It’s been a little more than a week now since I received my second injection of Radium 223. I am continuing to experience increased energy levels and reduced pain in my bones. My physician told me every time I receive an injection, it would build on the work of the previous ones. All I know is that each day I wake up feeling a little better. This is surely a kind and amazing gift from God!
Saturday I worked 4 hours in my yard and only came in because of the rain. Every evening, Betsy and I have been walking 2-3 miles – carefully, of course, since my bones are quite creaky from the impact of the cancer – but walking, nonetheless. Sunday afternoon while I was working in the yard again, I found myself thinking, “This is what normal life is like.” Being able to trim my shrubs once again made me so happy I cried. I felt like a little boy doing things for the first time on his own, shouting “Look at me, look at me!”
I don’t think it is too much to say that Radium 223 is giving me my life back.
Now, for some surprising news: these emails started out as a way to keep a small group of family and friends updated on my condition. Over time, more and more of you have asked to be put on this list to where now almost 300 people are receiving these updates. Some of you have apparently been forwarding these emails on to others, as well. A couple of weeks ago, due to one of these forwarded emails, I was contacted by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the company that will soon be marketing Radium 223 (Alpharadin) in the US.
The Bayer representative asked if I would allow him to send all of my narcotic-induced, written late at night, while not in my right mind, emails out to their launch team to encourage them in their work. I cringed, but gave my permission and sent them on. Since that time things have kind of gone to crazyville. I have been told that my e-mail updates have gone somewhat “viral” at Bayer and have even made their way to the scientists at Algeta in Norway who have been developing Radium 223.
Now that I apparently have an Norwegian audience, I would like to pause to apologize to the country of Norway for any offense taken by my comments about your nation being closed every Friday of the month. It was late at night, I wanted Radium 223 badly, and I wrote while on narcotic pain-killers. I hope you can understand and forgive me. With that said, I want to say something to the Norwegian scientists at Algeta who have been working tirelessly over the years to develop this new drug that is saving my life –
(I really hope I got that right – I don’t need another international incident.)
I would also like to thank David and the team at Bayer who are preparing to launch Radium 223 here in the US (pending FDA approval). I hope your efforts to make this drug and its benefits known to physicians throughout our country will be met with great success and that many men like myself will be given the gift of less pain and longer life as a result. To each of you –
I am a stunned and grateful man!
Now, here’s the fun thing – since I am apparently back from the dead, I have been invited to help launch the drug that is giving me my life back! To this end, Bayer brought a film crew to our home yesterday to make a video of my story. It was a unique experience! Below is my friend, Bob Nabell, telling his part of the story. He was awesome in front of the camera – there was even talk of him playing me in the video. Not gonna happen, Bob.
The video is being produced for Algeta’s and Bayer’s national launch meeting of Radium 223. After it plays, I have been given the opportunity to speak to the salesforce gathered there. Yes, for some crazy reason, they trust me enough to let me speak at the meeting. For those of you who have stories to tell that would convince the people at Bayer they are making a big mistake, I would remind you as an IT Professional, I can disable your email permanently and at will – just like CenturyLink did for many of you yesterday (I beg you – please stop calling – we can’t fix it!).
Think about what all this means, though – a month ago, just the thought of going out to get the mail wore me out. Now I feel well enough to fly to a distant city and speak about my experience – with a new type of drug called Radium 223, with people who have loved me and supported me through all the chaos of this cancer, and with a God who has allowed me to suffer, but who has upheld me through it all.
It’s worth saying a third time – I am a stunned and grateful man!