Hip Ablation, Fun at the Dentist & the Black Bean Co. 

Today was awesome! Well, not really. It kinda sucked, but in the end, there was some good.

To start out, I had to take my daughter to the Orthopedic doctor due to some hip pain she has been having. It started after an intense workout on the bridge with her Summerville XC team and has not gotten better with time. Turns out she has an ablation where her quads attach to the top of her hip bone. Prognosis is good, but she will have to rest it for a couple of weeks, which she was not happy about.

After dropping her back at school, I had to head back to Charleston to have my obturator realigned AGAIN after not being able to eat last night without filling my sinuses with couscous (yeah, it’s as gross as it sounds).

The good news is, the “new guy” in the office did a better job today than he did the first time on Wednesday.

The entire morning while at both doctor offices, my phone was blowing up concerning some issues at work that needed my attention. As soon as I was done with my appt I decided to test out my realigned dentures and get on WiFi to deal with some work issues. I used the new Zomato app to find the closest vegetarian friendly restaurant with WiFi and discovered a new gem: The Black Bean Co.

 photo 9FC69E33-0ADE-46F1-9661-A22F9C4EC314.jpg

The Green Beach Burrito (black bean burrito w/ mango salsa, roasted tomatoes & mixed greens) was great and thankfully I was able to eat it!  Also, I was able to log in and solve a couple of problems for work while I ate.

After all that, I still managed to get back to the plant and put in about four hours so I could enjoy a three day weekend!

Of course, I got home and foun that out i-net, phone & cable have been out all day and a service tech won’t be out until Tuesday. To be honest everyone in my family (including me) is tech-addicted, but although everyone was frustrated, they were all dealing with it and reading books!

So, now that dinner is done, I’m typing this post up on my iPhone and the I’m planning to read my new copy of UltraRunner Mag before bed to inspire me for tomorrow ‘s long run (8-10 miles).

Just another day in the life…’till next time!

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


5 Months Later…

It’s been 5 month since my surgery, and I’ve made a lot of progress.  I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am much better off than I was after my surgery and after finishing radiation treatments.

I know it has been a while since my last post.  There’s been some pretty good and some pretty lousy things in the last 6 weeks, so here’s a recap:

Good Stuff:

  1. I’m back into running again!  Had my first 20+ mile week and started my 18 week training plan for the Ledesma Sports Medicine Rails to Trails 50K in January.
  2. I finally made it back to working full time at the plant.  Even though I get a bit tired by the afternoon, it feels good to put in a full day at the plant, and get home before diner.
  3. Kids are back in school! I have two seniors this year…Lord, have mercy!
  4. Made the transition to eating mostly vegan.  I am eating pretty much 100% vegetarian and about 90% vegan.  Still give in for eggs and cheese on rare occasions.  I am actually loving it!  I feel great, recovery is faster, and much less GI issues from my medications, not to mention all the new dishes I have discovered.  My favorite so far is my own version of Beans & Greens.
  5. Had an AWESOME day out paddle boarding on Shem Creek with my whole family, my brother-in-law, and his two kids a few weekends ago.  Too much fun!

Not-so-good Stuff:

  1. Still having lots of mouth pain…mostly in my right jaw.  Doctors say this is normal from the radiation treatments, and will get better over time, but may take several more months.
  2. Also having to do stretches 3-4 times every day to maintain my range of motion in my jaw.   At the moment, I can only open my mouth wide enough to fit a small cherry tomato in.  Anything larger than that, I have to cut.  It makes eating a challenge and has slowed my eating tremendously (which is probably a good thing).  This too should improve over time, but may take 6 months or more.
  3. And then, I’ve had a couple of these bad boys work their way out of my mouth…bone fragments from the surgery.  They are small, but I swear they were a foot wide while they were coming out!
  4. About two weeks ago, I tried to start coming off my pain medication.  I have been on a 100mcg/hr Fentanyl patch since my surgery.  I change it every 3 days, but it runs out around 12 hours before then, and I feel pretty lousy until the next morning.  I thought that I was doing well enough to start coming off of it, and my doctor agreed to give me 75 mcg patches.  It was a bit of a disaster…felt like absolute crap for about 5 days before I gave up and decided now was not the time.
  5. Also, we were also notified that we have to move.  Our landlord has given us notice that we have to be out by the end of September.  The house we are renting is not ideal for us.  It is a bit small, and old, and the yard is not fenced in, but with all we have going on, now is not the best time to be moving.  Oh well, at least he agreed to give us to the end of October!

All in all, its been good.  There have definitely been some tough times, but we have made it through them and I am getting stronger every day.  Thanks again to everyone for your continued prayers and support.  Until next time!

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Great Day

So, today was a pretty great day. To start, I finally got to meet and run with a great guy, local ultra runner and   my “virtual” friend, Masumi Herota. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the conversation and the company as I ran the bridge for the first time since this whole “cancer thing” started. 

Masumi and I had met in passing at a few races in the past, but had only spoken through FB before today. I’m talking about this because Masumi is doing something that means a lot to me. He has organized a 72 hour run to raise money for the American Cancer Society. 

Here’s the website:

Masumi’s American Cancer Society 72 Hour Park Circle Run

and the Facebook page:

ACS 72 Hour Park Circle Run Facebook Page

It is amazing and generous what he is doing. Please donate to and/or support this event!

The rest of the day was great as well. I got to spend some more quality time with my wife. I took today off from work to celebrate our 20th anniversary (which was Wednesday). We did a little walking and shopping downtown Charleston and then got some dinner and watched a movie. 

All in all, a pretty great day!

Until next time!

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Random Update….Update

So, most of you who know me, know that I am an eternal optimist. I always try to offer hope and encouragement to people no matter the circumstances. This is true about most of the things I put on social media, and even in my conversations with people in the “real world”.

Having said that, I promised when I started documenting this journey that I would give you the good, the bad and the ugly…so when my wife read my last post, she called B.S. on me.

First off, let me say, I love that about my wife. She is just awesome that way. Secondly, let me clarify…I did give you the truth, but not the whole truth. I gave the Facebook, positive slant, “here’s the face I put on for strangers” version.  So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s the real deal;

I’m still on a pain patch that gives me constant narcotic pain medicine. I change it out every three days, but it wears off in about 2 1/2 days, so the last twelve hours before I change, I am pretty miserable. I am dreading when the doctor tells me there are no more refills.

Even with the patch, I still have a good bit of mouth pain, especially when I eat or when I talk a lot. The side of my mouth where my gum used to be attached, is still very tender. That also is where my dental prosthetic seats, so there is constant pressure and rubbing, especially when I talk or chew. It truly sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m going to beat this, and I know I’m getting better every day, but it is a painfully slow process. I do really hope to be run/walk/running in a couple of weeks, but the reality is it will probably still be mostly walking. It will come in time, but probably will take more time than I want.

So, if you are reading this and are fighting your own health struggle know this, you can persevere. You can make it. It will be harder than you think, and it may take longer than you think. Hang in there, you’ve made it this far. You can do it!

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Random Update….Cancer still sucks!

Hey everyone!  I know it has been a while since I posted an update.  It has been a pretty tough go for the past month.  At my last post, I still had about two weeks to go in radiation.  Everything I was told about the last two weeks was pretty accurate.  It was awful.  The sores in my mouth and the pain from my prosthetic really took a toll on me, not to mention my energy level was the lowest its ever been.  For the last week, I was not even able to drive to work.  I managed to work from home for 4-5 hours a day, but I was sleeping about 12 hours a day.  The good news is, I finished it!

These technicians, were awesome!  Every day, for 6 1/2 weeks, they greeted me with a smile and a handshake and and upbeat positive attitude.  They really helped me to keep a positive outlook on things through all this. I am so grateful for the good work they do.

Having said that, I hope I never see them again!  It was so great to ring that bell, and know that, for now at least, it was over and that every day forward, I had the possibility of feeling a little better instead of feeling a little worse. So it’s been a couple of weeks now since I’ve finished treatments, and I’m finally starting to feel better.

This week, I have been able to get back to work in the plant for 5-6 hours a day.  I have been able to get out and walk for a mile and a half most evenings with my lovely wife Tania. A week ago, I got re-fitted for my dental prosthetic, which made a huge difference in my comfort level while talking and eating.

I have been able to eat a little better this week as well.  I have lost a total of 42 lbs, and to be honest, I probably needed to lose half of that, so that’s one positive thing.  I saw a guy at work that I haven’t seen in a while.  He didn’t know about the cancer, and he said “Kit, you’ve lost some weight, you look great!”. I laughed, thanked him, and told him not to try my diet plan!

So now, I am finally starting to feel human again.  There are still days when I feel lousy (usually from overdoing it).  There are still days when I miss how easy it used to be to eat or drink, or just chew gum.  It still sucks, and it is frustrating that I have to cut my food (even sandwiches) into tiny children’s size bites to eat, and it takes me forever to eat a small meal.  If I’m not careful, drinks still come out of my nose, but I am told with time, those things will sort themselves out.  Mostly though, I miss running.

I miss the time out on my feet.  I miss the leg burn.  I miss the trails.  I miss the feeling afterward of accomplishing a goal, and the endorphin rush. I really miss it! I’m hoping within the next couple of weeks, I will be able to start back again.  I’m planning to follow the Maffetone method to get ready for the Savannah Rails to Trails 50K on January 9th.  I’m registered, and hoping in 27 weeks, I can get ready in time for it!  I’ll keep you guy updated as I move forward.

Thanks again for all of your support!  Until next time…

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Radiation Treatments (Day 23)

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. 

Yesterday, I had a tube put in my right ear to relive the fluid pressure behind my eardrum. Instant relief…although I can’t believe cutting on my ear drum without anesthesia would have hurt more than the numbing drops they used! Now, the roaring is gone and I can actually hear a bit out of that ear!

Afterward, I saw my dental prosthedontist. She found a bone chip (from the original surgery) that was working its way out through my gums. It was causing some pain with my prosthetic. She promptly removed it, without warning or local anesthesia. I was like, “Come on people! You are killing me today!” All in all though, I am feeling some better from those two procedures. 

Today, I had my 23rd treatment, and saw the Oncologist. Found out I have gained 3 lbs since last week!  This is the first time I’ve gained weight since my surgery in early March. 

Still have nine more treatments to go. Lidocaine gel is my BFF. Grateful to my friend Chris for driving me some this week. 

I know I can. I know I can. I know I can. 

Relentless. Forward. Progress.


Radiation Treatments (End of Week 4)

Another week down, and it was another doosey!  Lots of stuff going on at home and work. To be honest, I am struggling to stay on top of it all.

Thankfully the infection in my mouth is, for the most part, healed up. However, it has been replaced by several sores on my tongue and cheek. They are painful, but nothing like the thrush infection I had. At least with the sores, I can numb them with lidocaine so I can eat without too much pain. I am still having to eat soft foods, and I have to eat fairly quickly because the numbing effect only lasts for 10 minutes or so. 

Even though I can’t taste anything due to the lidocaine, I’ve been able to get some calories down and that what I need to focus on for now. I was a bit shocked when I went to my weekly checkup with my Oncologist on Friday to find I am still loosing weight. Right now, I am down 39 lbs from where I was before the surgery on March 3rd. This is not a diet plan I would recommend to anyone!

Having said all that, the real issue I have been battling is fatigue. When my treatments started, I really thought I was going to be able to run through them to the end. I know others have done it, and considering how well I did recovering from my surgery, I expected to exceed the doctor’s expectations with this as well. On the contrary, these treatments have knocked me on my butt! I haven’t been able to run for the past couple of weeks and have only managed a few walks. My one act of defiance is that I take the stairs (up & down) in the parking deck when I go to my treatments. I normally park on the 5th or 6th level. It may be silly but it’s just my way of giving cancer the middle finger every day. 

This week also had some good points as well. I am very grateful that my sister Kim Cook was able to come down from North Georgia to stay for much of the week. It was so good to see her (and my niece, Joy). She was also a huge help taking care of meals and shuttling kids around, not to mention driving me to my treatments. It was great to catch up with my sister, and she helped me get some much needed rest as well.

So, here’s to another week down. Only two more full weeks, plus two days to go! Thanks again for all the support, encouragement and prayers. I can’t put into words how much they mean to me and my family. Until next time…

Relentless. Forward. Progress.