Half Full

As I sit down for the first time in a long time to write something in my blog, I feel I must begin with some lines of ‘thank you’.

In many ways it goes without saying how grateful I am for the continued support and encouragement I have received from family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances over the past seven months or so, without which it would have been much more difficult to get through this ordeal.

Words alone cannot convey the love, empathy, and friendship I have gotten from my wife, Loretta.  She has stood by my (bed)side without question, providing positive thoughts and nursing skills I find amazing to say the least.

My best buddy, Bob, continues to offer (from afar) his prayers and friendship despite having gone through his own life-threatening issues from a near-fatal car accident early last year.  I am happy to report he has come through his voyage with positive results as well.  We are two lucky fellows!

Constant well-wishes through emails and Facebook posts from co-workers and friends were and are still priceless.  My mother, daughter, son, and sisters, though geographically separated from me, have been by my side from the beginning.  Again, it’s hard to express the words of gratitude to them.  I can only hope they realize the magnitude of my gratefulness.

The doctors, nurses, and oncology department at Kaiser Modesto…well, what can one say about them?  Their skills, caring, and graciousness during my surgery and chemotherapy has been top-notch, and, most likely, saved my life.

One last quick thank you I offer with tongue in cheek.  Thanks to my gall bladder, where ever it may be right now!  The road to my cancer detection began with the tests and protocol to discover why it seemed to be a painful problem beginning early last year.  Over the course of a few months, it was those tests…a sonogram, Hi-Dad scan, CT scan, endoscope, and ultimately the colonoscopy that lead to finding the tumor in my ascending colon.  A consequent colectomy (removal of my ascending colon), removal of 21 lymph nodes (only one tested positive), and seven months of chemotherapy that lead to my CT scan last week showing no evidence of cancer.  I was also rid of that pesky gall bladder, full of the usual stones and “sludge” and causing abdominal pain…didn’t need it anyway, right?  It is very likely I may not have become aware of the cancer without going down that road.

Again, truthfully, the biggest round of thanks goes to the folks who stood with me, all of you.  There were some rough times that are now distant memories.  It seems hard to believe where I was and what I has going through last August when I first got the news.

I must also send warm wishes and prayers to a few co-workers who are going through much harder times than I, specifically Martha and Andrea.  I wish there was more I could do in your journey to recovery.  Hang in there.

If you know someone going through cancer or other debilitating medical condition, don’t give up on them.  Continue to ask how they are doing, sometimes despite any response on their part.  During the roughest times, it is difficult to relate to other people.  It’s not personal, it’s just the way it is.  They will appreciate it.

So even though my plate has been somewhat cleared for now, my cup remains at least half full.

Thanks, Skip