September 22, 2013 (Sun) – The Big Reveal

Full MontyExpecting a Full Monty? Trust me on this: that would the last thing you would want to see (unless of course I looked like this…and I don’t). Plus, I’d instantly lose at least half of my blog subscribers. Perhaps even lose my wife, and she’s seen it.

So what else could the Big Reveal be alluding to? Hmmm. I have cancer? Nope, been there, done that. More side effects? Think I have that covered for now although I still get surprised every once in a while. And not necessarily in a good way. Use your imagination. Or not. Hmmm again. That I occasionally “partook” back in college? OK, I had a beer or two. Uh yeah, that’s what I’m referring to. That’s the ticket. Hey, my kids read this too. I don’t want them thinking their dad was a sleazebag or something. Hmmm, tighty whities vs boxer briefs? Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Can you tell I’m stalling here? I keep checking the draft version to see if any photos I upload show up in the first page load. I want to maintain the suspense of the big reveal so I am just running off at the mouth (or keyboard in this case) to fill space with text in order to shove the reveal photo below your horizon. Maybe I should just enlarge Monty above. Tell me I didn’t just say that…

OK, I think we’re good.

So if you’ve been following along, you know that we have been undergoing a big kitchen remodel (code name: cha-ching). Although there are a few miniscule things left, I could not delay the big reveal any longer. Hopefully you realize that the top photo is the “before” shot, otherwise we just wasted $mumble-mumble dollars.

Kitchen before-after

My wife and I almost get a taste of agoraphobia whenever we walk into this new kitchen.  And no, agoraphobia is not a fear of wrapping your high school boyfriend’s ring with yarn. Yes, you ladies (at least those over 50) know you did that. That would be angoraphobia. But our old kitchen allowed you to touch opposite counters by just stretching out your arms. Now the opposite counter is in a different zip code.

Yes, we’ve had a few glitches. Remember what those are from my prior blog? Just glitches. Of course, I really had to test myself when, last Thursday night, Kim called me from the kitchen telling me (oops, asking. A wife never tells you to do anything, right?) to come running. Just on the cusp of 100% kitchen completion, a big flood of water is now marching its way across our new kitchen floor from underneath the new dishwasher. Thankfully we changed our floor to tile. Our old wooden floor would have been toast. So it turns out, based on the plumber who came out the next morning, that we had a backup in our drain and as the water from the faucet went down the drain and came back, it broke thorough one of the plumbing joints behind the dishwasher and came pouring out from underneath. Tomorrow they are scheduled to come out, pull out the new dishwasher, cut open the drywall (now wetwall), repair the pipe, and put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Just a glitch right? Yeah, who said that, anyway? Arrrg.

But overall we are extremely pleased. Now if I can just figure out where Kim put the wine opener.

Camp-Ronald-McDonaldJust returned today from a 2-day excursion to my favorite camp – Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. Awesome people (mostly volunteers). And we met some very cool families going through something that we can now relate to: cancer in the family. Made the weekend even more special. Shill alert: if any of you ever have a spare week in the summer to spend some time with these kids, change their lives, and yours, forever, just ask me. I’ll try and not bend your ear too long.

i-Pad MiniI’m a lucky guy. OK, that may sound strange but hey, I just won an i-Pad Mini at the recent Giant Screen Cinema Association conference I attended. It was one of those where I dropped my card in a bowl at one of the vendor’s booths. Wouldn’t you know I use a competitor’s product? And last year I won a regular i-Pad II from the same conference in a different raffle. I’m on a roll. Gotta go get a lotto ticket this week.

OK, now a side effect alert. You know you were just waiting on pins and needles for that, right? So my onc-doc prescribed two things from opposite ends of the chronological scale to deal with a couple challenges I have. Pedialyte and Metamucil. OK, the latter was really Benefiber but who has heard of that? So the Pedialyte, which is usually given to infants, was for the electrolytes that should help my middle-of-the-night leg cramping. And the Benefiber, usually taken by geezers from what I remember, was for another affliction. And it’s not what you think. But don’t think too long. It would be WTMI. As in Way Too Much Information.

No One Fights Alone A few friends over the months have provided some of the white No One Fights Alone wrist bracelets. Zeke and Ellen Knight just replenished our supply with a bunch more so if anyone wants one, let me know.

OK, this is where I return control of your dial to what your were surfing before you got the message that I had posted a new blog entry. So back to your Pinterest. Yes, even some of you guys who post on garage storage ideas. And back to your Facebook to play some more Farmville. Whatever the heck that is. And perhaps even back to your, er, uh…well, you know where you were surfing…

Business as usual. Day at a time.

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September 8, 2013 (Sun) – Left in the Lurch

So this could be what the the surgeon said when the nurse asked him where that missing clamp disappeared to while operating on the Addams Family butler.

lurch02 -Ted Cassidy

OK, that was a big stretch. But waddya want? I’m really struggling for content here. The Big C knocked on its butt and side effects of the Tarceva are a pain in the same part of the anatomy but manageable. The kitchen remodel and associated stress that came along with it are almost history. Emphasis on almost. Stay tuned for pics on the next blog. And my next set of scans more than two months away. So what’s left to bore you about?

Well, the title this time around could be alternately phrased as left in the dust, left by the wayside, left high and dry or a multitude of other sayings that refer to the same end result . So what am I referring to? Well, since February 13, it has pretty much been all Craig, all the time. It was this test, that scan, this medication, that side effect, this doctor appointment, that follow-up. You know how it is when someone has a new baby? OK, maybe you have to be an estrogen type to understand but conversations tend to get hogged by the big news of the day, whether it be a newborn, an upcoming wedding, or getting diagnosed with a stupid fuzzy. So yeah, whenever we met with family or friends, my latest medical escapades dominated the conversation.

As most of you know, I regularly volunteer at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. This is a camp for kids with cancer, and their siblings. A long time ago the leaders of this wonderful program realized that cancer is a family illness. That each of the family members are equally affected by this cancer diagnosis, but in different ways. Typically the patient gets all of the attention while their brothers and sisters get left by the wayside. Thus, camp allows brothers and sisters to come knowing full well that often they are hit even harder than the patient and need the same attention and care as their ill sibling.

So my family has been left in the lurch. Just not inside Lurch. For those of you that know my family personally, you have been pretty good about making sure that they, especially my wife Kim, have been followed up on to see how they are doing. Yet, I, who should indeed know better, have not been so attentive. The other morning when Kim woke up with a terrible migraine, it hit me that I had not been very inquisitive as to how she was doing overall. Or my son and daughter for that matter. I suppose the fact that I am handling it fairly well never let me realize that the rest of my family might be hit as hard or harder than I was. They just did a good job of hiding it.

Thus, I gotta change that.

About me

It’s a family illness and a family recovery. When scanxiety kicks in before my next set of tests, I have to remember that I am not the only one that feels it.

OK, confessional over.

confessional

So the kitchen is 10-14 days away from final completion. Just about the time I return from a conference in Ottawa. Can’t wait,  if only for the clutter to left by the wayside. For someone as anal and OCD as me,  that has been the biggest headache. But hey, the final result will be worth it.

Business as usual. Day at a time.