Thursday, July 17, 2014

A new beginning


I guess now is as good a time as any to start this thing up again.  Starting this project revolving around how I have been impacted by cancer has been something which has been on my mind for some time now.  I have had friends and family who have come to me over the past few years and ask me for advice on how to comfort people in their life who are going through cancer.  While I do not pretend to give any medical advice in any way, shape, or form, I can say what worked for me.  Maybe I have some little tricks I have picked up along my cancer journey that might make you or your loved one who is going through this a little more comfortable or calm.

That being said.  I will be updating this page as often as I feel is necessary with little tidbits I feel are relevant to this topic.  Occasionally the topics may be a stretch, but just bear with me and I will always try to tie it back in in the end.  One little warning here, I will be telling my story and life how it really is, and how it really happened (at least to the best of my memory-don't worry I kept a good journal), not how I want you to see me.  I have seen some blogs out there that sugar coat a good portion of their content.  This is unfortunately a topic which is hard to sugar coat.  I am not going to BS you and tell you everything is sunshine and roses, but I can honestly say it will get better, it may get worse first, but it will get better...eventually.

Just a little update on where I am now and maybe a little of the reason why I am doing this here and now in my life.  I am 32 years old.  I was diagnosed with a cancer called Multiple Myeloma (which I don't think I had ever heard of at that point) in 2009, a few weeks before my 27th birthday.  I had been married about a year at that point, and it was a huge blow for my wife and me and both of our families.  I will get into more details later but if you are not familiar with my story it was a rough journey, full of ups and downs, but I feel like I can take a step back at this point in my life and draw a lot of positives from most of the crap I went through.  Hopefully some of these insights might help you whether or not you know someone going through cancer (but I feel like most of us know at least someone who has been affected by Cancer these days).

I have been in remission since 2010, so a little over 4 years.  I still have some lingering side effects: really sensitive feet, bad memory (although it was never very good in the first place), a spine which is curved forward which makes it hard to lie on my stomach, two vertebrae which stick out from my Kyphoplasty surgeries, overall tightness in my back due to settling of my spine, I have always liked spicy food but now I am much more tolerable of really spicy stuff (chemo may have permanently burned some taste buds off or something), and I am about 6 to 7 inches shorter than I used to be pre cancer (if you can call that a side effect - I guess it is more of a result).  There are probably more things but this is all I can think of right now.

I work as an internet marketer in downtown Salt Lake City and really enjoy the work.  I have a pretty good feeling the internet is here to stay at this point and I love thinking about how the stuff I search for on the internet ended up in front of me.  My real passion is finding ideas, businesses, or products and figuring out how to contribute something useful to society and watch it grow.  More on this to come, but I am manufacturing a product right now with my little brother which I am very excited about.

My life was forever changed this February when my wife had the most adorable little baby I have EVER seen (yes I know I am extremely biased- but he is seriously really cute- I just would not say anything if he were a weird looking baby).  He is 5 months now for those of you who don't want to count from February on your fingers and figure it out, and he is huge.  It is alarming how fast this kid is growing.  I would seriously be worried if he were growing any faster.  We just returned from visiting my brother in law las week, and my son, Gray is his name (Gray is my middle name by the way) was just as big as my niece who is a year and a half old!  Granted she is on the smaller side, but he is 5 months old! Crazy.  Anyway, sorry to trail off there, but I am absolutely over the moon about this kid and feel so lucky to even have a child in the first place.  I will talk more about that in the future, but I will tell you when I found out how bad things were, I was more concerned with whether or not I would walk again or even live for that matter.  The last thing I thought I would ever be lucky enough to experience would be to walk into his nursery in the morning and see his adorable smile because he was so excited to see me. 



Those are a few things about where I am now to get us started.  Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to address them as I go along.  I guess more than anything I feel extremely blessed to be here after all I have been through.  I feel a small obligation to give back in some way after all I have been given.  This is my way of trying to do that.  I hope you will join me on this journey called cancer...


3 comments:

Jules said...

We love you Brandon! I'm excited to see you start this project and look forward to your updates. You're an inspiration to all of us!

Julie O'Leary said...

Brandon, I was cleaning up my computer and ran across your blog again. I just had to open it and see if you had kept it current. I was delighted to see that you will be posting again. Your story is important! You are more than a survivor, you are a thriver.
Thanks for sharing!
P.S. Gray is adorable!!!!

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