Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prayer Request

There is a lot that we've been meaning to share with you all but we will get around to that at some other time. Today we found out that Tim's white blood cell count has taken a small dip. It's nothing unusual, in fact its more unusual that this hasn't happened earlier. What it does mean is that he is more susceptible to infection and it means that if the numbers do not improve by Monday he will have to have his treatment held.

Please keep Tim in your prayers that his numbers will improve enough for treatment to continue on schedule on Monday. Please also forgive both of us as we won't be able to hug you or shake your hand until everything improves as we can't risk Tim getting any sort of infection. This information doesn't mean that we have to go into seclusion but it means we have to be much more aware of our surroundings, including interacting with people who have any symptom of being sick.

He isn't currently sick other than some allergy issues and just feeling a bit run-down and exhausted overall and if all goes well (and we stay vigilant) that will hopefully be as bad as it gets for him.

Thank you for your understanding & even more, thank you for keeping Tim in your prayers!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eye on the Prize

I am pooped. As in to the bone exhausted. I mowed our lawn this weekend, not really sure why other than that our other neighbors were so I followed the trend thinking that maybe it will help us grow some grass this year. Our neighbor across the street, Mr. McCann's yard looks impeccable...ours is where even weeds go to die. See why my dad & Tim have so much faith in my little garden? I digress, I looked really amazing mowing the yard with my facemask that I thought would keep the pollen away from my face as I'm basically allergic to any & everything that is outside. I might as well have been inhaling the pollen bc my immune system has completely shut down for it's annual spring break. My poor co-workers have had to deal with me losing my train of thought mid-sentence and just staring at them...awesome.

Tim finished up his chemo today (he went Monday instead of Wednesday this week) and this has been the best round yet. He's finally starting to figure out that laying around makes him feel worse. Someone brilliant told him that a few weeks ago but he is just now letting it sink in :). So after eating full meals and not acting like a slug on the couch he felt much better. I also didn't have the energy to help him as much as I usually would and so far have gone to bed at 8 every night up until tonight. They did the bloodwork for his CEA this week but he & Lynn decided to wait until he's had at least 4 weeks of chemo until we know what that number is. It takes a little bit of stress off if the number had been bad but I honestly had forgotten he needed to have one so now I can't stop obsessing over what it could be. It's really a potentially double-edged sword...

We're finally starting to catch up a little bit on all of the BrightLife stuff but this is likely to be our last week of some semblance of freedom until May. We're 2 1/2 weeks away from the tournament/dinner/silent auction and have some really great stuff to auction off this year (we updated the listing tonight, there are still quite a few things that we're waiting to arrive or to finalize as a package before posting:

If you haven't registered for your spot for the dinner make sure you visit here to do so: Just as last year, we're only doing pre-registrations just to make sure we have an accurate count for the dinner and to make everything move faster for the check-in. Thanks for all of your understanding with this! It makes our crazy lives just a tad easier :)

We're working towards filling up the sponsorships which is a great feeling to have and there are LOTS of media spots coming up including an article in GHS's newsletter, an article in the Greer Citizen, being on Carolina Now on the CW, an insert in the Journal, I believe there will be a follow-up story on Fox Carolina & there might be a story on WYFF. Basically all of this to say if you aren't sick of us yet, you will be soon!

The house looks incredible, we went by today and the designers have mostly finalized everything. Monkee's & Jack Runnion will be filling up the closets shortly & before we know it we will be open for tours!

April 1st kicks off an incredibly crazy month, we get to kick it off with another round of chemo for Tim, followed by the tournament on the 8th and the crazy weekend that leads up to it, next up is our anniversary on the 10th (peace and quiet are on the agenda for the 9th-11th - regardless of my dad thinking that tax returns are not good planning, I love them & that they arrive just in time for an anniversary trip each year :)), the showhome opens to the public on the 12th and will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of April. I've already booked May 4th & 5th as nap days for us.

We wanted to thank everyone for all you have done and for all you are doing, you all are absolutely incredible! Cancer takes away a lot of your sense of control (awesome thing to do to someone who is highly OCD :)), raising money and awareness for iTOR is the only thing we've been able to do in the past few years that has given us back a little sense of that control that we've lost with Tim's diagnosis. So although we're both physically, mentally & emotionally drained right now, we wouldn't trade it for anything :). I can't imagine anything that is more rewarding!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Quick Blog and Clarification

I hope that everyone enjoyed the nice weather we had this past weekend.  I tried to enjoy it Friday playing golf with my dad and yesterday by playing golf with my friends Shane and Martin, but when I finished there was nothing enjoyable about my score.  Usually about this time of year, my game starts to get better but this year for some reason it is getting worse.  Not a good thing with my golf tournament coming up in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of the golf tournament, I am sitting here with my mom getting my chemo and we are talking about a few things that she and I are going to get done today once I leave the Cancer Center. I wanted to clarify one thing about the dinner sign-ups.  This year we changed the way that sign-ups are being done and now have everything online as far as the golf, hole sponsorships, and the dinner tickets.  Your ticket will be emailed to you once you have completed the purchase.  In order to give Thornblade an accurate number of people attending the dinner we have had to eliminate the ability to pay at the door for the dinner.  The tickets can be purchased at or simply by clicking on the link on the right side of this page.  I hope that this will not discourage anyone from attending the dinner / silent auction because we have some great items to bid on this year.  Thornblade needs a head count from me the last week in March so please sign up as soon as you can.

The Brightlife / iTOR Show Home will still have ability to either purchase tickets online or pay at the door once you get there when it opens for tours April 12.

I hope that everyone has a great week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My First Post In Awhile

Well I have taken some time off from my professional blog writing career to let Jenny start hers in hopes that she would be as famous as me one day.  She has kept everyone up to date on how things are going with my treatments lately, which last week was pretty good in comparison to the first treatment I had.  I am gearing up for another one this coming Monday since the Cancer Center will be closed next Friday.  I could go to another location in the hospital to get unhooked on Friday, but they will force the last 5ml to make the treatment finish about an hour or hour and a half earlier than I should be finished and that time is worth getting a treatment two days early.  Once I am finally unhooked it takes the rest of the day to start feeling a bit on the normal side again.

On a fun side of things we are getting really close to the 2013 Tee It Up For Cancer event.  We are excited that the golf sold out in two weeks and have some really cool items this year for the silent auction.  Now the part that I need help with from everyone is making sure that the room is full for the dinner.  I really hope that everyone can come and support this cause.  The cancer research world has made incredible strides since I was first diagnosed 3 years ago, and the money that we will raise this year will only help increase those strides.  This has really become a part of my life that is very important to me and putting on this golf tournament every year is something that I really look forward to not only because Jenny and I get to see so many of our friends but also because if it is a success then hopefully we will be that much closer to a cure.  So I hope that everyone can come and help us again this year. You can click on the 2013 Tee It Up for Cancer banner on the right side of this page to sign up.

Also, I talked with Barret Foust on the phone today and he informed me that the Brightlife / iTOR house will be finished tomorrow and the designers will be able to start moving the furniture in and getting it set up for the  weekends it will be opened in April.  I got to walk through the house a couple of weeks ago and it is amazing.  Barret and Bryan have done such a great job with this house that I can not wait to see it with all of the furniture inside.

I hope that everyone has a great week and I hope to see everyone April 8th at Thornblade.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

We're Really Slacking Off

I didn't want to jinx anything by mentioning how well Tim was doing with his last round of chemo in my last post but the difference between his first round and this last one was night & day. Dr. Edenfield was watching Tim's interview on Fox Carolina and it hit him that all of the folic acid he was getting from juicing was interacting with the 5FU (part of his chemo) which was elevating his reaction to the extreme level. He instructed that Tim not juice for 3 days before and 3 days after chemo and it made all of the difference. My dad took Tim in to get unhooked on Friday and I know they both enjoyed the time they got to spend together as Tim got some extra fluids. Dad also took him by Torelli's (the only thing Tim will eat on Fridays after chemo) and said that Tim's face literally lit up as they pulled up.

We got to tour iTOR for the first time a few weeks ago and it was amazing and nothing like I had been imagining. I guess I was thinking of people being dressed like they are going into surgery working on this stuff but everyone we saw was wearing business clothes and the main room looked like the lab from your high school science class. The main machine that does a lot of the sequencing work is about the size of a small microwave and the freezers that keep all of the samples (like Tim's lung biopsy) just look like something out of a school's cafeteria. I was just amazed at the work they are doing and how efficiently they are doing it. It was also really neat to see what we are working so hard to support (and what is helping to support Tim's treatments). They really have a neat set-up in that they are partnering with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies so drugs & treatments are literally being tested & developed next door to those that are or will be receiving them. There really are no words to explain just how lucky we all are that this is being developed here in Greenville.

We got a small taste of what traveling for treatments would be like if Tim was to be in a clinical trial outside of Greenville when Tim was int he Charleston trial last summer. We were lucky in that we just had to go down once a month to check-in but that was exhausting in and of itself and took a lot of time away from work for the both of us. Since I had started a new job I took many of those 1/2 days unpaid which wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme but I can only imagine the impact both physically and financially if that trial had involved a plane ride and required that he receive treatment at the trial site. That's the difference that iTOR makes, it is bringing those trials here to Greenville so people aren't forced to travel. This provides a huge burden of relief both physically, emotionally with getting to be around your support system and financially without having the cost of traveling as well as the cost of being away from work. It all came together for me during our tour so just thought I'd try to fit those pieces together for you guys as well :).

On Thursday night Tim & I also went to the GHS Partners Dinner. I felt pretty comfortable going as we were sitting at the same table as Dr. Edenfield and his wife Andrea. Tim ate the strawberries off of the salad then sipped off of his applesauce packs and pudding packs until dessert came and he destroyed the cheesecake they brought out. Not exactly healthy but one time shouldn't be too bad, besides he was really proud of himself for eating that cheesecake :). We also met a lot of really great people who have some interesting stories about why they support the hospital but overall it was really neat to see that GHS is moving ahead of the curve by working on proactive measures to prevent disease rather than just treating it after the fact. I'm not as familiar with other areas that they featured (neuro & children's) but the strides they've made in cancer treatment over the past three years have been incredible. They feature Oncology Rehab where you go work out with other cancer patients at the Life Center in order to regain your strength that chemo has taken away. You're watched over by a nurse and a trainer to make sure you are staying safe throughout your workout but Tim still raves about his time in  Oncology Rehab back in 2010 and made some really great friends. They've also started a "Cancer Support Community" which aims to treat patients not just physically with treatments but also with nutrition, exercise and emotionally as well. Like I said, we're lucky that we live in a community where one of our main hospitals is moving forward with the understanding of the treatment as a whole along with prevention.

We've been using a new system that both Tim's mom & my dad emailed me about within 5 minutes of each other the other night called Mother Earth Produce. We've used them for about 3 weeks now and are really happy with everything we've gotten. They are out of Asheville and deliver buckets of mostly local produce (as well as some meats and other items). We're saving a ton of money and I could really get used to waking up on Saturday morning with my groceries sitting on my porch. :)

Speaking of groceries sitting on my porch, hopefully that will be the case in a few months. I started a garden of a TON of stuff this past weekend, fruits, vegetables, herbs and even watermelon. Tim (& my dad) have already predicted my failure (which may not be incorrect considering I have a talent of killing every living plant I touch). Hopefully though we will have a big harvest this summer and be able to live off of all of this fun stuff for awhile :).

We talk about Tim's chemo pack a lot but I don't know if I've ever actually posted a picture of what it looks like. We've had several friends offer to bedazzle or puff paint the pouch for Tim but so far he has passed on all offers. It's about the size of Zach Morris's first cell phone and is pretty quiet with just a whirring noise every minute as it pushes the chemo through the tubing.

We slacked off for the past two weeks and got a lot looser on our diet plan. This week we've kicked it back into high gear so last night we had an arugula salad with asparagus, peas, avocado and salmon that was cooked in raspberry vinaigrette. I thought it was fantastic, Tim let me know that he thinks he's jumped a little too far, too fast into this fish thing :).

Finally, we're pretty excited because we have just one team left for the golf tournament (sign up here: We've mostly filled it to capacity in just a few weeks. I can't believe it but we're less than a month away from the tournament, this means that Tim & I are entering into our annual panic mode about whether we will get it all done and it will be a success. :)

This year Tim has been leading pretty much all of it as well as leading the house stuff from our side of things (there are also a lot of really amazing people helping to pull the house off). He's pretty amazing if you ask me! We still have quite a few openings for tournament sponsors if anyone's company is interested ( We also haven't had a lot of dinner sign-ups yet so still plenty of spots open there! (

Finally, the list is slowly growing and we aren't placing items on the list until we have a final confirmation (and know the item is almost in hand) but here is where you can access the list of items that will be up for bidding for you guys:

Looking forward to the big day and hope you guys can join in on the fun!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Catching Up...Again

First of all, we only have 8 teams left for the golf tournament so if you're wanting to play, now is the time to sign-up :)

If you don't play golf, don't forget that you can still sign up for the dinner & silent auction, we've got some really neat & one of a kind items up for auction this year that you won't want to miss out on!

Finally, we're still in need of some sponsors for the tournament to help us cover the costs of putting it on. We like to go into tournament day in the black so every bit of the money made that day can go straight to research.

I just realized that I never posted the link to Tim's interview on Fox Carolina. Diana Watson did an amazing job (as did Tim), it was so exciting to watch!

The BrightLife/iTOR house is almost finished and is absolutely incredible. I'm really wishing I could buy it & move in :). Mark your calendars for April 12-14, 19-21 & 26-28 to come tour the house (at 101 Treetops Court, Greer, SC), it's only $10 a ticket (all of the money is going to research) and you won't regret it! Here is a sneak peek at the Master Bathroom's shower, like I said, incredible. Goodwin Foust is incredibly detail oriented (to the point that all of the screws on the plates for the outlets & lights are facing up & down...seriously). It makes my OCD so happy...

So it's been awhile since we've posted and some interesting things have happened in that timeframe. For the first time in the six years we've been together Tim got me flowers. They were gorgeous but by the end of the day I was so congested & miserable. That's right, I finally get flowers & am allergic. Awesome. He's already taken that as a sign that he doesn't need to ever buy me flowers again :).

Later that night we went to Devereaux's for dinner with our friends Josh & John. The food was amazing, fit our dietary needs (for the most part) and we had a great time (& didn't have to cook for once!).

I figured out how to make a crustless quiche with soy milk (& real cheese which is not on the diet plan), it was...different.

We also got the neatest surprise. Tim's mom went to go get us a Valentine's gift from Palmetto Olive Oil, bc as we all know, I'm obsessed. She got to talking to one of the owners, Sandy Burn, and found out that she had been reading our blog. Sandy went above & beyond and put together a pretty basket of  a few different kinds of Olive Oils & Vinegars for us to try. We haven't found a single one that we haven't enjoyed but my heart still belongs to the Traditional Balsamic... :) They have generously offered to do a tasting at the showhome so all of you can try it as well.

Right before Tim started chemo again we went down to Columbia for the afternoon for the season home opener where they honored Coach Tanner & retired his jersey. We got there about 15 minutes too late for Tim to participate in the ceremony but they had a little section cordoned off for the baseball alum to watch the game and get to chat with one another. Tim had a great time seeing a lot of those guys again and the weather couldn't have been nicer.

Wednesday we got this nice little booklet about Zaltrap, the new drug we're trying with Tim. Hopefully this one works!

I mentioned that our friend Jessica came over with her daughter Emery to watch Tim while I went out and got his prescriptions filled. When I got back Emery had woken up from her nap and we gave her a Coconut Water popsicle while Jess & I tasted the oils & vinegars from Palmetto Olive Oil. Emery decided to taste some too and got REALLY into the Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar. She started by dipping her popsicle in it before she went all out and stole Jess's spoon to drink it straight. :)

On Friday at the end of Tim's chemo (the 22nd) he got lots of fluids and more anti-nausea meds that left him high as a kite but feeling MUCH better.

 Haley brought the kids by to eat pizza with Tim & Lillian took a second to cuddle up with Tim (he was in heaven :))

Last weekend we headed down to Charleston with 3 other couples from our neighborhood to attend the Charleston Wine Festival. We had the best time and the food was amazing (and absolutely none of it fit our dietary restrictions). It was really nice to just get away and relax for a few days.

Tim & I talked about it & in order for me to feel more at ease but still be able to be at work while he is on treatment we bought a baby camera that operates through our internet connection so I can access the feed through my phone or over the internet.

So far this is typically the sight that greets me when I sign goal is to get him up & moving a bit more during chemo :).