Hello Everyone. Thank you to all my family and friends for all of your prayers and support. I will try and keep this as updated as possible with the latest on my fight. https://rally.org/ligon
I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, but I’m proud to say I’m officially a father. My daughter Alivia was born 11 days early on July 1st, and I haven’t really slept since! Luckily it was during a time when I wasn’t going through chemo, so I had 3 weeks to really enjoy her and keep my mind off of cancer. I started my third round of chemo today, so hopefully she’ll decide to start sleeping through the night to give me a break (yeah, yeah wishful thinking I know). I’m feeling better, and so far these past two treatments haven’t been as bad as the first. I’m feeling very lucky and blessed overall, considering all the terrible events that have consumed Colorado lately. Please say a prayer for all the families suffering from the recent tragedy. Although our struggles are incomparable, I sure hope they receive as much support and encouragement that I have. As if cancer hasn’t enough, having a baby really puts life into perspective. Love her so much!
Each morning I wake up, I’m still surprised that I was diagnosed with cancer, but everyday I’m almost more surprised with all the kindness and generosity that I have received since hearing the news. I wish I could thank each of you personally for your support and donations, but for now I hope this blog entry expressing my gratitude will suffice. First and foremost, thank you John Guydon and Joe Sanders for creating the donation page and spreading the word. I always knew that being part of the CU football team and family was a special experience in which only those who have lived it can understand. Even though I haven’t seen or spoken to many former players, we are brothers for life. The saying, “BUFF FOR LIFE” has a whole new meaning to me now. I have always been proud of where I went to school, played football and learned many life lessons, but I am more proud today to be a BUFF because of the awesome alumni who represent the university and support a fellow buff in need. I no longer think of “buff for life” as just being a fan of the university for life, but rather an unspoken bond between former students, current students and fans of the university who support one another for life.
I know that all of you who donated do not call CU your Alma mater, which brings me to the second thing I have learned during this time. That is, overall, people are GOOD. You may know that I work in law enforcement, and I see a different side of people that makes you question a lot of things about them. In some ways, it has changed my views of people, but after all of the support I have gotten during this experience, I see good people always outweigh the bad. All of your kindness has given me a new outlook on life and the power of people coming together. I look at people differently now and realize how important relationships are. In fact, one of my doctors (knowing I’m a huge Buff fan) was reluctant to tell me he went to CSU. It’s funny how it seems so silly to care about something like that now in the whole scheme of things. Before we are graduates from somewhere, we are all just people. A CSU grad (among many others) is helping to save my life. I told him I will never say anything negative about CSU again, but he gave me permission to one day a year on game day. Finally, some of you have showed your support and donated, who don’t even know me! Thank you. You all have inspired me to live each day feeling blessed, and I feel lucky to have so many great people in my corner. “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead. All your support has changed my life and I thank you!
Hello everyone! Good news, I was finally discharged from the hospital about a week ago, even though my neutrophil level was only around 500. I was so happy to be home, but I was having these almost anxiety attacks. My first night home I just kept walking back and forth throughout the house. I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to do. Like Forest Gump once said, “I just felt like running.” I just felt like walking around. The first few nights home I would feel a bit anxious and continued to wake up at 4am like I was still in the hospital, I even took a few 5am walks around the neighborhood to try and relax. I felt very overwhelmed with the simplest things and I was having a very hard time explaining this feeling to Abbey. I later learned from one of my doctors (who is a cancer survivor herself), that I’m experiencing something called, “chemo brain.” There is no true definition, but it’s where you feel, like I said, very overwhelmed and over stimulated. My doctor described it as having ADD or having a popcorn machine going in your head that you can’t turn off. It’s frustrating, but nice to know that it is common. I’ve been getting a lot better now and I’m starting to feel like my old self again. I can definitely feel a difference in my body after the treatment I had. I’ve been enjoying being at home with Abbey. We’ve spent most our time putting baby gadgets together and taking the dog on walks. Our one year wedding anniversary was on Monday. We spent the day at the doctors getting my bone marrow biopsy. I had Abbey recorded it this time, and she got to see it twice! The doctor couldn’t extract the piece of bone from the instrument used to get the bone sample, so she had to go in and get another one, ouch. We are waiting on the results to see if the chemo put the Leukemia into remission. If I am in remission, I will have to do three more rounds of consolidation chemo treatments, over the next few months. This should start next week. I’ll keep you all posted as soon as I find out. Again, I am so thankful to have so much support from so many people!!!
WOW . . . that was a trying week; to say the least. Sorry for not keeping up with my blog, but I was in rare form the past few days. A week ago I was almost certain I would have raised my immune system and be on my way home, but instead my neutrophils dropped drastically. Unable to fight off infections, I quickly got one on my throat, and boy was it nasty. I was unable to speak much or eat, losing 10 pounds for the week (down 25 lbs total) and had a fever for several days. Previously, when I’ve had a fever the nurses would give me a nice warm blanket, but now they’ve become hard core. I had to put ice packs under my arms, a cold cloth on my forehead, and no more blankets. Good thing I got some practice with the cold tub in college! Fevers are no fun! I’ve been hooked up to antibiotics and although I’m feeling better, my throat is still infected. I’m hoping that as soon as it heals my levels will go up. Please send positive vibes my way to help raise my blood levels. Other than that, things are the same. I’m STILL in this hospital room 31 days to be exact. Enjoy the weather! From what I can see out my window, it looks nice.
It’s been a frustrating day. Doctors told me I may be able to go home if my neutrophil (something to do with immune system) counts get up to 1000. Yesterday I was around 700, so I was excited that I was getting close, but today they dropped to the 400’s. I am starting to feel a little better since the chemo is wearing off, which makes it even more difficult to be stuck in the hospital. I’m no longer hooked up to IV’s and I’m receiving fewer drugs, so being confined to this room is making me a little crazy. With only a few t.v. channels, I’ve become addicted to Law and Order. I think I’ve watched close to 30 episodes in the past few days . All and all I’m still trying to stay optimistic in hopes that I can go home soon. I know that I will probably not be able to do much once I’m home, but watching law and order on my own couch with my dog would be like heaven. Hope everyone is enjoying the week! Thanks again for all your support! Reading your posts always help me through the day.
Whew! After 10 long days, my first round of chemo is done. Not sure how long it actually stays in my system, but not being hooked up to R2D2 (my IV hanger and pump) 24/7 feels great. I was able to go outside for 30 seconds wearing a mask, but it was the first time I have been outside in 2 weeks. Its amazing how such little things, like being able to go outside, are so excitiing now. Although I’m happy it’s done, now the dreadful waiting game begins. My doctors wont know if the chemo was effective for a few more weeks, since we have to wait for my blood counts to come up on their own. Once that happens, they will do another bone marrow biopsy, yay (sarcasm), to see if the leukemia is gone. I have failed at numerous attemps to hook up my play station, but I will not give up! Lastly, I miss my dog, Roxanne, terribly. This is the logest I’ve gone without seeing her, but doctors say with my low blood counts it’s too risky to see her. Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Enjoy the fresh air.
A combination of being sea sick, flu like symptoms, a real bad Vegas hangover, with a mule kick to the gut starts to describe the nausea from the chemotherapy today, but things were made a bit better tonight by some friends with a few thoughtful joke gifts. It should have been a dead giveaway for what I was in store for the moment I saw Nate and Amiee walk into the room with a giant Barbie gift bag. Opened it up and found a 20 questions game guessing game, some good old nickelodeon gak, and Simon. As I dug deeper into the bag I found something Abbey has been refusing to let me buy for years every time I go to the store…..A Dart gun! My trusty Dart gun, furry stuffed replacement dog and I can now protect the other cancer patients on the 10th floor, or at least torment the nursing staff for the next 4 weeks. As if that wasn’t enough, I took one last reach into the bag and found the jack pot of all ‘get well soon gifts;’ a full size Justin Bieber poster (comb-over hair and all). Nice way to end the day! Thanks Nate and Aimee, and everyone else who continue to brighten my days even when it seems like no light can get in. I love you all goodnight.
It’s been a rough couple of days. Although I knew things would be hard, it still doesn’t make things any easier. Still have nausea, fevers and chills regularly, but didn’t expect to be gaining weight!!!! All the fluids they are giving me has caused me to gain around 30 pounds! They are now giving me a diaretic to pee out all the liquids. Last night I peed out 9 pounds of fluid and I’m back at it today. All the doctors and nurses here are awesome, but Abbey says I have accidently referred to the hospital as jail a few times. “Hey Abbey, do you want to take a walk around the jail with me?” It’s hard to imagine I’ll be here for at least 3 more weeks, but at least I will be able to leave the 10th floor after the chemo is done. Each day of this fight is hard, some worse than others but it all is worth it in the end when I beat this thing. Thanks again for all your encouraging words are support!