Friday, August 20, 2010

Win This Bike Courtesy of Biker's Edge!!!

OK, time to get even more serious about cancer fundraising. Zach Chatelain, owner of Biker's Edge in Kaysville, donated this Felt Curbside bike for my Huntsman fundraising!

The bike is a single speed or fixed gear bike, you can adjust based on flipping the rear wheel around. It's a GREAT bike for around town, and has a retail price of $699!

My hope is that those who've not yet donated may consider doing so now with the chance to help out AND win this wonderful bike, and those who have donated also have a chance, and can donate more if they'd like.

Tickets are $20 each. Those who've donated, I'll provide one ticket per $20 donated (rounding down to the nearest whole ticket). I'll draw for the bike on September 3rd, so you have two weeks to donate.

Again, I'm trying to raise $20K for Huntsman Cancer Foundation. I'm just over $3K or 15% there, but I know many who are planning to donate but haven't. I hope this encourages more to do so with the potential of not only helping out cancer research, but also winning a SWEET bike! Check out more pics below.

Good luck!

Two Weeks In And Over $3K Raised

Just a quick update- two weeks ago I sent out emails, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter messages in an attempt to raise $20K for Huntsman Cancer Foundation. As of tonight the generous donations equal $3,130! 15% of the way there, so we'll need to step it up a bit if we want to hit the number by Sept. 11. Check out my next post to learn more about how you can donate AND WIN A BRAND NEW BIKE!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One of the most difficult things I've ever done...

Friends, family and colleagues,

“You have B cell follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” 

Last October those were the words I heard as I was diagnosed with cancer.  The circumstances under which I received the diagnosis were miraculous, and I'll be happy to share them with any of you who haven't heard the incredible story.  Still, at age 40 to receive a diagnosis of cancer was, to say the least, difficult!  I underwent 17 radiation treatments in the month of November (2009), which was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve done so far in my life.  In the end, I completed all 17 treatments, was pronounced “cancer free” in January of this year, and just this past July I had my first 6 month check-up, and received word that I’m still cancer free!

All of this would not have been possible had it not been for the incredible medical and research staff of the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Huntsman Cancer Foundation.  Which brings me to the second most difficult thing I’ve done.  Because Huntsman literally saved my life, I am attempting to raise $20,000 in donations earmarked 100% for Huntsman Cancer Foundation.  That in and of itself is difficult (that’s more than I’ve ever raised at one time for any charity for which I’ve fundraised).  But, to make it even more difficult, I am looking to raise those funds by September 11- the day I race 206 miles in my sixth LOTOJA ( race.

Here’s how I arrived at $20,000:
Between my e-mail address book, Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, etc., I think I can get to approximately 1,000 individuals.  If all 1,000 of them donate just $20, I’m there!
Now, not all 1,000 of those folks will donate for one reason or another, and that’s OK.  So, let’s say 500 of them donate just $40- I’m still there!
And, if all I raise is the fundraising minimum for Huntsman Hometown Heroes ($1,000), I’ve still helped out those who can benefit from cancer research, and I’m still there!

So, I’m sending this e-mail to each of you.  I apologize, but I fear a few may receive duplicates of this e-mail- I’m sorry.  Regardless, if you feel you could donate to help with cancer research, and help me reach my difficult goal of $20,000, please click here-

I’ll thank you all in advance for anything you feel you can do.  I’ll continue to post updates of fundraising progress on my blog (, and also via Twitter (

Thank you for your relationship with me, and for your love and support!

With best regards,


PS- PLEASE feel free to forward the e-mail, share the link to the blog, retweet on Twitter and share on Facebook!  The more people this can go to, the more potential to help raise funds!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two More Words!

Well, it's been 6 months and one day since I had my PET scan and Dr. Glenn pronounced the cancer "all gone".  At that time she put me on a 6 month schedule for follow-up scans, so today I went back for my first official scan since getting the good news on Jan. 19.

This time around I was booked for a plain old CT scan, not the full blown PET scan, for a variety of reasons.  Suffice to say that the CT is "good enough" ongoing, and uses much less radiation (a PET scan is more like the equivalent of 300 x-rays!).  So, at 11:30 AM I began drinking the first of two bottles of barium contrast dye that coats the stomach and the "innards" and allows the scan to be more effective. Mind you- this is a milky, gross tasting (yes, it's 'flavored', but Brussels sprouts are also 'flavored', and they're GROSS!), awful concoction.  But, it's necessary, so you just deal with it.  Next time I swear I'll refrigerate it- it can't make it any worse!  So, anyway, drank this nasty stuff from 11:30 to 1:00, at which point we did the scan.  Also had to do an IV of iodine contrast dye, which makes the body VERY warm VERY fast.  At least it doesn't last- so that's good.

From there I went down and had my blood draw for my labs.  Then, Lisa and Barry met me at Huntsman and we went to grab a bite to eat for lunch at TGI Friday's.

Came back, had the poking and prodding that goes along with the examination (including checking all areas where lymph nodes are present to see if any appear to be enlarged and can be felt externally).  All seemed well there.  My heart rate was 61, BP was 124/78, and O2 was 97.  The nurse pronounced me "healthy", and I realized again the benefits of all this cycling I do!  :-)

Dr. Glenn then came in, had a nice smile on her face, and told me that the chest, abdomen and pelvic CT scans had shown no cancer at all.  "All Clear"!  Those are the two more words!

Now, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, which I'm not- Lisa and I knew that would be the outcome.  We've been very calm, and have felt that the Spirit was comforting us and letting us know all would be OK, and it is!

So, that's the news for today.  Thanks to all who have reached out via e-mail, text and phone today!  I'm happy for the news, and even more happy for all my family and friends and their support.


Also, I've been waiting for this day to come so I could get the word out. Each year I raise money for Huntsman Cancer Hospital via their Hometown Heroes program.  I'm doing so again in conjunction with LOTOJA this year, but this year it's personal (when I raised money last year I had not yet been diagnosed, so hadn't become a "cancer patient").  So, here's the deal- scoff if you'd like, and make fun, but I'm going on record saying I'd like to raise $20K for cancer research in the next two months.  Yep, you got that right- $20 THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Here's the math- between my address book, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think I can get to darn near 1,000 people (not to mention if they repost, retweet, forward, etc., etc.).  If each of those folks would give $20 for cancer research, I'd have met my goal.  If only half give $40, I'm still there.  If all I raise is $2,000, I'm still happy as I've raised additional funds to research and fight this disease.

So, I'll be Tweeting and Facebooking about this, and sending e-mail out to all soon to get it going.  I'm also trying to line up some corporate sponsors for some dollars, if not at least some raffles of some decent products to help drive some participation.

Stay tuned, and let me know if you'd be willing to donate at least $20 to help in the fight against cancer (but know you're welcome to donate more if you can and would like!).

My Hometown Heroes page is here- click and check it out...
Much love!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Words.

Yes, but which ones? Try these on for size:

BOO-YAH (I know, it's one word, but if I hyphenate it can it count as two?)

So, we'll get to those in a minute, but just to give you a quick blow-by-blow of the day...

6:00- 9:00 AM
Checked in to Huntsman at 6:00 AM. On the way in, about two blocks from HCH on the University of Utah perimeter road up from Greek Row I almost took out three deer who at the last minute decided to run across the road right in front of me. Locked up the brakes...deer went on their way. Good thing I didn't have to have my pulse and BP when I arrived! Woulda been a nice start to the day to take out some deer and mess up my car. Luckily for them and me we avoided the entire situation.

Did the whole radioactive-isotope-bonded-to-sugar in the form of an IV thing, then did the obligatory one hour rest while the body (and primarily the cancer) metabolized the sugar so it would show up in the PET scan. Quick refresher, it will show up in the heart, the kidneys, etc. where it SHOULD be, but will also show up in the lymph nodes and other areas where it SHOULDN'T be if there is any cancer.

Went on down to the PET scan area, the tech wrapped the thing around me that binds the arms to the sides to help them stay out of the way of the scan and also so one doesn't have to hold them to one's side for the entire 45 minutes. She started to slide me into the scanner and I had a small freak out (enclosed spaces are bad enough for me, but the binding of the arms to my side, while I understand it, makes it even worse!). She talked me down off the ledge, and we agreed I would place my hands under my rear end to hold them in place, but to enable me to not have them bound to my sides. Was able to get through the PET scan without too much anxiety, although I really hate these things. [Editor's note- Dan Kadrmas, one of the Bountiful Mazda Cycling Club I ride with, and one of the developers of the software/programming that runs the scanners at Huntsman told me in e-mail today that the next time I go for a scan it should be half the time. Half of a 45 minute claustrophobic encounter is better, but it's still 22.5 minutes of CLAUSTROPHOBIA. No dice on my request to open that bad boy up and not make it so close to my face. Not Dan's call, though, and he's doing his part cutting the 45 minutes in half. Thanks DK!]

Went back to work and did what I could in the short amount of time between visits to HCH today. Also tried to focus on my work and my sales team, and not on the results and what I would find out. Cyndi, our HR Manager and administrative assistance (who also happens to be a cancer survivor) stopped by and asked if I was nervous and wound up. I told her I would not allow cancer to do that to me- that I would take it as it came, and that I was focused on one day at a time. I firmly believe cancer needs no additional power and energy from me worrying and giving it a chance to take hold of me.

Lunch with Lisa and Barry (her Dad) at Lion House pantry in downtown SLC. LOVE THAT PLACE- great food, good portions, and fun to be downtown (although the construction is getting WAY old).

Lab work, blood tests, and follow-up with Dr. Glenn, my regular oncologist (I make it sound like it's cool to have one's own oncologist- take my advice, skip that part!).

Dr. Glenn came in and said something like "OK, your scan came back all clean." Me- "What exactly does that mean?" Her- "That the cancer is all gone." Me- "[chirp...chirp...chirp (those are crickets)]" I was speechless for just a minute. I have had faith, and have prayed and fasted for this very answer, but have also prepared myself for news that wouldn't be quite so good, just because the odds were that that would be what I would hear. Remember my post where I said "how would you feel if Santa brought you EVERYTHING you asked him for?" Well, that's how this went down. The Lord answered our prayers completely- 100%.

We talked a lot with Dr. Glenn, and the bottom line is I am considered cancer free. If there is any cancer in my body, it's small enough to not register on the CAT scan, nor the PET scan, so we'll simply not worry about it and move on. In Dr. Glenn's words, "You need to put this behind you now." DONE! That's one Dr.'s order I'll gladly follow 100%.

She also said that given my "complete response" to the radiation (meaning the body responded exactly as we wanted it to), we didn't need to come back in 3 months, but 6 would suffice. We'll do another CAT scan at that time, ascertain where we are, and make the call from there (most likely more 6 month intervals for a while). So, I'm already booked for July 20 for a CAT scan and follow-up/lab work.

I get home and see some yellow and black balloons tied to the railing (LiveStrong colors). I go into the house and the entire kitchen and dining room are done in black and yellow, and there are balloons spelling out "HandyBeStrong". Turns out Lisa invited a handful of folks to come celebrate with us. We didn't get a chance to reach out to everyone, and she only called the folks she thought she should, not knowing who I had told. So, for those who we didn't reach in time, please know we didn't mean to leave anyone out.

Bottom line, and then I'm calling it and going to bed. I sit here tonight and blog as we close this chapter of the cancer story. I hope we won't open another chapter any time soon, but I'm leaving that in the Lord's hands. He's guided us and assisted and blessed us all along the way, and I've learned to turn it over to him and let him lead me. But, I will say that there are others who are responsible for this cancer free diagnosis on Jan. 19, 2010, as follows:

1- The Lord, who let us know about this cancer early on, and then was with us and guided us as we navigated the turns, bumps and hills as we made the journey.

2- My family and friends. First and foremost my amazing, beautiful wife. Then my amazing beautiful daughters. Then mine and Lisa’s parents, our brothers and sisters, our incredible friends, the list goes on and on.

3- The wonderful people at Huntsman, who have literally saved my life. I can’t say enough about the staff there, and their caring, knowledgeable, intelligent manner and their treatment of and for me. I’m indebted forever to all of you!

"Handy Be Strong" if you can't quite read the balloons.

Wonderful card and gift from the Bells...thanks Ben for the sweet gift!  I'll wear it next time you come to our home for FHE and I kick your butt in Guitar Hero!  :-)

The Magelbys know what makes Handy night on Todd!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Little Nervous

So, tomorrow is the next 'big day' in the ongoing cancer saga. I wrapped up radiation therapy on the day after Thanksgiving, and then got a reprieve until the follow up in January, which seemed so far away back then.

Well, far away is no appointment is tomorrow. We'll start the day at 6:00 with a PET scan, and then I'll probably go to work from 9:00-11:30. Will go to lunch with Lisa and Barry and then back up to Huntsman for lab work at 12:50 and then my follow-up w/ Dr. Glenn at 1:20. We'll have the results of the PET scan, and we'll know if the radiation got all the cancer or not.

Strange thing is that I think whether or not the answer is that we got it all, I still anticipate they'll want me to come back in three months and we'll start a regular 3 month cycle from there. This is an incurable cancer, as those who've been following this and the blog know, so they may just start me on the 3 mo. cycle like they would have done had we not had the opportunity to try the radiation first. No chemotherapy, at least not until the symptoms of the cancer are worse than the side effects of chemo will be.

So, I have to fast from midnight on so the sugar/radioisotope IV they give me will be most effective and do its job.

Will blog the results later tomorrow night so everyone will get a status update and we'll go from there.

A BIG shout out to Andrea wo has wrapped up all her treatments- radiation AND chemo! Our prayers continue to be with you, Bob and the boys, and we send love from Layton. Oh, and just so everyone knows...cancer patients are tough! Andrea has done radiation and chemo and keeps on going. What an inspiration to me and my family. We love you guys!

Veni...vidi...vici! Bring it, cancer!