Tuesday, August 24, 2010

IPad? More Like IGrateful

Before I get started, I want to thank everyone for all the support, emails, phone calls, etc.  It really does mean so much to me.  I am not just saying that, it really does.  I want to call out an especially amazing group this evening, and that is my UGA/tailgating friends who pooled together and bought me an IPad.  Thank you all so much, especially you Ross for leading the charge.  Once Ross gives me the list of those who were involved I will thank you again individually, most likely in a nice calligraphy note.  Thank you all so much, this will really help during those long days at the hospital receiving chemo.

So my personal update for tonight is about my lymph node biopsy surgery that is planned for tomorrow.  Basically what they will be doing is shooting a contrast into my tumor, and then watching it to see which lymph node(s) the contrast drains to.  They will then cut out the nodes and test them to see if any cancer cells have made their way into the node system.  This will give them a pretty good idea as to if the cancer has begun to travel.  Also during this procedure, they are going to put a "port" under my skin that will make it easier for them to inject the chemo drugs into my system. Please cross your fingers for a clean report tomorrow, although even in that fortunate situation my future treatment schedule will not change.  This is a full on surgery, so I will be off my feet for a few days, but unluckily for everyone my fingers will still work, so I fully intend on boring you all with updates. 

In regards to my current mental state, at this point I am more anxious than I am afraid of what is to come.  I am anxious to start chemo, because I have no idea how I am going to react to the drugs.  I am really anxious to see how the MRI looks after the 2nd round of treatment.  If you recall, this is when we will first get indication as to if the tumor is shrinking, and thus responding well to the poison medicine.  This talk of my attitude reminds me of Showtime's new series, "The Big C".  Not sure if anybody has watched this, but it is about a middle-aged woman who has late stage Melanoma, yet tries to keep it a secret from her husband and son.  My thoughts on the first episode were mixed, in that she apparently had denied the option of undergoing chemo in an effort to stop the spread of her disease.  She spends the rest of the episode living like she doesn't give a flip (pouring wine on the couch, rushing to put a pool in the backyard, etc).  Maybe this show will turn and become more inspiring as it moves forward, but through the first episode it left a lot to be desired.  I realize that when some people battle cancer that has become terminal, it gets to the point that you can't fight anymore, but merely try to enjoy your remaining days.  The key point there is they were actually fighting from the get go; this lady has given up before she even started to fight, which I find incomprehensible.   Again, I hope this show will turn and she will find some fight, but in its current state, it isn't something that will make you run through walls out of inspiration or anything.  Check it out, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show.

I will close this evening with a follow-up to an early post regarding the potential for me to lose my fertility due to my treatment.  Well, I followed through this afternoon and made my first trip to the fertility clinic to ensure that the Oyler name will survive Max and I.  I will spare you all the details, though I will say that they give out some pretty creative key chains when you leave.  I will let your imaginations run wild in trying to figure out what they look like, but needless to say I am now taking orders from some coworkers in advance of my next appointment.

I promise the next post will be much more fun.  The last time I was under anesthesia things got real weird, so hopefully I have some good stories after tomorrow's surgery.

Thank you all for the support!



  1. We will see you on the other side tomorrow! love you!

  2. Michael,
    I am a friend of your Mom and Dad's and have been following your blogs. You are a great writer and your posts evidence your character and spirit. You and your family are in my prayers. As an "older" person, all my life I have heard the adage that God doesn't deal you more than you can handle. My advice to you, Michael, is to continue to "run the table."
    Good luck tomorrow, remember each day is one closer to complete recovery.
    Jeannie Hoffner

  3. Michael,
    Cami emailed me and told me about the cancer and your blog. ("I think you remember him from our wedding...the one that crashed into the band's speaker system and broke a vase of flowers while doing the polka.") Yes, Cami, I think I know him! Anyway, I just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you, and I also think it is great that you are blogging about it all--especially so honestly and with a sense of humor. I hope your procedure goes well tomorrow.
    Megan Hurt

  4. Hello from the Loaf, Michael!

    I was not happy to hear about your diagnosis from your Dad last week! Not happy at all! And then I was sent the link to your blog. Now I am still not happy about your diagnosis, but I am very happy about the prognosis. I shall be a prayer warrior on your behalf along the way. You are surrounded by really great family and friends that love you. The power of your Mom alone should put the big "C" on notice! Never ever cross Karen Oyler!

    I love that your friends organized procuring you an IPad. I am an avid Mac user and know that you will put it to great use. Be sure and load your Phil Mickelson commercial video on it so you can impress all the chemo nurses. They will love that they know a real television celebrity!

    I will keep posting so you will know someone out in the Loaf is reading your well written blog and cheering for you on this journey. I have no doubt that God has plans for using this experience for the good of many. You are made of wonderful stuff, Michael! That Oyler wit and humor will carry the day!

    It will be a privilege to be your prayer warrior! Blessings to you,

    Kristen Sapp

  5. Michael,
    I was talking to Susan Scarce last night and she informed me about the cancer and your blog. Just want you to know that you are in my prayers and I wish nothing but a fast and healthy recovery for you man. Your blog is a great read and you are an inspiration to all of us. Best of luck today!
    - Ken Meyer

  6. Good luck with the surgery today!

    Also, congrats on your impending fatherhood.


  7. Good luck Oyler! I'm thinking about you, and hope to see you at a game this fall. Get well soon.
    -Colin Sturgis

  8. Hi Michael!

    I have gotten to know you through sitting across from Celeste every day - especially better now with everything that you are going through. I just wanted to let you know that Anna and I up here in NYC are thinking of you every day and pulling for you BIG TIME! I can't get over how thoughtful and wonderful it was of your friends to pitch in for that iPad for you. I have unfortunately had too many people close to me affected by "the big C" (haven't seen the show but I heard about it and I am not too sure either...) and they have all marveled at the power of support from friends and family. While I have not yet met you, I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and sending my support :)!


  9. Praying for you today!! And praying for you every day Mikey!!

    Love and healing hugs!


  10. Wow, sounds like you tailgate with a really classy bunch of people. I'm sure your tailgates make the University proud! I'd love to stop by sometime. Should I look in the "Family Friendly Zone"?

    -Michael Adams

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  12. i very much enjoyed the comment about crashing into the speaker, and breaking a vase while doing the polka. i esp appreciated your worm at lauren and matt hancock's wedding. you're a rock star. but take it easy the next few days. we will all be thinking about you.

    ps. have you seen "Arthur" with Dudley Moore? If not, you must rent it while you're recovering :) will cheer you up!

  13. Are you sure the lump near your groin is cancer? It could be a pair of red panties in your pocket!

    -Damon Evans

  14. Oyler,

    This is not a hat suggestion or a Michael Jackson song, but I think Max will agree with me when I say you need one of these.


    Glad to hear you made a successful deposit in the bank. Stay positive and get doodle jump on the ipad. It's a wonderful time waster. I hope the surgery goes/went well. Eliz and I are thinking about you.


  15. If anyone needs a refresher on the incident from Fields and Cami's wedding ("[he's]... the one that crashed into the band's speaker system and broke a vase of flowers while doing the polka), we've got a wonderful video we can share.

    Last time Van had was under anesthesia, he started singing Don't Stop Believing as loud as he could, and wouldn't quit, even as they were rolling him into the operating room. This was equal parts embarrassing and awesome...

    Hope everything went well today - we've been thinking of you!

    Myra & Van

  16. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way from Chattanooga! I'm praying for a good report today and speedy recovery! Thanks for keeping us updated!


  17. Cada sada pootie!
    (Good luck today!)


  18. Hope everything went well today! Thinking of you daily!

  19. Michael, Congrats on the genetic deposit...lol. Hope your nodes were clear today, and port insertion went smoothly. I had melanoma when I was in my 20's in grad school, in Canada -- still OK 30 yrs later, so my view of Big C program is likely skewed. I must say, however, 2nd episode scene re ______ in the grass, with noise interruption and subsequent misunderstanding, was laugh-out-loud funny! Congrats on Ipad....I love mine! Stay strong! Every day you endure this challenge is one day closer to putting it all behind you.
    Hugs, Michelle on Westview

  20. Hey michael,
    I got wind of your blog through our college friend connection. You have a great use of humor and wit :-)
    You and your family are in my thoughts and many prayers. I am praying for God to provide you all with the strength and courage (you got the positive attitude!) to guide you through this journey. I pray for 100% healing.
    Keep us posted on your progress and keep us entertained with your posts! I will be praying.
    Allison Guyer

  21. Hi Michael:
    I heard from Dave and Tammi Redden about your diagnosis. Fighting cancer is a day to day battle--you have the right attitude--keep your thoughts positive-you will beat it. You and your family have been added to my prayer list.

    God bless,
    Joe Forgey

  22. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! Especially President Adams, Damon Evans, and my deceased dog Sokki.

    Celeste, you have been so special and integral to my positive attitude!

    Mrs. Sapp, it is great to hear from you, and it means a lot to know you are following the blog and praying for me during this tough time!

    Ken, great to hear from you man, thanks so much for the thoughts and support. Seems like only yesterday (or 10 years ago) that we were a bunch of snot nosed pledges.. It means a lot to hear from you man!

    Colin, thanks for the support, i hope life is treating you well. Just as I mentioned to Ken above, hard to believe it was 10 years ago when you were our fearless Pledge President. Thanks so much for reaching out, it means the world.

    Molly, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!!!!

    Taylor, you have been so supportive, and I can't thank you enough.. I promise I will use this time to learn some new sweet dance moves!! Thank you!

    Megan, thank you for your kind note, I'm so happy to hear from you! Yes, it seems so long ago that Fields and Cami got married, talking about a weird night! Hope you are well!

    Tom, please tell me you are getting a carstache when you get a new car, I might do the same.. Thanks for always being there Mr. Miles!

    Myra and Van, thank you both for the support, yall have been so great! I wish I could have been there to see Van sing.. Once I'm healthy we can hit up a kareoke bar and I will be more than happy to help Van bring that song home.. Thanks!

    Krisin, thanks so much for your note! I hope you are well, and I can't wait to see you and MP tie the knot in october! Thank you so much for the prayers and support!

    Thank you Kaitlin, Troy, Cooper, and Scout! I am so happy to have your support.. Yall are great friends and I wish your growing family nothing but the best!!

    Michelle, thank you again for being such a great supporter. I am so happy to have you on my team, as your prayers have been so great in helping me fight this battle!!


    Thank you so much for writing a kind note! I hope you are doing well, and I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers!!

    Dr. Joe,

    It is great to hear from you, thank you so much for posting! It has been a long time, but I hope you and your family are doing well! Thank you again for your support, it is appreciated wholeheartedly!!

    Thanks Sokki!

  23. Ellie,

    I am so happy that you are following the blog.. You are so lucky to be working with such a studious little worker bee in Ms Celeste! Thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me, especially from someone who I have never met, the fact that you are posting on here really touches me! I hope to meet you someday!!!!

  24. Mrs. Hoffner,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers! I appreciate your words of wisdom, and I am so happy that you are enjoying the blog, I will try to keep it entertaining and informative.. Thank you so much, and I hope to see you soon down at Oconee!

  25. Leighton,

    Thank you and thank you.. I appreciate the support and thoughts from you and all of the gang up in Nashville!

    I am glad you are thinking of my poor sons that are freezing cold in the test tube currently!

    Hope to see you very soon.. Tell Henry Hi

  26. MO,

    You need to write a book someday...you got the skillz and laughter factor to do so. Seriously...Steffens and I are already working on the marketing plan for your book tour/release/speech at the 50 yard line of the UGA football stadium.

    Best of luck to you. You are in our thoughts and prayers buddy.


  27. Thanks Robert,I have no doubt if you and Rudy are doing the marketing that we will find a way to make it big, ha. I like where yalls heads are at.. Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers, it means a lot! I know we will have a great story to tell years later, and much of that is due to the great support from you all!