Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update & Guest Blogger

We are going to have a guest blogger today- Dan's friend Serge. A quick update before we get to him.

Dan's WBC (white blood cells) are low, which increases the risk of infection. So new medicine has been ordered to address that issue. The sore throat and cough are still there. Dan's voice is very raspy, so he can't talk as much as normal. And he is still wiped out. However, he is in better spirits and very focused on recovering.

We are gearing up for the Waeger Cup this weekend- rain or shine! Hopefully Dan will able to play a few holes. A lot of people have put in great effort to put the event on, and we're looking forward to raising lots of money for NCCF and young adult cancer survivors.

Ok- here is an email I received from Dan's friend Serge (I am told his real name is Alden, but all of Dan's college friends seem to go by names that have strange backstories)....

Meg wrote a while back about what to say to Dan when you didn’t have the words – concluding in the end you should always say something. After a prolonged period of denial that Dan was battling cancer, I had plenty of questions, only no one to really answer them. I wanted to know the drugs he was on, how it worked, why the radiation kills the body so much, how long it would be before he got his hair (what little he had), back. I never asked Dan any of those questions.

Why I didn’t ask them is simple – if Dan felt like talking to us about the cancer he would, otherwise my questioning would just remind him of the battle he faced. I figured the best thing I could do is treat Dan like I always did before, I would get my answers in due time, as I have. I wouldn’t baby the kid or sit around feeling sorry for him. He’d come stay with the roommates and I – we’d make fun of him, he’d mock us right back. He’d eat all the food, leave without a thanks for the hospitality and be on his way. Though he was sick, I think he was able to best be himself.

After Dan was first diagnosed, I said to a buddy, “Of all the people I know, and if absolutely had to pick someone to battle cancer it would be Dan.” I’m still not sure if it was an appropriate thing to have said, but I said it. I said it because of everyone I know Dan is the person that will not only beat cancer, but turn the battle into an opportunity. He just has the attitude that is needed. It rubs off on people. I think after his first chemo session he was already planning his foundation. Anyone who has ever met Dan, or has even read the blog, likely knows what I am talking about – where he gets that strength I don’t know. His family likely helped, friends possibly, and now Meg certainly helps – or maybe he was just born with it.

Dan switched to a new drug this past week, one that is a bit more severe and may be a bit more taxing on his body. He sees the new drugs as another opportunity to show his strength and another step on the path to being declared NED. Once that happens, Dan will spend more time growing his foundation and continuing the overall war against cancer. As for me, I’m stuck playing golf with Dan this week, but on the plus side that should provide ample opportunities to mock him.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Serge dear, Thanks for taking the time to write on Dan's blog. I talked to him this week and know it is difficult for him to talk or do much of anything right now except focus of feeling better and stronger. You have know Dan for a long time, and I thank you for being such a loyal friend. What you wrote is all true (except I am appalled if he doesn't thank folks for food). Dan is indeed so internally strong. He has gone thru so darn much in the past 3.5 years, and I also don't know where all the strength comes from - well, indeed it has to come from God. God must have picked Danny out special to give him so much inner srength and courage to go thru all that Dan has had to endure these last couple years. Itold Dan from #1 thag good would come out of all this. It has. All the work Dan has done for his foundation, NCCF, and all the experiences he is giving the medical field with his unique situations, and all the inspiration he gives others (like the total strangers who read this blog), the various public talks he has given about his cancer - these are all very valuable contributions to the world in general. As his mom, it is so difficult for me to see him suffering so I have to remind myself of the good that has come from this ugly cancer. It helps a lot that the Waegers are a close family and support him totally. It helps a lot that he has so many good friends like you. It helps a super lot to know he has such a lovely person as Meg in his life, someone who is loving and dedicated, and able to be with him every day. Thank you, Meg, Serge, and all his friends that care and encourage Danny. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. Never ever underestimate the power of prayer. Keep those prayers coming. Cicily/mom

Anonymous said...

If you weren't on my team this week, I'd be rooting against you. Haha.

Now, everyone's getting sappy and I'm going to get yelled at for being mean to you.

-dan

Anonymous said...

Dan, Just want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers daily. We continue to be amazed at your strength of character and positive attitude. We feel honored to know you and to have been a small part of your life. Pat hates to miss your tournament this weekend but it seems to be falling on the Sunday that he has hockey. We hope the weather holds out for you and it's a great success!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan & Meg;
First of all, I wish you a very successful golf outing this weekend. I am most unhappy that I will not be able to attend as I have to be in Chester, PA all weekend. I will keep tabs on things through your family.

Dan, I have always known you to be a quietly strong and courageous person with wisdom beyond your years. I can see with this latest challenge that you have become even more committed to beating this miserable disease. I honor every decision you have made and have so much respect for you and your ability to keep your head and use your wisdom. My prayers are always with you and your entire family.
Meg: You have the difficult job of watching the man you love go through impossible things. I admire your personal strength and commitment to Dan and I know that together this becomes a shared battle, rather than a lonely one. That doesn't make it easy, but it helps to keep you going. I am so happy that Dan has you there with him. You two are strength squared!
I agree with your mother, Meg...ther IS nothing wrong with a little hope. It is just as easy to think positive thoughts as negative ones and the positive ones are much more healing.
God bless you both!
Love, Marie Clark

Lisa Auslander said...

aw it's baby dan! you look sooo young. Get your strength back soon and enjoy this weekend. I know that even with the cough and the new drug you can kick some butt on the golf course! -Lisa

Anonymous said...

Well said Sergio!

Tom

KevinB said...

Hey Dan and Meg,

Taxotere and Avastin are tough drugs. I'm still unsure why your docs put you on Tarceva. It sounds like you went through what I did. When I was on it, the disease progressed and Tarceva actually caused inflammation which eventually became bronchitis. I spoke with my oncologists at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston about you today. I believe that you should send your latest pathology slides to Beth Israel or Dana Farber to have them tested for every other mutation they can test. Did they find that you have the EGFR mutation and that is why they put you on Tarceva? My oncologists are sending me the contact information for the Oncology Mutation counselor. One of my doctors, asked for your contact information because she wants to speak with you. They are amazing doctors who I highly recommend. I don't know why, but I have the strangest feeling that you might have the EML4-ALK mutation, the same one I have. Our stories are very similar and EML4-ALK is associates with non-smokers.

I know your voice is shot right now, but if you ever want to call me or send me an email, alway feel free to do so. My email is kevin_brumett@yahoo.com, my cell is (617)894-3052. If Meg wants to call me and I can discuss with her in further detail, please do so.

By the way...I loved the Rocky line. Great stuff and so true. You are a fighter and both you and Meg are in our thoughts and prayers.

Stay Strong,
Kevin Brumett