Thursday, August 5, 2010

I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb

Hey, where did everybody go? Its been a week and half since the championship game and the blogging function in my brain has finally recovered. My plan here is to give an update and move backwards in time over the next couple of days.

Obviously the final game was disappointing for all of us. We started the game a little tight, suffered a brutal injury to our top defensive middie, battled back in the third quarter and had a chance to go up by 2 goals with 8 minutes to play. Their keeper makes a great save to keep it at 1up Canada, they tie it up right away and score the winner on a crazy bounce shot. I've told this tale 500 times over the last 10 days and I still don't feel any better about not winning that game.

After the final whistle I felt a little numb. No, not a seizure - just a jumble of emotions. Pissed that we lost, sad the tournament was over, disappointed that I would never play in a big game like that again, proud at how I represented Canada, relieved that I was able to play at level again and finally, an empty feeling of not knowing what is next. I really didn't want to leave the field and lingered around for about 30 minutes. It was a strange place.

Eventually, I gathered up all of my gear and headed to the beer garden. As they say in the 'ville, win or lose - booze, booze, booze! Not really what I was thinking, but I had told Bro and the boys I would meet them there. In the 5 minutes it took me to get over there everything become crystal clear. Nobody was upset, in fact everybody enjoying the moment. Taking pictures with competitors, shaking hands with fans and lots of hugs from Asian players...which were captured in even more pictures! Bro, Ryan, Dustin and Sam where sitting around a table and I could see that there were all proud and happy for me. I also sensed a little relief from Brogann that I survived the two weeks. It wasn't that the loss didn't matter, but when compared to everything we had all committed to get to that game it just wasn't the most important thing.

This is the feeling I have held onto since we returned. So many people are playing in a role in helping me make this goal a reality. I'm not talking about playing in the World Games - I'm referring to beating cancer. From the people who generously donated to help fund my trip - please know that without your support the experience wouldn't have been possible. To the strangers that emailed notes of encouragement and to my competitors who took time in every post-game hand shake lines to urge me on in my fight. I hope you understand that your are all part of what I realized on my trek from the field to the beer garden ...the hugs, notes, hand shakes and prayers are more powerful than any chemo drug and vaccine.

And, yes, another gold would have been great. But the experience and what I'm feeling since returning from games is going to serve me even more in the great battle our family is fighting everyday.

Everybody is asking whats next. Well, we are already back into our routine. My girls are great. Stevie was fired up to hear her name on the ESPNU broadcast and now thinks she is Hannah Montana. Phil and Sue are coming down tomorrow for an extended visit. Caught up with buddy Kyle Miller (goalie, Team Canada '06, cancer survivor) today. He has an amazing story and is doing a number of motivational speeching engagements. Kyle encouraged me to considered it, but after my last debacle(see opening ceremony) I'm not sure its for me! We banged around the idea of including Bro (who is a natural) and using me as a prop. Not a bad idea, but the last time we collaborated on something - Kenny and Dolly's Islands in the Stream - she nearly left me and this was the night before our wedding.

So we will wait and see. Take care of your birds and goats.

US Player - Chris Schiller(great guy) enjoying ice cream on the night before game
Bro, Sam, Dustin & CS
The Red Dragon...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Working for the weekend...

After having a great game with the US, we have beaten Australia and Germany. Things were tight with the Lacraussie squad, but we pushed it to 11-1 at the half and held on the rest of the way. I was able to shut it down at half time and did not play at all versus the Germans. A much needed rest and an opportunity to heal up before we go into the play-off rounds.

We actually saw the sun the other day, which was nice. Unfortunately, all of the gingers on our team now have sunburns. Cousin Flip, Brodie and the Red Dragon spaced on 70spf and paid the price.

I have included a picture of a living legend down below. Johnny Marr is the former Scottish Nationals goalie. I first met him at the 1998 World Games in Baltimore. Hopkins has a bar on campus, PJ's Pub, and John was holding court on the night of the opening ceremonies - in a kilt. At the time he was well into his 50's?? and still playing goal for the Scotland. We connected on our position, our love of story telling and beers. Every night I would be out breaking curfew and I would run into John. I smile on his face and a pint in his hand, he was the king of one more pitcher. To me he exemplifies what this tournament is all about. I spotted him on the sidelines of our scrimmage with Scotland. I ran over and he gave me a big hug. He congratulated me for making it Manchester and said he was proud of my fight.

And I continue to run into him every night!

John Marr & CS

Ryan, CS & Dust

Team Bermuda

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Good Day

A boring Saturday in rainy Manchester. Early morning shoot around in the cold rain followed by a visit to the training room and a nappy poo. Playing the 7:30 games are going to be tough. Anyway, I got through the day and I'm looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow.

We play the Aussies tomorrow night. They won in OT against England and the Japanese beat Germany in the other top-flight game.

My body is beat up, but my spirits are high. The Canadian contingent of fans held a post-game tailgate and it was great to see all of the wives, parents and random folks over hear to support the squad.

Have a great evening back home.

Oh, yeah we beat the US 10-9...

Friday, July 16, 2010

You can bring your pitcher into the stands!

We had our first official game of the tournament today. It was a solid start, with us hanging 17 Japan (not a bad number, eh). The game stayed close through the first quarter, but we things started to turn as we relaxed. The final counts was 17-4.

In other top division news, the US defeated the Aussies 21 - 5 and England beat Germany 12 - 3. Germany was in the lower division heading into the tournament, but has filled in for Iroquois National team as it become clear that they weren't going to make it over.

Lots of cools moments today - Ryan and Dustin arrived, putting on the 17 jersey, hearing the National Anthem and Skyping with Bro and Clementine at 6:30AM - NJ time. Oh, and fans can bring a pitcher of beer into the stands. No wonder soccer fans are crazy over here...they are all rummed up.

The bruise collection is out of control. Knees, thighs, forearms and shoulder are all sporting some color on the bruise spectrum. The doctors may call the police at my next appointment to report spousal abuse. Fortunately we have a crack squad of athletic therapists available to us anytime of the day of night. Lobber, Steve-O and the Rayn Train are doing their best to keep me in one piece. I have figured out that most of their technique and jargon is made up, but it is nice have those guys around to ice me down and rub my back. Ryan borrowed the camera, but I have some bruise pics tomorrow.

We just finished an abbreviated scouting report on the US, tomorrow nights opponent. They are stacked and out for revenge. Knowing this game is not the one that counts in the end(that will come next Saturday!), I hope we come out relaxed, confident and enjoyed the moment. The game is already sold out.

I know I will be relaxed for the next 8 hours at least...time for an Ativan and the wrapper.

CS & Stevie O - nice guy with even nicer hands!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Qing Yan Bao Kou Han Pian

Its been a long couple of weeks. As a veteran blogger at this point, I'm aware of the second rule of blogging...never apologize for taking a break. But I need a clean start and so, hanging my head in shame, I promise to provide quality content for the next two weeks.

We are just wrapping our fourth day in Manchester. The opening ceremonies took place this afternoon on the campus at the University of Manchester. I have always enjoyed these events - it’s a great opportunity to see some old friends and getting the tournament rolling. I was asked to read the "Players Oath" which was an incredible honor...and just as horrifying. Those who know me well understand my fear of public speaking. Combine this with my speech issues from surgery and a sore throat for working out the vocal cords for the first time in 4 year on the field. It was the perfect storm for a gong show. I attempted to pull the 'chute about ten times while waiting my turn. Thanks to the urging of my teammates and some "gentle" prodding from Brodie in particular, I got up there and did it. And you know was an absolute gong show! Picture Kermit the frog with a stutter. I got through it, the boys all lied to me and said it went well and one of the Japanese players handed me a Qing Yan Bao Kou Han Pian throat lozenge when we got back to the dorm!

Personally, it has a crazy couple of days getting ready to play Japan in our opener tomorrow night. Physically draining from the two-a-days and nightly yoga sessions led by Junior.

As tired as I feel, I'm in a much better place emotionally thanks to the support from I have received from my teammates. Usually people avoid talking about my cancer - but the guys have recognized it, talked about it and have moved on toward our goal of winning the gold medal. Pretty amazing considering we have been together for less than week. Our meeting about expectations/motivation was something I had never experienced in any team setting. Guys sharing what it meant to represent their county, families, etc. Powerful stuff that will help us through this tournament. More importantly I found a guy who likes a good cry as much as I do. In fact Kevin Crowley (21yrs) and I have a number of things in common!

Last Saturday night, my dad Phil asked why I wanted to do this again. Battling cancer, having already won a gold medal, two all world awards, leaving the family at home, etc. I got really upset. There is so much involved in my decision to do this and I don't have loonies to process it with George the Shrink, but that meeting alone has made this trip worth it.

I promise more updates as the tournament progresses. Look forward to tales of John Marr, fish & chips, and the quest to find a husky 5’7 Swedish player to swap warm-up suits with.

For those interested, the games are streaming at:

Wagons waiting to enter stadium

Saturday, June 19, 2010

goalie4r/lshooter - NSA

Otherwise fulfilled, thirty something tourist on vaca in the Vineyard looking for hard shooting, rifleman to bring the heat on a local field. HS or college playa - no preference. Looking for finishers. I have been fooled before by trannies with terrible sticks.

You won't be disappointed.

On the island for the next 8 days

Location: Edgartown, MV

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Friday, June 18, 2010

Twenty Minute Workout

Only three weeks before the first face-off in Manchester. I'm must admit I have been feeling great. After my trip to Toronto I have spent some amazing time with the girls, partied with my wife and continued to dominate Monday night old timers lacrosse...'keeper had my number last week, transitioned to a feeder and ended up with 8 apples - all behind the back passes.

Training is going awesome. Running, lifting and getting in the goal - at least two of the three every day. I'm feeling strong and quick - all relative of course, but I'm giving it my best. I have actually pulled some old VHS tapes of the Twenty Minute Workout aerobics program. Killing my cardio. PX90 has nothing on these ladies in leg warmers.

I have cleaned up head since the last post and actually started the "much discussed" chemo last night. Lifted and took shots this morning without problem. I won't really feel it until Sunday.

Speaking of chemo. Everyone is always asking me what it feel likes. Watch the clip about 40 seconds you will get an idea.

Cracked Cup

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Peameal on a Bun...with Cheddar

Lets skip to the highlight of last weekend. I was in T.O. for the Nationals game on Saturday night. I had a 9:30 AM return flight to Philly on Sunday morning. After a late night at Hemingway's with Bevster, the Merrill brothers and a sleepy Willy, I returned to the hotel and requested a 6:30 AM wake-up call. I was in the lobby by 7:00 AM and grabbed a cab from the Sheraton and headed down to the Kensington Market to collect my prize. I was running a little late and asked the cabby to keep the meter running. Nothing better than a peameal bacon and cheddar on a bun. Lots of options at the market and I hit my personal favourite, the Carousel Bakery. Grabbed a large Sealtest chocolate milk and jumped back in the cab. So good!

Needless to say, the trip to Toronto was a success. I arrived to the stadium on Saturday in time for shoot-around. I jumped in the goal and coach Huntley opened up with 4 rounds of what I like to call the Six Nations warm-up. Twenty players in the semi-circle wiring balls at the goalie. The team showed mercy, but even at 3/4 speed it was great to face shots from guys who are playing at the pro level. My hands felt quick and my footwork wasn't bad. Somehow Snider slipped one by me...still work to be done! I was gassed after praccy. Have I mentioned cardio in my previous posts? Well, I actually started on Tuesday.

I flew down to Duke on Monday morning for a vaccine treatment. I requested to meet with my doctor to re-visit the idea of going off Temodar(chemo) for two months to accommodate my participation in the World Games. The original plan was to take June off to avoid the break in my training when I roll up into the fetal position for 5 days. Then I would have to skip July, as it falls right in the middle of the tournament.

I started to second guess myself about a month ago. Was I being stupid - jeopardizing my life to play in what will be my fourth World Games? There is no way to know why I'm staying ahead of the tumor and maybe the Temodar is reason we are defying the can understand my dilemma. And the truth is that isn't even a dilemma, because my only goal in this battle is to be here for my girls and lacrosse means nothing compared to that. Sorry to turn this into Brian's Song on you.

Anyway, Dr. Reardon and I had a great conversation and we decided to do a round of chemo this month, but dial it back to a normal dose. My protocol calls for a double dose each month - as I've shown a tolerance for the chemo(all that peameal bacon and chocolate milk!), but a normal does will limit my down time, allow me to recover quicker and calm my anxiety about a break. Its difficult to get a good read on doctors who deal with brain tumors and brain cancer because they are always juggling this "quality of life vs. treatment" question. I understand that most of their patients only have a limited amount of time left, and a trip to Manchester to play lacrosse would be a nice way to scratch something off the bucket list...but thats not my situation. I'm going to be a 1% that beats it. I'm confident the doctors and I are on the same page.

So, with the treatment plan set it is back to real life. I have hit the track the last two days. We finished our last session of Little Laxers last night and set a date for a camp for the same age group in August. I was hoping to see some rubber today, but it just starting raining.

Anyone for a Ceaser?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Where have you gone Miles General?

Finished up a brutal round off chemo last week. So much for the new plan. Felt great through the weekend, but hit the wall on Monday. I was in bed until Thursday - I couldn't shake the feelings of nausea and fatigue.

It was great to see my mom and Dustin, who came down for the first weekend of chemo. We all hit the quarterfinal games at Princeton and enjoyed a little Hoagie Haven.

Fast forward...

The long weekend was great. Summary: The Zullas came to dinner Friday night, Saturday in Philly for a birthday party with the Munsterteigers, Sunday at the pool, followed by a BBQ at Prettybrook and finished up yesterday with a parade in Pennington, more pool time and dinner with Bro's family. Busy, but fun.

Between hot dogs and weenie benders, I squeezed in about 12 lax games on TV. It was amazing how the games with Quint Kessinich doing the color bring on nausea and fatigue...the guy is broadcasting chemo! Since I'm in my "negative place" - does anyone care that a hirsute fella can shoot the ball 111 mph? Enough with the commercials. I saw Miles General clocked at a Jr. A All-Star game shoot the ball 122 mph - with a Logan. Red Bull needs to look him up.

Felt for the 'hoos on Saturday. They played hard and were in it at the end. Obviously there is no way to know what their guys are experiencing, and I was proud of how they battled. It is an honor to have played in that program and for Dom.

Busy week - Avastin treatment today, Little Laxers tonight, gym and shooting all week and a cameo appearance with the Nationals on Saturday night...word up!

Stevie, Dust, CS and Mom

Does Warrior makes this model cup??

Friday, May 21, 2010

Catalina Wine Mixer

No, the picture from the last blog wasn't snapped at the CWM...

Guess who is back? The personal shooter emerged from a 6-week stint on the DL and put me through my paces yesterday. My expectations (for him) were low, so I left the Flip camera at home - but we had a tough workout. Footwork, turns, mid-range snipes...the quads were burning at the end.

Post workout I drove to Philly and have my blood work re-done at CHOP. They needed to see if I could start Chemo last night. My platelets bounced back, I started my 14th round of Temodar last night. I almost vomited from the taste of the capsules, but I choked them down and hit the rack.

The plan is to try and maintain my regular routine and workouts through the chemo days, until the body and/or mind gives out. I hate burning 7 to 10 days a month on this drug, so I'm going to try and take a couple back.

My mom and little brother on are they way down as I type, so if will be a fun weekend for all of us.

Go Hoos!

Vaccine needle to the groin.

Bill Clement, Clement...hands of cement!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Triple Double

Not to be confused with the Tim Horton's double-double. I made my return to our local over-35 men's league last night. With the Wings schedule and treatment I was unable to much this winter, but I caught the final game of the "spring" season. I was a little nervous playing without my wing man, Ryan, who is still on the shelf. It was fun to see the guys again and get in a run at attack. My line a the end of the night - 10g's, 12 turnovers and 24 moving picks - fortunately Tom Sutton wasn't reffing and I got away with all 24 illegal picks.

I'm writing this post at CHOP, waiting for Avastin to be released. My platelet counts were a little low - but the Doc wasn't worried about receiving the dose. What effects platelet levels is a mystery to me and everyone else, but I doubt the 8 Miller Lites after the game last night help!

I have been feeling great since the minor seizure last week. My training has been consistent - lifting and getting shot on. Time to add some cardio! I booked a very difficult 4-miler on Saturday morning down in FLA...definitely work to be done.

Bro and CS in Florida this weekend

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trolley Tracks

I had an awesome trip down to the brain tumor center at Duke on Monday. I dread these trip and the MRI's - when you are assured by every doctor that the cancer is certain to come back, I keep thinking the next MRI is going bring bad news. Bro and I flew down on Sunday night. Lots of anxiety, but I found the right combinations of rums at dinner the night before and 2 early morning Ativan to get into the MRI and magic - the results came back positive. Bro does a great job recounting the visit on her site, bounce over there if you are interested.

And with every bit of good news...

Grapes always warned about it, but I got slammed last night at camp. I should have seen it coming...lifted in in the morning, busy day and then the mad scrambling to get entire Sanderson gang over to Little Beavers Part Deux. Camp was going great the last 10 minutes, when out of the blue I started to have a focal seizure. My right hand went numb and I couldn't speak. Fortunately, Ryan knows the "look". He took over and I walked around trying to look normal.

Brogann took over bed time with the girls and I chilled out for the rest of the evening. The entire episode was brought on by mental fatigue and stress. I can run, lift and get in the goal and not feel a thing. The minute I tax my pumpkin I'm guaranteed a seizure or at the very least I get a little "symptomatic". We are learning to try and prevent these, but it tough when I try to live a normal life.

More importantly Stevie was one of a hand full of girls that learned to cradle on the run last night and Clementine enjoyed an hour on the swings.

Below is the physical exam from Monday at Duke. Keep in mind, this is an hour after I buried two Ativan's to get into the MRI mac-hine!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PECO Power Play

The Kruger brothers drove from Orangeville to Pennington for the Flyer's game last Friday night. Rusty and Warren made the trip without directions or a map. What would normally be a 8 hour drive, turned into 14 hours. Fortunately, Ryan was the one guiding them in at 4:00 AM Friday morning.

We got down there early and tailgated in the 80 degrees weather. The Kruger's are die hard Flyer fans and were treated to an overtime win. After our Wings season it was nice to see a victory at the Wachovia Center!

Warren, Rusty, Chris & our sections waitress

R and Rusty with fans

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hopefully Kelly Amonte Hiller follows this...

After beating down chemo and surviving the party last week, it is back to lacrosse. I have had three great workouts and get back in the cage tomorrow morning.

Last night was the first session of the Little Laxers Lacrosse Camp that Brogann and I are running in Pennington. It was amazing. We had 50 boys and girls between the ages of two and seven on the field for an introduction to the sport. It was the first time that most of the campers had worn a helmet or goggles. The kids were awesome and I'm looking forward to getting back out there next Tuesday.

I really enjoyed working with kids again. Prior to getting sick I was coaching high school in the spring, running a club program and operating a bunch of camps through the summer and fall. With the uncertain nature of my cancer and my physical limitations, coaching was no longer an option. Believe me, I was gassed last night when we finally got our "Little Laxers" to bed, but it was well worth it.

A special thanks to Phil and Tim for helping out last night. Tim McGeeny was an All-American goalie at Loyola back in the 70's and lives down the street. He claims he played goal with a wooden stick...

Clementine, the only two year old lasted about 20 minutes. Stevie made it through the duration. Based on Brogann's initial assessment we can't be certain they will be players...but they looked really cute!

Stevie & Clementine

Monday, May 3, 2010 Pennington

Brogann threw a great birthday party for me on Saturday night. Tons of family, friends and special people that have been a part of our life since my diagnosis 17 months ago. With the help of our friends, Jim and Emily Matticoli who run great cafe and catering business, Brogann entertained 120 people at our house. My instructions were to show up 6:00 PM and wear a shirt with of all, no public speaking.
It was a little reminiscent of my wedding, not having enough time to really catch up with everyone, but nonetheless it was awesome to celebrate my birthday among so many people in the mood to party.

As always, there was plenty of Canadiana. Bro and the Matticolis arranged for Molson Canadian and Golden at the bar and sliders on the menu. These touches were appreciated by my parents and our buddy, Matty Shearer, who all made the trip down from Canada. All we were missing were the Tim Bits.

The masses rolled out around 10:00 PM and the late night festivities ended at 2:00 AM with me shutting the lights off on the Snider Brothers.

I really want to thank everyone for the birthday gifts - rums, baked goods, Randy's and those who made contributions to my effort for World Games. Lots of traitors in this part of New Jersey!

Thomas Hajek took hidden video of the entire night, but I'm holding of posting it until we finish negotiations to kill the project with Grandpa Sam.
...To The Side!!

Bro and CS

R and Mom

Flanders and he really living in the basement??

R, Main Train, Phil, Matty, Philler & Heim Time

Sammy pleading his case to the local po-po

Hostess with the mostess

T Wray, Mick, Heim Time, Birthday Boy and The Sniper

Uncle Pete, aka Captain Sully, and Aunt Karen flew in for the bash.

Did he just ask for a "Pennies to the Side???"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We were playing 3 man...

Celebrated my 36th birthday last night. I would usually follow this up with the old, "I don't feel or act 36", but today I actually feel about 76. Just finished my 5 days of chemo and I'm strugglings a little bit (strugglings - a term I picked up from our lacrosse buddies from Nanuvat).
This round wasn't too bad . I was able to train on Friday, Saturday and then shut it down until today. Do I count 1.5 miles walking the around the track this morning as a workout?

The girls had a little birthday party for me last night. Contes Pizza and a homemade cake. After laying low for 4 days it was great sit down for dinnner with girls and Sam, Tania and Ryan.

I'm not one for "shout outs"- but my wife was on point all weekend. She handled every meal, bath and bedtime for the last 5 days...and that was just me! Actually, it was Stevie and Clementine too. I don't know where she gets the super power, but it is amazing.

Back to business tomorrow - gym and shot.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Albany has a college lacrosse team?

I wrapped up the Wings season last night. Unfortunately I have to report another loss. The Orlando franchise seems to have our number - something to do with the ratio of americans to canadians on the floor - and I'm implying that there were way too many americans on both teams. It was a difficult season, probably my most challenging as a coach, but it is still tough to see it end. I really enjoy working with the guys. I'm expecting massive changes for the franchise and you never know if you are are going to work with of this any of these guys again. Since I was diagnosed with cancer I have a hard time saying goodbye to people. Not, "see you later in the day" goodbyes, but longer term transitions. The reality is I don't know if I will see some of these people again. It made for a long and sad day.

With Mickey Hovers (Wings, SNHU) assistant behind the camera, we did a little interview with one of my favorite guys on the Wings - Jordan Levine. A homage to Dons Cherry's Grapevine or maybe Pipers Pit. The kid is 5'5, tough as nails and one of the best stoppers in the games. Obviously he also has a great sense of humour.

Chemo week is off to a great start. No really. Got to the gym Friday and today. Spent the morning at the park with the girls and enjoyed an afternoon of boring college lacrosse on the TV.

Monday, April 19, 2010


We just finished up our last Wings roadtrip of the year. Jumped out on the Swarm early, but allowed them to out scored us 8 to 2 to finish the first half. We are already eliminated from the playoffs and it would have been easy for the guys to call it a night, but they battled back. Wailer scored in the last minute to force OT. Each team had a good look in extra frame, but the Weapon buried 3 minutes in to silence the Hive. It was a long trip out there, but well worth it when the guys play that hard.

Having only visited Minnesota in the dead of winter, it was unusual to see grass, people on the streets and the sun. A good friend, Tyler Brewster (former Bowdoin laxer) has relocated to the area and attended the game with his father, Brad. Brad was visiting from Pennington and the scheduling worked out that the Wings were in town. Brad treated us to a post-game steak and a couple of rums. It was great to see Ty - him and his buddy Pete Carroll, did my shooting heading in the 2006 World Games.
I got some work in the cage on Friday, prior to jumping on the plane to Minnesota. I lifted in the morning and was a little fatigued, but it was productive. When the Snider brothers bailed on us, we need a replacement shooter. Eric Gregg (Gettysburg College '02) who is the Head Coach at St. Joes Prep and a former goalie jumped right in and was ripping corners. Time to activate PhaseII - ground work. Ground and pound...better dust off the Bruce Hoods.

Plan is to get into the goal three days this week. I have Avastin at CHOP tomorrow and start Chemo Thursday night. Wings home game Friday night. Hibernation Saturday morning.

Eric Gregg & Heim Time

Great shirt...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Do I get a reversible with this camp?

Good shooting session with Pat Heim this morning. Ryan pulled the 'chute - complaining of a lingering ankle injury from the Monday night league. I'm still working back to full speed. Feet too far apart, dipping my hands and sliding my bottom hand pre-shot. Old habits, but to be honest this is the first time I have ever watched film on myself. Should be easy to correct. Although I do have a pair of UVa gloves that Coach Starsia customized way back in 1998. On the palm in black Sharpie it reads, "STAND UP". I guess I need to break 12 years of squatting in the cage!

I have a feeling I may be boring Pat. About 30 minutes in, he took some time to explain to me the finer point of shooting...he might be missing the point of the workouts. Oh well, I may have a couple of extra clicks on my ripper on Monday night!

Taking the shooting gallery on the road Friday. Meeting up with the Snider brothers in Philadelphia for a session before our flight out to Minnesota. I expect Bobby to shoot like a middle schooler and Geoff to aim for my cup.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You're not coming in....

I made my way down to the Duke University Medical Center yesterday. Down and back, like we once ran sprints for uncles' Terry and Lindsay after Lobsterfest! I left the house at 5:30am and made it home by 4:00pm. I fly to Durham once a month. One month is straight vaccine treatment and the next is vaccine, doctors appointments and an MRI. The vaccine treatment trips are easier...none of the anxiety associated with the results of an MRI.

That is not to say the trip to Durham is "routine". Duke is the place where I had my surgery (craniotomy...awake!) and in their doctors I put all of my trust to come up with a plan that would help save my life. I had a world-class surgery and my family battled their doctors for a unique treatment protocol in which they ultimately agreed. As they continue to manage my treatment, I recognize that I owe big part of my current health to them, but it is still unnerving every time I make the trip to the "Duke Clinics".

If you are interested in reading about my diagnoses, surgery, treatment or anything non-lacrosse related you should read Brogann's site at and work through her journals. She is an amazing writer and has captured our family's journey from the initial diagnosis up to the present. Much more "feelings" and a little less "look at my new bruise".

I have included some pictures from the trip. Five needles during the visit. Damage = what appears to be a gallon of blood and two snakes bites to the groin area. The vaccine is administered in two needles, on the inside of both thighs, near some important artery.

Back to business. Hit the gym today. Guest shooter Pat Heim will be joining my personal shooter, Ryan Sanderson, on the turf tomorrow. Special thanks to Pat and his employers, STX Lacrosse, for hooking Ryan and I up with STX heads, handles and equipment for my training.

Outside the cancer center

13 tubes later

Vaccine injections

Love Southwest, but they know nothing about Temple Grandin's research

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First rule of blogging, don't forget to blog...

Sorry for the 6-day hiatus. Its has been a crazy week. I had my Avastin treatment at CHOP last Tuesday morning. Standard appointment. They take vital signs and run blood work. If everything is in order the neuro-oncologist releases my Avastin. The Avastin is given via an IV and includes a 30 minute course of Zofran (anti-nausea) followed by 30 minutes of Avastin. The worst part of the these appointments is getting stuck for the blood work and IV line. I have terrible veins. To compound the problem my hands are running out of fresh veins for all the action. The goal is to get "stuck" once and the nurse made it happen last week.

After the Avastin I hustled to the Philly airport to catch a flight to Florida to be with the girls. It was awesome to see everyone and spend some great time with Bro, Stevie and Clementine. We packed it all into two full days. Clementine was a little under the weather and getting a tooth, but she was a trooper. Stevie is taking tennis and swimming lessons - both of which were amazing to watch. I got some great film...B-roll for future Under Armour commercials!

Friday afternoon I flew back to Philly, went to my car, swapped bags and caught a flight to Rochester for our Wings game Saturday versus the Knighthawks. We practiced from 11pm to 1am Friday night...long day. Which was followed by a long night against Rochester. We dropped another game. The team played hard, but we can't seem to close games out.

Back to Philadelphia this morning. Hustled to Pennington for the last quarter of the Lawrenceville vs. Hill Academy(Ontario) game at L-ville. The Canadians prevailed in overtime, much to the chagrin of the local fans and the best effort of the crooked refs! Great to see the Merrills again.

Need to finish packing for tomorrow's visit to Duke down in Durham, North Carolina. Flight out at 7am and return at 2:30pm. This is a stress-free appointment, except for the blood work(needles) and my vaccine treatment(more needles!). No MRI or Pet Scan.

Oh, I'm still feeling it time to Chemo yet??

Triage Stickers...patient #17 - great number!

Bottle of Avastin

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feeling good, Louis!

Happy Easter Monday. Another beautiful day in Pennington, NJ. I have been feeling great since Thursday night. The chemo has cleared my system and I feel...normal, which is great. R and I play men's league on Monday nights. We are a dynamic duo on attack - but Ryan is threatening to run midfield tonight to improve his conditioning. Crazy talk. I go to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for Avastin tomorrow morning and then fly to Florida to catch up with the girls.

The Wings got smoked by Toronto on Saturday night. I decided against the red blazer and we paid the price. It was great to catch up with Uncle Terry (Toronto Rock - Coach/GM) and cousin Phillip (Toronto Rock, Team Canada 2010) prior to the game. Flip is such a solid defender, it will be fun playing behind him this summer.

We got some great mail on Saturday. Last summer we applied for Canadian citizenship for both of the girls. The application process wasn't that difficult. Getting a 1 year old to take a passport that was a challenge. And you can see how happy Clementine was to do it! Anyway, their citizenship cards finally arrived. The girls will have a tough decision for 2025 World Cup. Play for Canada or USA...based on Clementine's reaction to becoming Canadian, looks like Team USA.

On Sunday nights I refill my pill box. These are all the supplements I take in addition to my "traditional" treatments. Takes about 20 minutes to load it back up. Fish oils, shark liver, melatonin, lycopene, boswellia, berberine, grape seed, zinc, 'shrooms, selenium, vitamin d, multi-vitamin and a few of the colonels secret spices. 37 pills a day...

You're are going to need a bigger boat.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

As They Say In BC...Good Soak

Happy holiday weekend to everyone. Big discussion this week with my American friends about Easter "Monday". As usual the Canadians are way ahead of the curve, celebrating a four-day weekend with public holidays on both the Friday and Monday. Ranks up there with Simcoe, Family and Louis Riel Days.

Wing vs. Toronto tonight. We are looking for a little redemption after the spanking we took up there earlier in the year. Contemplating bringing out the red blazer tonight...will try and get some snaps if it makes an appearance.

Worked out with Ryan today. Drilled some footwork and getting pipe to pipe. My hands have felt good, but the feet are a little slow. Need to hit the ladders! Oh, yeah - took my first shot to the arm today...why don't goalie wear pads??


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hit the Showers Stinky...

I'm finally emerging from the chemo fog. To be honest this round was not too bad. The seizure Saturday night didn't help, but I'm actually feeling pretty good today. It is difficult to describe what we fondly call "chemo week"...waves of nausea, headaches and pins and needles that seem to come out of the blue. The next thing I know, I have been in bed for 5 hours, with Sports Center on loop and I know more about UCONN women's hoops than is appropriate for someone without a daughter on the team. I dread these weeks, but it is part of the battle.

Bro, Stevie and Clemetine are down in Jupiter Island for the next two weeks. It has been very quiet and I really miss the girls. Ryan and Sam check in daily. The plan is to get back in the goal tomorrow and maybe has been since Saturday!

Go Huskies!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Big win for the Wings last night. Seem to be on a roll. Organization did a cool fundraiser to generate awareness for breast cancer. The players wore pink helmets that were auctioned off after the game. Unfortunately a few of those helmets were in rough shape after the knuckle-dusting. And, all of the excitement from the late game fist-a-cuffs spurred on a little bit of a "focal seizure". In the moment, I sort of lose the ability to speak and put my words together and my right side gets tingly. But believe it or not, I'm told it's normal. Usually it lasts less than an hour but then I have what feels like a seizure hangover for a few days. I have had a couple of these things after games, often when I'm coaching on chemo. Back at home now. Girls are leaving for Florida in the morning. I'm hunkering in for a few more days of feeling crappy.

"The Weapon" modeling the breast cancer awareness shoes.
Blazer with his pink helmet.
Shout out to Foxy for giving brain cancer some awareness with the grey numbers.
Voyeur shot of chemo - me assuming my position for the next few days.