Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An August Update...

Typical of this time of year is the pure exhaustion that comes with working in the golf industry. It's a fact of life, not necessarily an occupational "hazard", just an occupational "reality". From about mid-June to the end of August, I stare at my alarm clock five or six mornings every week. When it looks back at me, squarely in the eyes, it blasts this message: "4:44am".

The days are long on a couple of counts. Firstly, pure daylight. The skies in the Okanagan Valley are amazing early in the day. There is a peacefulness that greets every one of us in the region who enjoys arriving at a golf course before the general public has their way with our facilities. And secondly, there are just so many working hours to cover during the long daylight hours, as demand for play is huge during June, July and August. It's exciting for sure, this three-month period where the focus is so much on "work" that there really is very little time for "play" of any kind.

In recent years, I  usually prepare for this period in part by taking a group of great guys on a two-day golf excursion. It's become an annual trip in mid-June that includes two rounds of golf and an overnight. We stick pretty close to home, no more than a two-hour drive each way. The guys I travel with are the kind of people every circle of friends should include. They're just solid, successful, caring guys who enjoy the camaraderie for what it's worth. Once this mid-June adventure is over, I'm pretty much married to my job until the end of August. I don't have any major complaints about this at all, because I enjoy what I do for a living. It is much, much better than having a job that I constantly complain about. I think we all know people in this predicament? I am not one of them.

In the past, this high-energy, 12-week run has also been relatively easy to deal with, primarily because the entire team was proficient and we had things really dialed in on site. Add the clubhouse fire on May 11 to our list of current challenges, and 2013 has been very trying. Also in the past, I felt 100% healthy. This year, probably not so much. The entire season has been much more challenging than ever, due primarily to the things "unexpected".

I do not have the same energy level as in past years. I am confident this will improve, but for now, I am on fumes. For the most part, I have kept this to myself, although I am certain there are perceptive folks around who have kindly kept their observations to themselves. I suppose I kind of compare my role at work to that of "Sam Malone", the bartender at "Cheers". Really, I'm at work to kind of entertain the troops, keep an eye on the facility, make sure the "beans" are all in the right place, support our staff through any challenges they might encounter. But, as far as 2013 season goes, my sense of humor has certainly been put to the test.

After my treatment for cancer ended last November, the news in February that I was "cancer-free" was encouraging. But, dealing with the effects of treatment has been almost every bit as difficult as the treatment itself. There are many people in my world who recognize this, and they have been tremendously supportive.

Yet, there are also the assholes of the world, those who behave like bullies and really don't seem to give a damn about anyone but themselves. I have never enjoyed dealings with folks who seem to insist that an attitude of "do you know who I am" is sufficient justification for inflicting childish and ignorant bullshit. I have spent the entire month of July traveling along the "high road", while being thrown under the bus by what I believe is the lunatic fringe. I am just blown away by the behaviour of these 60-year-old toddlers!

On the other hand, there are the many wonderful people around who possess a multitude of redeeming qualities. Maturity. Integrity. Class. Self-respect.

Unfortunately, I think the assholes among us might struggle to define each of the aforementioned terms.

(By the way, there is a wonderful book folks might take a peak at, entitled "Assholes: A Theory". It's not a humorous venture...it's kind of an academic read. This can be sort of boring to some, but it's just a wonderful, informative concept. Just search the title online.)

Special Occasions...
I think we all know folks who it seems cannot wait to tell us about everything special happening in their lives. It's almost like the concept of "fishing for compliments". I giggle about this stuff, because I have always tried to be the  guy who acknowledges special occasions, without be prompted to do so. Not necessarily with cards and gifts all the time, but just a little nod of the head, a hug, or just a wink. I don't catch them all, but I do my best.

It was July 17, 2012 that I was diagnosed. When July 17, 2013 came and went without fanfare, I certainly knew the significance of the day. The significance to me. I received one phone call that day from a lady who also seemed to know the date would be some what meaningful. That was special. The crummy weather that day kept her from popping in to see me. She knows who she is. Thanks!

The Health Side...
Appointments have been juggled around a bit, so it looks like August 12 for my next consultation at the Cancer Agency in Kelowna.

On July 22, I left work after a couple of hours, feeling dizzy and just not quite right. I arrived at KGH about 11:00am and spent the day getting poked a prodded. I guess most of the tests done were to rule out that I was having a stroke.

On the positive side, the hospital staff slid me in for a CT Scan that day. The idea was to look at my brain, which of course confirmed that it is made mostly of straw! The doctors actually combined things and also scanned my neck area. So, this enabled me to cancel my originally schedule CT Scan appointment on August 1. So, I know that somebody on a cancellation list would have gotten a call to come in early for their scan. Guess that's a silver lining for somebody! I know my phone has rung over the past year when a surprise opening has come up. So, everybody wins!

That was an interesting day at KGH. I had an IV  inserted, something I did not enjoy as it reminded me too much about the three times I went through chemotherapy treatments. And, there was another reminder I could have lived without...five hours in the hospital is really boring!!

I continue to deal with a very dry mouth. This will be ongoing, so, I'll be pounding the fluids for some time I'm sure.

I have also experienced more "acid reflux" type symptoms over the past six weeks. Not sure where this is coming from, but it'll be discussed on August 12.

Moving forward...
Who knows what the future will hold? We have learned that three very special people in our lives have been diagnosed with various cancers, so we will be supporting them as they deal with their respective treatment schedules, and the effects of treatments.

Cancer is a scourge, but it really seems to be everywhere. Let's not forget the caregivers among us!

More to come...

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