Fighting the Good Fight

Update: This is a post that I had drafted 2 years ago. I decided to update the post, since she has survived her ordeal.

21.once-you-replace-negative-thoughts-with-positive-o

Lessons Learned: If cancer strikes you or your family, understand that regardless of what you may read on the web, the chances of survival continue to improve for us all. Yes, people still succumb to the disease, but hope, prayer and a good positive attitude can’t hurt.

We live in Las Vegas, Nevada. My wife received treatment from our cancer center network, here in Las Vegas. I’ll admit that I was skeptical. Everything I was reading about her condition stated that her chances were not good. We had a great physician, well-known specialists in Nevada and with their help, she pulled through.

8.dont-give-up-dont-ever-give-upThere is nothing more painful and fearful than facing the possibility of losing someone so dear to you to cancer. But it is important for you not to give up…ever. You must be the island that they depend on. You must be their cheerleader. No matter how glum your world may seem, no matter how dark the path, you must light the way with cheerfulness, a positive outlook and confidence that they will be a survivor. No matter if you truly believe it or not. Do not allow any negative thoughts to enter your relationship. As long as they are with you, there is no need to suffer. There is only time to fight the good fight.

5 years is the end goal for us.

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5 years of no cancer showing up in her body. We have cleared our first year since the treatment, 2 years since the initial diagnosis. We have some scares every now and then…a blood test showing tumor markers. Then it is back to conducting scans just to make sure. The result comes back clear. We and the doctor breathe a sigh of relief…the blood test must be an aberrant result.

So, we live life normally again.

We go back every few months for her checkup, and I get to breathe easier, comfortable in the knowledge that my wife is here with me. All is right with the world, until the next blood test. Yes, we could face a recurrence of cancer, but it has not happened.

When you are dealing with the insidious, you cannot bend, you cannot break.

You have no choice, but to arm yourself with open eyes, open heart and hope.

*              *              *

Back in February 2014, I took my wife into the emergency room for back pains that she was suffering.

The pain was so intense, that she was crying uncontrollably.  After an X-Ray and an MRI scan, the ER doctor came into the ward, and told us that her blood sugar was 380, and she was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).  Then the doctor let the hammer down on us. She went on to say that there were tumors all over her abdominal cavity.

My wife was stunned.

She works in the oncology ward of a major hospital here where we live, and knew a heck of a lot more than I did about what the doctor had just told us.

We didn’t know what to say.

My wife, being herself, cursed her ex-husband, stating “Why couldn’t this happen to him?”

During our stay in the hospital, we were told that we needed to see a gyn-oncology (or gyn-onc) specialist to evaluate my wife’s condition. We agreed to it, scheduling her for a biopsy of the

On May 12, 2014 I was told that my wife has Stage IV Endometrial cancer.

This was after an operation, performed by one of the best gynecologists in the state of Nevada.

Since then, I have been conducting my own research.

I have found that the survival rate of stage IV Endometrial cancer is grim. I have also found that cancer can spread to the bones.

I am very worried at this point, that I might lose the very person who means everything in the world to me. My love, my life, the woman who changed me.

 

Patience and Loyalty (Love)

I am convinced that I am head-over-heels in love with my wife.

Why else would I indulge her every whim? Her requests for me to forage for food are promptly at five. I always muster my resolve to go to a place that serves healthy food, but the time of day seems to keep my focus on world-famous restaurants, known for their cuisine. McDonald’s is a favorite stop, as is Burger King, Wendy’s or any other establishment equipped with a drive thru. There are days, usually the days we are paid however, when my wife relents to ordering in. She doesn’t appreciate the fine bouquet of a fresh sandwich, delivered to our door. So, Pizza Hut or our neighborhood Italian delivery is on the menu for that night.

I have also come to the conclusion that my wife is obsessed with sweet smells around the bathroom.

She recently purchased something new for the bathroom. It greets me with a spray in my face, every time that I bend down to lift the toilet lid. Annoying? Yes. I often wonder if I am being poisoned with some secret chemical that only she knows about. But then, it couldn’t be any worse than the automatic air freshener that sprays a misty cloud of foul-smelling sweetness, every time that I approach the bathroom mirror in our master bedroom. I’m “maced” in the face, every time that I bend down to open a drawer.

I am constantly accused of being a male.

What is the accusation? That I don’t listen. I pity the poor husband, who is ground down into the proverbial carpet, his mate abrading him like she’s sharpening a knife on a grinding wheel. One can picture those articulated barbs flying as fast as the sparks from the wheel (every time she touches the metal to the stone); each one more damning than the next. The poor fellow winces from each accusation, because he knows in his heart of hearts, that she is correct. I often am gratified by a single barb from my wife…that of me being the “y chromosome”.

 

A Great Writer, Journalist and Author

Meeting a great writer.

Bill_Guthrie

I have had the honor of working with a great writer, journalist and author for more than 6 months. His name is Bill Guthrie. Bill wrote for the Phoenix Gazette, Arizona Journal, Las Vegas Review Journal, and Las Vegas Sun and was publisher of several community newspapers. Bill ghosted two books and published one work of fiction under his own name.

In the time that I have come to know Bill; I have become convinced that he is the last knight in existence.

Bill’s gentle voice, rhetoric, quick wit and use of language is unparalleled. As a student, he is a quick study. As a mentor, I am often left humbled…stumbling for words as I am captured by his stories.

I highly recommend that you visit his blog site. He just put it up, and has already garnered an audience.

You can visit him at: wkguth.wordpress.com.

Word and the Web

One of the areas of Word 2010 that I teach, deals with the web. This very short note will be delivered to my Personal Blog. It is a testament and example that shows how one can create in Word, and publish to the Internet (as a web page).

 

 

Yes…at one point in my life, I wanted to be a Disc Jockey. (Circa 1975)

There is no time, like now

Today started as a day of frustration, marked with more lows than highs.

There comes a time when one must understand that no matter how badly a day may seem, there is nothing that cannot be fixed. Take this blog, for example. I have been working with a very special student with an equally special need…the ability to post to various social media networks simultaneously. I am testing whether this works now or not.  If this blast is working, then I will have succeeded in my attempt to bring him the ability to reach everyone and anyone in the world. Think of it.  Just one post from his blog, and he will reach as many people as possible in the space of an instant.

Wow…

The Start of My Day

7:46 A.M.

I have been up since 5:30 this morning, and I am about to start my day at 8:00 A.M.  The computers are on.  I turned them on when I came in at 7:15 A.M.  There will be people lined up, waiting to use the 18-odd computers that we have here in the computer lab.  We will serve over 60 people over the course of the day.

Out of those 60 or more people, about 65 percent will be here to go over their Facebook page, or watch movies, or even catch up on the news. Another 35 percent will be here to use our computers to find jobs, while 10 percent will be here for academic, welfare or necessary computer video training to get health cards (so that they can work in restaurants).

7:54 A.M.

I am supposed to hold job training from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. today.  My training will be interspersed with people wanting advice on how to modify their resumes, or how to navigate a company’s website to fill out an application or simply use a mouse or keyboard.

7:57 A.M.

Three minutes until we open for business.  Only a few minutes until I am asked, “Mr. Bob! Are you ready?”  My answer will naturally be a wholehearted, “Yes!”.

7:58 A.M.

I am finishing up the latest addition to my blog, looking up at the clock to the start of my day.  This will be a good day, because I am being the opportunity to help so many get back on their feet.

7:59 A.M.

Showtime!  Wish me luck…

A Magician in My Midst

As I write this post, there is a magician looking over my shoulder!  That’s right…a bona-fide, 100% magician!

It’s not often that you meet a magician.  You usually meet people who THINK they are magicians…but NOT 100% prime magicians.  He wants to know just how easy it is to create, edit or post a blog…and I am showing him how to do it right now.

More to come…

A Dedication to Those of Us Who Served: The First Years

My plane had just landed at Clark Air Force Base, Phillippines on a late September day.  Nothing is left of the base since the Pinatubo eruption, but looking back to those days, I can still remember every minute I was there.

The first thing that I remember was the heat, not a dry heat like one would find in Nevada, but a sticky, overwhelming heat that immediately left a fog on my glasses as soon as I stepped out of the plane.  We were directed to wait for a bus that would take us to Subic Bay, about a 2-hour bus ride.  I was one of the first people on the bus.  I noticed a very beautiful blond woman, a petty officer sit in the seat in front of me.  A young blond sailor asked if he could sit with her…pointing out that the bus was filling up, and he would have no place to sit down.  She relented, and soon they were involved in a light conversation as the bus begain its trundle toward Subic Bay.  About an hour passed, and the bus driver decided to pull over to a Sari-sari store for a beer break.  As I departed from the bus, a large group of children approached me.  I must have been an easy mark, because they flocked to me like a bunch of seagulls on a dead fish.  I was 19 then; naive and full of wanton charity.  I handed them all the change I had, not realizing at the time that they were patting me down, testing my watch to see how well it was fastened to my wrist, as they all crowed, “Hey Joe, gimme peso…hey Joe…”  As soon as they noticed I had no more change to give them, they ran to find another “victim”.   Our Philipino bus driver quickly became tired of the show. when the children started approaching him, shooing us all back onto the bus.  As we were boarding, the couple in front of me were laughing at the children.  The blond sailor turned to the woman saying, “You want to see something funny?”  The woman tittered a bit, then nodded.  He leaned out and yelled, “Hey!  Hey!  You want a peso?  You want a peso?”, as the bus began to move.  The children ran after the bus, hoping for one more coin.  I remember one boy in particular, looking up to him as he leaned far out the window his hands outstretched as he threw his beer bottle at the child’s head, the bottle bouncing squarely off of the child’s skull.  I remember turning to watch the child falling down in the dirt road, blood already matting his head as the other children gathered around him.  “There!  There’s your peso!” the blond sailor shouted.  Some of the men on the bus laughed, while the female sailor smiled and said, “You didn’t have to do that.”  The blond sailor gave her a surly reply, “Damn slopes deserve it.”  That image has lasted in my mind for a long time, and I still do not see how any of those children deserved to be treated in that way by one of us.  I was told before I left the United States that we were ambassadors.  I did not know what to say then, and I do not know what to say now.

My very first ship was the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), part of the then nuclear task force in the Pacific.  It was dark by the time we arrived, the bus dropping us off close to Cubi Point, where my ship was docked. It was a long walk up the gangplank, with my seabag slung over my shoulder, my orders clutched in my hand.  The duty officer had me escorted belowdecks to bunk with Supply (temporarily of course), until my more permanent berthing was assigned to me.  The smell was something to get used to as I walked through the passageways.  It was a mixture of bearing grease, sweat, and floor wax that wafted through the passage.  I remember being assailed by all kinds of foreign objects, understanding the differences between port (left) and starboard (right), the fact that a bathroom was now a head, and that my newest friend was John Barton.  John was a second class Petty Officer, a bona fide Vietnam Veteran who befriended me not only as someone I could confide in, but someone to look up to.  I can still remember those first words.  “New on board, huh?”  I nodded my head.  “Well, don’t mind me kid…I’m just an overpaid seaman.”  John was laid back and wise, the kind of mentor that one hoped to find, street smart and ready to help.

My first look at the Phillippines started here

More to come…

Standing Out Like a Sore Thumb

I was going to write about about harassment and discrimination today, but instead decided to write about how we sometimes stand out like a sore thumb.

Now just what do I mean by that statement?  Well, I am talking about how a person can often stand out from the crowd, either in a bad way or a good one.  I personally like to remain anonymous, so that I am not noticed (yet, here I am, journaling in a blog for the whole world to see).  I draw a lot of attention to myself.  But, I make a concerted effort not to stand out in a bad way.

Anyway, I do apologize.  I am very tired, and am ready to turn in.  I will update my blog tomorrow with my original post regarding what my students and I discussed on break today: harassment and discrimination.