Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

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Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by AnnJohn on Fri Mar 02, 2018 06:47 PM

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John did it!!! He qualified for the Boston Marathon on Saturday at the Mesa/ Phoenix Marathon. One year and three months after the end of all of his treatment. Through all his treatment and afterwards he kept pushing himself on. Always exercised as best he could and did absolutely everything every doctor said including fluoride trays, Ceravavie on his neck, speech lessons, etc. He does use Salivimax twice a day. He is thin but it due to running 50 miles a week and not because he is not able to eat.

For those of you who don’t know his story, he woke up with a lump on his next in June 2016. After three months of antibiotics, aspirations, etc. they decided to do do surgery. They removed 5 lump nodes one of which was cancerous. Doctor did not give up until he found the location of the cancer which was base of tongue HPV positive. Yes, he went through hell. He seems to have done much better than a lot of people. Went for 33 radiation and 7 chemos. He also voluntarily went for two hydration treatments a week since the chemo caused vomiting which caused dehydration issues. It always made him feel better. It has now been 1 year and 3 months since treatment ended on November 22, 2016. He has had two scans which show a little irritation but they attribute that to swallowing. He will go for his 1 1/2 year scan in May. He is truly blessed. All his taste is back, saliva is only an issue during the night when he wakes up maybe after six hours for a drink. No mucus issues. He is back to eating faster than me! He drinks a little more with his meals. His only problem is a paralyzed tongue on the radiation side. ENT, Radiation, and Oncologist don’t know why. He can speak but has a small impediment. It is not going away. No big deal.

It is kind of funny that he has now grown a goatee. No hair has grown back under his jaw line (so he doesn’t have to shave there) but the goatee came in thicker than it ever has before.

For you new people, don’t give up. Once he got to the end of treatment and knew he had two weeks of hell before things got better, there was a daily improvement. He retired on January 31, 2018 at the young age of 56 (had his 30 years with government put in). We are waiting for our 5th wheel to be ready and we will be heading across the USA.

We’e always thinking of all of you especially those of you who don’t know what your facing. We will never forget the fear, uncertainty, and sleepless nights during that first year. It always seems worse until you are in treatment and on your way to getting cured.

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by atcbugsy on Fri Mar 02, 2018 07:38 PM

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Awesome, awesome news.  Congratulations!

Bugsy

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by calspatsula on Sat Mar 03, 2018 03:51 PM

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Truely an inspiration for ALL of us.

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by Arman on Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:16 PM

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That is great news and I am so happy for you and your husband. As as an avid runner and a cyclist I am envious of him having the honnor to run for Boston Marathon. Hope he finishes 1st..

Arman

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by butler on Tue Apr 10, 2018 04:00 PM

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Just another finishline to cross!  

Congratulations to you both!

Sara in MA...near the Cape

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by Sdurnell on Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:00 PM

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Ann,

What a great milestone!  (Or is that a 21-milestone?)  And such a great role model for the rest of us, especially newer folks here.

I will raise a glass to John.  Just wondering though, that while I know he's always been a fitness guy, did he run marathons before cancer?

And congratulations on the NED scans so far!  Here's wishing you both many more.

You were a peach through all of this, by the way.  As a former patient I know how hard that is and how much it means.

Susan

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by TIG2016 on Wed Apr 11, 2018 06:04 AM

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Congrats!

All the best

TIG

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by AnnJohn on Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:24 PM

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Hi Susan: Its actually 26.2 miles! 

We started running about 5 years ago just a 5K at work. We didn't stop there. We moved up to 10Ks and up. I set a goal to run a full marathon on my 60th birthday 3 years ago. We trained hard and that was our first full marathon. Since then we switched to 1/2 marathons (13.1) because the training time it takes while we were still working was too much. Our goal is to run a 1/2 in each of the 50 states. We only have 15 states done so far.

Anyway, once John got cancer, we had to cancel a few months of races. Cancer became his motivator. He set himself a goal that no matter what the cancer would bring, he would qualify to run the Boston Marathon. It became the one thing he had to do asap in case the cancer came back. So he worked his butt off and qualified. But how it works is you have to have a certain time for your age group then you are put in a lottery. He will not find out until September whether or not he got a spot in the April 2019 race. (Me personally have no interest in running another marathon) I will be thrilled and proud to watch him at the finish line. He deserves it for his perserverance!!

He goes for his 18 month scan, ENT check and chemo check the last week of April. He feels confident since he feels so good. I worry about everything. If everything checks out good, we will be leaving on April 29th for six months on the road in our new 5th wheel with our two dogs. We will be running races along the way and end up in Connecticut by October 13th for our oldest son’s wedding!!!

God bless all of you for your kindness and friendship. Your knowledge has been invaluable. It can only come from someone who can really say “I understand what you are going through”.

RE: Qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!!

by Sdurnell on Fri Apr 13, 2018 04:25 AM

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Wow, what a grand plan you have!  Here's wishing it all comes to pass just as you have planned.

All the best to you both, and your little (or maybe not-so-little) dogs too!

Susan

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