Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mekinist & Moving Forward!

Where do we go from here?

Over the course of the past few months, we have been fitting in as much travel and personal time as humanly possible. From Rocky Point, California beaches, unbelievable seafood meals and just tons of laughs with our friends.

We moved the majority of our treatment care

! I had a scan done this past week to verify the radiation was working and track tumor progression. We discovered that the radiation WAS working on 2 major spots BUT all the other tumors has considerable growth and there were MORE. MORE? Could we not just have stable or no new growth? I was decent at CrossFit, but MAN I AM GOOD AT GROWING TUMORS!

MY LEGS: As you know I have been limping. We discovered through MRI that it is bone cancer of some sort and will need radiation at minimum.

VISITORS: What a great week after launching Project Kindness & Free Hugs this past week. I had multiple offers to meet friends, family and new people I had never spoken to before but they were compelled to meet me. Thank you for coming all the way from Texas, California, Flagstaff, Tucson, Minnesota and Montana! LOVE YOU GUYS!


We are to finally able to post so positive in this WAR that might be going in our direction. and Melanoma has not consumed me. What cancer has not and will not ever take from me is my SPIRIT & LOVE of helping others! My DEEP LOVE for my wife, family and friends! And finally, find a way to make the MOST out of everyday. This encompasses the entire PROJECT KINDNESS and life.

TUMOR PROGRESSION has been unbelievable! I had a scan done this past week to verify IF the radiation was working and track tumor progression. We discovered that the radiation WAS working on 2 major spots BUT all the other tumors has considerable growth and there were MORE. MORE? Could we not just have stable or no new growth? I was decent at CrossFit, but MAN I AM GOOD AT GROWING TUMORS!

MY LEGS: As you know I have been limping. We discovered through MRI that it is bone cancer of some sort and will need radiation at minimum.

VISITORS: What a great week after launching Project Kindness & Free Hugs this past week. I had multiple offers to meet friends, family and new people I had never spoken to before but they were compelled to meet me. Thank you for coming all the way from Texas, California, Flagstaff, Tucson, Minnesota and Montana! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Randy, Scott (Texas) & Jason
Jason & Craig Howard (San Fran)
Joel, Jason, Erin & Kathy (Flagstaff)
Erin, Brian (Texas) & Jason
Jason, Erin & Jennifer (Tucson, AZ)
Wednesday Night Hump Day Happy Hour (Montana, Minnesota & all over!)
Wednesday Night Hump Day Social: This has gone from 20-30 people hanging out at Goldies Bar to something much larger! Last week we switched and used CrossFit North Scottsdale after classes to host our party. We had over 150+ people come by (and this was by invite only!) to spend a couple hours with us and get a surprise. I am sorry if you did not get an invitation this week. We are working on doing something again as long as I hold up.

Raffle Items: Sounds strange but I raffled off some of my possessions this week. A few watches, a snowboard, jump ropes, t-shirts, Games shorts etc, you get the point. My idea was to give away anything my friends would want and allow them to have their voice heard if there was an item they REALLY wanted. Some were very excited and went hope with collectors gear. LOL. Made me laugh but I love you for wanting it.

"PROJECT KINDNESS" BRACELETES:  I wanted something that said "Thank you". I wanted to give a piece of me that would live on. Something tangible. Something industrial. Be Better...TODAY Bracelet's were born. I gave these out to my close friends on Wednesday night and hope to have more done ASAP.

These are EACH hand built by my friend I contracted on the east coast. She is working hard to get these done. I have had a TON of requests to purchase them and your wish is almost done also. We have a web site to launch where you will be able to purchase bracelets and t-shirts ASAP. THANK YOU for the tremendous support. 

More are ready for pickup in Scottsdale.
Thank you so much for reading.
Much Love!
Jason & Erin Fine

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

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. 
Thank you for spending a moment with me and reading my thoughts. Have a fantastic weekend and hug your loved ones a bunch.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 21 - Heading for more news with my sister

We are off  to Tucson, AZ today to interview Dr. Canmer, a medical Oncologist with the University of Arizona Cancer Center. This guy comes highly recommended from my sister's Oncologist at the Mayo in Minnesota. Lets see what tricks he has up his sleeve.

It is day 21, just 3 short weeks since initial diagnosis (at the time stage 3b melanoma cancer, then 3 days later to be discovered also in my brain, making it stage 4) of malignant melanoma. The rarest and most deadly skin cancer there is. The odds are terrible for beating this past 5 years and little shows past 10, but we must remain hopeful that they are ale to hold this cancer back somehow. They are "close" to finding a cure. It could happen. We are strong and will not give up!

How is it 2 siblings can get this type of cancer and BOTH Stage 4? Genetics.

It was shocking enough to learn 18 months ago my sister Robyn was diagnosed in a very similar style. He cancer started in her shoulder as a mole in 2009. They removed everything (they thought) and it came back in 2012 as a lump in her armpit and chest. Her cancer has returned multiple times and also progressed to brain tumors (5 in all) over the next 18 months. So we are both now classified with stage 4 melanoma cancer. Not something we ever would have cared to share. But in many ways it can give us strength to share. I am learning through her journey to appreciate EVERYDAY because the unknown is just that. The doom & gloom of melanoma, this silent killer, is just too much to contemplate on a daily basis. I went from the model of health to having a terminal disease in weeks...and never knew it. As I said before, I never missed a skin check or bad mole.

Todays Positives
I am so grateful for my amazing friends and family (this includes all the people who donated to my medical fund who I haven't even met yet).
I love my wife and do not take ANYTHING for granted anymore.
Have cried more in the past 3 weeks than my entire life. Yes, this can be positive.
My sister visiting from MN and sharing her story and knowledge.
I got back to coaching some classes and feel good!
Worked out...well did 20 min on a bike at low intensity.
My view of the world is changing as my window potentially shuts.
My staples are out. I am sleeping better.
I stayed out of the rabbit hole for 95% of yesterday.
Making a bucket list ASAP! What to do? Where to go? Do you drop everything and go? Think about it.

Thank you for caring. Jason & Erin

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jason Fine's WAR Day 17 - Good news and other news - I DID EVERYTHING RIGHT!

So it is 17 days from those words, "you have cancer" and 7 days post brain surgery to remove a 1" tumor. I am well today and almost off of all medications. Vision & balance are returning to normal and I should be back coaching soon, something I miss. I can workout soon. OK, maybe just light AD bike and walk but it is something.

It has been a rough couple of weeks for my wife, my family, my community and friends. We have been pretty emotional not knowing the full prognosis since melanoma is so deadly once it metastasizes and the long-term statistics for survival are not good. Don't read them, I am doing my best to stay away.

Just a few pictures from friends


The CrossFit community and outreach support from friends, family and people I have never met has been unbelievable. People are bringing food, raising awareness by hosting WODS, asking to help in anyway, rides, love, support and kindness I have never seen before. It is unreal and left me speechless many times. You have been amazingly generous raising funds for future medications and trials that are coming as I face this WAR. One of the main goals of this was increase education and bring additional awareness of melanoma cancer. With the number of Facebook shares and dedication workouts happening this past week, I believe it has helped.

I learned today I am a very unique case in that I didn't have a primary cancer site I ignored. This happens in about 10-20% of all cases. I had yearly skin checks. Had moles removed over the years and biopsied. I did everything right except my sister and I have the genetic marker they believe to set this cancer off. I was proactive and had 3 doctors over a year tell me not to worry about my lump in my armpit. It took me calling the 4th Dr. to get more answers. I DID ALMOST EVERYTHING RIGHT EXCEPT TAKE IT OUT MYSELF.

I learned today from my oncologist to have more hope. I learned I am considered cancer free! AND...I have a 20-25% chance of it NOT returning somewhere in my body or brain. IF it returns, I will have to adjust and deal with the process of getting it out and follow up treatment. This could mean more surgeries, immotherapy, drug therapy or trials. The Dr's treat this cancer to as a chronic disease to extend your life. There is NO CURE YET. So the clock ticks.

Baby Steps and Patience:
#1 - Gamma knife the old tumor bed in my head to kill any remaining cancer cells. Little clean up work.
#2 - Test the genetics of the mutation. This will determine the first treatment plan option compared to other studies of what has worked globally.
#3 - LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE IT IS YOUR LAST AND LOVE FULLY.  Prognosis is similar to an unknown chipper. It is coming. Not sure how long or the details. Be trained the best I can be to handle what task I am given, stay healthy and listen, bite off a little at a time while continuing to look at the entire project, and FINISH STRONG. Enjoy the process. That's it!

Having cancer chasing me like a huge bolder makes me even more determined to be better. Be a better person, friend, brother, son, coach, volunteer & man. I will slow some to enjoy more and take a little more time to show love, patience and compassion. Get use to it. I am a driven person, always have been a little intense at what I love. This is me, but now I have a new perspective. I was surprised when I learned my sister, who is fighting the same cancer explained she is happier now than ever. WHAT? I get it now. Ill explain another time.

Final note: there was talk today of clinical trials that are out of state which would require relocating. There was also talk of immunotherapy or chemo which sounds BRUTAL. My Dr. said it can take the toughest person down being sick the entire year. There was talk about doing no harm...doing nothing and waiting for it to return...if it does. The unknown is huge.


Jason & Erin Fine


Jason's Videos


Total Pageviews