August 2011


It has occurred to me lately that even should I ever walk away from this current health ordeal of mine; I should never expect to return to what could be considered 100% of physical form (there’s just been too much damage done to the wiring up there). As such, I’m setting some realistic expectations for the rest of my life (in delusionally optimistic anticipation of a long one: which includes, among other things taking my solo Italy trip off the bucket list (as well as all other solo travel). In the shorter term this has involved needing to let others make decisions regarding my future independence abilities (tough to stomach when I’m doing just fine, and perhaps well above expectations right now. However it still stinks to watch friends & family living their lives, hiking hikes, running races, traveling on trips, even just driving around (which I have no guarantee of being able to do again anytime soon), all at 100%.

This past week my church looked at Ps.63 where David longs for water in the midst of his desert; the speaker (a good friend who teaches education students) made a point about walking w/ others in their deserts, and called me out by name (the one week where I wasn’t feeling up to making it in – I wasn’t there, but listened online later) as someone who has a unique desert experience that always leaves him laughing when he encounters me in it – I’ve had others share similar sentiments, and take that as one of the greatest compliments I could get; being able to uplift in the midst of a struggle…

But just the same I was reminded recently that while I haven’t been 100%  at any time in the past 3 yrs, the diminished percent (let’s say 70% I’ve been at has been  a greater 70% than if I had remained at that previous 100%, and that, if I could, I wouldn’t trade the two.  Having seen what I’ve seen in God’s guiding hand, in my support system, and in myself, I have little choice but to remain thankful for not being 100% (“…for my strength is made perfect in  weakness (I Cor 12:9).”), or become miserable and ungrateful for the 70% – thus robbing me of whatever time I’ve got left here. As sick as it sounds, cancer has significantly improved my life in many ways.

This past Monday found me once again lying inside the familiar confines of the MRI tube at UWMC to determine the effectiveness or not of my latest, and perhaps most debated chemo regiment.  (discussed at great length previously).  Understandably, I had high hopes, but low expectations for this latest scan (high hopes, in that I haven’t had so much as neutral news since last summer; low expectations, for the same reason; they just all blend together at a certain point, my local docs and I almost want to say to each other, when reviewing the UW results, “why are we even sitting here? We already know”).

So, when the latest image came up on the screen, showing my tumor to still be spreading despite several chemo treatments, I wasn’t real surprised, but was plenty disappointed.  I was really hoping this one (as much if not more than others before it) was going to at least slow the momentum, which it may have done, it’d be near impossible to gauge rate of growth with any accuracy.  It really deflated me more than others in recent memory have…

Now, we move on to the next one (which I’ll give a shot, seeing how well I tolerated this last one, after this, though, I really don’t see chemo as my best primary option any more).  As my doc stated, the goal now is to keep me independent for as long as possible; not the kind of language an otherwise healthy, fully independent, & mentally sharp young guy wants to hear. I’ll share more when there’s more to share (not anytime real soon)

How I’m feeling “Right Now” has rarely served me well in life. (more…)

Many times in life, it seems you’ve got the map in hand, with a few select destinations in mind.  Then, on occasion, by intent or by adjusting to new circumstances, that map gets tossed out the window, leading to an entirely different journey than you would have ever planned for yourself. Better or worse is moot in the midst of that wind of adventure blowing in your face, knowing you’ve strayed far off the path of predictability…perhaps never to return.

This Sunday (Aug. 14) marks the three year point from my first tumor surgery ; the diagnosis date was back in July;  but my July was a little too chaotic for me to have caught that one. I thought it was high time to outline for the purpose of bringing latecomers up to speed. Further deep analysis contained within the larger blog; as much as I’d like to provide a poignant, well-written summation of my personal growth journey held within this timeline of events; the internet is not that big, nor is my mental & physical energy reserve.  Enjoy this virtual walk/click down memory lane, and thank you for having joined me along the journey; it means more than a little blog post could possibly express. (more…)

Health update:
not much new to report since last time,although my seizures have begun returning, and we’ll see if chemo this week increases them or does nothing….. I’ll be in touch…

In wanting to keep words coming of my brain while the machinery still works up there, even when I don’t have any thing deep or profound to discuss, I’ve decided to write down stories from photos I have lying around: looking at pictures makes me say, “That reminds me of a story,.’ so I’m going to try sharing those stories as much as I can (many of you might have been first-hand players in those stories, and can lend any supporting details in the comments).

First up: this little beauty.

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