December 26, 2006

Listen to Clarence....

Remember good old Clarence from "It's a Wonderful Life."?

This is perhaps my favorite Christmas movie, along with "A Christmas Story". The movies are so different in the emotions they provoke: where George Bailey and Clarence make you think, Ralphie and Scott Farcus make you laugh. Also, IAWL can only be seen once a year now, where WTBS runs 24 straight hours of Ralphie and Randy! Fa, rah, rah, rah, rah!!!

Do you remember what Clarence inscribed in the Bible he gave George at the end of the movie? Simple, yet profound:

"No man is a failure who has friends!"

Peace on earth everyone, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy New Year!

December 20, 2006

The road behind me, the road ahead.

I started creating a binder the other night to hold notes from Doctor appointments, medical bills, PSA reports, etc. Nothing like waiting two years to get organized!

As I was going through some of the notes it made me realize how far we have come! Hand written notes "PSA = prostate specific antigen". There were a number of notes that were similar, phrases etc. we wrote down at the time that now we are 'experts' on. Hormone Treatment, why surgery is not an option, radiation etc. A strange, somewhat eerie flashback at times.

The most startling note was perhaps the shortest. It was in my handwriting, written with a Sharpie [I couldn't find anything else to write with in the conference room I made the call from]. It was from the day I was told the MRI and Bone scan test results (February 18, 2005), it simply said "Confirmed, it's cancer". As I read this the other night I immediately thought "Did I really need to write this down?" Funny how the mind works....

This post is not intended to be a downer. Just the opposite! It's a follow up to my last and the fact that you never know what lies around the next turn! As I reflected on some of the notes I told Mary later it's amazing how far we have come when dealing with this situation. My PSA number is over three times worse than last year yet I feel 110% better about where we are and what happens next! We have come so far and we have a long road ahead, a journey I look forward to for the most part!

Peace be with you all and Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

December 18, 2006

A four letter word starting with 'H'?

I just re-read my blog from last year at this time, wow what a difference a year makes!!!

Last year my PSA was 7.18 and the thoughts of chemo danced in our heads.
It was an non-eventful Christmas in the Emerson house. Mary and I just went through the motions. It was a scary, stressful few weeks. By early January it was the beginning of a new year and life was so different! This year, my number is MUCH higher yet I find myself calm, relaxed, peaceful, thankful.

The situation from last year is a perfect insight into how I live my life in general and how I've gotten through this ordeal so far. Don't get to stressed by the situation at hand, you never know what tomorrow brings?

It's Hope - The answer to a prayer, the birth of the Christ child, a cure for cancer! You just never know what lies ahead!

December 13, 2006

Two, four, six, eight, who do we.....

OK, you get where I'm going....the new number is in:


Almost half again of last month's 43!!!

Happy Freakin' Holidays!!

(I found some time tonight to post some pictures of the golf tournament. Click here)

December 12, 2006

Mary Christmas

I don't spend a lot of time in this forum discussing her. Why? Maybe that topic and the immediate feelings and emotions that surface hit just a little to close to home?

What can I say, I found, courted, married and remain devoted to my perfect match. Braggadocio aside, I know this doesn't happen very often these days, I realize how lucky we are. We are not perfect, we have flaws like everyone but she is clearly the ying to my yang.

Have I told you she is by my side for every doctor appointment? Yesterday I had my monthly blood draw, Oncologist appointment and Zometa treatment. There she was, as beautiful as ever. Always positive, always encouraging me, always hoping for the best results.

I can only guess what this does to her? The constant worry, pressure, what's next, what if's etc. Everyday I thank God for bringing her into my life, where would I be without her? How the hell would I get through this alone?

Several times during this ordeal we have had what I'll refer to as our "reality" talk. A dreaded discussion where we finally verbalize the "what if's?". You can only imagine the emotions that pour out. When it's over however, it feels good. We are human we have to release from time to time. I feel another one coming at some point over the holidays. However, who knows? When I get my PSA number today or tomorrow, if it's down again or stable, maybe we will glide through the holidays?

She is my angel,
She is my life.
She is my strength,
She is my power.
She is my reason,
She is my everything.

December 06, 2006

Laugh, think, cry

While channel surfing last night I flipped over to ESPN (it's what guys do, I'm sure it's hereditary). During halftime of the game between Oklahoma State and Syracuse (The Jimmy V Classic) they played a speech he made at the 1993 ESPY awards. I remember seeing it in the past, not sure when but based on how it mesmerized me, it had to be before I was diagnosed. In the speech he talked about his philosophy of life while he was fighting cancer. It basically came down to three things that we must do everyday: we must 1) laugh 2) think deeply about something and 3) get emotional about something.

As you can imagine, his second and third are easy for me, finding something to laugh about can be a struggle! I try. I'm not a real uptight person anyway but finding something to laugh about can be hard at times. As I've repeated many, many times here I don't get too high from the highs or too low from the lows.

Brad and I have been laughing a lot together lately. We watch a lot of HGTV at night, there's just no good family shows on TV, a bunch of filth, but I digress. He and I like to make fun of some of the shows, the ones where they take what amounts to junk and "spruce it up and give it some pop"! The discussion usually involves me, in my best British accent: "We'll I found this tree branch down at the curb, I glued some lovely artificial leaves to it to hide the wire. Then I painted it black and I found this lovely lamp shade up in the attic, and now we have a beautiful lamp for above the fireplace"! Do they ever think the lamp shade is in the attic for a reason and the junk is by the curb becasue it's garbage?
-You probably have to be there, it's not that funny but to see him laugh, one of those gut-busting-trying to catch his breath laughs, well it is just priceless. That is what life is all about; to see your child laugh and laugh so hard it almost makes him brings a tear to my eye.

Just by writing this I have completed Jimmy V's three tasks!

Here is more information on the foundation:
One of the most incredible things about this group is this:

The V Foundation for Cancer Research officially announced that effective with its new fiscal year October 1, 2006, 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of events contributed to The V Foundation will be used to fund cancer research and related programs.

What this means is in just 13 years the endowment of the foundation is now covering 100% of the overhead and administrative costs of the foundation. Very impressive!

Thanks for the prompt John, I was struggling to find a topic, this was perfect.
All is well with me. My monthly doctor appointment, blood test and Zometa treatment are Monday the 11th.