I recently posted about the sad news that my brother Jeff had been diagnosed with cancer (link). In order to provide some level of support and encouragement, I signed up for Team Livestrong and created a fundraising page in his honor (see fundraising update below).
Jeff has now gone through additional tests, including a PET scan; and the results had some elements of good and some that weren't quite what we would optimistically hope for. The cancer has not spread to any other organs (lungs, liver, etc.); which is great; but it was found in some additional lymph nodes near his sternum. That resulted in this now being referred to as a Stage 4 cancer. The chemotherapy started this past week, and will continue every other week for at least the next 6 months. Very scary stuff, and I know that there are many, many people out there joining me in prayers that Jeff will win this battle and enjoy a long life with his wife and family. As I've mentioned, Jeff is certainly up for the fight and his family is right along side to support him!
The Livestrong triathlon (IM Texas 70.3) that I am registered for is this coming Sunday. There is not much left for me to do in terms of training at this point, I just need to get in the last few workouts and taper properly so that I am rested/recovered and ready to race. I really want to do well, as I somehow feel like that is at least a small way to show Jeff that I am supporting him and fighting alongside him. Not that I'm looking for any supernatural abilities, I just want to race up to the level of the abilities that I do have and have trained for (and maybe just that one notch higher that comes with a little extra motivation...). What I do NOT want is for something that I cannot control (e.g. a mechanical issue on the bike) to mess things up. Although I guess there are lessons in that as well, aren't there? Sometimes our plans get royally screwed up and we just have to do what needs to be done and fight on.
Love ya Jeff - fight with everything you've got!
PS: The fundraising page has raised $765 to date, which is fantastic; and I'd like to thank everyone who contributed! And there were some great notes of encouragement that people wrote to go along with their donations, which provided Jeff with tremendous encouragement. Here are just a couple of excerpts from those to close out this post...
you know how much I love you and I that I am praying for you everyday. You will beat this!!
We love you, Jeff. We're lifting up prayers to the Lord for strength to fight through this battle and for His healing on your body
Keep the faith. Fight, fight, fight and try to laugh! Your family and friends will carry you through when you don't feel you have the strength to do it!