Monday, March 19, 2018

Keeping Busy

Wow, it’s been about a month since I updated this blog.  I should fix that.

Not that there is much to talk about.  Things are winding down at work.  We have completed our last close, and we are now working on transitioning everything over to the new company.  Then we’ll be packing up the office.  That last close was crazy, but things have finally leveled out.  I don’t expect any major crisis to come up from this point.

I’ve been getting back into running.  After all, I’ve got two mud runs coming up in June.  My longest run was just over 2 miles on Thursday.

Well, until yesterday.  That’s when I went back to ultimate Frisbee for the first time since before my surgery.  I played most of the time they were playing.  I was definitely getting tired, and then my hamstring started to bother me.  I’d injured it in the fall, and I had hoped that it would have healed while I was off the last couple of months.  I should have stopped sooner, obviously.  I’m a bit sore today, but not too bad otherwise.  Hopefully, it will heal enough not to interfere with my running and with beach league, which starts Saturday.

Other than that, I’ve been keeping busy.  I went to Glendale Centre Threatre twice in one week, once for Godspell and once for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I got to see Aladdin when the Broadway touring company was in town.  I got to hang out with Dave Duron for about an hour, a friend I haven’t seen in over a decade.  And I visited my friends Luke and Sarah this past weekend and their new daughter.  All of them were great times.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Back to Work – For Now

My surgeon gave me four weeks off to recover, which means that I was back to work on Monday.  I was rather tired that day, but I’ve been doing better sense then.  It’s good to be back, although I miss all my free time to read and watch the Olympics.  I was watching a whole lot of the Olympics.

Tuesday morning, I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon.  She is thrilled with my progress over all.  She told me to wait another couple of weeks before I start any serious exercise again, so I have to wait to start training for my mud runs, but they are definitely still on the agenda for this summer.  I was having a small problem with one incision, but that seems to have been resolved now, too.

While I was out, my company was sold.  I actually knew this was coming since they’d announced it back in October.  The sale itself is what went through at the beginning of this month.  While I was out, they also announced when I and my co-workers will be let go.  So I am back to work, but only until the end of April.  Fortunately, I am well, so I can now concentrate on finding a new job.

I’m glad God is in control because the last few months have been very stressful.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Latest Update

Just a quick update on my health.  I am slowly healing up.  I’m doing a little better every day, but healing up from major surgery like I had takes some time.  Fortunately, I am still off work for another week.  Not that I want to go back to work next Monday.  Having all this time off has been nice, especially with the Olympics on.  (You might have figured out I enjoy watching them.)

My oncologist agreed that I don’t need any chemo or radiation, which is huge.  I’m going to have an MRI in 3 months and another CT scan in six months to make sure they don’t see anything else.  And they are still doing some testing to see if they can figure out what caused it in the first place.  But I’m concentrating on healing up and putting this behind me.

After all, I’ve got two mud runs to do in June.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Home from the Hospital

There were no further delays, and I had my surgery on Monday.  The surgeon is quite happy with how it went and how quickly I seem to be recovering.

I am home from the hospital – I came home yesterday in fact.  I’m still very sore and taking pain meds, which isn’t a super surprise.  My brother was down for a couple of days, and my parents are still here taking care of me.  I am just taking it very slowly, trying not to leave my recliner too much since I am comfortable in it.

But I got the best news yesterday right before I left.  The pathology report had just come back, and the results are great.  It was stage 1 cancer, and they got it all out – nothing in the lymph nodes or anything.  The surgeon said I was cancer free, in fact.

So now, I need to heal up, which will be a slow process, but then I can put this all behind me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Surgery Scheduled

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my oncologist. The MRI wasn’t as conclusive as he hoped, but he still doesn’t think the cancer has spread to my liver. So we have rescheduled my surgery for Monday morning. It can’t come soon enough.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Roller Coaster

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotion.

Last Thursday, I had the CT scan.  Friday, I got the results – they found 5 legions in my liver that they thought were probably cancer.  As a result, they canceled my surgery for Wednesday, and wanted to have me do an MRI and a liver biopsy to make sure.  If it was cancer, then they would be giving me chemo to shrink the tumors before I had surgery.

Naturally, the news hit me hard.

My parents came down Saturday to be a support, which meant scrambling to clean out the spare room since my ceiling was finally fixed.  We spent time Saturday night when they arrived and Sunday afternoon doing that and getting them situated.  Dad has already started fixing the issues with the master bathroom, which is wonderful.  The only thing that’s been working is the shower.  And it means they got to be at church on Sunday when the elders prayed for me, which meant a lot of all of us.

However, at 4:30 Monday, my oncologist called again.  In comparing the CT scan from last week to the ones I had in 2006, they noticed two of the legions are in the same place and the same size.  Now they are thinking that this may be something that happens in livers with blood vessels.  Unrelated to the cancer completely.

As a result, they don’t want to do a biopsy, but they think the MRI will be enough to tell what they are dealing with for sure in my liver.  I have that schedules for Thursday afternoon.

Yes, I’m still bummed that the surgery isn’t happening as planned since I was ready to start dealing with the cancer.  But I’m also so relieved with the most recent news.  I’m trying to tell myself not to get too excited in case they go back to deciding I do have cancer in my liver, but the rest of me is drowning out that part of my brain.

Meanwhile, we are praising God for the Monday afternoon news and praying that the MRI Thursday will confirm it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Plot Twist

Apparently, 2017 needed another plot twist.

On December 15th, I was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I still don’t have more specifics than that because the doctors don’t have more specifics than that.

I am scheduled for upper and lower CT scans tomorrow.  They will be looking for any signs of cancer anywhere else.

Assuming those come back clean and I stay healthy, I will be having surgery a week from today on 1/10.  They’ll be removing the tumor, a portion of my colon, and the lymph nodes around them to see if the cancer has spread to them.  I won’t have the results of that back from another couple of days.

Once the doctors know more, then I will know for sure what stage it is and what kind of treatment beyond surgery I will be facing.

What the doctors don’t know yet is they are on a deadline.  I’d already signed up for two mud runs in June, so I will be healthy enough to run them.  In all seriousness, I’m planning on beating this and getting back to my life quickly.

Along those lines, I would truly value your prayers.

I’ll keep you updated as I know more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Insane Inflatable 5K – 2017

This last weekend was my last run of the year.  Okay, last paid for run; I still plan to run a couple of times a week around my condo.  It was the Insane Inflatable 5K, which was being held in Pasadena.

It was actually on the grounds of a country club.  I could tell that we were running on what used to be part of a course, but it didn’t look like it currently was in use.  It certainly wasn’t in use that day.  I suspect the course was actually 2.5 miles, but I have no way of clocking it.

As the name suggests, there was no mud or water.  Instead, it was made up of inflatable obstacles.  And it was a blast!  There were about 10 of them over the course.  It was pretty much climb up and slide down.  Sometimes, we had to climb through or go around something.  It was different, and a lot of fun.

I do think it could have been a little better thought out.  There were so signs pointing to the parking, which was about a quarter of a mile away from the start of the course.  I had no problem with the added walk (great warm up and cool down), but signs to let me know I was looking in the right place would have helped.  On the other hand, parking was free, which was wonderful.

The course was laid out with a series of yellow cones, but just on one side.  As long as you keep the cones to your left, you were okay.  It mostly worked, but it wasn’t the best way to lay out a course.  A couple of times while getting off an obstacle, it wasn’t obvious where to go next.

It seemed like a lot of people were walking this one, and there were some young kids on it.  I was one of the first to finish in my wave, which never ever happens.  And everyone was spread out, which is part of why marking both sides of the course would have been nice.

Still, it was a very fun run and I’d certainly sign up to do it again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Survivor Mud Run 2017

Back in September, I did my last mud run of the year.  And possibly my last Survivor Mud Run.

For the second year in a row, this mud run has consisted of just mud pits.  Lots and lots of mud pits.  Now, don’t misunderstand, I do mud runs to get muddy.  Hello!  Otherwise, I’d just do regular runs.  However, I also enjoy the other obstacles.  And this one had some fun other obstacles.  I get why we can’t splash down into the lake any more, but we don’t have the web of cords to climb through or the tube to crawl through into the deep mud pit.

It’s very disappointing.  I get that digging mud pits and filling them with water is a lot of work, especially with the drought we’ve been having.  But you’d have less of that to do if there were fewer mud pits.  As much as climbing over things messes with my fear of heights even that is better than mud pit after mud pit after mud pit.

Last year, it was the same way, and I chalked it up to a fluke.  But two years in a row, and it makes me think this is the new normal.

If it were a local race, I’d probably still do it.  After all, I haven’t missed one since they started.  But with this being a 2 plus hour drive (depending on traffic) away, that’s a lot of time and gas for something that is disappointing.

Who knows.  I may change my mind next year.  But for now, I’m still leaning toward skipping it next year.

Monday, October 23, 2017


I grew up in Santa Rosa, the town most recently in the news for having been hit so hard by the fires in Northern California.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea of what was coming.  My phone battery was almost dead, so I turned it off on Sunday night, something I don’t do that often.

On Monday the 9th, I turned my phone on.  I had it checking e-mail, and I was looking at Facebook.  I saw some notifications that friends had marked themselves safe in a fire, but I wasn’t that concerned since those often don’t mean that these friends are really in any danger.

But then my phone connected enough to get the text from my sister-in-law.  “We are safe, you folks and my folks are safe.  But we think our house is gone.”  Yeah, that was a jolt to the system.

That’s when I started to realize just how big this entire thing really was.  My brother’s house was indeed burned in the fire, and my parents spent a week under mandatory evacuation.  Fortunately, their house was spared.

But my brother and his family were lucky to get out period.  The fire came up so fast that they didn’t have any warning.  My sister-in-law woke up smelling smoke.  She woke up my brother, they figured out what was going on, and got the kids.  They grabbed their computers and important papers, and left.  My brother stayed behind long enough to wake the neighbors.  That was all the time they had.

It’s been two weeks, and they are beginning to get things figured out.  Thanks to a family friend, they have a place to stay while their house is being rebuilt.  But they will have to replace everything they had.

Meanwhile, I’m still 400 miles away trying to wrap my head around this and figure out how I can help.  That week at work was brutal on top of everything going on with my family.

What has been wonderful is the outpouring of support.  My brother’s church is part of an organization of churches that sent a tractor trailer of stuff to help the members of the church who were affected as well as many others in the community.  I’ve had comments offering to help from authors and Trixie friends and my church who have never met my family.  It’s truly been wonderful.

But the rebuilding is going to take a very long time.