Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here we go.

Tomorrow will be the first chemo appointment. I was a bit surprised to find out that the treatment may take 7 hours to administer. I am taking a couple Family Handyman and Wood magazines, a book (Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond) and a portable DVD player to keep busy. I hope I can stay mentally distracted. Em will be there right by my side so we may need to take a deck of cards. I hope she lets me win a couple games ;)

I received good news yesterday from my oncologist. My bone marrow test came back negative. That was very reassuring to me. That means at this time there is most likely only the tumors in my chest attached to the pericardium around my heart and to my phrenic nerve. The trick for me over the next several months is to stay as healthy as possible and to get as much rest as possible. This is going to be quite a challenge when I think about the fact that I have two young children who like to share everything with everybody and that I am a teacher at a large public high school but, I'll have to just be as careful as possible.

I also wanted you all to know that I got the account set up at Bank of America. I was told that some branches will allow a deposit if you just ask them to look up my account and say that it was opened at the Pendleton Oregon branch but most won't. They will want an account number. I am nervous about posting the account number on a blog that is open to everybody in the world, so I am going to have a person at Heritage High School have it and you can get it from them or you can email me at I have not asked anybody yet at HHS to be that person but once I do, I will post the name of that contact person.

As I move into another difficult phase of this disease treatment, I welcome notes and messages to me and my family. This disease is not just about me. It is also about my two little girls who are and will continue to struggle to understand what is wrong with their daddy. It is about my wonderful and beautiful wife who carries a burden and worry about the care for her husband and children. For those of you who know Emma Lee, you recognize that Em is a very very private person. She has never been one who reached out for help and shared with people about her worries and needs. I ask that as you think about me and my issues that you also pray for strength and courage for my wife and children. To be completely open and honest about my greatest concerns is that they are for my family. It consumes me at times about whether their needs are going to be taken care of. While I will be the one who will look like hell on the outside, it is the invisible trauma inflicted on my daughters and wife I worry about going unnoticed.

So, thank you again for your continued support and concern for my health. I cherish all of my freinds and family and am very thankful for all of the good times, memories, and influence you have had on my life. I am who I am because of you all. I look forward to times we may get to share in the future.

Thank you again.

I look forward to posting again soon.

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