A Hole In One

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap! The job’s a game. –Mary Poppins

Do a good job. You don’t have to worry about the money. It will take care of itself. Just do your best work. –Walt Disney

Carl Spackler: Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!
Bill Murray (Caddyshack)

I do not golf. Not because I don’t like it. It’s because I am horrible at it. The last time I played I believe I shot a 90 on the first 9. I laid my clubs down and began taking pictures. Golf is a beautiful sport. Standing out on a beautifully landscaped course with the sun shining and a nice breeze…..very serene. Then you hit that first slice into the trees and everything changes.

My brother is a good golfer. He loves the game. A week ago he, with the help of my family, organized a benefit golf tournament and silent auction for my cause. It was an awesome thing to do and very humbling. I met people I haven’t seen in quite a while and some I had never met. They all talked about what an inspiration I have been to them. Very humbling. If they saw my golf game their tune might change.

We had a great turnout. 21 teams of 4 showed up for lunch, golf, and the silent auction. Woodfin Ridge golf course in Inman was beautiful. The staff was very helpful. There were quite a few good players there as well as some duffers. Everyone had a great time.

Afterwards a silent auction was held with some great prizes such as a guitar donated by “The Advice”, artwork, golf clubs, books, gift baskets, a Clemson and USC hand made wreath, and my favorite a Clemson football signed by the football staff including Dabo Swinney. I joked around that if no one bidded on it, I would put my name on it. The money would just be coming back to me anyway. Fortunately my cousin Eddie ( yes “Vacation” fans, I have a cousin Eddie) bought the football and then gave it to me. I have the best family. Thanks again cuz!

My niece Katie made lollipops that said lets lick cancer and she also created the bracelets ” Does This Cancer Make My Colon Look Fat Scott Land Benefit 2013″. She sold nearly 300 so far. Fantastic job Katie! Everyone did such a great job volunteering, donating, and playing. My thanks and prayers go out to anyone who was involved in this wonderful event. We raised over 12,000 dollars for our cause. Incredible!!! The outpouring of love and support just blew me away. We are truly blessed. I believe my brother is trying to plan some more events. Thank you all so much for a very blessed time. As bad as the cancer is, it has allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people. I feel truly blessed by this.

Maybe next year I will be healthy enough to hit the course myself. Watch out for the birdies ( I’m talking about real birdies. No telling how many I may accidentally kill).

It’s A Disney Life For Me

I can’t help myself. I like good food, ok? –Remy (Ratatouille)

You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. –James (Princess and the Frog)

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

It doesn’t take long once you know me to know that I am a HUGE Disney fan! I like everything Disney but my true passion is for the Walt Disney World theme park. I have been going there since they opened in October of 1971. I’ve gone there almost every single year and many times more than once a year. My wife and I have an annual pass so we try to get there as many times as we can afford. We have been twice since my cancer diagnosis, once in January and our latest trip that took place over a 12 day period just a couple of weeks ago in June.

Most of my peeps don’t understand my obsession with a certain theme park. Some have asked me, “There’s a several parks closer. What’s the difference?” We’ll, comparing Disney World to say a Carowinds, Six Flags, or Dollywood is like comparing cube steak to filet mignon. Cube steak is fine if that’s all you eat, but once you get a taste of the filet, you realize what you’ve been missing. (Not that there is anything wrong with the other parks or cube steak for that manner, but I think you catch my drift.)

After our sobering news from Philly about my condition, my wife decided we needed a trip to Disney. So she booked it for 12 days at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort beginning the day after we arrived home from Philly after my first chemo treatment there. I was feeling less than wonderful so I was a little apprehensive about the trip. I tend to have a tough time wanting anything to eat or drink after my treatments and that is the two most important things I need to do. We arrived home from Philly on a Tuesday evening and flew out for Orlando on a Wednesday morning. Now to say I hate flying and everything that goes with it is a vast understatement and here I am flying two days in a row while not feeling too spiffy.

We make it to Orlando without incident, and a good friend drove us to our hotel. We brought a wheelchair with us knowing that my lack of stamina would not allow me to walk the huge distances at WDW. It didn’t help me get on any rides any quicker, but we were always the first ones on the bus. My daughter and two grandsons (3 and a half and 8 months) were with us. Now some will say it is the magic of Disney, which may be a little true, but I believe it was more of God knowing what I needed and when I needed it, because I began eating and drinking right away. The entire 12 days I was there I ate well. By well I mean generously, not nutritionally. Still a big win.

We had a great time for two days and then the trip got even better as my mom, step-dad, dad, step-mom, niece, and all 5 of my siblings all came down for the weekend. The first time we have all been at Disney together in about 10 years. We had a great time posing for pics and experiencing Star Wars weekends at the Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom. Our entire trip was truly “Magical”.

The only setback I had was the area around my incision began to hurt again around Sunday. We believe it may have been aggravated by riding in the wheelchair too long. Still, all in all it was a great trip. We wound out leaving on a Sunday. We then flew to Philly on Monday. More flying. Geesh! My wife has come to the conclusion that we should go to Disney after every treatment. I would like it but I’m afraid our bank account couldn’t handle it.

I realize that this is a bit of a deviation from my usual blogs. Don’t worry. I’ll get back to the doom and gloom later. Right now though, I’m feeling good. Thank you God for giving me a happy place to go to.

The Philadelphia Story

In my last post, I told you how my daughter found out about The Cancer Treatment Centers of America and had set me up for a consultation. We read good things about the place so we decided to give it a try.

They impressed me and Brenda from the start. The Center paid for our airline tickets and picked us up at the airport. They set us up at The Radisson. The following day I began a non-stop array of meetings, tests, x-rays, scans, and consultations. You meet a lot of people and everyone seems to be truly concerned with your condition. They treat the mind, body, and soul. The staff there are the most helpful and caring people I’ve ever seen. I even had a nurse share her faith with me. You won’t find that in most places.

The founder of The Centers had a mother who had cancer. He was not happy with the way she was treated and after she died, he decided to start a place that would treat every patient as if they were their mother. Any patient you talk to sings the praises of the doctors and staff. They have a chapel, a cafeteria, a workout center, and a piano player in the lobby.

By the end of the third day of the evaluation, I was pretty much worn out. My oncologist, Dr. Patel, went over all of the test results from the previous 3 days. Most were pretty good. I did find out that my heart has a defect in it but it was nothing to worry about. No one from Greenville ever mentioned this after doing the same scans. Dr. Patel then began to detail the cancer and where it is. This is where the results took a drastic turn for the worst. The scan showed that the cancer in my liver had considerably increased. It is so bad that even my doctor said that he didn’t see how it had not started affecting me yet. I know why. I serve a Big God who hears prayers and I have a lot of people praying for me. And I thank you all for that. There is no part of my liver that is not touched by the cancer cells. Then he informed me that the cancer apparently has spread to my pelvis. Great. This was a new development. On the bright side (and when I say this I can’t help but think of a Monty Python movie) the cancer appears to no longer be in the colon. I guess they removed it all during the surgery (not that any one in Greenville bothered to say that).

Dr. Patel’s recommendation was that I begin the second line of chemo immediately due to the fact that I have a very small window to work with. I was told that if jaundice sets in, no one will treat me due to it being an ethical situation. Even the Cancer Center will stop treating me. Apparently jaundice means there is no return, end of ball game, sayonara, adios amigos. So we stayed an extra four days and began my new regiment of chemo. It went fairly well so we decided to take a vacation to Walt Disney World. That wound up being a very good thing because as soon as I got there I began to eat. The magic of Disney, eh? We stayed there for 12 days with my daughter and two grandsons. My mom, step-dad, dad, step-mom, 4 sisters, brother, and my niece came down for the weekend. It was a great time and well needed.

Today I am back in Philly for round two. I feel better, not because of the treatment or even the doctors and staff here, but because of the stories some of you, my friends, have told me of how much my ordeal has affected the way you now live your life. If this horrible disease has managed to help any one in any way through me, then I am very humbled and maybe all this is worth it. Maybe wether I live or die is not the issue but rather how I use this time to affect others and possibly give them something to truly live for. Appreciate the life you’re given every day. Give thanks every day. I know I do.

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” Winnie the Pooh

A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we’ve got. –Roger (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)

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