Hello everyone, I apologize that I haven't posted in a while but I just have not been feeling too well. Yesterday, I almost did not have my second chemo treatment. My white blood count was borderline to being too low to get treatment. But we pressed forward. So I went to my chair and began another trip down chemo lane. It did not go so well. You all may remember that I mentioned last time that they had to put lidocane in with one of my chemo meds so I could handle the pain, unfortunately the lidocane is burning the blood vessels in my arm and they are now at risk of infection. To make matters a little more complicated as I am writing this blog we are monitoring the streaking and black marks on my arm to see if I am going to be making a trip to the ER sometime in the next few hours. I sure hope not. I have been in the hospital enough!!! Oh well not too much I can do now. On the up side I am surprising the doctors for the fact that I haven't lost my hair yet. Most Hodgkin's patients lose their hair right away. I joked with the doctors and the nurses not to talk about it so loudly because the reason I haven't lost my hair yet is because my hair doesn't know I have cancer. So sshhhhhh... Maybe I will get to keep it.
I find it so interesting that when people see me they often comment on how well I look. While I am glad that I still look so handsome and dashing, I sometimes wonder if people would rather if I looked like death warmed over. I actually work pretty really hard to keep my spirits up and to always present a happy outward expression to others. I shower every day, still iron my clothes, and buff my shoes before I head to school. I am still alive and very thankful for everyday I get to have to share with my friends and family. While it takes me a little longer to get up in the morning, to take a shower, to walk down the hall at school, grade papers, and just carry out my everyday functions, it is still wonderful. But ... ...
It is hard.
But they say that the best things in life usually are.
And now for a random transition. (I have been having a lot of these)
The things in my life that I have been reflecting about:
1. the value of cushioned chairs
2. the ticking sound of a mechanical clock
3. the magic of remote controls
5. the mystery of the mailbox deliveries (cards vs. medical statements)
6. the ties that bind (family, friends, integrity, and love)
8. bark dust
9. the hearts of humankindand
As I am writing this blog my nurse, the caretaker of the house, the mommy to two adorable girls, the program technician for the Farm Service Agency for the USDA, the daughter of Chuck and Dinah, and my wife is scurrying around keeping me comfortable, the kids happy, the house presentable, and planning a bithday parties for our daughter next week and one for her mother tomorrow. She has to be soo tired but she keeps a smile on her face and just keeps carring on.
In closing, I would like to thank all who have continued to send me messages. From former students who have justified that I have done some good as a classroom teacher, to former
Boy Scout scoutmasters and troop members, to the Knights of Columbus for the continued prayers and the beautiful Mass (so sorry I could not attend), to all of the prayer circles that keep me and my stuggels in their thoughts, my teaching partner that has been driving me back and forth everyday from Pendleton to Hermiston to teach (I do not think she knows how tired I really am and how I could not work if it wasn't for her), to the wonderful meals people have brought over to my family (although I have not been in the mood to eat too much my kids devouer all of the great meals), to my wonderful freinds and family, and to the whole community that has come together to help my family overcome this disease. Thank you.
For my wife, I must acknowledge the amazing outpouring of support that her fellow coworkers locally and across the great state of Oregon have given to her so that she can be away from work to help care for me and transport me to and from all of my medical appointments. Thank you.
For those who wish to help in a specific way please email either me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of the helping leads posted on my last blog. I have rewritten this last paragraph twenty times trying to find the words to ask for help but
I just can not seem to get them to say what I want them to say. The problem is that I am out of sick leave and have few options if I get too sick to work, traveling costs are expensive, and I am really really tired.
Well, enough of that serious stuff. Now I need to ccheck my arm snd call the oncologist back and see if I get the honor of a trip to St. Anthony's Hospital. Thanks again and good night.