Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Interview

As I expected, Tim was amazing through the interview this morning. Here a shot of us with Megan and Jack during a commercial break.

I'm working on figuring out how to get the video of the interview embedded into this blog but until then you can click on this link to watch:

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas this year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Your Carolina

So we've got even more great news for today. Thanks to one of my bosses, Jeff Hoffman, and his wife Megan we will be going on Your Carolina for tomorrow's show. Megan will be interviewing Tim about his story and helping us promote colon cancer awareness to everyone. 

We're both so excited that this is gaining so much traction so quickly. So if you want to watch Tim being his awesome self or me being my completely awkward self and live in Greenville tune to channel 7 at 10AM to watch Your Carolina. If you don't live in Greenville or have to work tomorrow you can tune in through their website which is here:

On a side note, for those of you that were having trouble with the comments section I've fixed it now (I think) so that anyone can comment without having to have a special account.

The Greer Citizen

Just in case you don't get the Greer Citizen, here is a great story Krista Gibson wrote about Tim and his awesome spirit. Tim and Krista used to play softball together for First Team Sports and this past summer he coached her son in baseball. The ball has started rolling on some other really amazing things as well, as soon as they are a little more concrete we will be sharing on here. Our goal of spreading awareness about colon cancer so no one else will have to endure this journey is becoming a reality and we couldn't be more excited!

12/22/2010 2:15:00 PM
All is merry and Bright while cancer is put aside
Staying busy: Tim and Jenny Bright recently attended the SEC championship game in Atlanta.
Staying busy: Tim and Jenny Bright recently attended the SEC championship game in Atlanta.

Krista Gibson
Staff Reporter

Tim and Jenny Bright got married last April three months after Tim found out he had colon cancer and one month after surgery to remove a foot of his colon that held a quarter-sized tumor.

It has not been the type of year most newlyweds experience, but the couple has vowed that their first Christmas as a married couple, will be no different than the ones they’ve spent together in the past. They will be surrounded by family and will put off the next chapter in his cancer story until the first week in January.

“I told Jenny I don’t want to do anything differently than I have in the past,” Tim said.
“We will spend Christmas Eve and morning with her parents and Christmas afternoon and night with my folks like we’ve done the other years.”

Tim, 28, a commercial real estate broker with Bentley Commercial, is a former standout Riverside High pitcher who graduated in 2001 and went on to be a part of the University of South Carolina baseball team until arm injuries sidelined him. Today, he coaches high school pitchers on summer travel teams.

He was given a clean bill of health in August after 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatments.
By November, though, some of the numbers in his blood work were elevated and he was scheduled for another battery of tests. The cancer was back, metastasized to his lungs.

“We found out the 29th of November,” Jenny said. She remembers the dates of all the diagnosis and treatments.

Tim said he knew something was wrong when his oncologist didn’t call him back within a few days of his tests. His doctor later confessed he had found out right before he left town for the Thanksgiving holidays. The nodules on his lungs are small but will have to be treated with more chemotherapy.

Tim said it will have to wait until after Christmas.

“This is our first Christmas and basically we don’t know how many more Christmases we will get to have without chemo,” Jenny said.

“It will be kind of nice to have a Christmas when I’m not on chemo,” Tim said.

They have been told there is no cure, but that there is a small chance this next round of treatment could knock everything out. If not, it may be contained enough so that it doesn’t spread before the next round.

“If it has to be on six months, off six months, on six months until we find something that’s a cure, that’s fine with me. I can live with that. I don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon,” Tim said.

“We’re focusing on it now as not trying to get rid of the cancer, but trying to keep him going for as long as possible until a cure comes along,” Jenny said.

There is one bright light from the past year that has thankfully kept the spotlight away from Tim and he is grateful for that. His brother Steven and wife Haley had a daughter, Lillian. “I don’t really like having all the focus on me,” he said.

“She has no idea what’s going on so she treats him the exact same way she always has,” Jenny said. “Little kids are great that way.”

The support from his family, friends and employers has been humbling. And if you see Tim and Jenny around town during the holidays, it will probably be the two of them that give you a lift, because they vow not to let cancer, something they have no control over and is out of their hands, take anything away from their first Christmas. | 877-2076

Monday, December 20, 2010

Back From Chapel Hill

I apologize for the delay in posting, we've been working on moving this stuff over here. Blogger is much more user friendly for us and gives us more mobility in posting without a computer if we need to, plus being able to add pictures & video is always a bonus. Please let me know if you have any issues with it!

First of all I need to establish that it was my mom (Cindy) who went to the ER last Tuesday rather than Tim's. Apparently there was some confusion about that :). She's doing just fine and is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery to fix her abdominal hernia on Wednesday afternoon.

UNC-Chapel Hill is a gorgeous place, we headed up that way on Wednesday and saw lots of salt trucks preparing the roads for the snow that was supposed to come later in the night. Some of the Bright's family friends, the Krapfels, were actually also up in the same area on Wednesday night and agreed to meet us for dinner. Two of my friends, Emily and Megan, also joined us at Outback in Durham. During the dinner we came to the realization that Emily was in the same sorority at NC State at the Krapfels daughter, Sarah. In another crazy turn of events, we ran into Andy Mendelson and Joe Erwin from the company I work for, Erwin-Penland Advertising. It was great to see everyone and reminded us of just how small the world is sometimes.

We met with Dr. Bert O'Neill who is such a great guy, we've really been lucky to have such great doctors for Tim who also have incredible bedside manner. He pretty much confirmed all of Dr. Edenfield's directives and told Tim he could start chemo after the first of the year. Tim gave Dr. Edenfield a call on our way back to Greenville and they both agreed that he would start chemo again on January 5.

This chemo is called FOLFIRI and will be paired with something called Erbitux which will hopefully help to keep the new nodes in Tim's lungs at bay for awhile. At this point we are looking to buy time as they continue to research more treatments for cancer which seems to move forward so quickly.

Eventually we will possibly be looking at traveling to other hospitals and venues but for now we get to stay put here in Greenville for Tim to receive treatments which we are incredibly grateful for.

We have been so incredibly humbled and I can't emphasize enough just how appreciative we are of the incredible support that has been given to us through this difficult time. People seem to have come out of the woodworks to show that they care and we are speechless (which if you know either of us, you know that is a rare occasion). Thank you so much for all you've done, unless anything changes we may wait a bit to post anything else with the crazy week of holidays approaching. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To Chapel Hill

We've had quite a busy few weeks between appointments, work and getting ready for Christmas. Oh and last night my mom got to make her own special trip to the ER for an abdominal hernia. Everything with her is fine now and they will be scheduling surgery over the next few weeks to repair the hernia, if it doesn't repair itself in the meantime. I've told her that in the future she doesn't need to go to such an extreme for attention when all she has to do is ask (I don't think she thought that was as funny as I did). We're all just thankful that all is well and she is thankful for the pain medication. :)

I also wanted to make sure I gave everyone a quick update as to what is going on before we head up to Chapel Hill this afternoon. We met again with Dr. Edenfield a little over a week ago just to get him to re-review everything he originally told us and to answer a few questions of ours. During that meeting he mentioned that his plan, as of right now, is to start Tim on the other existing colon cancer chemo protocol either the week of Christmas or the week after. It is our understanding that he must try everything they have that has already proven to have successful results before we start messing around with clinical trials that don't have that same track record behind them.

That being said, this could all change with our meeting in Chapel Hill tomorrow. We're hoping that we can get more answers and have a plan in place by this weekend.

Thank you all for the incredible outpouring of love and support you have provided over these last few weeks. We really feel so special to have so many wonderful people reaching out to us during this time. We will update again as soon as we have some new information!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Back

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich 

Here we go again. This is the last news we ever wanted to have to share and now that we’ve had the time to fill in our families and a few friends we thought we’d let everyone else know what is going on. Tim’s CEA test scores have been slowly creeping up for a few months now, 4.4 to 4.6 to 4.8 although over the last 2 months it jumped up to a 9 all of the sudden. This isn’t a huge number for it to be at in comparison to where many others are but that large of an increase that quickly is a cause for concern.
Tim’s oncologist immediately ordered a PET scan and a CT scan which he got the Thursday before Thanksgiving and we received the results on yesterday. We expected that a lymph node would light up which we could remove with surgery and radiation but instead found that his PET was clear although the CT was a different story.

According to Tim’s CT there are now spots that are showing up in both of his lungs, they have to be less than 8mm in order for them to show on the CT and not on the PET although apparently that doesn’t really help the situation very much. His cancer is still considered to be colon cancer it has just metastasized to his lungs instead of being located solely to his abdomen. Unfortunately, as his doctor said, they no longer know how to cure it now that it has traveled to his lungs.

We’re not really sure what the next steps are yet, he had a better quality CT scan today and we are currently planning on heading up to Chapel Hill on Dec 16 for further tests and to meet with a specialist. We’re looking into every possible option in the country to find out where we can get Tim the most advanced and best possible treatment for this specific form of the disease.

We do know that at some point over the next few weeks Tim will once again start chemo. Not really sure what it will bring with it this time but we’re pretty sure it will be harder than the last.

Once again we feel so humbled and overwhelmed by all of the love and support of our friends and families. We really are so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing support team surrounding us and can’t thank you all enough for your love during this time. All we  can really use right now is to ask that you keep Tim in your prayers so we can get him as many as possible.

Thank you so much for everything. We owe you all more than we could ever repay.