Friday, May 1, 2015

Life Changes Update IV

In no particular order, here’s an update on what’s going on with me.

I will be announcing the publication of my next novel tomorrow.  It’ll begin with a one-month Goodreads giveaway, followed by the actual publication.  Watch this space!  I am very excited about this.

I penned some thoughts on what is going on with policing, and all that implies, in our country.  A long-time colleague of mine who now lives in Maryland has taken a shine to my writing and has asked to get the first look at my blog entries.  He published this one on, a website associated with the Montgomery County Sentinel, and says he’ll print it in the paper, too.  There’s no benefit in  being the Walter White of bloggers if I can’t say what I really think, and I did.  Let’s see what kind of trouble it gets me into.  See the full post here.

A couple of months back I witnessed some very unusual equine behavior on the horse farm behind my subdivision.  I wrote about it at the time.  A well known website dedicated to all things horse related has asked to reprint it, and I said “yes” (hey, when you’re an author, any exposure helps).   Find that posting here.

Deborah and I in the John Wayne room
I included a picture at the top of today’s update taken last weekend in Bisbee, Arizona—a largely undiscovered gem of a town that is both a blast from Arizona’s mining past and also a very nice weekend getaway.  We stayed at the Copper Queen, Arizona’s oldest continually operating hotel.  It’s said to be haunted but it’s probably seen more paranormal investigators than actual paranormal events.   The wife and I booked the John Wayne room, which as you might suspect is dedicated to the late actor, who had property in Bisbee and stayed at the hotel many times.  We had a great time.  When Deborah posted the aforementioned picture on her Facebook page, it got a ton of likes and comments, which we both appreciate.

Alas, it's likely to be the last “healthy looking” photo of me for a long while.  Here’s the latest medical info. The cancer in my colon did turn out to be transitional cell carcinoma, which is the same cancer that struck my kidney and bladder.  That’s good news in the sense that they’ll be able to treat all the malignancies with one regimen of chemo.  The bad news is that yes, I’ll need chemo, and the doctors assure me it will melt off the pounds and deprive me of what little hair I have left. I’ve agreed to submit to the first round of that and then pause to see whether it’s working before proceeding further.  My goal is to maximize healthy days, not sick days, and my doctor respects that goal.  So does my family.  We’ll see what works.

Job one will be to take care of the mass in the colon, which is threatening to grow into a full-on blockage.  We’ll attack that with radiation starting Monday.

As I believe I have pointed out elsewhere, whenever you suffer from medical news of this nature, it puts friends in a difficult spot.  It’s tough to know what to say.  Of course, the reaching out is and of itself what’s important, not the words.  I would have denied there were any “magic words” until just recently. Today, for instance, I received a prayer shawl and a nice card from a friend in Florida.  I won’t embarrass her by revealing her name, but in the note she wrote that she was grateful that I had been a good mentor to her.  I’ve lived my life trying to do just that for people.  Until recently I had only a vague idea whether anyone had even noticed those efforts, or whether they’d been effective.  But that is precisely what I’m hearing now from so many people.  And that is exactly how I would hope to be remembered.  Words like that are the greatest gift possible.

This is all moving so fast my head is swimming.  But I remain in good spirits.  The humor you’ve heard from me so far will continue to shine through.  Maybe in my next update I’ll tell you about what the last round of medication did to me.  Here’s a hint:  I believe the effects are karmic in nature—not as dramatic as “Super Colon Blow” but definitely in retaliation for many crude jokes.  Watch this space.

Two buds, 1963
And finally, I have to give a shout-out to my sister Amy Concannon.  She traveled to Tucson from Escondido last week to be with Deborah and me for our first meeting with my oncologist.  Earlier this week the follow-up meeting got scheduled on very short notice.  Amy dropped what she was doing and was in the car and on her way within 15 minutes, so that she could be here for that meeting.  That blew me away.  I am a blessed human being.


Find my complete log of medical-related entries here.

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