Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chemo Brain Revisited

On my daily internet tour of news, I uncovered this little nugget.  It shows that researchers have actually discovered the reality of "chemo-brain," the often experienced side effect of chemotherapy which results on loss of mental clarity/sharpness, short-term memory loss, and, for some, an emotional roller coaster of moods.  While it doesn't really matter to me whether chemo brain is validated medically, I am just glad that for many who experience it there is science backing up their claims. 

I know what I deal with as the side effects of my treatment, and am not too worried if others (non-medical practitioners) do not believe me or understand them.  So, there you go, it IS real and not just the mass hysteria or psychological acceptance of rumored side effects we in treatment convince ourselves we are experiencing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Photo by me, edited
by my lovely wife.
Albert Einstein is attributed to the quote "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  By that definition, I am insane.

On November 27, 2012, I remarried my (x) wife.  While it was a simple ceremony with the local Justice of the Peace presiding (and our 7-year old daughter acting as the Maid of Honor/Flower Girl/Wedding Planner...), it was meaningful.  It means we are once again in union.  It means we have another chance to do it right.  It means God is a God of second chances, and will redeem previous mistakes, giving beauty for ashes.

The vows were prescripted based on a ceremony he has probably performed hundreds of times, but they ring true nonetheless.  In my head as I was listening intently to them before answering in the affirmative that I will hold them near and dear, I wanted to add that I will not take for granted the gift I have been given again.  I will truly cherish it and work everyday for it to be the best it can be.

I know the days ahead will not always be happy shiny days; there will be challenges.  But I will be working diligently hand in hand with my beautiful wife to overcome them.  Sadly, I also know that I will present a significant challenge to her, as my health concern raises its head from time to time, but together we will face it for the rest of the time we have to share.

I am grateful for this chance.  I am overwhelmed by God's mercy.  I am in love again, more than I can ever explain to you.  Many thanks to those of you who have joined us in praying for this day to happen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rewriting Your Vocabulary

I can be a lazy writer sometimes.  I rarely proof my writing here (thank you all for not calling me on it).  I find myself in the flow with my train of thought barrelling forward full-speed and feel it is going great.  Later, after I publish, I will occassionally read what I have posted and be shocked at how poorly I spelled or typed or constructed a series of "See Dick run" sentences.

For someone who was never a writer growing up (I have the "honor" of being the only student in my 8th grade English class to submit an essay for a contest and having my teacher throw it away since it was so poorly written).  In high school and college, I eeked by in my writing courses, never excelling and barely meeting standards to be "successful."

After eight and a half years in the military, where I was forced to write many reports (police reports, performance reports, enforcement evaluation reports), I began being a bit more comfortable with the process.  On a second attempt of college, post-military, I took a "Technical Communications" course where I did extremely well.  I had found my niche in writing.

Since then, in my chosen career field (not the Technology degree I pursued in college the second time, but Law Enforcement once again), I have been labeled as the "writer" for much of the higher-end reports that come with the job.  While teaching at my component's Law Enforcement Academy, I was the resident "geek," due to my background with technology, desire to automate, and ability to coherently put together a series of sentences into a decently written report/memorandum/request....  I was tasked with most of the research studies and curriculum rewrites which came with the job, especially those which were generated to select an automated testing platform (my baby!!!).  I loved that aspect of things, even when it came to pulling me from the classroom teaching so I could focus on my projects.

These days, I don't write as much; partly why I started writing this blog (to keep my chops up, lol).  I do read more than I have in a long time (though not as much as I should or would like to).  I also read some on topics relating to writing, such as improving my grammar and so forth.  This morning, while reading the news, I came across a linked article about "Purging Your Vocabulary."  Good article which highlights some of the over/misused words in speech and writing.

I was pleased to see that I only use one of the five words to purge with regularity (Dynamic).  Of course, I use it often in my speaking, and usually in jest or sarcasm (we are a dynamic and fluid organization, adapt with the change or be left behind.).  Thankfully, few people in my current location have figured out my sarcasm and dry humor, so I get away with many comments which, if realized for what they were, could land me in the dog house.

Also on the topic of words to purge, I have several pet peeves when it comes to spoken or written words.  I will list them for you:

1.  Irregardless:  My number one irk.  I actually cringe when I hear this word.  It is slang (as listed in the dictionary) and a double negative.  It means Not Not caring.  Ewwww....

2. Ending a sentence with a preposition:  Sure, it has somewhat become regarded as appropriate in certain circles due simply to the fact that not doing so sometimes makes the sentence or sentiment sound awkward (or as a friend says Yoda Speak).  Still, it is grammatically correct not to do so and I try to be correct.

3. Your/You're, There/They're, Who/Whom:  Often, in writing, these are confused.  I correct them often from my subordinates.  In speech, who/whom is a biggie.  People need to realize whom follows a written or implied preposition and is used as an indirect object:  To whom did you give the award? For whom the bell tolls...simple.

4. Verbing nouns: I will admit I find myself doing this sometimes, and in current usage, many "things" have become dual-use words.  Google is one. It is a noun (Google is my favorite search engine.) and can be verbed (I just googled "William Shatner" and boy was I surprised at the results.). 

5.  Misspellings:  I find it hard to believe (even as guilty as I am) that in today's word-processor driven media that misspellings are still as frequent as they are.  I guess many people are not as well-versed as to what the little red squiggly line under the word represents.

6.  Decorative versus non- usage of commas:  Commas can be very interesting items in writing and often misused.  Some folks, like me for instance, will use them in places where a natural pause is implied.  While it may not necessarily be correct, it "feels" right.  I would prefer extra commas as opposed to a complete lack of them.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Thing About Laws...

First off, I hope I didn't offend anyone by posting a picture of a marijuana plant so prominently here.

I consider myself a staunch Conservative, and I have no regrets about it.  Former President George W. Bush labeled himself a "Compassionate Conservative," but I don't think I would go that far.  I firmly hold to the principles of self-reliance, seeking opportunity, and non-reliance on the Government for personal support.  I do understand that there are times when individuals may need a helping hand, but I do not "like" the current climate of a dependency on the State for daily survival.

People who disagree with me and who know of my Biblically based belief system have tried to convince me of personal and governmental imperatives to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves (even those who are unwilling to try based on the current "entitlement" state we live in-sorry for that jab).  Yes, the Bible DOES speak of charity.  Yes, the Bible DOES speak of caring for widows and orphans.  I get it and I have no problem with that.  But the Bible ALSO DOES state "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  So what is the right path?

Now, before anyone gets riled up, here is a bit of my history.  My parents divorced when I was very young (around 2-4 years old).  My mother was the single mother of four and needed assistance for us.  There were many years of her family, social organizations, and the Government assisting her.  However, she did not rest on her laurels and just sit back to take advantage of the freebies she was getting.  For many years, she worked multiple jobs to help make ends meet. 

Eventually she found a stable job as a janitor at my High School and she no longer required the assistance.  She accepted the hand up and stopped relying on the hand outs.  She set a valuable example to me, which I still hold to today.  "Do what you have to do."

I know this is a very divergent introduction to what I am going to discuss today, but it lays some groundwork as to who I am and what I believe to be correct.

During the current election cycle, two states (Washington and Colorado) legalized the possession and usage of small quantities of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21 without a medical prescription.  While I do not agree with the laws, as I do not think they will reduce usage and I think marijuana is highly abused (but so is alcohol and tobacco...), I would not fight for their repealing.  I firmly hold to the Mantra that you cannot legislate morality.  You either know what is right and wrong and hold to your values, or you do not.

The Bible ( in my roundabout way of connecting the dots) states in 3 of the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) a statement similar to what is found in Luke 20:25, "And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."

Our obedience to the laws of the land is our way of rendering unto the "Caesars" of this day.  And remember, just because something is currently permissible does not make it mandatory for our participation. 

The first questions I had when learning of the two new state laws (other than how can a state violate the "Supremacy clause" of the US Constitution-Federal law trumps State and local law) was how will this effect DUI arrests in those states?  I am a former traffic accident investigator, and still think along those lines. 

Today, while browsing the online news media (at work; shhhh! don't tell on me), I came across this article.  I was glad to see that the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is also concerned with the potential rise in DUI and Driving While Impaired drivers on the road in those states.  Also, I was interested in the defense lawyers chomping at the bits to challenge any DUI arrest which comes about after the implementation of the new laws. 

Don't get me wrong, I DO NOT LIKE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, but I appreciate the challenges as an opportunity to create safeguards within policy and procedures to better enforce laws.  With several hundred DUI arrests in the past (on the right side of the badge, mind you), I only lost two cases. 

One was a test case when Georgia lowered the Blood Alcohol Content standard to .06 if there was a traffic accident.  I was mandated to run the case as a test case in a vehicle-deer accident where the subject tested at .06.  Since I testified that the subject did not demonstrate "Impairment" during the standardized Field Sobriety Test Battery, the case was dismissed.  I was not distraught, since it helped us to better document signs of impairment during the test and other allowable articulable facts which could contribute to the ascertainment of impairment.

The other case I lost revealed the fact that the local (military) hospital was not certified by the state in the handling of Blood samples for BAC testing.  I actually thanked the Defense Attorney and coordinated with the hospital to make this happen for future cases.  No harm, no foul, the future became less defensible for perpetrators.

While I believe Christians SHOULD be involved in the political process and try to guide this country back to the standards of the founding fathers (which were based on Religious morality despite what "Separation of Church and State proponents care to believe), I believe that once a law is passed, it is up to the courts to decide if it should stand.  I do not have to like the decisions, but I also do not have to participate in the newly allowable activities.  My morality will not be affected by any law that is passed as long as I can abstain.

On a side note, slightly related to the original introduction line of thought, I am glad to see several states looking into the mandatory drug testing of recipents of "benefits."  To me, this is a long time coming.  It always irritated me to see the designer clothing and fresh tattoos on individuals who are in line paying for groceries with their "Lone Star" cards and then pulling out wads of cash for the cigarettes and alcohol purchases before loading them into their new SUV while texting on their iPhones.  What were once considered luxuries are now believed to be an entitlement.  But now I am ranting and rambling.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Doing your duty

Wednesday (today) was the "cut-off" date at work for submission of awards and recognition of subordinates.  As a supervisor, I have the opportunity to recognize and recommend awards for folks who report directly to me.  While I was going about my daily activities today, the number 2 man at my place of employment stopped by my office and prodded me to submit recommendations for award.  I explained to him that I refuse to celebrate mediocrity, and as soon as someone distinguished his/herself above and beyond what is generally required, I would be happy to provide the award recommendation.

Needless to say, that did not go over particularly good.  This lead to an intense discussion on the "everybody wins" mentality which seems to be overtaking America.  In youth sports, everyone gets recognition.  We don't keep scores to distinguish "losers" because that would damage their fragile self-esteem.

Several years ago, there was a movement in the American educational system towards "creative (or inventive) spelling."  The general concept is that as long as the word is "phonetically" correct, it does not matter the letters used: for example: "k-a-t" for cat or "g-h-o-t-i" for fish (gh as in enough, o as in women, and ti as in constitution).  This is wrong, if just being phonetically correct was enough, why do we have dictionaries? Anyway, I digress.  To me it is the equivalent of Nietzsche's philosophy of "Perspectivism" from Beyond Good and Evil which states truths (and by proxy the concepts of right and wrong) are merely in the perspective of the pursuer of the truth.  It is the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" argument.

Heaven forbid we actually use opportunities to demonstrate the reality of life that there are right or wrong actions (especially when requirements are succinctly laid out in a position description.  There should be consequences to failing to perform at the required level, and should not celebrate just doing enough to get by.  We should make every effort to excel at what we do; not just in sports, but in our chosen career fields, our families, our education, our service, and our worship.

The basic theme is displayed in the Bible.  In Luke 17:7-10, we read:
"But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
The message to me seems to be don't expect praise or recognition for simply doing your job.  We should strive for excellence in our person and all we do.  I do not expect reward when I am just getting by, but then neither do I when I am performing above and beyond expectations.  I appreciate the pleasant surprise, but never expect it.  I guess it is just part of who I am due to the era I was raised.

Do you expect reward or recognition for just doing your job? Or do you do your best to excel whether you are recognized or not?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interesting Lessons From Unlikely Places

Sometimes, you can find a very interesting lesson in an unlikely place.  Today, I had my "a-ha moment".

I am a big fan of Sci-fi movies and TV series. One of my favorites of all time (aside from all the Star Trek series) is Firefly (the movie version is known as Serenity).  The series is an outer-space western and is smart, witty, and has decent action.

The cornucopia of main characters are Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, currently of "Castle" fame) and his trusty First Officer Zoe (Gina Torres, currently of "Suits").  Also included in the cast of characters are Wash the pilot and Zoe's husband (Alan Tudyk), tough guy Jayne (Adam Baldwin-not sure if related to all the other Baldwins), "companion" Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin (recently starred in the new "V" series), Dr. Simon Tamm (Sean Maher), River Tamm (Summer Glau) and Shepherd Book, a Missionary (Ron Glass of "Barney Miller" fame).

General plot is the crew and passengers are smugglers and legal transporters of goods in the outer realms of newly colonized space.  The Alliance (bad guys of the central planets governments who went to war with the Browncoats from the outer planets who were seeking independence) pursues them looking for Simon and River.  River was taken by the Alliance as a young girl and experimented on, and turned into a weapon.

The series only ran for the 2002 season, but it does not reduce the wonders that the show was.  It was created by Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Doll House, Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long, and more recently, The Avengers).  While I own the complete series on DVD, today the Science Channel (Sci) was running a marathon.  I felt the need to watch it since I love the show.  One episode had the following exchange between Shepherd Book and River:

Book: What are we up to, sweetheart?
River Tam: Fixing your Bible.
Book: I, um...
Book: What?
River Tam: Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics - doesn't make sense.
[she's marked up the bible, crossed out passages and torn out pages]
Book: No, no. You-you-you can't...
River Tam: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem.
Book: Really?
River Tam: We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat.
[rips out page]
Book: River, you don't fix the Bible.
River: It's broken. It doesn't make sense.
Book: It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.

The surprising lesson is contained in the last lines of the dialog from Shepherd Book to River as River was "correcting the Bible:" "It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you."

Probably one of the most profound statements I have heard in a long time: You don't fix faith, it fixes you.  Truth.

From the Bible, we see a definition of faith in Romans Chapter 11.  The first 3 verses are printed below, but the entire chapter contains examples of faith throughout the entire Bible:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
We can't see faith, we have to just believe.  It directs our path, it guides our life, and it gives peace.  Faith fixes us.  Without it, we are all broken creatures.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Surprised By Joy (and Pain)

Some weeks are just too over the top for me.  This past week has been full.  Full of joy, and full of pain.  Full of many extra hours of work, and a surprising day of rest.  Full of tears, and full of smiles.  My cup runneth over on both ends of the spectrum.

Work has been very busy with multiple drug seizures and the discovery of a deceased person out in the middle of nowhere in our area.  I worked about 20 extra hours last week and was running on fumes by the time my "days off" arrived.

This was a treatment weekend, so after getting off work on Thursday I drove to Midland to the hospice to rest before my early morning appointment.  On Friday morning, I showed up early to treatment for my blood draw as is customary, then waited to see the Dr.  Sadly, the Dr. gave me the news I dread: "blood counts are too low for treatment this week, so we will schedule for next week."

There are several reasons it bothers me when I get this news.  First, I carefully arrange my work schedule to accommodate the treatment weekends without having to use sick leave.  Now, I have to rearrange things and use some leave to make it to my next rescheduled treatment.  Secondly, I can't understand the blood count issue.  I do not feel sick, nor do I experience any issues with clotting or getting sick due to depressed platelets and white blood cells.  I don't get it.  I feel fine, even the fatigue issue hasn't been bad this week.  The rejection from treatment did allow me to just chill out yesterday and rest.  I caught up on sleep and watched some Netflix.

Tuesday was the funeral for a Border Patrol Agent who dies on duty last Friday.  These situations always cause me to get emotional, even when I do not know the person.  We are all a big family and it is hard to hear of a sibling passing suddenly from natural causes when they appeared to be hardy and healthy like so many of us.

I haven't been on line much due to the extra hours, but when I did get a chance finally today to catch up on some things.  One thing I make a point to read is the Middle Places blog.  Sure, I admit it is because my wife writes their Thursday posts every week, and I am deeply in love with her (and her writing).  This week, she wrote about doubts caused by tough times.  She has a way of making me cry and making me love her more and more each week.  Stop by and check it out if you have the time.

Today, when I got home from Midland from the disappointing appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to see someone had cut my grass for me.  I was planning to do so upon returning home, but this allowed me a chance to do other things to prepare for the arrival of my wife and kids on Monday.  Thank you who ever you are!!!

As I just said, Monday my wife and kids are scheduled to arrive here for several weeks (through Thanksgiving and my last chemo treatment whenever that will be).  I am very excited for this visit.  I NEED them with me.  It gives me joy and I have missed them for so long.  Even though I have been  very blessed to see them often this year, it is never enough until they are with me forever again.  Additionally, I am hoping to remarry my wife while they are here.  It is the plan anyway.  I REALLY NEED her in my life since she is my rock, my sanctuary, my peace.  I love her!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pret, Toujours Pret

From 1992-1994, I was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia in the US Army.  I was a military police traffic accident investigator. One of the units also on the base (out in Kelly Hill, if I remember correctly?) had a regimental crest with the motto of "Pret, Toujours Pret."  From the French, it is translated to English as "Ready, Always Ready."

That motto came to mind today based on an event at work and I had a series of rapidly flowing thoughts which I figured I would share today.

1. Be ready.

At some point in our lives, if we are displaying the fruit of the Spirit, someone will ask us why we live the way we do. We need to be prepared to provide an answer for the hope within us. We need to be prepared to give testimony. While having a preplanned or wrote script to regurgitate is not the answer I am suggesting, since the would not allow the Holy Spirit to give you the words most appropriate for the situation. I am suggesting that you pray for the leading of the Spirit if and when the occassion arises.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6 (KJV)
2. We never know when our time will end.

Recent events at work (the loss of a coworker on duty) have reinforced this to me.  Sure, my diagnosis has also had it on the front burner for a while, but actually having to cope with a death has turned up the heat.  We never know when our days are complete, either through our passing or the return of the Lord.
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Matthew 25:13 (KJV)
3. Pret is pronounced "pray". We should always pray.   If I can offer only ONE suggestion to help improve your spiritual relationship, it is to pray.  Like any relationship, we need to talk things out.  We need to communicate.  Yes, God knows all our needs and those of others, but we should still make mention and raise them up.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36 (KJV)
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." Phillipians 4:4 (KJV)

Friday, November 2, 2012

It Is NOT The Cancer

It's not the cancer; it is the uncertainty.

When I awake in the morning (ok, sometimes afternoons), I am thankful.  Thankful for another day.  Thankful for the chance to make plans I hope to, but may never, achieve.  I frequently review my "retirement portfolio" and think I really need to hammer away at this thing and get it as full as I can.  Mostly because I know it is not for me.  It is to provide for my family for as long as I can once I am gone.  When I was first diagnosed, my first thoughts upon hearing the news from the Dr. about "2-3 years. probably" was to consider stopping my contributions towards my retirement, as it appeared I had no chance of reaching retirement.  Since God has been so merciful to renew the relationship with my wife, the opposite is true: contribute as much as I can now so she and the kids will have something when I depart.

It's not the cancer; it is the fatigue.

Everyday is a minor battle.  Getting out of bed starts the volley of enemy artillery.  I just want to lay back down and stay there.  Once I am up and moving I still have to fight the urge.  At work, I watch the clock knowing that home and the comforts of the beanbag/couch/comfy chair/bed await me.  A chance to let go and slip quietly into the peaceful bliss of sleep.  I just wish my body didn't ache so much and make me feel years beyond my age.

It's not the cancer; it is the fear.

I admit it.  I am scared.  Very scared sometimes.  I am not afraid to die, that is covered and I am secure in that knowledge.  I am afraid to leave my wife and children behind.  I want to be there to provide for them, to protect them.  I want them secure as they can be.  I don't want them to be without me.  Selfishly, I don't want to leave them, now that it seems as though we will all shortly be back together again.  I want that time.  All of it and much, much more.  I want to walk baby girl down the aisle at her wedding.  I want to watch them graduate college.  I want to help them get through tough life lessons.  I want to hold my grand babies.  And I am in NO hurry to do any of those things.

It's not the cancer; it is the chance for God to teach me. 

Through all of this, I know there is a lesson for me, or perhaps, for others.  What it is yet, I haven't a clue.  There are many phrases that appear on motivational posters or cute little graphics, such as "God will never lead you where His grace will not sustain you," and  "You never know how strong you are until you need to be."  There is also the potential lesson of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness which I hope my renewed relationship with my wife will display to others.  I know this will not all be for nothing; as Margaret Becker sang in the 80's, "It's never for nothing."  (Song really doesn't apply to the situation, just like it and the title) Whatever the final lesson turns out to be, I hope I have mastered the topic.

Thank you all for allowing me to vent some.  I appreciate your patience and wish you all well.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

To Whom It May Concern...

I'm tired; bone tired.  I am at the point where all I really want to do is lay down and sleep.  Sure, I am aware that fatigue is a part of this wonderful game called chemo, but this is getting old.

I make plans, yet can't get started on the doing of them.  I have goals which seem more and more unrealistic every day since I can't do the work to get closer to them.  I just want to rest.

I am not fulfilled at my job  (it is boring and I spend a lot of time just sitting at my desk).  I look for things to do, and have spent a bunch of time of projects for my former location (just to appear busy and to help them out some).  I want (check that: I NEED) to get back there to where I was always pressed for time to complete something, not this lackadaisical atmosphere where nothing is important until it is important (in which case it is too late to really do anything about it).

I have heard nothing on my Lateral Transfer request since submitting it, and my "boss" who was supposed to be tracking progress has not followed up (I asked about it today and he said, "oh, yeah.  I guess I should look into that.").  There are currently no job announcements which seem desirable to me, so I will not be applying for anything.

I am tired of my treatment schedule and the endless miles of driving through deserted highways from the middle of nowhere to something that resembles a small city. If I could get back to my former position, I would cut the drive to one fourth (even though I would be seeing a different doctor).  I  don't mind the idea of changing doctors, since maybe I could find one who is more supportive of alternative options instead of being resigned to make my final years "as comfortable as possible."

I know I am whining a bit today, but I haven't vented in a while so allow me this time.

I am excited to have my wife and children coming out to be with me for a while in November and through my final chemo poisoning.  I look forward to spending time with them and renewing the relationships which should have been.  I greatly desire my wife's presence since she is my peaceful place.

I "need" to find a way to get consistent with exercise.  I greatly desire it in my life as a way to burn off steam and to ensure sleep.  Building my endurance back to even where it once was will be a challenge, but I really need to get busy trying to do so.