The Company You Keep.

I”ll stay in the shallow end today, but I’ll still jump right in.

So yeah, that happened. Vowapalooza is in the books. It took a day to undo the damage that can happen from when damn near everyone you’ve met the past 20+ years all get together and everyone wants to buy you a round. And you turn down none of them. I’m just thankful I had the good sense to turn down what turned into a six pack of champagne that was sent to our room at various times. So I was a little hazy yesterday and wasn’t sure if I could string together what I wanted on here but I’m back today. Great googley moogley that was great. I will speak for Elizabeth and the girls, All the family, new friends, old friends, friends I’ve never actually met, It was tremendous. A true heartfelt thanks go out to all that attended. Just turning around seeing so many familiar faces after sticking the cross up was overwhelming to say the least. The only problem was there was so many of you we didn’t feel like we got to say hey to everyone in a proper way. We’ve tried to text/Facebook/message/block out the sun to get in touch with you to say thanks. And for those who couldn’t get here but sent thoughts, thank you too. And the folks who made sure we were taken care of, We’re blown away. I’m amazed it actually got pulled off. Truth be told, we were worried. I was terrified. What if it rains. What if the lemon bar is packed when we roll up. What if the beach is stormed by Russians (well thank god I had the helicopter flying over protecting us. You can thank me later). I was truly a dream of a day that if you have a midlife crisis, and can get a couple hundred of your closest friends together to feel the love, I suggest you do it. Amazing. And since its my blog I’m going to get a little sappy and say how much I love my daughters Hannah and Haley and my amazing, beautiful, strong, exceptional, loving wife. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am that she’s stuck with me and yeah. I can’t believe I’m at a loss for words while I’m writing but twenty years. Phew. How’d that happen. I love you more.

So back to real life. Little tough. Still a little pain in the middle of our heroine (started Saturday but she’s a savage of the highest level so she went hard). She has radiation on Wednesday (happy anniversary right?). They’re hitting the left side of Larry this time. We’re looking and talking about some alternative stuff that we’re bringing up to our doctor when we see him on September 11th (yep, 9/11). So we’ll see. In the meantime we’re going to have a great trip to Orlando at the Gaylord Palms courtesy of my aunt and uncle. Just blow this popsicle stand. But this all is going to start again soon.

One more thought on this weekends events. I thought about it the other day and all the awesome (and I dont use that word lightly) people we have kept in touch with before or met in the last twenty years. It’s mind boggling to try to process. Much less, have them all in one place. Either in body or spirit. It’s really cool when you think about it. There’s an old saying that you can judge a man (or a woman if you are one) by the company he keeps. Well from this weekend, we don’t need to worry about how we’re judged. You guys are the best. There’s definitely a lot of people still riding this wave and we’re grateful for the strength in numbers. Gotta stay positive right? This is a shorter one tonight as I’m still a little groggy from the damn bartender overserving me. Love each and every one of you though. Blog at you later. BIG KISS. MUAH!!!

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Getting close

Move the inner tubes and pool toys out of the way, I'm jumping in.

Hello friends. How have you been. We've been ok. So an update on our heroine, the swallowing and pain has subsided quite a bit, which is nice. Just a little tiredness mainly in the morning but smooth the rest of the time. The radiation was moved up to sandwich between vowapalooza (more on that later) and our second "honeymoon" weekend in Orlando but she swears she'll muscle through it. And if theres one thing I've realized after almost twenty years is when she gets the blinders on and gets focused, that's it. But health wise, the last week and a half have been thankfully, uneventful.

As far as mentally, its been OK. Today was the first day of school which was a little rough as that's her job and so theres been a bit of heartbreak there. As far as me there's been a lot of things that has been said that will stick with me for a while. Everyone who's had a talk with me recently I honestly cant thank enough.

But the girls, everyone asks about Ham and Cheese. Well, we unleashed them at the end of the summer on Orlando and universal studios. I say unleashed because Hannah drove with Haley as her co-pilot and hopefully everyone from Davincis "The Last Supper" as I was up all night praying to every last one of them. I went to sleep around 11 and woke up at 1:46am shot out of a cannon. My stomach was making noises that resembled the movie Alien when the creature ripped out of that guys stomach. I came out to watch TV. I dont like to watch late night tv as if perchance I find something interesting, I'm screwed. However, I lucked out as the drone racing league was on. If you've never watched it, think "the Big Bang theory" but with actual people who look super uncomfortable talking to the hot blond they had interviewing them after each "race". I catnapped through what was apparently a drone racing marathon. So they woke up at the crack of dawn and set out. I remembered halfway through I had track my iPhone hooked up so that eased my stomach a little bit. I talked to my best friend growing up and told him we turned them loose. "You've obviously lost your mind".

He had obviously forgot the nonsense we used to do when we were 18 (maybe younger). I said that to myself trying to make myself feel better but it only made it worse as I started to remember, everything I did at 18 years of age. I pulled over and threw up on the way home.

They hit the door at around 9PM. If you've never been through this experience before I'll sum up the feeling of seeing them again like this. Have you ever (comment censored, I think kids read this and if you are one of them, its like the first bite of pizza or really good ice cream. That's all. It's not like ((double comment censored)). I have no idea what that's like but I hear its spectacular.

So we're creeping up on the vow renewal. I do, part deux. Again, if your coming, we're going to have a blast. If you're not staying theres a bunch of pay lots close to the place (think theres one on lemon street). We're kicking off the ceremony at 6pm or as close as we can get to it. Look for a giant bamboo cross. There will be no flaming skulls or giant gator heads much to my disappointment. If you're coming in on friday, hit me up. We're staying there two nights. We'll hang out, you can get the lay of the land, I may even indulge in a cocktail or two. But only two (dozen) because the next day is game day. We're still floored by the people who are showing up for this nonsense, some traveling great distances. We're honored and blessed to have all of you as friends and family. Anyway, I'll be blogging the morning of game day. A little pep talk to get you excited. Anyway, love you guys and blog at you later.

This is going the right way?

Let me flop in here.

Well it's been a while hasn't it? There hasn't been a whole lot going on of note to report so I've just been laying in the weeds. Anyway, here's the update on our heroine. We went back today for the MRI one month after the Y-90 radiation. I don't think either of us wanted to be at the temple of doom so we walked in none to pleased. The nurse came in. She was pleasant enough. Didn't seem to quite have a handle on things. I don't think you'd have another mapping for radiation. Yeah, pretty sure we do. That and she wanted to argue with me on the pain meds Elizabeth was taking. I've been giving them to her for damn near six months. I could recite the list in my sleep. Please, let's not go back and forth about if she's taking oxymorphone. I know the difference between that and hydrocodone (diludid) I know she's taking it and it's right on this sheet of meds. So after that, in comes the Dr. We saw him at the jump but again, this shuffling doctors in and out gets super frustrating. Anyway, we asked him about what the deal was with the swallowing and tightening in the chest. They had given her antacids thinking it might be reflux. He then said no, it might be an ulcer in the esophagus due to the radiation. It might just be the high radiation itself that causes some of the pain. Or worst case, it might be some of her left side is just blocked and absolute worst case, another tube would be inserted in the front if the pain gets really unbearable. Well that was not what we were hoping to hear. That's a Hail Mary, last ditch effort. He doesn't want to do it anymore than she wants it in there. Ok, so how about the tumor. Well, there's a little regression from the radiation. One month in they really don't ever see much. It takes about three months. So, that MRI at 9pm a week after the treatment was really unnecessary.

Nice.

So after all that, things though are generally going in "the right direction". Well I'm glad he cleared that up because obviously the wrong direction must really, really stink like day old fish in a bucket. We both walked out with a look that was a cross between exhausted and "seriously, what did we just hear in there". Which abbreviated comes out WTF? (and not Why the face?). But she still has a break until the end of the month from chemo so that's nice. Hoping and praying the radiation starts to give way and alleviate some of the pain, and so yeah, going the right way, OK, sure. It just brought back in a little bit of focus, I know to me, maybe both of us, what we're dealing with here. Cancer stinks. And we're dead in the middle of it.

It brought to mind something I heard at the very beginning of this. I spoke with an old, old friend of mine. When I say old, he's the reason for the scar on my chin which has resulted in this mantastic beard. His mother had just passed from cancer and he'd heard about Elizabeth. He told me, your feelings will change by the day. It's a roller coaster. Get ready. I really didn't start to get it until a few months ago. That once the initial shock of the situation passes, its like that movie where Drew Barrymore wakes up every single day and can't remember the day before. Except you wake up in a different mindset every day. You hope its positive but most of the time its not. So you wake up and go. Ignoring it or sticking it in the back of your head like an old water bottle in the backseat of your car. After time, those bottles pile up. Thankfully I have friends I can talk to. Some let me go deep, some just make me laugh. Both are needed. Honest to God, its all needed at this point.

I'll leave on this, and I really hope the next one is lighter than whatever nonsense I'm about to spew. Elizabeth says all the time, I'm worried about you. I brush it off. You're the one with the cancer, worry about you. I'm fine. I started to talk about it with her a little bit but I'm not. I'm not fine. I'm unwell. I'm tired and drained. But I have to keep going, getting out of bed every morning and talk to people even if I dont want to. There was a word I heard today that describes it. Crippling. Mentally and physically at times its just, crippling. But I love all you guys and the positive statements that people have said about this blog. It keeps me going and really means a lot.

So until next time, love all you savages and blog at you later, big kiss, MUUUUUUAH!!!!!