Elephants, Ants and Gelato

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Finally.

My therapy is complete.  I have no more “dates” with the healing orb.  No more “accessing my port”.  No more “lost days”.

I do have many things to come.  Scans every three months for the next year.  A colonoscopy in September.  A return to my regular exercise routine and a dramatic change in my diet.  All stuff I am ready and prepared for.

8 months ago, the process I just finished seemed overwhelming.  How do you do it?  How do you eat an elephant?  Most of you know the answer.  One bite at a time.

That philosophy was key for me and my family.  Don’t get too far ahead of things.  Stay positive.  Don’t worry about things out of your control.  One bite at a time.

Oh yeah, and rely heavily on support from your army of ants.  You know the ones.  The ones that think they can move that rubber tree plant.  You all know who you are.  Your comments, calls, drop bys, thoughts and prayers were critical in keeping my attitude moving in a positive direction.

I really wish I could name everyone that had a kind word or a hug or had a surprise show up in the mail or sat with me during a treatment or…  well you get the picture.  As I have said in past posts, thank you for all of your help.

I do want to name Dr Dobrusin.  He is my family practice doc that told me last summer to “get your colonoscopy and I won’t do the prostate exam.”  3 weeks later, getting scoped quite possibly saved my life.  Early detection is the key for colon cancer, and a colonoscopy is not nearly as bad as it sounds.  Do yourself and your loved ones a favor.  If you are 50+, get scoped!  If there is a history of colon cancer in your family, get your colonoscopy earlier.  Check with your doctor to determine when your exams should begin.

So why do I mention gelato in the title of this post?  I had to give up gelato, more specifically, Frost Gelato during my treatment.  Neuropathy made it impossible to eat or drink anything cold.  Each treatment put me another week closer to the moment I could visit Frost for my Alpencaramel/Tiramisu combo.  Last week, that moment arrived.  I felt like Norm in Cheers as Cindy, Kev, Leah and I walked into the shop.  Hugs from the owners and lots of questions about how I was doing.  More importantly, I enjoyed my first gelato in nearly 6 months.

Having something as minor as my next gelato helped keep me going.  My friends and colleagues from Phoenix and around the country were also important to my successful completion of my therapy regimen.  Finally, my family was crucial.  They took care of me, sat with me, put up with me and my down moments, and shared in my successes.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey via TPREG.  Thanks Jay for sharing your platform.  I would like to ask for one more favor.  Do not be afraid and get your check-up.  If the worst is found, attack that elephant, rely on your ants, and find your “gelato” that keeps you moving to your own personal finish line.

By the way, I’m here and I would be honored to help.

Jay’s Note: Thank YOU, Bill, for sharing your journey. You’ve taught a lot of people a lot of different things — not just about cancer, but about life, and how to win at it. I’m off the heart meds that kept me from getting scoped, so I’m up!

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About the Author
Bill Risser

Bill Risser is Vice President, New Media and Education of Chicago Title Agency in Maricopa County. You can find him at ChicagoTitleArizona.com and on Twitter at @billrisser, that is, when he’s not on a local golf course with his son, at the movies with his wife, or tending to one of his four fantasy leagues (NFL, MLB, PGA, and NASCAR).

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  1. Good news, Congrats to you Bill and your family.

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