Scope It Out 5k

Recently I ran in the Scope it Out 5K Colon Cancer Awareness Race in Washington D.C. and it could not have come at a better time. I haven’t been feeling connected to people because my life is not “normal” and it’s hard to relate to others because my life is so upside down. I try to present myself to others as normal as possible because I believe most people don’t want to hear how I’m really doing as it creates awkward moments which people don’t know how to respond. Honestly, 18 rounds of chemo and two intensive surgeries in one year, and upcoming radiation, surgery, and more chemo weighs on me physically and emotionally.

When I talk with other cancer patients going through chemo, we categorize the weeks as a “good week” or a “chemo week”. A “good week” is a week without a chemo treatment. For me, it’s having the energy to play with my kids, helping around the house, connecting with friends, and being able to work. However, due to my illness even on “good weeks” I only work about 20 hours. I believe it’s unethical to take new patients because I miss a lot of work due to medical appointments and chemo. Over the past 14 months, I’ve missed more than four months of work to fight this. I thank God everyday for my boss Frank Gibson. Frank and the staff have been supportive and helpful since day one. I am fortunate to have such an understanding and caring workplace.

A “chemo week” begins with chemo treatment all day on Tuesday then off from work on Wednesday due to symptoms of fatigue and nausea. On Thursday and Friday, I usually go back to work. It isn’t the most ideal situation because I still have the chemo pump attached to me for part of the day on Thursday and feel fatigued for both days. Finally, by Saturday I start to feel normal. Here’s an example that shows how fatigue affects me. I might be resting on the couch and become thirsty and it is hard for me to muster up the energy to get a drink. It’s a task that I wouldn’t think twice about on a “good” week, however, during “chemo” week it’s difficult. Another struggle for me during “chemo week” is having my oldest daughter see me napping in the afternoon. It frustrates me because it’s “normal” for my daughter to see me napping throughout the week in the afternoon and early evening hours and I don’t like that her reality is seeing her father sleeping in a bed all the time.

I’ve always considered myself an energetic and happy go lucky person, to the point where it might be annoying to others. So when my energy is not there during “chemo week” it makes it that much more frustrating. However, during the Scope It Out 5K I didn’t have that problem. With Team Wine-Icki, consisting of 30 members, I was full of energy.  I was worried about how I would do with the jogging/walking because it was a “chemo week” for me but getting out of my routine and spending the day with family and friends was exactly what I needed.

Thanks to all of you who ran and supported my family and I. It was an awesome day. Katie and I finished in 48 minutes. I am so proud of my daughter Katie who ran the majority of the way. Watching her run was a moment that I’ll replay for a long time. It was fun watching her run because she ran as fast as she could the whole way. She even heckled me because I was jogging and not sprinting. She doesn’t understand the concept of jogging because when she plays she runs as fast as she can, as do I when I play tag or hide and seek with her.   I woke up sore the next day and she teased me by saying “Why are you sore? You didn’t even run”.

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Betsy and Katie about to run

Special thanks to Kevin Gladstone for organizing the event. Kevin, I love hanging out man. You always make me laugh. Kevin finished 9th out of 2151 participants. Great job team captain. My cousin Rachel posted the fastest time in her age group and I’m sure Katie won her age group. So, Team Wine-icki had a great showing in the results category as well as at the after party.

Today, I finished my last round of chemo for two months. I’ll have radiation on a nodule in my right lung on 4/7, 4/9, 4/11, and 4/14. Then I will have lung surgery on 4/29 to remove a nodule in my left lung. I will get a four-week break to recover from surgery then begin chemo again in the summer. Please continue to keep me in your prayers this month.

Please Keep Matt Janicki in your prayers as well. He put the “icki” in Team Wine-icki. He’s 36 years old and has a similar diagnosis to mine.

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Part of Team Wine-icki

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3 Responses to Scope It Out 5k

  1. Kevin, you continue to inspire. I am praying for you and your beautiful family. I hope the treatment you ensure this month are effective and provide greater comfort in the future.
    Take care, buddy

    Jonny G.

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