Monday, July 14, 2014

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

QUICK UPDATE WEEK 11
 
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.

WHIRLWIND
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.

TRAVEL & BUCKET LIST
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


PAY-IT-FORWARD
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.

http://raycomgroup.worldnow.com/story/25824701/friends-fundraise-for-scottsdale-trainer-with-devastating-diagnosis?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10286629
 

FUNDRASIER & FAMILY VISIT
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!



SCAN RESULTS 7-2-14
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.

MOVING FORWARD
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,
Jason






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 www.crossfitnorthscottsdale.com

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

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/2l2q2




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good news Week 4

**Quick update** Thank you to my awesome support crew! CT body scan yesterday at MDA showed NO NEW BODY CANCER! This is common with melanoma and it returns 70-90% of the time. I am doing everything I can to stop it including the Yervoy which was done yesterday also. Friday is another procedure to clean up the tumor bed site in my brain with some radiation.
 


This week makes my 30th day since diagnosis of stage 4 malignant melanoma cancer. It is challenging to say those words and many days I am still in denial because I feel pretty good, generally have no impact from brain surgery and I look OK from the outside. Most people have no clue how serious this is, my wife and I are still in denial. I hope feeling good continues as I start my first treatment of YERVOY tomorrow and have brain radiation (Gamma Knife) scheduled for Friday at Barrows.

Erin and I had a great weekend playing in San Diego as we are trying to fit as much life in as possible in a short time. What would you do if you knew you had a high probability of dying? How would you spend your time? What would you say to your friends and loved ones? We had 6 hours both directions to discuss life and the possibilities of the "what ifs". What would you say to your young wife about continuing forward? Not comfortable conversations I EVER expected to have to have at 44 years old. Erin and I are an amazing match and I never thought this love existed until we found each other 3+ years ago.

This disease is wicked. You can have no outward symptoms, no warning signs, and it is attacking you internally. We figured out I have had cancer for over a year, ever since I went to the Dr. March 2013 and asked about a lump under my arm. He said after ordering a few tests without anything suspicious, "if you were my son, I wouldn't do anything about it unless it changes". I continued on with life. I trained, competed in the 2013 CrossFit Games and finished 16th in the world...all with cancer. Little did I know I was in trouble. Little did I know I was doing everything RIGHT, went to the Dr., did regular check-ups, physicals, had my skin and lump checked by dermatologists in November, had moles taken off and biopsied, went back to the Dr. to have it looked at AGAIN in March (3rd Dr.) and was told nothing. It took the 4th Dr. to find it. But I was one of the 10% of the population who does not have a primary cancer site. There was NO WAY TO KNOW until it was too late and it spread to my brain. Should I be mad? At who? I am mad at the disease and this mutation that occurred with hopes the Dr's and my body can find a way to keep me alive.

I am still not able to exercise much at all. I am fighting daily depression, doing my best to stay out of the rabbit holes and fight the gut wrenching feeling that the clock is ticking and I cant stop it. The Yerovy treatment over the next 12 weeks is a staggering $120k and may or may not do anything. This is the first treatment option and there are also clinical trials I am looking at including PD-1.

Thank you for all the support, love, messages, company, food, hugs, pictures, cards and donations. This is truly a team sport and I will never be able to thank you for all you have already given.

Stay positive and never give up!
Much Love, Jason & Erin Fine


Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 24 of my WAR

Quick update:

Had my sister in this week to talk and help me out. She is an amazing person if you haven't met her. I cant thank her enough for the time and compassion she gave to me. It was the best gift I have EVER received. Love you.

I am still interviewing and looking for the "right" oncologist who has a positive attitude and will be my quarterback. We are heading back to MD Anderson in Gilbert this morning to give a Dr. another shot. Can't hurt and I have been wrong many times. This is a serious WAR where the rules of action are not defined and there are so many unknowns. The anxiety and emotions of this weighs heavily on my head and quickly rises to the surface when I am asked.

I MUST remain positive that I will be one of the successful survivors of Melanoma. I must believe that it is going to be OK for as long as it is. My sister said something that resonated: "this is treatable but not curable YET so you need to live everyday FULLY." We all do not know how long we will live whether it be from an accident or a terminal disease like cancer, so take advantage of this knowledge and live everyday like you are dying. Love hard, be kind and patient, live in the movement and experience everything. FEEL. These are easy words to say and I do believe I have lived my 44 years doing it mostly, but now with a potentially closing window, I embrace this and think about it often.

Heading to put our toes in the ocean this weekend and get away from the rabbit holes. Cherishing every moment is my goal and seeing a couple sunsets with Erin is something we love to do. 
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Thank you for spending a moment with me and reading my thoughts. Have a fantastic weekend and hug your loved ones a bunch.

Jason

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