Joe Mottlow has beaten back cancer 5 times, and in part 2 of Will and Sarah's interview, Joe stops in to give them a heartbreaking update about his condition.
Even in the worst of life, Joe finds a reason to celebrate, and that happens on July 30th.
Details to his coming home party is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/454530746184210
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.
Joe Mottlow 0:13
That's more sad for everyone else. 40 years 40 years, made some incredible admit, and still means credible people.
Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join host 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 0:49
Everybody we have here and Sarah and heavy N
Joe Mottlow 0:53
Jojo. Full name is Joe Motlow. But I have the nickname JoJo tough. And I am a five time cancer survivor leukemia.
William Huffman 1:06
Cool. Whoo. And part one, which we can in the show notes, we'll add what episode that is part one, we were talking about a whole bunch of stuff and how you weren't feeling well. And you were in there it is and and then now we're talking about where are we at now in the story where the I think he was side effects. Okay, side effects. And so what year is it in the story? And let's start from there.
Joe Mottlow 1:31
All right. Let's see here. It was last. Recently, kind of last year, when I started having these side effects. That was more around September when I started noticing some little bit, a little bit of cloudiness going on. So you're
William Huffman 1:49
telling me like leukemia or not leukemia, chemotherapy and all these other things have side effects? Correct. Okay.
Joe Mottlow 1:55
It was it really more side effects of I mean, yes and no, between that but also being having my siblings as my donors. Okay. Oh, okay. With having, you know, Cam when
Sarah Huffman 2:09
you say donors, I just want to bring it back. Bone marrow donors. Correct.
William Huffman 2:13
Okay. Yep. Cool.
Joe Mottlow 2:13
Yep. So with having chemo and doing two different therapy treatments in 2018. And then in 2019, going into Seattle, Washington in the fall heart T during the car T cell therapy, the first version of it. And then in 2020, and 2020 of the wind like end of November, early December and doing the second version. Yeah, the second version of the car T but we're I would have like a complete stranger. So no siblings at all. But having a complete stranger, and hitting the car team mixed with his, his basically his blood and then re modifying them, put them back into me. So now I'm in after that. So it's 2000 or 2021. And now I come to almost a year of being cancer free. And I was about let's see here, September, that would be eight months of in remission. And so I started noticing that my vision was getting a little bit cloudy. And so I was like, All right, before we go to clinic ever the U of M, I'm gonna go to provision over here in Maple Grove, because that's where I got my glasses. So hold on, hold
William Huffman 3:31
on. So you're telling me you have access to some of the best doctors in the world when it comes to what you're going through? And you're gonna go to Pearl vision. Well,
Joe Mottlow 3:41
because it wasn't like my vision was that bad yet? It was a little like tinge of like cloudiness, I was like, Alright, I don't want to pull the trigger quite yet. Okay. Okay, you know, so still, I'm
William Huffman 3:53
Unknown Speaker 3:53
I know you'd like a new prescription. Yeah, right.
Joe Mottlow 3:57
So I went over there in September at the pro vision and they got my eyes checked and, like, you've got cataracts. And so it was like, or like Oh, all right, like it's not that bad. But think about getting surgery later in life and Mike Alright, it's not that bad. And concertedly in Life sure that means I can go hunt and so fish during the fall Yeah, cool. Well now speed it all up. It did on me hunting and all that during the fall, and then around December before Christmas. My vision was getting all a little bit sketchy. And then tell me more and so it was getting a lot more
Unknown Speaker 4:35
cloudier. Both eyes are just wonderful thighs, okay,
Joe Mottlow 4:39
and so I'm like, I got pulled the plug. So I called up mom like, Hey, Mom, I just made an appointment at the U of M. Okay, now we're going to the real doctor, a real doctor or the U of M. And so she's like, Oh, what's going on? I told her so.
Sarah Huffman 4:52
She didn't know the cloudiness was happening, though. Of course. Okay, of course.
Joe Mottlow 4:56
So with all that being said, search is like oh, it's going on and he told me she's like, Oh, crazy. All right, let's make an appointment to go. Yep. And so we went to this appointment and they checked my eyes like yeah, you've got cataracts and like I already kind of knew that. And her vision told me it was Yeah, I did. I told him that it's that provision told me and then you also have graft versus host going on. Now what graft versus host so my sister's it's slower for me raft graft versus
William Huffman 5:25
versus host disease. Okay, so this is this is where the Carty other person's
Joe Mottlow 5:30
notes. So nothing to do with the car T. Okay. I'll be quiet. You keep going. Yep. So now, my sister was my last donor in 2020. Right before COVID Hit Yes. Right. So you're, like February 2020? Correct. February 19. And so, and that would have been your fourth birthday? Nope. That would have been my third birthday. Third. So when you get when you get a bone marrow transplant, they consider that as your birthday because you're starting a new life. Yep. So my normal birthday is December 19. And then my second birthday, wouldn't I didn't for five years ago now. With my brother in September 27 of 2017. That's my second birthday. And then my third birthday would be or is February 19. With my sister, and 2020. Yep. And I just turned this past. There were two.
William Huffman 6:26
Unknown Speaker 6:28
Yeah, you're aging so gracefully.
Joe Mottlow 6:29
Yeah. Cheese cow. So anyways,
William Huffman 6:33
the hairiest beard I've seen for two year olds and like, at least three weeks,
Joe Mottlow 6:37
it's weird. So your doctors kind of want you to get this disease because it's a good sign, because it's fighting off the cancer. But at the same time, it causes a lot of drama in the patient's body. And so what I mean by drama, you can get anything from gut issues, dry skin, itchy skin. sores, or your joints that have joint issues. cataracts? Nope. Oh, hold on. I'm gonna educate you.
William Huffman 7:10
I could go work at prohibition at this rate. Yeah. And I'm sorry, prohibition, you're probably great. Yeah.
Joe Mottlow 7:15
So and then also have nerve issues, which, again, now leading up to my eyes, and causing Mr. Ben Stein will ever Roy. Okay. Okay, so causes dry. Now, what cataract is caused from is prednisone, which is a steroid. Okay, as much. So now going back in time, before I did the second version of the car T. I was sick in the hospital again for 15 days with a rare case of pneumonia. So after being in the hospital, they sent me home with prednisone. And so prednisone does some good stuff, but it does more harm than anything. So it can cause you to have cataracts. Okay. Okay. And so between the two things, so I haven't dry eye and having cataract and
William Huffman 8:10
never Yes, it Ben Stein. Yeah. Yeah, great reference.
Joe Mottlow 8:13
You're welcome. And so with that being said, Majan, having your eye bogies dried up in the back of your cornea and retina, and just rubbing and ripping on your eyeball, causing scar tissue? So that's what I've been dealing with. Is that what a cataract is? No, no. Oh, just saying with the hitting those two things. Okay. It's called filamentation. Okay, so like said Imagine having so between cataracts and, and having dry eye because of my sister, which I mean, they see my life and everything. Yeah, of course. Right. And so they form these little like aI buggies. But more you're aware, and you can't scrape it, right? Doctors can but you're like, I sort of get scraped. Yeah, but you can't. And so that's what I was dealing with. So then they put me on these glass and special contacts, which by the way, are a pain in the butt to put in and out all day long. And so back in January, they put a from January on till now and I'm not sure how much longer but I have to wear these contexts to help moisturize the eyeballs. But at the same time before I put them in, I had to put six different eyedrops in there to help the healing process and also get them moisturize. And now I have a new eye drop just recently to help kind of the healing part. So a couple of weeks ago, before the Fourth of July, I had to do some blood work at a different like clinic and then they sent my blood work down to Missouri to a place that actually uh I'm making these eye drops from your blood. Interesting. So in those contexts, I have to put also an attitude six times a day throughout the day. Put it in what put in the context of it, but also put it in my eye right now. And so it helps the healing part. Right sounds mind blowing your own blood,
Sarah Huffman 10:18
like put in your in your eye. Yeah, I see you have a man purse right now. So is that
Joe Mottlow 10:23
more of a satchel?
Sarah Huffman 10:25
Or a satchel? But like, do you carry around your six drops? Yeah, got it.
Joe Mottlow 10:31
So so this bag, actually is a medical bag. So when I was sick for the second time, in 2018, I was hooked up to a medicine called entusiasmo mat, which is a therapy treatment. And so I had my I had a port right up here. And in this bag was was the medicine and pointing for basically, every 24 hours it was being pumped into me. And I had this changed out or the medicine changed out from my in home nurse. And so I now have used this for my for my eyedrops stuff. And then also for my being a partial diabetic sort of all my insulin stuff.
William Huffman 11:19
Got it. So that begs been with you for a while. Yep. Yep.
Joe Mottlow 11:23
For years now.
Unknown Speaker 11:24
It's not just style. It's also function.
Joe Mottlow 11:27
Yes. Yes. Yes, it is. And so Oh, awesome. Prednisone can screw up your blood sugar and make you a diabetic.
William Huffman 11:35
My cat pregnant. Okay. Yes.
Joe Mottlow 11:37
So, so I have a little sensor thing right here. Yep. I've seen those before. Yep. And that's a FreeStyle Libre too. And then there's an app on your your phone? Yep. And then you can tell by your what your blood sugar is. And then you have to report like, What the How many grams of say like you're saying like, like the burger and hitting the button. So I have to put how much on that and then multiply that and how many units of insulin I have to put in me. Crazy,
William Huffman 12:05
right? So do you have an insulin pump? Or do you have a shot to poke myself? You on the butt or in the thigh? Or you can
Joe Mottlow 12:12
go wherever, wherever but your belly back your arm? Not your neck? Of course. But
William Huffman 12:18
this is gonna be great. Horrible idea.
Joe Mottlow 12:21
I know. Right? So now I learned about all the medical world stuff
Sarah Huffman 12:25
and all that stuff. So how many shots of insulin do you take? It
Joe Mottlow 12:29
depends on what my blood sugar. So I try to keep it between 100 and 102 100. If I go over 200, like, say 225, I had to give myself two units that go over 253 units, and then four after that, like I'd say 500 or 400. But if I'm between 100 and like 150 of the units of one unit
Sarah Huffman 12:59
when you started this cancer journey, because I know it has been a journey like do they tell you? I mean, there really aren't many other options like for treatment, right? It's like, this is what we've got to do typically chemo radiation or whatever it looks like, do they prep you for any of the side effects?
Joe Mottlow 13:17
No, yes and no. I mean, they kind of tell you that they kind of like skip over all that. Yeah. And so like, and then you just end up learning about it and the ultimate stroke and the struggles of learning about by yourself, you're like, What the heck, and then all sudden, like that takes your 510 minutes a day or even longer to check that and then stop what you're doing insulin yourself or refixer Your contexts and put different eyedrops in you're like, can be looking like today, I was seen that a knee doctor. And I noticed my vision since my dry eye was getting a little cloudy as I'm talking to the drug and Stein. And so as we're talking my doctor, his name is Dr. Skubick. And he's like, Oh, what are you doing? I'm like, I have to put some that. I have to put eyedrops in right now. So he's like, Alright, cool, whatever. But they don't really tell you as much as I mean they kind of do. But it's kind of like fast forward. Like yeah, we're gonna help you out with didn't chemo or the car T It's really great for you. And then here's a quick little side effect in the bubble. Like, what's going on? Yeah,
William Huffman 14:30
this is gonna save your life, but you might be blind afterwards. Correct? I mean, I mean, you can always have people driving around. Yeah, I mean,
Sarah Huffman 14:38
there's really like it's not it's not a decision. It's not a decision. You just,
Joe Mottlow 14:43
you just have to go with it. Yeah, yeah. Like you know what, I'm not gonna put those contacts and I'm not gonna put those
William Huffman 14:50
I don't want to be able to fish or drive or Hunter see anybody or Yeah,
Joe Mottlow 14:53
yeah, no, it's more like
Sarah Huffman 14:55
crap. So the eyes and like when did that all start? Um,
Joe Mottlow 15:00
September of last year. Okay, so by 2021 Correct. Wow. And now it's what? July of 2022? Yeah.
Sarah Huffman 15:11
And how have you adapted? Like, what is when you have that type of pain in your eye, right? Like, I just know, like, if I get an eyelash in my eye, I'm like it like stability.
Joe Mottlow 15:22
So that's actually funny. Say that so. So after I put all these drops in whatnot, and then after a while because of dry, it dries up, and we'll get caught up on my eyelid and which is like, oh my god, like, ah, like rotten, then you have to keep like moisturizing it. Yes. voice rising. Yeah. And so that's another like pain in the butt. Because all of a sudden, like, you're like, what's wrong with it? You look crazy. And like, Oh, my eyelids getting caught up on my class contact and not to keep it wet.
William Huffman 15:54
So it's a glass contact? Yeah. All right. Most contacts like a plastic issue stuff.
Joe Mottlow 15:59
So yes, there are the ones that aren't a flexible, but no, the reason why I hate the word glass ones because I had to put these eyedrops in there, right and where the plastic ones, they can hold anything, right? So I have to literally put an eyedropper, like six different eyedrops so they can hold it. And then I have a little laser guider. And I literally,
William Huffman 16:25
laser guide her.
Sarah Huffman 16:26
Yeah. So how many hours do you get where your eyes are, like normal neutral?
Joe Mottlow 16:33
I'd say like, two, maybe two hours or so. Two or three hours, but really like maybe two hours and that also gets dry. And I'm like, Oh,
Unknown Speaker 16:41
I gotta take care of this. Yeah,
Joe Mottlow 16:43
I pull up my little. And then I carry around like other little drops. And I put little drops in throughout the Yeah. But the other medical ones. I said after like two hours. I have to put those they burn. One does. Yes. Yeah, definitely burns. Awesome. Like, ah, yeah, but I don't do it while I'm driving.
William Huffman 17:04
Well, that's I mean, I'm glad we clarified that.
Joe Mottlow 17:08
Make sure that you're like do do it while you're driving. No, no,
William Huffman 17:12
but I did my laser eye machine. And no, no, no.
Joe Mottlow 17:15
I'm talking about the eyedrops. Oh, well, any
William Huffman 17:17
of it. I'm glad you don't do any drive
Sarah Huffman 17:19
for driving because it is the eyes. Right. And you had eyes struggles. Have you been able to drive this entire time?
Joe Mottlow 17:25
In the past couple of weeks? Yes. Because by the state of Minnesota, you can literally drive with one eye at 100%. Okay, which is kind of
Sarah Huffman 17:34
crazy. But we have 100% I correct?
Joe Mottlow 17:37
Because this one is hasn't been fixed yet. And so but I still have to hear this contact, which kind of helps it out a little bit more. Yeah. But yeah. So so I'm not like blind. It's not like I'm like, oh, where's everyone? No, no,
Sarah Huffman 17:52
it's the pearl vision is
Joe Mottlow 17:55
it's just a little little clarity. So like right now looking at the three I can see you I can see cars and all that I can see signs. Just older than this one. You guys are like,
William Huffman 18:06
Chris, this is normal. Yeah. Okay. All right. So any other like, interesting side effects that you found from like, just your years of all the crap you've been through?
Joe Mottlow 18:16
Yep. So as everyone knows, I had a major bleed. Yeah, back in May, which was super scary.
William Huffman 18:24
So tell us what do you mean by a major bleed? Where was it in what caused it?
Joe Mottlow 18:29
Yep. So So incident so me back story a little bit. So side effects of chemo is eaten away annoyed that my cartilage in my shoulders right? Okay. And so all that summer, I was getting close on shots and then mid falls in Corazon shots. And then I was posed to get surgery on my left shoulder like a whole new shoulder this winter. But there were so backed up. So I may fourth. I was supposed to get a whole new shoulder replacement. But the prior week beforehand, Tuesday, my mom and I hit like an eight hour day at clinic. And then Wednesday, friends of mine took me out for dinner with the Red Lobster over here, which was super yummy. Thursday, I did absolutely nothing. I don't I took four naps and didn't even do anything. It wasn't even on social media just like you were just resting. Yeah, as much as that. People don't think I rest. I was rusting. Friday, I took a kind of easy and did some cleaning around the place. And then Friday night or Friday, I met a new cancer friend of mine. And he took me out for brunch. We're in St. Louis part. And then later on after that, he dropped me off because he picked me up. I came home and then some buddies of mine surprised me with this huge northern that my friend Ryan and I caught back in February. And so that was like a super cool surprise. And then
William Huffman 19:48
mounted or Oh nice. Yeah,
Joe Mottlow 19:51
super cool. And then and then later on I had my 85 year old neighbor and some friends come over for pizza and yatse So like
Unknown Speaker 20:00
Make the week that sounds kind of nice. The week was great.
Joe Mottlow 20:03
And then Saturday, my friend Erin and her daughter, were coming back from a volleyball tournament in Shakopee. Like hey, what do you got going on? Do you want to go and hang out with us and not see you at her house and and so I went over their house and and then we I was able to go to my buddy's wedding receptions. Surprise him over at Rock woods and then we had a friend's going away party because she was moving to Oregon. So I felt great. And
William Huffman 20:28
this is why people think you don't rest. Just your
Joe Mottlow 20:32
likes. Everything was like right. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 20:34
they're still but yeah,
Joe Mottlow 20:38
it is. Yeah. On Saturday though. I didn't get picked up until I bought for five o'clock. So Saturday actually, like rested and tried chilled out. I was on social media a little bit but didn't end up cleaning my stuff from the night before. So I didn't rest on that Saturday and to take a nap before going up Todd Segal. So I ended up crashing at my friend Andrew in Aaron's house that night. Sunday morning. The kids like hey, we're hungry. Do you guys mind picking going to the gas and holding picking up some breakfast burritos, right. Alright, fine. So we went and picked up some breakfast burritos break came back. And then we smashed them at them. And then around noon of Zillow at their house. Like oh, I just felt really bloated. Like what's wrong? Oh, my stomach hurts. I just felt really bloated. So my friend Aaron brought me back home and then I did finish up some more cleaning and all that. And then I really and I didn't eat or didn't even go the bathroom throughout the whole day because they felt bloated. So then I noticed it was like 10 o'clock at night like wow, like it's it's getting late I probably should eat something but I want to make some big so I made a fruit yogurt buffet and I smashed it and was like good job joke go to bed. So then finally around like one was 30 in the morning. I had to go up the good bathroom and take it number two now real quick question I always ask her when when you go to the bathroom general night in knowing that you have a strobe light like that doesn't like you're kind of doesn't wake you up you know, but so you can still see your bathroom. How often do you turn your bathroom light on during the middle night at like 130 in the morning? Never
William Huffman 22:15
Yeah, not really know next
Joe Mottlow 22:17
week. Yeah, more rare and you know, your bathroom, your bathroom and I don't have like a huge like Taj Mahal bathroom. It's just a little regular bathroom. So I went to go to number two, and I thought was number two and all of a sudden, I end up having I thought was a number three puking rally and diarrhea. So I'm like, gross. So I got in the tub cleaned up. I took my clothes off and gotten tub cleaned up. And then I as I was getting out, I'm like, Oh, I have to go again. So then same thing. Again, thought was number three. And I was puking all over my place like in my bathroom and all over me. Like, gross accumulate this again. So one second tub cleaned up. And the lights still off. Well, I have my sensor lights still going. Okay. Right. So the lights are off. Yes. But since really is catching me moving, right. So it still illuminates the bathroom. Yeah. So I can still see. But it's not like oh my god. It's so bright light, you know. So as I was getting now, I felt really lightheaded. And I think that, oh my gosh, and I've still in bathroom. And so again, I'm not sure how long it was out for but I was out for a while. And as I was coming to it, I realized I was on the ground. I was like, oh, and then didn't didn't hurt my head or anything. So that was a good sign. But I'm like I can feel, which I thought like I had crap on my back and my button like, oh, it's really gross, but I'm too tired or too weak to stand up. So I knew I had a mess or just like crawled around me the bath cleaned up, let that train, then put fresh clean water in there. At that point, like probably maybe like 334 o'clock in the morning and guesstimating and so I just kind of didn't feel I took all the way up. I just felt enough just so I can curl up and say anymore, correct? Yeah. And so and that includes the current just a little bit because I didn't want to necessarily look at the mess I hid on the floor. And but yeah, can smell it. I was just like, not wanting to see it. So then I noticed that the sun was coming up around 630 In the morning, and I'm like, I'm dying like I need to call someone. So I slowly got up and grabbed my phone and then went back in the in the tub again, trying to stay away from mess, not look at it, not again, not realizing what it was. So I called my sister up at 630 morning and my sister lives in Montrose and I live in New Home like sis call mom call mom and tell her I'm not doing well. I'm naked in my tub. She's like all kids come up with no no, you got kids who bring to school and and you get you get to get to work. And so she relayed that message to my mom and she lives on buffalo so they have two dogs To drop him off at doggy daycare, that's like an hour drive right there from Buffalo New Hope so. So she came about eight o'clock. And then she's like, why is laid off and like, the sun's up, I can see. But and I opened the curtain a little bit and now cinch turns the light on and sees blood, lots and lots of blood all over my bathroom all over my toilet, oh, my garbage. And I just like, this looks like immersing the look of like, Oh, my God, just like hydrogen know this. And like I did, because I just didn't. Yeah. And so in my five years of being in our hospitals, my mom has done, she literally, she went from not knowing about what a caretaker does in five years, to basically making her own script of what a caretaker should be doing, right. I mean, she's not saying that she was the boss of caretakers, but she was made the best like of it all. And she's done so much. And she's still doing so much. I give her so much props. And her and I became so much alike. We're like closer than anything. We're like best friends. And to the point where we're kind of almost wearing the same kind of shirt today, you know, but once they're short, she's like, you're dying. I'm like, I know. And so it was like super scary. She's like, why don't you call that one? I go, one, I need someone to advocate for me because no offense to Northern Memorial, but I've never heard anything really good out of them. And so
Joe Mottlow 26:41
I needed some an advocate make sure that I got to the U of M Yeah, because what I needed was special blood down there at the U of M and they all know my from your file, you know my file? I mean, it's like a bottle. Yeah. And so she called them one they came. And then we drove down to the U of M. And they were actually more surprised that I was alive. Because so I we have something called your hemoglobin. That's your and your level. And that range between like 8.7 and higher. And I was at four. Wow. And that was technically like a couple points lower open technically dead. Yeah, it's when I showed up at the doorsteps of the van like Joe How are you still alive? Like this not so they raced and got the right planning needed. And then I spent five days. But the reason what happened was not because of a breakfast burrito. Because we have a van called a Breezies vein and runs from your neck, all the way down through your liver, or into your lungs to your liver to help circulate blood. And that decided to basically fill up with blood. So imagine like you have, like a clogged sink, right? And you're not knowing that all of a sudden, like what's going on? Why is my sink like not draining? While it was clogged, and soldered to expand, expand, expand. So that thing is like literally like a centimeter thin. And it was four times the size. And thank God that it didn't explode inside me because I actually would not be here today because there were bursted inside of me and I would have been dead so instead my buddy ended up rejecting by puking it or basic or not that all the doors ended up the back Yeah, correct. Check out the back. And I lost four quarts of blood. Oh, wow. Yeah, so courts are pints or pints. I'm sorry quick Yeah, my whole course is a lot but yeah, four pints. I'm sorry. Yeah, thank you for the correction. And so I spent five days and I got back to health and then I did all my recovery and my mom dad's house because everyone's like you should not be living alone. You should say with your parents. So we did that for two months and I feel a lot better
Sarah Huffman 28:53
how do you remain so positive like a lot of the things that you deal with like your eyes like living
Joe Mottlow 28:58
there's a lot of complaining they don't show and some like show like friends know how much I complain but I don't put out there on social media. I'm like oh my god this isn't this Yeah, I might clean a little bit extra was about like my issue more than anything. But you know, it's a mind over matter game and which I've learned in the past five years and yeah, the I think I'm more more disturbed by it. And I think it's because I just want to get the slept I figured out and and resolved and cut ties with it and like just be normal.
William Huffman 29:35
Which leads us to where we are now. So you
Unknown Speaker 29:39
what's next? Yeah.
Joe Mottlow 29:43
Well as everyone no no since Wednesday. So I cancer came back for the sixth time though. So it basically all over right now. Hmm, so it started in my kidneys. And so how five years ago? It started in your kidney? No, no, five years ago, it started as just regular blood cancers just kind of all over the place. Okay. And then 2018 In this brain, it was still kind of like a white matter, but it was like so my blood, winter of 2018 I had a tumor in my neck, and then I hit a golf ball, golf ball size, tumor, pushing on my brain still part of leukemia, so it wasn't like brain cancer. And then we did targeted radiation just shrinking, get rid of it, and really well. And then I was on a nother therapy treatment called wind, Saito. And then 2009 teen. Yep. So spring of like May of 2019. I was an outpatient, because, like I had already beaten cancer. And I had these tiny little spots at showing up to those night. So in 2019, June, those spots Oh, they were on my spinal column grew. Right. And so they're called camorra's. And so me from my tailbone all the way up to my C four, C six. And so we did target raishin, or on my back, and it all went really well. Now, fast forward to here, May of 2022, we did a sense of my liver issue. When I was in the hospital, we did a scan on my liver and my kidneys. And in that image, there were some tiny tiny units spotted shown up. But again, my liver doctor was like, there's some signs that showed up, but we're not quite sure what they are yet. I mean, they're so tiny, we're not sure. So then a month later, we're middle June, and those spots grew to 3%. And so he's like, My doctor was like, my liver doctor. That is, he's like, the, we're not gonna rule this out as cancer, but we're gonna call him like a cyst. So my mom and I looked at each other like, we know that not sis, because of what happened to those? Who the hell are they trying to bullshit? Yeah. So but hold on. So my mom and I looked at each other, because we knew from back in 2018, with all those let's call morose on my back in May 2002, in June, that those were cancer spots. So now we look at you're like, alright, well, we'll roll with and say they're cysts. But my mom and I were like, their cancer spots. And in my five years, I've done everything from here to Seattle, and back here for treatments. And so as we left that, meeting her and I hit hard, hard saying, you're fucked. Like, I'm fucked. We're fucked. Because I've used up everything.
Sarah Huffman 33:04
And at that point, you knew all the treatment options have been attempted?
Joe Mottlow 33:08
Yes. So then, he's like, Well, before we were at that meeting, or we got an email from him, he's like, hey, I want to set up a kidney biopsy, just kind of investigate a little more. So we're like, Alright, fine. So that Friday, before the Fourth of July, just recently, I went to the U of M and did a biopsy now one was actually really weird. And so they had to go from back here and underneath your ribcage. And it felt like I was getting like illogical cute. It was like who and we'll call we'll kinda like last minute. Like, I'm like, That guy felt shocking. Like, oh, that's a good sign, like a good sign. How's that a good thing? Oh, that's where I needed to go. I'm like, Oh, okay. So job. So now kind of speeding up so I was able to enjoy my fourth of July see family and friends down in Illinois and all that fun stuff.
Sarah Huffman 34:01
So on Friday, you have this biopsy? Yep. And you felt almost electrocuted? Yep. The weekend you're in Chicago or like Deerfield area? And then when do you come back to the cities? Any of this of the biopsy? Is any of it lingering in your mind? Or just like in the present?
Joe Mottlow 34:18
I'm in the present. Okay, so I'm just trying not think about it. And look at my chart at all. So I was coming back. Wednesday, so that'd be what the fourth was on the Monday. Six. Yep. So I drove myself down there. And so I'm driving back and I'm in Prescott, Wisconsin. And I was visiting my friend Julie on my way home, and her kids and having dinner. I was gonna have dinner with him and I did have dinner with them. But before I walked in the house, I get my chart email. And so I'm like, I'm opening it up. And I'm reading it and it says that My cancer came back from 3% to 43%. In my kidneys. And so I'm like, wow. And then my brother called me he's like crying. And he's like, where are you? I'm like, I'm in Prescott, Wisconsin, like, sick. I'm so sorry. And then we talked for a little bit before I got into my friend's house. And then I talked to my mom, and she was like, Oh, my God. And so we did like both cry out over the phone.
William Huffman 35:25
I didn't say either. Very, I don't know what three to 43% means.
Joe Mottlow 35:30
44. So 3% cancer cells? Yes. Who? 40? So right, raise a right up to 43%.
William Huffman 35:38
Very, very bad. Yep. Okay. And very, very
Unknown Speaker 35:41
Joe Mottlow 35:42
Correct. And socially in your kidneys. Yeah. And so with that being said, I was like, What are my tears and like, I'm not gonna let this ruin the rest of my night in my travels. I'm enjoying my time. And just live in the moment for right now and not have as much of a backburner. So I enjoyed my night with him and all that. And I went home, probably got home around like 10 3011 o'clock at night. So and then I called him and we talked a little bit. And then the next day, my doctor called and she was just like, we heard I had like, crap moment for like, 10 minutes like, Joe, I'm so sorry. And she's like, I lost words. I'm like, I know, I get it.
Sarah Huffman 36:24
I have a quick question. Is that common to find out? I mean, I understand how my chart works. But when you have a like a, you know, that's really hard news. Oh, huge. Is that typical to hear or read it on my chart? Or do you typically get it from your doctor?
Joe Mottlow 36:42
I try to wait, don't linger and think about it. But my mom, she went in important of a thing. She'll jump on there. Yeah. Give herself more of an idea. And when she saw that before me, and so it was hard on her as well. Yeah. And the whole family as well, too.
Sarah Huffman 37:04
So you read that my chart? Did you go into your friend's house and tell her
Joe Mottlow 37:08
later on? Yeah. Because I said she was super excited that her kids were super excited. And so I was like, Alright, cool. You know, so I did tell her later on. And so yeah. Wow. I didn't want to really ruin like the whole dinner and ice cream. And so like I said, it was just, I didn't want to ruin the whole night.
Sarah Huffman 37:31
Yeah. Okay, so now with this, six, I can't even believe it. Six, round of cancer. What are your options?
Joe Mottlow 37:45
Nothing but but some friends of mine are like, you ever thought about doing the organic route. There's a place in Mexico. And so they sent me links, but I haven't really had time to really look at those links yet. And they don't really understand what the organic rot like if it's like a sweatshop and it just make you eat like, healthier or sweat you out? Or does it? Is it an actual cure? Or or what? Like, you know, so you know? So I'm not really quite sure what the organic route is. I'm willing to look into it and maybe go and do it or not, I mean, who doesn't go to Mexico right.
Unknown Speaker 38:25
William Huffman 38:26
like can I ask ask a very, very, very blunt and plain question where what is going to be the outcome of this?
Joe Mottlow 39:55
Three six months
Joe Mottlow 40:02
And that scared today. More sad for all of you guys from all over the world that really been praying, supporting me supporting me
Joe Mottlow 40:19
you and that's scary day. And more sad for everyone else. In my 40 years, 40 years, made, some are incredible and met, I'm still meeting some incredible people and watching them grow watching their kids grow being called Uncle Joe by their own kids in my own nieces and nephews. And that means a lot. And since I couldn't hit my own kids, you know, in being called Uncle Joe by my friends, kids and all that and watching them being born to been driving, driving with them, and just hanging out with them or going to their hockey games or going to the football games, or going wherever with them or going on road trips with a mall and their kids and being part of their families. Like that. I'm not scared to die. Just more sad for all of you guys.
William Huffman 41:36
So what do you do the next three to six months, y'all?
Joe Mottlow 41:39
Well, we're gonna have a big send off party on July 30, at Boondocks, 2009. And I'm gonna try to travel as much as I can. Some friends of mine want to take my DNA out to Alaska. I do want to take my sister and my brother out to Seattle. Because Sam was out there, but he was out there for a long lesson like 36 hours. And then Melissa, she was bummed that she couldn't get out there. So I want to get them out that way. And then I also wanted to take my mom down to Austin, Texas to meet my friend Jeremy, who passed away three days for Christmas from cancer, and to meet his mom and his wife. And then just go was riding just ride the wave until things go south.
Sarah Huffman 42:33
I mean, you just think about like what you've done and even this week, you're still going.
Joe Mottlow 42:49
That's why we can do it. Yo, did you? Did you so much, man. Yeah. Oh my God, dude. So just just keep rolling with the punches, gotta roll with the punches, and just ride that wave. And write the high until you fall off.
William Huffman 43:11
I mean, this is this is your story will help people forever and forever.
Joe Mottlow 43:21
I know. And, you know, my been called a legacy. And literally, it's going to continue my journey with tough, like, it's gonna be finite, wherever it is. Whoever has it, they're gonna be sending it off. And I said, I've met, you guys have created such a great army for me. And I'm glad I was able to hit you guys on my journeys. And to follow me and cheer me on cheer my family on. And just the love is just so empowering. I mean, so empowering. And I'm gonna be watching over every single one of you doesn't matter if I'm a hawk or a little gnat on your on your shoulder that you're like without, oh, it's just go, you know? But like I said, I'm gonna be there with you guys.
William Huffman 44:21
Alright, so now, obviously, there's no downplaying the severity of what you just said. But like you said, you you have to keep going and you have to roll with the punches and ride the wave. Hi. So on July 30, tell me what's what's going to happen like what are we doing like
Joe Mottlow 44:38
Oh, we're so we're here to talk about July 31 2009. At Boondocks revenue big. We're gonna call the dirty tough send off or variable that my mom and I were talking about a second ago about it but celebration of life and I wanted to be present in that not depressed Got it. We'll see you guys all. And
Unknown Speaker 45:05
basically when Doc's ready for this,
William Huffman 45:08
what's the capacity? Like fire marshal might be shutting that bridge down?
Joe Mottlow 45:13
Well, back in 2017 when I hit my first benefit, there was like throughout the 800 people there Yeah. From us all around me. Yeah, in the morning till 10 o'clock at night. Yeah. And so it's gonna be a wild good time. And then like said, I'm sending, just keep moving and try to do as much as I can. Yeah, I'll take some rest. Get some sleep in between. But yeah, we're just going to ride this wave hide together. That's why it's team JoJo tough.
William Huffman 45:44
Yeah. Yeah. So um, how How's your mom doing? Like how?
Joe Mottlow 45:49
Okay, so mentally? It's been tough on her. Yeah. Yeah, a lot of people been reaching out to her and talking to her, which is amazing. And so today was a hard one today as well. And yesterday was a little bit but it's been it's been super hard on her. And yeah, but she's just trying to keep keep positive. She's trying her best.
Sarah Huffman 46:16
Man. So, you know, between now and whenever? Do you when when they say there's nothing else we can do? What does that mean? Like, you were at the doctor today? You had a spinal tap this week? Like, what are they
William Huffman 46:31
not recommending like chemo anymore?
Joe Mottlow 46:33
Or my body can't take any more. Like, I see my internal organs are breaking down. And just falling apart inside. So yeah, maybe. I mean, I would look into the organic route. But again, I don't really understand what that entails. Is it a cure? Or is it more like, Hey, this is what you shouldn't eat is when you become vegan. Come vegan, you know, just kind of be a little hippie. But yeah,
William Huffman 47:05
so our a and I've, I've never talked to somebody you know about something like this, obviously. So now are we talking about like, quality of life? Is that like a discussion that you're having? Like,
Joe Mottlow 47:19
so? Yeah, I know. And I so I want to be cremated. Okay. And so next week, we're gonna go over and write a well and be cremated. But on top of that, I'm going to want my ashes spread out to some certain people. And then also at certain places to Okay, from here to California to Austin to Seattle. And then parts of Illinois,
William Huffman 47:43
you know, super easy. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 47:45
That's awesome, man. Well, it's almost like the Yolo mentality,
William Huffman 47:48
right? Yeah. Because it's like sea to shining sea, baby. Let's
Sarah Huffman 47:51
go. Like if, if that's where you want to be. And now because of that, in a weird way, you're giving your family or your friends that opportunity to like, have a memory with you. They're Correct.
William Huffman 48:03
Man. I don't that very often. I don't have words.
Joe Mottlow 48:12
It's tough. It really is. But you know, it's crappy of a situation it is. I'm gonna make the best of it.
William Huffman 48:20
Yeah, you are you always
Sarah Huffman 48:21
let's do it. The first time we had you on not our podcast, but into March of 2020. Before locked down and well before COVID. Right. We had you on a zoom in our office at Loring Park and it was we'll had started this like Saturday morning. mastermind and it was just different things and we had you on as our guest. And here you are.
William Huffman 48:43
You were in your hotel room. I do believe your hotel
Joe Mottlow 48:45
Sarah Huffman 48:47
Yeah, but like literally that whole thing. It's like your mindset. It's just something that it's inspiring. Yeah, it's like you weren't in the hospital. You were at the hotel.
Joe Mottlow 48:59
Yeah. I mean, it's like it's my vacation. Vacation for the past five years.
Sarah Huffman 49:05
Yeah. And like when you think about this, like five years ago, you were landscaping and weren't feeling good, right and here you are today and it's like it's obviously not what you wanted to hear. No, but like as you've gone through this cancer journey, Eve like what is like any like I don't know you've been through so much like what are some like I've just feel like you could have like advice for people like is it don't sweat the small stuff? Is it enjoy every day? Like how do you not get caught up on some of the shit I see away
Joe Mottlow 49:41
from it. Not to sit there and dwindle and feel bad for yourself and put on social media say like, oh, I cancers. I want someone come visit me or know. By doing that. They'll come visit you but they're going to like feel even worse. But they're going to come to you and and enjoy the moment. So don't sit there and complain. Just be strong. And enjoy the people that are around you doesn't matter if you have 4000 people or four people in your corner, they're gonna come and get you Tibet w. And doesn't matter how long it's gonna take, they're gonna get there. As long as you sit there and watch like, Oh, no one's visiting me, wasn't anyone have visited me, you know, but no, like I said, I wanted to have fun. And I did. And I'm still having fun with it. And like said to me, Jean, my friend, Holly, Reese coming in and setting up shop and cut my hair in different ways. Or I go to her place, yeah, or have other friends cut my hair or my beard, and which was so fun doing that, and, and then what else, just overall everything that friends are doing for me and still doing or for my family members too, as well, making sure that we're standing up in our feet and powering through and moving forward. And so you just gotta roll with the punches and so many others in into like, why am I or some of my cancer? Why did my cancer friends, for example, my friend, Ashley, and my friend, Nicole, they literally were following my footsteps and making up their own material, own separate pages from Facebook, like I am, and telling about the reports of how they're doing and how they're feeling or cutting the hair in different designs, or poking fun at breast cancer or leukemia or whatnot. And so which is so cool to see as well. And so, like I said, just have fun with it. Yeah, don't sit there and dwindle. Because that's not gonna get you anywhere. Well,
Sarah Huffman 51:37
you have definitely not had the diagnosis that any of us wanted. You have not had the easiest road through your cancer journey. You have not treated it like a death sentence. No. It's like, let's go. We're on vacation. We're going to have fun. This situation vacation. Yeah. And come on to the hotel. You have them. Yep. Like it's weird to wrap this podcast up. I just I don't know if you're feeling that way.
William Huffman 52:04
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah,
Joe Mottlow 52:08
I know. It's gonna be right, sir. Yeah. I'm gonna be there with guys. I might, hopefully it won't land crashing the window, like every other bird. But I know you're really a lot here. So hopefully I'm not that dumb bird. Yeah. What was it like to joke that I fixed?
Sarah Huffman 52:33
Yeah, you know, here's what I'll say.
Unknown Speaker 52:37
Give me one. When Will and I went through a tough moment. Financially, like that's controllable. Right. But it's like, I kept telling him and like,
Sarah Huffman 52:59
we're gonna be okay. Because we have each other Correct. Like, it wasn't about physical things or anything like that. When I hear your story, Joe, I'm just like, we're gonna be okay. Because we have you. You know, like, it doesn't matter if you're here physically. You know, you're gonna be here.
Joe Mottlow 53:21
I'm gonna be with you guys. Yeah, wherever you're at.
Sarah Huffman 53:24
And I'm grateful. We didn't know when we had part one of this podcast that your outcome is potentially what it's going to be. But I'm really grateful that we we had these conversations recorded, because just to be able to like, hear you hear your story. hear your perspective. It's, it's just like a gift.
Joe Mottlow 53:49
Thank you. Appreciate it. Yeah, you guys have gifted me by me come out here. Yeah. And so appreciate it. And we're gonna have one more. Oh, hell yeah, we're gonna have a throat out. Yeah, we're gonna have one weren't. So this last one. No, there's only the last podcast? Nope. No, we're gonna have one more, maybe two more? Maybe three more.
Sarah Huffman 54:12
Yeah, and you know, like, absolutely come in and use it to for you. How's that book? slacking?
William Huffman 54:21
Maybe we'll turn into an audio book.
Joe Mottlow 54:23
Yes. I'm gonna have to because at this point, it's gonna be such a long story to write and try and get edited. It certainly turned into an audiobook.
William Huffman 54:34
All right. Okay. We wrap up every podcast the same way and I'm not going to change it for you. So he's already done it. Do we do it? Let's write. You son of a bitch. What's that you already give us your five favorite restaurants. Give us five more. All right. Besides July 30, which is at Boondocks, from two to nine. If you're listening to this, you are unequivocally invited Hey, come celebrate JoJo tough and just to see the insanity that this man has, yep awesome it's five more restaurants
Joe Mottlow 55:09
so over in Buffalo there's new restaurant that opened up two years ago used to be Jays over downtown Buffalo and now it's called forgetting not so be now I have seen that super yummy breakfast oh, so good so good I love a good breakfast
William Huffman 55:27
better than a gas station breakfast burrito
Joe Mottlow 55:30
oh my gosh way better way better you got country cafe or they're in Medina on 85 There I've seen that. I've never been in there Hey, cool story though. Guess who made the wall of fame in there? They so they have pictures of like different actors comedians and Brock Lesnar. Yeah, so when you walk in, my friend Mike Belen put this in my head. And so my friend Jenny Phillips and her husband Mark, I have a picture with me and my wrestling belt. Oh nice Brock Lesnar when you walk in it's on the front it's on the right wall when you walk in. It's on the right wall. And there's me holding my my WWE belt next to Brock Lesnar. That's awesome. That's going there. You'll see the whole thing or wall raw fame Hall of Fame. My other spot is Frankie's in
William Huffman 56:19
northeast and Oh, yeah. New. Frankie's hot dogs. No, this is a place
Joe Mottlow 56:26
that it's like one of my jam spots over in new hope of a 36. Yeah, it's in the corner of a mall. I know what you're talking about. No. Yes. Next to it is also I was eight there yesterday with some friends at Fat nats
Unknown Speaker 56:39
Oh, yeah, I do love for you.
Sarah Huffman 56:41
What's your order at Fat net?
Joe Mottlow 56:42
I get this skinny people. Were just like, Yeah, well, it's an egg pink. Because their pancakes are here. Yeah, they are so good. They covered the whole thing. And then oh, my gosh, I have two more spots. Oh, over by dinky town. My mom and I came across as these two places about three, four years ago. And they're on the fourth and 14th there. It's called ELS breakfast diner. It's literally 12 seats isn't 14. Oh, 1414. It was built in an alley. And you literally it's 10 feet wide. Yeah. And you can literally walk by and miss it. Yep. And then around the others I
William Huffman 57:22
actually have looking for it before.
Joe Mottlow 57:25
When we first were first were looking for we kept walking by we're like, Where is this place where it's like little brown, like shingle building or breakfast place. It literally is old spindle type. The only thing that's annoying about it is you got people waiting behind you. And breathing on your say for you like Hurry up. I want to sit down. Yeah. But it's been there for so long. And then around the other side is Tony's diner. And that place is another really cool place. So the guy, we've become really good friends with him. And so he's Greek. And so it's not like authentic authentic. He's like he'll make like whatever. But he does like like a Greek omelette or if you're like a year old, not gyro a year row. Yeah. Okay, let's get that straight. It's called a year old. And, and so that's our dinner chance that those those are the five raters. So Tony's and Ellsberg. pinsider on fourth and 14th through the Dinkytown Okay,
William Huffman 58:24
awesome. All right, everybody. We really appreciate you being on Joe. We are going to have you on again. We'll we'll see you July 30. For sure around there. As always, we out. Deuces.
Joe Mottlow 58:35
Deuces. Bye, everyone thinks everyone.
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