The weather is looking up. There might be a little snow in the long run, but it looks like sun for the next few days. It was a good day. As usual I met my friend to take the 104 to the meeting this evening. A little windy made it a little chilly waiting for the bus.
There are many paths into the rooms. And no two people take the same route, however similar the stories, we grow up, we have our first drink, we love it too much, our lives become unmanageable, we loose things … wives, husbands, children, homes, cars … you get the story!
Then we find our way here …
I’ve seen our speaker for tonight at Tuesday meeting. And at first, when he sat down with his big voice, I figured he was an old timer and would be reminiscent, but I was mistaken. Our gentleman is a generation older than I am today. And he came to the program much later in life, than many others.
He grew up in a large family, and he spent a almost a decade in a boarding school where he was raised, caned and learned discipline. He lived a good long life. Wives, children and a big beautiful home up North that he built himself on a plot of land passed down three generations. So it was a heritage property.
Our man really did not have time to drink, after relating his resume to us, he had his hand in many cookie jars at once, and the drink really did not present itself to him, like he said … “I didn’t have time to drink !”
The older we live, the harder it is to deal with tragedy and loss. First a divorce and a second marriage, only to loose his wife to cancer a few years ago, that just devastated him. Cooped up at home, up North, all alone, left to his own devices, he picked up a drink, and another, and another.
Feeling helpless and worthless because of a tragic loss, he felt that he served no purpose, so why not drink ? Push came to shove and a decision had to be made, it was time to sell the 4000 square foot home, and eventually move into a 4 room apartment in the city.
He continued to drink, until at one point, having to buy furniture for his new home, and not being able to make heads or tails of the building instructions, called his son for help.
Son arrived with sister in tow and our man had a bad knee and ended up in the hospital – not for a day – but for a month. Wait he says … “I need a drink!” No, there was no drink. They strapped him to a bed for 10 days, and he figured this out because he tried to use the bathroom and the bed came with him …
Cue laugh track …
After his stay in the hospital, looking forwards to going home, his son informed him that there was “someplace for him” And that would be a rehab here in the city. A three month stay and two years of aftercare, kept him pretty busy.
The catch here was he was much older than the kids who were there as well, and there were rules, ugh, don’t you hate rules? I think it is much harder to get sober and stay sober, the older you are when you come to the rooms.
He did as he was told. He did his ninety and ninety. He did more than that too. He had made a decision. He was either going to stay sober or he was going to drink. And he says, “once you make up your mind, it is made up, now you just have to follow through.”
And he surmounted and conquered the drink, his next goal was smoking, after 55 years of smoking he put them down and has not smoked since. And I can tell you that quitting smoking is daunting, and can lead to a drink if not done correctly.
The promises come true. And some of them have come true for our man. He has a beautiful granddaughter, from his son’s relationship. He has a new wife today and he is sober a little while now. Every story is unique and never boring.
We laughed, we felt sorrow, and we rejoiced in the news of a newborn.
But most of all we cheered our man who got up there and knocked it out of the park. Well done.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …
They say it’s gonna rain, and so we carried our umbrella’s. This section of town have been blessedly quiet. Haven’t heard any pots and pans lately, but there is a call for pots and pans at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.
All my items on EBAY were sold and paid for today, which brings a good chunk of change to the house for bills, since the government screwed hubby over on financial aide this month.
He is full of wishful thinking that isn’t coming to fruition like he wanted it to. He made a lot of promises that I am sure he hoped would come to pass for himself and for me, but you know what they say about wishful thinking, “Shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills faster.”
I was up with plenty of time to get to a meeting this evening. The rain held off, thankfully, it was sprinkling when we left the church afterwards. It was the last Sunday of the month so we read from the Twelve and Twelve and the 5th tradition because it is the 5th month of the year.
“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”
I got to the church early, so I had a few minutes to spend with a friend who usually peppers me with questions in private before anyone else shows up. It is a sad reality that we both spoke about people with time who have gone out over the last month. And those people have considerable time in the program. And he asked me why this happens …
Firstly, we know that it is imperative that we smash our ego at every turn.
I think, as does my friend, that people may get complacent, with some time. Their ego’s get the best of them, and they forget what it took in the beginning to come to the rooms and to get sober. I shared with him some things that I have read in recent months about long timers in the program. They all say the same thing, and they all give the same warning.
In order to keep this thing we have found (sobriety), we have to give it away.
We can’t tie people to their chairs, nor force anyone to get sober, they get to do that on their own. If they are willing and open. There are some major themes that keep coming up and they are believing in God, clearing the wreckage of your past and giving it away.
Nothing guarantees you sobriety like comprehensive work with another alcoholic. We, telling you, how we did it and how we continue to do it on a daily basis. And for some, they forget these thoughts. They stop going to meetings, they don’t reach out when it is necessary. They forget about the literature.
I am of the mind that if your ass is on fire, then say something! Maybe we can help you through the hard time.
Maybe we are missing the mark at not noticing that people might need more than a meeting, but someone to step out and say “let’s go for a coffee and talk a bit, it seems something is bothering you …”
All we can do, at our respective meetings is be present and reach out to the folks who come to our meetings. On Tuesday we have a business meeting so I will bring these things up to our greeting committee. To make sure they are looking out for the newcomer and the old timer just as well.
I walked home with my friend Bill, and he told me that he was going to the hospital this week for a scan. He told me that he had Prostate Cancer. And that they are gearing up to check on its progress and to see if they will just do radiation or couple that with chemotherapy. Cancer… that nasty shit…
So if you pray, say a prayer for my friend Bill…
I’ve heard words to the effect that some people won’t come to our meeting because of people and personalities. And I don’t know where that comes from, but we have had, in the past, troubles with certain folks, who came, shot their mouths off, left and we survived them.
And certain people broke from our original group because of egos and attitudes and they went and opened up their own meeting at an earlier time than ours and to draw people from our meeting to their meeting. But our group survived and thrived. We’ve got twenty good members who are faithful and responsible.
It might seem that some people are ego driven, and even if a finger is pointed squarely at my back, I try not to allow my ego to drive people away or to say that I am better than anyone else because I am 10+ years sober.
There are members of our group who don’t care for other people, and they have their issues, but they are not my problem. I come each week, I set up, I make coffee and I step back and let the other members do what they are going to do on any given Tuesday night. Our women keep us all on the sober straight and narrow. Because if they see a problem, they will speak up. So its not like we don’t have checks and balances.
Well, I think that’s all for the moment…
More to come, thanks for your time.
If scientists can take T-cells from someone who is sick, be it from Cancer, AIDS or any other such disease and are able to genetically modify T-cells to turn them into super fighting cells that when reintroduced into the body find, attach, attack and eradicate tumors, infected cells, etc …The possibilities are endless.
If doctors can harvest T-cells from patients and make this work, we could see the really first scientific progress in medical history. A very long time ago I was sitting in a news conference and was told in no uncertain terms that medical science would never get its cure for AIDS before the sciences learned how to fight and eradicate Cancer first. It would have seemed then that people with AIDS were placed on the back burner so to speak.
I was looking at a medication poster at the clinic in my exam room and on that tablet it listed all the AIDS drugs that have been produced in the last 15 years. And I noticed as well that I think I have at least at one time or another taken every drug that came down the pike even before they started publishing these information posters.
Medical reports such as these give us hope that genetic modified solutions could be brought to bear to fight disease is promising. T-cells, I wonder if you could manipulate them like Stem Cells? I have to ask my doc the next time I see him. Which won’t be until December.
Imagine, just for a moment we are on the precipice of medical history…
Could it be???
We need to get the drug companies to fund more studies. Because this report that I posted earlier tonight aired on Canadian News this evening and the scientists who made this discovery got their funds from a charity, not the drug companies who wouldn’t fund this kind of research.
I hope that once these studies are published in their respective journals, that the medical and drug companies will take notice and get on board. It is time to get the pharmaceutical companies to start funding new studies and stop monopolizing the data and availability of drugs and medical studies.
By Stephanie Nano, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Scientists are reporting the first clear success with a new approach for treating leukemia — turning the patients’ own blood cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their cancer cells.
They’ve only done it in three patients so far, but the results were striking: Two appear cancer-free up to a year after treatment, and the third patient is improved but still has some cancer. Scientists are already preparing to try the same gene therapy technique for other kinds of cancer.
“It worked great. We were surprised it worked as well as it did,” said Dr. Carl June, a gene therapy expert at the University of Pennsylvania. “We’re just a year out now. We need to find out how long these remissions last.”
He led the study, published Wednesday by two journals, New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine.
It involved three men with very advanced cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL. The only hope for a cure now is bone marrow or stem cell transplants, which don’t always work and carry a high risk of death.
Scientists have been working for years to find ways to boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. Earlier attempts at genetically modifying bloodstream soldiers called T-cells have had limited success; the modified cells didn’t reproduce well and quickly disappeared.
June and his colleagues made changes to the technique, using a novel carrier to deliver the new genes into the T-cells and a signalling mechanism telling the cells to kill and multiply.
That resulted in armies of “serial killer” cells that targeted cancer cells, destroyed them, and went on to kill new cancer as it emerged. It was known that T-cells attack viruses that way, but this is the first time it’s been done against cancer, June said.
For the experiment, blood was taken from each patient and T-cells removed. After they were altered in a lab, millions of the cells were returned to the patient in three infusions.
The researchers described the experience of one 64-year-old patient in detail. There was no change for two weeks, but then he became ill with chills, nausea and fever. He and the other two patients were hit with a condition that occurs when a large number of cancer cells die at the same time — a sign that the gene therapy is working.
“It was like the worse flu of their life,” June said. “But after that, it’s over. They’re well.”
The main complication seems to be that this technique also destroys some other infection-fighting blood cells; so far the patients have been getting monthly treatments for that.
Penn researchers want to test the gene therapy technique in leukemia-related cancers, as well as pancreatic and ovarian cancer, he said. Other institutions are looking at prostate and brain cancer.
Dr. Walter J. Urba of the Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon, called the findings “pretty remarkable” but added a note of caution because of the size of the study.
“It’s still just three patients. Three’s better than one, but it’s not 100,” said Urba, one of the authors of an editorial on the research that appears in the New England Journal.
What happens long-term is key, he said: “What’s it like a year from now, two years from now, for these patients.”
But Dr. Kanti Rai, a blood cancer expert at New York’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center, could hardly contain his enthusiasm, saying he usually is more reserved in his comments on such reports.
“It’s an amazing, amazing kind of achievement,” said Rai, who had no role in the research.
None of the three patients wanted to be identified, but one wrote about his illness, and his statement was provided by the university. The man, himself a scientist, called himself “very lucky,” although he wrote that he didn’t feel that way when he was first diagnosed 15 years ago at age 50.
He was successfully treated over the years with chemotherapy until standard drugs no longer worked.
Now, almost a year since he entered the study, “I’m healthy and still in remission. I know this may not be a permanent condition, but I decided to declare victory and assume that I had won.”
New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org
Science journal: http://stm.sciencemag.org
I really love this photo.
So it is Wednesday night, almost midnight as I get around to typing this up. It was a good day. I got all my coursework done before class. I had a couple of assignments to finish up for tonight’s class.
I don’t know how I feel about French this semester. I think we cover too much material on any given night. I find myself taking more notes than usual and half the time, I can’t see the far chalk board. There are two in the classroom. I sit on the right side of the room, and my prof usually uses the left side, even sitting in the front row, I still can’t make out everything she writes down.
I guess I am doing ok , though. We have been doing translations in class, from English into French and French into English. We had a listening comprehension pre-test tonight and I got both sets of questions correct. There will be an exam on Monday that we have to prepare for this weekend.
I got a call from a friend before I left for class. He wanted to get together for coffee this evening after class. It’s been a long time, since a member has asked me out for coffee. Many of my friends who used to live around here and those I used to hang out with are no more.
We had a good time.
There is snow piled up all over the place. I noticed on the way home that there are snow drifts that are at least ten feet high in some areas. They are still clearing snow in the downtown core. It was a little bitter out tonight.
Tomorrow is another day. One more class to go this week and I can call it a day. I spoke to my friend Louise this afternoon and she told me that on Monday she is going to have the last operation to complete her breast reconstruction surgery process.
Last week she wasn’t going to do it because they told her that she would need general anesthesia and that did not go over very well with her, since the last time they put her out for the surgery she did not come out of it very well. And she wasn’t looking forwards to being put under again. And add to that the cost of the O.R. was astronomical.
The other day she got the call from the doctors office telling her that no, they did not have to put her under that they could do the procedure with a local, and not general, and they dropped the price of the O.R. to a more manageable price. So the boobs will be finished next week. Finally after almost a year from start to finish from Diagnosis to Breast Removal Surgery, healing to Breast Reconstruction we are at the other side of this cancer.
And she survived and things are looking up and we could not be more happy.
Well, that is a short synopsis of the days events as they happened.
More to come, stay tuned …
A good day was had by all. It was a quiet day today. I did my usual morning routine. I collected about 100 images from my library here at home and uploaded them to my Tumblr. Which sparked a frenzy of activity of people liking and reposting photos that I had uploaded.
Little did I know that if you upload it, they will like it …
I spoke to Louise just a little while ago. We were talking about her new boobs. She was laughing and telling me stories about what she has to do every day to make herself stronger. She told me that she will be coming home on the 28th from Florida. With enough time not to miss my birthday on the 31st.
That’s about all that’s going on here at the moment.
More to come, stay tuned …
A few months ago, I wrote about my friend Louise. She is a long time member of my home group of more than twenty years. Upon her arrival in Florida for her usual short winter break, she had a mammogram for a second time in Miami. They did not find cancer while she was here in Canada. But they found it there.
She has been in Florida now 7 months and counting. She is wanting to come home sooner than later.
With lumps in both breasts, there was not much decision to be made in how to treat it. They had to go. So breast removal surgery was done and over this summer Louise has been undergoing procedures to make herself ready for breast reconstruction surgery which is taking place tomorrow morning.
If we all pray, we should pray for a successful surgery. This journey is long from over for her, she tells me that she will be back in Montreal in three weeks time. So that’s good.
Yesterday (Friday) my best friend Louise had radical double mastectomy surgery, due to Breast Cancer. I called midway during surgery and I was told that everything was going well. I will call down later today to check on her. If you are the praying type, I would ask you to remember her in your prayers for the next few days as she begins the long healing process.
We are coming to the end of term and the crunch has begun to complete all the assignments by their due dates. It will be a complex next two weeks for me. I have been working feverishly on my papers due by the 20th of this month, my OT Samuel presentation is due on Monday for class, the final paper isn’t due until the 29th, seeing we have an extra week of class because of Easter Monday.
Just a short entry for now. More to come later today.
It has been quite a day today. Monday was Monday. Over the weekend I finished the first of three assignments due this month, my book review, which I turned in today. I am hoping that it meets with approval because I am not doing it again.
I spent the afternoon studying to start writing my Sophia paper, there is a book sitting by my bedside that I should be reading right now, but I am still here farting around.
We had class tonight, my Samuel (Old Testament) seminar. We ran through chapters 13,14, and 15. When you take apart a text to its bare essentials and you break up all the groups and you characterize the text by groups and location you learn a great deal about the text.
While the 4 students, and 1 RA do the breakdown, my prof is sitting with her Hebrew Bible following us. You learn that the Bible is written in pieces and edited together over time. When you strip a text down to its oldest literary strata you begin to see who wrote what and when it was written. It is all very interesting. You even figure out what is original, what is redacted and how the chapters fit together, or not together. It has happened that we find that some chapters were written before others then edited together, it is all quite fascinating.
Next Monday is my turn to present my texts that would be 1 Samuel chapters 24 and 26. I have all my notes that I have been working on and my books to do my narrative programs. I can tell from here that my chapters are easy compared to what we have been doing in class. I have to find a way to pump out 10 pages of text for my presentation, because I don’t think I will have that many. And failure is not an option.
I have two weeks to finish Sophia. God Help Me … I also have to finish Origen, but hubby is helping me on that one. I need to sit with him and see what he comes up with for my rewrite. My adviser is adamant that I keep to the rewrite schedule and if need be I should extend either OT or Hermeneutics and I don’t want to do that. I want to finish my classes on schedule this term and hopefully all of my work will be acceptable the first run through.
Nobody said that M.A. Studies would be a breeze.
I spoke to my friend Louise in Florida this afternoon. Her double mastectomy surgery is scheduled for April the 9th at 2 p.m. She will have a 4 to 6 week recovery with reconstruction being done in that time period. She sounded really good today, her spirits were high and she was on the ball. We should all keep her in our prayers.
Tomorrow is Tuesday and I have to pick up coffee and sugar for the meeting on the way out before I set up the meeting. I will have more for you tomorrow.
I should get to bed.
More to come, stay tuned…
It has been a very trying week, to say the least. We are grinding our way to the focal point of this semester. The push to the final papers. I’ve spent the better part of two days trolling the library for books and combing through the data bases for articles for my bibliographies.
I turned in my bibliography for my Old Testament class, and I got it back today with a note that I needed to resubmit another god damned piece of paper because I did not have enough sources. So I am up to my ass in trying to find more books and articles for that one as well.
GOD give me strength…
I’ve got a stack of books on my dining room table which I have been reading through every day trying to glean from them useful information. I have papers that have to be rewritten and I am trying to remain calm and not loose my mind. I have been working on something every day, sometimes more than one thing at a time. It’s all very overwhelming.
Our modem is on its last leg, and we have been talking to the tech desk at our ISP to try and figure out if it was the phone line or the modem. But last night hubby and I decided just to order a new modem. Little did we know that by calling the local service number that we would be talking to someone in British Columbia, all the way on the west coast. So they shipped out the modem today and we will have it tomorrow some time.
As the modem crapped out last night, the cable went down as well. I think it was an omen. Videotron had a city wide FAIL last night that lasted until 6 am this morning. Talk about anxiety, having no computer and no tv at the same time. That was like having the power go out and being forced to sit in the dark with candles lit. Thank God for over night radio.
Hopefully by the time I finish this entry that the model will still be cranking away, flashing its little lights down there on the floor.
I spoke to Louise yesterday and she did not sound very good. The doctors confirmed that she had cancer in both breasts and that a double mastectomy was the only way out of this. She had further scans today in preparation for surgery which should happen sometime soon. It’s gonna be a big surgery because they will do reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy.
She will have the surgery there at Mount Sinai Medical Center there in Miami, they are the best cancer hospital in Florida. I worked in the treatment clinic as a hospice and services counselor when I lived down there. We must keep her in our prayers.
I’m gonna boogie and not push this modem any further.
More to come, stay tuned…
The Olympics are over. Over the last three days our little blog had had over 7,424 hits, we had our best day ever on Sunday with 3,597 hits in less than 4 hours after the hockey game ended and I posted the game update and highlights. It seems that Sidney Crosby is still a very popular tag.
What do we do with the hours we spent watching tv now? Back to the old routines. I have to say that these Olympics were the best Winter games that I have ever seen. True there were issues, but the coverage we got here in Canada was outstanding. There has been much discussion about the games, hockey in particular. Very exciting indeed.
But it is back to the books. I have so much work to do, it is so overwhelming. I have to crank out three papers before the end of the month and I have no idea where to start. And it is freaking me out. Last week, we had off and I spent a great deal of time in bed because of medical issues. I was not sleeping because of an allergy that got out of control, so I was exhausted by the end of the week.
It was a good day. The sun shone and it was pleasant out. I think that the great thaw has begun. The snow, or what’s left of it is all melting away and you can see grass popping out between the melting snow. The weather will be warm and sunny for the next week. There isn’t any snow in the forecast in the next week, and we are into March now, so spring is on its way.
We had a good night at the meeting. We had a good group for the early meeting, but the 8:00 p.m. meeting was sparse. I am not sure where all our people were tonight, I hope it doesn’t stay like that. We had about 12 people stay for the later meeting.
We need to keep Louise in our prayers. She saw the oncologist today and I am waiting on an update. The doctors found lumps in both her breasts and now it has come down to a complete double mastectomy. Such an invasive procedure, but it is the only way to ensure that they get rid of the cancer, provided that it hasn’t spread. Let us pray… That surgery should happen in the coming weeks. AS I find out info I will let you all know, but keep her in her prayers.
That’s about it from here tonight.
More to come, stay tuned…
Last night I stayed up well past my bedtime and had to get up this morning bright and early to get to the clinic to drop labs. I haven’t dropped labs since last November so it was high time.
The phlebotomist was all bright and cheery as she pulled out 9 vials and her trusty vacu-needle. I told her that for 9 vials that I would require an extra cookie afterwards. I rescheduled my appointment for 3 weeks time and made the downhill bus on time. I did not feel like walking down the mountain.
I dropped off my refill scripts at the pharmacy and came home. I stopped off at Subway for a little lunch as I was starving. I got home and stuffed my face with tasty sub goodness.
As I have not been sleeping well, I popped me my pills after I ate and went down for a nap. I slept through my alarm and well past class. Now I have to find out what my prof gave as assignment for reading week. oh well.
I got word from Louise today that the biopsy for her lump came back as malignant cancer. She is having an MRI on Tuesday then they are going to schedule a lumpectomy a little later. So keep her in your prayers.
That’s about it for now, I think I am going to go back to bed.
More to come, stay tuned…
It was a good day overall. I did some things around the house this afternoon before I went to class. I spoke to my friend Louise, she is having a biopsy done next week to see if she has breast cancer. She is taking it one day at a time. We had a short conversation but she was distracted and concerned so I did not press the issue. We should keep her in our prayers … We were not prepared for another bout with cancer…
Rick called from Kingston, it seems that his parents had been airlifted from Florida back to Canada in the past few days. He will be out of pocket until next week. That means that Susie and I have to take care of running the late meeting and closing up shop afterwards. It will be ok…
We are working on the book of Samuel in class. Tonight we looked at 1 Samuel chapters 9 and 10. There is so much we don’t know without looking at the Hebrew translation of the Old Testament. It is all so mind boggling the number of words used and the word play that the writers and redactors added to the stories. I got a reprieve tonight from presenting my short topic paper on my chosen scriptures (Samuel chapters 24 & 26 ) … I don’t have to present my paper until the 15th of March. safe …
I have to get to work on my reworks from last term. We have a week coming for reading week in two weeks, I am hoping to knock off as much work as I can during that time, not to mention my classwork and reading that I have to do for this term as well.
I hope that Wednesday nights class is substantial. People are skeptical about that class because of the whole, throw out the schedule attitude that my prof took with it this term. We are flying by the seat of her pants and at her mercy as well. There isn’t a huge challenge and people are complaining.
One of my boys is on the verge of moving out into the world on his own after years of trauma and drama at the hands of his fucked up parents. We have been waiting for this day to come for a long time. He got a good job with good pay in San Antonio where he will be relocating to in the next week. I will get to see the work I have done with him when I travel there in July for the AA conference.
All is well here … still no snow …
We are 4 days out from the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics here in Canada. The weather is not cooperating and Vanoc the Olympic committee is keeping Cypress Mountain under wraps to make sure there is enough snow on the slopes for competition.There is still no snow falling from the sky and all the second chance contingency plans are being done to make sure there is ample snow on the slopes taking it from as far away as three hours on other mountains to groom the slopes for the competitions. The weather looks like rain for the end of the week, so it may be a wet start to the Olympic games.
We have seen the massive communications hub on tv Sunday night, it is incredible. Canadians are setting the bar very high with high high expectations for owning the Podium these Olympics …
I hope that happens because we are setting ourselves up for a big fall if we don’t hit the marks across the board. There is such hype over the Men’s and women’s Canadian hockey team right now that anything less than Gold for both is going to upset the fine balance of hysteria that is overtaking the country when it comes to hockey. The pressure is palpable. I imagine that the athletes are under immense pressure to perform up to spec.
If they fail to attain Gold in the finals of Men’s Hockey, there is going to be a countrywide FUNK !!!! It is all over the news tonight. We still don’t have word on the final torch bearer but speculation is running rampant, maybe we will find out before the games start, but that is a closely guarded secret. Friday will be a big day for Canada, as we welcome the world to Vancouver…
That’s all for now. More to come stay tuned …
You can’t have a Sunday without some photography. Try a little Alpine Stars Tech 8 photos from one of my fellows. It has been a very quiet weekend. The weather has cooperated. We got spared the brunt of Winter once again. It seemed that all points south of us got slammed. There are flurries in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.
There are some things stewing in the pot, one of my friends found a lump in her breast and is waiting to see the Doc in the coming days. A biopsy is planned soon. I haven’t talked to her since last week so we will catch up real soon, as it is too late to call her at this hour. On the other hand I don’t know what is going on with our fearless leader and the situation with his parents and the airlift back to Canada. I am waiting on a phone call from him tonight.
We’ve watched a lot of tv this weekend. And we have been piping in Coast to Coast via the internet every night. I am not pleased with this fact, I wish we had radio once again, the running of wires all over the apartment is a headache and it totally disrupts my nightly routine. Dinner is almost ready so I will cut this short for now.
More to come, stay tuned…
True to his word, Adam went down
swinging. 21 months after his car crash in March of ‘08, Adam passed at 2:21PM December 26, 2009.
In lieu of flowers Adam would want you to donate to the Adam Frey Foundation. He wanted to help others with their difficult battle with cancer. Thank you for all of your support and prayers in recent months. We hope that in spite of all this Adam still brings the same joy and inspiration to everyone that he always has. Thanks to everyone and God Bless.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
After I posted this to the blog over on Adam’s site and here, I have been informed that Adam has passed. We pray God’s blessing upon him.
Adam, has taken a turn for the worse, phone calls have been made, today we pray for Adam as the journey looks to be coming to an end.
For Adam …
Now is the time to say all those things that need to be said. Now is the time to let God be God. Now is the time that we pray for mercy. Now is the time we give permission to Adam to do what he needs to do with the understanding that he is not alone, and that all of us are here with him and with you. We all live on borrowed time. And if this is Adam’s time, then Let go and Let God. He has been a champion and a fighter for so long. Now may be the time we tell him that it is ok to let go now. If we give him that permission he may hear us and the end won’t be so far away.
We pray God that Adam’s life not be forgotten and that we all may take away some lesson for ourselves. We pray that the angels will protect him and carry him to the altar of God in heaven where there is no more sickness and no more pain. We know that God is merciful and that God hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the Lord. We pray that Adam is where he needs to be and will be going to where he needs to go. The fight has been long and arduous and those of us who have walked with him over the years, like I have myself, can say that he fought the good fight. But sometimes you can’t fight disease, no matter how hard we pray. Sometimes when we pray God says – no, I have other plans, but this is a time of learning and of faith. Now is the time to commend Adam to God and to allow God’s will be done. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want …
We pray God’s blessing upon Adam and upon his family. We pray that God will bless him and make him whole once again in heaven. And we pray for strength to allow God what he needs to do to take Adam home. This is what, ultimately, faith asks of us, to know when it is time to die and to go to that death with the ultimate knowledge that God hears us and is with us even in the darkest of times.
We love you Adam, and we have been blessed to walk this journey with you. God’s peace to you on your journey. We will not forget you and neither will God.
Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty.
“When life gets tough and things get hard we must get BIGGER and Love more …”
Just a brief note of what was spoken at the funeral for Vaughn. It was a very somber service at Saint James United Church. The readings were the same readings you hear at every other funeral… “Love is patient, Love is kind…”
And “There is a season for everything…”
I could not help but sit there and think about the inevitable. My friends Paul, Donald and Andrew were there from school. Not one professor from the department of Theology was present, strange … The music was heavenly and the service was somber and respectful.
As I sat there, I imagined myself in that casket. I imagined what it would feel like, not that I would be feeling anything at that point, I’d be dead. But I wondered if I would see myself being eulogized and seeing who had come to pay their respects. Every funeral I attend I look at all the people there and take notice of how many people come because of who has died.
I wonder how I would get on if that was me sitting in the pew where Johnny was, how would I cope? How would I go on alone? How would my husband get on without me? It is all just too much to fathom for me. It is all very hard to imagine…
Then I put myself in Johnny’s shoes. Experiencing his loss and the profound sadness he is feeling about now. I can’t imagine – well I can, but I choose not to for the moment.
After the service we all filed out of the church as the casket was loaded into the hearse and Johnny was just standing there almost comatose. I walked up to him and put my hand on his shoulder and asked him if he was alright and he said that “everything would be ok…”
I’ve spoken to friends who’s marriages are on the rocks and tried to help them get back what was lost, and now I have experienced the death of a close friend and the sorrow of a fellow and I am sad.
Our little group got a few words in together with Johnny and we all hugged him and wished him peace. What else can you say at that kind of moment. It was just very sad to see Johnny standing outside the church, Lost, looking forlorn and blank. There was nothing we could do about it at the moment.
Eternal rest grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him…
By Jill Serjeant – Reuters News Service
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Farrah Fawcett, the “Charlie’s Angels” television star whose big smile and feathered blond mane made her one of the reigning sex symbols of the 1970s, died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.
Fawcett, first vaulted to stardom by an alluring poster of her in a red swimsuit, was diagnosed with anal cancer in late 2006. It spread to her liver in 2007, proving resistant to numerous medical treatments in Germany and California.
“After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away,” Fawcett’s long time companion, actor Ryan O’Neal, said in a statement.
“Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world.”
Fawcett’s death in a Los Angeles hospital came just six weeks after the TV broadcast in May of a video diary she made chronicling her battle with cancer and her final months.
Called “Farrah’s Story,” the documentary was effectively a self-penned obituary by the actress, who was bedridden and had lost her famous hair by the time it was shown.
O’Neal said she had wanted to tell her story on her own terms.
Fawcett’s close friend Alana Stewart, ex-wife of rocker Rod Stewart, told Entertainment Tonight after leaving the hospital on Thursday; “I just lost my best friend. Her death was very peaceful.”
Fawcett, born February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, was an art student in college before she began modeling, appearing in shampoo ads.
She started guest-starring on TV in the late 1960s and appeared on the television hit “The Six Million Dollar Man” after marrying the show’s star, Lee Majors, in 1974. The couple divorced in the early 1980s.
Things are moving ahead quite nicely. Tuesday has come and gone and the pigeon who was at rehab returned and it was not a pretty reunion. This, I feel, is going to turn into a long term issue … oh well, you win some you lose some.
This is a monumental week in my academic career. I am actually going to submit my application for my candidacy for a spot on the Fall 2009 M.A. of Theology roster. I know that paperwork is just something one has to do for the institution and I was verbally guaranteed a spot by the MA director some time ago. So what do I have to worry about? My grades were above par this last two semesters, I believe I will clear that hurdle ok.
I am pairing down my Summer schedule to stay with just the one course on the Trinity this term so that I can save some money and pay down my summer balance because that is the one thing that will hamper my application – cash on the docket … So I have to pay that off asap or else face a rejection letter due to cash concerns.
I’ve been feeling a little off for the last few days. I don’t know what is causing this nausea, but I wish it would stop. It has totally thrown my eating schedule into the toilet and my blood sugar has been a bit high as of late. I had a really down night (a few nights ago) and I was warned that this could happen so I needed to be prepared for a low sugar attack, which I was. I see my doctors next week so I have to drop labs in the next couple of days ahead of those appointments.
Wish me luck …
stay tuned, more to come…
Oh and keep Adam in your prayers. Things are beginning to go south for him once again.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
Friends, just how powerful are they in our lives? VERY!!! I listened to today’s sermon at All Saints Church in Pasadena and that was the topic of Rev. Bacon’s sermon. People live longer and live better having friends. Things seem to go better for people who have an extended community of friends.
I think that we all do better in our lives when we have friends to turn to in times of hardship and illness. Since posting my news of diabetes on my Facebook page all of my friends have either sent me messages or have called me on the phone to share pieces of wisdom or support. And isn’t that what we should do for one another?
Case in point, you have read Adam’s reply to my note after his defeat post on the blog which I posted here. It matters that friends reach out to one another when things get dark. If I have a candle, then I can show you the way to the light. I can’t help you if I get in the hole with you, but if you allow me, I can lead you to the light.
Today is Sunday and it is day three that I am on diabetic medication. I don’t know if it is working, but I feel ok. We have made the specific changes to my diet as I was told by the dietician and the doctor. I won’t have any more information until Tuesday when I see the doctor.
When we are community, nobody is ever alone. Imagine what God’s Facebook page looks like! To think of it boggles the mind. It is important that we have friends, because you never know when someone is going to help you, if only by their mere presence. Knowing that one does not have to face life alone is something that creates strength and hope. To know that someone is in your corner encouraging you to walk forwards is so very important.
I think that the friendships I have fostered over the last few years have only helped me in many ways. Everybody plays a part in my recovery and everybody plays a part in keeping me whole with all that is going on in my life.
“I wanna know what love is…” “I wanna feel what love is…” “I know you can show me…” “I wanna know what love is…”
For all those people out there who support me, thank you. And to all my friends out there in my circle, I am always here for you. That includes YOU Adam.
Just a short post tonight.
More to come, stay tuned…
You never know when your story is going to help someone else. Here is what Adam wrote me today…Change in a good way Thank God…
You know, I think things get darkest before they dawn. I just wish I knew how dark things would be. Until a few days ago, I was pretty bitter. Bitter, angry, frustrated, just pissed off at the situation. I am sure you can understand.
Then it hit me. Who am I to hold grudges. If God can forgive and let things go, why have I been holding grudges, some for years, some with poeple that do care about me. Some over things that are sort of outlandish. I had a moment in prayer and I vowed to let it go. I got the notion that God came in right there and a calm fell.
I told him I was sorry for my stubborness and rage and that I in fact wanted to be a miracle…for surely I cannot spread hope and love in a box. By days end I started feeling better. I started having night sweats…which is the number one symptom of a REGRESSING cancer. Maybe I needed to change my
goals and path to what he wants it to be.
From the little I know about you, you have been declared terminal and changed your path and seem to be doing ok. I think I needed to change mine, and maybe I just needed to be pushed to the breaking point and past it to realize that.
Some days are good, some days are bad. This is what Adam has to say today about his cancer: I am really bummed and concerned for him more now…
I’m pretty discouraged. My numbers go down, and they tell me its not working according to their judgement. What the hell. I went to the doctors today for a “fast appointment.” I wanted to get in, out and just whatever. My mother, who has a hard time keeping her mouth shut at times prodded question after question for two and a half hours. I swear the infernos of hell cannot be that bad. I got to sit there and get a detailed description of how I am probably going to die. It freakin sucks. It all sucks. You want me to be honest, I’ll be honest. I’m done with the positive, I have not very long to live from most professionals, and I feel ripped off, cheated, stressed, and everything else. I feel pains and most of the time, my life is a living hell. All that hard work to get screwed. I cannot even say that hard work and values work in this world, because they don’t. I busted my ass as hard as the next person, and for what? The average death row inmate lives longer than I do. Most live 15-20 years…after being sentenced. Ironic isn’t it?
I had dreams, aspirations, I wanted to be president. I wanted to be a father. Maybe even graduate college. That is slowly going to hell in a hand basket. And please, don’t tell me to fight, or be positive, or any of that stupid bull$#%&. This is something you cannot fight. You just sit there and take it and hope it works. A lot of times I wish I could be put down, just humanely euthanized like an old dog. I’m not that lucky, I get to go through organ failure, hospitals, being hooked to tubes, the whole bit. It sucks.
I asked for the big chemo guns again, they won’t give them to me. I asked to fight it. What I got was a notion of being a lab rat experiment again…if I even get in. I pray, plead and beg, yet I don’t know what his plans are. Nothing looks good. I can’t put the facade on much more. Reality is reality. It hurts, it sucks, I wish I had my life back. I probably would have had more fun instead of working for the future. My future seems destined for a box.
Its just a waste. I feel like everyone thats been there, helped me along, all my hard work, just pointless. If I was told a while ago that I was going to die so young, I would have had more fun, hung out with more friends, did so much different. I wouldn’t have worked so hard for things that will probably have no effect. I need a miracle. I believe in them, I just am beginning to doubt that they are for me.
I guess there still is hope, and I know three fourths of you will take it as such. I have hope, just also a heavy dose of reality. I doubt the three fourths of you have had people look you in the face and tell you that cancer was going to kill you, and how. Tell you matter-of-factly that some people just die form these things. Some people, healthy, never smoked, worked out regularly, smart, hardworking, just get screwed over at 23. Its a freakin blast. I get spared from a car wreck to die a miserable cancerous death…I guess that jerk who commented on how I was going to die was right. Go figure. Of course there are things that may prolong my life, and I am going to do them as they come hoping one of them will fully work. It just is a longshot, and its out of my hands. Fighting is pointless, you can’t fight something like this. You can take the drugs, stay in shape, do whatever, but fighting it, that is impossible.
Well, yeah I am sure this is not what everyone wanted to read as their daily inspiration, but to be quite honest, I am not that inspiring.
Today was a hit and miss day. After reading this I had to find something to do with myself. I dropped Biblical Greek. That’s a $300.00 expense I did not want to have to pay, but I missed the drop deadline by two days in thinking about sticking it out and either doing poorly or the possibility that I would fail…
Failure is not an Option.
You either go BIG or you go Home.
So I went to the Theology department and filled out a late registration form to get into a class that I NEED for graduation and that was that. I decided that it was time to go drop LABS for my doctor seeing that I haven’t had a new ‘COUNT’ since last December. I trudged UP that damned mountain on foot because I didn’t have any change for the bus on me. UGH !!! I HATE climbing that hill on foot. Not to mention that the wind was blowing around at 50 or 60 km/h it was fierce. It wasn’t a pleasant trek.
I dropped labs and went to see my friend Ms. Nikki who works at the hospital, and we visited for a little it and I walked home back DOWN that god forsaken hill. I got all sorted out when I got home and was going to take a nap, when hubby said to me “don’t you have class at 6:30 – it’s Thursday … ?
Well my plans for a nap went out the window. I had 90 minutes to try to get a power nap which was pointless because the phone was ringing off the hook, the wind was blowing quite a clip and all the windows on this side of the building were buckling. (Yes up this high the widows shake when the wind blows)
One call was from the clinic. They wanted to know if I had fasted before coming to the lab? Which I had. Because my sugar levels were 4 times what they regularly were. hmmm… Did that march up the mountains do that? Or was it a lab error? So tomorrow I have to go back UP that damned mountain, this time I have a bus ticket, and drop another set of labs.
The doctors are worried that my sugar levels are rising too high. My father is a diabetic and you know what they say about hereditary problems.
I have his ass and my mothers face…
We are at 5:30 p.m. I get set to go to Loyola for class – the class I want to get into (Late) and I take the bus, which leaves downtown at 6 p.m. and we arrive at Loyola at 6:25. I walk onto the campus and go to the class – which I am turned away from because the paperwork had not been completed and I was not notified that (at this time) I had been accepted by the Applied Human Science Department (they are a bunch of hardliners).
At 6:40 I walk back to the bus depot to wait for a bus back to downtown. I just happen to look at the schedule in the depot stop and noticed that the LAST bus back to downtown was at 6:30. I missed the last bus home.
I had a $20.00 bill in my pocket and no bus tickets to take “A bus” home. I started at the cafeteria and then the book store trying to find someone to cash my twenty so that I can get on the bus. I had to leave campus and walk up Sherbrooke to find somewhere to get some cash or a bus ticket. What a nightmare. I found a small depaneur that I bought a drink and saw that he sold single bus tickets I was like “Woo Hoo – You rock man.”
It is closing in on 7 p.m. and I catch a bus from the West End and then to the Metro to Atwater and then home. I get off the train and walk into the mall at Atwater on the way home and I get to the escalator to take me up to street level and I realize that I need bus tickets for tomorrow (god damnit) So I turn around and go back downstairs to the Metro kiosk to buy a ticket for tomorrow and then I walked home from there. It’s about 6 blocks from our house to the Metro station.
Now I am down to 1 class – the Trinity topic class on the books and nothing for second session which I need to find something soon. I will have to look again tonight. The prof of the 232 class told me that I might not get cleared because they denied entry to other students into that class, so I may be screwed after doing all this foot work. FUCK ME !!!
Oh well, you win some and you loose some…
That was my day.
Let’s all pray for Adam. We need a miracle.
A Prayer for the Ephesians
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I’m worried about Adam. I can’t get him out of my head. I’ve been praying constantly and thinking about worst case scenarios and possible plans of attack for his cancer. You just don’t throw the word “terminal” into a discussion and then several hours later say “Oops I made a mistake!”
So I wrote him a letter. We’ll see what he has to say in response.
It has been a quiet few days. I have been resting and spending quality time with hubby whenever we can. Sharing meals, taking naps in the afternoon, going to bed together … little things that make a difference.
Classes are moving along. I have to say that reading for my “Trinity” class is dense and makes my brian smoke. Then you go to class, as we did earlier tonight, and verybody else’s brains are smoking as well. As we were informed tonight that this course was put together to be a real challenge outside the ordinary class because it is a 400 level course (which is a graduate level course) it is cross listed for undergraduates as well. My graduate friends are waiting to see when I will give in and say I’ve had enough… I’m not going to give them the satisfaction.
Tomorrow is Biblical Greek. Already some of my friends who were in the class have dropped the class citing that their hearts were not in it. Oh well, I guess we’ll see tomorrow how many students are going to stick it out and finish the term.
I heard a really great sermon over at All Saints Church Pasadena on Sunday night by the first rector of All Saints:The Rev. Dr. George Regas. If you click THIS LINK, and follow it through you can watch the sermon on video. It is on Reflections on the contemporary home.
I have to go cook dinner now.
More to come – Stay tuned.
PLEASE PRAY FOR ADAM…
This is the latest update from Adam. Keep him in your prayers.
Well, I finished my exam and am pretty sure I did good enough to pass, and given I am taking it pass/fail, that is fine with me. I finished at 9:30PM and drove literally through pouring rain (which always happens when you have a three hour drive and want to just get there) and did not get in until four hours later. I did not sleep.
The ride there was backed up and frustrating and miserable. I had a hard time sitting there and just not shaking. I got to my CT scan and it was cold. The stuff was cold, and everything was just so cold. I was freezing. Then, there was more waiting. I came in early to my appointment and just shook. I was so anxious, and the wait just kills. It just eats at you, the realm of possibilities. It eats at you.
The doctor came out and told me my number was just over 24K. It relieved me a little bit, I figured it would be higher, much higher. We went back, and the verdict was not the best. It was actually pretty bad. Another spot grew in my liver, the nodes in my abdomen grew, and cancer in both lungs both grew and shrunk. We think the dead part of my lung is being mistaken as a tumor, but they are there.
The word terminal came out. I was given a timetable to live, odds of each, and it was not very long…down to just the summer on the bad end. I sort of figured on it, but you always hope for better, you know? I heard, was exhausted and we went home and I went to bed. The phone rang this morning and it was my oncologist. He had my new number, taken yesterday. He told me, and I asked if he was lying. He said he wouldn’t lie about something like that. It dropped 9,000 points in the week I was OFF chemo. The terminal just got dropped twenty hours after it was given. It is, hopefully a stay of execution.
I went a month without chemo earlier, and with most of that being terribly sick, I figured the cancer ran rampid. He said it is having mixed results, and we are between a few new trials and the option of staying on the same thing and doubling the dose. I have another week off chemo, a meeting via conference call with both oncologists back home, and a decision to make.
Well, two percent of cancers statistically just say screw it and spontaneously go into remission. Maybe, after everything, God said enough is enough and is giving me a temporary reprive. Maybe the chemo is working, by the grace of God. I do not know, I do not care, it is the first time my cancer showed any sign of backing off in over six months.
I was pushed to the brink. In my favorite movie, one sub-theme is facing the ultimate fear of death and overcoming it. I faced it a few times, and I think whatever message there was, I finally got it. I think the prayers of everyone helped. I know they did.
Well, I feel like a thousand pound gorilla was taken off my back.
So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
It is a good day today. I spent some time talking to God about Adam this morning and now we wait on God to make his miracles. I will take him to service tomorrow and set him on the altar. We are on the march to Holy Week and I will be attending services over the weekend.
I went to class early tonight so that I could go over my notes some more before the exam. It was the first time that I have ever taken a “group” exam. We had 38 multiple choice questions and 6 short answers to work on. We reached concensus on all of our answers and we took our time on the short answer questions. I think we did alright.
Now I have a final paper to write for this class which is due in a weeks time on top of my New Testament Studies paper that I am also working on as well. Thank God this semester is coming to an end. Next up will be Biblical Greek over the summer and this class is proving to be very exciting.
Take a few minutes out of your day to pray for Adam. It is crucially important that we give him all the support we can now, as he begins to look for new alternatives to his cancer treatment.
And so that is it for tonight. I need to go eat and work on my sermon on predestination for Curtis.
Stay tuned, more to come…