Bear On for Jay Copelan at the 2013 Atlanta Undy 5000

I have created the team “Bear On for Jay Copelan” and will be participating in the 2013 Atlanta Undy 5000 on Saturday, November 2 at Marietta Square.

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The Undy 5000 is a family-friendly 5K run/walk that was created by the Colon Cancer Alliance. It is unique because participants are encouraged to run in their boxers to bring attention to the area affected by colon cancer. We have found that by getting people talking about this disease, we can save lives!

Please support my involvement in the Undy 5000 with a tax-deductible donation. Your support will help us prevent colorectal cancer and save lives.

For more information on the Undy 5000, please visit http://www.Undy5000.org or the Colon Cancer Alliance’s website at http://www.CCAlliance.org.

Thanks for your continued support!

Bear On

On Friday, October 11, 2013, Jay’s battle with cancer came to a quiet and peaceful end. After fighting a long, tough fight, he passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones. I believe that in the end, that which he desired most was fulfilled:

  • He passed away in the comfort of his own home in an atmosphere full of the sights, sounds and scents that held the most meaning to him. The walls and surfaces around his bed were covered with images of some of the happiest times of his life, cards that he had received over the last year and pictures of those that he loved dearly. Jimmy Buffett was playing in the background. A tropical beach breeze of sweet orange flower, lemony citrus and fresh lavender filled the room from a scented candle we lit to make the setting feel complete.
  • He softly drifted off to sleep, feeling no pain and no fear as he left this world and entered a new one. I have no doubt that there was a large welcoming committee waiting for him on the other side, eagerly ready to embrace him and cradle his soul.
  • He didn’t pass away on my birthday (which is the 12th). In the end, he experienced a lot of neurological deterioration and did not know what day or time it was, yet I believe that in his heart he knew that my birthday was approaching. Always a considerate soul, he spared me the added grief that would have came should he have passed on the 12th instead of the 11th. Through his death, my birthday will now forever be a celebration of life and a reminder to live each day to the fullest.
  • Most importantly — he waited for his babies. He loved his children with his whole heart — that I have no doubt. They were the last to arrive, and though he was somewhat comatose, his heart knew when that they were there. He held on long enough for them to be able to see him, hold his hand and say their good-byes. While they are undoubtedly filled with grief at this time, I hope that knowing that their father held on for them the way he did will be a source of peace and solemnity for the rest of their precious lives.

For any of us that know Jay, we know that he was always amazingly considerate of others. That endearing characteristic prevailed without interruption all the way to his dying breath. He started struggling early that morning — around 3 a.m. He held on long enough for everyone to collect themselves and make their way to the house. Then, at around 9:30 a.m., he took his final breath. While nurses had cautioned that this semi-comatose state could last anywhere from 12 hours to several days, Jay wasn’t having any of that. He knew that he didn’t want to drag this on and take up people’s time (seriously, that’s really how he thought about things like this!) He was a respectful and considerate soul, always putting the needs of others before himself and I truly believe that his true nature and essence of his soul prevailed in his departure from this world.

As I embraced him and kissed his forehead and cheek one last time, I reminded him that this wasn’t good-bye but simply see you later. I know that he is now is heaven, fully restored feeling no pain and once again made whole. He was at peace with what was to come for several weeks, maybe longer. It was a peace that I will always admire and respect. After many years of clamoring for control if different aspects of his life, he found it within himself to relinquish his tight grip and allowed his faith to prevail. During this last year, Jay became enlightened and realized that despite how much we try to control our lives and the world around us, there’s still a power far greater than us that ultimately has final say.

Thank you for following the story of our journey through cancer over this last year. I know that Jay had taken over posting duties for a short time — it brought him peace to be able to share his story with others through this blog. He has now found an ultimate peace that I can only hope we will all have the privilege of finding for ourselves when our day comes.

Bear on!

Today’s Update

Happy Friday the 13th! I met with my oncology office today to review how things are going among other things. Lately, I’ve had all kinds of side effects that I attributed to the chemo. Shortness of breath, chills, fevers, extreme fatigue, among other things that you probably don’t want to know. I found out today that the chemo hasn’t built up enough in my body to cause these effects. Everything is being caused by my cancer. Because of my shortness of breath, they wanted to check my oxygen levels at rest and with activity. Optimum is around 98%. At rest, I am 93%, after activity, it dropped to 81% which is not good at all. Oxygen has been ordered for me to have at home, and I’ll use it when necessary. I was also told to rest as much as possible to give my body more energy to fight with. This was all a surprise to me, but I’d rather know and be able to give myself the best opportunity as possible. I’m feeling pretty good right now. Hopefully that will continue. The fight is far from over but we’ll get there. Thank you for you thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming.

God bless.

A favor to ask of you

Things are still going well in the middle of week 2. I can tell that the chemo is getting stronger, the longer that I take it. I still prefer the oral med over going to infusion. I’ve had a couple of good days this week that I’m grateful for. I’m actually grateful for any day that I’m given. There’s one more week of chemo before I get a week off. They may evaluate me then to see how effective everything is and if the dosing needs to be changed at all.

The title mentions a favor. Anyone who knows me (especially my parents) will verify how fiercely independent I am. With this said, I must admit that because of our current financial status as well as some tough days on the horizon, I have some things to sell and would like your help. I ask that you speak to friends and family to see if anyone is interested. The items are:

2011 Vulcan 900 Classic SE motorcycle. I bought it new and added some upgrades. It comes with 3 modular helmets, rain suit, a full set of leathers from River Road. Everything is in near perfect condition. The motorcycle has 6000 miles which is very low. I’m asking for $5300 obo

2009 Giant Defy road bike. great condition, great riding bike. I’ve ridden this for many miles and loved every minute of it. All it needs is a tube for the front tire. Asking $200 obo

Set of custom golf clubs. This is an older set but still in very good condition. May need new grips. I’m 5’9″ and they work well for me. Asking $100 obo

I can send more details and pictures to anyone interested. Just email me at: jaycopelan@gmail.com

I thank you for any help you can give. We’re just trying to make ends meet for the next couple of months.

God bless.

Not much to update, yet

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! I’ve been a bit under the weather for the last week or so which has kept me from blogging. Believe it or not, I’m feeling great right now, but I’m finding that can change like Georgia weather. The new oral med (Stivarga) seems to still be going well. It’ll take a few weeks to see what the real effects are. My pneumonia finally went away, although I feel like I still fight it from time to time. There’s been no new tumor growth which is awesome! I’m in my second week of Stivarga. After next week, I take a week off. I’m not sure if we’ll have testing to do at that time or not. My labs continue to be fairly normal, nothing crazy, so I feel good about that. That’s really about it. Please keep the prayers coming, they really do have a profound effect. I thank everyone for caring so much about my family.

(side note: My son, Chris, was able to spend several days with us which I enjoyed immensly)

Have a fantastic day!