Monday, March 9, 2009

Snowy Monday for Cancer Care

Today we met with medical oncologist, Dr. Jafari, in Mount Vernon at the Cancer Care Center. He was convinced we needed to begin with chemotherapy, in order to shrink the tumor down, before we remove what's left of it with surgery. We can begin the chemo as early as next week, as soon as we can schedule a surgery for a port-a-cath to be put in my upper right chest. The port-a-cath spares the needle-challenged patient with one injection that takes care of all the rest. They will use this port to inject future chemo treatments, to take blood draws, etc. For me, this was today's front page news. And mighty exciting too!!

We still plan to keep Thursday's appointment with Sam Whiting, an oncologist in Seattle who is thought by some to be the "med onc guru" in the region. He may suggest a path of treatment or combo of meds that is revolutionary, aggressive and perfect for our needs. He may spill his coffee. But we are taking the pilgrimage to hear his words. He is worth it from all I've heard.

We cancelled our Tuesday appointment with Raymond Yeung, the surgeon, and he agreed we needed to begin with treatment rather than surgery so he was fine with not meeting for a while. We are going to keep his number on speed dial, though, for when the chemo has shrunk the tumor down to surgery size.


  1. Nick, All the Olpins are keeping close tabs on you and your treatment. Dr. Jafari is great; he is helping heal my friend HELEN. We call him Dr. Safari because we are on a trip through the jungle with him leading.
    Your wit and sense of humor come shinning through on the blog.
    Wishing you well in every way.
    Bonnie Olpin

  2. Sounds like you've covered the baseline, Nick, and now you're going to the net.........always good to have a backup plan,,,,as you always told me. love and prayers from Marc and Mary

  3. Sounds like you are making well-informed decisions. Best kind there are! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. DeAnna

  4. I don't know about you, but this whole thing has just been downright exhausting for me. The worrying, the reading, the crying, the laughing, the praying. That whole time change thing didn't help much either. . .
    I have this great image that I have been praying on each night as I lie in bed. I picture all of the people that I know that are praying for you standing around you, each with a hand on you. Of course, because I am the great S-I-L, I get the honor of being the holder of your gallbladder/liver complex in my visual. We are all saying our own prayer, but all share the same theme - healing for you. I pray that everyone you encounter on this journey treats you with love and respect and does everything in their power to make you better. That's the image that I have been falling asleep to each night.
    I love you B-I-L!

  5. Dear Mr. Bravery,

    I'm so grateful to read your updated blogs. Hang in there. You are so loved- it's evident with all the comments people are leaving on your blog. Everyone seems to make analogies to your tennis playing, but I got to play softball with you and you always hit a home run with a smile at each at bat. Just whack the heck out of this caner with a smile on your face- we all know you can and WILL.

    Love, Sara

  6. I'm not sure what a 'caner' is, but I think you should knock the heck out of the 'cancer.' -can't stand typos, but it added a degree of humor.

  7. When I look at all the postings, what I see is how loved you are by so many. I respect your positive attitude but don't feel like you have to be tough all the time.
    Your Buddy

  8. Coach,
    It was really good to see you out at practice last week even though you lacked appropriate attire and a racket. I know the girls really appreciated the effort it took for you to stop by and like everyone else you have influenced in your life are looking forward to your speedy return to health. I look forward to seeing you out there again soon.

  9. Nick,

    Since you are currently medically challenge, I have become computerly challenged in order to keep up with you! I was worried that I hadn't seen any recent updates...until I poked the update button...then there were updates! Duh!

    Sounds like you have a plan. Enjoy the ride as you have many, many family and friends sending good wishes, good vibes and especially their prayers. Keep up the fight and sit back and let us work our magic!

    Softball begins at the end of the month! I want you to know there are only a few that I'm will to stand beside in the outfield and you are definitely one of them!

    My thoughts and prayers are will you all!

    Much love,

  10. Nick, Sandra and kiddos~
    I'm so glad you set up a blog. Now the challenge for me is trying to figure out how to post. I just tried and deleted the whole thing. Oops! So we'll see if this works.

    I was reading about softball stuff from a prior poster and remember that Nick, you hit your first home run and i witnessed it! I remember thinking, was that his first homerun? And it was! What a proud proud moment! You will be back out hitting homeruns before you know it...

    Just wanted you to know we think of you all daily and are sending love, courage and strength your way every day!

    Tawnya, Travis and Connor

  11. Nick, My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Keep up that positive attitude that makes you Nick. I know you can win this battle.
    God Bless, Marty Reese

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  13. Nick,
    I work/study in the building next to the medical center. If you ever need/want anything while you are down here (candy, sarcasm, etc..), let me know. I would love to help.
    Thinking of you,


  14. Nick,

    I was just talking about you last week telling some story about the WSU Edward R Murrow Communications program and all the super stars who have been part of the program. That list of course included you. My prayers are with you and if an individuals attitude and spirit play a part in overcoming and recovering from cancer you will be in great shape.

  15. Dear Nick,
    Connie (Miller) Larson and I had a wonderful conversation in the sun today during recess at Edison watching all the kids play. We reminisced about our wonderful class and talked about you and what special memories we have of you. We both said that we love you like our brother. How did you get into our hearts like that? Anyway, a couple of tears, lots of laughs, and lots of focus on your strength, positive outlook, and sense of humor. You are amazing! Please know that so many are checking in regularly to check on your progress and PRAYING for you! Yes, I believe in miracles and the power of prayer along with the wisdom of the BEST doctors!!! You are covered on all bases!
    Take Care,
    Anne Donovan Clark :)

  16. Hi Nick,

    Happy to hear you will be seeing Dr. Sam Whiting who was my wife's oncologist. He is a great doc, with a PHD in Biology as well as his MD and specialty. He became almost family to us, a real class act. You and your family are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Get well,

    Jack Bard