How To Tell Your Sons You Have Cancer

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Help Find A Cure For Liver Cancer

Help Find A Cure For Liver Cancer

First, my doctors and I both believe that telling your children that you have a terminal disease is important. No matter how difficult or uncomfortable it may be its nothing to how your children would feel when a loved one dies without telling them that they’re even sick.

I was diagnosed with liver cancer on 4/15 of this year. A procedure called T.A.B.E. was unsuccessful so I was scheduled to meet the Palliative Care team. Prior to cancer I had never heard the term “Palliative” nor had I ever used it in a conversation. I should have had a clue because of its locale in The Moore’s Cancer Center at the Thornton Campus in La Jolla.

In just a few minutes my life changed and reality came crashing down around me. The head physician told me that my cancer was going end my life in about a year or any period before a year or sometime after a year. Really, that was the time frame that he gave me. I don’t pay any attention to the time frame as it’s just an estimate based on historical data. The one factor missing in their equation is me, the patient & it doesn’t show how much I want to live.

Needless to say I was shocked which quickly turned to anger. I was now standing in the corner of the room trying to estimate how many steps it was to him and whether to hit him with a front kick, side kick or just smack the smile off his face.

After a lot of thinking I realized that he was doing his job & I’m sure that he doesn’t take any pleasure from it. He & I have become a working team & I actually like him & respect the work that he does for those in the same position as myself. All it took was two words from me; “I’m sorry.”

My first concern was how do I tell my sons. My ideas ran the gamut from absurd to grandiose. Fortunately the Palliative team includes a clinical social work who worked with me on everything from timing to delivery.

The day arrived and I looked at Marti and she gave me the signal that meant this was as good a time as any. I asked if I could talk to them. I kept it short and simple and after telling them that I had cancer I asked if they had any questions.

Trevor (age almost 13): Asked if we could produce a Cancer Television Commercial
Trent (just turned 11):   Asked if was contagious

They had no more questions & they quickly went back to building Lego pieces. Per the social workers suggestion I had kept it simple & I kept my emotions in check.

I had a different version in my head, one that included uncontrollable sobbing, which goes to show I don’t have a clue about some things. So, the once dreaded responsibility wasn’t so difficult after all and is now behind me.

NOTE: Recently I had an MRI & biopsy & my cancer is stable which means it hasn’t gotten better but it hasn’t hasn’t gotten any worse. Some days thats all you’re going to get and you just have to be happy with that.

My thanks to the entire palliative team at UCSD.
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Are You Part Of The Solution Or Problem?

military at xmas time

While the holiday season is a happy one I’m always reminded of our active military who are spending time away from their loved ones to protect us and how little effort it takes to brighten their day.Have you ever been at the airport when all of a sudden you look up to see a group of enlisted men and women who have joined the Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy in their camoflauge uniforms? Do you ever wonder where they’re going? What small town/big city they’re from? Do they have children or spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends who are missing them? Will they all make it home to their loved ones? I know I do and then I ask myself what can I do to make their day a little brighter?

So here’s my challenge to you, the next time you’re sitting there waiting for your plane, sipping on an overpriced cup of coffee  round some of them up, march them to the nearest coffee concession and buy them each a cup of coffee. I guarantee you’ll go straight to the front of the line. You might say you don’t have the money and that’s fair, then at least do it for one, but just do something.

Me? I’m heading over to Oceanside this morning to go to The Breakfast Club, sit at the bar & enjoy some coffee & the first group of Marines that come through is going to get their meal paid for. I never make a big deal out of it, I’m not doing it for the accolades, I’m doing it because I appreciate what they do everyday for us.

farmers insurance open banners
I just received 20 upgraded passes to the upcoming 2013 Farmers Insurance Open which is being held January 21st – 27th at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. I don’t need 20 passes that include private seating on the 15th green at the new Tilted Kilt Tartan Terrace  so I’ve decided to give at least half of them to some Marines who enjoy golf and would enjoy watching one of golf’s premier events at no cost other than their food and drinks. Not a big deal to you and I but to them it will be a day that they won’t soon forget.

It’s not easy being away from your family and when you’re the age of some of these kids it’s probably the first time any of them have been without Mom’s home cooking, sleeping in a real bed, and and away from their childhood friends.

Now they’re on their way to a country most of them couldn’t spell before they got their deployment and they’re scared. I know they’re scared because I’ve asked them. A little constructive fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing for their upcoming trip, it keeps them aware of what their mission is.

Most of them will be back here within 6 months to a year, but they will have seen things no young person should ever have to witness. They will have changed, but at least they’re back here at home. Some of their buddies aren’t going to be so lucky.Our country, while the greatest in the world is governed by lazy, over paid politicians who have forgotten where they come from and many of them aren’t in favor of giving these heroes fair compensation.

Remember, it doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day a little better. Instead of handing a few bucks to the panhandler on the corner, take an active duty person to lunch, at least then you know your money is doing something positive.This blog weas prompted by something I just read and it angers and saddens me at the same time that these are the people who are making decisions for our servicemen and women.

Cindy Williams was appointed by President Obama  As an Assistant Director for National Security in the Congressional Budget Office.

She wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members’ way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve. See this link for 2013 Military Pay Scale Chart for the Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines

http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp

It’s always fun to help someone else and it always makes me forget about what’s going on in my life.

Happy 2013