Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 35: Five Time Cancer Survivor Joe Mottlow

June 27, 2022 Sarah Huffman & William Huffman Season 1 Episode 35
Ep 35: Five Time Cancer Survivor Joe Mottlow
Life Behind the Highlight Real
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Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 35: Five Time Cancer Survivor Joe Mottlow
Jun 27, 2022 Season 1 Episode 35
Sarah Huffman & William Huffman

Joe Mottlow and Will Huffman have shared a lot of life together since their first meeting at TruGreen. 

But on June 15th, 5 years ago, Joe got his first indication that something was wrong. 

He kept waking up in puddles of sweat. 

After days of toughing this out, he made a trip to Fairview to discover things were not right. His bloodwork was off, and his spleen was the size of two fists. 

Then the diagnosis. Leukemia ALL, a blood cancer. 

The battle begins and Joe Joe Tough was born. 

The chemo shed 30 pounds over a two week period. 

But even during the intense chemotherapy treatments, he still found a way to have fun during his stay. That's Joe's nature, to make the most out of any situation. 

Over the last 5 years, he's battled and beat cancer not once, not twice, but five times. 

This episode is about resiliency, optimism, and how a community continues to help Joe Mottlow win his battle against cancer.

Learn more and connect with Joe Joe Tough here:

Show Notes Transcript

Joe Mottlow and Will Huffman have shared a lot of life together since their first meeting at TruGreen. 

But on June 15th, 5 years ago, Joe got his first indication that something was wrong. 

He kept waking up in puddles of sweat. 

After days of toughing this out, he made a trip to Fairview to discover things were not right. His bloodwork was off, and his spleen was the size of two fists. 

Then the diagnosis. Leukemia ALL, a blood cancer. 

The battle begins and Joe Joe Tough was born. 

The chemo shed 30 pounds over a two week period. 

But even during the intense chemotherapy treatments, he still found a way to have fun during his stay. That's Joe's nature, to make the most out of any situation. 

Over the last 5 years, he's battled and beat cancer not once, not twice, but five times. 

This episode is about resiliency, optimism, and how a community continues to help Joe Mottlow win his battle against cancer.

Learn more and connect with Joe Joe Tough here:

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah and we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results of Good Life Group and that's our legal disclaimer. Hey everybody, William here and today we're speaking with my buddy Joe. From polar bears to leukemia. Yeah, it's gonna be a ride.

Joe Mottlow  0:20  
And you know, that was a funny thing, too. When I was at Methodist, you know, a lot of the nurses and doctors know who I was. And it's not like I'm anyone famous. You know, they would watch people walk in from nine in the morning till nine o'clock at night. Like see like some sort of like baseball player or somebody

William Huffman  0:34  
say southern drugs out of your out of your room.

Accouncer  0:37  
Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts Sarah and William Huffman as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  0:59  
Hey, everybody, William here, Ed, Sarah. Ed, Deena, Ed.

Sarah Huffman  1:10  
So we weren't we had the we had Joe over to our office in Loring Park. Actually, this was like right before the pandemic kit when we'll started doing Saturday. Like my sister mine, my Saturday morning, masterminds

William Huffman  1:24  
mindset Saturdays.

Sarah Huffman  1:26  
Oh, that's what it was. It was my mindset Saturdays, and it was something that will was just starting off. And one of our first one of our first few guests was you, Joe. Yes, I remember that. And zoomed in. Because you were is that a hotel? Hotel? You?

Joe Mottlow  1:45  
Right? That's right. Yep. I was. Right before I left for Seattle. No, no. It was before the pandemic, right? Yeah. Yep. So I was actually I came back from Seattle, and I was going in for my second bone marrow transplant. Yeah, sister. We're gonna hang out. Yeah. I remember we got a long road. Oh, yeah.

Sarah Huffman  2:07  
But that was such an awesome experience having you there. Like, even though it was on Zoom, but you were there and telling your story. That at the time, I don't think that was I don't even know where that recording went. Are. We still have it? I still have it. So my Zoom. Really? Yeah. Oh, that might be really cool to revisit. Yeah. But I wanted to have you on our podcast because this is like our podcasts called life behind the highlight reel. Now granted, we see a lot of things on what with what's going on in your life from the highlight reel. Right. Right. But I mean, that was like two and a half years ago. And there's a lot happened since so so much. Before we jump in to your story of like your health story. Let's kind of jump in. Well, before that. Who is

Joe Mottlow  2:50  
Joe? All right. Where were you born back in time? Yes. All right. So

William Huffman  2:55  
I'm in the year 2000.

Joe Mottlow  2:58  
Should we go back to 1981? There we go. There. I was first born. So it was born out in a town called Deerfield, Illinois, which is about 30 minutes just north of the Chicago. But I always tell people I'm from the Chicagoland area because no one knows where Deerfield is, but if I say Walgreens corporate, they're like, Oh, yeah. Isn't that from Romania? I guess yes. We have Walgreens corporate over there in Deerfield. Wow. Okay. I mean, you got to be known for something and we're also when the bulls were they had the practice facility in our town. So it seemed like Michael Jordan and all them fans really cool wow Jackson's boys went to high school with and so it was it was really cool to have them and then when they won the championships, they would you know, drive the bus through town. And we're all like waving green like a parade leg go boop boop couples are waiting outside. Outside of the practice facility.

William Huffman  3:53  
We're gonna make sure you speak on write into it and

Joe Mottlow  3:56  
try to get autographs from like Michael Jordan, or Scottie Pippen or whoever. And it was really cool. And then when Dennis Rodman came around, we're like,

William Huffman  4:03  
what? That'd be a great freak show. That'd be awesome. That man is a genius.

Joe Mottlow  4:07  
We met him. My mom and I were at a jewel Oscar, which is a grocery store. And he was right when he was new in town. And you saw Dennis

Sarah Huffman  4:15  
Rodman at the jewel. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  4:18  
Jewel jewel Osco. At the grocery store. Yeah. And I'm like, 16 years old. And my mind goes, I think he plays for the bulls, mom. That's Dennis Rodman. And he looks at her and she looks at him. He's like, hi. Oh, I'm so sorry.

William Huffman  4:36  
Yeah. Sorry. Big D. Big D. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  4:40  
And so which which big? We've got Dennis and isn't your mom's name. Diane. Diane 70. D Yeah. I'm like, which one are you talking about?

Joe Mottlow  4:50  
No, no. But yeah, so it was it was funny. So we would see all the men, the bears. The bears. Were down the road over in Lake Forest doing their practice facility would see bear And in cubs, I mean a bulls players around town. Yeah. So but so how long have you lived there that and so I lived down there for 17 years and then

Sarah Huffman  5:08  
so you grew up in Illinois? Well,

Joe Mottlow  5:11  
I did for 17 years, but I lived a group. I've been here in Minnesota for 22 years come July. Okay. So long as I've been here, but I moved to here to Buffalo, Minnesota, which is about half hour north or west of here. Maple Grove.

Sarah Huffman  5:28  
I don't think Dennis Rodman types are shopping out in Buffalo.

Joe Mottlow  5:31  
No. In Minnesota, like I'm not sure He's even been in Minnesota. Yeah. But just to beat the wolves. Right. And the reason why we moved up here, so my dad, he's a civil engineer, and his company that he worked for called STS actually used to have an office right down the road here. And so yeah, motion on that. And so like, for example, what he does right now builds up bridges, and he's up in Duluth right now working on the 35 up there,

William Huffman  5:59  
you're skipping a bunch of stuff here. You're skipping, you're skipping solo. Where'd you go to know your notes? Because I want to know some stuff here. So what was the high school you went to

Joe Mottlow  6:06  
Buffalo high school? I went to so in Illinois. Yeah. So I went to Deerfield Illinois. Yeah. I went to Deerfield High School for seven for 17 years. Okay,

William Huffman  6:15  
what was their mascot? A war fighting lawyers work so well. Yeah. Wow. But I got like a Trojan warrior. Yeah. Okay. Fight and Trojan warriors.

Joe Mottlow  6:25  
Yep. So we're the Georgian warriors, and then moved out to Buffalo Minnesota. My senior year. Again, we're buffalo bisons.

William Huffman  6:32  
Yep. The fight and bison right? Yes. And so you can't you can't deprive me of my my little sticks here. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  6:38  
Every every time

Unknown Speaker  6:40  
just wait till we get this to the sound part. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  6:44  
Fighting bisons. Yeah. So is

William Huffman  6:47  
it just you are your only child and

Joe Mottlow  6:49  
I'm a middle child of three. Okay. So my sister, she's two years old, and I am. And then my brother's three years old. I am but we moved up here. When I was a senior in high school. My brother was a freshman. So we moved out to Buffalo. And then my mom, dad moved up here as well. Of course, obviously. And then five years later, my sister moved up here to Minnesota from Chicago. She

William Huffman  7:09  
was couple years older, she should have been 19. Was she

Sarah Huffman  7:11  
in college?

Joe Mottlow  7:12  
Yep. So, yeah. So I was there. She was 19. And like I said, she moved up here. And she's like, 21, or when she was about 2324. Okay.

Unknown Speaker  7:23  
Right. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  7:24  
So you would graduated from Buffalo? And then what would you do next?

Joe Mottlow  7:28  
I went to college at North Hennepin over there and Brooklyn Park, did about two years over there. Just get my generals all the way. And then I worked in to learn a lot of things. I built pole barns, three days a week out in Buffalo area, and then also coached and taught kids how to swim at fast from school or hear me when I was 21 to 2728. Yep. And then started working for triggering around that age afterwards. So I didn't go far. We went to one side of 32 the other side of 30. Didn't make it far. He

William Huffman  8:03  
would venture a Son of a biscuit you Yeah. So

Sarah Huffman  8:05  
some people might wonder how in the world is Joe talking to will and Sarah, you mentioned turf go on that turf go True. True green. So

Joe Mottlow  8:11  
I met Will funny story. Make a long story short, I was going in for my second interview. It was in 2010. Yeah. And I got written up this day, too. Yeah. And I was waiting for my second interview, and there's will on the phone standing up just cursing out a customer. Just changed, you know. And all of a sudden, in here comes. Tim our manager. And I

William Huffman  8:41  
think Mike is was was

Joe Mottlow  8:46  
Yes, Tim? Yeah. And like someone for a second interview. And they're supposed to be, you know, professional about their jobs and what we do, and obviously there's will

William Huffman  8:54  
Oh, and then yeah, we keep it PG 13. So we can not repeat what I said. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  8:58  
And so Tim's like me my office and he's like, Yes, sir.

Unknown Speaker  9:02  
Yeah, I totally do.

Joe Mottlow  9:04  
I totally know that I got the job. Yeah,

William Huffman  9:07  
I actually I walked in. And there's this guy sitting there at the boot on his leg. And I'm thinking this guy is gonna be worthless. We door knock and he has a busted leg, right? Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, that's right. And I'm like, what happened? And he's like, I got in a fight with the polar bear. Like, yes. This dude's and that's such a weird response. My friends my homie like I'm down. Yeah. And then Tim was giving him a tour of the bullpen area and we had kiosks and, and I was dropping the F and hammers heavily. Oh, heavily. Yeah, it was great.

Sarah Huffman  9:40  
Well, Huffman, yeah. Okay, so that's how you and will became friends friend. Yes. Absolutely. And the rest is history. Correct. Well,

William Huffman  9:47  
there's so much history so

Joe Mottlow  9:48  
much barbecues. Yeah, so much.

William Huffman  9:51  
Yeah, hanging out all that data you can see up

Sarah Huffman  9:54  
there's probably so much that I don't even know and I probably shouldn't know

William Huffman  9:59  
this. Just leave it at that. Yeah, mostly that that will was a rowdy fella.

Sarah Huffman  10:03  

Joe Mottlow  10:04  
We just say it was

Sarah Huffman  10:07  
still it. Yeah. Your level of rowdy back when Joe was working with you at TruGreen

William Huffman  10:13  
we used to refresh it up like the level of rowdy. Yeah, that's here nor there. Yeah, no, that was good stuff. Maynard. So I wanna I wanna so like, before I met you and like now like, what do you do for fun? Like, what are your hobbies? Oh, my gosh, everything I've in my that's true. I believe you. When you say everything it to know, Joe is to know that Joe knows freaking

Joe Mottlow  10:35  
everybody. And weirdly, yeah, yeah. I mean, you literally crashed

William Huffman  10:39  
our wedding. Yeah, yeah. Sarah had no idea who you were. Well, I

Sarah Huffman  10:44  
did. Well, you did a Facebook invite for anyone to come to our wedding. So and of course, Joe

William Huffman  10:48  
showed up because that's what he does. shows

Joe Mottlow  10:50  
up. I do. I do show up. And you know, that's funny. And then we're talking about that with my mom. I just show up show up. That's what you do. I might be late sometimes. But I show off. Is Joe gonna be there?

William Huffman  11:00  
Yeah, more than likely. He's everywhere.

Sarah Huffman  11:02  
Did he get an invite? He'll be there.

Unknown Speaker  11:04  
He'll be there. He heard it through the grapevine.

Joe Mottlow  11:06  
Absolutely. It's weird. But like I said, I like to learn a lot of things in my 22 years I've done over here, Minnesota like I've done a lot hunting and fishing and still want to continue on doing that. And then also a past couple summers, I've learned how to do wake surfing. And so that's been a lot of fun from Buffalo to around here on some oil leaks around the Maple Grove. Alaskey or no maple Lake area. Okay. Like, yeah, and then also I mentioned like, yes. Oh, yeah. So

William Huffman  11:41  
medicine is shallow. So we probably have some big waves there.

Joe Mottlow  11:43  
Yes. No, if you get out in the middle there, you're fine. Okay. You know, so but just learning that stuff. And just like learning new things. I mean, why not? Give it a like, Yeah, might look hard. But just try just trying so.

William Huffman  11:56  
So your dad's a civil engineer? What does your mom do? What are your siblings do?

Joe Mottlow  12:02  
So my mom right now she's been an amazing, amazing five year caretaker from Yeah, yep. And so. And she before I got sick five years ago, coming up next week, Wednesday, when I first got sick. She was in. And what I was doing to was interior next year landscaping. So say for example, your office you guys wanted to tropical plants around here would come in here, install them, make them look pretty and then have technician water, clean them yada yadi and then we do that literally all season long, and then put Christmas decorations up and all that stuff. And then I also was working at Cabela's up there and Rogers. So that's where a lot of people would see me as well. But then like I said, my brother, he's in computer software sales. And so he was for Office Depot. And so he sells computer software. And then my sister she is a teacher at Montrose Middle School, right and then also works at the Applebee's in Buffalo on Thursdays in the weekends.

William Huffman  13:00  
I'm bougie like Appleby, yes, I bet she hates that song. I think she does. Yeah, we should. We should definitely play that as our intro and dedicated to her. Yeah, no. Okay. Okay. Yeah, here's a lot of Yeah. All right. That's awesome. All right. So,

Sarah Huffman  13:16  
Joe, you mentioned something as an anniversary. Next week. It's been five years

Unknown Speaker  13:20  
when I was first diagnosed June 15. Wow. So

Sarah Huffman  13:23  
tell us a little bit about like, leading up to June 15.

Joe Mottlow  13:28  
All right. So again, I was doing interior and exterior landscaping, and we were working down in actually happened on Thursday morning. I was I was sitting ducks in for a friend and I fell asleep on their couch and wasn't the most comfortable couch either. So when I woke up on that Thursday, the week before I got sick, actually, today would have been the first day when I kind of figured something was wrong with me, but I thought I had a cramp in my rib. And so I was like, alright, and I was working indoors in a AC place I was super hot there was like 90 degree there. And so I was working in door out for at Andersen windows at their one of their corporate spots over there in Oak Park. I think it is very first a water there. And that's a big old mall and usually takes me about three hours. It took me about five, five and a half hours to do and I went over there all knows me and like Joe you're sweating bad. Like, are you okay? I'm like, Yeah, I'm fine. Like, why are you sweating so bad? Like, I don't know, like it's just hot and you're like, it's AC in here. And so I'm like, I don't know but like I said took me forever. And then later on I got the job done and then went to a friend of mines daughters grad party over here in Maple Grove. And it was like you you look bad and like I'm fine.

William Huffman  14:41  
Thanks. Thanks I appreciate you look like shit Joe. Yeah, appreciate it.

Joe Mottlow  14:45  
You know if I'm like I feel fine. I feel great. But then went home and then Friday I went to work and work outdoors down to Mintaka and and I worked half day but the guy one of the guys then the crew was like Joe do crap again. Like just go go home. So I went home and I slept for 12 hours straight. But in between that though, I was I woke up to a puddle of sweat. And again hit my AC on so it should have been like hot it should have been like freezing but yet I had a puddle of sweat not thinking I should check my temperature. And so went in or I went take a shower, cool off, work began, same thing. And then Saturday morning, work the developers and I ended up working half day and my mantra was there's like Jovica crap. You're taking half day and then taking Sunday off. So I'm like, Alright, fine. So Sunday comes in. What was that year five years ago when there was a big storms blew through like couldn't rapids and

William Huffman  15:44  
boy oh, yeah, the big hail storm. Yeah. When there were like, Flint. Yeah, big.

Joe Mottlow  15:48  
Yeah. And so we're like, good friends lives in St. Louis Park, and I live in New Hope. And she'll, she's like, Hey, let's New Jersey. You know, she's like, Joe, let's have a Sunday find like, no one. There's a storm going on to like I'm sicker than a doctor. Like you never say that. I'm like, I know. But I feel sick. Just go. I'm gonna take an Uber because my powers out. Do you mind if I come? Alright, fine. So she comes over. And she's like, Hey, I brought lunch up. And I'm like, No, I mean for four days, because I also felt bloated on the right side, and didn't know why. So. So she brought some stir frying, like I had gobbled a little bit of that, and yada, yada. And then she's like, Oh, what's wrong? And like, I don't know, like, it's not the flu. It's something else. I'm not sure what. So then, of course, I went to the deep end and say, let's, let's look up the the SeaWorld. She goes to SeaWorld. I'm like, Yeah, cancer roll. So you really want to go that route? Like, I it's not the flu. It's not anything I can think of like, let's take a look. So I went MD, myself or I went to Dr. Google. I sure did. And so I went and looked at like, liver cancer, even though I don't drink much, you know, but I'm like, maybe the year all the years, it just caught up or something. Now it says glimmers on your, on your right, or on your left side. So I'm like, All right. Definitely was not brain cancer. And then like, okay, it's not testicle cancer. What? What kind of cancer? Could it be?

William Huffman  17:08  
I'm glad we've covered that. I'm glad to be covered brain testicle and liver. So we're doing good. Yeah. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  17:13  
And so I'm like, All right. Well, I can't think of anything else. So then Monday comes around the corner. And

William Huffman  17:20  
so you you wait even longer still? Yep. Okay.

Sarah Huffman  17:23  
Well, at any point in time you let your mom know that your doctor googling cancer? No.

William Huffman  17:27  
Okay. No, no, she would have had his ask him to the hospital arrived days ago. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  17:33  
So I felt fine next morning and went to work and no one's still Tomioka crap. Nope, toughed it out. And then tuesday, same thing on Wednesday. She's like, my mom was my was my boss at time. And she's like, I made a half day for you. You're taking your own truck. I got some deliveries for you a long way. And I've got an appointment for you at that minute, Tonka Fairview. And if you don't show up on fire you like, Alright, fine, fair. Boss. So yeah, she put the boss on. Yeah. And so I made my deliveries and showed up the Fairview. And we did. Again, this is on the 14th. And we did a scan complete my spleen was enlarged spleen helps you filters out things. In your splint triplet size, your FISMA was two fists size. So if they explode, they would have been dead. And then we did some blood work and complained that my platelets and your platelets held the clot. And the lowest it should be is 145,000 milliliters to 450,000 milliliters and mine was at 6000. So that means if I had a bloody nose or condom, I was death and died. And so she's like, the doctor, you can be in a clinic, she couldn't tell me what's wrong, but she knew was wrong. And so she gave me a list of hospitals and I picked Methodist Hospital because it's right up the road. And I was selfish because I knew there was gonna be no storms coming and I just got a new truck. And so

Sarah Huffman  18:52  
the name of a parking lot that's covered,

William Huffman  18:54  
correct? Correct. And how the hell do you know that?

Sarah Huffman  18:59  
I know my local hospitals will

William Huffman  19:01  
moving on. I apologize for my outburst.

Joe Mottlow  19:05  
So I checked in over there and and then told my mom where I was at. And then she's like, I'll see you the next day. So in between, I was doing bunch of blood work and my arms looked like it was a heroin and because they were green, purple, just gross looking because my platelets are so low. So the 15th comes around at nine o'clock in the morning, I met my doctors and was Dr. Zilla. Here I was oh, by the way, I'm 40 now and I was diagnosed at the age of 35 with leukemia AML and so he comes in and says, Hey, my name is Dr. Zilla and he's like, 42 at the time, I'm 35. And right away told me that I was diagnosed with leukemia. ALR I go, Ooh, that's a blood cancer. knows how do you know that? You're taking this newsprint well, so I told I did the wet MD he's like, that's kind of screwed up. But everyone seems to do that. And so I gave myself a heads up, but I'm like he goes how do you know what I leukemia. Well, my cousin right now, she's fighting for her life. It was Chelsea, out in Pittsburgh hospitals. So I'm very well known and been supporting hers through her little battle. And so he's like, Oh, that's crazy. But you know, it's good that you're supporting your cousin on that. But yeah, this is what you have. And then five minutes later, my mom comes walking in, she's like, Hey, what's going on? And I go, Mom, I pull up a chair, you got to get see. And like, this is Dr. Zilla using the new and I've got cancer. And she's like, What? Like, I've got cancer, just like what? What kind of cancer and like, same time cancer that Chelsea has leukemia. And we had a big quiet moment for about 510 minutes, you know, and then afterwards, I came up to the tears and said, Hey, Doc, how long do you think I will be here? You know, it was a month to two months. I and hold

William Huffman  20:54  
on. We sit here as an in the hospital. Correct. Okay. Weren't you weren't going to I saw your face. They're

Joe Mottlow  20:59  
like, why? No, I'm sorry. In the hospital? I'm sorry. In the hospital.

William Huffman  21:03  
I have some questions here. Okay. I know, leukemia is a blood cancer. And there are different types of it. Correct? Correct.

Joe Mottlow  21:11  
I mean, it can be in my five years after head float around to be just about everything. Anything from tumors cameras to Yeah, you name it.

William Huffman  21:20  
Spoiler alert, you've now you have sent your storyteller joke. Questions, these questions because I find I want to, like I've had conversations, but I want to really understand it. Because I know it. I just don't know if I understand everything. So it's spoilered you've survived, beat the shit out of leukemia three times 555 times. And you've had how many bone marrow transplants

Joe Mottlow  21:50  
50 over Damilola translates to what did you have 50 times? Bone marrow biopsies? Those are those stories those shows are

Sarah Huffman  21:59  
really painful.

William Huffman  22:00  
Okay, yeah, mine backup five times. And this is the first time and I think you're taking it better than anybody could possibly imagine. I mean, but this is just kind of you though, so it doesn't shock me you took it this way. Yep. But I mean,

Joe Mottlow  22:17  
I literally gave myself a heads up before

William Huffman  22:21  
there's something going on there like the universe was talking to you.

Joe Mottlow  22:24  
The universe was God was talking to me. Yeah, he like you're sicker than you know it. Yeah. Go get yourself like that guy. You know, and over the past five years a lot things in my five years, which I didn't realize is happening now. Or has happened 234 years ago? Or medicines that I was on this now making sense? Why am I diabetic or whatever. So I'm like, Oh my gosh, that's really crazy. So yes, the universe.

William Huffman  22:50  
Yeah. Now universe, God, whatever you want to say you say what you want to say to and that's awesome. Like, so. You go in, you're diagnosed leukemia. You and your mind

Sarah Huffman  22:59  
LL and a ll stands for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

William Huffman  23:03  
Thank you. That's what I was gonna ask a cute which, which what does it cute mean again? Doesn't matter lymphoma like that. So that's

Joe Mottlow  23:13  
so for so it could be a cancer of literally like your body with your blood. Yeah. So Yeah,

Sarah Huffman  23:24  
crazy. It's everywhere. Yep.

William Huffman  23:26  
And so 10 minutes, cry fast. Okay, suck it up. Mom. We got we got a battle here.

Joe Mottlow  23:33  
And they pulled my big boy pants up. And so yeah, if we're gonna be here for two months, I'm gonna have fun. They both looked at me. Like, what questions you want to have fun question. And like, Yeah, I'm like, Does dad have his beanbag set. And it's brand new rooms, big, big room too, as well. And my mom's like, jumping around. Oh, my gosh, wheels. They got break or the lake. We can get wheels on these beds. We can move the beds around. We can definitely play bags in here. And my dogs are new doctor. So he's like looking at all these like, we normally like to have our patients rest around here. Just like, yeah, he doesn't want us. Yeah, that's yeah, that's not him. And then he's like, Well, where would you put like, maybe in the room, maybe in the hallway? And maybe you know, he's like, Well, okay. And it was day one. Day one. I planned it out. I planned out the whole Tinu Yeah. So he's like, well, good luck getting people playing. I was like, you know, he doesn't need that. He don't? You don't know. Yeah. And so I bought a couple days later, I had to. We put on the post on Facebook that I had lung cancer was leukemia, which by the way, I broke Facebook that day. And basically I had 1000 Comments 250 messengers and then 250 texts. And so literally, it took me all six months to get back to everyone. So say for example, you saw that I had cancer all sudden went to your page and went to yours in the field that you know, also was like a criminal offense or effect effect. So it just kept going and going. So it was like

William Huffman  25:10  
it spread like wildfire. You do you literally don't stop and like it's, you're, you're just a freaking weirdo. Everybody want to be a part of everybody's life? I

Joe Mottlow  25:20  
sure do. Yeah. Like I have friends of all like, my friends and my friends. My whatever friends. Yeah, you know, so I don't have like a core core group. I just have so many friends. Yeah,

William Huffman  25:30  
yeah, you really do. Okay? Because you're just a friend to everyone. Correct. So, day one, Dr. Z, you're freaking them out. Because you're like, I'm playing bags. Your mom's like, hell yeah, we're moving. We're doing this. Like, let's go. You're told you're gonna be in the hospital for two to three months. Yep. And what starts happening the first time around.

Joe Mottlow  25:53  
Okay, so we make the make you know put on Facebook saying that you know, guy then so I'll send the all my friends were like, you know, come visit come and come visit. So then people are visiting and then how the name JoJo tough came out. So good friend, my name Heidi Sheldon, I used to work with her at Cabela's. would see how much I was supporting my cousin wearing Chelsea tough shirts, you know, putting on a wall or Face Face Book. So she put two to two together. And over the years of working at Cabela's and just, you know, friends of mine caught on and call me Jojo. And so she put JoJo and then tough from her and put that on wall. So she exploded and it was like, Hey, can I take that? She was like, Yeah, you can tag it. Yeah, as long as you don't try and make money off of it like and so everyone else was putting on their wall. So that's how the name JoJo tough came alive.

William Huffman  26:49  
Okay. And that was right in the beginning. That was written beginning. Okay, cool. Yeah. I literally don't remember not seeing that from the beginning. So yeah,

Joe Mottlow  26:58  
yeah. And so yeah, my like such a cheat. Heidi has created so many cool things for me from like, a beer stein or boxing gloves. And so that JoJo tough logo literally has been the market. I mean, I'm on my my nickname is on everything from hats. Yeah, coffee mug. bumper stickers. Yeah, T shirts, fishing rods. I mean, just you name it. I've got everything out there.

William Huffman  27:22  
Okay, so we're in the hospital. We're told we're two months. How did how did things start going there?

Joe Mottlow  27:26  
Good, actually, in a weird way. But then it was learning about the medicine world and the chemo world. And so

William Huffman  27:33  
what is chemo? Because here's the I I kid you not? I didn't realize that chemo and radiation are different. Oh, yeah, clearly.

Joe Mottlow  27:42  
So radiation is basically electron they zap you. Yep. But they don't like Zapier, they get like in the cartoons really do. Yeah, no, you're so chemo is no like, it's not like a medicine. It's more of a really electrical electronic field that comes in and zones in, say, like when I had the tumor in 2018 in my head, and they basically would zone in on that area, and then zap it

Sarah Huffman  28:11  
to try to break the cells up. Correct. And that was radiation.

Joe Mottlow  28:15  
That was radiation, chemo with it as it runs. Basically, it's a say atomic bomb going through your body and killing off those cancer cells.

William Huffman  28:24  
It kills off, it doesn't discriminate. It's kind of like Roundup, it kills all the cells, which which is why, which is why that was a really good analogy. Thank you. You're welcome. Yeah. That's why it also affects your immune system. Correct? Yep. Okay, so

Joe Mottlow  28:39  
it just basically breaks down your immune system. Yeah. Because it lowers every because it kills indiscriminately. Yep, kills everything in its path. Just like, like,

William Huffman  28:49  
wow, okay. And so, what treatments did you start with?

Joe Mottlow  28:54  
So literally, that we started off with chemo? We did try a big twin for our bag when I that actually got really scary. So it's delivered via IV correct. So yeah, so I, I'm sorry. I had a I learned about something called a port. And so basically, it was a little device or mechanical device that was in my chest and then I had lines and then we would hook it up to the pole. And I called it my stripper pole. And of course you can Yeah. And so we would watch chemo go from the bag to from the stripper pole from the super pole to my base and

William Huffman  29:33  
my port. So basically, so you didn't have to get a shot every time or something like that. Yeah,

Joe Mottlow  29:38  
no, I didn't even IBM. I hit it right here. My chest. I had podcast had ports. I've had PICC lines. I've had just about everything. Okay, so

William Huffman  29:47  
you start with the thing up here. Yep. And then so chemo is delivered via like an IV bag correct. And you just just drip the atomic bomb in your system. Correct. Okay,

Joe Mottlow  29:59  
and If that was on a Friday night and was high security because, again, I'd never done before, didn't know what the effects were. And I went from being already had my dad just drove in from Virginia, Minnesota where he was working at the time, and my brother into good girlfriends of mine, and our nurse, and it was Lindsay, and all of a sudden, I froze and couldn't breathe. And they got really scary. And so we'd stopped it. And then we started off with smaller bags and chemo, and then waited about a week until we did the 24 hour atomic bomb one.

William Huffman  30:35  
Okay, so that means you literally have this bag of chemo dripping into for 24 hours straight. Correct. I'm assuming you feel like shit afterwards.

Joe Mottlow  30:43  
Oh, yeah. You're sure do it. Like next day, like I was trying to show people, you know, from the little bags. But when they did the bags as much as I was showing people how much I was eating. So when I went when I was first sick, I weighed at 190 with about five to 6% body fat. You were very, very fit, dude. Yeah, yeah. And I ended up losing in in 3830 days and all in 30 days, or two weeks, I should say two weeks. Two weeks, I lost 30 pounds. Yeah. And as much as I was showing people how much I was eating, and people were bringing food in. I was just eating but then I would throw up in front of them. Or when they weren't around, because it was embarrassing. Throwing up in front of people. It's kind of gross to but yeah. And then why was that method was basically all all chemo. And then So 2017 basically was all chemo and then and what made it okay, so while I was there in having so much fun, yes, I said fun. Was you guys all although Georgia tough supporters that came in. And you literally know, when you're going through cancer, you find out who your friends are. And every single friend of mine showed up. Didn't matter if it was in the hospital, a card cards to my family members. I mean, they were getting fan mail as much as I was getting fan mail to friends that haven't seen them. 510 years, 20 years, 30 years, coming out of the woodworks and either phone call or Facebook or whatnot or sending me videos or, you know, just something to write me up. And so or saying, Hey, you're on our prayer list over here to church. Yeah. Which is super cool. was just like, oh my gosh, like that person in 10 years, like, Wow, that's so cool. And so, you know, Allison, your army gets stronger and stronger. All of a sudden, they're your drugs with Toth. Ian's and so, or whatever your whatever you need, you need. Yeah. And so, like I said, I know we have limitation on telework. Don't you worry about it. Okay. So, literally, I would have big, big, big tournaments. Yeah, I'm in when I got the LK button on the Fourth of July to go outside and play. Yeah, because I mean, round organics, as long as I was. Let's go back. You know, when we hit we were going through COVID. And we had to be super careful. Five years ago, I was code prep before Yeah, yeah. And so like, you around, thank you, you're wearing a mask. And as long as I was outside, that's a to do. So we would play tournaments, anything from or from family members or friends that are completely to tournaments outside on the new patio area, to security guards that were on their break. Nurses and doctors that were on their breaks or whatever, or other patients family members like hey, we've noticed you playing over your replay and like Yeah, sure. And sure enough, I ended up making the little local like pamphlet paper for the Methodist Hospital. Of course you did. Yeah. And literally for I mean, being the second the house well, why sit there and be bored or going oh, God, I got no one to come visit me. My gonna have have fun with it. And that's what I said. Like when when I was first diagnosed, we're gonna have fun here

William Huffman  34:07  
it goes. It goes back to the first time I met you. You said Yeah, I was attacked by a polar bear. I mean, like, if that doesn't set the precedents for your just level of you doing you I don't know what does like that just took me completely by surprise. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  34:21  
And so yeah, I'm like, Yeah, throwing a bone. I mean, the make the situation more better, you know? Yeah. So

Sarah Huffman  34:29  
when you Why didn't like when some people go for like their chemo. They're not impatient. Why were you impatient?

Joe Mottlow  34:36  
Because one, they had to go. They I was in pain or I was a pain in patient because of how many bags I had to do. And they wanted to make sure I was still alive. And so it's just a protocol. So when you as you spend your time in the hospital, you end up being an outpatient then and Going in once a week or twice a week, where you're not getting it every single day, every single

Sarah Huffman  35:04  
hour of the day, but you were getting it so much. So every single day so fast.

Joe Mottlow  35:09  
I mean, literally, from the moment I was in there to my left, like I was on chemo all the time.

Unknown Speaker  35:17  
That something was it because of the levels. And my blood levels.

Sarah Huffman  35:22  
Yes, yes. So then, like looking back, like say, like five years ago, and like a month. Like looking back, did you if you look back, did you see signs prior to when you got really tired or really sweaty, really hot?

Joe Mottlow  35:40  
I mean, but prior like week before finding out. Like I said I was getting so I mean, I just thought it was like a summer flu. But it was nothing.

Sarah Huffman  35:49  
Nothing else that was like hot. Maybe I showed the doctor.

William Huffman  35:52  
He's a typical dumb dude. He googled it first. And he's like, oh,

Sarah Huffman  35:58  
like, you're such an optimist. That's like, yes. Did like, if you take the optimist hat off just for a second. Just for a moment. Like, was there anything internal that maybe like, put a flag up, but you didn't want to admit it?

Joe Mottlow  36:15  
Yes, no. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I mean, once other my going in seeing the doctor or whatever, but I was just selfish was like, just a summer flu that mean, those are easy. I'll be fine. I'll be fine. Yeah, no, you know, but didn't think about checking my temperature didn't think it wasn't throwing up or having diarrhea. I just thought it was because it was just so hot. Yeah. And also, like, say, I was drinking a lot water and Gatorade and

William Huffman  36:40  
you're hard worker. So you're busting your ass.

Sarah Huffman  36:42  
Yeah. And it's landscaping. Yeah. Not like, if your body hurts, or if you're sweating a lot. It's like, well, you might,

William Huffman  36:48  
that's a typical day on the job. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  36:51  
Okay. So that was, how did you know that you beat cancer? Like when you say I've beat it five times? How do you know?

Joe Mottlow  37:01  
Okay, so when I beat cancer, the first time in on December 6 of 2017. Just

William Huffman  37:09  
that freaking blows my mind that it says the first time like I just Well, sorry to interrupt. That's fine. It's crazy.

Joe Mottlow  37:16  
And so we went in for bloodwork and saw that numbers were rising. Oh, backstrip. A little before that. So in August of 2017, we had to go and do some blood matching, because we did find out for something before I got transferred to the U of them. So I went from that method for two months, got and then was out as an outpatient. In the middle or around August time. We had to go to and learn something about beat the match. Yep. So what beat the match is is a place that basically collects your, your blood sample, and finds a you're basically a donor in the hatch. Yeah, that'd be the match, which is over here in Minneapolis over next target field. Yeah, twins. Yep. And they look for a host that needs a new life. And so what you'd have my siblings, so we learned about the the match if we're going to do them, and reason why I went to view of them, because that's where they do bone marrow transplants. at Methodist. They don't do transplants. Okay, and so sorry about the backstory on that one. No, it's good. And so, it when we learn about them, everyone's like, Oh, let me set myself or we're going to try my siblings first. And again, being the middle child of the three of us. My siblings, Sam also went in and we're actually going to go into a hit to register. So what you do is you go get the and they send you a package with three cotton swabs just swap out your mouth, send it back, and then they'll be like, Oh, I don't know my blood type. We'll ask your local doctor what your blood type is. And and then you can fill out that form online. And then they'll either call you right away, say, hey, we found the donor might call it the next day or weeks, months, years. Awesome. You're like, oh my gosh, okay.

William Huffman  39:12  
So let me ask you a question that you were going to be the match because you were looking for a possible bone marrow transplant. Yes. And then that's why your your siblings volunteered to obviously do the cotton swab and all that stuff. Yep.

Sarah Huffman  39:26  
Because statistically they're probably the most

Joe Mottlow  39:30  
matchable compatible. Yes, yes. So magical. Yeah, compatible. And so weirdly, and very rare this happens. They match or the three of us matched at 100%. Wow, and crazy part. I've talked to triplets AT Clinic over the years, and are just one this triplet, and one of the two matched at 100%. Twins. Yes, they they You're 100% match, but and then you can use, say, you don't have any siblings and you're the only child. You could use a family member, but they're not gonna be 100%. They might be 50 60%. But they want a higher number of the match. So you have more life. So I added my siblings. And they were literally Sam went up to bat in 2017 on September 27. And so when you get a bone marrow transplant, they consider that as your birthday. So now I do have my original birthday, which is December 19. But I have Hitchins. Yeah, I have two more. So I had, so I just turned 40 On December 19. This past September 27. I turned four. And then this past February 19. I moved when we did my sister. I turned two. So four or 44 into so Yeah, crazy. So they consider that as your as your birthdays. I know I get heckled by my family like you can celebrate both birthdays. So I got a cake from Ivy and put a little stain on there. Yeah, we transplant a U turn for her. Whatever. Yeah. And so but yeah, that was just the start of it right there. getting that done. But I suggest everyone do that. Because like I said, you're gonna save a life. You can pull. Yeah, that's really cool. And super cool. It now doesn't hurt back in the days like used to be before they really put like the study in or try make it easier on people. So what they do for the donors. So the only ouch part is basically they stick a one needle rod in one arm, and then they'll stick another needle rod in the other arm. And then there's a machine but the size of your

William Huffman  41:54  
of your board here. It's really about 1824 inches.

Joe Mottlow  41:57  
Yeah, it's called an apparatus machine. And what this apparatus machine will do is a collects all your cells, spins it and then collects your whites, and then put some reds back into you. So for about five, five and a half hours, you're sitting in front of this machine and getting your blood coagulated. And yeah, so my brother was up to bat. And he basically was able to donate four pints, and I so they have two more pints at the U of M in their freezer for me. And we used to so far of his pints. One was for the transplant, and that took about 45 minutes at a slow rate. And then in the winter of 2018 I had to get some blood. And so we used up his blood around us part of his blood. And so we use two rounds of it. And then but before I move forward and skip a lot of things. So 2017 As hard as it was, but it was actually a lot of fun. Because you guys all made fun. And then we have my big first benefit over there at Boondocks up to Nazi ego. And we the volleyball tournament we had Beggs tournament, and literally, I've never been married yet. And there was 800 people from eight in the morning till 10 o'clock at night. And we had this was like the biggest thing, and I actually got the biggest. I'm ready to educate a lot of people. Now there's the word selfie means Ooh, no, you're taking it by yourself. When you say to you, we call it A to Z. Because why being like, oh, take a selfie together? No, because you're in it. So that makes it to you. If you have three or more said, Hey, let's take a group shot. Or you can call it three z if you want but like say if you're three or more than two,

William Huffman  43:51  
I don't think you're gonna change his mind on this one. It's I'm perplexed.

Unknown Speaker  43:55  
I'm like, I can see Sara's mind going over there. She's like, I'm not changing my terminology. So

Joe Mottlow  44:01  
do you know during the benefit, end up taking the the biggest crowd of group picture of 300 or more people out from the volleyball stand? And so yeah, that was I was back in August of 2018. When we found out that my siblings were rematch and we the benefit was amazing over there. And we've had numerous benefits over there as well. And so once they thanks to Donna Dion for allowing me to have all these financially over there. So thank you. Where's that again? Seagull Minnesota. It's called Boondocks Bar and Grill

William Huffman  44:36  
and who are the owners on and Dion Don and Dion we're gonna make sure they get Grover JABSOM credit on this share

Joe Mottlow  44:42  
so the ref a one on one there and but then in 39 Right on but like I said they've had a lot of benefit parties for me in which it's so cool and so grateful for and like I said, I mean, I think guys enough and everyone out there too as well.

Sarah Huffman  44:58  
So I want Just ask some more questions to move us down the timeline a little bit.

William Huffman  45:04  
Because we could literally spend the next 17 years talking about all the all the procedures and stuff.

Sarah Huffman  45:09  
Yep. But what I what I was thinking about was like you've you've beat cancer now five times your five time cancer survivor, correct. And we've mean you've you've traveled for, you've gotten to Seattle for your tea. So it's

Joe Mottlow  45:25  
cart cart, tea cart, teacup tea, so I'll back it up. So I've done every kind of treatment out there. So 2018, the spring, what I did was something called entusiasmo Mab. So that was a therapy treatment when they came back the second time. And basically, it was carrying around a bag that had the medicine in there and every two days would have a in home nurse. Again, I was in the hospital for 15 days. And weight wise, I was doing better, but I only lost like 15 pounds out 30 pounds at that point. But like you said, so it was until I had been spring 2018. And then it'd be on August 1, August 1 of 2018. Beat Cancer. So now I'm a two time champion at that point. And then

William Huffman  46:16  
I would have quit at that time. I'm just saying I'm a to Pete. I'm good. Joe's like no, I want for the for the group shot.

Joe Mottlow  46:22  
Oh, yeah. Still like, I mean, I didn't want to be that normal cancer patient, like Have pity parties for myself and feel bad and watching here. Girls, I can understand that losing your hair and your chest is a big identity or just doing over like Haven ovary cancer like yeah, that's, it's mentally that's tough one for one. You guys weren't normally bald. And so, you know, we get pulled at some point in our life. Yeah. Well, I'm not sure about you. And I, I mean, I have, but so like I said, I had fun with cutting my hair. Yeah. And now I'm watching other friends of mine who had cancer or so going through cancer and having fun with shaving their hair. And my friend, Holly Reese, she would come into the hospitals where I go to her shop when I was out of the hospitals, and we'd do designs of my hair. And so yeah, yeah. So over all the years, we still have so much fun. And you find

Sarah Huffman  47:13  
the silver lining when it's for most people, it's impossible to find the system just

William Huffman  47:18  
by even calling your your hospital rooms, your hotel rooms. Yeah,

Joe Mottlow  47:22  
right. And like, you know, that was planning to when I was at Methodist, you know, a lot of the nurses and doctors didn't know who I was. And it's not like I'm anyone famous, but JoJo Todd, I guess so. But, you know, they would watch people walk in from nine in the morning till nine o'clock at night. Like See, like some sort of like baseball player or somebody say

William Huffman  47:42  
you southern drugs out of your out of your room.

Joe Mottlow  47:45  
Yeah, my mom's like, you know, she's like, No, he's just Joey. She knows a lot of people. And so like that door never was it was a revolving door and at this and at the U of M the first time, but over the years. Yes.

William Huffman  47:59  
So there's no did you have a no, no, you're fine. You

Sarah Huffman  48:04  
I have a couple more questions. Oh, you're gonna cut me off and I'm not ready to be cut off yet.

William Huffman  48:08  
I wasn't cut, you know, cut you off.

Sarah Huffman  48:12  
So when you go in, like so you've beat it once you beat it twice, three times, four times, five times. I just didn't want to cut it off quite yet. Well, now that doesn't mean you're out of the woods,

William Huffman  48:26  
where I was going with it.

Joe Mottlow  48:29  
And so just saying, yeah, now the woods. I mean, right now I'm in one year in six months and readmission. Well, like I said, Sorry, did in 2018 to two different kinds of therapy treatments. And then when it came back in the summer of 2019, I was doing a maintenance of chemo. And then reason why went out to Seattle, Washington in the fall of 2019 was because my doctor had some hiccups out there and guidance him to call the car T cell therapy. And so I went from doing therapy treatments to the car t now what is different about this car t so again, I was on that end of the aspirators machine. And they were they basically taken out my own cells ostomy quads, relating them with the car T and then putting them back into me.

William Huffman  49:26  
So in real time they were sucking out your cells, your blood, whatever the hell you want to call

Joe Mottlow  49:32  
it, and then they would there take it out, clean it mix it with the car T and then the next day. I had to go into the hospital and at the at the University of Washington Hospital. And yeah, and then so were they did the where they got the car T was from a place called the Fred Hutchinson. Basically it's part of their cancer center area, but that's where they do all like their labs and all that so the Fred Hutch out there We're in Seattle, Washington. And so my mom and I were out there for two months. And they had we had family out there. So we went out there and hung out with them for about a week and a half out. They lived about 40 minutes east of Seattle, so they're up in the mountains in.

William Huffman  50:17  
Oh, you bet you'd love that. Oh

Joe Mottlow  50:18  
my gosh. Yeah. If you guys ever get a chance like that places, it's beautiful out there. I mean, mountains galore everywhere. I mean, imagine putting Duluth see our Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul together and putting them on steroids. You got yourself Seattle, the Seattle area.

Sarah Huffman  50:35  
Now I want to go visit? Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  50:37  
I mean, literally, you're like this. And the funny thing. So I went in for bloodwork before the during the car t and I first time meeting my my, my team, my nursing team up there at the Seattle Cancer Alliance building. And looking out the window like Man, this looks like like Duluth and I was just up in Duluth a month back in September with some friends and showing them around there. And when there's history, like what you know about Duluth, like what you know about Duluth, just like I'm from there, my parents live there and like, what are you doing out here that she'll go I'm a traveling nurse. I'm like, No, actually, I just traveled out here and then Blakean and so I stayed out here.

William Huffman  51:12  
Minnesotans were everywhere. Yeah. Even though you're, you're still you're a Minnesotan. But you're a big Cubs fan. We haven't talked about how big of a Cubs fan you are. But that's that's okay. Commas are. Oh, by the way. The baseball bears are

Joe Mottlow  51:27  
football football. Speaking of the Cubs real fast back in 2017. That's where the W now that's what the W is coming from. Yeah. So reason why the W. So as a Cubs fan, so back in the days when the whole prohibition and all that sort of prohibition during we can't think of it. Yeah, back in the days when the people can afford things. And so the depression Great. Thank you. Thank you. They would when the Cubs would win, they would raise a W saying that they won. And if they lost they raised them L and so when I was in the hospital friends of mine from Minnesota Chicago know how much wood because famine so they got connected. Are they connected with the Cubs? Some emails like who's this JoJo tough guy like you got about the 10th person calling in or, or emailing? Yeah. And he's like, Oh, just different Americans with cancer and, and so I got a package from the Chicago Cubs with a W flag. And then also a bunch of cubs gear. And on top of it, Anthony Rizzo, who's the player for the Cubs. When he was a rookie, he actually had cancer as well. So he has a foundation. And so he sent me an autographed picture and a typo like a theme or type thing. Just saying, Hey, we're thinking and praying for you from the Risa Foundation. And so I've cured that W flag. Yeah, from any hospital. Yeah, to Washington. And then went from being a W or just a regular W flag to now this new brand that my friend Mike Belen put together that has a W and basically, you know, his jokes are tough. And then the ribbon on there. Yeah, so I have an orange. I have an orange flag flag that still has the W on it. So every time I would have a winning thing going on, I would support that flag.

William Huffman  53:15  
So what do you do in these days? So I'm for fun, like, I know, you're, you're still not out of the woods, like Sarah said, and you're always you're always diligent.

Joe Mottlow  53:23  
Yep. So I got to do in the car to go back to the car team. So I did that on Seattle came back was feeling great. I did my second bone marrow transplant with my sister. And everything went kosher and great with that. And she was able to donate a pint. And that took about 15 minutes on February 19, of 2019. Right before or of 2020 and the crazy part of the bowser years. So being out in Seattle, my mom and I actually, in watching the news at the end of the night, we have towards the end of our travels brief break, we came home on December 17 of 19. And we saw all this red going on in China. Meaning COVID Like, oh, that's crazy, hopefully doesn't come here to the States. And then we left and then around New Year's it hit the CL Eric's they used so much business with China, but didn't quite hit my hospital or my clinic. It is a smaller old folks homes and another hospital on the other side of the city, which I had to go to at night for bloodwork at eight o'clock at night. But more or less. Yeah, we literally watched the future happening out there. And then we'd left didn't get COVID and then got in the hospital. Here in the Midwest. We didn't have the code restrictions yet. And so I was still able to have fun in the hospitals and have visitors come and go and all that and did my second bone marrow transplant my sister and said Happy birthday on February 19. So it's my third birthday. And then didn't quite hit us until what 20 of March around St. Patrick's Week. Yep. And so I passed. I mean, it was just like Wow, we still have featured happening. But yeah, I mean, it was just nuts. And then I was in my longest streak of eight months of being in remission in in 2020. And then literally two or three days before going back out to Seattle for a recheck we found out that like cancer, we just wandered for bloodwork and competitive numbers had dropped. And that like cancer came back. And we as we're going out to Seattle, then the like, Will yourself VA out here for recheck net, see if you can get the criteria and like what the heck. So out there and say why we went to Seattle, because down at Mayo, even though I hit 30%, in 2019, eight 30% of cancer going, they wanted to 40% and I was too old, because I was you know what, 3038 at the time. And so we went out to Seattle, because they wanted 5%. And there was no age restriction. But now we're going out there for the second time for a recheck. I was only at about 1%. And I wasn't quite at 5%. So we came back here in 2020 at the U of M, and they actually had a second version of the car T. And that's where they would take save complete strangers who say well, it's your cells, modulate them with the car T and then put them into me. So we did that around. Thanksgiving. Well, I had to do it solo again. Because COVID Hit Yeah, now now the restrictions are in place. Yep. And so I basically was in the hospital around Thanksgiving, which is, you know, one, it was, I felt fine and secure. They get COVID in there, but it was taste and smell. And then also I had eat Thanksgiving by myself. Now family or any friends, or even with like a nurse like I was that in the restriction in there. Also, I couldn't even taste my friends. Mine actually sent me up. I think homemade meal and I couldn't even eat it or taste it because I had COVID. And then and then that's I think we did that podcast or the zoom in there. Yep, yep. And so that was tough. And it was in a different room than in my normal river view. Because the river view you get more sun you can enjoy. You see, like cool theme didn't

William Huffman  57:26  
ask for an upgrade.

Joe Mottlow  57:27  
I tried. And I was but that room was full. And so it was in a darker room. Yeah. So literally kind of depression kind of hit a little bit. That was probably my in 2020 of November. That was that was a hard one. And so I couldn't leave my room. So I can even walk around the area like I'd say in my room and I felt like a gel me. Like this is yeah, like well, we can put a treadmill in here or something like now. Not the same. Not the same at all. No.

Sarah Huffman  58:01  
Joe, what's you have a lot of things on your wrists. Yep. So and I'm going to take a picture of these because I think it's there's just a one by the way,

Joe Mottlow  58:11  
as much as my brother calls me Johnny Depp. I'm not trying to be like Johnny Depp. Okay. Soon too soon on the giant death thing. So

Sarah Huffman  58:19  
you need more rings if you're going to try to be Johnny Depp. Yeah, right.

Joe Mottlow  58:24  
So over over my years I've had my own JoJo tuff bracelets and my friend Carrie she put them all together in different versions so like this one says like hacker from with injured a tough and then there's basically insight if you feel and you can feel like 1234 and five all crossed out. So she designed she designed all these bracelets over the years at different ones for me, which I'm really much appreciate it and I wouldn't have been purchasing purchase them over the years. So other friends of mine have jumped on this bandwagon and they've been these bracelets all been around. So like, these are all for different ones. Like there's a friend of mine from military one for men, his cancer and other cancer one, another cancer one. Basically they're all cancer ones. And then I have mine. And then my friend the millers and some other people have made me ones other bracelets, say from Hobby Lobby, and saying like this one saying you're going to change the world. No one says you've changed the world. My friend, Becky Booker, she made this bracelet. Just a lot of

William Huffman  59:28  
I want you to read the top one. You can see what it says on the top where it says you're going to change. No, no the one I can see. Yeah. Right there. Which one? That was Oh my What does it say with the white beads?

Joe Mottlow  59:42  
Oh, this one? Yes. Yeah, go ahead. But that's one that Stacy made. When I beat cancer the third time says fuck cancer. Yes for cancer. It says three times champion. And then it says love you Tim and Stacey. Yeah, that's awesome. So that's what I became for the third time. Yep. So that was spring of 2019.

Sarah Huffman  1:00:09  
How often do you get checked like I, so you do bloodwork.

Joe Mottlow  1:00:15  
Now that things have kind of spiraled down, I was supposed to go once a month. Now that I've been feeling better, but since May situation, we'll get into that in a second here. I've been going in twice, three times a week. So this this week, Mom and I had on Tuesday, actually, just from the start, by the way, a shout out to all the caretakers out there, you don't realize how much work and dedication. And so over my years until like Seattle, I really started zeroing in on what my mom has done for me as a caretaker. And so what I'm saying is, these caretakers start you got understand they start their day, either an hour or two, or maybe three hours earlier, because they're trying to prep up and get themselves ready. And then get the dogs out or get food up. And then while you're still sleeping and waiting for them to pick you up or or say hey, you need to sleep for a little bit because you have a longer day in the office slash clinic or whatever. And so we'd like to back in to those 19 When we got to Seattle, watching my mom, literally, if we had an appointment, say at 630 morning, she would get up at 430 get herself ready, change breakfast ready, wake me up and get myself ready. And then we'd be out the door by six o'clock. So we can be at clinic by 630. You know, from here to from Minneapolis to Seattle, and really zoning in, and then what she has to do. So right now I've been there plays on buffalo. So I'm kind of seeing more more of the picture. But I've always also knew what she was doing beforehand. So they live in Buffalo, I live out new hope. And that's about a 45 minute drive. So she had to get herself up early, get her dogs fed, and get them outside for a little bit. And then she'd save appointment at something like this past. Tuesday, I had a appointment at 730 at the U of M. So we left the house about 615 630 Get the dogs to doggy daycare over in Medina. And then it takes like 10 minutes or whatever. And then get back on the road and then sit in traffic and then get to you by 730 and then be there for anywhere from two hours to we're actually we're there for eight hours. We're getting a full eight hour day. And by the time we left the EU, it was like three o'clock, three o'clock, and we sit in traffic. And then we're like, hey, let's get an early dinner. So we started are implementing get some tacos Taco Tuesday. So we got some tacos, and then dogs and they got back home at 630. So we did 6:30am on

Sarah Huffman  1:02:57  
our day. Yeah, just out of the house. Not even not even at the clinic. Like waking up getting dogs taken care of like household things. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  1:03:06  
So shout out to those to those amazing. Yeah, caretakers like you said, I mean, they start their days, a lot earlier than those. Thank you, Mom, I love you very much. And like you said, Everyone take care of your caretakers, because they and they have to do all the paperwork to Yeah, think about that. They mean, they had to make sure that your insurance covering the car T or you're getting your meds, making sure that your meds lined up and for for the week or for the day, putting those together to just making sure that insurance is gonna cover that certain pill that you have to get, or just a lot a lot of paperwork, too.

Sarah Huffman  1:03:47  
That could be its own podcast, and it's on its own just about like insurance and how that works. Yeah, with such a disease.

Joe Mottlow  1:03:55  
I mean, like such it's a lot. Yeah, it's more, you know, yeah, that could be another another topic on that one. Yeah. But yeah, good. Shout out to those. Those caretakers. I just wanted to play it off the road before we forget

Sarah Huffman  1:04:10  
before you jump into restaurants. Well, can I ask one final question? Yep. How like you've gone through more in the last five years, and I think many people would ever want, right. How do you keep your mindset up? How do you keep your demeanor up?

Joe Mottlow  1:04:29  
It's been tricky and right now. So yeah, I'm feeling great and alive. But now I'm dealing with basically side effects stuff. And I knew about these two over the years of hearing about the can get side effects with this mat, but I didn't realize how soon it was going to happen. So as my siblings were my donors, I inherited their allergies, right? Oh, right. Because I got their DNA. Interesting. Right. So like my brother, he has all season allergy so I clicked it his allergies it actually LG is at one time in 2018 when I was having these tumors, it just saved my life. Because I it was wintertime and didn't rain, it was just I was a deer hunting, it was gonna lead to headaches and come find out. And I call them up the Hague and let hex he's like, yeah, just take like two or three Advil, you know, a week and you'd be fine. I'm like, Are you get like headaches like threatening, like, it's like part of my winter allergies. I got all right now I got one got checked out on the last day of deer hunting and find out there was a tumor growing on my brain. And so we end up doing targeted radiation on that one. But like his allergies, saved my life. And then my sister now is my donor. And so there's a disease that your doctors wanting to get as, as, as they are your donors. And I didn't react with my brother. But now I've got it with my sister something called graft versus host disease, again, with graft versus host diseases, so I'm on the host. And they're coming in, and the fight not the cancer, which is great. That's what your doctors want. But at the same time, my body's going whoa, who the fuck are you trying to enter Joe's body. And so she's fighting up to entities and causing floods, droughts, so you can get to last year of 2021 I had some swelling that's going on, and they fit neuropathy really bad. And just a lot of craziness. So I like go through physical therapy and relearn how to walk and get my bounce back because I had lost all that. And which is just not so mind blowing to hear that one to me. I I'm a walking dictionary, you know, not having my doctorate degree, but people were like, you know, somewhat like, Yeah, you should be a doctor and like, let's start off being a nurse first, you know, but, but more or less. So right now. I've been so January gotten her allergies and I was like alright, looked on certain foods to eat. And then but I'm back. I'm back logging something. Last year Aiden started most of my opinion was getting a little blurry but was like Alright, fine. And then I went to a provision over here Maple Grove and compare I have cataracts but I mean like oh, it's not that bad thing like getting surgery later in life like Alright, cool. And then once went on then by December I pulled the plug and say to go to the you have them to go see what was wrong. And like, Hey, you got you got this and like Yeah, I know that very cool. You get yourself a heads up on that again. But you also have dry drive. You'll Ben Stein, like, I'll never get dry. I bet inside fuck you like, and so what they've caused my vision to be more cloudy and blurry. And it's not like I'm blind blind, like you can see. But it was just so they like Alright, we're gonna set you up with these glass contacts to help out and get moist sort of eyes be dry as heck. And then I also was having so my left eye looks like I'm more tired than my right. Because there was so much going on back there. And there was some inflammation going on there caused these look like I crusties but in the back Imagine having like Chris in the back room, cornea and retina, and just ripping on the back of your eye. And so there was so much

William Huffman  1:08:11  
I could have gotten my whole life without hearing that analogy. Yeah, thank you. Well, you're

Joe Mottlow  1:08:16  
welcome. You're learning new things. And as well

William Huffman  1:08:18  
that's it. I'm just hearing about it and you actually had it

Joe Mottlow  1:08:21  
and have it so no, and so they haven't worked on it yet.

William Huffman  1:08:25  
I'll stop my pitch and now I'll be quiet. Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  1:08:28  
I mean, do you would you rather have that or have 50 Boehner or

William Huffman  1:08:34  
neither? Neither Joe. I mean, you are a special human on this planet to to be here have a smile on your face and and be able to still freakin be here. Yeah, it's amazing

Joe Mottlow  1:08:47  
and like so it's a mind over matter game. I mean, obviously you want to, you know, you want to live or you know, better cancer Yeah, it sucks to hear that word. But it's a minor matter game and do you want to sit down and feel pathetic for yourself? Or do you I have fun enjoy life that you got and say we're told you got you know a year was all gone. Yellow You Only Live Once you might as well go with the bank and have fun. They were just to keep alive and show others how you say the live and showing the same path. And that was a thing like I wasn't trying to be this inspiring person when I first got sick I was just like, hey, I don't want to watch everyone else go through there said like, but same time girls I understand it's a tougher thing to look different when you have to shave your head or whatever for us guys like you know I don't know I mean

William Huffman  1:09:41  
No, no, no, I know. No, don't don't beg for us guys. We're no dude. I would know I mean I'm a fighter. Don't get me wrong like I would have done everything but I don't know if I would be is chipper as you are over

Joe Mottlow  1:09:57  
there. Oh, because you guys have made so chipper you No help my life like everyone, I mean anything from you know, random text or call or just hanging out or doing a podcast? Like, like say there's just a lot of great themes that come out a lot great people, they have cheered me up. I mean, yes, I'm gonna be honest, there was times where I wanted to give up actually, in 2017, after my bone marrow with my brother, and I'm getting really sick. And it was something called the rhino virus during chemo, and it was spitting up in blood, and I was in bad shape. And again, after losing 30 pounds, I gained that 30 pounds back for going near them the first time. And so and then losing 40 pounds when I got into the EU of them. And I just felt like I felt like death. Yeah. And so and then the second time was actually, you guys all don't know this. And I'm telling everyone now, some people do, but like people don't remember when you guys did that little cars birthday parade. Parade not too long ago, like not 4539. Yeah. So I had all my family over because I just got out of the hospital after doing the second round of the car T. And I was down to like, like, 145 pounds. Yeah. And it was super tired and super weak, and actually was ready to give up that morning. So when I heard that you guys are all outside. Like, that's why I invited my family. I was ready to say goodbye. And then you guys all showed up. And had 20 people out there with hats thrown

William Huffman  1:11:31  
out. There was way more than 20 vehicles. Yeah, but

Joe Mottlow  1:11:34  
yeah, signs and, and

Sarah Huffman  1:11:37  
wound funking Yeah.

Joe Mottlow  1:11:39  
So you guys definitely brought up my Spirit on that one. And so on a day that I wanted to give up. You guys didn't know this, but I appreciate it that there's reverse again, man. Yeah, you're there. You guys saved my life that day.

William Huffman  1:11:53  
Well, that was that was you that that's

Sarah Huffman  1:11:56  
a that's a collective that was like your tribe showing up? Absolutely. Because like, I don't remember who put that call out to be like, my friend Tina. Okay, like, Hey, we're gonna do this birthday parade for Joe. Like, it was a no brainer. It was like, great. What time we go.

Joe Mottlow  1:12:12  
Yeah. I like that that morning on the 19th of 2020. Yeah, you guys basically saved my life. I mean, you guys didn't know that. But I was ready to give up and say goodbye to my family inside. And then you guys all like honking their horns and

William Huffman  1:12:26  
Joe Healy we're loud. Yeah. Yep.

Joe Mottlow  1:12:32  
All right. Yeah. But like, it's a minor matter again. Yeah. And so now I'm back What are coming back with the side effects. So the side effects are now I've had my head and pneumonia really bad two years ago. And that's coming back, they come back. So that was, you know, some that I've got going on with myself. And then too. So now having the whole dry eye and vision, the vision and the right eyes. Great. Left it right now without a contact. I can see that line of thought y'all but your old crow labs. Yeah. And so but they Okay. The other day by my dog, my eye doctor, I guess by the state of Minnesota, if you have 2020 vision, one eye, you'd find a drive.

Sarah Huffman  1:13:16  
So watch out world Joe's on the road. But now

Joe Mottlow  1:13:19  
I can see it's not like I'm blind. I can see people I can see cars and see everything. So

Sarah Huffman  1:13:25  
So here's what I'm thinking, Joe, we would love to have you back for like round two. Because there's so much more to share. I want to like on that one. Let's dive more into your book. Let's I don't want to because you're writing a book.

Joe Mottlow  1:13:38  
Yeah, I'm in the middle of writing a book. And I'm trying to start my own foundation myself.

Sarah Huffman  1:13:43  
So let's, let's after this, we're going to join Have you come back no kind of dive into other topics.

William Huffman  1:13:49  
So we like to wrap up with your top five favorite restaurants. And it doesn't have to be because the best food in the world or something like that it we have somebody who said it's all of garden because he used to go there with his mother all the time. So it doesn't have to be here locally. It can be wherever you want. So what do you got for us? What's what's your number five.

Joe Mottlow  1:14:08  
All right. There's in the U of M there a fourth and 14th There's Tony's diner. Great place. Great people great owner is we actually just had the he makes so he's Greek, but you will make like breakfast stuff too as well. And so he has like euros or your omelet and then around the corner. We'd go to ales breakfast diner, which is

Sarah Huffman  1:14:31  
that number four, number four out

William Huffman  1:14:34  
of five. Okay, yep.

Joe Mottlow  1:14:35  
So 20s diner and then around the corner is ales breakfast diner.

Sarah Huffman  1:14:40  
And is that like a 12 seater?

Joe Mottlow  1:14:41  
Like, is that 14? Yeah, yeah, it's I mean, it's littered the building is 10 feet wide. It's built was built in an alley. It's like 56 years old. And yeah, it's it's a funny little building and you can literally walk by without me knowing it. Yeah, but those are our two spots are We go to Frankie's pizza or in New Hope in the corner. That's no spot that nats over there. Oh, yeah, that's my breakfast place. And number five number five. Number five. Portillo's. Oh, being from Chicago.

William Huffman  1:15:23  
I don't like their food.

Joe Mottlow  1:15:24  
I know. I know. I saw I saw yours. Yeah. So your tick tock and you're like talking about some other sandwich. Joey? Way better. Yeah. Like, he's in Chicago. And so he he doesn't know. No,

Sarah Huffman  1:15:37  
he doesn't know. Joe. You own that. Portillo's? Yeah.

William Huffman  1:15:42  
All right. Well, Joe, we really appreciate you coming here today.

Joe Mottlow  1:15:44  
I appreciate you guys inviting me in Henry, come back.

William Huffman  1:15:46  
We appreciate you. Thank you so much, as always be out deuces.

Accouncer  1:15:52  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes head over to LV