2014 Fall Jack's Camp

Posted on September 23, 2014 by quashnsa

Another Jack's Camp has come and gone. It was very hard to maintain a happy, up-beat, and fun-loving exterior when I was reminded by the sights and sounds of camp that my friend Bahram was not at camp with me. We were the S'mores Slingers for the camper's campfire. We had our method down. We could sling s'mores almost as fast as the campers could eat them.

I was very happy to have some of the other volunteers there with me. Carrie and Renee were heartbroken to hear of Bahram's passing. We took comfort in each other, and spend some time remembering how much he influenced the campers. He was a family favorite, the kids liked him, and he was a great volunteer for anything needed at camp. We miss you, my friend.

Sad and Angry

Posted on July 25, 2014 by quashnsa

I am sitting at my desk at work writing with tears in my eyes.

Five YEARS! Fuck You, Cancer!

Posted on January 22, 2014 by quashnsa

I will never be completely out-of-the-woods, but this is a great day. Five years ago, I went into surgery for a second time (the first occurred back on the 15th). My face was peeled down from an incision made just behind my hair line. By pulling my forehead away from my face, my skull was exposed for a crainiotomy. Just to the right and behind my right eye a large hole was made through my skull so the doctor could separate my temporal lobe from my frontal lobe to get at the remaining skull-base chondrosarcoma that was pressing into my brain stem and crushing my pituitary. After 10 hours, I was wheeled out into ICU and kept in a coma for 24 hours.

Remembering 5 Years Ago

Posted on January 14, 2014 by quashnsa

I wasn't doing much at the time. My headache had lasted two days and kept me from going to work. My wife was holding herself together despite what was coming. We were preparing to leave by 5:00 in the morning to get over to the Stanford Advanced Medical Surgery building. My family was arriving, and there had to be an orchestrated departure and meet-up at the hospital. Sleep was going to be easy for me tonight, but I'm sure my wife and parents didn't find it too easy.

It's one thing to schedule a potentially life-threatening surgery for something that may not kill you, but for me the planned surgery to hack into my skull and remove the tumor that would eventually kill me was a beautiful thing. The pain in my head had never been so bad before, so any thought about removing the offending tissue that caused such pain was a welcome idea.

Spring 2013 Jack's Camp Recap

Posted on March 25, 2013 by quashnsa

Well, another spring's Jack's Camp has come and gone. There were a total of 16 family in attendance for this wonderful camp. Of the 16 families, 4 were "new". There were some truly new family who were introduced to the "welcoming influence" that everyone shares at camp. Two families were newish, one hadn't been to camp for 3 years, but they came back and had fun.

I am back at work today and thinking again about my priorities. There were some missing campers who will hopefully be back for more camps. Work is going to be moved down the priority list and life has been moved up the list.

Four Years

Posted on January 22, 2013 by quashnsa

It has been four years since my first and second surgeries to remove the tumor growing into my brain stem, crushing my pituitary and squeezing my right 6th cranial nerve. One more year of active life that I would not have had without great doctors and excellent technology. If my MRI scan looks good again, then I might be able to move on to MRI scans only once every two years.

Just one more year for my five year anniversary. That will be a big day for me.

Fall 2012 Jack's Camp

Posted on September 24, 2012 by quashnsa

This was my fourth time as a camp volunteer at the Taylor Family Foundation/Northern California We Can pediatric brain tumor camp. We had many new families join our camp. This time, one of the younger kids graduated into the older kids group. It is always great to have kids survive and return year after year. The Friday night campfire and show (put on by some of the volunteers and the campers) was fantastic--so were the s'mores. At meal times, I met many new faces and connected with the regulars. A great time was had by all.

2012 Spring Jack's Camp

Posted on April 02, 2012 by quashnsa

I just got back from another great weekend with friends and family at Jack's Camp (a part of the We Can Northern California Pediatric Brain Tumor Network supported by the Taylor Family Foundation). It was really great to see familiar faces and meet a few new families. As always, I go for selfish reasons--the kids may not know it, but they help me be a better person by showing me how they cope with life and how they share their love and support.

Another Three Year Anniversary

Posted on January 22, 2012 by quashnsa

This is the third anniversary of my second surgery (craniotomy).

Three Year Anniversary

Posted on January 15, 2012 by quashnsa

It has been three years since my first surgery. Thank you to all of my friends and family for the support they continue to give me. Thanks also to my soccer mates for understanding my limitations.