Yesterday morning we woke up with big plans to get on the road and head north on Highway 1 to absorb more of the incredible rocky coastline. Because I still had an open wound that was continuing to drain, Shannon helped me bandage it up really well. As I stood up to start getting ready my elaborate bandage system didn’t hold, it bled through within minutes. With such an active leak, it didn’t take long to come to the conclusion that today would be another zero day. Feeling stranded in the hotel, we contacted Dr. O’Keefe again with several concerns that came down to how do we stop the bleeding, and once stopped will the fluids just re-accumulate and cause extreme pain again? After a couple calls with Dr. O’Keefe the realization set in that the only way to fix the leak is another elaborate surgery taking a back muscle as a flap; even afterward, the fluids will continue to accumulate, my leg will remain stiff and can’t be fully extended, my foot will be swollen, numb, and burn, and I will still have two tumors that are close to breaking through the skin…in summary, I’ll never walk on two legs again. That’s why when Dr O’Keefe broached the subject of amputation, I was finally ready to talk. This has long been my fear and very difficult for me to even consider as an option. However, I now see this as a means to eliminate my tumors and all of the pain that goes with them.
However, there are important things that I feel I need to accomplish before this happens. Aaron is here for the week, Dad flies in Wednesday, and I want to do everything in my power to ride my motorcycle with each of them one last time. Riding motorcycles has been the backbone of this trip, and is extremely important to me. Ironically, the most difficult decision and time of my life, amputating my leg, comes at the same time that I just learned of a one-legged wrestler, Anthony Robles, who just became the NCAA Champion. This is a huge source of inspiration in a time of desperate need. No doubt this will be an emotional battle, but I plan to move forward, get back on the road as soon as possible, and continue traveling. With terminal cancer, I will not have time to feel sorry for myself. Thank you all for your support, I will need it more than ever these next few weeks!