Saturday, October 20, 2012

Waving Goodbye To Another Week...

With about two thirds of my radiation treatments complete and two of three chemotherapy treatments done, I have to admit that I can "feel" the finish line nearing.

GUARDIAN ANGELS…
People talk about “prayer” as if it provides magical results.

Admittedly, I have not re-connected over the years with my faith roots, those established in our family during my elementary school days. I have often rationalized to folks that I feel I am more "spiritual" than "religious".

I have many conversations with “God” over the years, which in a cynical sense I have simply chalked up to idle self-talk. The problem with my approach is that I say my piece, then I forget to open my eyes to see if there is a response.

I had one of these little chats on Monday morning this past week.

I was a mess, plain and simple. It was time spent thinking all about worst-case scenarios. One amazingly bizarre thought occurred to me during the dismay: “Geez, I have to make sure my wife has all of my online banking passwords. She's going to need them.”

Huh? Kinda like pouting and walking in off the golf course after making a double-bogey, which is really just chickening-out!

Talk about viewing this process through my glass belly button! I'm not sure when I allowed my head to crawl up my ass...

So I said to God, "I know you have pretty long lineup and I know I haven't done the work to move along very quickly, but I think I need some help."

What I did NOT do, was make Him any promises after my request. Part of me thinks that just boils down to bargaining, which is an easy way to let Him down if does offer a hand.

EYE-OPENING...
On Tuesday, I received an email from Rick Speckman, a good pal and real solid guy over at Kelowna Motors. His wife Sue apparently coaxed him to put another bug in my ear about an acquaintance who has survived exactly the same treatment...six years ago.

So, I picked up the phone and I spoke with Barry Eldstrom. He didn't sugarcoat a thing. Some good advice, but for me, the telling part of the conversation is that six years later, Barry is still standing! He had some terrific thoughts on how important his wife's role was during the treatment and recovery.

On Wednesday at the Cancer Clinic, an elderly gentlemen was in the waiting room waiting for his wife. We struck up a conversation and he explained that he has survived two cancers. He looked so healthy and was so vibrant! I pretty near fell over laughing when he said, "the health care system is taking such good care of me because it needs me to keep paying taxes!"

He told me to let the health care workers do all the worrying for me. My responsibility is to stay positive and survive...so I can keep paying taxes!

When I was called into the treatment room, I shook his hand, said  thank you, and made damn sure I looked him straight in the eyes. On the bed during radiation, I asked myself, "who sent that guy to me?"

I also received a note on the blog here from Mark Ully, whose son Cole Ully of the Kamloops Blazers is playing in his second full season in the WHL. Mark explained his experience with cancer, sharing the news with his family, and also lent me some timely advice.

And then, my daughter Ashley (Hidden Rainbows) shows up at the house, unannounced on Friday evening. Ashley is busting her hump through the final six weeks of a Graphics Design course at the Vancouver Career College location in Kelowna. It hasn't been a smooth run over there for she and her classmates, but it is impossible for me to ignore the progress she has made.

I laboured over dinner, just trying to choke down some calories. Afterward, Ashley tosses and card and an envelope on the table. This is a drawing she produced, called "Guardian Angel". The detail is amazing...I just stared at this 11 X 14 piece of art and was awestruck.


Apparently, "burgundy and white" or "red and white" are colors associated with Oral cancers or Head and Neck cancers. The burgundy/red ribbon in the image represents healing. I'll have  to get this clarified.

(Of course, "pink" is very prominent in the world of cancer research and awareness, and I wore a ton of it this past golf season as kind of a silent bit of therapy after I knew I was in some trouble. But, I digress...)

I guess I have to lay down a challenge to everyone who doesn't believe in Guardian Angels. Folks will have a difficult time convincing me they do not exist.

Actually, if you don't Believe, I'd prefer NOT to hear why...


Countdown...

A few one-liners here, courtesy of my sister JoAnn.

Cancer is so limited, because:

#15: It cannot cripple LOVE!

#14: It cannot shatter HOPE!

#13: It cannot corrode FAITH!

More to come...

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