Tuesday, March 28, 2017

No news is good news!

As the title says, I don't have any updates and that is good.

I feel bad that I have made people worry or concerned.  I quickly realized, this is almost easier for me than my loved ones.  I simply have a check list of things that I need to do and appointments to go to.  Heck, during surgery, I will be taking a great nap and will be all rested up afterwards.  Everyone else is worrying and stressed out.  It's all good.  I can not emphasize that enough.  Things will be great after this mess it over with. 

With that said, since I don't have any updates to share, here is something my Dad sent to me.  Totally unrelated to what is going on.  I don't even think it is real but it sure put a smile on my face.

To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.
Date: 2017-01-17, 1:43 am. E.S.T.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.
First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket.. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason.. my girlfriend was happy that I just returned safely from my 2nd tour as a Combat Marine in Afghanistan .. She had just bought me that Kimber
Custom Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!
I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with crap in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. (That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again).
After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 153 gallons and was extremely grateful!
I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]
I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ..... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.
Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Trump as my possible target.
The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.). ;In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path
you've chosen to pursue in life.. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!
Thoughtfully yours,

Semper fi,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

We have a date!

We have a date for the big day!

April 20th.  Yes, it is 4/20.  For those of you that appreciate the fact that marijuana is now legal will think this is funny.  I think it is pretty well known that I am stuck in the dark ages and could NOT be more against pot.  So, it is kind of funny/ironic that my surgery date is 4-20.  Yes, yes, I know, pot is the new wonder drug that cures everything in the world.  I simply don't see a need for another drug to be legalized.  That is just my soapbox.  I will step down now.  I know that I am in the minority on this.

I have a few other dates that I wont bore everyone with.  None of them are substantial.  Just a test here or there, signing papers and an insertion of a "marker".  None of them should be show stoppers.

Am I happy/relieved?  Kind of.  I am thrilled to no longer say, "sometime in the future".  It is nice to say April 20th.  For some odd reason, it seems even more real.  It does make it easier having a date after a few bad days.  I am having a great day today though so I revert back to, "what is the rush"?  :-)  It's all good though.  This son of a gun needs to come out and it will!

My work and co workers could not be more supportive.  I think I have everything all set up for time off and back up at work.  The main consensus at work is, "don't worry about work.  Take care of yourself."  I really do appreciate that.

Time to get the focus back on family and having fun with them.

Take care all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring is here!

Still no update on timing of the procedure yet.
I called insurance and the surgeons office today.  I am hoping for a return call from someone with some type of ETA for when they can get this beast of a thing out of my spine.

With the great weather that we had this weekend, I might have done too much outside.  All I did was some yardwork.  It felt great to get that done.  I paid the price on Monday though.  I was hoping that I could attend a class that I help teach in Boise next month but now I am thinking, the sooner the better.  Lets get moving on this already.  On the bright side, our yard looks great!

Friday, March 17, 2017

All is good

I just wanted to share a thank you again to everyone for reaching out.
I don't have much news to share.  We are still in a holding pattern waiting on insurance to pre approve the surgery.  I am very confident that I have the best team working for me.

Looking back, I realized that I was at a very bumpy part of this roller coaster ride when I created this blog.  I apologize if I scared anyone.  Things have leveled out and I have come to the realization that there is not a lot I can do at this point.  I am just going to keep on doing my daily routine and keep up with positive thoughts and try to be more appreciative of what I have.

Speaking of being appreciative.  I think I have started to notice things that I have not before.  For a small example of that, I was walking to lunch the other day with a buddy, Pete, from work.  As we left our building, I noticed a huge statue of some art form thing in front of our building.  I said, "look at that. Has that always been there?"  Pete had never noticed it either.  Then I look across the street at a parking garage with huge beautiful flags hanging on it.  "What about those?  Have you ever seen those before?"  He hadn't either. 

In summary, enjoy what you have.  Look around.  Even in this turmoil that we seem to currently be in, the world is a beautiful place.  Stop and smell the roses!

Have a great St Patrick's day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The hamburger hand out.

I have been told a few times, "you need to write a book of all of the weird things that happen to you".  I am not going to write a book but I can put a few of them on here.

This has to be filed under, "you can't make this stuff up".

This past Winter in the Pacific Northwest has been a pretty cold one with cold temps and record snowfall and plenty of wind. 

I admit that often, I forget how truly lucky I am for what I have.  I like to think that I have a good heart and want to "help out" but often, I lack the follow through.  Luckily for me, Lori is better at follow through.

The timing is approximately the week before Christmas.  The weather was very cold and the wind was going nuts.  The wind chill was nasty cold.

We were commenting about how fortunate we were for all that we had.  Lori came up with a great idea to see what we could offer.  We decided to make a pot of coffee and go get 10 cheeseburgers and hand them out on that cold winter night.

We had just finished dinner.  We had the thermos of coffee in hand, loaded the kids up and off we went.  We went to McDonalds to get some burgers.  When I placed the order for 10 cheeseburgers, I also asked if they had any "extra" food like French fries as we were handing them out to the homeless.  I got the song and dance of, "they already donate blah blah blah".  That's OK, we have coffee and burgers!

As we pull away from the take out window, the kids instantly decide they need more food.  I remind you, they JUST ate dinner!  Lori tears a burger in half, getting ketchup and mustard all over her gloves.  As I am getting ready to pull out onto the highway, the kids decided they are done with the burgers.  Yes, one bite each and they were done.  Grrrr.  I have to pull over to get the burgers back from them. That's OK, we still have 9 perfectly good burgers.
We head down the freeway to go to a park in downtown Vancouver that always has homeless people.  I take a particular exit that there is always a homeless person at.  They are not there.  It must be too windy.  Off to the park we go.  You guessed it, not a single homeless person in sight.  We circle the park a few times looking for people.  Not a sole.  hmmmm.  What next?  We remembered that up by an Ace hardware store, there is normally some folks there that could use some food.  As I approach the hardware store, I see our first "guest".  Excellent.  I grab a burger and jump out.  I approach the gentleman and ask if he wants a burger.  He turns around and says, "that is very kind but I don't eat meat".  That thought had not crossed my mind.  I look over at Lori and she has a look on her face as to say, "what are you discussing?  Give him the burger and lets move on."  I asked the guy if he wanted a cup of hot coffee.  Again, he declines.  Um, OK.  I asked the guy if he knew of anyone that needed a warm meal.  He looks over and says, "yes, I know of a person.  He takes the burger and yells over at a guy getting out of a truck and says, "hey Bob, want a burger?  It is still warm!"  This is NOT what I was thinking at all.  The guy walks over and grabs the burger.  I get back into the Honda with Lori and she is all kinds of confused.  I tell her the conversation and we just howled at how it went down. 

We are now down to 8 burgers and a full thermos of coffee and the kids are now drifting off to sleep in the back of the Honda.  What in the world are we going to do with all of this food?  We ended up calling Loris Dad.  If anyone would know where the homeless are at, he would!  And, he did.  He told us of where the main population of homeless in Vancouver are at.  We drove down there and I was shocked at what we saw.  Lets just say that I am very grateful for what we have!  We were able to easily hand out the food, and the coffee was a big hit.
We have since gone back to that area and handed out more food and coffee.  It is a good feeling to do that for others.  It is just, not what I had anticipated on our first trip doing that.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Random information (about Rabbits)

No update on me today but if you are here, you must be craving my witty writing style.  That or you are bored to tears and just cruising the web.  Probably the second option.

How about some random fun facts for rabbits?

#1 Rabbits teethe continue to grow their entire life.  They must have something hard to chew on like sticks or timothy hay.  OK, that one was kind of boring.
Our rabbit was being "overly affectionate" to our kitten.  It was time for the neuter job to see if that would help correct his behavior.  Lori and I got to looking at our rabbits "parts" and did not see the testicles.  
Fun fact #2 on rabbits, is there testicles are not even close to their penis!  In fact. they are several inches away.  Who knew?
#3 Rabbits do not vomit.  Good for them!
#4 Is they have two types of stool (poop).  One kind comes out like regular and the other, they absorb back in to get the nutrients out of.

Pretty gross or interesting, either way, there you have it.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Excellent update after meeting with Neurosurgeon.

We just met with the neurosurgeon.  Nothing but good news to share!  So good that I feel like I should update the name of this blog from mgsfight to mgssparringmatch!
He still believe it is one of two types of tumors.  He is more confident that it is one particular one but no matter which it is, the process is the same. It boils down to how easy is it to get out.  They are all different

In a nutshell, he has done this before.  He is confident.  He is leaning towards removing it.  He has asked several other neurosurgeons and the consensus is to remove it.  I think I am in very good hands.

The recovery is different for all people.  It is all up to me and how I do.  I will want to get home to Lori and the kids ASAP so I could not have a better motivation.

The timeline of when this will happen is slightly up in the air.  They are gathering paperwork, it gets sent to insurance, once approved it will be up to his schedule and the neurosurgeon that will be assisting. They made it sound like it would happen in approx a month.

I apologize for having folks worry.  I was pretty down at first.  It was a bumpy start to the roller coaster ride.  I am in a good, flat spot of the ride now.  I assume it will be a nice gentle approach to the end of the ride.  :-)

Thats all for now.  Thanks for all of the positive vibes!

Good news!

I had another MRI last night of my head only.  The Dr was looking for any tumors in there.  He did not think he would find anything in my head.  <Insert joke here>

I asked the MRI tech if he saw any in my head.  He said, "he could not officially say anything but, he did not see any baseball sized tumors.  Small ones are harder to see in the brain but he did not see any."  I feel good that he was being honest and not sugar coating anything.  He is the same tech that has done all of the scans and spotted the tumor on the first MRI.  He was also light hearted the entire time.

I have an appointment with my neurosurgeon in a few hours.  Very anxious to hear what he has found with his research.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7th

Words of the day:  "Thank you" and "overwhelming".

Thank you to everyone that has reached out.  I appreciate the thoughts, prayers,jokes and everything in between.  No doubt about it, I do have the worlds best friends.

Overwhelming from the reality of, the future is coming.  And fast.  One of my friends wanted to know what was taking so long.  He wants the surgeon to get in there and get to work.  Not so fast grasshopper.  The surgeon needs to do his research and homework on this.  Not to mention, I am not overly eager to be his slab of meat on the table.  
I am torn between wanting to get in and get the ball rolling and dragging my feet.  I dont really have too much of a say in it anyway.  I am going to go off of the guidance of the Dr.  This is his sandbox that I have gotten myself into.  He can build the castle.

It was very interesting coming back home after being gone for a week.  I had a great trip, met a lot of fantastic people that I have only worked with on the phone.  It also was a "get away from reality" trip for me.  As the plane came back into PDX, it kind of hit me.  I am home.  This is where the surgery will happen. This is where shit can go bad.  It can also go very very good and I need to focus on that.  The mind can really mess with a person though with all of the "what if's".  I try to block those out but the find their way back in.

Tonight I have my 3rd and hopefully last MRI for a while.  The Dr wants to confirm there are no tumors in the brain.  He feels confident that there are not any up there.

Tomorrow late morning, I meet with the Dr.  He will have had enough time to call around to his counterparts and discuss the MRI's, procedures, outcomes, recovery....  I think we might even set a date for surgery.  
The last time I met with him, he said I would probably have a CT scan done the day before surgery to implant a small piece of metal in my back that he will use for a reference point.  He said he would do the surgery the following day.  I am not sure if that little piece of metal ever comes out or not.

I hope to have a significant update tomorrow.

Monday, March 6, 2017

First update

Why is this called mgsfight?

Definition of warrior: a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.
My definition: a person that has been in the military (soldier) or a person with cancer (fighter).
I have never been in the military.  But, I am now a warrior.  :-(  I am not sure how else to put it.
When I was approaching 30, I had a freak cancer in my abdomen that came on, I was put in the hospital for exploratory surgery, the Surgeon got it all out while I took a nap on the OR table.  Not much of a warrior for me.  I was happy to move along with life.  My oldest daughter wanted me to sign up to be  "survivor" for relay for life and get the special t-shirt. I honestly felt guilty about that since there was no "fight" needed on my end.  Especially when you see and hear stories of others that have truly fought for their life.
Now, I hope to get that damned special shirt.

In a nutshell, I am lucky.  Lucky that I had back pain due to a big snow storm.  I went in for a simple x-ray.  The Dr said I was getting older and had osteoarthritis in my back.  With more sever back pain, I went in for an MRI.  That is when they found a tumor in my spine.  I went in for another MRI for more analysis and to confirm.  I had an appointment with a great neurosurgeon that also specializes in oncology.  He said that the type of "c" (I dont really like to say the c word yet) is very rare.  That is a good thing because the surgeon is very interested in it.  For example, one website says that the chances of getting this is 1 in a million.  I should go buy a lottery ticket I guess.  He thinks it is one of two types of C.  One if fast growing and one is not.  I think both are a brain cancer that when found in kids, is in the skull, when found in adults, it is more typically found in the spine.  They cant determine exactly which one is it until he removes it and sends it to the Mayo Clinic.  Recovery is still up in the air.  I believe I will have more MRI's in the future to see, is it all gone, is it growing again, is it totally gone....  What life will be after surgery is all a mystery.  The Dr said he hopes my stay at the hospital will be 2 days and I will be released.  Will I go to a rehab facility?  Will I be able to come home?  

I have spent a lot of time thinking of how to tell people.  Some people are "easier" that others.  Easy being relative.  Of course family was tough to tell but obviously necessary.  Close friends was tough as well.  One thing I feel badly about is people that I have "missed".  Let me apologize to them right now.  However, it is tough to pick up the phone, or text or email and ask how their weekend was, oh, PS, "I have brain cancer.  Hopefully I can walk after the surgery."  There isn't really a comeback to that.

I do want to thank the best friends in the world though.  You are already helping.  Be it just talking or offering to share this news with others that I cant seem to find the words for.  You know who you are.  

Unlike most roller coasters, this is not fun.  It is fucking scary.  With that, I am signing off for now.  
I am still trying to process this so please be patient with me if I dont answer or dont want to talk, or if the opposite is true.  I am not sure what is around the next curve.

Love to all.

PS, just as I type this and am getting emotional, my son sends me a picture of chocolates from Hawaii, named "Donkey Balls".  Perfect timing!

Welcome post. (How generic is that for a first blog?)

Welcome to my blog.
Who is this blog for?  Anyone really.  At first, I imagine friends that have the link for updates on me.
Later down the road, maybe others will find this and be interested as well.  It would be ideal if later on, people found inspiration, but that is a lofty goal that I am not shooting for just yet.

What will you find on this blog?
Initially, you will find information about updates on me.  Hopefully later on, it will be filled with fun filled facts on things that no one really cares about.  Or maybe cat videos.  I know the market is limited on cat videos so maybe not.  How about bunny videos?  :-)

Why do you care?
You dont really need to care.  I am doing this selfishly.  I see it as an outlet.  I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination.  If my old English teachers were ever to stumble across this, they would be mortified.

What is my writing style?
Probably rambling is my style or "rabbit trails" as I like to think of it.  I wont even promise to proofread all of my blogs.  Sometimes, I just need to get something out there.

Will this be kid friendly?
As a parent of 2 young kids and 2 adult kids, I always have that question.  The answer, most of it.  I do know myself though and I will slip on occasion and drop a foul word or 3.

What prompted this blog?
I have taken to taking walks most nights after the kids go to bed and that is a time that my mind relaxes and wonders.  That is when I came up with a blog.
Another reason for the blog is that I dont want to be a "Debby downer".  People can read this any time they want.  Or simply not at all.
My intention is not for sympathy.  Like I said, it is selfish and I need an outlet.