23 February 2008
Work in progress –my latest project is assembling a dining room table & chairs we just picked up this week. Now, we have an older set given to us by a friend 12+ years ago that has seen better days. Momma has had her eye on a particular set for many years and she has been saving money to eventually buy it one day. We were really waiting to finish up some of the renovations on the house and redo the landscaping, but this past weekend her dream set popped up in the paper at a local store at a ridiculous price. After some discussion (ok she did the talking, I did the listening), we agreed to get the chairs and check out the table. Besides, I figured I owed her big time for taking care of my while I convalesced from my surgery. Of course, nothing is ever as simple or easy as it appears. We headed off to the store on Sunday in search of the chairs and table. One store had a few chairs of the exact style we were looking for but no table. Another store had more chairs so off we go across town. While the second store had a few more chairs, they did not have arm chairs nor the table. After some further discussion, we decided to move on the chairs and try to see if the table was available. I picked up four chairs at the 2nd store and then drove like a dog after a squirrel back to the 1st store to get 2 more chairs. Still lacking the table and arm chairs. At this time, momma was willing to settle for the other chairs and table (similar wood/color, not same style) but I insisted to try and ferret out the matching set across south Texas. After many phone calls and much dialog with several stores (helps to know the exact model number), I found the exact table & arm chairs south of town. I drove to the store to make sure they had the right set in stock then picked up the wife to make sure it was exactly what she wanted (no way I was going to buy the set without her approval). Loaded up the table and remaining 2 arm chairs into the land barge (barely fit) and headed towards home. Been trying to assemble two chairs every night this week and I am now working on the table itself. Actually, the assembly is not too bad/complicated once you figure out the system. It should look fairly nice once I get done. I figure this new set may begat future acquisitions once we see it in the dining room…
The older set is going to a co-worker who just recently moved into a house and lacks a big table.
(BTW – 5 Covey points if you can recognize what EBA stands for)…
12 February 2008
To that I say, Amen, sister!
Been 0ne of my pet peeves on how people complain about problems in life and how things ain't fair, but I, for one, should have no complaints. Sure, I could whine about my recent round with prostate cancer and how I had to spend a couple days in the hospital and had to sport a catheter, but, in retrospect, if that is all I have to complain about, then I truely am a drama queen.
I got way too much in life to be complaining.
- I have my health (you cannot buy that). I know a few people who are younger than me and show the mileage a lot more.
- I have a family that loves (tolerates) me. My recent stent in the hospital garnered a lot of concern/prayers from my family. I am deeply touched and humbled by the level of concern and care I got while I was recovering and I am still trying to find a way to express my appreciation. My family, while sometimes appearing dysfunctional (we put the FUN in dysfunctional) is something I am proud to have.
- I have friends. A man (or woman) can live a long and prosperous life, but if you do not have friends, you lack a very important aspect. Friends are something that takes a while to form/develop and they can last a lifetime. I learned that recently when I heard from many people who I have not been in contact with for years.
- I am comfortable (financially). Ok, I am not the millionare I had envisioned back when I was in high school and I am still working on my first fortune. While I am not rolling in the money, we ain't lacking either. We our share of bills and a kid in college, but we are doing well and not really wanting for much (ok, I would like to buy an iPod). Again, there are people who have bigger problems that I so I am not one to complain.
- I have a loving wife. Sure we get on each other's nerves and we are sometimes short with each other, but we been together a looong time and I appreciate her. I just need to remember to tell (& show) her that more often.
- I have a great kid. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I always felt that a man should be able to pass on his knowledge/heratige through his children. My kid has grown up to be a man inspite of all of my input. He has earned his Eagle Scout award (something I did not achieve) and graduated from high school in the top of his class. He is attending an outstanding university (but not quite the one I had dreamed for) and is excelling in all areas. While he is working really hard spend my retirement, this is a minor issue. He has never given us any of the problems you might expect from a teenager out on his own with a car and girlfriend, and I am quite proud of him. I have high hopes for his future and expect him to surpass his old man in his achievements.
- I've been able to travel somewhat. As an member of the Army, I got to travel overseas and live in Germany (thanks, folks, for the ride!). I got to see more that most folk have seen and been able to enjoy it. I am proud of my service and glad to have had the opportunity to serve.
I have more blessings but think this is more than enough for now. Remember folks, when life is looking pretty lousy, try to recall the good times and thing how others might be. Thanks, Terri, for the subtle reminder to be happy with what you have!
It is easier to get forgiveness that it is to get permission.
08 February 2008
07 February 2008
Since I have been on recovery, been feeling better & better each day. The wife claims I have reclaimed my twisted sense of humor (never lost it) and is about ready for me to go back to work. Over the past few days, my darling spouse has taken excellent care of my while I was on the disabled list. I claim not to be a difficult patient and, when sick or ill, I prefer to be left alone (don't want anyone waiting on me). She pretty much took care of me while I was recovering from surgery and did all of the odd jobs around the house (I honestly kept trying to do something but she wouldn't let me). One of the things she did was try to clean house and toss out some of the old boxes and papers we have accumulated over the past few years. One of the pile of boxes she had was about 6-7 James Avery boxes that either I or our son have given her over the years. Of course, feeling somewhat mischevious, I kept rearranging the boxes on her dresser into different geometric shapes (just to get a reaction). Even after she tossed them in the recycle bin, I recovered them and made new form. Today, while the weather was absolutely beautiful and I am still on limited duty, I wound up recovering the boxes once again and formed this little monument just to get her attention. Am I truely evil? Or just being a PIA?
I think she's stopped feeling sorry for me now...
Weather down here (south Texas) was fantastic (for once). Cool (~low 50s) & clear for the next few days. I know my friends up north are buried under a mountain of snow, but we rarely see the white stuff down in this neck of the woods (about once every 5-10 years). The last time we had a "dusting" of snow, they closed half the city. As a veteran of the east coast and having spent a number of years in Germany, I am familiar with a long & cold winter season. While I miss the snow, I certainly don't miss having to scrape the car windows or dig my car out of the snow bank (thanks, Mr Plowman!).
Now that my infirmity is past me, I can start making plans for future adventures. Spending a few weeks off from work has given me some new insight and time to reflect on things. I have definitely spend way too much time on the net reading blogs or checking out various websites or playing Mahjong (definitely need to get a life). Have uncovered several new/interesting sites to follow along with keeping up with my favorites (thanks, Terri). Have been inspired by Darrin to rekindle my culinary skills. I ain't a rookie in the kitchen, but have been letting my darling bride do most of the meal preparation lately and feel the need to share the load (I do clean up). Besides, gives me a chance to test out some of Darrin's interesting recipies.
05 February 2008
The prognosis was excellent. The doc reviewed my lab results and has declared me completely free & clear of cancer. He confirmed the the presence of the cancer in the prostate but it was completely confined to the organ and there were no signs of it migrating anywhere. Only thing I have to do is go back in a 30 days for a follow up check. He cleared me to return to duty on Monday so I will take the rest of the week to get my sea legs back. Now I am just trying to remember how to pee....
Once again, thank you very much for all of your thoughts & prayers.
04 February 2008
Week three of my recovery and I'm looking forward to getting rid of my attachment tomorrow. Don't know how many of ya'll have ever had the distinct pleasure of sporting a catheter, but it ain't my idea of fun. Still, it beats the alternative and it is only temporary. All of this time off gives me time to catch up on my reading and DVDs and cruise the net, although it has gotten a bit boring. Actually looking forward to going back to work next week. I feel completely out of the loop in some areas and it will take me weeks to catch up. The only saving grace is that I have been able to retain access to my work e-mail account to keep up with the latest changes/status. Even though I am officially on "LOA" for the duration and not supposed to be doing work, I like to stay in contact to get the latest dirt/information. IMO, nothing worse that coming back in to a mountain of e-mails/correspondance.
03 February 2008
I've been playing with the format somewhat to make it more readable/user friendly (trying to make it appear more intelligent?). Not happy with the big size picture and trying to shrink that down a bit lest ya'll think I am some kind of real photographer.
Progress goes well on my recovery. I don't want to dwell on it, but the pain gets more tolerable. If I could only lose the catheter, life would be sweet. I beginning to see the potential for medival torture here. Should be able to ditch this attachment next week, although I am not looking forward to its removal (not without lots of Vicodin or Scotch). Is anyone has advice to deal with this "annoyance", I'd welcome the input.
Enough about me. Today is Superbowl Sunday with the Patriots & Giants to square off for the title. Best wishes for both teams. I am not really a big fan of either team, but will admit I am leaning towards the Patriots. Got my name in the office pool although my numbers aren't that good. Will probably kick back and watch the game this evening (more to see the commercials) with some snacks but will tend to stay away from the liquor for the duration (due to my recovery).
Addendum: Oh well. No money made this year. Hell of a game. At least it wasn't a blow out.
02 February 2008
My procedure/status have been the topic of a few e-mails last week and I wanted to pass along my two cents (ok, this is probably more like a quarter's worth)...
First of all, I was overwhelmed by everyone's comments, thoughts, & prayers for last week and have made it past the first step of the process. One week down, 2 to go.
I won't try to bore everyone with a rehash of my last note, but just to give a brief synopsis of the first week of my holiday: Signed into hospital early Tuesday (I think they have you go in early just so you won't have the time to wake up & reconsider). Prepped & off to surgery by 0730 (don't remember much after they stuck an epidural in me) and out by 1100 in recovery. Don't recall anything from the actual surgery but doc tells me it went great and there were no complications or signs that the cancer had migrated. Wound up in my room by noon where I spend most of the next two days trying to learn how sit up and live on a liquid diet. Fair amount of pain and discomfort, but it got better each day and was up walking by Wednesday afternoon. Discharged on Thursday to go home where I have been trying to rest & relax. Each day is getting better but I still have a ways to go before I can do any 10k runs. Still sore from the incision but the pain is less of a factor each day. Having to sport a catheter is definitely not my idea of fun, but a necessary evil. Had staples removed earlier this week and should be able to lose the catheter next week.
My wife noted that my acerbic sense of humor has returned (they did not remove that) and I was even trying to crack up the nurses in the hospital (valuable life lesson: Try not to piss off the people who control your medication or who wake you up at 0300 to take your temperature & BP). I have noted amongst my musing lately, I am labeling myself as "New & Improved (now Prostate Free!)". I would lay stake to the claim of being cancer free, but need to wait until the lab results come back next week. To answer the question that some have asked, no I do not need any follow up treatments (aside of normal follow up exams). The intent of this surgery was to eliminate the root cause and not have to apply any preventative actions.
- The Methodist Hospital system has a very nice facility. Small, but very intensive & professional treatment of patients. IMHO, very customer oriented. They were very focused on my comfort and care.
- Take care of yourself - one of the factors that helped speed my recovery is my condition. Now, I don't mean to get preachy and I certainly do not consider myself any kind of athlete, but the intent of my exercise has been geared to keep me active and keep the weight down.
- Get regular check ups/exams. As I said in my last diatribe, this little condition I have had is treatable, if detected early enough. I know the exams are a bit intrusive and not something I did with a high amount of enthusiasm, but it definitely beats what I have been dealing with over the past few days and will keep you ahead of the curve.
- Friends are an asset you don't always realize/recognize you have until you face a crisis. I ahve been humbled by the response I have gotten from family, coworkers, and friends. I have actually heard from several people who I have not had any direct contact with for years. Not that is was great to be in this situation, but it was nice to know that there were a lot of people in my corner.
As I said earlier, I should be back in the saddle shortly being a general pain for most. The upside of this deal is that my liquor bill has dropped off and I may have lost a couple of pounds (try eating nothing but clear liquids for 5 straight days).
Once again, thank you very much for all of your thoughts & prayers.
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like and do what you'd rather not." Mark Twain