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Things Change Very Quickly

One year ago I was preparing to run marathon #7 and I was asked to work on a project for Duke Hospital. I was asked if they could document my story for an “All Staff” event. It was fun working on this recreating my time in the hospital five years ago. I was able to visit with some of the my nurses as well as with Dr. Peters and Dr. Friedman. The video shows me with my head wrapped along with a fake IV in walking with Kenyetta and Anna, two of the nurses that took care of me. The video closes with footage from the Tobacco Road Marathon on 3/17/13. I would run a 3:17 and re-qualify to run Boston. My wife and daughter and two dogs were at the finish line, warm sunshine on my face. It was a good day and I was in the best shape of my life.

I would return to Duke for a regular checkup the following week. While working on the video we had reviewed several scan so when Dr. Peters pulled up my most recent one I recognized that something had changed. This is the reality that I face with each checkup. There is always potential for not so good news. A biopsy was ordered and Dr. Friedman had already put me on his schedule. The biopsy would reveal that there was new growth that was a higher grade and more aggressive. Knowing how important Angels Among Us was to me, Dr. Friedman scheduled me to check into the hospital on 4/21, the day after Angels. I knew this time that I would be facing chemotherapy after the surgery, fortunately radiation had been ruled out. While this is not something I plan at getting good at it was easier the second time as I knew everyone and they knew me. I was literally in ICU explaining to some of the staff where they could find the results from the 5k the day before. Several folks recognized me from the video.

After a few days in the hospital I was headed home to begin my recovery. I was up and running in no time. I would run a 5k before my stitches had been removed, I did not ask for permission for this one. The miles were slow at first but I continued to move forward. I started chemo in May with very little in the way of side effects. After the first surgery in 2009 I began running, this time I took up biking and swimming. I would complete three triathlons including one on my 50th birthday in August. I now have a half Ironman in my sight and if you do a half then…..Six months after my surgery I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, where among 30k folks I would meet a fellow brain tumor survivor running his first marathon. What are the odds? It all happens for a reason. It was an awesome experience.

I ran more than 2000 miles last year. On Monday April 21,2014, one year to the day of my surgery I will be back in Boston running the 118th Boston Marathon. This will be my tenth marathon and I never planned on running one! After what happened last year, not just in Bosoton, it will be a very special year to be there.

In May I will find out how successful the chemotherapy has been. However, what I do know at this point is that it has not slowed me down. I HOPE that you will join me and my team for Angels Among Us and help fund finding a cure for brain tumors. I know that I am very fortunate   to be able to do what I able to. Without the support of my family and friends, including my training buddies that push me on each and every run, none of this would be possible. However, everything is 101% POSSIBLE! I hope that you will join me for a day like no other.

Gotta Run,

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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