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Just Take an Hour
Just Take an Hour
Published by John C.
02-13-2009
Just Take an Hour

CHANDLER (AZ) -- Over the last nine or ten years, I have written somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 articles for UDPride. They have always been about UD in one way or another. Either a player, coach, or UD official was interviewed or discussed. I have written more opinion pieces that I care to mention. Lord knows, I have gotten my share of disagreeing comments about my writing; but overall, most people have enjoyed what I have had to say.

If you donít mind, I would like to take the liberty of taking just a few moments of your time talking about something that isnít about UD. This is something that has become very close to my heart and I hope that more people read this article than any other that I have written.

About six or seven months ago, my best friend for the last 30+ years discovered that he had prostrate cancer. Terry and I are not the type of friends that spend everyday in the otherís garage drinking a beer, but we have always been close. Our relationship has changed over the years as we have matured, but we always knew that we were there for each other.

Having moved from the Columbus area, I really didnít know what to do. My best friend was probably dying and I couldnít even give him a hug. I call him every few days and see if there is anything I can do.

Terry has made a good deal of money over the years by working hard and then working some more. The only problem was that he never found time to go to the doctor and have a physical. There was always time for more work, but not enough time to see a doctor for an hour. You see, Terry is like most guys. If it doesnít hurt for more than a month, why worry about it. The problem was that his didnít hurt and in the five years since his last physical, a cancer that is very treatable has grown and festered.

The doctors are telling him that he doesnít have a lot of time left but he continues to fight the good fight and keep the battle going. I hope and pray that God has one more miracle up his sleeve, because Iím not sure what I am going to do without my best friend.

That brings me to my part of the story. I have been a very healthy guy during my 56 years on this earth. Most people are surprised when I tell them that I am that old. Up until three weeks ago I had never spent a day in the hospital and I have everything that God gave me, including the wisdom teeth that the dentist has been talking to me about for at least 30 years. Since I turned forty, I have made it a habit of getting a physical done every 12-14 months. My numbers have always looked good and I felt I would break the cancer cycle in my family that took both of my parents.

The last few weeks have made me rethink things a bit. On January 22, I had a routine physical with my new doctor here in Arizona. By 10 oíclock the next morning, I received a frantic call from the doctor telling me that I was in renal failure and I needed to get to a hospital immediately. Apparently, the potassium levels in my blood could have caused a heart attack if they worsened. Oddly, the emergency room was concerned about my blood pressure 10 minutes after I get a call from a doctor telling me I could keel over at any time.

Within hours, it was confirmed that I was in acute renal failure and I was about to spend the next 72 hours in the hospital. I had a kidney biopsy and my blood was taken seven times during that stay. Counting the four attempts at getting an IV in me, the shot in the stomach to help the anemia that comes along with renal failure and the clotting test I had to take, I walked out of the hospital with 17 holes I didnít have just 3 days earlier.

The findings of the biopsy came in the next day and the renal doctor mentioned the ďCĒ word for the first time. I then had a bone marrow biopsy performed on Friday, January 30 along with 25 x-rays of every bone in my body.

My next meeting with a doctor was the following Friday, February 6. It was confirmed at that time that I, indeed, had a cancer of the blood called Multiple Myeloma.

As defined on multiplemyeloma.org :

ďMultiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cell, is an incurable but treatable disease. While a myeloma diagnosis can be overwhelming, it is important to remember that there are several promising new therapies that are helping patients live longer, healthier lives. The estimated frequency of multiple myeloma is 5 to 7 new cases per 100,000 persons per year. Accordingly, in the United States, 19,920 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2008. There were more than 56,000 Americans living with multiple myeloma in 2005, the most current date these statistics are available.Ē

You never want to have cancer, but this certainly seems to be one that I can fight for a number of years. I feel very good about how I will react to the chemotherapy and other medicines that I will be taking. Iím not about to leave this world with so many more things to accomplish.

Understand that I am not writing this as a pity party for either Terry or myself. My reach is fairly small, but through UDPride I do have the opportunity to reach a few people and my hope is that if I can even get one person to get to the doctor and do it on a regular basis, I have done some good with this situation that I am in.

Please do not take your health for granted. I felt like a million dollars, but it was counterfeit and I didnít know it. If you havenít had a real physical in a while or have just been putting it off, please get it done. It doesnít matter how old or young you are, it is worth the trip. Please do it for yourself and family.
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  #1  
By UDEE79 on 02-13-2009, 11:48 AM
Thats a very powerful article

You are in our prayers also. I hope you and Terry get better
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  #2  
By San Diego Flyer on 02-13-2009, 12:01 PM
As one who has had 3 biopsies in three years, I connect with you. Never miss a physical or a blood test. Read voraciously about the illness. Become a lab rat and never give in to it.

God speed John.
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  #3  
By The Fly on 02-13-2009, 01:57 PM
John, I wish you Godspeed. That goes without saying. But I also congratulate you on your courage to reach out to others. Opening up one's private life is never easy to do, but clearly your concern and compassion for others held the trump card. Take care of yourself. And you know the drill: Thoughts, prayers, good wishes -- all aimed your way.
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  #4  
By Bill McPeek on 02-13-2009, 01:58 PM
Originally Posted by San Diego Flyer View Post
As one who has had 3 biopsies in three years, I connect with you. Never miss a physical or a blood test. Read voraciously about the illness. Become a lab rat and never give in to it.

God speed John.
Good luck, John. You'll beat it!
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  #5  
By Bill McPeek on 02-13-2009, 01:59 PM
Looks like I hit the quote tab instead of the proper one. Sorry.
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  #6  
By DaytonInsider on 02-13-2009, 02:37 PM
you and your friend our in both My prayers and my family's prayers
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  #7  
By smitch425 on 02-13-2009, 03:28 PM
Best wishes

for both you and your buddy.
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  #8  
By Radar on 02-13-2009, 04:36 PM
Thanks john...

and many prayers to you and Terry.
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  #9  
By Swampy Meadows on 02-13-2009, 08:42 PM
Mad Dog:

I have my annual physical in April. Something all of us have gotta do.

I'll be thinking about and praying for you, dude.
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  #10  
By UD 1981 on 02-18-2009, 05:01 AM
Good Luck. You can do it!

Dear John C.,

Iím Steve. I work at WHIOíS sister station K 99 radio. I too have Multiple Myeloma. I was diagnosed in June last year. I have gone thru nine weeks of Chemo with Valcade. With no results.
I went into the Ohio Stateís cancer Hospital ďThe JamesĒ on October 30th. I had a bone marrow transplant on November 5th. I now consider this my second birthday. I received 6 million new red blood cells and Iím currently in remission. I had some complications (pneumonia). I was released on December 22nd.
I am now back at work. Iím twenty-five pounds lighter, but spiritually much stronger. If you have any questions please feel free to call. Even if you just need to vent. I go back for a bone biopsy at the end of the month. Hereís my work number (937)-259-2111. I am off the air at 9am eastern.
Steve K.
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  #11  
By Kunklek73 on 02-18-2009, 07:42 AM
My prayer are with you, your buddy and your family. My 31 year old daughter with three childern is battling cancer now. I know some of what you are going through. Our health should never be taken for granted.
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  #12  
By AustinFlyer on 02-26-2009, 12:26 AM
I'm very sorry to hear about this, John, but thank you for writing it. My prayers are with you. I have been meaning to schedule a physical for a couple months now, but never get around to it. After reading your post, I set a calendar alarm for when the doctor's office opens in the morning.
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