Monday, August 24, 2015

I lied

As most of you know, I post with stunning irregularity on this blog.  All sorts of bullshit gets in the way of being able to puke out some nonsense on this digital paper.  As I stated in my last post, I was going to shutter the NSS blog for a while as we dealt with Samuel's cancer and the ensuing treatments, but with the length between regular posts, I probably didn't even need to state that I was pulling the plug on this blog.  I could have just kept on, business as usual, and no one would have been the wiser.

Which brings me to the reason I lied. 

Yesterday I went into work for a while. The store is closed on Sundays, so I like to go in and write the order, stock the store and get stuff done that's harder to do when it's open and we're focusing on customers. And, as usual, I rode my bike to work. 

As I usually do when I ride my bike, I thought about all the shit going on in my life, which obviously led me to thinking about Sam and all the crap he's going to endure for the next year or so. And I thought about the amazing outpouring of support we've received in the last 48 hours since letting the world outside of a close circle of family and friends know what's going on. All of that overwhelmed me and I cried on the way to work. Let me tell you it's a bitch to ride with tears in your eyes. As I rode I realize that I need this blog to vent some shit, yell and rant and rave as we go through this. And maybe just be silly, or dirty, or, well, just bitch. 

So, after the shortest hiatus this blog has ever seen, I'm back posting with same ridiculous irregularity that you've come to know and expect from me. We'll still be over on Sam's Caring Bridge page, but that will be more updates and news about Sam. This will be just for me to vent. If I get too whiny, tell me in the comments, I probably won't give a shit, but tell me anyhow. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Who gives a shit about Leadville

I fully expected that the next post I was gonna do for this blog was going to be about how I succeeded or failed at Leadville this year (and it kinda is) but none of that really matters. And as I weave this tale, you'll soon find out why.

Back in January, my son Samuel, crashed skiing. Shortly after this, he started having intermittent hip pain. He'd play basketball, dodge ball or something like that and he'd complain about hip pain. It seemed like he had a pulled muscle or something along those lines. He'd take a couple ibuprofen and everything would be hunky-dory. We deal with this every 3-4 weeks and didn't think much of it. 

Fast forward to mid-July. We went to a friends house for dinner where a giant Slip n' Slide was set up for the kids. Sam ran up and down the hill many times, having a blast on the slide.  The next day he was hurting for sure, barely able to walk. Not cool. We called the doctor and made an appointment. I was convinced it was a pulled groin muscle. 

We got into the doctor a couple days later and you know how those things go. Go to the this place for an xray, that place for a CT scan, make a follow up appointment with a orthopedic doctor, blah, blah, blah. 

About 3 days before heading to Leadville, we had an appointment with the orthopedic doc (which was about 3 weeks after our initial doctor appointment) who then sent us for a color contrast MRI. He said, based on the CT scans, the two possibilities for Sam's hip were an infected bone or a tumor. Shit. A tumor was a possibility? WTF? Nah, no way. That kid is healthy as a horse and strong as a bull. I'd bet (based on some information we received) that it's an infection. No question. He'll get on an antibiotic regimen when we get home and everything will be A-OK.  We then scheduled an appointment for a specialist orthopedic in Sioux Falls for a couple weeks after we got home from Leadville.

So, off we go to Colorado for a couple days at my mom's house, then up to Leadville for the race and a couple days of camping with my mom and my brother and his family. 

Friday we got up early to head to Leadville so I can get signed in, go to the pre-race meeting, etc. As we were at the gas station filling up, my phone rings. It's the doctor's office. Sweet, now we can get the ball rolling. "It's definitely a tumor. We've got your biopsy appointment scheduled for next Thursday." Those words were like a well placed Chuck Norris round-house kick to the gut. Holy shit. It was like one of those scenes in a movie where a bomb goes off and the person is disoriented and can't hear what's happening around him. All of the sudden I had zero desire to go to Leadville, but since the ball was in motion, we continued on to the city in the clouds.

As I sat in the pre-race meeting, all I was thinking about was Sam and hoping beyond hope that it was just a cyst or a benign tumor and that everything would still be good, barely listening to the presenters. We got up early the next morning and without having you suffer through the minutia of this race, I got pulled from the course at mile 74 after missing the time cut off and I could not have cared less.  I had no shits left to give. Was it the two flats I had on the day?  Maybe.  Was it the fact that all I was thinking about was my son during the race?  Possibly.  Maybe it was a combination of everything involved, but I didn't care.  Maybe the day when they tell me Sam is OK I'll get pissed about it, but not now.
Sam going in for one of many scans he's had so far.

We just got home from Sam's biopsy in Sioux Falls and found out he does indeed have a cancerous tumor in his hip.  The doctor said it is either Ewing's sarcoma or osteosarcoma but the course of treatment will be similar.  A round of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor followed by a surgery to remove the tumor and most likely replace his hip with an artificial one, followed by more chemo and/or radiation depending on the cancer.  Of everyone in-the-know, he's taking all this news the best.  When we were talking with him about the surgery/hip replacement he said it will be cool, cause he'll be a DROID (saying the word like the Motorola Droid phone does when it turns on).
Sam yucking it up, pre-op.
Right now the whole bike thing is kinda ringing hollow for me.  I hope that someday I'll be stoked to fire this blog back up, but for the near future it's gonna go dark.  We'll be over on Sam's Caring Bridge page, updating his info so if you feel inclined to follow along, you can see how he's doing.  And of course, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call.  I'll still be riding my bike when I can, but it for sure won't be what I'm focused on.