some much needed news…

Yesterday was epic. Maybe epic is not the word I need to use here. Momentous. Ridiculous. Phenomenal. Needed. After five months of tests, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, tears, laughter, optimism, hitting rock bottom, discussions of life, love and death, and everything else including the kitchen sink, we got the much needed news of progress we needed to hear yesterday. First, let me catch some of you up to speed.

Since John’s last post over a week ago, he has been really taking this “eating” thing seriously. He has been making it a priority to eat at least three times a day and snacking as often as his tiny stomach will allow him. Retraining your body to accept chow and teaching your stomach to expand and hold down those nutrients is difficult. He has made this task very attainable and as many of you read in the previous post, is an absolute necessity in his fight against cancer. A week ago, in his second week of his break after his second week of treatment, John went for testing. A full set of chest and pelvic scans with and without contrast to determine how well chemotherapy was “killing the bitch” inside of him was the on the agenda that day. He went in optimistic and came out the same. The rest of the week was full of, yes, you guessed it…eating. Anything he was craving, we went and picked it up or went out to eat. We kept this going through the weekend and found ourselves Sunday night realizing we had to go in the next morning for the results from the previous Tuesday.

So there we were, with Susie in tow, in the doctor’s office waiting room placing our bets. “How much weight do you think I have gained since the last time I was weighed two weeks ago?” John questioned us. We guessed anywhere between 5-8 pounds at the most. Right then, his name was called to go back into an examination room to get the results of the blood work taken that day, weight gain and the bigger news of tests the week before. Sitting in the room all together, John revealed his weight increase. 12 pounds…12 unbelievable pounds!!! We were all ecstatic and on a complete high waiting for the oncologist to walk in. What a great way to start the appointment. Right before he came into the examination room, John said something so beautiful and positive. “No matter what news we get in the next ten minutes, I know how good I feel right now and am so happy I am eating as much as I have been these past few weeks…so it cannot all be bad.” Right then, the door opened and a smiling doctor came into the room. I feel as though I had a Charlie Brown moment because the doctor’s mouth was moving and talking to us, but all I heard was the teacher’s voice with inaudible noises coming out…until he said, “So has anyone gone over the results with you?” Immediately, my ears perked up and we all shook our head in unison…no. His continued smile went into the reveal and he said,

“Well, it looks like chemo did its job…the cancer is over 50% gone.”

My mouth dropped open and my hands went over my face. I could not stop smiling and we were all elated about the news. He recommended a third round to continue like normal this week to keep the trend of cancer’s defeat going. John stayed at the cancer center for treatment and his mom and I walked out…giving each other high fives as we walked to the car. AMAZING!!! The news we always dreamed about hearing, but we did not think it would have been such a large percentage. He printed a copy of the results with words like “significant decrease” and “lower levels of…” plastered all over the sheets of paper. They are currently sitting on the kitchen table downstairs and I look at them daily for the constant reminder of his powerful progress. He has made such great leaps and bounds since this started months ago. I could not wait to tell family, friends and those who read these words now. I am sure it has trickled down but it feels good to type them out so I can reread this amazing revelation. Wow. I still get goose bumps all over my body when I think back to those fateful words we heard that day…50%!

The plan for the remainder of the week is pretty much like the other chemo weeks. Tomorrow John has to get a refill on his pump and Friday he gets it removed. We are hoping he bounces back faster than he did the first and second round. We can tell he is stronger this week than the weeks prior because he still craves food and wants to eat, but the nausea and throwing up stand in the way. This is a battle he is taking head on and talking about openly. Another topic he is talking about with family and friends is going back to work when his health gets back to normal and…swimming. Yes, going swimming. He revealed to Alex the other day he wanted to get in a pool as soon as he gets all the tubes removed. Little things people take for granted, like swimming, and minor mishaps people fall into and complain about during the day just do not seem so important anymore do they?

He is doing something many could never imagine accomplishing after getting the debilitating news he received in the beginning and starting so low…winning. He is unearthing his fighting desire and really pulling his strength from his gut to beat this thing. Without his will, there would be no fight and I must say…he has more will in his pinky finger than most people have their entire lives. Thank you John William Goddard…for being the reason we got this good news on Monday. Because of you, because of your stubborn and unwavering fight to live, we are now looking into the eyes of our future with laughter and optimism. I love you sweet angel.



The chemo inside is breaking down…I continually feel better faster and stronger after each chemo treatment. My goal when feeling good for the 2 week break is to put on as much weight as possible. The 2 main killers of patients with cancer are weight loss and infection. I already fought off the first infection and now I must fight the harder, slower moving attacker, weight loss. With the way I feel now, there is no end in sight. I feel I am going to win and soon the cancer will be out of my body, confirming chemo did exactly as it was supposed to do. Every day I am reminded of why I am fighting for my life and why I chose the tougher path. Sitting at home…lying on the couch…while my wife is at the grocery store and then when she gets home she has to put away the groceries on her own and that is not acceptable. These are things we are supposed to be doing together and for the past 3 years we have done them together. Now I begin to cry while looking at her doing these tasks without me. My life has come to being able to accomplish tasks as my energy will allow. The crying and tears give me the strength and drive to continue to fight and kill this bitch inside of me. It doesn’t know whose body it entered and it will be killed and never brought back. A small task I would never allow my wife to do on her own, such as stock the pantry with the groceries is out of my reach. The thought of her doing these tasks, as well as all others without me for the rest of her life, is not an option. I cannot allow it. I will be right with her every step of the way. Leaving prematurely is no longer in my thought pattern. My thoughts are now “what are we doing to kill this bitch inside of me, how long is it going to take, and when will my life be back to normal?” Definition of normal: I wake up and kiss my wife good morning as we both rise out of bed to take on the day. We return from work to our home, enjoying every minute together, cooking dinner, laughing, loving, doing everything in our power to enjoy life and enjoy ourselves. These days are ahead of me, down the road, long term. Short term I am attacking my inside poisons, making them as scared as possible.




Laughter is a beautiful way to invite healing. When you are hurting and frustrated the most, laughter can turn your entire day/week around and make everything seem “not so bad”. The week before John started chemotherapy, laughter filled the house from everyone who stopped by and came to love John the holiday weekend. It was nice….really nice. I think that energy carried into the week two of chemo and though incredibly hard, still seemed better than the first time. I know he craves his health and vitality back like he had before round two started, but he seems to be bouncing back a lot faster. Yesterday was the first day since the start of treatment last Tuesday that I have seen John smile and laugh. It gives me goose bumps to see the wrinkles around his eyes form as he laughs at something he or I said. Laughter is something that has gotten us through this journey thus far. Everyone is doing their part to give generously and liberally that medicine needed.

This giving spirit by so many has really touched John and me so deeply. The people we are lucky enough to call our friends have really helped us emotionally and financially. The yoga studio I have been going to for over a year now has even stepped in and are dedicating a class and their proceeds to John once a week for the next month. Every single time I attend a class I am asked how he is feeling and I get that release I need from the practice as well. All of this is a constant reminder of how lucky we are and this battle is one we keep facing with support. There is a light at the end of the tunnel…finally. My goodness…I want to yell it from the rooftops. Finally!!! Finally, John is feeling better. Finally, John is eating. Finally, we can laugh and really feel every tear as a cheerful one.

Draining his chest is our biggest battle right now. It causes him so much upper body pain we hate to even access the tube, but we know it is a must. It is such an incredible responsibility and each time, it does not seem to get any easier. Discomfort, pain, aching, positioning…nothing seems to go right and we cannot seem to get enough of the fluid out. Just get out. Another fight we have with the cancer. Come on cancer…what is the damn deal? Just go ahead and leave with the disgusting build up occurring in the form of this lethal liquid. I will do anything and give whatever I can to have you abscond. Anything that causes him pain should just vanish. Hasn’t he had enough? I feel like putting my foot down and exclaiming, “This is it!!!”…he should now start gaining weight and getting some normalcy back. You want to know why? Because he damn well deserves it. My intensity has everything to do with my love for him. It never comes from frustration or hate because the moment I start feeling negativity, cancer wins. This all comes from wanting the best for him and just letting him have true rest and serenity again…to continue on with his life…our lives. To let him be content, passionate, start his master’s degree in accounting and go back to work…all what John wants. He was asked what one of the first physical things he wants to do when he gets better and countless times he has responded with wanting to go back to work. He has preemptively taken steps to “make plans” for us. I am so happy he is looking toward the future and continuing to know in his mind and his spirit he is better. I encourage him to keep making those adventurous and promising leaps into the future. That prospective is what is making him healthy and hopefully…chubbier. :)

As always, thank you for those who follow and comment. Feel free…anything you have to say is welcomed and warranted. Every word is encouraging.


attitude is everything...

A lot of people have expressed how Cat and I are inspiring. We help others to realize maybe certain things aren’t as bad as they seem. A lot of people have also asked me if I had any idea how many people care about me and love me. It is very hard to estimate the number of people who have shown support to us since this began. Put these 2 thoughts together and we are helping people at the same time they are helping us. By no means did we ever think we would help other people by sharing our thoughts and experiences. We started the blog for 2 reasons. One was to share with family and friends results of tests and future doctor visits. The second reason was sort of a release. It is our version of therapy to put down thoughts and results on paper. So many nurses and doctors have asked if we need to talk to a therapist to help us deal with our situation. For the people that know me very well therapy was never going to be an option. I am the last person I can see laying on a couch complaining about my problems and crying to a stranger about my illness. What can a therapist (shrink) offer me that my wife cannot? She and I have spent a lot of time talking and crying and doing what we think helps deal with our situation. If you ever need to talk and need someone to listen, Cat is the best person in the world, probably better than Dr. Phil.

Music. It is something that is very hard to listen to without crying. Music, certain songs, certain bands all remind you of a happier time in life. I never imagined that it could strike such a sensitive spot in my mind, but it does. I listen to music rarely ever because of the sensitivity and emotions that it delivers. When driving to the doctor, Cat and I never listen to the radio or a CD. I never listen at home either. Since I became sick I have probably listened to a total of 3 hours of music. That is 3 hours in approximately 3 months. It used to be at least an hour or two every day. I cannot explain why it is so difficult but it is one of the hardest things to do. Starting today I am going back to listening to music. I am supposed to have a good attitude and positive outlook to help overcome this illness. I believe if I got back to listening regularly, it would help with my positive attitude.




Chemotherapy, round two, started Tuesday. Monday was a holiday and the dosage was upped this week since it is a total of four days rather than the full five. I have found this love/hate relationship with chemo though. I have found a love for chemo because on top of the positive thinking, energy and our love, I do believe it has helped with his healing. My hate for chemo seems to run deep right now. I hate how it makes him feel daily…the struggle of nausea, the migraines, and just feeling depleted and utterly exhausted takes a toll on a person. I know it is supposed to clear up his cancer…especially with all the spreading that occurred while going through radiation…but at the same time, it is why I have a love for the treatment. I understand the good it is trying to do for him, but I hate what it does to him. Not only does it kill off the “bad” cells but also takes the “good” ones with it. His restlessness is evident and he keeps putting his head in his hands in frustration. “I hope I feel good again next week,” he says with hope in his voice. It is like he is pleading with his own body to follow his orders. With all of this, round two ends tomorrow. For the obvious less one day, it has gone by incredibly fast this go round. Because of his strength going into it this time, he is eating a little here and there…with minimal vomiting. All pluses in our eyes. We hope next week, he gets more testing done so we can then see the progression of the treatment and the disappearance of the cancer. I feel it to my core…he is getting better. He is better. With 6 pounds gained last week, we hope to maintain his weight this week and gain even more in the days to follow.

So we continue…with chemo in tow. So dearest chemo…I challenge you. Do your job and we will continue to do ours. We will never stop and will always keep up our end of the bargain. We will continue to love each other, fight this cancer and we will hold you to that. Don’t you worry…we have doctors to check on your progress so you cannot lie to us because we will know. Do you feel us working with you? We are…and we are not even close to giving up or getting tired...and neither are our family and friends.



Breathe. Deeply. Slowly. Just breathe in and take a minute to really feel every part of your body change and take in the sweet taste of air. Fresh air. Blink. Open your eyes and really appreciate every color. Every movement. Every smile. Just a simple smile. Listen. Voices you hear that sound like sweet music. The smile you can hear on the other end of a phone. Through the struggle, through the fight, I take in these things and realize there is so much more to life than what is before us. My angel. My love. My husband. I wrote a blog months ago how everything looked different. I do not think this is true anymore…everything does not look different, but now clear. Clarity is a beautiful thing when you share it with a partner who understands the meaning of light and truth.

The past few days have been amazing. Maybe amazing is not a profound enough word to describe my feelings. John has been eating…not just eating little snacks here and there, but full meals and actually having cravings again. The other night we went to sushi (his idea to take my mom out to say thank you for all she has done for us) and he ate more than I did. Slowly but surely, he ate his meal. With a smile on his face, he continually answered “Yes baby” the 382 times I asked him “Are you okay?” This was his first time out of the house, eating, and sitting up and out of the bedroom in a number of weeks. I was so proud. He did it again on Saturday night with my brother in town and looked stronger than I have seen him since he was first diagnosed. It has been some of the most overwhelming celebrations we have had in a few months and we will ride this into his next round of chemotherapy.

There are moments of being broken. I think we have to allow ourselves to feel our emotions. Reality has a way of setting in from time to time. It is how we take this reality, let ourselves really feel it to our cores, and talk about it. I am the most optimistic person about our every day together, but again, we are allowed to feel how hard this is at times. It never leaves a bad taste in our mouth…it is part of our daily routines now. Release. Send it out. No matter what the day, no matter if we cannot sleep at night when we are the most exhausted, even if we think we no longer have the strength, we release and move on. John’s first post is a constant reminder of how lucky I am. I read it every single day. His beautiful words are like music to my ears. All the beautiful things he wrote about me have been said to me daily. It feels different to see it written down for everyone to read and share in our emotions. The most beautiful words were written the other day by my husband, my soul mate. The man of so little words ripped open his heart and let everyone see them in their rawest form. I broke down as I read his sweet words and did not come to any new realization of his love…but rather his strength and for this, I cannot thank him enough. I am more than thankful for his fight for me though and I know we will continue together just the same. He can be at ease in the arms of this woman always. There seems to be a new doorway to walk through every week…this last one was of stability and happiness. The 6th starts the second round of chemotherapy and we will go into it with great spirits because of the incredible days we have been having with our family and friends cheering us on.

It has been a great blessing to have my mom here the past month and my brother here this holiday weekend. I am so thankful to have their smiling faces around along with their great energy. We will soon see John’s mom and I know she will bring the same positivity. Thanks again for all the wonderful support from everyone.



When you are 27 years old the most distant thought in your head is that you could be dead soon. Where are we going on vacation? Should I continue school? Should we start thinking about buying a house and having kids? These are the questions that enter your mind when you are 27 years old. I, like everyone else, took for granted that I would live to an old age. Obviously I don’t take that for granted anymore.

I’ve always tried to live my life for now, not prepare for the future. I don’t have a retirement account. I don’t believe people my age will ever be able to retire. So there was no reason to put away money for when I turn 70. What is the purpose of saving money to spend later? What happens if later never comes? For over 3 years Cat and I have been living together and continuously I have told her “do what you want.” She would ask if she could go buy something at the mall. She would ask if she can get her nails done. She has always been polite and considerate to our relationship, money, and my feelings. But purchasing clothes, spending money, having fun, and going out among many others were all on the list of things she didn’t have to ask for permission. My response every time she asked for something in those categories was, “Go out, have fun, buy whatever it is, because tomorrow might not be here and you won’t have the opportunity.” I heard a quote one time that had an impact on me. “It’s only money, you can always make more.”