And Now For Something Completely Different

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
Cool Hand Luke

“Houston, we have a problem.”
Apollo 13

As the title suggests, I’m going to go off topic for this latest edition. Since being diagnosed, I have had many people try to give me words of comfort. I know they mean well but let me hit on a couple of things that have occurred to me about some of the more popular phrases I’ve heard.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle”
When you’re in the midst of battling a life threatening illness, this is not what you want to hear. Even though as a Christian I know this to be true, I had several times during my illness felt as if I couldn’t take anymore and I was ready to give up. When you hear this, the first thought is “easy for you to say. You aren’t going through this”. It just may not be the best thing to say at that time.

“Everything happens for a reason”
Absolutely right, but it doesn’t help that one of those reasons involves death. God doesn’t always decide to let everyone live. Sometimes the plan involves us continuing on to the promised land. Although Christians should be happy about entering the gates of Heaven, it doesn’t necessarily mean we want to go right away.

“We’re not promised tomorrow”
I have said this one myself many times. Recently I have begun to think more about this however. While it is true that we may not be promised tomorrow here on Earth, God has promised us tomorrow, either in Heaven or in Hell. Those of us who have accepted Christ as our Saviour are promised an eternity in Heaven. I look forward to that, just hopefully it will be a few years down the road. If any of you reading this have not accepted Christ, I challenge you to take the time to investigate it yourself. Don’t take my word for it. It is ultimately each individual’s decision to make. This is my personal beliefs and I’m not trying to force anything on anyone.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. That was not my intent. Maybe there are some who disagree with what I have said. I am only speaking from my personal experience. I promise that on my next blog I will step down from my soapbox and get back to my usual cheery self dealing with the big C.

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The Bright Side of Life

“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it? Time is chasing after all of us.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…”
Monty Python

As most of you may know by now, my latest trip to Philly did not turn out as I had hoped it would. It did start out well though.

My wife and I arrived a day early so that we could do some sight seeing. This was the first real chance we had of getting to see Philadelphia since we began coming here for treatments. This was also the best I’ve felt since I began coming here. We spent all day walking and checking out some of the historic sights of Philly. The first couple of days we were able to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Christ Church (where we sat in the same pews that once were occupied by George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Betsy Ross) and took a horse drawn carriage tour of Philly. We also ate at The City Tavern where Benjamin Franklin loved to eat. Very good food! We saw several different monuments as well as the famous “Rocky Balboa” statue. There is also a building that looks a lot like the building in the “Ghostbusters” movie. Every time I saw it I began humming music from the movie.

But alas, I eventually had to do what I came to Philly for. I went to the Center and had a PET scan done. We met with my oncologist to discuss the test. Some of my numbers were ok, but most were not. In my doctors words, “what we are doing is not working.” He decided to take me off the Avastin part of my chemo but continue the rest. He set me up to have an MRI and to meet with another doctor to discuss a possible third line of chemo type of treatment that involved radioactive beads injected directly into my liver. The doctor could only give me about a 50% chance of effectiveness. The side effects and the things that could possibly go wrong were not appealing at all. It was at this point that I decided that I would not have this new procedure nor would I continue to receive the chemo treatments I had been getting. Why continue something that isn’t working. That essentially ended any hope of curing this cancer with today’s modern medicine. We will continue to come to Philly once a month for blood work and to check on the progress of the disease.

I still hold out hope that my God will completely heal me and show the world that miracles still exist. In the meantime, Brenda and I have decided to do some things that we have always wanted to do. First stop is New York where we are visiting our surrogate daughter for a couple of days. After that I’ll have a meet up with some old high school friends before heading to Savannah to see our son and soon to be daughter in law. We may then head to Disney for a couple of days, just the two of us. I refuse to let this stop me from enjoying life and enjoying it with the people I love. I will laugh, I will love, and I will praise my God every day that I am alive, be it 5 days or 50 years. I hope you will do the same.
As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it”

Last Week, This Week, And The Week Ahead

Even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week.
Robert Louis Stevenson

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Henry A. Kissinger

Just a quick update on my last trip to Philly. My numbers were all back up but my doc decided to continue the chemo. I actually had my best week yet while on chemo. Only got mildly nauseous two days but was still able to eat and drink fluids. A pretty uneventful trip. That’s a good thing. My incision has finally begun to heal. I no longer feel any pain there.

My week after the chemo has been extremely good. There have been none of the usual side effects and I have been eating like a horse. If I keep this up I may have to start eating those “Lean Cuisine” meals. I have gained about ten pounds in the last month.

My next visit to Philly, I will have a PET scan done. This will show if the cancer looks any better or worse. After that the doctor will determine whether or not I continue my chemo treatments. I believe I will. I’m feeling better than I have since this whole thing began in October. I’m thanking God every day for the life and time He has given me.

Like I said, this is just a little update to let everyone know how I’m doing. I will have a new blog up soon. Until then, peace out my homies.