Monday, September 9, 2013

An Amazing year so far

Last year on December 15th the good folks at Dendreon came to our home to produce a patient story video. It was an amazing experience for my family and I. They came with a small army of people and spent an entire day with us. The filmed, interviewed, and took hundreds of still shots.

It was so much fun and I have to admit, they made me feel like a rock star. If that would have been the end, it would have been a very neat experience but that day in December was just the beginning. A month later they flew Mandy and I to St. Petersburg, Florida where I was the guest speaker at their annual pep rally.
I sat on that stage with pictures of Mandy and I and our daughter  displayed behind me and told my story to strangers. I told them how grateful I was to have received Provenge. I told them how grateful I was to be alive. We made a lot of new friends that day. I am still in contact with many of them. Some of them I view as an extended part of our family. They know who they are.
At the end of the event I was presented with a guitar signed by all of the Dendreon employees who were in attendance. It is impossible for me to convey the depth of emotions I felt standing on that stage. I can only say that gratitude was at the top of the list. We were so sad to leave Florida and say goodbye to all of our new friends. 

After Florida I was able to visit the Dendreon facilities in Seal Beach California and Union City Georgia. I met all of these wonderful people who work every day with the sole purpose of putting the patient first. I was able to tour the facilities and see the entire amazing process of turning white blood cells into cancer fighting machines. I was truly blown away.

I am from a small town. I have rarely been outside of my county let alone travel across the country but in the last year, I have been to our nations Capital, LasVegas Nevada, Seal Beach California, St. Petersburg Florida, Atlanta Georgia, and in a couple more months we get to go on a Caribbean cruise. I have got to do all of this because of Prostate Cancer. I am soooo not worthy of all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I am so thankful for all the people who made this all possible. I hope I can do more to repay the kindness that has been shown to us.
   It has been an amazing year. It really has been. Somehow in the middle of all this we were able to go on vacation to northern Idaho and spend a ton of time camping and water skiing over the summer. We even took a four day long weekend to snowmobile in Bend Oregon and snow ski on Mt Hood.
 I don't know what I will do when life slows down to the pace it was before my rock star status. I honestly hope it doesn't happen for a while. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures.
I hope if you guys that have Prostate cancer become refractory that you will opt to have Provenge first. I urge all of you to insist on it. I had 14 side effect free months. These were months where I lived my life out loud and choked as much as I could out of every day before I needed to switch gears and try something else. I intend on being around for many years to come and Provenge is a huge reason why that is going to happen. Todd