Taking Down Cancer: Second Treatment in the Bag

Alrighty, everyone, it’s halftime. Today I received my third treatment after pushing it to Wednesday from the usual Monday. This lets me use the weekends as a buffer to suffer (has chemo turned me into a poet…I probably wouldn’t know it?) so I don’t miss as much work. The last three weeks turned out to be pretty good after a really rough start.

Here’s what happened.

First Week

Apologies to Nicole and Marcus Ulm for having their heads cut off in the photo.
  • Uggh. Merry f*cking Christmas to me. This treatment was the first where I received it all at the same time. I had a wonderful group of people who came to visit me and I think the front desk lady started to get annoyed as an endless stream of friends kept showing up. (Actual quote from her as friends arrived: “Are you here for Alec?”) Apparently, cancer professionals aren’t used to a young person with a huge network getting cancer. Time to update the handbook.
  • This treatment hit me like a freight train. I felt pretty decent during it – took a little nap towards the end – then ate lunch and passed out for five hours. I woke up around 7:30 pm and felt miserable. And remember, this is Christmas Eve, so I somehow got myself out of bed, dressed, and arrived at my family’s X-Mas eve party. To no one’s surprise, I was not the life of the party. Getting it all at once was not something my body agreed with. Going forward I’m going to take an anti-nausea pill right before going to sleep to see if it’ll decrease the crappy feeling when I wake up.
  • This was the week of Gingerale (and potentially getting diabetes…have you seen the sugar content in those drinks?!) Anyways, the next few days were not as bad but definitely not great. I didn’t eat much and relied on my anti-nausea meds, gingerale, ginger tea, and peppermint tea to get me through. I finally ate an entire frozen pasta meal bag on Thursday for lunch and then had Raising Canes (fried chicken) that evening. I swear, Raising Canes can bring somebody back from the dead. (It did after the how-did-Alec-survive-after-drinking-that-much day at the Waste Mangement Open in 2015.)
  • Saturday I was starting to feel like my old self but my brain felt foggy. I distinctly remember trying to write a witty-ish Instagram caption and simply not being able to. It was like my brain wouldn’t cooperate. I also took a 1.5-mile walk around my neighborhood. By Sunday, my head was clear and I felt a lot better.

Second Week

  • For some strange reason, winter hit Arizona this year. I mean, yes it’s January, but it’s also Arizona. We should not be getting snow. Anyways, I was feeling restless so I decided to go on a bike ride on New Year’s Eve….in 40-degree weather. Let me tell ya: It was cold. So I cut the ride in half and only did 34 minutes. Not too bad.
  • Then, when I heard it was snowing up north, I did an impromptu trip to try to find it. We found it… with our eyes. But it was still great to go exploring on the last day of the year.
  • On Wednesday, I was back to work. It was also the day I told myself I’d go back to the gym and start lifting when I was in the hospital. So, I did. I did a mostly full workout – with light weights – and even hopped on the treadmill to run for the first time since September. I did 0.25 miles at about a 10+ minute mile pace. Felt really nice to get the legs and body moving once again.
  • A co-worker and I went to a barber shop where I received a straight edge shave of my head and face. A very unique experience.
  • I also lifted on Thursday and Friday. Additionally, I ran 0.33 miles at a 9:13 clip on Friday. Now, before you think “Alec shouldn’t be doing this,” I cannot stay cooped up like a hibernating bear. These things are gonna happen!!!
  • On Sunday (Jan 6) I headed up north to Mogollon Rim to play in the snow with some friends and their pups. Plus, this gave me the ability to get nature snow photos. Next year’s calendar might look like traditional seasons haha.

Week 3+

  • Another good week. By this time in the cycle, I’ve been feeling like my old self and haven’t had any issues.
  • I was able to see 2/3’s of my college roommates as we grilled out and watched the College Football National Championship game.
  • Headed back in the gym for two more days this week and upped my treadmill distance to 0.75. It’s a real bummer to feel so good only to know that a week later I’ll barely be able to move.
  • I had my second PT Scan and found out that the tumor seems to have shrunk by nearly half and the activity level (the metabolic rate of the area) is down 67%. This is HUGE news and shows that we’re killing those bastards.
  • Had an amazing weekend up north in Pinetop. Went snowboarding for two days with my cousins and a friend. The second day was a pure powder day of close to a foot of new snow which made for unbelievable conditions. I really pushed myself – tumbling cartwheeling going down black diamonds and hitting speeds I usually shy away from – so it helped to have some fresh powder to wipe out in. I’m quite sore but it’s a good sore and one that I don’t feel as much of anymore.
  • I’m moving! We’ve finally found a new house where we’ll be able to haze our new roommate. (This is a test RJ. If you don’t screenshot this, I’ll know you aren’t reading.) We’re not movin far, just a smidge south of where we are at the moment.


As I head into treatment, I’ll be honest; I’m loathing it. I’ve been feeling so good lately that it’s sort of depressing to know that I’ll be feeling uber-crappy for the next three to four days. But I also know that to ensure I feel good for the next 70 years, I have to sacrifice a few days every three weeks.

However, I’ve got the travel bug and I’m starting to plan trips both during and after treatment.

Stay tuned to see where I might end up and thanks for all the support!


Love you all.