Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Friend In Need!

I was saddened by some recent news that my good friend Beth found out that her mom, Barb, was diagnosed with cancer. I'm posting this message here to spread the word and recruit people to pray and support this wonderful woman. Barb and the rest of Nolan family in Cincinnati have been and continue to be a huge support to me even though I have never actually met them. The following picture is from a Happy Hour fundraiser for me where over a hundred people attended where I only knew 3 who were there.

Beth, Joe, Bill, and Barb (from left to right)

From Beth:

"My mom, Barb, has been diagnosed with an advanced, rare form of Melanoma. Her prognosis is not good, but we are hopeful that with treatment and the prayers and positive thoughts of family and friends, she will be well again. She will begin her first round of immunotherapy this coming week at Good Samaritan Hospital, in Cincinnati OH."

Barb started treatment this week in Cincinnati and so far so good. Here's a message from her husband Bill:

Good Sam - Day 1

posted by Bill Nolan, Monday, November 29, 2010, 10:45 AM

Barb was admitted at 6:00 am this morning and had a port inserted into her chest for the interferon treatments. After recovery, she was taken to the ICU floor (7th floor) around 10:30 AM. Her oncologist. Dr. Maher arrived shortly after and went over the game plan. The first interferon treatment will be at 2:00 PM this afternoon followed by treatments at 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM tomorrow morning. Fourteen doses of interferon will be infused over the next five days. She will probably be released on Saturday.

Next week, Barb has an appointment with Dr. Maher on Thursday.. The following Monday, December 13, the 2nd round of interferon will begin again at Good Sam. The doctor expects Barb to gain 15% body weight from the interferon treatments and may be very fatigued for a couple of days following the treatments. She may also get a little testy at times (ya think!). The good news from Dr. Maher is that the bone scan was negative.

Barb is resting comfortably and we will try to have a schedule for visitors up shortly on the calendar. They want to hold visitors to no more than three at a time as long as we're quiet.

The first infusion of interferon at 2:00 PM lasted about 15 minutes. The only reaction since that time was Barb began to have chills about two hours following the procedure. This is a textbook reaction and medication was given to eliminate this symptom. Since that time, Barb has been catching a few winks of sleep as it has been a long day. The next infusion is at 10:00 PM. Beth is spending the night.

The outpouring of love and support, the offerings of prayer,and the inspirational messages left on this site continue to sustain us. Thank you doesn't begin to express our gratitude."

Please pray for Barb, Bill, Beth, Susan, Annie, and Pat and keep them in your thoughts has they go through this difficult time. I'll continue to post updates here. If you have an encouraging word to share let me know and I'll be sure to pass it on (mattrehab@gmail.com).

Barb - Keep fighting!! Love ya!!


PS: As for me: I'm still in the process of getting things together to head to Project Walk, which I'm heading there in about 3 weeks! Getting excited!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PW Here We Go Again!

November 19, 2010

This is my second Thanksgiving since my injury and I’m reminded that I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful to have the loving support of my parents who have sacrificed so much for my well being and who continue to do so. I’m thankful for the friends who frequently come by to get me out of the house and who have donated generously to my cause. I’m thankful for the support of the people in my hometown, Etna, CA, who have donated so much time and resources. I’m thankful for the support of the kayaking community, which has been a brotherhood to me for many years – love you guys!! I’m thankful for the support of the amazing people in the outdoor community at large. I’m thankful for the support of the tight knit Nolan family and the community in Cincinnati, OH. I’m thankful for the many people that I’ve never met who have given generously to a perfect stranger. I’m thankful for the support of the amazing people and businesses in the great State of Jefferson. Thank you for your love and support you will never know how much I truly need and appreciate it!!!!

What have I been up to? I’ve been busy getting things sorted out to head back down to Project Walk. I’m officially moving down there around the middle of December even if I have to live in a van down by the river. My plan is to start attending Project Walk shortly after moving down there and stay there through August. I’m excited to see what 8 months of PW will do for me physically and mentally! Come and see for yourself and visit me in sunny San Diego.

I’ve also been working with my good friends Aaron Lewis and Eric Danson to submit a documentary about yours truly to the Ashland Film Festival. Check out the trailer:


I’m still in need of a place to rent down there. We’re looking for 3-bedroom house and have a few options that will work, but we’re still looking. The other need is a caregiver from the middle of April through the middle of June. So if you’re in need of a job and want to live in San Diego for a couple months let me know!! Oh, thanks to my good friend Hungry Joe who is going to be my caregiver from Dec to April!!

Attending Project Walk for 8 months will exhaust my resources, but I feel that it is the best option for my recovery at this point. Not sure what I will do after that, but one thing is for certain is that I will still have a financial need. By next spring I hope to have an account set up where people can donate specifically for medical expenses and then receive a tax deduction. I’ll have more information on that in the coming months. In the meantime, you can donate through the link on the blog or through snail mail.

And now to leave you with a quote I have found to be an inspiration:

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome” – Booker T Washington