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


  1. I am humbled by your strength Jason. I will follow your lead and do my best to be kind to all I encounter. Although we met just briefly at the WOD crawl, I know that you are a great person and have succeeded in making this world a better place. Good luck and Godspeed my friend.

  2. Brother,

    I've never had the pleasure of meeting you and only stumbled onto your gym's website in an attempt to get a workout in while visiting Phoenix from NYC. I never did make it to your gym but I did happen to see your story and have been following you ever since. I know that most of what you are sharing is for close friends and family but just know that there are others out there, those you have never met, who live thousands of miles away, who are touched by you and who are thinking of you and praying for you and sending love and peace your way. Thank you for sharing with us all. Thank you for your honesty for your humility and for your beautiful and unadulterated perspective. Here's to being present, in this moment and every moment, forever. Peace, love and healing my friend.

    Joel Bernor

  3. Here's a hug for you from south Texas. After reading your blog, I'm at a loss for words.....a rarity for me. I'm awed and touched by your words of strength and wisdom, and I know they'll make a huge difference in the lives of so many people.

    God bless you and keep you and all those who love you.

    lucky melanoma survivor

  4. As I am reading this, with tears streaming down my face, it gives me a glimpse into what my dad faced and that he faced melanoma just like you are. With class, grace, and dignity. Thank you for allowing us the public to see the very real very raw core, and how much selfless love you have for your wife, and those around you. Thank you for the reminder that our fate is inevitable we just don't know how, or when, and yet, in the blink of an eye life is transformed. I am filled with such sadness, yet, inspired by your authentic way you are choosing to spend out your time. From someone that has gone thru this, I want to thank you for posting this. My prayer is that you get to not hurt anymore do that you can enjoy your wife and family and activities you enjoy and get to do it with no pain involved....thank you again for sharing your journey....

  5. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jason. I know we don't know each other, I'm just a melanoma girl living in Virginia, but my heart aches for your family. I hope PD1 will work some magic and shrink those tumors! Many prayers for your wife as well. I do believe cancer is just as hard on our significant others as it is us...

    Sending prayers and gentle hugs!




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