Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Update

I met with my doctors today and got the first idea of what to expect and what they were thinking. The cardiac surgeon was POSITIVE he could remove the tumor and rebuild my right atrium if it came to that and that's really positive news because we were worried that this wouldn't be a possibility. The problem is that since the sarcoma has spread outside of my heart and is in at least two other places this must be treated systematically with chemotherapy before any other options can be considered. The success rate of this treatment is 40-50% and I am happy with those odds. So basically I start treatment tomorrow (Saturday) and unless there are any incidents it will continue for six weeks and then I will be re-evaluated and the next course of action will be decided.

The hope is that the chemo stops the progression and even kills most of the sarcoma cells. If that works as planned then the doctors will decide the next step, which could be surgery or radiation (or both). If the chemo doesn't stop the progression then they will re-evaluate. I feel good right now and when people see me for the first time I get the impression they are surprised because they were expecting a sick person, and right now I look no different than I did 3 months ago. It was somewhat amusing today during my 3-D sonogram that people from that department kept coming in to see the "thing" in my heart. They keep telling me that they have never seen anything like it...I guess if that means more doctors looking at it, I will take it.

I don't want to sound cheesy but I can't believe all the support I have been getting. My phone won't stop ringing, my annoying text message sound wont stop sounding and the phones of the people here with me (Shana, Mom, Dad, Matt, Joan and Michelle) wont stop ringing and to be honest it makes me feel pretty good - my family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances have not let me get down about this and that's important. I had some visitors that live around here today and it was nice to see some familiar faces and I love reading the comments on the blog (I can't believe how quickly this thing spread!). To everyone who has called, texted, emailed, commented here and visited thank you so means a lot to me and I am 100% sure that all this support is a huge part of how positive I feel about this.

I talked to a lot of people today that I haven't talked to in a long time and it's amazing to me that no matter what changes in our lives that cause us to lose touch with people we love and consider friends, you will always love those people and consider them your friends. It sucks that it's under these circumstances that I am reconnecting with people I haven't talked to in a long time, but at least we are reconnecting and it's been very uplifting.

Thanks again for all the comments...every single one of them put a smile on my face and I am actually looking forward to starting my treatment tomorrow. I will be sure to let everyone know how it goes.


Aunt Kate said...

Hi Will,

It sounds like you've had some encouraging news - that's great. I had to laugh when I read about the people coming in to look at the unusual "thing" in your heart. You know that I have a tumor in my eye, right? And I had the same experience - both at Upstate, and at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, doctors came in and out, bringing students in to look, and sometimes they acted as if the eye wasn't attached to a person. I might as well not have been there! I was very patient and cooperative, but I had an almost irresistible urge to start singing or something. It's a strange feeling, isn't it?

Good luck tomorrow, and try to get some sleep,

Aunt Kate

brooke n shaun said...

That is great news to hear!!!! It's so wonderful to hear all the positive feedback from the doctors. I'm so happy that this blog is up so we can stay updated all the time. shaun and I wish we could be there with you. We are thinking about you everyday and saying our prayers. Stay Strong!!!

Love, Brooke

Shana McCaffrey said...

My love,
I must be the luckiest person in the whole wide world. I had to wait 30 years to find my Prince Charming, and God gave me the perfect prototype of a Prince... you. You have always been my hero. I wish that I could scream from the top of my lungs how much I love you. I am so proud to be your wife. You are going to make it through this! I will be with you every step of the way. On our wedding day, we became one. I would not have it any other way. God gave you to me, and I know that he will not take you away for a long time. You complete me! Also, Jedi and Brooke need you. Brooke says, "Raddy, I ruv ryu" and Jedi says, "Grrrrr!' I know that you will fight! I love you chauggy!

Your Baby Bear

eileen said...

shy you ain't and a charmer you are:) you've got quite a team Will - Shana, family, friends and the wonderful medical professionals at Dana Farber and Crouse Hospital.

Fasten your seatbelt it's going to be a bumpy road but the day will come when this is ancient history.

Go Bills!

Joyce said...

Will, I am thrilled to hear all the good news! It's always good to hear that there is something you can do for it. So good luck today and throughout the treatment. It sometimes takes something like this to make everyone realize how precious life and those we love reall are. You are a special person and I think God has lots of gret plans for you yet!
Hugs & kisses,

P.S. I now have you on the "rosary a day" plan!

Chris Shields said...

Hi Will,

Good luck on your first treatment today. Keep strong and make this happen!

Meredith said...


I'm a beading friend of Joan's and Michelle's and got the urgent message from Joan yesterday to start the good vibes comin' on your here I am. One more soldier in the squadron of which you are the leader.

I'm also a nurse trained in Boston medical hospitals and can tell you without hesitation that you are in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time with the RIGHT doctors. Whoever hit the blinker and turned that ambulance toward Boston knew what they were doing!

So, listen, love is in the air and all around you. You go, guy!

Michelle said...

We have spent this last few days waiting, listening and hoping for any positive words. The most positive thing for me personally has been spending time in Will's presence. He is truly an amazing person. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions this week. Will has remained my "gold standard" of how to keep everything in perspective, stay positive, ask questions, absorb answers, be reflective and above all else, love and be loved. I know he isn't taking this road alone. There are angels beside him all the time. He is a real sweetheart and I am proud, thankful and humbled to take this journey with him, Shana and his daily enlarging world of supporters. xoxo Michelle

Andy Wiechmann said...

WOW - WIll I had no idea until today. Linda just sent me an email. I know everything will work out alright. Please - let me know if you need anything. Glad to hear some positive things are happening.

On a lighter side - when I win fantasy football this year I will share my title with you!

I look forward to hearing more positive news.

- Andy "Mayor of Mattydale" Wiechmann

Elena Perez said...

Hi will,

I love the updates you've been posting, i am following the blogs regularly. Your such a strong person, keep fighting this. Thinking of you everyday...


Elena :)

Jeanette said...


It brings tears to my eyes to read your story, but you are such a strong person and I know you will get through this. Keep up the positive attitude and believe in the power of prayer. I will be praying for you and your family. And if you don't mind, I will add you to our church prayer list. Thank you for doing the blog. I'll keep checking to see how you are doing. Love, Jeanette

PS. Well you are on check my blog at Give ya some other reading material!

rob schmitt said...


Go get 'em and beat this thing. Stay positive and make it happen.
If there is anything we can do, please call on us while you are in Boston, we live 45 mins south of Boston in Lakeville, Ma.

We have a neighbor whose daughter
(28) has had breast cancer and is beating it. Her blog address is below and you might enjoy reading in as it is very inspiring and educational...even funny sometimes with the way she explains things. I thought you would enjoy it.

Go Bills( even though I am a Steeler fan)

Rob and Ethel

Christina watson said...

Hey will. Keep your head up kid! Everything will be turn out alright. my Whole unit is praying for you, and we are wishing you the best! your a strong soul. you can beat this. you have all the support in the world! stay strong!

christina watson and all the members of the 174th FW Security Forces Squadron!

Anonymous said...

Hey Will! We are so glad that the doctors are so positive! We KNOW you will make it through this. If anyone can do it, it is you. You are SO strong and have such a great attitude. You have been the greatest friend to both of us, and we are here for you every step of the way. We can't wait to come back to Syracuse soon to see you guys! Love you!

Dom and Andrea

Dixie said...

Will, I am so glad to hear how positive the news was that you received yesterday. I hope your treatment went well today. I have to tell you that I have never seen a patient rock Crouse's foundation as much as you have in the past week. Everyone will not stop talking about you, praying for you and offering well wishes to you. Give your mom a big hug from me and tell her that I can't stop thinking about all of you. I have chosen to hug my kids more each day. Stay positive, strong and take care of each other while while you are in Boston. Dixie

Matt Burnett said...

Hey Will,

Andrea and Dom told me about your illness and we've been worried about you all week. Sounds like you got some good news yesterday, so keep fighting!!! Your BFF Dominic needs you to get better soon...I can't be the only one that beats him at playstation games...I like to see him cry when I beat him at Soccer EVERYTIME and when I hear about you destroying him at Madden.

Anyway, hurry up and get better so you can come to Florida and have drinks with us on the beach! Good luck and hang in there!

Mattie B

Steve and Carrie Ford said...

Hi Will,
Good luck in your upcoming treatments. Steve and I will be thinking about you and Shana.

Steve and Carrie Ford
P.S. Go Bills!

Chris Warden said...

Hi Will --

I heard the news while I was in Dallas this past week. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We'll light a candle for you tomorrow in San Francisco. Keep strong, stay positive and beat the Chargers!

God bless,
The Warden Family

Joe Rizzo said...

Hey Buddy, sounds like good news from the doctors. Your in my thoughts and prayers, and even though we havent spoke much in a while, you have always been one of my very best friends. I heard you may be getting back to Syracuse next week. I will be flying up to see you soon, it's to hot here in Texas anyway. I will call you soon when I get your number from Big Al.
I am here for you Buddy
Stay Strong, See you Soon


The Austin's said...

Dear Will, Shana and family,

A warm hello to all of you. I am still trying to digest all of this. Will, I am so sorry that you have been diagnosed with cancer. It sounds like you guys have been on quite a rollercoaster for the past week. Isn't it amazing what the human body can endure when it needs to?

Please know the Austin family is behind you 110%. We will do anything we can to help you through this chapter in your life and that is what this will amount to, just one chapter in a wonderful, long life.

It sounds like you are at the best place possible and the last "dream team" came home with the gold, I expect no less from you.

Please know we are praying for all of you as are many of our friends. A special thank-you to Matt for setting this blog up, what a nice gift to your brother. Thanks also to you Will for documenting this journey so well and allowing us to be there with you each step of the way.

I'll be calling soon to see what we can do for you. Until then know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

GO BILLS!!!!!!!

With love,
Cousin Barb and family

Sheila said...

Hi Will,You do not know me but I know your mom through our daughter(Dixie). Please know that I am praying for the chemo,etc. to work for you. May God Bless & keep your chin up.

jennoonan said...

Glad to hear the news is better than you thought!

You're in a great hospital in a GREAT city (with great sports teams...:))

Take care and stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Dear Will,Shana,and all your loving family and friends,

We're so glad everything went well with your first Chemo Treatmeant!
With all the encouraging news and doctors being wonderful! We're thinking of you all and if you need anything done before you come home just let us know? It's wonderful Matt, setup this great Blogger site up! We've passed along site to several and gave daily blogs to Aunt Sue and Uncle Dick which you'll be hearing from shortly!

Love, Cousin Karen,Tom,Cain,Cole xo :)

RJ Licata said...


It's been a while since we've seen each other or spoken, but we've got the bond of growing up in Lyncourt together and time and circumstances can't change that.

I was very shocked to hear what's going on and the rarity and aggressiveness of your illness concerned me. However, after seeing this blog I feel much better. You definitely have the right mindset for overcoming this and I'm glad you've decided to face it straight on with confidence and courage.

The most important thing now is the attitude and outlook that you and your close family and friends have.

Let no negativity creep in. Set small goals for yourself. Smile everyday.

My family and I will be praying for you and yours.

All the best,


Lisa Abair said...

Hi Will,
It's Lisa Abair - your past AHA co-trainer! Word travels fast....and I must admit that this is my first ever response to a blog so thanks for the instructions.
I love that you are keepin' the faith - stay positive. You'll beat this.
But I guess no stogies for you for a while.
Sarcoma is a crazy cancer and I should know. I am on the Board of Directors of MGH's Sarcoma Foundation in Boston. If you need anything on sarcoma or just a positive cheer from Boston - give me a shout at Sorry to post my email address on the blog, but I want to make sure you and Shana have it.
PS - Zophran and Colace will be your new best friends....
Love from Boston,

Anonymous said...

Hi Will
I have a feeling you are going to be a science project since this is so rare, but this can be a good thing! Keep smiling, you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Kristine said...

Hey Will:

Great news! I am sure the treatment will go well. Your positive attitude will help, as well as the amazing support system you have.