Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2nd round of chemo

In for 2nd session and so far eventless...a bit tired from the sed's they gave me but other than that, contstant flow and lot's of trips to the john down the hall.

The PET result from yesterday were as expected per the doc this am. Glass half full the tumor hasnt grown, glass half empty, the lymphs still on fire. So, no real change from the 1st chemo but as the Dr prefaced, this would be the case.

Liam brought me in and is picking me up for the ride home. Brad stopped in for several hours as did Charlotte Graham. All good visits and helped the time go by and I was able to introduce anther set of friends / supporters. All very good in my world.

So, that's about it. All in a days work and again, one day @ time.

Love to you all,


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Randy's update day before Chemo #2

From: Randy Broad
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 11:37 AM
Subject: Fwd: Happy Spring!
To: Liam Scanlan

Here's an update for the blog.
I've been a bit out of pocket and not updating the blog myself since the chemo but please know it's gone quite well. That said, I have had a couple of set backs. Some on the emotional and physical front and both were quite draining and thus, not particularly up to writing / posting / updating.
Upside, Brad and Liam are true troopers on all fronts. Not sure how I would be getting through this ordeal without them. They've been there daily/hourly and sometimes with little to no warning.
Thursday around noon I passed a bunch of blood during a bowl movement. No forewarning, no pain, nothing. Just a toilet full of deep red blood. I thought I was visiting the Red Sea. Called the doc and said get my 'ass' in there asap. So they did a complete exam, checked my blood count/cells, ran some more tests, rechecked my med's, etc. And low and behold, couldn't find a thing out of whack. Summation was hemorrhoids. I've had hemorrhoids maybe 20 years ago and know the feeling, etc. This was a completely a different experience. So, I'm not sure what to think other than they said if you pass more blood, call us and we'll get you into a proctologist and look 'deeper'.
The suck thing about this all is you just can't plan. I had two meetings set for that afternoon which of course I had to scramble to cancel at the last minute and subsequently spend the afternoon in the hospital. The good thing is it apparently was a false alarm with no real issue and the response from my Dr./staff team was/is amazing. One would think I was the only person in the building with a problem. I'm confident that if ever there was a better place to have cancer care treatment, it couldn't beat Seattle. It's truly amazing me every time I'm in the treatment centers.
I also started a complete regime of naturopathic supplements to go along with the rest of my treatment. I had my pharmacist (yes I have my own dedicated one @ SCCA) check them to ensure they coincide with chemo to ensure there aren't any counter agents at work. So my day begins with about 15 minutes dedicated to swallowing pills of one nature or another.
So that's the latest. 2nd PET scan on Monday, 2nd round Chemo on Wed. If I do no worse on the 2nd chemo as 1st, I'm in good shape.

Friday, April 25, 2008

it is nothing!

the word is so strong.

we had a little scare on thursday, Randy noticed blood in his stool and the doc's had told him to watch for anything unusual. he called the SCCA and they told him to come right in.

Liam and I met him there and we went thru 5 hours of questions and tests. a loving army of 6 standing by him, all silently afraid, but holding it back and holding him up.
False alarm- no big deal! we all felt exhausted after the relief.

The staff there is incredible. the doc told him to do anything he wanted and to have fun. it was great. i think there may be no finer care in the world- these people are so sincere and they bust their tails to do the best job they can.

we appreciate it!

out to dinner and toasted just being alive and having friends

love to all

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Dog's purpose

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old's perspective)

As a veterinarian, I was called to examine a ten-year-old Irish
Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners Ron, his wife Linda and
their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker. They
were hoping for a miracle..

I examined Belker and found he was dying. I told the family we
couldn't do anything for Belker. I offered to perform the
euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Linda told me they thought it
would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure.
They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's
family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog
for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going
on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any
difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after
Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal
lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening
quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next
stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a
good life--like loving everybody all the time and being nice,
right?" The six-year -old continued, "Well, dogs already know how
to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Friday, April 18, 2008

So far, so good

Well over a week has passed since the first phase of chemo. The color has come back to Randy's cheeks and he has returned to his original upbeat self.

The weekend was a bit rough, as the doctors told him it would, but it seemed to mess up no more than about 48 hours; Saturday and Sunday, then the discomfort cleared and he was able to concentrate on staying healthy, doing some work, keeping in touch with Emily and Riley, and generally gearing himself up for the next session on chemo which will be in less than 2 weeks (It will be another Wednesday 30th April.)

A long heart-to-heart with his PCP Doctor Cotton seemed to help a lot. Randy and Cotton go back a LONG way and her counseling of him over an hour and a half seemed to help him a lot.

Yesterday, the reminders of the phase after the chemo seemed to get Randy a little on edge, and I could tell he was interested in having some company rather than sitting home alone all evening. Perhaps the reminder that, when the time comes, doctors would do a full sweep of his body to look for how well his body responded to chemo would be a challenging time. Still, the signs so far are good.

We are all hoping for the best and are confident that Randy's constitution will serve him well over the next weeks.

Best of luck, Randy. We are with you all the way.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Tips for a better life in 08

Tips for Better Life - 2008
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is theultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you haveto.
3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'Mypurpose is to __________ today.'
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. Theyprovide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that ismanufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water.. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskansalmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new andflowing energy into your life.
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues ofthe past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead investyour energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems aresimply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra classbut the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like acollege kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journeyis all about.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, willthis matter?'
26. Forgive everyone for everything.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. GOD heals almost everything.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.Stay in touch.
31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
33. The best is yet to come.
34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
35. Do the right thing!
36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey I'm thinkingof ya!
37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I amthankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainlydon't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make themost of it and enjoy the ride.
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about.
May your troubles be less, May your blessings be more, May nothing buthappiness come through your door!

Guardian Angel

From: Randy Broad <>
Date: Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 6:14 PM
To: me

I am sending this to you to see how many actually read their e-mail.
Your response will be interesting. Pay attention to what you read.
After you have finished reading it, you will know the reason it was sent to
Here goes:


People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you
have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a
godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled,
their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to
share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Send this to every friend that you have on-line,
including the person who sent it to you.

0 Replies - you may need to work on your 'people skills'
2 Replies - you are nice but probably need to be more outgoing
4 Replies - you have picked your friends well!
6 Replies - you are downright popular
8 Replies or More - you are totally awesome
(and that's probably why you're on MY list)

I wonder what mine will be.

Forward this message the same day you received it It may sound
ridiculous, but it is right on time
We believe that something is about to happen. Angels exist, only
sometimes they haven't got wings and we call them friends; you are one of
them. Something wonderful is about to happen to you and your friends.
Tomorrow at 4:47 pm somebody will address you and tell you something you
have been waiting to hear. Please do not break it. Send it to at least 7
of your friends.

Randy's update on Chemo Day One

From: Randy Broad
Date: Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 10:12 PM
Subject: Chemo - round one
To: [all]>

(click to enlarge)
7:30am: Randy gives blood to be used for a full round of tests before the action begins.

Well, I survived my first round of chemo just fine. My day started @ 5:30am and back home @ 7pm. I didn't sleep all that well the night before with lots of wild dreams but it was manageable. It made for a long day for sure but all in all it went well. I had no idea what to expect and went with an open mind and as I said, it was less eventful than I thought might be. Mostly education and lying on a bed with a tube in my arm with a lot of attn from my good nurse Jim.

Liam picked me up, drove me, sat through the first several hours of educational Dr's, nurses, pharmacists, etc. meetings.

(click to enlarge)
8:30am: Randy, his oncologist Dr. Eaton and nurse (I think Debbie) go over the fine print

Got settled to my room for the injections to begin. Jennifer came by for a visit as well as Brad Easton and the day passed quickly. Liam came back around 4:30 and a ride back home I was out the door by five.
The final visitor of the day was the staff Chaplain (Rev Debra Jarvis). She stopped in while Liam was there and we had a pretty round the ball bark conversation. She's a full time SCCA rev and her day consists of stopping in each of the patients room (over 50 on my floor and all full and constantly flipping throughout the day - needless to say we're I'm not alone). A cancer survivor herself, she's been there for 3 years and loves her job. I cannot imagine all the lives she touches and the experience of life she must realize.
One topic I brought up with her was the best way to tell my parents. Which I have yet to do. This is a biggy for me as we don't need more patients and one that will cause a great deal of stress and anxiety in their lives and I'm seeking the best advice on how to / when to deliver the news. I've sent her mail and hope to nail down this decision as quickly as possible.
Lastly, I have not experienced any nausea / side effects so far. Just a bit of fatigue. Dr. Eaton called today to check in on me to see how I was and said that Saturday would prob be my toughest day but by next Tues I should be pretty much back to normal. I slept a good deal today but I attribute that mostly to sitting up first with Liam and then D'Laina came over last night and talked through the days activities. It was very good to have them over after that day and we drank some wine, ate some old stinky cheese, and laughed and shared our love and feelings. It was a very good end to a day that was not too bad.
Off to a good start! Chemo round two is 20 days from today.
It's great to have so much love and attention from you all and knowing that you all care so much. I send you all my love and appreciation for your support.
Kindest and warmest and loving thoughts,
Wishing you all that is good.
PS, jennifer spoke to her friend and assc Susan Fox of the EX Dir of the Seattle Chapt of the Jubilee Womens recovery center...she has added me to their nuns prayer rites.
PSS, I'm off to get a good short cropped haircut for summer tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Randy's Oncologist, great info

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

i had a couple tears and sobs on sunday and a few more tonight reading the blog.

but i am glad to hear him say he has picked up the fight. i knew he would, but it is a lot to swallow.

i am not sure i understand the statement that he has chosen this cancer and it has no power over him-
whatever helps him feel better is alright with me. but i like the idea that he is now fighting. his demeanor has changed. he plans to build a garden for the kids, he is taking Riley to Korean Sword Fighting, he has to get the lots re-vegetated so he can sell them. these are a few of the several things he mentioned--

he wondered if this was message from God a few days back

i read a nice verse in Ecclesiastes,chp 9 v 2................ "All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked, to the good and to the clean and to the" unclean.....................

anyway, we all get rained on whether we deserve it or not.

i lunched with him today and he was getting up for the chemo tomorrow, we spoke to an assistant at the Clinic- they are really very sweet and helpful. So he will have a long one tomorrow. he may be able and want to chat -or not, maybe he will sleep or read. i plan to stop by and will let you know how it goes.

after all the shock, tomorrow is the first day of solutions.

The art of being alive

From: Randy Broad
Date: Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 2:27 AM
Subject: an addition to the blog

The most visible creators I know are artists whose medium is life. They are the ones who express the impossible through creation...creation from nothing - they don't necessarily use a brush, chisel, clay or a violin. They neither stand at the pulpit nor the mountain top - their medium is understanding life and its being. Whatever their presence touches has made a positive impact and strives to improve life in its creation. They see, feel and emerge; plant a seed, grow a garden, create life where none exists. They share life's experience and are artists in the art of being alive. These are God's greatest gifts and HE bestows them upon us all and guides us to our calling every day....It is our duty to hear the voice, follow the lead and take the necessary action to serve in HIS light.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Emily and Riley. The toughest conversation of his life, so far.

Randy and Jennifer sat Emily and Riley down for a 'family meeting' as Randy put it.

"Is this about school reports?" Riley asked.

As sensitively as it could possibly be done, Randy explained to Emily and Riley that Daddy had been visiting the hospital a few times and he knows now he has lung cancer. A few details later, Riley broke down and asked 'Why you, Daddy?".
"I don't know, Riley", Randy answered.
Riley curled up in his Dad's lap and cried for a long time.

There's a lot more detail in that evening and for Randy, it was the toughest conversation he has ever had.

Every Tuesday from here on, the Two R's would go out and do something together.

2nd opinion, from Dr. Kovack

Doctor Kovack, an oncologist based in Overlake, saw Randy on Friday.
Thankfully, no big surprises today.

Kovack was extraordinary. A true gentleman, he really took the time to explain what Randy's options were and was clearly prepared to stay with Randy and answer his questions for as long as Randy wanted him to.
They say that patients do better when they know their caregivers actually do care and I got the distinct impression that Kovack cared for each and every patient he met.
A good sign of things to come...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (she turns 80 today)

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Friday, April 4, 2008

2nd opinion from Doctor Hwuang

I picked up Randy and we headed to Overlake to see Dr. Hwuang, scheduled to give Randy a second opinion.

It was 45 minutes before the doctor could see Randy. He had been in the middle of surgery, and was headed for another surgery right after Randy's visit. A busy man.

This visit, Randy and I were shown a set of impressive scans on the computer. Hwuang scrolled up and down through seemingly thousands of scans of Randy's torso such that it gave a distinct 3-d impression and convincing mental picture of what was going on.
Thankfully, there were no big surprises, although as the doctor was thinking out loud, he let the term "3B" slip, which of course sent a chill through Randy.
Hwuang backtracked from that comment (and later apologized to Randy for overstating the problem).

The images showed exactly where the tumors were situated and, if I read the charts right and understood, the coughing up of blood came from a rupture in his bronchial passageway due to a lymphnode tumor putting pressure on the bronchial wall.

In the end, his observations matched Randy's prognosis from the previous day, and his recommended course of treatment was also the same. So it was with some relief that there was no extra bad news to be learned.

The good news is that Dr. Hwuang said Randy had a 50% chance that imminent round of chemotherapy would cure him of the disease. That's up from the earlier doctor's estimate of 20-30%.

And so, the battle begins. Tuesday next, Randy goes for his chemo, an all-day, one-day session.

more to come...

Wednesday visit - first major discussion on prognosis:

Wednesday visit - first major discussion on prognosis:

Email report from Brad Easton:

A gorgeous day and beautiful facility, The receptionist gave Randy 4-5 pages of questionnaires to fill out, some pretty obscure questions, but later it turns out that there is a reason for almost everything.

A nurse took his vitals and we waited in a room for about 30 minutes , a PA came in and reviewed the questionnaires and asked more specifics. Later the doc came in and asked for a brief. Doctor Wood is a surgeon and he asked what if anything had Randy been advised regarding treatment. 'Not very much' Randy replied.

The doctor took his time and explained that his expertise was surgery and staging the cancer, and ex-plained that stages 1, 2 & 3 have sub-stages of A & B. depending on how advanced the cancer is. Very professional and you get the notion this guy really knows his stuff.

He then said that Randy had lung cancer in the 3A stage. 1 being early and 4 being the worst. Not the news we were sure we would hear. 'Why?'---- because the CT and PET scans showed the N1 and N2 lymph glands were involved. So not only are the lymphs that are the closest to the lung but it has advance to the second group of lymphs. The MRI showed the brain to be clean and the PET showed that the involvement was only to the lymph and not other organs. They can do a biopsy of the lymphs to be certain but they felt it would be redundant- the films show clearly that they are involved. this Doc was well practiced at giving this speech.

3A is the most complicated to treat- because simple surgery will not tell if there are cancer cells in the other organs that we cannot see yet, or if it has spread to a third group of lymphs. It is however treatable with a curative intent. he guessed a combo of chemo first, then surgery and maybe radiation. declined to answer questions that a Cancer doc should answer. they avoid giving concrete prognosis- only stats-

he called his partner oncologist who said he could see Randy at 2 oclock- that was less than two hours from then. a very nice courtesy.

we went to lunch in shock. but Randy was still laughing and making jokes- he spoke with Rojean on the way, who had a similar diagnosis 7 years ago- she was comforting.

After Lunch a meeting with the oncologist- Doctor Renato Martins. also a guy that really gave you a good sense that he knew what he was talking about. he did his school and intern back east and then worked his way to be head of the Cancer Society for Brazil. perfect english. old school in his manner- he did an exam on Randy, listened to lungs, looked down his throat and asked for a med history. questions about family history, social support system, lifestyle.

He suggested a start on chemo before the surgery. chemo goes after everything, everywhere. so it will attack cancer sells in the body we cannot see. two courses, then a ct scan, a third course and then surgery.
between the courses doing a ct scan to see if the tumor has shrunk or grown, and to see if the lymphs are responding to the therapy. sometimes it is gone....... another course of chemo, then the surgery. Randy has what he described as a 'huge' lung capacity. the surgery will not affect his breathing capacity. all those years of talking paid off!

The chemo meds:
Cisplatin- which can cause nausea, they give meds for that. rarely it affects hearing.
Lance Armstrong took this med. it requires massive amounts of liquids to protect the kidneys. the therapy is an entire day on IV.
Alimta- same side effects
lots of patients work full time thru the chemo, most do not lose their hair.

When do we start? he advised in the next few days- he is out on vacation next week but advised Randy not to wait for his return........he made an appointment for monday, Randy will meet the other two docs in Kirkland and decide where he wants to go. if with these guys, it would be with the Cancer Care
Alliance- they have great ads and 'treat the whole person'. During Chemo he cannot allow himself to get a fever. the chemo lowers the blood count and the bacteria in mouth and gut can overtake the system.

felt like 24 hours passed in just 6. Randy is overwhelmed by all the info. questions of how long he had it were answered with guesses of 1-3 years. sometimes the cells double every 250 days or as long as 800 days.
he is worried mostly about his kids, when should he tell them? if the chemo goes well it may be they never know he is in treatment.
if the chemo goes well the surgery is more a formality- he will have beaten the cancer with chemo, but they still take the area infected out as well as the lymphs that showed infection.

hope that fills you in. i have pages of scribbled notes, forgive my grammar- just trying to get information out so Randy doesn't have to answer the same question multiple times.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Randy picked up scan data. Will know more tomorrow...

[from Randy's email of a few moments ago]

"I’m of the mindset that until I really know the shape of the ship I’d prefer to keep in our tight circle. I should know a lot more by eod tomorrow. I picked up all my scans and reports for the doc tomorrow so he can see what’s what.



[end of email]

The news March 21, 2008, confirmation on 24th

Randy has been coughing for a while. For about 3 years in fact.
He had quite a dose of something in the week ending March 21 and decided to go to Overlake to get it checked out. Coughing up a bit of blood, it was time to take a hard look.

March 18th, his doctor told him he had "either pneumonia or lung cancer". He was to take some antibiotics for a few days and if it didn't clear up, they would look closer.
By Friday March 21, it hadn't cleared and they took a much closer look.
I picked Randy up at the east door of Overlake. He got into the car and said "well, Liam, I have lung cancer".

By Monday 24th, the lab was able to tell Randy that it was "small cell carcinoma", that it was still very small (1 to 2 centimeters in length) and they would probably cut out the lower section of his left lung and follow that with chemo and radiation.

This week, he goes for a battery of tests.
Monday, his brain scan came up clean. nothing there, which is good news because lung cancer often travels to the brain for some reason.
This news increases the chances that he has caught it early.

Today (April 1) he goes for a breath test. They want to see if his breathing is strong enough to handle the removal of the lower half of his left lung. The test is a pretty straight forward procedure. Here is there now, as I type this, and I hope to have a cup of tea in Starbucks when he gets out.

Love to all.