Hat's Off to You!

Who needs the Emmy's when we've got "Hat's Off to You", which is fast becoming one of the the most sought after awards in the land ... or at least within the ranks of #TeamSoderlund. This installment not only includes a few exciting new categories, but also an update on my treatment schedule (just giving you an incentive to read the entire post)! 

So, without further delay...

I have been blessed to work with, and for, some of the smartest, kindest, generous, most competitive and creative people around. Many of them have posed for #TeamSoderlund photos all across the U.S. and the world, which is a lovely addition to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Some of these shots have also become a lovely addition to other people's feeds, which obviously necessitated the creation of an award for the "#TeamSoderlund photo with the most potential to go viral." Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carly Florina (and, also, my friend Kevin who may not be as recognizable, but is equally awesome) are the clear winners in this category. Thank you for taking the time away from making movies and campaigning for the presidency to support me, and to light up the interwebs in the process! 

The second new category is creatively named "I could not have said it better myself." There was a lot of competition for this title, so after a long debate and some indecision, we have a tie. This time it's between two inanimate objects sent by two obviously clairvoyant friends. I give you this journal and this card ... 

The winner in the "going above and beyond the call of duty" category goes to the Alaska Airlines representative who gave me a partial refund on a nonrefundable, nontransferable ticket (when does that EVER happen with an airline)?! However, what won her the award was this card, which arrived in my mailbox about a week later. Talk about bringing customer service to the next level! Thank you! 

Finally, the mainstay of these auspicious awards...the winner for the best hat. This week's award is probably better called "hat's on to you" because it goes friend who gave me a hat I wear often. You really can't go wrong with a fedora! 

These reminders of how many people are supporting and praying for me are not an insignificant part of my positive mindset and fighting spirit, which I will need this coming week. UCSF has cleared up their administrative issue and can now take new patients into the clinical trial. This means that assuming that the battery of tests I have scheduled tomorrow (MRI, PET scan, blood work, EKG) don't reveal anything that would exclude me from the trial, and pending insurance approval, I will have my first treatment on Thursday. For you praying types, prayers that neither the tests nor the insurance company will cause a problem or delay are appreciated. 

I am very happy to have a date for my first treatment, after what has felt like a long wait. That said, as inscribed on the journal above, "I am so freaking freaked out," about the side effects. I won't bore you with the pages and pages of potential maladies outlined in the clinical trial consent form, but suffice it to say that some can be very uncomfortable, some life threatening. Obviously it's worth the risk since cancer is also uncomfortable, and is, for sure, terminal. Regardless, I am increasingly worrying about how my body will react. What quality of life will I have? Will I be able to tolerate the treatment? What happens if I can't hack it? Yes, I know, I am strong, I am a fighter, I am determined. I know worrying is pointless, but I also know that I can't control my physical response to the treatment. 

A few cliche's, keep coming to mind (again, reinforcing the fact that there's a reason cliche's become cliche's). First, you don't know until you try. Second, no pain, no gain. 

So, it's (hopefully and finally) into the breach I go ... with God, the unparallelled #TeamSoderlund backing me up, and the best medical care on the planet. With those allies, I have every hope of winning the war, even if I take some hits during the battles.