Thursday, February 24, 2011

Celebrate, Celebrate - Dance to the Music!

In 1970, our band opened our shows with those lyrics - a medley from Rare Earth and Sly and the Family Stone. How fitting for this day 40 years later: February 24, 2011... "I just want to celebrate another day of living, I just want to celebrate another day of life." This one is for my daughter, Rachel.

Rachel is celebrating her LAST DAY OF CHEMO TREATMENT!
Ta Da! Four -four day sessions spread out over two months (after some very rigorous Radiation treatments) and look, she's still smiling - drugged, but smiling.

When we walked in today with balloons and bagels for Ra Ra, one patient commented: "She lights up the room when she walks in."

Here's to RA RA:
The Place... The Stuff... (called 'RED DEVIL")
The Process...
Letting it do its thing...
Mimi & RA...

Let's Celebrate!

We love you RA!
Bye, Bye, Cancer! Hello, LIFE...and they all lived happily ever after.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It Never Rains in California...

Those lyrics and melody echo in my brain: "but girl, don't they warn ya - it pours, man it pours."

When it rains, it pours...the perfect mental picture of our journey this past month.

Drizzle, Drizzle: A six-month programming session at Stanford on January 11th...kicking up the voltage in the right side of my battery powered brain to 4.1 milliamps - helping to minimize recent difficulties on the left side of my body...

Downpour: My ability to speak and speak clearly has been severely impacted for quite some time now. Two things are going on simultaneously - the first can be compensated for by speaking from my diaphram and making an effort to articulate and ennunciate each word. The second challenge is more disturbing, at least in my mind, because for some reason there is a disconnect between my thought process and actually saying the words... especially when I try to multitask and explain something. As a result, talking on the phone is quite futile these days - and face to face is almost as bad (unless you can read lips).

Deluge: Moving out of our house of 11 years (including our home business) and relocating to southern California with a 'forced' retirement was taxing to say the least. Without the help of some dear friends, Barry and Sandy Barnes, we'd still be trying to get out of there. I'm totally amazed that Barry still likes me - I don't know how many times he had to say 'huh?' or how many times he pretended to understand what I just asked him to do-especially when I was tired, which was most of the time.

That goes for my wife, Beckie, too. There were moments during our move that I pushed her to the limits of her ability to tolerate my physical and mental inabilites. The fact that she didn't walk out on me is a testimony of God's grace.

In our 39 years together, I've never seen her so stressed out - especially the morning of the day we were to pack a truck with the things we were going to take with us. The night before, we received a phone call from our son-in-law informing us that he, Jenna, Leo and Tesla (who will arrive in late March) will be moving to Philadelphia to take a new position with the Dept. of Defense. The home we had planned to live in would no longer be there come April.

We drove the 9 hours to Murrieta, anyway, as planned - just not with the rental truck, but our minivan loaded to the gills... not really certain of our final destination.

We had either sold - or given away - almost everything we owned by the time we headed down the highway with those belongings we just couldn't part with. Beckie's analogy of the Beverly Hill-billies in their overcrowded vehicle bouncing down the road wasn't too far off the mark. Looking in our mirror, the view of the road behind us was obscured by piles of loose clothing stuffed to the ceiling of our Toyota minivan...with plasic bags of socks and underwear filling in the few spaces that were left. I can hear that hill-billy banjo playing now...

Over our lifetime we've made signicant moves numerous times, but the circumstances on this venture were VERY different. In the past, it was always a joint effort - now, the ball was in BECKIE'S court. I was probably more hassle than help this time. Correction -- I WAS more hassle than help this time. Consequently, my hat is off to my wonderful wife who definitely bore the brunt of the pressure. For a short time, I was praying earnestly that she wouldn't crack. Thank God, she didn't. Frankly, the more I stayed out of the way, the better it was for everyone concerned.

And Now, for the rest of the story ..... you'll have to wait until it's written.