“The Heart of the Matter”

When I first learned I had cancer, it was like a dagger through my heart. My wife Brenda was there beside me. I can only imagine how she felt. I’m trying to make light of the situation so as to keep her from losing it but in reality that’s how I deal with things anyway. Throughout that first terrible week, Brenda was there with me through all the bad news and never showed how bad it was affecting her, at least not to me. When I began my chemo and the sickness and side effects began taking their toll on me, she was there with me the entire time. She got permission to work from home, which I will be eternally grateful for the generosity and compassion that Legendary Homes has shown during this time. My wife has been there for me at my lowest and most humbling points during this illness. She does everything without complaint or consideration for herself. When you promise to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, in sickness or in health, you hope to never have to put those words to the test. She has lived those words and my love for her grows stronger everyday. She makes me stronger. She makes me a better person and I love her very much and she knows this because I tell her everyday several times a day, just as she does to me. She is the love of my life and I would never want to live without her.

This Valentine’s Day couples will show their affection by going out to dinner, buying flowers, going to see a romantic movie (we will be seeing the new Die Hard movie. That’s just how we roll.), and maybe buying a heart shaped box of chocolates. I hope that every couple would do these things more often than just this one day that is dedicated to the affairs of the heart.

My illness has shown me that everyday is precious and nothing should be taken for granted. The Cancer may take my colon and my liver but it will never be able to get my heart. That was taken years ago by the most incredible woman I’ve ever known. I love you Brenda. Happy Valentines Day!

With you here, I know that life is much more fun. –Pooh

Sometimes the things that you’re looking for, you can’t see with your eyes. You have to see them with your heart. –Peter Pan (Disney Dreams)

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Plastic is the “New” Silver

One of the little side effects of one of the drugs I am taking is that silverware and pretty much anything metal leaves a metallic taste in my mouth which sometimes affects the way things taste. Because of this I don’t drink anything from a can and I use plastic ware. Not a big deal at home, however it can be annoying having to always ask for a plastic fork whenever I go out for a meal. To their credit so far, every restaurant but one has been more than accommodating.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big Walt Disney World fan and usually I gush about how wonderful they are at most everything. At a recent visit to one of our favorite eating establishments there, “Via Napoli”, I requested plastic instead of silver because of my condition. The waiter went to the back and when he returned he informed me that the manager said that they could not accommodate me due to the fact that they did not have any plastic at all. Now “Via Napoli” is a great restaurant and I love the food but it is not a 5 star establishment. Plus it is inside the Epcot resort at Disney World. I would think that they are probably one the biggest users of plastic utensils in the world. My daughter wound up leaving the restaurant and walking down to the next eating establishment and getting a plastic fork and knife for me.

This is the only restaurant that this has happened in. I still love “Via Napoli” and I will go back again, but it seems odd that any major restaurant wouldn’t plan for people with a special request such as mine. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first one to make such a request and I won’t be the last. So for future reference for anyone planning to open or who currently owns their own restaurant, consider having a supply of plastic ware on hand for those of us who are metal intolerant. And it may not be a bad idea for those of us with this condition to carry an extra set with us.

I plan on sending a letter to Disney and the manager of Via Napoli to encourage them to consider the metal challenged like myself, but I’ll do it in a magically Disney type way. 🙂

The trip to Disney itself was an overall success. It was my first one since I started my chemo treatments so I was a little apprehensive about it. I was able to move around the parks all day without the aid of any wheelchair or scooter (I will have to be in pretty bad shape before I do that). Plus I was with four boys under the age of 5. Not what you would call a stress free vacation for my first post chemo trip to the Kingdom but it showed me that I was able to do things that I previously had not been doing for the past three months. I did take plenty of breaks however because I am still kinda weak and I have not yet been able to get rid of the shakiness in my hands. Still, I was at Disney and everything seems better when I’m there, especially when I’m with family.

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin