23 January 2012

4 years later

Wow.  Who’d a thunk this would have lasted this long?  I guess if they keep putting up such stellar programming like Jersey Shore, Survivor, Big Brother, and DWTS year after year, this meager blog can share some of that longevity.  

Occasionally, I look back to see where I've been (or, if you're paranoid, to see if anyone is following you).  It is about this time of year that I mark a milestone of sorts.  Actually, it is two milestones.  The first being this meager excuse of a blog.  This is the place I go to ramble on about this and that, share stupid/funny stories, show endless pictures of my dogs, and complain about life in general.  I actually created this site back in spring of 2007 with a short coming outpost but I did not follow up with anything until almost a year later (found it hard to write something meaningful or intelligent).  I started posting in earnest in January after my surgery in 2008, so I tend to mark the beginnings of this site around that time.  4 years and thousands of words later, this thing has gotten legs, albeit wobbly ones.  I started out following dozens of other blog sites, each with a different theme/flavor.  Some have survived, some have closed up shop, some have disappeared into the winds.  I found a few favorites that I continue to follow religiously.  They serve as my muse/inspiration to continue to read and post new things.  I like to thank (or blame) Terri for starting this site.  I've followed her saga for years from kids to work to bowling to dogs, she's had an interesting journey that keeps drawing people back for more.  It was her stories and the way she spun them that inspired me to try my hand in this "blog stuff" although, I'll have to admit, I'm not as interesting or funny.  I have followed other sites (AbbyMeleahRC) as well for their stories and insights and I thank each of you for your inspiration to keep this up.  Four years is not a long time, but I look back and find I have accomplished a lot. I’ve been on a cruise, I have been I've see my son graduate from college, start work and get engaged, I've traveled the world, got to meet one of my blog friends (thanks, RC)I have lost a dog but gained two more.  I've survived 4 half marathons, I’ve dislocated a shoulder, I’m still driving the same old truck, bought an iPod, bought a new computer.  I’ve done a lot in the last four turns around the sun.  Looking back, I consider myself one lucky SOB for the opportunities I’ve had and glad to have been able to share/bore them with everyone.   

My second milestone is actually the impetus for some of the stuff I accomplished above.  I have made it a point to mark down on my calendar the anniversary of my surgery.  For those new to this game or with short term memory, 4 years ago yesterday I purged my system, donned some fashionable hospital scrubs, and went under the knife for Prostate cancer.  Was still a bit of a shock to me to be diagnosed with PC at only 50 years old.  I chose the surgery path and came out the other side “prostate free”.  If you are interested in some of the story, you can look back at my earlier postings.  I thought, in all my postings, I had described the saga in vivid detail, but was disappointed that I hadn't shared that with the rest of the world.  I actually started posting seriously while recovering from surgery and that’s where this little blog started out.  Blogging was something I didn't think I had in me, but I've managed to keep at it for a good while.  After the surgery, I changed my outlook on a few things.  After getting diagnosed in 2007, I decided to knock off one of my bucket list items - to run a marathon.  I couldn’t get in in 2008 (did not realize how far in advance you had to sign up) so I did the corresponding 5k that year.  But afterwards I signed up for the ½ Marathon (because I am only ½ crazy).  Been doing that shtick for 4 years now.  As I mentioned earlier on my marathon posts, I run as a reminder that I am still alive.  I am still pondering a full marathon at some point, but, for now, will stick with the ½ until my legs tell me different.  I started traveling more for the company and it has taken me places I haven't been to before.  I love to travel and have taken advantage of the trips I am assigned.  Oh, sure, I may grumble and gripe about plane travel and the TSA and hotel living, but, truthfully, I love it.        

I usually mark this time here by getting on my soapbox and reminding everyone to get checked out.  Prostate cancer is one the leading causes of death for men just Breast cancer is with women.  Last time I ran the numbers, over 280,000 men are diagnosed with Prostate cancer each year.  A simple, precautionary PSA test can save you a world of grief.  As I have been told and told others, this stuff is preventable, if you catch it early enough.  The interesting fact I uncovered in all my research on pc was that, at some point in their lives, most men will either get prostate cancer or have it.  It strikes late in life (post 50) and is usually not detected until later when something else goes wrong.  Because it hits late in life and is not spotted through normal exams, men will typically die of other causes before prostate cancer will take its toll.  The takeaway here is to get checked out.  It is easy, relatively painless, and simple (blood test).  Some guys avoid it because of the stigma/embarrassment of getting a package check.  Embarrassing?  Perhaps, but I am too old to GAS and besides, the risk is too big to bet farm upon.  So, if you are a guy skirting 50, if you know of a guy over 50, if your brother/dad/son are getting on in years, please insist that they get checked out.  Life’s too short to spent it wondering “what if”.  I am a walking testament to the fact it does not have to be a fatal diagnosis.  I got checked out, dealt with it and I am still here after 4 years enjoying good beer and fine scotch and life in general and I am not making plans to go anywhere just yet.  End of my soapbox speech. 

And I never imagined that I would have enough interesting stuff to say to fill up 4 years. 


ShadowRun300 said...

I feel like I have Terri to thank as well. I found her blog through a friend of mine, and then linked up with my other blogs through her site. I've been excited to add you to my list. I'll have to look through some of your earlier posts. Sounds like you've had a very interesting life. My husband (but not me...lol) is nearing 50, and we've had a few discussions about prostate cancer as well. You've just added more proof that he should stay on top of his exams. So thank you for that... It's been good getting to "know" you these past few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing what your future brings!

Rock Chef said...

Terri was one of the first bloggers that I became hooked on and I am glad that she is still writing.

Thanks for the nudge about prostate cancer. My FIL recently lost is fight with it and a colleague of mine has been fighting it and various complications for some time now too. I am not fond of the check, but as you say it is better than not having it!

I really enjoy your blog - just keep on as you are, please! :-)

terri said...

"Not as interesting or funny...?" I beg to differ. I think we all feel that way because to ourselves, our lives aren't that exciting. But they are new and different experiences for our readers. I often battle the problem of life being too boring to blog about. And then I write about something so simple and routine and find people will often relate. So don't stop! I travel vicariously through you. And I have you to thank for getting me thinking about dog adoption. And you KNOW how well that turned out!

I'm glad we found each others' blogs and have maintained our friendship through the years. It's a good one!

I think I'll schedule a long overdue mammogram, thanks to your nudging! ;-)

"Abby" said...

*Stands up and gives ovation!*

Whatever brought you to blogging and keeps you here is all good with me. I know that I also found you through Terri - what would we all do without her?!

Now... you've reminded me that I should have a talk with the nearing-50 husband!

meleah rebeccah said...

Awwwwww! Yay!! Happy 4th blogging anniversary!

And, I am so happy you survived Prostate Cancer. Seriously. That's amazing.

*throws confetti*