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??