The Simple Things

The doctors found one new nodule in my left lung.  My string of NED is broken, but it was a great run while it lasted.  Since it is one spot, the hope is to receive radiation to remove it.  I will meet with my lung radiation oncologist in the coming week to establish a treatment plan.  Surgery was also an option but it would remove a large portion of my left lung and we are trying to keep my lung intact right now.  If radiation isn’t a viable solution, I’ll have surgery.

The news was disheartening but it is my reality.  I’ve always known there isn’t a cure for my diagnosis, but of course I’m always praying and hoping for one.  The good news is, it is only one spot and it can be treated.  The doctors were optimistic about my current treatment regimen because it has been about a year since my last surgery to remove cancer nodules.  On this trip I learned my cancer will come back and I hope it comes back one spot at a time with a long time in between occurrences.

The Texas Medical Center is a city unto itself.  MD Anderson is an entire hospital dedicated to treating cancer, not just a wing or a floor of a hospital focused on cancer treatment.  I’m very fortunate and thankful for Dr.Martin because she was able to use her contacts at MD Anderson to allow me to see a thoracic surgeon for an evaluation an hour after I learned of my scan results.  Seeing a thoracic surgeon right away saved me time.  It usually takes weeks to get an appointment.   It also gave me peace of mind because now I have a plan to treat this new tumor.  It would have been a long flight back if I didn’t have the meeting with the thoracic surgeon at MD Anderson.

When I had time, which wasn’t much, I did enjoy the city of Houston.  I went off my diet and ate delicious Texas BBQ, lots of Mexican food (which I love) and I also ate antelope. Along with the wonderful food, I was able to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in over a decade.  It was great catching up and hearing about each other’s lives.  It’s fun because we are in similar stages of parenthood and I enjoy listening to parenting stories and seeing how our lives have changed over the past 10 years.

Again I’m faced with the complications of cancer.  I started to get ahead of myself by imagining being NED for a year or even longer.  Truly, I had a hard time identifying myself as NED because I thought it would come back.  I’m grateful it’s only one, treatable spot and, as of right now, I don’t need to switch chemos.  My latest approach to life is trying to see life as my seven-year-old daughter, Katie, sees life…Simple.  Cancer is complicated but I don’t need to make my life more complicated.

My daughter Katie and I had a wonderful interaction the other day which exemplifies simplicity.  She watched me struggling to open a jar of peanut butter because of the pain in my hands.

Katie told me, “You’ve suffered a lot dad.”

I replied, “Yes, I have.”

She then said, “Suffering is a good thing.  Jesus suffered for us.”

It is a very simple concept but one I’ve struggled with for a long time.

I’ve always had an awareness of how fragile life may be, but being told my cancer has returned is a rude awakening.  It helps me to live in the moment and see beauty in the little things.  I’ve noticed over the past months I am stressing over things I haven’t stressed about in years because I was NED and I was feeling good.  I wasn’t worried about dying. I hope it doesn’t take cancer for me to keep seeing the beauty in simple things.  I hope to view the world as my seven-year-old daughter…definitely not when she’s thirteen, seven is perfect.


Authentic Texas BBQ spot



Enjoying my evening with Ben Rhem at the Lodge.  We were “unlodgeable” by NDS standards. 


Great catching up with Wade Barrett




7 Responses to The Simple Things

  1. Alli says:

    I love your frankness and positivity. Fight on Kevin and keep noticing and enjoying those simple moments. You are an inspiration. Big hug to you. Love, Alli

  2. Kim DeFalco says:

    We love you guys Kevin! And thanks for reminding us, once again, what is truly important.


    You will remain in my thoughts and prayers always! Love ,Louise Shepherdl

  4. I tried their banana cream pie and it was fine. There s nothing special about this place other than…

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