Luckiest man on the face of this earth

Posted in Uncategorized by Sean Holton on June 11, 2010

I’m still resting a lot at home, but I’ve been waking up each day feeling stronger. I went to see the neurosurgeon yesterday (Thurs 6/10) and he said I was healing really well from my June 2 surgery. He took all the sutures out and told me I really didn’t need to even wear a bandage on it anymore. I’m cleared to drive again. Maybe I’ll even get back on the motorcycle next week. My headaches are also gone. He showed me the post-op MRI of my brain and it looked really clean — no “areas of enhancement” whatsoever. That means they were able to cut out everything they were going in after. They also didn’t have to touch any areas of my brain that would affect short-term memory or any other functionality. So I guess I can kiss those “luxury side effects” goodbye.

The tissue analysis showed that much or most of what was removed was scar tissue or “treatment effects” (ie., dead cells) left over from previous radiation and chemotherapy treatments. But there were indeed some live cells of recurring tumor among those that were removed. So surgery was definitely the right call at this time. Now I’m in a phase where I must wait until my oncologists recommend a new chemo maintenance regime. As was the case before, the goal now will be to keep killing off the microscopic GBM cancer cells that are probably still swimming around in there somewhere but which do not show up on MRI. I’m ready and eager to rejoin that battle. At this point, it doesn’t look like my follow-up will involve further radiation treatments because, as my doctor put it, “There’s not really anything we can see to shoot at right now.” I like the sound of that. I also like the tone of his voice when he assures me that everything I’ve gone through in the past week has definitely kept me on the track for long-term survival — meaning 5 years, and perhaps more beyond that. Who knows what the college football conference lineups will look like by that time?

Speaking of sports, I told my brother Tim yesterday that the best way I can sum up my medical situation, my gratitude for all the support I’ve received from family and friends and my personal feelings about the whole experience right now is by channeling the famous Lou Gehrig “appreciation day” speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939. The signature audio effect of the speech is the echo of certain key words over the loudspeaker. I first heard this speech when I was a little kid, and it’s been echoing a lot in my head these past few days. Here’s what Gehrig said (I added the echoed words in italics):  

“Fans-fans-fans-fans-fans, for the past two weeks-weeks-weeks-weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got-got-got-got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest-luckiest-luckiest man on the face of this earth-earth-earth-earth.”

Call it corny, but after everything I’ve been through that’s really how I feel right now, too. Lucky? You bet. But unlike Gehrig, I’m not saying goodbye to anyone. I can’t wait to get back to work and life. Thanks to all of you who have helped me with each step along that journey.


14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Kathryn Quigley said, on June 11, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Yea for your healing brain! And if you must ride a motorcycle, you better put a helmet on that healing brain!!!!

  2. Scary Mart said, on June 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Unbelievable Seany. Have to admit that when you were first diagnosed, it was hard to imagine we’d be getting news this good so far into it. You really have defied the odds (and have a standing invitation to join our long-suffering Sentinel Lotto Pool). Thanks for letting us know.

  3. ann hellmuth said, on June 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm


    getting together Sunday with Craig and David and we’ll have a Sean toast. Thought of you as we drove past your old apartment building yesterday, remembering how you helped Claudine find a place to live. Take care. I’ll be back Tuesday and will be in touch in person.


  4. Janice Blase said, on June 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    It just feels good to know you’re healing! Keep fighting, Lard (as if anyone has to tell you that….)!

  5. Elaine said, on June 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Wishing you the best (best-best-best).

    It’s neat and kind of odd that some of the best news I hear these days is from my two friends living with serious cancer.

  6. Theola said, on June 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I am so excited for you. I have been checking your blog constantly. Just talked to Kevin and he asked me to check it again. After I read the report to him, he too was excited. He said I never thought we would get such a good report (and neither did I). This is just great news-looking forward to visiting you in the near future!!

  7. patd said, on June 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    lard, yours is great news admidst an oily sea of bad all around us.

    after all his hard work, how did your doc like hearing “Maybe I’ll even get back on the motorcycle next week.”?

  8. Colorado Bob said, on June 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Snoopy dancing here in Texas .

  9. tonyb said, on June 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Great,so nice to hear! Your winning the battle,does much for me to hear the great news..

  10. Jamie said, on June 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Looking forward to a picture of you going vroom vroom on a bike while wearing a nice snazzy pirate bandana.

  11. rebeany said, on June 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    you keep writing and fighting. i’m very happy to hear this news new news news.

  12. bethyboo said, on June 14, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Lard, What a charge to hear such good news so fast! You are obviously a good patient to match up with your good docs. Your luck is well-deserved, but if it really just luck if it’s so well-deserved?

  13. Damron said, on June 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Love that great news from the docs. You rock. See you soon.

  14. Maxtrue said, on June 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    What great news Sean. You are amazing. I will have to see if there are any “holes” in your arguments when debating at TM. Of course I won’t have the excuse you will…

    Max NYC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: