Monday, November 7, 2016

One year ago...

It's been 13 months since my transplant and a quick year later, life if back to normal.  Even though I was working full time since January, I wasn't traveling.  For the last 8 weeks, I've traveled to 6 of the 8 territory's I cover, been in 69 shops and met with 82 different buyers.   On Friday I leave for Madrid Spain where our annual winter sales meeting is happening.  Things have gotten so back to normal that last week I was bitching at home about traveling here, having to put together this presentation, while missing out on this...and my wife says to me "honey, what were you doing last year at this time?"  Which puts everything in perspective because on November 7th last year, I was infusing myself with 9 hours of meds, taking two shots of day of blood clot medicine, doing anywhere from 3-9 hours a day at the SCCA, getting multiple transfusions a week, and taking enough pills for my neighborhood.  So yea, not much to bitch about these days.
When I got released from my Transplant Care, which had me for a 100 days after transplant, life started to happen again.  Not to brag, but for anyone that doesn't know me and is reading this vs. the death sentences you end up reading when you Google your disease (which I did) THIS is what I've had the opportunity to do since being released from Transplant while still regularly getting blood work, doing follow up appointment and all the other maintenance regimens that are required to keep your ass alive.  Time is what you make it.  So make it great.
Enjoy the photo montage from January until now in no particular order.

I got to meet and surf with this dude, Mike Koss.  Mike was part of the development team for a program I use every day, Excel.  Dudes got a hell of a wakesurf boat, house and love for life.  Coincidentally he's on the Fred Hutch donations board making sure cancer research is fully funded.
I surfed a shitload this summer, with a hat and lathered up with sunscreen. 
"You can't do yard work" is what the doctors told me.  Ok, well now that I have a charcoal filtered respirator can I?  "Yes."
I made our annual trip to Baldface.  If you don't know, find out.  Its that good, and was a milestone goal for me to do.  These guys were so accommodating of me and where I was at with my recovery.  The snow was so good that I said to the owner "I'd go thru another year of cancer to ride snow this good again."
I went into the hospital at 190lbs, got down to 148 and looked like this for a long time, as I was stuck in the 170 lbs of pure pussy range. Not to mention my skin was dusty dry.  I was pretty ashy for a while.
Got to go to my sons high school swim and dive meets as soon as Transplant said it was cool, which was a treat.

This is how we made doing the big trade show work.  With technology.  I stayed in Seattle, my boss got a manikin and attached a I-Pad, and I Skyped in daily and talked to all our customers, friends and reps. 
It was a hit.
I went 6 months and 2 days with out a drop of booze, and when my sober buddy didn't give me my 6 month chip, I decided to enjoy a mellow one after work. 
Traveled to my first demo in February.
Birthday dinners for Tonto and Lisa in February.
30th Annual Mt. Baker Banked Slalom in February with Jake and Graves. 
Which Milo won for the second time in his life. 
Got on my first flight and went to MA, for my parents 50th anniversary.  Snuck down to see my sisters in laws and nephew for a grilled cheese with tomato.
College room mates Sparky and Stick came out to Stevens to stay with us. 
We went to Big Bear for a snowboard magazine 4 day photo shoot with the kids.
Griff came out like he always does, and got to spend time with my favorite French soccer shred mom.
Journeyed to Italy to work on 2017/18 Union bindings with these dudes in April.
Got to snowboard at Madessimo as well.
Watched my good buddy walk around the Space Needle for raising the most $ in a Fred Hutch cancer climb.
Shredded 60 or so days with the kids this season.
Milo and Mac continued to do contests and stand on the podiums.
Went back to Europe, this time to Austria in May to see the Mothership, our new state of the art, fully hydro powered snowboard factory.
And did it with my partners.  The dudes that made our financial world a breeze to deal with during my absence. Thank you.
This is our ownership group for all the brands and companies.  Most of the guys here, we've been working together close to 20 years now.
We shredded at Molitar Glacier too. 
Watched Milo make 12' at the pole vault.

Had a beer with the neighbors.
Went to Hood and rode multiple times, this ones over Labor Day weekend with the family that kept our kids cancer free during my incarceration, Jason Cline.  Everyone should have a Cline in their lives.
COPA America game time.
Sailing in the Cancer Cup
Second COPA game, USA vs. Argentina.
Back on the horse that bucked me into the hospital many times.
Went to the unveiling of the Lambo Lab with Lisa.  Everyone was dressed in black...cept us.
Made it to Whistler in July to Camp Of Champions.  Hadn't been there since 09.
Made it over to Whidbey Island (never been there) to watch Ballard Pat and Laura get married.  Pat would just show up at the hospital multiple times during my stay.
We bought a new office and warehouse building that was completely overhauled.  Here the warehouse is getting set up. 
Did a summer meeting at my buddies lake house with all the reps. 
Mac got up early for dawn patrol surf sessions. 
Climbed the Space Needle with the family.
Then got to roll around on the outer ring that's 3' wide in what felt like pretty high winds. 
Actually enjoyed sunsets.
Chopped, stacked and split wood at the cabin.
Full warehouse of shred gear. 
Outside of the building.
Dinner with the neighbors at Drunky's BBQ.
9/11 doing the same thing with Mac that I was doing on the originally 9/11.
Traveled with reps to hang with retailers.
Flew in and flew a 1966 Huey 3 in and around Chicago.
Got my 5th bone marrow aspirate during my year check up.
As well as a shit load of blood taken out.
And now weight 195 naked, this with clothes on.

Life's pretty good these days, and I have the SCCA, UW, all the nurses, doctors and staff to thank as well as my friends, family and wife.  It takes a village to raise an idiot, and I'm living proof.  If you have cancer and found this page to get an understanding of what you go thru, killer, that's why I wrote it.  Remember it's your trip, make your time shine. 

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