Monday, March 31, 2008


KU won… KU won… talk about a game!  For those of you who missed it giant killer Davidson College gave KU a run for its money.  They had a chance to win it all with a final 3 point shot, but it hit harmless on the back board…well maybe not harmless since it was a wake up call to the Jayhawks who have rolled thus far in the tournament.  The end result, a win, a realization that they can be beat if they keep playing the way they have, and all four #1 seeds advance to the final four for the first time.  The result, KU will play North Carolina next. This will obviously be one of the hardest games yet. But for today, we are basking in the glory of a win.

As a side note – bike ride on Wednesday… test ride #2.

Quick visit to dad this past weekend

Quick update once again regarding my dad.  I was able to see mom and dad this weekend on a quick overnight visit. It really is amazing how cancer treatment can knock a person sideways.  As you may recall from my previous post, dad had to go in for surgery to reinsert his feeding tube.  Then to make matters worse on Monday or Tuesday, he developed a low grade fever and an infection around the surgery area.  He is on antibiotics and mom is cleaning the wound 3 times or so a day. 40 or so pounds less, but still fighting strong.

In general he is doing okay, and there are only 7 more treatments left including today. He acknowledged that the final week is going to be tough. Overall, considering what he has gone through thus far from diagnoses, to treatments, to surgery again, he is doing not to bad.  On top of that, he told me that he doesn’t feel too bad, but the cancer treatments are causing some very thick mucus to build in his mouth and throat and that cannot be washed out – therefore he is using what looks like an electric dentist suction tube machine, thingy-ma-bob, what-cha-ma-call-it. Fun – I would say not.

So in conclusion, we are counting down the days – 7 more radiation treatments, and 2 more chemo treatments.  He is fighting through this, but the cancer treatments have taken their toll.  The one thing that he is looking forward to having once all this is done – a big glass of ice water.  The one thing we are looking forward to - a healthy vibrant dad.

Take care and thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Quick Dad update

I will start by saying something positive… 2 weeks and 2 days…or to put it more simply - 12 more days to go … and better yet - 3 more chemo treatments…can you tell that we are counting down the days?  The end is in sight and the recovery will begin.  But you gotta love those twos… with every set of twos there is two sides - for this message the good and the not so good.  As you probably heard, Dad’s eating ability has deteriorated in what felt like an instant. One moment he was eating fine, and the next he could not eat.  He is still drinking water, but eating is very difficult.  His intact of calories and nutrients these days is via his feeding tube.  And on that note, the second part of the story…

Last Thursday, Dad was in some discomfort during the evening and into the next day.  On Thursday his feeding tube was leaking, and then on Friday nothing went in... it all went on the floor.  They put in another feeding tube on Friday but it went into the stomach lining instead of the stomach, and it had to be pulled out... yanked out is more the word for it.  A person would look at that he say… not very good news (which is true, but it only gets worse the rest of the day)…so they worked on it some more. … then little bit worse …. they tried 5 more times to put it back in place…talk about pain... then a little bit worse news, they ended up doing surgery to re-insert the feeding tube back in place.  All of this happened on Friday afternoon.  The good news regarding all of this is the fact that my sister Linda was already planning on going up to stay with Mom and Dad until Wednesday… talk about perfect timing.  She can give mom a much needed break, cook some meals, and help with Dad. 

With that being said, you gotta love help…and from a previous email I sent, "...we worked as a team, but we knew when to move over and ask for help."  We have continued to ask for help from God and our friends, and we continue to ask that your prayers join ours.  Mom and Dad continue to look to the four of us for support and each of us give it in our own way.  It is truly interesting to me to see how each of us is handling this.  Four siblings with four different approaches to dealing with stress.  The end result is that we are figure out a way to help our parents through our outpouring of love and actions.

So in conclusion I will say that by Sunday Dad was feeling better.  He got up and took a shower and even Mom made it to Easter services - dad was still to weak.  Life is "back to normal" for another day.

12 more days to go….

My new bike...

Okay, here is the post that you have most likely been waiting for it (well, maybe not, but here it is anyway)... This is my new ride... my new ride for the trails around Shawnee Mission Park, for the single track trails in Lawrence and around the area where a road bike just will not do. The old bike (my road bike) got a quick ride this past weekend - ahhh the joy of it... The new bike = fun... and the old bike = fun. I love them both equally.  In reality though, the road bike will get ridden the most since I love the "porshe like feel" that comes with road bikes, but the mountain bike will be ridden alot because I want to cross train and experience what "the other guys" are talking about when they ride single track - speed with white knuckle turns... to be honest, I really do like single track. Time will tell which is ridden more, but right now that is the plan.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cool saying of the day

Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride. This came from an email my wife sent me that was titled 40 Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life in 2008! Totally true... each day is a day to enjoy the ride.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday evening...

Well it is Sunday evening... I am sitting here trying to balance my checkbook (still cannot find that $5.97)...trying to figure out why I didn't exercise today, why I feel stressed out, what tomorrow will bring, what next week will bring. My dad is still battling his cancer – struggling to eat – although that is not happening right now – he is using a feeding tube instead. I am back to feeling like I need to be there for everyone, and feel isolated right now. Emotions are all over the place.

A friend of mine told me not long ago that I just need to focus – but focus on what? I have a thousand things running through my mind right now. I feel that I need to be there for my dad, yet I cannot be there in person. I feel that I want to give back to the world in some way, yet I push that thought out a few months and a few months and a few months as daily demands take up more of my time. I wish that we could head on a vacation to recharge my batteries, to give my wife and daughters a much needed trip, but I worry about being gone. The last time we were out of town for a long trip, my father-in-law had a heart attack and we came back on day two (he is fine now, but still talk about worry).

I don’t want this post to sound to depressing, I am just overloaded right now… I need to focus. I need to stop and enjoy the moments in life – like KU winning the big 12 championship game. (Does that count as a happy moment... ) I need to stop and say thanks for the wonderful things that are going on around me. I need to head out on a bike ride and let the legs work loose (that is my stress reliever - pics to come.) I need to just enjoy the moment. Enjoy the day. Enjoy the fact that I have a loving family and great friends. Enjoy the fact that life is moving along, and not forget to hug my wife and girls.

In the end, it doesn't make sense to worry. Life will move at its own pace - in its own direction. Basically I need to eat more cookies and enjoy...

Friday, March 14, 2008

My biking world

Okay, so here is the deal. I have been riding a road bike (not a motorcycle) for the past couple of years. My skills are nothing great, but I love to get out and ride. Hitting 20-30 mph under my own power is just plan fun. Last summer I borrowed a friends bike and road through some trails at Shawnee Mission Park... the first time on the easy side, the second time on a more challenging side. End result... loved it.

Now my primary love will continue to be road bikes, but now I am hooked on mountain biking as well. So, what did I do... I went out and bought a new bike. Not a $4-5,000 version, just a nice entry level bike to hit the trails with. End result in the garage - 3 bikes to my name, and then 3 bikes to my wife and kids name. Six in all. My wife said, one has got to go. Mountain bike and road bike stay, comfort bike used for paved trails will now go...BTW take a peak at craigslist if you are interested.

With all this in mind, be ready for some updated blogs on mountain biking, road biking and general outdoor stuff going forward...summer can not come soon enough for me!

My photo albums - why these 2

I recently added a few pictures on my blog from my trip to Colorado in 2006 and some from last summer when my Dad and I built a deck on the back of our house.

I look at the climb as one of the most difficult things I have done in recent memory - basically 6-7 hours of climbing with only a few moments of rest - starting at 3:00AM so I could get back before the thunderstorms - feeling like I took the wrong path on the final push to the top - feeling lost on the way down. Physically and emotionally this was a journey. As Dad approaches his treatments, this will be a difficult challenge for him - both mentally and physically.

Building the deck on the back of my house with Dad showed me that when a person is slow and thoughtful, pays attention to detail, does not rush through the process - rather makes sure he is doing it right, that person will always end up with better results. This will be the same with Dad's treatment, paying attention to the details and not rushing - doing it right. When we built the deck, we worked as a team, but we knew when to move over and ask for help. This was a very physical and emotional effort (I hate to admit I need help sometimes), but when it was done and I could say, "Dad and I did this." When I sat on my deck last fall, I thought about Dad and how rewarding it was to work with him. Now I cannot wait to share moments with him this summer.

His upcoming journey will be physically and emotionally tough on him. The trail up the mountain will be long and grueling. It will be littered with doubts and concerns, but I know he will make it. We will be there for him when he stops to ask for help. We will be there for mom when she stops to ask for help. Together we will get through this, and will look back at this like my photos and memories - as a journey.

Hurting yet thinking...

Isn't life interesting... I had lunch with a guy today who is very familiar with cancer. I told him that I struggle with talking about dad and his caner all the time. Not the fact that I am talking about it, rather there are times when I talk about it as if he is a patient here at the hospital, and at other points I get overwhelmed with my thoughts and concerns. I feel like the second point when I read past blogs that I have written that are my outpouring of thoughts and love. I also feel that way when I read the wonderful notes and emails people send me following the updates I send out.

Then in a meeting I was just in, someone was talking about setting up various meetings, and then commented that “If it isn’t in my hands, I don’t need to worry about it.” Hearing her say that made me realize that this is NOT in my hands - so worrying will not help.

All I can say is that life is going to be interesting over the next few months and years.