Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

Kicking Cancer in the Teeth

kicking cancer

Last week was great! Each day I continued to get stronger and stronger, feel better and better. It was so nice not to be getting infused five-and-a-half hours a day with the chemo drugs. Strength keeps coming back, slowly, but surely. The only difficulty has been that I feel as if I am on home arrest. I have been told to avoid large crowds and places where people go when their sick (retail stores, restaurants, and church) while my white blood cell count is down. So we have been operating on the assumption that my white blood cell count is down until I am told otherwise. I have a blood draw today that should hopefully let me know in the next day or so where my white blood cell count is.

There are quite a few downsides to operating this way. I can’t eat fresh fruit unless it has a tough exterior that can handle being scrubbed with produce soap (this stuff is great). Which means I can’t eat blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and so on. I can eat apples, pears, and tomatoes as long as we wash them with the Environné Fruit and Vegetable Wash twice. Not only do we have to be careful about pesticides, but also all the other people that have handled the fruit or vegetables before us.

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Exercising has been difficult. Walking has never been a good speed for me. I prefer to run, or bike, or play a sport. I have felt pretty good so I have been doing some walking, but my brain has been going crazy. We had asked my doc about cycling and unfortunately he said no to that one. The reason? Cycling puts me at a higher risk of getting hit by a car or getting in some sort of accident. So if I were to get scraped up while my white blood cell count was low, the cut would probably get infected and ultimately I might die (Talk about incentive to stay off the bike!). But the doc said I could go on a slow jog. So two days ago I went on a “slow jog”.

A slow jog is very hard to quantify. What does someone mean when they say a “slow jog”? A slow jog for someone could be a fast run for someone else. How do you determine was a slow jog is? So I just pulled a number out of my head and decided to run with that (literally). I chose to keep my heart rate below 170 beats per minute while I was running. I don’t know if that is considered working hard or not, but I found that if I kept my heart rate between 150 and 160 beats per minute I felt pretty good.

4 miles later I was on my cool down around the cul-de-sac. It felt so good to run. It felt so good to get out of the house, my brain needed it so badly. It definitely put my mind in a better place after that run, even though the rest of the day I was very tired. I think I’ve said this before, attitude is so important when it comes to cancer. I have decided to fight with every ounce of energy I have, and part of that fighting spirit means I had to go on a jog. I don’t regret it.

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Again, my family and I are so appreciative of the love and support we are getting. I’m also amazed at the attention that I’ve been getting. I only hope and pray that this attention will help men everywhere see that testicular cancer is not something to mess with and that it is ok to talk about. Just because something is wrong down there, doesn’t mean that you’re less of a man. It just means there’s something wrong down there.

As men we struggle with talking about our weaknesses, physical weaknesses included in that. But guys, this is serious! This could mean your life, and it’s so curable. So check yourself in the shower once a month (here’s a how-to on that). And if something seems out of the ordinary, GO TO YOUR DOCTOR! Again, it’s ok. You’re not weak just because something is wrong.

7 Comments

  1. Thanks Nick for the reminder and encouragement. God bless!:)

  2. Karen Vandehey

    July 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Praying for you, Nick! God is good!

  3. Dan and Mary McCulloch

    July 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Your testimony is an inspiration to all of us. Keep up the good fight and keep on educating all the men out there. God is with you and Julie on this journey. We continue to keep you in our prayers.

  4. You are an inspiration to many. God is with you and blessing you. His plans for you are still unknown to us but His plans have been with you before you were born. Our prayers are with you every day that you will have the strength that you need to survive this “C” with His help.

  5. Donna Ritchie

    July 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Hi, Nick: I sing in the Village Church Choir with your Dad and my daughter has just finished 9 months of chemo for ovarian cancer. She is blind from Diabetic retinopathy so it has been an especially difficult long hard battle. However, we got her PET scan report July 16 and she is in remission! Truly a miracle of the Lord. She, too, kept everyone informed via blogging. My mom’s heart goes out to you, and you will be in my and my family’s prayers as you walk this journey. It looks as though you have a great support system, as did my daughter, and a strong faith that will get you through this.
    Donna Ritchie

  6. Fatigue is normal, but exercise helps with it – counter intuitive – keep it up, you are way ahead of most cancer patients. Try a stationary bike. Can you get one to your house or get those rollers that cyclist use their bikes on indoors? Do you know how low your hemoglobin is?

    Consider strolling around more during infusion, ask your oncologist and nurses, maybe they will give you less sedative so you won’t be drowsy and can walk while the drugs are infusing.

    http://workoutcancer.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/time-to-consider-ditching-the-chemo-recliner/

    Regarding hemoglobin and cancer treatments:

    http://workoutcancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/regarding-exercise-are-we-doing-too-much-in-oncology-backwards-2/

    All the best to you throughout treatment and beyond!

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