Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Minor Setback, Prayers and Thanks

Since starting this blog a little over a month ago I have been on a physical and emotional roller coaster. There were the highs of becoming a grandfather again with the birth of my second granddaughter. My son advancing to the interview stage in his quest to become a meber of the Austin Fire Dept. Finding out that my chemo is working and my lymph nodes are getting smaller was a day I won't soon forget. Also opening up to more of my friends through the use of social media and getting such an overwhelming response world wide has been a high point and a few more were mentioned in earlier posts. Then there were the lows...being hospitalized for what I thought was pnuemonia and then having a thoracotomy done due to an infection near my lung. Then my son got the news that he and his fellow applicants must go through their interviews again because of some idiots indiscretion. Here is a link to that news:  http://statter911.com/2011/05/20/almost-three-thousand-applicants-must-redo-interview-process-in-austin-texas-chief-rhoda-mae-kerr-talks-about-anonymous-copy-of-oral-exam-she-received/ . Then there was yesterday. I got up at the crack of dawn to have my coffee and oatmeal, shower and head off to another round of chemo. Well that wasn't to be. Over the weekend I noticed that my gum was tender and was starting to hurt. I started to gargle with salt water and mouthwash in hopes that that would alleve it. By Monday morning there was more pain and my cheek was swollen, not a good sign. I went to the clinic and started the process of getting ready for chemo. First the co-pay, the blood draw and then off for infusion. Upon arrival to the infusion room the nurse on duty noticed my cheek and held off hooking me up to my pre-meds till I saw my Oncologist. My weight was taken along with my B.P. and temp. all was good so far. I waited for the Dr. and finally he came in. He was happy with my vitals and blood work, as all the other numbers were good. He also listened to my breathing and informed me the xrays that were taken last friday looked good along with the scars from my surgery.  Then there was the issue of my swollen cheek. He looked at my teeth and felt my cheek and stated that I had an infection in a salivary gland and that an antibiotic was in order and that my chemo needed to be postponed a week. He then told me that due to my weakened immune system, this was not uncommon. Damn my luck, time to make lemonade from this lemon. I was a little nervous as my brother and his wife were coming to visit over the Memorial Day Weekend. I was not sure how I was going to feel after getting my chemo, sometimes it has left me weak and with my ribs still sore I was afraid I was going to ruin their visit. With that issue gone I was feeling better about their visit. I am looking foward to seeing them as it had been over two years since I last saw them and that was at my Dad's funeral. So a weekend of mexican food, BBQ and checking out Austin await me!!

Now on to the prayers... On Sunday the city of Joplin was devestated by a horrific series of tornadoes. I was glued to my computer watching  the terror unfold in front of me live. I had never seen that type of destruction before in my life and evidently niether had the reporter from the Weather Channel. His name is Mike Bettes and he was going from car to car, house to house talking to the locals that were looking for neighbors or loved ones. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice, this was taking a toll on him. I commend him for a job well done during such trying times.Nobody realized at the time how wide spread the damage was. As I watched more and listened to  the live scanner feed I knew this was not going to be good as it was starting to get dark. At the time of this posting the death total was at 116 and expected to rise. Along with the window of  opportunity for finding survivors was beginning to close, came the news that more severe weather was expected throughout Tuesday. My heartfelt prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones, the survivors that now have nothing and the rescue workers that have worked non stop around the clock trying to find survivors and dealing with what is left of a fractured city.

And finally the thanks.... I want to thank all of you that have read my blog and have shared your personal stories of losses and victories with me due to different reasons. I also want to thank a friend that is in the hospital as we speak and said that by reading my blog, it was helping him get through his time of need. That is the purpose of this blog. Not for me to "piss and moan" about my issues but to try and let others know that they can over come adversity by having a positive attitude and being thankful for the positive things that are there amongst the negative. Once again I ask that you pass this on to anyone you think it will help. God Bless, Take Care, Be Safe and Never Forget. As a side note please keep our friends in the FDNY whose stations are slated to close in your prayers and hope that the City sees the error of their ways. Thanks...more to come in the near future...

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