Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cancer Free !!!

Vicki met with her chemo doctor on Thursday of this last week and received the results of her PET scan. The results could not have been better. She is cancer free. The rigorous and intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment regimen, along with the prayers of our support group have done their job.

The chemo doctor congratulated Vicki on going through a rough treatment schedule and told her she should give herself a pat on the back. I join the doctor in these sentiments. Vicki's attitude has been the key to her successful treatment in my opinion. While no cancer patient can completely escape thoughts about the potential consequences of the disease, Vicki kept her eye on positive actions for her treatment and allowed herself to be supported by friends, family and neighbors.

We were blessed with a terrific support system. Our two oldest daughters played key roles in Vicki's treatment travel scheduling and moral building. Other family members and friends chipped in as well and there was never a lack of people willing and able to help with transportation to treatments, companionship and just being there for her.

I have never been prouder of my daughters than during this time and my oldest daughter continues to amaze me with her warmth, love and support. It is a very rewarding experience for a parent to realize his daughter has become such a fully formed and vibrant adult friend, companion and partner in this time of life and death decisions.

As I look back on the very first day we learned of Vicki's cancer during her initial operation I recall the family members present that day and know now that I should never have worried about support from these folks.

I cannot thank
enough all those who kept Vicki in their thoughts and prayers these last months.

Never the less, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, from the bottom of our hearts.

God Bless you all,


Friday, February 4, 2011

"Movin on Up"

If you've forgotten, Valentines Day is this month. It is also the month that Vicki and I get our tax records together, pick up a copy of turbo tax and sit at our computer to plug in numbers and figure out if we're getting from or giving to the IRS.

Well the good news is that we're getting a return. The bad news is it won't be very much. You see I made the transition this last year from unemployed to working poor. I didn't know I was the working poor till I did my taxes. That's when I understood what the financial crisis, the recession and the results of these events meant to me.

Even the federal government (not necessarily the most understanding of entities) thinks I'm the working poor. Which is both Tragic and Ironic because at the same time I see the very evidence that I'm poor for the first time in over 20 years, the Veterans Administration is revoking my status and telling me they want to charge me for some prescriptions I got through them when I was unemployed. Go figure, huh?

I suppose it's funny in a kind of fucked up, only in America, middle class desolation kind of way. Anyway if you don't laugh at this crap it will drive you crazy and I can't afford to go in that direction any further if I want to stay employed and semi-viable in today's society.

At my age I concern myself with things like remembering that Joe Walsh was the lead guitarist in the band "The James Gang".
I listened to an album of theirs on the way home from work today. For the life of me I just couldn't remember his name, even as the lovely guitar riffs wafted through my civic. By 6:00 PM I'd given up and fired up the computer to "Google" the band's name. Just at that point the name "Joe Walsh" flashed into my addled brain.

So...... Anywho, While I am thankful to be employed and know we're blessed to have the insurance that comes with it, it would be even better to actually be employed at the level appropriate for someone of my age and experience.

Perhaps next year I will have achieved the next level, which I'm thinking will be just underemployed or something like that. Hard to make the distinction, but I'm sure I'll have it figured out by next January.

I want to finish with a great clip from Bill Maher.

Keep Smilin,