September 2010


(Click here for Health update, or look  below – thanks for checking in on me! This post has nothing to do with my brain; I need to start writing about other random things)

Life is marked by the Rites of Passage which are undertaken as we grow older. (more…)

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Alright, I’m trying to do more “fun writing,” but am finding my stalling on that front is keeping me from updating you all on my general state.  When last I checked in with you (nearly a week ago..pathetic), I had just had a procedure done at my hospital of choice (University of Washington Medical Ctr.), the result of which would be the installation of a shunt (kind of like a drain) that would help me get rid of my puffy head. 

As surgeries go, this thing went off without a hitch.  Now, I really had little idea what this actually meant, in terms of lasting impact on my body, nor do I still.  All I know is that the puffy head is gone, and a slightly visible tube running down my neck & chest remains, along with a pretty noticeable bump at the shunt entry point on top of my head.  All together now: ewwwww…

My employers (a local school district here in NW WA) have been incredible.  Just this week, I began a low-responsibilty, high-flexibility position based out of the Special Programs office (mostly plugging holes in programs at this point, plus taking tasks off peoples’ hands.  Not amazingly rewarding stuff, but that’s a small price to pay for the incredible schedule flexibility I’m being shown).

Then, after a four-day absense ( not a small thing these days), I was right back at UWMC this past Wed. for my monthly chemo treatment (no scan this month – that’ll come in mid-Oct).  Everything pretty much went as it usually does…

That’s about all the depth I can conjure up tonight; thanks for your continued support, prayer, & encouragement!

Post op room= where they wheel you after surgery, and after you wake up, and see whichever visitors have been waiting for you, the doctor comes and tells you how things went.  Kind of a little post-game celebration for the surgery

Alright, having just returned from my latest stay at UWMC, the 12th best hospital in the country overall, and the 5th best for cancer care (according to US News & World Repot), here’s how things went this week. (more…)

(Health update below: thanks for checking in!)

“So, what do YOU remember from this day, nine years ago?” (more…)

(Health update below – this is just a fun one)

We always remember our many “firsts” in life… (more…)

So, in the interest of tossing a quick update on here, I’m all lined up for what everyone has referred to as a relatively-minor surgery on Tuesday 9/14.  This procedure will get rid of my puffy head once and for all (knock on wood).  For your medical reading pleasure, you can up more on Ventriculoperitoneal shunting by clicking here.  I wish I could say I completely understand how this procedure goes down; but the fact that everyone I’ve talked with says this needs to happen, and all the research I’ve seen says that the risks of treatment are outweighed by the risks of inaction, I’m good with just laying on a table, then getting woken up on the other side with a better understanding of what just happened (hey, I still haven’t really figured out this plastic plate I’ve got up there). 

Prayers, as always, are appreciated for the docs, for the surgery & recovery, and that this darn thing would work, not get infected, and not otherwise complicate things any further.  I’d kind of like to not see my neurosurgeon for awhile (if not ever again, unless we bump into each other at the park).

I am, however, rememebering to be thankful for some encouraging stuff God’s thrown together lately:  I put out a feeler for lodging & pre-dawn transportation near UW, and had many offers of assistance (with my selecting the one that would involve the least sleep deprivation for the generous host/driver).  Also, the fact that I was able to wedge this surgery in the day before my next chemo treatment (9/15), means one less 2 hr drive each way; a tremendous “little thing.”  Thank you, Lord, for little things that aren’t so little!  Plus, I got back to work this past week, to my job with middle school kids, and was eagerly & lovingly welcomed by supportive co-workers and supervisors (who have bent over backwards to work within my physical limits and scheduling needs).  Plus, those amazing medical benefits I’m not going to take for granted. 

OK, I could keep going, but you get the point.  Sometimes, life stinks, but there’s always good stuff going on if you stop to look for it.  But you have to CHOOSE to see it.  Otherwise, you’re gonna be staring at the same miserable, depressing stuff all your life; let me know how much fun you have doing that…

“Leftover Night” = when Mom or Dad knows they have some kind of moral obligation to put a meal of some kind on  the table, but just aren’t feeling up to the task.  Solution?  Leftover night!  Or, in this case, a recycling of both Facebook posts and previous Beach posts, assembled to properly capture the intended mood that a brand new written piece would have generated.  But, sorry, kids; Daddy’s just not up for cooking tonight…

Health Update (by way of a series of recent Facebook status updates (which, for the uninitiated, are how one can tell their legions of friends what’s on their mind that day, to be enjoyed, mulled over, and discussed in community): (more…)