Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anger Management...

We spent a couple of hours at the BC Cancer Agency on Tuesday, May 7, a 90-day checkup. The last time in was on February 5. That was the day Dr. Francois Bachand gave us the news that the medical team and the treatment had managed to successfully obliterate the cancer cells!

Last week, it was a bit of a different tune, as the discussion was more about side effects and progress along those lines, rather than us wondering about the status of the tumor in my throat. For the record, the camera was snaked up my nose and into my throat again, and Bachand announced that everything in there that he could see looked "normal".

Well, "normal" is now a real buzzword in my world these days, as I am trying to come to terms with exactly what normal means. These days, it's "normal" for me to:

1. drink three or four glasses of water to choke down a sandwich or a hamburger.
2. chew about three pieces of gum per day.
3. be forgetful.
4. grow tired very early in the evenings.

Really, I recognize that these are just inconveniences now, although I find myself getting more and more angry about these inconveniences becoming the norm.

The biggest issue is how dry my mouth is. It's a new experience for me and one I am not enjoying. There is no timeline on this possibly changing for the better.

I am also being challenged with short-term memory issues. We discussed this last week and it is attributable to the drug used during my chemotherapy sessions. "Cisplatin" is the name of the drug, but apparently the "platin" group of drugs does make their way into our brains. For me, remembering entire phone numbers is an example of new challenge. I am not amused.

Feeling a little less energetic as the day wears on relates to thyroid function, or lack of the same. Effectively, the radiation treatments have sped up this process, that being the deterioration. It will not belong before we give a low-dose thyroid medication a try.

New Challenges...
We really felt we had things moving in the right direction at work these days at the Shannon Lake Golf Club. The golf course is in excellent condition, thanks to the team effort our grounds crew puts forward every day.

On the golf side, we've been fortunate that continuity over the past seven years has resulted in service level consistency. And, as a business, we have been profitable, which is unfortunately kind of a rarity in the golf industry these days.

At the end of April, the club took over operation of the food and beverage end of things, after four years of lease operators running the show. There was a real upbeat and positive vibe at the club in recent days, noticeable even to a few of the folks that many would recognize as our chronic complainers.

Then this...

The clubhouse at the Shannon Lake Golf Club, destroyed by fire on May 11, 2013.
Another look at the destruction.

Emotions are running pretty high, as many can imagine. A significant portion of the Membership looks at this building and realizes that about 25 years of memories have been generated on the property. We often joked about the state of the building and how we wished for more modern digs, but this incident is devastating. And the timing is terrible.

But, we have a good working Board at the club and a solid management team. That should be a favorable combination moving forward, as decisions will have to be made regarding our short-term operation strategies and the long-term plan that will relate to reconstruction.

For me these days, working in an environment with remnants of smoke damage and chemical fumes in the air is only an option if I choose to function as a complete idiot. After being there all day Saturday, I suffered through the evening and over night with pain and irritation in my throat, the likes of which I have not experienced for some time. Sure, it was a bad judgement call on my part to spend as much time around the property as I did on Saturday, but I suppose I'll have to attribute that to the shock and disappointment.

Actually, in retrospect, I am somewhat amused by the fact that the fire investigators wore masks and oxygen tanks while combing through the wreckage. Meanwhile many of us, including the on-lookers and illustrious media stood around by the clubhouse area just breathing in the toxic atmosphere. Really! What the hell were we  thinking?

Moving forward, I will not make the same mistake, although the shitty part of that decision is that more of the "on-site responsibility" in the short-term will fall upon the other members of the team. I'll work remotely for awhile on as many admin tasks as I can. Part of me feels like I'm shirking my responsibility by not being there in the trenches. The other part of me wants to stay alive...

Through it all, I recall an old saying; "you can't turn chicken shit into chicken salad". Or, "you can't whip shit into honey".

Well, I think that proving this old adage wrong might just sum up our new challenge.

So stay tuned...


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