My Health

Anything that's on topic but doesn't fit elsewhere, including related events that might be of interest to quizbowl players.
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Deviant Insider
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My Health

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu May 17, 2018 8:37 am

I will see many of you in person in a few weeks, and some of you will notice that something is up with me, so I might as well talk about what I am going through.

Before I get started, let me state that none of what I say in this post should change anybody's expectations for the NSC. A lot of care and planning has gone into it and is continuing to go into it. The people doing the hard work are younger, healthier, and more energetic than I am. The most important person in PACE during the weekend of NSC is our Tournament Director. That was true last year when I was a healthy president, and that is now more true. A whole lot of people will do more work than me during NSC weekend, and we expect that the result will be another wonderful NSC.

I had a colonoscopy in February and woke up to the doctor telling my wife that I had an "ugly" tumor that would require surgery. We found out a few days later that based on a biopsy it was Stage 1, meaning that the cells still had properties of colon cells, which was good news. I had a few scans that showed the cancer had not spread to other organs.

I had surgery in March to remove the tumor. It was larger than expected. I spent four weeks at home to recover. A week after the surgery, I learned that the cancer had spread to several lymph nodes around the colon, which made the cancer Stage 3C, which overrode the earlier staging and was bad news. (Stage 4 is the worst and means that other organs are affected.) There was no cancer at the margins, which means that there is a good chance that I am currently cancer free. A few weeks after the surgery, I got a port so that medicine can be injected through my upper chest directly into my vena cava.

I started chemotherapy a month ago. The chemo is scheduled to go on for 24 weeks, so it will end in late September/early October. The purpose of the chemo is to reduce the chance of recurrence from 60% to 30%. I am on a three-week cycle. On the first day of the cycle I spend about two hours having oxaliplatin injected through the port and I am given pills of capecitabine (equivalent to xeloda). I take 8 pills a day for the first two weeks of the cycle and then do not take drugs for the last week.

The oxaliplatin causes me to be tired for days and to have an absolute hatred of anything cold. I have been able to work, though I am surviving on old lesson plans and the kindness of my students. After work I come home and nap, and I usually take another nap after dinner.

This could be a lot worse--I have the most common type of colon cancer, so it is well researched, and the drugs I am taking are less toxic than many other chemo drugs. Also, I have good insurance, good doctors, a good employer, and an awesome wife (who is also a doctor). If you know somebody who has undergone chemo for breast or lung cancer or a few others, then they probably went through treatment significantly worse than mine. My blood counts have been good so far. I still have my hair, and there is a good chance that will continue. I am going to NSC with my oncologist's approval, and I am looking forward to it.

If you follow hockey, then you may be aware of Eddie Olczyk, a former player and current announcer who recently finished 24 weeks of chemo due to Stage 3C colon cancer. I'm not certain, but based on his descriptions it seems like he had a rarer form than me and thus underwent harsher chemo. A week ago, I emailed the station he works for and thanked them for handling his situation honestly and well. Yesterday I got an encouraging voicemail from Edzo himself, which was totally awesome.

People shouldn't feel sorry for me, because cancer could be a whole lot worse than this. However, if I look tired, it's because I'm tired. If I take a nap while matches are occurring during NSC, it will be a first for a PACE President, but it should not stop the awesome staff, students, and coaches at NSC from continuing to be awesome. As I said at the beginning of this post, go into NSC with high expectations.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Skepticism and Animal Feed
Auron
Posts: 3178
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Location: Arlington, VA

Re: My Health

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu May 17, 2018 9:09 am

Good luck beating cancer and kudos for being brave enough to post openly about this. Everyone who beats cancer automatically becomes one of my heroes my life.
Bruce
Harvard '10 / UChicago '07 / Roycemore School '04
ACF Member emeritus
My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

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Cheynem
Sin
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Re: My Health

Post by Cheynem » Thu May 17, 2018 9:27 am

Nap time for all would be great at NSC.

In seriousness, as a former quizbowl organization head to a current one, I wish you the very best. God bless.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

bdavery
Lulu
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Re: My Health

Post by bdavery » Thu May 17, 2018 11:17 am

I wish you all the best and a full recovery.
Bryce Avery
President, Avery Enterprises
http://www.averyenterprises.net/quizbowl-blog

jonah
Auron
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Re: My Health

Post by jonah » Thu May 17, 2018 11:32 am

We love you.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

alexdz
Rikku
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: My Health

Post by alexdz » Thu May 17, 2018 1:05 pm

Much love and support to you. If there's anything I can do to help you (as a former teacher, as a writer, as a friend) - feel free to reach out.
Alex Dzurick
====
Owner/Editor, SAGES Quizbowl Questions
Coach, Harcum College (PA)
====
Former midwesterner (South Callaway - Mizzou - UIUC) coping with life on the east coast.

matthewspatrick
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Re: My Health

Post by matthewspatrick » Thu May 17, 2018 1:14 pm

David,

Best wishes to you and your family as you go through your treatment, and I hope that the treatment will have its desired effect. You are a pillar of our community, a terrific teacher, and more important than any of those a truly good person.

Patrick
Patrick Matthews
University of Pennsylvania 1989-94
NAQT Member Emeritus and co-founder

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CometsCoach
Lulu
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Re: My Health

Post by CometsCoach » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:41 am

David, I value your friendship, your leadership, your wisdom, and your commitment to stand up for things that are right.

I hope you beat this thing back. May God continue to bless you and watch over you and your family.
Jay Winter
Iowa Quiz Bowl League Founder & CEO
Mathematics Teacher, Waukee (IA) High School
Formerly Greenville (IL) High School Head Scholastic Bowl Coach 2007-2014 and Team Illinois 2012-2014

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Deviant Insider
Auron
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Re: My Health

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:44 pm

Thanks for the kind words, both in this thread and in person. This was a good weekend for me.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
Auron
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Re: My Health

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:05 pm

So glad to hear that you are doing well! Keep fighting the good fight.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

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Deviant Insider
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Re: My Health

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:33 am

I'm done with chemo. I had five three-week cycles (oxaliplatin/capecitabine) and five two-week cycles (oxaliplatin/5FU). They switched me because my body didn't handle the capecitabine well. I also got two weeks off, one because I felt bad and one so I could feel good during my son's Bar Mitzvah. I am probably cancer free, and I'm going to get CAT scans every two months to see if that is actually the case.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

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i never see pigeons in wheeling
Rikku
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Re: My Health

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:38 am

So happy for you, David. Hopefully, that "probably" prognosis can turn into a "definitely" in the near future.
Ankit
Cal '16
Bellarmine College Preparatory '12

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