Triathlon is the passion that brought us together. 2015 starts a different journey.
Today is the 5-year anniversary of Amy's stem cell transplant. 5-years ago this was considered her "re-birthday"and was really the final step in her treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.
If you followed then, you know that the treatment ended. The recovery did not nor did life after...more
It's nice when you get a note or two or comment or two wondering "What are you up to?" It also seems to be a reminder that there hasn't been an update for quite a while. My goal was 1-2 a month, and I've let that slip. The last one was 2 or more months ago. In that time I've been to a "real job"...more
Amy and I met at the pool. She was coaching at Great Hills Country Club for Capital of Texas Aquatics. I was working at URS as an Engineer focused on air permitting for industrial clients and mercury removal for coal fired power plants. Sometime after that, we both left those jobs to race as...more
Already more than a month has passed since the last update here. This one is filed under "Life Gave Us a Lemon", but it could very well be a triathlon update. The days when I am able to focus more and be productive, I don't want to update as it pulls me away from what matters. The days that I'm...more
I was reminded not long ago, seems someone commonly does, that there had not been an update to the website about Amy's progress. It is a welcomed reminder since it is an indication that people are still following.
She's progressing well. They said the first year after transplant is...more
I started this one on Friday afternoon. But, Friday afternoon is the day that what might normally be 'big' news stories are published. By doing so that they are generally overlooked since the weekend is right around the corner. I think it is a thing, you could probably look it up, and if you...more
Once again, I find that weeks have passed without an update of any kind. Fact is, we're slowly getting back out into the world. The big crazy scary world. Yes, fear is a motivator of sorts, however real or however misguided it might be.
As we, more precisely Amy, go back out into the real...more
I'll start with the point of this post. "Thank You".
FaceBook wanted to give me my "2015 in Review". I know what my 2015 was like. I lived it. I tried to bring you all along with us. I don't know what 2016 will bring, but a part of me is really ready to get to 2016.
Things are going...more
There's so much that I could write here for the umpteenth time. Last week we went to see 'Straight Outta Compton'. Back in the day, you know 1991 or so, I didn't see'Boyz in the Hood' until it was out on video. It was a great movie. 'Straight Outta Compton' was also great, but this blog isn't...more
It's really more than a 'little' milestone. Today Amy's CVC was removed.
I also submitted my first non-triathlon and non-team-marsh blog article today for 'publication'. It was for a 2015 hunting preview. I had an inside track in that I know the editor. But I'll take it.
I went all week without writing. I wanted to write earlier in the week because it gets more views. Then, I though I'd write Friday, and I didn't. Things continue to go on the upswing for Amy. We are still avoiding people and crowds. The reality is, that isn't too much different than our lives...more
Another week passes, and we get a week closer to going back to Austin. Amy has passed the 1/2 way point in the post-SCT first 100 days. Day #57 to be exact. If we are able to pass the remaining days as we have these last several, we'll both be pretty happy. The days, for us have been kind of...more
A 2nd post for the week. "Doctor's Orders". The tweet below the text says it all...
For awhile now, Amy has had a rash develop that isn't uncommon in stem-cell transplant (SCT) patients. It's from "graft vs. host disease". I'll elaborate more next week.
Amy was told to make sure she...more
Overwhelmingly, the question has been "What can I (we) do to help?" We don't know for sure. What we do know is that this is a long journey that we are just starting. Long hospital stays, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantion are all part of it. And, there will be many other things come up...more
It is kind of a weird feeling to 'want' to go to the hospital, but that is kind of how it was last Friday when the nurse and pharmacist at the ambulatory treatment clinic (ATC) at MD Anderson told us we had a couple of days off.
Our July 4 Independence Day celebration would be the first...more
With my helium post from Friday, I figured I'd post some lighter reading. That ties the two posts together, but it might go over some of your heads.
A quick update for starters. Amy's counts are slowly climbing. "Hurry slowly" to quote one of our previous coaches. So far so good. We're...more
It seems like common sense, but somewhere it also seems to get lost. When you take speech class they tell you to "tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them." I had drafted up a post, but with today's news it changed course.
The good is that...more
I had a #GrumpyMarsh blog started for this week about things that I think really matter, but don't seem to really matter if that makes sense. I thought better to change it up a bit since there's enough grumpiness in the world already, Adding to it would do little to help things. At times it's...more
First the picture. Last week "national running day" was June 3. "National Donut Day" was June 4 or 5. Fitting. Oh and the picture...the human body is essentially a donut. Skin, muscle, organs, and bones with a hole through the middle. Yep, your mouth all the way to the other end...an actual hole...more
Today is what the Stem Cell Transplant team calls Amy's "Birthday".
Transplants conjure up images of big cuts in someone's body, and a set of organs being placed into the hosts body to replace their non-functioning organs. In organ transplants, that is the case.
With a stem cell...more
In case you were wondering, no Amy will not be defending her 70.3 Raleigh title this weekend. Last year, she won the race then headed to Flagstaff for training and later Germany where she would finish 5th at Ironman Frankfurt. When she returned, and had raced with a case of the shingles, that...more
"I don't know what any of that means. But, GO AMY!!" was the reply to an email update I sent.
I'm writing again this week. Mostly because there are a lot of people who have no idea what this all means. A 'Stem Cell Transplant'. Stem cells are kind of in the news again. They were also in...more
I did not blog last week mostly for 1 reason.
In ironic fashion, Ironman Texas was last weekend. A race that Amy and I both raced in 2012. Amy raced it in 2013, and I raced it last year. It was on Amy's 2015 schedule. In fact, in November when we went back to AnyLabTestNow to get our...more
We talk, in the triathlon world, a lot about "The Process". The process of becoming the best professional triathlete we can be. Not everyone is going to be the best at their chosen sport, job, etc. Not everyone is going to qualify for the Olympics. Not everyone is going to qualify for Kona....more
A couple of quick items, and that will be the update for this week. This week was one that suddenly passed me by. Monday I wove my way back to Austin from my parent's place. I swung through small town Texas to pick up some deer meat and see one of my good friends. That's always good.
The cancer journey can be overwhelming. The day to day. The hospital stays. Answering emails, calls, texts. It has the potential to be more-so in the day and age of connectivity. Early on, I realized that the digital overload could be overwhelming. It's true.
Honestly, the outpouring of...more
"There's no modesty around here" is how one of the Drs put it before we left the hospital the 2nd time. That was over 2 weeks ago. Last Sunday we ended up back at Seton. After the 1st consolidation round of chemo, Amy had some fevers on Sunday. When you are neutropenic and you have a fever, bad...more
Amy is not one to go 1/2 way on things. She held one of the more recent records on the 7th floor of Seton Main. 45 days in room #704. It was the record for longest stay. Of course they don't keep official records. It's not like when she held 1 or 2 IM bike course records.
According to the...more
First off...the image is NOT Amy. I acquired it from a google search of 'funny hospital gown pictures'. Apologies to the gentleman in the picture if he somehow finds this blog.
Amy is back on the 7th floor of Seton for 'consolidation therapy'. What is that you might ask? Once Leukemia is...more
"Take Care of Yourself". I can't tell you how many times people have told me that. They aren't talking simply of being "healthy". We've learned through this that in some cases simply "being healthy" doesn't mean anything. Cancer doesn't care whether you are a fit and healthy 37 year old or a fat...more
Amy left the hospital today. It was the first time in 6.5 weeks that she was able to get outside, breathe non filtered air, see whatever natural light there was today.
Today was good news. Yesterday Amy had another, I think that is 5 in total, bone marrow biopsies. This one was 21 days...more
"Hair is a big damn deal" said Jimmy via email.
I sent a text to a very good friend of Amy's (ours) to ask if when we cut her hair it should be professional or non-professional. I'm a professional engineer. We're both professional triathletes. I am NOT a professional hairdresser. I'm not...more
I haven't read too much about cancer or what a spouse/caregiver goes through during the process. One of my grandparent's had cancer. I didn't really know her and that was in 1978. I'd never really imagined what it'd be like, and I can't tell you what Amy's experiencing. She might write, but I...more
I said I'd blog, and there might be more blogs earlier than later, we'll see. No fireworks. No champagne. No watching the ball drop. But, it was a celebration of sorts. Amy finished this round of chemo on New Year's Eve 2014. She started on Christmas eve and wrapped up on New Year's...more
This is a new blog for us. I find writing therapeutic. I've written posts and blogs and emails only to delete them. I am sure that after the fact I could find something in them that I wish I'd posted. Case in point...I drafted up a year end blog to be posted here on Team-Marsh.com. In retrospect...more