE WORKED!!! So, thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my children and my family…we are so blessed.