Saturday, June 18, 2011


Actual footage of going from our hospital room to our car from Emory University Hospital for the last time!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gonna be a good Year!

After 20 days on 8East, 25 bags of the nasty IL-2, endless side effects, and much time recovering in baths of oatmeal there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's official I have completed the impossible IL-2 and I'm damn proud!

Even though the clock seems be going backwards we are still counting down the minutes until we are out of here. Things to do to past time, 1. Sleep(I was in so much pain last night asked them to knock me out and they did. Slept from 5 pm to 7 am. 2. Watch movies/tv( our oscar rich library system here we were forced to pick out....Dr Doliitle, Maid in Manhatten, Billy Madison-classic, My BestFreinds Wedding, and the drama Dances With Wolves. And our tv doesn't get sportscenter, but I heard the Mavs won. 3. Walk in circles on our floor pushing my IV pole. 20+ laps equal a mile! Exciting! 4. Eat( no appetite, not happening) 5 read ( no brain, not happening) 6. Internet but looking at facebook creates slight bitterness.

We can bear through this because it's our 4th quarter, finish line is in sight and We are no longer taking IL-2. This week was the toughest yet and although the dr.s prepared us, it hit us hard. After the first bag of IL-2 I hit rock bottom and had they had to skip the next dose until my body fought back and same went for the 3rd and 4th.

So now we wait...tick, tock, tick, tock. We are at the healm of my body and charge nurse. Couple of our other IL-2 inmates will put on their polos tucked in and walk around trying to not to look sick. But they still look like zombies, just dressed better. We just have our bags packed ready for the nod so we don't waste any time in here.

Once we are out of here we do not plan on discussing much about melanoma for a while except for the 3rd annual MelaNoMo'! Tagline"Gonna be a Good Year" on September 24 2011. Website is under construction).

Another huge obstacle in life that we got through. Very difficult time testing emotional, physical, and patience limits, but I swear we always got a smile in there somewhere.

I can't say thank you enough for the past 3 months while enduring such a battle, that we came out on top stronger than ever is because of y'all and the big guy.

GONNA BE A GOOD YEAR. 9-24-2011.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Awake My Soul

"How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker"
-Awake My Soul
Mumford and Sons
Every time we head down to Emory to begin our IL-2 in the morning leaving Gainesville with our cars packed, coffee and the Mumford and Sons CD Sigh No More. It has been our go to music to get us ready for the week ahead. It is an incredible album that mixes folk, bluegrass, rock with incredilble lyrics themed about life, death, religion, love.  
Timing is everything; we went and saw them live at the Fox Theatre at a sold out show the night before our last treatment. Margaret, me , Steve-O, TB and about 8,000 others got to see an incredible show last night downtown Atlanta.
So here we are back at Emory for our LAST WEEK of treatment! I am getting my first bag in a few hours and again would like to get that lucky 7, but if I don't who cares I will be finished with this nonsense. I will update later in the week and let everyone know how we are holding up. Keep up the prayers.
Mumford and Sons 6-12-11 Fox Theatre

Monday, June 6, 2011

good things are coming...

We started to believe that bad things happen in 3's and after that you will have a long run of good luck and fortune.  To the Gaines family we just can't stay out of the hospital. I got released on May 19 from Emory just a few hours after my dad was admitted to Northeast GA Medical. Turns out mr. active and outdoors (Gary) has a left artery that belongs to Sherman Klump. After chest pain and shortness of breath he went to have tests done and was sent straight to the OR to have emergency triple bypass surgery. He has recovered great and will now outlive us all. Has a great heart, as we all know, and will be back on the river or the trail soon. Friday June 3 my grandmother Ganny had successful surgery to remove part of a cancerous tumor in her lungs. The surgery went great and she is at the Northeast GA Med. and needs everyones thoughts and prayers for her recovery. She is the definition of a sweet southern grandmother. Soon enough she will be back to making her homemade biscuits, slipping her grand kids money, hard candy, and double mint gum. Like I said bad things come in 3's but good things are coming....

Ganny w/ Papa Lou at her 79th Bday fiesta

Gary on annual backpack/fishing trip

I did not get much recovery time and was at work the Monday after treatment and had a busy week at work while the boss was at home recovering. So Margaret and I decided that we could use a vacay for the long memorial day weekend and made a trip down to Amelia Islands and stayed at my aunt n uncles in Fernandina Beach, FL. Reading on the beach and bike riding through town for some seafood and coronas was just what we needed.

This weekend we attended the Hall County Relay for Life. Margaret, Graham, and I along with 16,000 others attended Lanier Motor Speedway. We were a part of "The GI Squad" which was Margaret's team from work. I walked the survivor lap and was joined by my wife and brother for the caregiver lap. Over $350,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society. Hopefully not all of that will go to breast cancer and melanoma can get a little slice of it.

Stay tuned for my next update to come from Emory while receiving my last round of treatment. I report to duty on June 13th and remember the rule of 3's, good things are coming...