Monday, August 4, 2014

Logging off for a while...


I met with my Oncologist today who finally returned from vacation.

The bad news just DOESN'T STOP!!

My prognosis changed today due to the last CT scan and the rapid progression of this deadly melanoma. Dr. Bryce informed me that I have days to a few months left here with you all. He also said I could expect much less because of the concern of having a stroke, throwing a clot or dying while sleeping this week due to kidney failure or brain tumor. It is so uncertain. 

My kidneys are not working well anymore, I have a fair amount of edema and I am in pain. The pain can be controlled with drugs but it doesn't address the issue that my body is completely riddled with cancer in every organ. The drugs also cause their own issues.

I want you to know I am not giving up. I want you to know I can be positive AND realistic about my future at the same time. I also am overwhelmed with the number of invitations for lunches and dinners. I appreciate you reaching out and offering support along with trying to help in any way possible. Ill do my best to respond to all your messages but please know I have limited time and energy now. I need to focus these precious hours on Erin and my family.

Project Kindness WILL GO ON. I practice EVERYDAY. Will you?
I will continue coaching as long as I am able at CrossFit North Scottsdale.
I will be more quiet on Facebook and may update my blog as needed.

Thank you for understanding. Jason & Erin Fine

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2014 Update - Week 14


So much has happened since the last update I am excited to share. Again, Ill do my best to keep it short and sweet.

One of the first things we did after returning from Cabo was to renew our wedding vows. Our marriage from 2 years ago in Maui was not legal (we didn't file it) so we needed the courts to recognize it. We decided to turn the CrossFit North Scottsdale summer party into a SURPRISE WEDDING PARTY! We did this with 80+ friends present (none of them knew we had this planned) on July 18th at Eric & Robyn's beautiful house in Paradise Valley. Thank you Rinestone Family for hosting! 

The evening began with my incredible friend Don Rodie talking about how grateful Erin and I are for all the loving support you have generously given. You funded trips and medical treatments for us the past few months. I then told the story of how Erin and I met, fell in love and were married 2 years ago in Maui. Since it was not legal, I dropped to one knee, proposed to Erin and asked her "will you marry me RIGHT NOW?" She said "YES!" We asked if anyone was an officiate in the crowd and able to perform the ceremony. My great friend Neil, just days before got ordained for this event and even returned early from his family vacation just so he could do this! GREAT GUY! We read our vows we wrote in a rhyming style similar to Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham." It was funny and totally our style. We finished the ceremony off with a sparkler canopy and everyone danced to "The Humpty Dance." We also brought in a tattoo artist to finish off our original tattoo rings. Seriously one of the best nights of my life.

We got terrible news today and scans showed increased growth and more tumors everywhere including liver and lungs. This is now very serious. My esophagus is almost shut closed from a large chest tumor and my kidney is also almost shut down too. This explains all the pain in my mid section and pancreas.

The plan going forward is to continue anyway with the MK3475 (ANTI-PD1) trial drug and plan to get radiation treatment next week to work on relieving those 2 major tumors. Thank you for all the loving support. Your friendships have kept us positive and healthier through this process. I will make a solid effort to contact you individually. 

F' it. Off to the Fine cabin (Northern Minnesota)
We grabbed the next flight out of town after our bad news and headed north to see family and say some goodbyes to my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. It was a rough weekend both emotionally and physically. We did make the most of every second, just like the Fine's always do! Cannonball!

"Project Kindness" - 7-30-14
After having such a terrible couple of weeks and bad news around every corner this past month, I decided it was time to enact Project Kindness.

My goal is to be a little kinder to people I didn't know (and know for that matter), find a way to spread some love and make people smile without knowing them or their battle. I KNOW there are a ton of people who have battles I know nothing about. I see it in their faces on the 3rd floor at Mayo when I go for treatment. The lady in the wheel chair, the person pushing that wheel chair, the women checking the patients in, the man riding the elevator alone with the tracheotomy tube, the woman sitting alone with the head wrap waiting to be called for chemotherapy. They ALL have battles we know nothing about. It doesn't matter what the battle is, I wanted to find a way to make a positive impact, even if just for a second. So I made a FREE HUGS SIGN and tested it out. My original goal was 100 REAL hugs (from people I didn't know) but I have changed it to as many hugs as I can get before I leave.

I have been hugging random people since Wednesday 7/30/14. My friends are also requesting more hugs too. What a great impact this has had, not only on me but the people I get the privilege to hug. I think everyone could use just a bit more connection with random people. Put your phones down, talk with someone, make sure to listen and then give them a friendly hug goodbye. Simple I know, but it is powerful.

Radiation started this weekend.
In an attempt to shrink the tumors in my chest in hopes of relieving some pain and regaining the ability to eat, I started a 3 weeks of radiation. I will go to St Joe's 5 days a week for 3 weeks.  I also finally got into a proper pain clinic at Mayo to give myself an opportunity to live with less pain. The pain has been debilitating and I was slowly slipping. I hope this works.

Going Forward
I know my fate. We all know our fate. The doctors told me last week an approximate outcome and I meet with my primary Oncologist Monday the 4th for more information. With how aggressive this cancer is, this could be a very quick ending. The PD1 MUST act now. 
For this possibility, I ask my friends a few favors.
#1 - Please promise me you will check in on Erin when the time comes. I love her so much and she is an amazing woman. She is strong willed too and wont ask for help. So please make an effort to get to know her more before I go. She is a great friend and could use a couple more girlfriends to hang with.
#2 - Promise me you will stay healthy and go on adventures. STOP & ENJOY LIFE! Take a RISK. Try something NEW. Like I have said since diagnosis: I am not dying today, so make the most of it.
Don R. Neil. Chris P & Chris J. Blake. Kelli. Luce. Cody. Richelle. Ana. Beth. Bobby. Stan. Cindy. Steve E. Coral & Mike N. Mike. Steph S. Fitz. Peter. Tara. Fernando. & Keith C, you all have very special places in my heart. You have made amazing lifestyle changes and I am so proud of you. Stay healthy forever. I will be watching.
#3 - Project Kindness. The most impactful lesson I learned in this short journey with cancer is we can all be a little kinder. I have been an impatient person, someone with high standards, wound tight, passionate about my profession, passionate about life, a risk taker, I am very loving, sometimes too sensitive and generous all in one breath. This battle taught me more than I can put into words right now but I had a major awakening a couple months ago after diagnosis & prognosis. Don't wait for something like this (or never) to learn to be better. Be a better husband, wife, friend, brother, sister, son, daughter, uncle, aunt & person...TODAY. It does not have to be complicated, simple acts go so far. Be present. Listen. Hug away.   
Love to you all, Jason Fine

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 11 - MK3475 at Mayo (Anti-PD1) & Cabo!

Well I have had a interesting week since I found out my cancer had progressed so quickly. I chose to quit treatment with the drug Yervoy since I developed 14 new tumors in 6 weeks and seek out a clinical trial drug. My friends who work at the Mayo Clinic had encouraged me to apply for a new clinical trial of Anti-PD1 (MK3475) in case I ran out of options. The new drug from Merek, has had better success than Yervoy, but is not yet approved for full use. I am patient #15 in Arizona and understand it has a 40% chance of helping me fight but long term effects and results are not known. It is a big gamble but really it is all I have left. I received the first dose Tuesday July 8th and then took off for a family vacation to Cabo the next afternoon.
I am hopeful but am more ill than I expected. I feel the new tumors when I breathe deeply and may be responsible for some of my stomach issues and all over body pains. I understand why people may use pot or pain pills! I am not eating much or sleeping great, am a little depressed but doing my best to stay positive while waiting for disease regression. Doctors told me I have 30 days to ?? depending on what happens in the next few weeks. Cross your fingers I do not get any more brain tumors or any new liver or lung tumors!
Thank you for ALL the support! Much Love & Never give up!
Jason & Erin
 My Mayo Support Crew
Fun in Cabo
My wonderful family in Cabo!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

WEEK 10 - Thank you, Positives, Scan Results & moving forward.

Hello all.

I will do my best to keep this as brief as possible so I don't lose my OCD friends to their phones.

The past couple of months since diagnosis have been a complete whirlwind ride for us. So much has happened and so many people have gone way out of their way to help us out I don't even know where to begin. So I must first say THANK YOU! I always do my best and hope you know I see everything you have been there for. All the little things from $10 donations from strangers online to dinners, lunches, my friends checking on me daily when I am down fighting, fundraising, posts, shirts, and I could go on. Thank you to my local friends, far away friends and friends I have not met yet. Much love.

As you know Erin and I love to travel and play. Spontaneous vacations of 2-4 days at a time are our thing. We may do crazy things last minute or just find simple things to do. Most of our travel is within the USA due to logistics of being gone for more than a few days at time but we love it. My amazing group at CFNS came together and started a private fundraiser at CrossFit North Scottsdale to make sure we did some of the things on my bucket list. This was something so special you did for us that is holding Erin and I together more than you know. Love you guys for this.

Def Leppard Concert 7-5-14

My friend Kelli Howard nominating me for CBS's PAY-IT-FORWARD. They came to CFNS and surprised me a couple weeks ago. Pat McReynolds tried to get me to cry many times but I fought it back like a champion. I wanted to say think you to Kelli and all my friends who came out on that special Friday.

What an amazing weekend June 21st turned out to be! We had almost 80 athletes come together in the final hour for our first WOD Crawl which helped to raise awareness of Melanoma while raising medical funds to fight. Thank you to all the new people I met over that day!

I am also so proud of all our athletes from CFNS who had never competed. You came out smiling and kept smiling through a full day of workouts. So great!!

Thank you to our friend Josh from Power in Motion CrossFit, Brenda & Chad from Infinite Strength CrossFit and Tiffany from Wildfire CrossFit (along with our own affiliate CrossFit North Scottsdale - Lon & Mike) who came together quickly to host and run workouts for every scale and athlete. It was a total blast and was very well organized. Thank you to my business partner, Shane Edrington. He came through and got it done! 

Thank you to my family (Kathy, Robyn, Keith, Hannah, Penny, Luis & Jordyn) for coming all the way to AZ. We had a blast. Love you guys!

What you have been waiting for.

6 Weeks into my treatment (2 doses of Yervoy done) to stop this malignant Melanoma, I requested a new CT body scan due to the appearance of 3 new lumps. My great friends Stan and Maryanne along with my wife Erin came with me to support whatever news I was told.

News was not favorable. I have cancer almost everywhere.
Thyroid. Ascending aorta. Pancreas. Right & left kidneys. Right & left groin lymph nodes & right axillary lymph nodes. 13 new tumors. Many of them are 1-2" in size. I can feel them when I breathe deeply and swallow. Along with a few superficial ones around my body. FU CANCER! This doesn't yet include my brain since I wont have another MRI for a few more weeks. We hope nothing is there!

I am unfortunately not responding to the Yervoy but still took the 3rd treatment last week. I was encouraged to look elsewhere for help. The best option doctors tell me is ANTI-PD1. This drug is available at ONE place in Arizona right now. MAYO. But it is not "in-network" for insurance so I have applied for an exception to get this started ASAP. The process takes 7-10 days. Keep your fingers crossed I get approval Monday or Tuesday this week as they are on stand-by waiting. I may just walk in and use my medical fund you raised for me to get started ASAP! Seriously.

How do we move forward and smile everyday? How do we deal with the devastation that my body is failing me? I don't know, we just do. We say "we have today, lets make it the best".

Erin and I are faced daily with thoughts of the "what ifs" and I am mentally facing what needs to be done and arranged in as little as 3-6 months. This is a huge task that does not mean I have given up, it just means I am prepared for the worst and hope for a better outcome. I am pragmatic and need to have this ready, for me, as to not leave a heaping pile for Erin. I personally need to do this before I get another brain tumor or don't feel well enough to take care of it. This MAY NEVER happen, but most likely will. Malignant Melanoma is a nasty cancer that does not discriminate the weak from the strong or the rich from the poor.

Thank you for reading and spending time with me.

Best to you all,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

6/15/14 - WOD for Jason

As you all know, I am fighting for my life and hoping that the current immunotherapy (Yervoy) aka Ipi, will help boost my immune system and kill the cancer. I just had my second dose this past week. It is not known if Ipi will cross the blood brain barrier or even work on the rest of my body. Statistics show it is not effective (10-20%) but we have to go with this for now. My biggest challenge is stopping brain tumors from returning, especially after this week with all the headaches I have had, some severe enough to force me to sleep an entire day away. I went in for an emergency MRI Thursday in hopes of being able to travel to Minnesota to see my family. MRI was CLEAR, but I was in no condition to fly. I ended up sleeping 18 hours instead.

WOD for Jason & Melanoma Awareness

This Saturday, June 21st my friends and family are hosing FUNdraiser along with 5 affiliates. CrossFit North Scottsdale, CrossFit Infinite Strength, Power in Motion CrossFit, Dela Fit, and WildFire CrossFit.

ABC 15, and Fox 10 are also helping bring awareness to the severity of Melanoma, importance of early detection and our event.

I invite you to come out and show support this Saturday June 21st.
For more information: please visit

Saturday June 21st - Wod Crawl for Jason & Melanoma Research

5 WODS, 1 Day, in 4 different locations.

Have fun meeting new athletes! See new CrossFit affiliates! All while raising money for Coach Jason's medical fund and awareness for melanoma cancer. This fundraiser is being held by his friends to bring the CrossFit Community together to raise money for one of your very own CrossFitters and his family and to bring awareness to the seriousness of melanoma cancer.

Jason Fine has devoted his life to the health and wellness of others. He has been coaching for 16 years, and is also the co-owner of CrossFit North Scottsdale. Jason was diagnosed May 23rd, 2014 with stage 4, malignant melanoma cancer in both his lymph nodes and brain. This is a very serious condition and he has already had intensive surgeries to remove tumors. 

For those who wish to participate, please register online with Eventbrite or contact CrossFit North Scottsdale directly at 480-512-1019.

Additional donations are accepted.

More details on the WOD CRAWL:

Scalable and FUN! Not a "serious" CrossFit event. This can be done by everyone!

Event Time line
7 AM final registration and packet pickup - Scottsdale Ranch Park (SRP)
7:30 first heats for WOD 1 in the park
8:15 AM - 9:45 AM WOD 2 at one of the assigned affiliates
9:45 AM - 11 AM WOD 3 at one of the assigned affiliates
11 AM - 12:30 WOD 4 at one of the assigned affiliates
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM Final WOD #5. Return to SRP.
2:30 PM - 5 PM - Volleyball, BYOB Grilling and beer (we do have an alcohol permit)

Silent auction items.

Registration fee of $79 includes: event t-shirt (for first 100), 5 traveling WODS, post party with music, hot grills and fun!

100% of the proceeds go to Jason Fine's medical fund to help him battle stage 4 cancer.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 7 update of my Cancer War

We are in a holding pattern. I have completed my first dose of Yervoy and had a Gamma knife (radiation) procedure to the old tumor site in my brain. Symptoms are not too bad with either treatment (slight disorientation visually, headaches, and stomach upset some, but nothing that is too terrible at the moment. I am still working as much as I can and Erin and I are enjoying life .

Now we wait it out to see how aggressive my cancer is. My Dr. wants to measure how fast it is growing...if it is growing and where. Scary. We always hope for the best and will fight whatever my body does to itself. We want to remain NED (no existing disease) and have the Yervoy do its job on my immune system. Fight!

I am eating an alkaline based plant diet rich in antioxidants. I am supplementing some extra vitamin C & D along with turmeric and cannabis oil.  These have had good results as cancer cell growth inhibitors. Who knows but they cant hurt me.  

Until June 11th, my next treatment, our daily goal is to appreciate more and experience everything possible. It is a strange feeling to think "THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME YOU DO THIS." I thought that while in Vegas this weekend with Erin. We did have a blast and loved every minute of being together.

P.S. - CrossFit North Scottsdale, CrossFit Infinite Strength & 1 other CrossFit Box to be named are holding a WOD CRAWL June 21st in my honor. More information will be posted ASAP!

Best to you and thank you for reading.
Much Love
Jason & Erin Fine

Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 5 of my cancer fight

Last week was a big week. first Yervoy (immunotherapy) Wednesday and Gamma Knife radiation treatment to the old brain tumor site on Friday. My head is a little more FrakenFine this week with the holes in my forehead from mounting the frame. My next treatment is June 11th.

My "team" (Don, Carlos and Erin) joined me at MDA for the Yervoy and we all hope it works. There is a 10-20% chance of of success and I hope I am one of those lucky ones. It is a big gamble. Such is life. Thank you for all the great supportive messages!

So far the only side effect is headaches and I am having trouble seeing everything clearly including reading words and numbers. Nothing new, haha! Excuse my typing here. The side effects SHOULD clear up but I am not driving right now and my equilibrium is off slightly. If you see me squinting to see your face and focus you will understand its just a slight issue.

Processing this week, we had a lot of time to discuss life. My new motto is "each day I wake up is a gift. I am not dying today - so make the most of it!" Hell yeah. I was discussing with a good friend today that this could be a great gift. I get the opportunity to make a positive impact with the time I have and share as much as I can while enjoying everything I want. This may be viewed as reckless, but I think it is much more of an opportunity to be good.

I am equally worried about Erin and I hope my friends are able to come together for her when needed. She is a beautiful, strong, smart, supportive, caring women who gave up so much to move to Arizona when we met. It was right then. It has always been right. Our goal has always been to play as much as possible between our responsibilities and grow old together. This hasn't changed.

I need to fill you in with some reality. This isn't just skin cancer I have. I look OK from the outside but know that I am stage 4 metastatic melanoma with brain tumors. The harsh reality is 16% of people in my stage don't survive to 5 years. I want you to know this not because I am not giving up. I am far from that. I also don't believe I am a statistics. I am saying this because my time is VERY valuable (and so is your time!!) so I am going to make every second count if it is 12 months or 12 years.  When I hug you know I mean it. When I say thank you, know it is real. Please help me continue this fight. Stay positive and have hope that this or something else will work or someone will find a cure to help all the people who also have or will get melanoma. This is a terrible terminal disease and I am an example that you can do everything right and something genetically can go wrong. My father, sister and I...all have/had melanoma. I will not let caner define me, I am much more than that.

Live, laugh and Love as much as possible!

Thank you for reading. Much love always,
 Jason & Erin


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