Monday, October 29, 2012


One of my wife's favorite books (she has so many and reads a lot), is The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real by Margery Williams.  It is a wonderful story and offers a very poignant teaching point.  The following excerpt is one of my personal favorite lessons.

“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. 

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

Becoming Real can hurt.  Some lessons we experience which helps us Become are extremely painful, others are full of inexplicable joy.  In either case, it is always worth it.

Being Real.  That is my goal.  To be the man my wife can love for a long, long time and be who she needs me to be.  I want nothing more than to be there for her as long as I can be.  To offer support, take care of, and love her in return as she has needed me to.  To do the things I failed so badly at before.

General Stuff

I made some butternut squash soup again today.  Pretty straight forward recipe: roast a squash, add to a quart of veggie stock, puree.  Done.  I added a veggie stock flavor boost packet and a couple cups of water to get the consistency where I wanted it.  I also roasted three cloves of garlic with the squash. The squash was roasted seasoned with black pepper, a little salt, cumin, cinnamon, and some onion powder.  This is one of my current favorite soups.

I also attempted a vegan Buffalo "Chicken" patty recipe made with Great Northern Beans and Brown Rice.  Two cans of beans, one cup of cooked rice.  Mashed together (I use my hands since I do not have a food processor).  Add in some buffalo sauce.  I wrapped it in plastic wrap to let it set up a bit before cooking.  I will probably add some bread crumbs next time I try it to help it bind a bit better.  Had a great flavor after being pan fried (might try to bake it too to find the best cooking option).

Getting very excited to have my family here for a while.  Today is 2 weeks until they are scheduled to arrive. Really looking forward to seeing the photos and getting some printed and displayed.  (And posting a couple here for your viewing pleasure as long as you do not make fun of me).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True.

In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the character of Polonius offers many pieces of advice, as he is King Claudius's chief counselor (and the father of Ophelia and Laertes).  Many of his quotes are still in usage today (Neither a borrower or lender be).  Perhaps the most poignant is the following from Act 1, Scene 3:
"This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Being true to yourself, it follows that truth becomes a part of you and permeates your character.

Writing a journal daily can be a very productive exercise.  It
allows a time to clear you mental plate of all the items from the day, set goals, make plans, and ask the important questions.  I heard a radio story today which stated that people who spend just 15 minutes a day on journaling are healthier.  While it did not specify if it was physical health, mental health, emotional health, or spiritual health, I believe that it can benefit all areas.

I have been maintaining this blog since July 15th with just a few lapses in consistency.  To me, it is a very cathartic habit.  It helps me think and share my slightly off-kilter point of view.  It allows me to be honest with myself and ask/answer some questions of myself I normally wouldn't.  Since I am trying to live transparently, I am not afraid to post my thoughts, though I will admit to self-editing exactly how much I put out here since I often fall victim to over-sharing and providing TMI (too much information).  If anyone has questions of me, I would be glad to answer them for you, as it could also get me out of a rut and cause me to think in a different direction than I am used to.

Some of the research I have looked in to on this topic talk about keeping your thoughts private and using it as a very personal device of accountability.  I am not afraid to share my thoughts.  I have nothing to lose.  I fully aspire to the standard of Psalm 51:6 "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."  Hide nothing, let wisdom enter.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Empty Words (and other devices of destruction...)

“Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.” ~Homer
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient."
Ephesians 5:6 (New International Version (©1984))

The three single greatest failures of Christianity (IMHO), are these:

1. Misunderstanding of the character of God (in all three flavors with distinct personages)[Note: I fail in this as well, so do not expect a great treatise on the person-hood of the Holy Trinity]

2. Eisegesis v. Exegesis: Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς "into" as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι "to lead out") is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text. The act is often used to "prove" a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. Eisegesis is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discover-able meaning of its author, eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective. [From Wikipedia]

3. Empty words.

I will briefly address the first two today, but want to concentrate on the last one here.

1. Depending on the denominational flavor you possess, the person of the Holy Spirit is greatly ignored (or at least under represented/taken for granted or inversely carried to a mostly prominent position among the Three). I am currently reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. His premise supports my observation. [Not giving myself kudos for this, just see it in my own life and reflected by the church.] The source I will use is Galatians 5:16-25, primarily focusing on the listing of the "Fruit of the Spirit" in verses 22 and 23. Paul lists the works of the flesh and follows up with the Fruit of the Spirit. His final comment in the highlighted verses is "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

How many times do we see a complete lack of Fruit in the Body, yet fully displayed in someone who is "lost?" That embarrasses me and humbles me. I know I lack the fruit, but desire to reflect the Spirit in my life.

2. I have heard many sermons (NOT pointing fingers, for I can be just as guilty if left to my own devices-and I have assisted someone in an Eisegetical exercise to support his views when he voiced a non-PC stance and needed to write a rebuttal supporting his position to avoid disciplinary action). It is said that you can piece totally unrelated verses and portions of verses to support nearly any "doctrine", but Scripture needs to be measured against context and that is where things begin to fall apart.

Related to this issue is the lack of depth many people have when it comes to Bible study (again, not pointing fingers, as I am guilty as well). When we are young and courting, we read and reread the love letters from our Beloved many times and nearly have them memorized. The joy it brings us to read those words. Why should our relationship with God be any different? Should we not digest every morsel of the Word in order to come to a greater understanding of the One who Loves us more?

3. Empty Words. How often have we said to someone who voiced a need, "I will pray for you," only to forget the request no sooner than we turn away? Watch children. They will overtly disobey, counter with "I'm sorry" and go right back to the disobedience. Are we not very similar to the children? Do we not "repent" from our pet sin, only to repeat the action (through omission or commission) not long after our pleas hit the Heavens?

Do we not bathe those we care for with "I love you's" only to hurt them or act outside of what a truly loving relationship should be. Love is a verb and should reflect a servant mentality to those we love. Many of us (NOTE: the use of the word US, I am including myself in this group) do not know how to love as we should. Either through a selfish spirit, or never having had it modeled in a healthy manner in our life as we grew and were impressionable. This boils down to the ignorance versus apathy argument. One is not knowing how, the other is not caring to. (The old joke, "What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care." Both are equally damaging.

God loves us. If we could just look to His love and model it in our relationships (love sacrificially, love completely, love forgivingly, love eternally)... I have a lot to learn.

Heavenly Father, show me Your truth of Who You are. Teach me to demonstrate Your characteristics, to love, be gentle, have peace, have mercy, patience, joy, faith, meekness, goodness, and temperance. Teach me to walk in Your Spirit. Help me to be a man of few words, and to mean those You lead me to speak.

General areas:

Had chemo session number 9. Uneventful (no negative reactions), though lab tests show elevated liver enzymes which are affected by damage to liver cells. May be getting a new set of scans sooner than expected to figure out what is going on there. This is a difficult issue for me (not the scans, don't bother me), as we are concentrating treatment on the colon cancer in the colon, and it seems to be negatively affecting liver function. I admit, I have some fear. Pray for peace and healing in this area.

After treatment, I went to grab a bite to eat and broke a tooth (lower right side molar). Normally, no big deal, just head to dentist to get it taken care of. Issue is I am banned from dental work until off chemo (1st or second week of December?) due to the likelihood of infection in my immune-suppressed system. Thankfully, there is no real pain, just sharp edges and annoyance. Pray for a resolution to this issue before it aggravates anything.

Family is heading out to Texas after the Election (she is registered to vote in Georgia and will exercise her civic duty there prior to departure). Looking forward to sharing time again with them (even though I will be working) through Thanksgiving and until we can celebrate the final chemo treatment of this cycle. I will not have many days off (one every two weeks since the other 3 are occupied with treatment), but we are both aware of this and will make the best of it.

While I was in Georgia, we had family photos taken by Holly Brown Photography. Now, I admit, I am not a real big fan of having photos taken of me, but this photo shoot was a blast. Holly made it fun! I look forward to seeing the finished photos soon and maybe posting one or two here for you all. If you are in Central Georgia/Atlanta metroplex, look her up, you will not be disppointed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days, Days 13-25

Recap of Day 12:

Breakfast (6:30 a.m.): Special K low fat granola with Almond milk (haven't has "cereal in years so this was a treat, and the cereal is McDougall compliant-only granola I could find with no added oils).
Lunch (12:00 p.m.): Pad Thai.  Homemade.  Recipe was totally made up so here it is generally- whole wheat fettuccine actually located in the Asian foods section specifically marked for Pad Thai, 1/2 cup Smucker's All-natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup Jumex coconut water to thin the peanut butter, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder.
Dinner (5:00 p.m.):  Tortilla soup (finishing up the remnants from the batch from the other day).

I went to the greater Atlanta Metroplex for the past nearly 2 weeks.  Since I am so far behind on posting, a recap would be nearly impossible.  I will sat I ate several meals at Moe's Burritos and enjoyed them immensely, as well as the Subway Veggie Delight sandwiches.  Had a few pleasant surprises with restaurants serving up a good vegan dish here and there.  Also, did a lot of baked sweet potatoes and roasted veggies.  Faux fried eggplant turned out pretty good (thin sliced eggplant soaked in almond milk and crusted with cornmeal then baked).

Due to my extreme failure to remain consistent in the posting (which I rather suspected I might with the vacation and all) I will be reverting to the normal path of the blog and sharing my adventures through life and what God and the bible are showing me.  I will still post an occasional recipe or two when I find something that is worthy of sharing.  I will also be starting back to running next week so will share the joys and pains of trying to get back to where I want to be.

My (x) wife and I ran a 5k while I was visiting.  It was a small run sponsored by a local church.  With no recent training (for me) it was not a fun race, though I always enjoy the social aspect of races and the chance to talk to and encourage runners as we go.  While the end result was by no means a "good" time, it is my current Personal Record (PR) since it is my first 'officially' timed 5k race.  I will be looking for more o these in the future and hope to get to a decent time soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days, Day 12

Recap of Day 11:

Breakfast (4:50 a.m.): Whole wheat tortilla and peanut butter.
Mid morning snack (8:30 a.m.):  Banana
Lunch (12:00 p.m.): Tortilla soup with brown rice.
Dinner (4:30 p.m.): Tortilla soup with added picante and hominy.  Brown rice.  Whole wheat tortilla with avocado.

I must admit, one of my all time favorite sandwiches is a very plain and simple "totra de aguacate".  Avocado on a roll.  I fell in love with them when I lived in Brownsville, Texas.  There was a small chain shop there called "Betty's Tortas" and they served this as a simple menu option.  Sometimes I go "crazy" and add fresh slices tomatoes.  I get totally out of control.

I am even more excited to go on vacation.  I was talking with my (x)wife tonight, and she told me she plans on joining me in the plant-based diet while I am there to give it a try.  I look forward to cooking with her and trying things that 1) I am a bit too crunched for time with my current schedule to try right now, and 2) have ingredients more readily available in "civilization" which I can't easily acquire here in West Texas.

My (x)wife reminded me of the Hallelujah Acres Diet which was "prescribed" by Dr. George Malkmus years ago.  After a little reading, it is based on McDougall and several other plant-based diets (Campbell, Ornish, Klaper, Bragg...).  The web site has a bunch of interesting recipes on it as well.  We have been actively pursuing recipes (especially due to them heading out here for Thanksgiving. Going to get more interesting as we find things we enjoy and I hope to bring the kids in as well to plant-based, though not gonna force it-gonna let them find things they like and try it slow).

I know her momma and dad would not make this change, being southerners who fry pretty much everything (not judging, just stating fact).  I truly believe her mother could really benefit from it, since she suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Who knows though, maybe my (x)wife will stick with it and influence prior to she and I reuniting forever. (Happy Thoughts!!!)

Next year, I hope to be settled somewhere (even here if that is God's plan for me) and really want to grow a garden.  I have really never gardened, but know that growing my own vegetable to the greatest extent possible will be MUCH more economical; especially considering the exorbitant prices my local monopoly grocery store charges and the amount of gas I would burn to drive to the next location with a decent store (65 miles just to Wal-Mart, 150-170 to an H.E.B. and Albertson's).

Just want to grow enough to not have to shop all the time for produce:  lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and summer squash and zucchini all over the place! That's my plan anyway.

Oh, and this is "Officially" my 100th post milestone (since July 15th). Over 7,200 page views (not that I am really tracking that).  I appreciate everyone who has joined me on the journey and look forward to the road less traveled and a little company along the way.  Thank you all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days, Day 11

Recap of Day 10:

Breakfast (4:50 a.m.):  Whole wheat tortilla with Smucker's All-natural peanut butter.
Mid morning snack (8:30 a.m.): Banana
Lunch (11:00 a.m.): Dr. McD's prepackaged soup Pad Thai.  I enjoyed this one immensely.  Never really been a fan of Pad Thai, but I like this one.  Just a hint of the peanut flavor.  Most I have had are like eating spicy noodles with peanut butter on them.
Dinner (5:30 p.m.): More tortilla soup (see Day 10 for components).
Evening snack (7:00 p.m.): 2 Whole wheat tortillas with Smucker's All-natural peanut butter.

Not too much going on today.  Last day of work before vacation.  Flying out to Atlanta on Sunday.  So I have several days home before leaving.  Plans include laundry, packing, and cleaning the house.  When I get back, time will be limited before the family comes out here for a bit, so I need to use whatever time I can to my advantage.

Planning on starting running again (for real) on October 29th.  I want to complete a grand slam next year (5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon).  I have no races targeted yet, but have found a couple early spring 5k races within a reasonable commute, and worst case scenario, there is a full marathon locally though I would prefer something with a bit more scenery and less remote.

Also would like to do the Milkman Triathlon in Dexter, New Mexico.  I completed the 2010 race as my first one, and learned a lot about what I need to do to get ready.  I completed the 2011 race as an individual and as part of a relay (swam the relay leg).  The team placed third in the adjusted age group.  Pretty pleased with that, but think I can do better as an individual and we can do better as a team.  So I may be reaching out to folks to put together a team again, start getting ready.  :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days, Day 10

Recap of Day 9.

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.): Whole wheat tortilla with (un-) refried pinto beans and roasted potatoes.
Early morning snack (7:30 a.m.): Banana
Late morning snack (9:30 a.m.): Honey Crisp apple
Lunch (11:30 a.m.): Dr. McD's prepackaged tortilla soup (good stuff).
Dinner (5:00 p.m.):  Homemade tortilla soup (quart of veggie broth, medium bottle of Pace Picante sauce, can of canneloni beans, can of diced tomatoes, can of whole kernel corn, served with crushed tortilla chips mixed in) Also, very good.
Evening snack (7:30 p.m.): Whole wheat tortilla with Smucjer's all-natural peanut butter.

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about running.  I know I talk about it a lot, but I do enjoy it.  I admit I have NOT run seriously in nearly a year, and that is due simply to laziness and lack of motivation.  Since my diagnosis and starting treatment, battling fatigue has been another issue. 

After my 10-12 hour work shifts, I am tired.  Plain and simple.  I do NOT have a physically demanding job, but end up emotionally drained and mentally exhausted.  These days the extent of my job entails sitting at a desk and putting out "fires" or directing enforcement efforts in this area.  Yes, I am a mid-level management weenie.

Last year when I was training for my marathon, I inspired a high school class mate to start running.  He has completed several half marathons since starting running and this past weekend completed the Chicago Marathon.  In January, he will be attempting the Goofy goal at the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend (a Saturday half marathon followed by a Sunday Marathon).  Now, he is inspiring me to get moving again.

I would like to run the Disney World Marathon or Half Marathon, but mostly just want to go back to Disney.  All the kids are older now so it will be a completely different experience from the 2007 trip and radically different from the honeymoon trip :). 

I am heading to Atlanta Sunday evening for nearly 2 weeks vacation and family time.  I am looking forward to it very much.  During that time, I hope to run a few times with my (x)wife, who has started running 5k races.  I hope to convince her to extend the distances she would consider and begin training with her for a half marathon.  Then we could have an excuse for attending Disney.  We shall see, but mostly I just need to get moving again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days, Day 9

Recap of Day 8.

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.): Whole wheat tortilla with (un-) refried pinto beans [caned pinto beans with picante sauce added for moisture] and roasted potatoes [cumin added for a smoky flavor].
Early morning snack (7:30 a.m.): Banana
Late morning snack (9:30 a.m.): apple (but not just ANY apple, a Honey Crisp variety apple.  Trust me, the BEST variety available on the market.  Sometimes hard to find, but well worth the effort!!!!)
Lunch (11:30 a.m.): Dr. McD's prepackaged Miso ramen.  (Really liking these.  Convenient and quite tasty.  Not hugely filling, but enough to get me through).
Dinner (6:00 p.m.): Warmed up left over cabbage, sweet potato, carrot...soup from Sunday's dinner and served with brown rice and a whole wheat tortilla.

Back to speaking of the Honey Crisp apples... I was introduced to this variety last fall by a coworker at my previous location.  I have never really been a big fan of apples, and would lean towards Golden Delicious if the choice were left to me.  Since trying a Honey Crisp apple, my life has changed. 

Late September, and October, they come in to season and, if you can find them, they are worth every penny.  Prior to moving towards the plant-based eating habit, I had tried baking with them and they hold up well and do not require as much added sugar (which is good since I don't use it either anymore).  They sofften nicely for a pie or a cobbler, as well. 

By far, a superior variety.  Ask your local produce hawker if they have or can get them.  You will not be disappointed.  They are my preferred fruit while in season and when I can find them.  It is a red apple, similar in appearance to a Gala variety (tinged with lighter and yellowish patches). 

Please look for them (if you don't mind paying a little bit more for fruit).  Let me know what you think!

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days, Day 8

Recap of Day 7.

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): Two mashed Black bean whole wheat tortilla roll-ups.
Lunch (2:30 p.m.): Veggie broth with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, tofu, red cabbage, broccoli, and general spices (black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, oregano).
Dinner (6:00 p.m.): Whole wheat tortilla, chunky peanut butter, and a banana.

Not a very eventful day.  Just drove back from Midland after the disconnect.  Football isn't holding my attention too much, so I am watching bad SyFy tv.  I did multitask while roasting the sweet potatoes, I roasted some red potatoes too and made [un-]refried pintos (mashed pintos with a bit of salsa added for moisture) for this week's breakfasts, and a pot of brown rice for lunches.

Still have several of Dr. McD's quick soups left so they will probably be dinner and some whole wheat gnocchi and marinara which I need to finish.  I should be good ont he grocery front without leaving too much to spoil  while I am in Georgia.

I was excited to find a new source of  TVP (texture vegetable protein) which is a good meat substitute. I like to just rehydrate with some water and add some taco seasoning to make TVP tacos.  Want to try to do some faux burgers one of these days when I get back.  Since my (x)wife and kids are coming here for most of November, she and I are trying to coordinate a Thanksgiving meal that will work for everyone.  We have seen a few things which sounded good.  Hope we can find them again and find what is needed to prepare them.

One of these days, I hope to find or create a couple interesting recipes which I can share with others.  I don't want to just live off the works of

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days, Day 7

Recap of Day 6:

Forgot to mention on yesterday's post that my Dr is mad at me.  From last Friday to this Friday's appointment, I have lost 7 pounds.  She was chastising me that I should not be losing so much weight[Trust me I still have plenty to spare].  I tried to explain to her that I am still eating, and then showed her my food log to prove it.  She doesn't like the fact that I have cut out entire "food" groups, but since the blood tests came back better, she can get over it.  If things start to tank on me, she can give me dietary advise (which is the one thing I find surprisingly absent from this cancer treatment practice).  I can't believe I have never even been offered nutritional counseling or to see a trainer for exercise, when in every article I read, nutrition and exercise are very important in the battle. Hmmm...guess I will bring that up next time and see what kind of answer I get.

Breakfast (9:30 a.m.): Mashed Black Beans ans Spinach on a 7 grain with flax tortilla (2)
Lunch (1:00 p.m.): Can of Lentil and Apple soup.
Afternoon snack (3:00 p.m.): Lara Uber Bar..
Dinner (6:00 p.m.):  Dr. McD prepackaged Miso Soup (really liked this).
Evening Snack (8:00 p.m.): Lara Uber Bar

Not a productive day.  Stayed indoors all day due to having the porta-pump attached (and I don't feel like heading out and about or burning gas in my truck).  Ready to head home and make some more soup, especially since the weather is very cool (high 55) for a couple days.  It will get hot again soon, but at least I get a few days respite.  And it is about getting through groceries this week since I am heading out for 2 weeks to the greater Atlanta-metroplex.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days, Day 6

Recap of Day 5.

No breakfast.
No lunch. 
[Reason: I was in chemo treatment from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., don't like to eat prior in case a reaction flares up.  That can get ugly, I dislike nausea.]
Dinner (5:00 p.m.): Frebird's World Butrrito.  Monster (14" tortilla) Whole Grain burrito.  Black beans, (un-) Refried Pinto beans (no oils, just mashed beans), roasted veggies, lots of cilantro, roasted garlic roasted lime, cilantro lime rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa.
Evening snacks (7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.): Larabars Key Lime Pie and Ginger Snap

HUGE burrito, but I WAS hungry by this point.  Did the best I could to locate something as close to McDougall friendly.  One of the two Whole foods/Health foods store in Midland has a cafe in it, but I was VERY surprised to see there was nothing vegan on the menu.  WOW.

Yesterday was World Smile Day.  I admit, even though I had this info pretty early in the morning, I may NOT have smiled as much as I could have.  I did spend a good deal of time sleeping during treatment (mostly to catch up from the previous week).  And, when awake, I was listening to Adele so not much to smile about (her songs are pretty sad).

Thinking I have to recapture some semblance of "control" over my life, so Sunday I will start C25K.  Just to get some movement and try to regain energy levels.  I read an article on how important exercise is to cancer patients, so I am getting moving.  I don't have any distinct goals in mind yet, but I am sure as I see how my body takes to the movement, I will set at least one.  I really want to run a 5K with my (x)wife, and also  do at least one more half marathon.  We shall see.

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days, Day 5

Recap of Day 4.

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.): Banana
Lunch (11:00 a.m.): Brown rice and Black beans.
Dinner (6:00 p.m.): in Midland for treatment. Finished the last of my cooked ahead Brown rice. Some baby carrots.

Yesterday went pretty well. The eating is easy for me. That rough part is buying fresh produce, since there are limited options locally and prices are pretty high. I am in Midland for chemo this weekend so I could shop here and will in the future. I will on Saturday but only enough for a week since I am heading to Georgia next Sunday.

I am very excited, yet a bit intimidated. I admit to having fear about this since I am being removed from my comfort zone. It will all be fine, I just need to roll with it.

There are several things I want to speak to my (x)wife about, but don't know if this will be the right time.

Additionally, I have a lot on my mind and trying to determine the will of God for the future. If you have prayed for a specific door to open and it does, does that mean it is the will of God for you to walk through? How do we know? I don't like the thought of questioning God, but I also don't want to be wrong. I have went that route and it did not work out so well for me and my family. I don't want to "lay out a fleece" either, don't know exactly what else to do.

Just because I apply for a position and am picked for a position doesn't mean it is the right one according to God's plans. Trust me. There are a couple positions open or opening shortly which I think I would greatly enjoy and which would cater to my particular skill set and abilities. I am hesitant to apply because I am not sure if God desires that for me right now.

How do You know wham God has opened the door?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days, Day 4

Been a busy day.  Lots going on, and not too motivated to do to much.  Really just want to sleep.  Hoping something changes soon.

Day 3 recap.

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.): Banana
Mid morning snack (9:00 a.m.): Peach
Lunch (11:20 a.m.): Brown rice and Black beans
Dinner (5:30 p.m.): Last of the veggie soup (about three bowls since I was trying to finish it off since I will be off to Chemo weekend Thursday night through Sunday)

Haven't really had any temptation to break this yet.  I was offered some deer sausage and, while I enjoy wild game, I know it is not the best choice for me.

It is going to be interesting in Midland for chemo since I am usually beat on Saturday from the poisons coursing through my veins, so I don't really know how that is going to go.  But I am sure that I will figure out something.

Sorry this is short and pretty lame, but I am whooped.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days, Day 3

Recap of day 2.

It went well, though I am feeling very fatigued.  I do not associate it with the transition to a plant based diet, since I know I am getting sufficient quantities of calories as well as carbs.  I think it has to do with not sleeping well and the meds/poisons coursing through my veins due to the cancer.  Of course, added to it is the fact that I am highly unmotivated to perform any form of exercise.

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.): Banana
Mid morning snack (7:30 a.m.): Peach
Late morning snack (9:30 a.m.): Peach
Lunch (11:50 a.m.): Brown rice and black beans
Late afternoon snack (5:00 p.m.): Fresh guacamole, tortilla chips, and a tomato
Dinner (6:15 p.m.): Homemade veggie soup (potatoes, purple cabbage, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, tofu, veggie stock). Barley added.

In all, a successful day in this journey.  [Note: you may notice that my "menu" repeats quite a bit.  Simply because I currently live alone,  when I cook it is easier to make batches.]

Now on to a totally different, unrelated topic:

In a little over a week, I am heading to Georgia to spend time with my (x)wife and my children.  In July they met me in Houston for about a week at my father's home, and in August, they came out here for three weeks to visit.

While in Houston, she and I began pursuing a relationship again, and while they were here, it went very well. The ultimate game plan is to be together again, but my current living arrangements are too small for the six of us on a permanent basis.  There is additionally a housing shortage here so anything bigger is VERY difficult to find.  I am attempting to transfer back to Artesia, New Mexico and back to my last position, where I was happy doing what I was doing.

Anyway.  I am scared.  I fear that I will in some way screw this up.  I know that it is just negative thoughts that I need to rebuke, but they keep revisiting the past.  I love my (x)wife more than I ever thought possible and I want this more than I can explain.  But I am just scared.

Please pray for the following:

1.  I don't screw things up and stop dealing with the negative thoughts.  Just allow me to love my wife and kids in ways I have failed to in the past.

2. My blood counts.  The main reason I transitioned to plant-based.  Let them be restored to "normal" levels so the chemo can continue to finish this cycle. And that the combination of this cycle of chemo and the plant based transition eliminate the need for further "aggressive" chemo and surgery is possible to eliminate the tumors for which surgery is possible.

3.  My motivation.  I have so little these days, based on fatigue and dissatisfaction at work.  I need the transfer back to where I was last happy working (even though it was a position which contributed to my divorce-it was not alone).

Thank you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days, Day 2

Today marks my fifth day on a plant based diet (yes, I cheated and started early-though in retrospect, I have perhaps started way too late).

To recap the meals for Day 1:

Breakfast (4:30 a.m.):  Banana and a whole wheat tortilla.
Early morning snack (7:30 a.m.): Bosc pear
Mid morning snack (8:30 a.m.): Banana
Late morning snack (9:30 a.m.): Carrot sticks
Lunch (11:30 a.m.): Brown rice mexicana (added salsa and green chilies while cooking) and black beans
Dinner (6:00 p.m.): Homemade veggie soup (potatoes, purple cabbage, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, tofu, veggie stock).  Best soup I have made in a long time.

I am not going to be tracking my weight daily, as hard as that will be not to do; however, I will put something up after about a week or ten days just to see where I am.

Sunday night, I joined the McDougall friends Facebook group.  All I can say is they are very welcoming and full of information (even if some topics are a bit controversial and may stir the pot a bit).  During a discussion of my transition and the reason why, the topic of sugar and cancer came up.  This topic brought a flood of comments.  Sugar has been shown to feed cancer cells.  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has recently (2010) been shown to feed it certain cancers well, as well as cause pancreatic issues with insulin production, not to mention liver issues with sugar and glycogen usage.

So, while the jury is out, I have eliminated all HFCS and will eliminate fruit once my current stock is exhausted, though I will continue to research this since I like fruit a lot and it is Honey Crisp apple season (trust me on this one, try them and you will be instantly addicted).

I was planning on starting the C25K program last night, but was not feeling up to it (and it was Monday Night  We shall see about tonight.

31 Days, Day 1

October is another Ultimate Blog Challenge month.  The goal is to post every day for the month.  Additionally, I will be participating in the 31 Day challenge sponsored by The Nesting Place.  I had originally intended to write on the topic of Running, as a motivating factor for me to get back running.

Due to recent developments in my colon cancer treatment (the denial of treatment due to VERY low platelet counts), the research I have conducted into naturally bolstering production has lead me to the transition to a plant based diet.  Specifically, I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives.  The film basically states that the majority of the debilitating disease in the world as well as obesity can be countered or controlled better through a plant-based diet.  The claims are based on years of research by several doctors, so it is not just hippy claims.

One specific claim that REALLY go my attention was that the transition to a plant-based diet can slow or stop the progression of cancer.  It seems that the amino acid casein which is found in animal products triggers and encourages cancer growth, as does sugar.  So eliminating animal products and sugars should theoretically help me battle colon cancer.  I am willing to do this for this reason alone.

I know many will question my choice, and I don't blame them.  It does seem counter to what governmental agencies state is the "ideal" way to eat.  But I am not worried about that.  Since I currently live alone, there are no major distractions to my choice, since I am the one who brings foods into the house.  When I travel, I will do all I can to stay consistent in this lifestyle change.

My father and his wife have decided to join me on this journey.  I am glad for that fact.  My (x)wife is supportive and has directed me to a friend of hers who blogs on her decision to follow a plant-based diet (also due to health reasons).  There are numerous web sites to find recipes and an entire Facebook community for support.

I am excited to see how this goes, since there are many testimonies of near miraculous reversals by following this lifestyle.

For more information on a plant-based diet, please check out Dr. McDougall's site.

It is going to be an interesting ride.