July 31, 2005

1st Annual Golf Tournament!

The plans are coming together, we have a date, a course and are expecting a big crowd!

All the details are available at: www.FLHW.org

We hope you can make it!
Not a lot is new. We went to St. Louis last weekend. It was great to visit but we picked the hottest weekend of the year. We saw the Cardinals lose to the Cubs in 100 degree heat on Saturday but had a great time. Sunday we went to the Kirkwood pool/water park, the water slides made me feel like a kid again!!!

The second FLHW board meeting was held on the 28th. We dedicated most of the time discussing the golf tournament. We are confident we'll have enough players (120-130) but will have to work hard to get sponsors lined up in time. The goal for the first year is quite lofty at $10k and considering we just got started, we will have to work hard to meet it! The link is above, let me know if you have any questions.

July 21, 2005

I will.....

With just a few days and stages remaining, experts are saying that barring an accident, Lance Armstrong will win his seventh consecutive Tour de France. The guy is simply amazing in the cycling world and what he means to those of us living with cancer.

This train of though is relevant because lately I've been thinking about how I will feel, what life will be like etc in three, or five or ten years from now? For someone like Lance, he's been cancer free for years, it's with him but behind him ~ he's been cured. The majority of cancer survivors must go through stages similar to him; diagnosis, treatment, remission, cured. For me, the stages are: Diagnosis, treatment, treatment, treatment, …..?

Post treatment I would imagine most survivors biggest worry is "did the treatments get it all?". Their stress is waking everyday and wondering and waiting until the day they are tested and the results show no traces of the cancer. My stress is waking everyday wondering at what point my medication will stop working?
So these are my milestones, these are the things I roll out of bed each morning and work for, these are the things I live for and fight for:
- We will celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary (Aug 2006, no doubt! ~ at a minimum 25 in 2016!!!)
- I will celebrate my Grandmother's 100th Birthday in November
- I will see my niece graduate from college (May 2008, for sure ~ as long as she doesn’t begin a 5 year plan, no pressure Meg's!!)
- I will see my nephew graduate from high school (May 2009)
- I will see my son get his drivers license (September 2012)
- I will see my son graduate from high school (May 2014)
- I will live to see him graduate from college
- I will live to see him get married
- I will live to be a grandfather

I will live to be cured………

(Mark you calendars for October 3rd - 1:00pm The first annual FLWH Golf Tournament: details upcoming!!!)

July 15, 2005

She is....

She is:
There when I need her,
even before I ask.

Constantly watching over,
beside me,
around me,
behind me,
within me.

My foundation,
My guidepost,
My northern star.

Without her I would still,
be sailing this world,
without a rutter,
without a purpose,
without Faith, Love or Hope.

July 13, 2005

Of Funerals and fears

I almost stayed in bed this morning. I haven't struggled with the snooze button like that in weeks. However, as I made my way to the kitchen for ice water, and trudged to the basement to tape my right hand (calluses) it was apparent where this brief injection of apathy had come from, the funeral.

Technically it was a wake, but nonetheless this one grazed a little to close to home. We didn't know her well, in fact I believe I only met her twice? She went to our church, her husband is a fellow Knight of Columbus. Upon entering the church I picked up the prayer card….she was 1 year and 3 days older than me……she battled cancer several times over the past several years, Sunday she returned to the Lord. 43, teenage daughters, damn life is cruel. One of these days His plan will be revealed to us all, I for one can’t wait to see why it is that the good one's are taken so early?

During the Rosary I kept saying to myself "it's not going to be like this for me or for Mary". I know that to be true, I believe that to be true, it's those thoughts that get me through the day, it's those thoughts that won this mornings battle with the snooze button.

When we got into the car afterwards, the first thing I said to her was "THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TO US!"
I pray that I'm right, it has to be……

Sleep lately has been restless, hot flashes again keep waking me at times. I usually fall right back to sleep but it can make for a long might. When we're little we go to bed reciting "Now I lay me down to sleep……". Lately I find myself dozing off to "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..….."

July 07, 2005

Don't even think about it!!!!!

I almost published this without commenting, but it was too tempting.

I like the Chiefs a lot, but don't any of you ever assume that many years from now that this would be a good idea. The answer now is NO and the answer then will be NO!!! (Note to Gary G. and Mike R. ~ I always knew that there was something wrong with you Steelers fans!)

"Body of Steelers Fan Viewed in Recliner"
Wed Jul 6, 1:44 PM ET

James Henry Smith was a zealous Pittsburgh Steelers fan in life, and even death could not keep him from his favorite spot: in a recliner, in front of a TV showing his beloved team in action.

Smith, 55, of Pittsburgh, died of prostate cancer Thursday. Because his death wasn't unexpected, his family was able to plan for an unusual viewing Tuesday night.
The Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home erected a small stage in a viewing room, and arranged furniture on it much as it was in Smith's home on game day Sundays.

Smith's body was on the recliner, his feet crossed and a remote in his hand. He wore black and gold silk pajamas, slippers and a robe. A pack of cigarettes and a beer were at his side, while a high-definition TV played a continuous loop of Steelers highlights.

'I couldn't stop crying after looking at the Steeler blanket in his lap,' said his sister, MaryAnn Nails, 58. 'He loved football and nobody did (anything) until the game went off. It was just like he was at home.'

Longtime friend Mary Jones called the viewing 'a celebration.' 'I saw it and I couldn't even cry,' she said. 'People will see him the way he was.'

Smith's burial plans were more traditional he'll be laid to rest in a casket."

July 06, 2005

Soy and Aspirin and thoughts of….

I've slacked off here over the past week, 4th of July, a little golf (both kinds),
an extra day off and now a lot to do here at work!

The FLHW board met, more on that in my next entry.

Just today I ran across two headlines:
Aspirin-cancer study shows benefit for men, not women

Study: Soy protein-rich diets may lower prostate cancer risk

Where were these studies when I needed them?
If you're making smoothies, add a scoop of Iso-Soy (available at Whole Foods etc.), it does nothing to change the taste, I've been using it for almost two months. It's somewhat expensive (about 80 cents a scoop, $20 a can). Also, go get yourself a jumbo jar of aspirin from Costco or Sam's Club (we use Ecotrin 325 mg) and do I like I do, take one every day! They are also supposed to reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer!

It's now been nearly five months. So much has changed, so little has changed. On one hand, I am such a different person, on the other hand I am the same. "Who" I am will never change, "what" I am is in a constant state of flux. What I mean by this is my beliefs, values etc. are constant. However having cancer has changed so much. I'm more cognizant of nutrition, exercise, prevention, friendship, faith, family and how precious life is and what a wonderful gift it is. I still go through the motions like the rest of you. Those moments when you say "I can't believe summer is half over?!" But I am trying to slow down more and more and take moments in. Now that I write it down, it sounds like a cliché - I'm trying though.

There are still moments I struggle to imagine this going on and on for years, I want it out of my body, now. I tell myself that when I exercise each morning, "one more sit-up, one more curl and maybe it will be gone?" At times I struggle with not wallowing in the "why me, why now?". At mass on Saturday, I heard my name for the 21st week in row, and thought "when I'm still included in intentions 5, 6 or 8 years from now, what will people think?".

So, if you asked me today, "How are you doing?" I'd have to say "I've had better days!"…..like tomorrow!