The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Desperately Strong Like Susan

Good news!

I got the reports back from my tests last week.

What tests you ask? 

I had to do a CAT Scan and a Bone Scan last week to see if my cancer spread to my lymph nodes or bones.  I was at an all-time low last week (as an old friend used to say). The fact that I had to do these tests in the first place was depressing. I am too fit, too young, have too many darling young ladies looking to me for answers to have cancer. How can this be?

And the doctor wants to see where else it went? I wasn’t supposed to have any cancer in the first place! I wasn’t prepared for good news; it’s not how these last months have gone.

So I walked into my doctor’s appointment yesterday prepared to see what else they found. My wife and I were both very nervous, with the uneasiness about our futures. The doctor finally walked into our waiting room and announces, “I have some good news!” 


You made a mistake?

I’m cured?”  

Well, the news wasn’t that good. The doctor said the cancer had not spread to any other part of my body. He said, what he found was that I have arthritis in my big toe (no surprise) as well as some in the swell of my back. That was news to me but, honestly, if you would see me get out of bed some mornings it would be no surprise. I just associated it to old age.

But in the end, the good news was a BIG relief. I sighed a heavy sigh. No other cancer cells anywhere. I can have it all removed.  I felt like I had a new lease on life; lots of great, great feelings.

Now I feel like I am walking on sunshine, just like Katrina! Que the video for my actual mood…..

So my doctor laid out some options for me. Options! I now have options!

I can have surgery or one of two forms of radiation. The end result is the same but the side effects will vary. You would do me a favor and NOT look up side effects to these procedures. Trust me, they are humbling. But I do have the options. This situation can be cured. I have breath in my lungs at the end of this. And I STILL I do still get to see the smiles on my 3 girls  and provide for them for years to come. And I would take that over a few side effects lasting a month or two any day, any week.

So it was a bit of good news Tuesday. It felt like a burden lifted from my shoulders. I was happy when I left the this Doctor’s office for the first time, ever! Let’s do this I thought !

You know you feel kinda naked, lying on those x-ray tables, figuratively. I thought these images will show ALL my nasty little secrets. What else will they find? Ulcers? Blood Clots? Other Tumors?

You know what? The reports told me my 50+ year old body is mostly “unremarkable”. Unremarkable! That’s what the reports said. A mere mortal after all.

For grins, here is a listing of some of my naked secrets revealed by my two high priced body scans; such an invasion of my ultimate privacy…

  • “Lung bases are clear” Thank you Lung Association!
  • my “gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and adreanal glands are unremarkable
  • bladder is normal” Phew, I was worried about that based on all my ‘supplemements’. I wonder if ‘normal’ is better or worse than ‘unremarkable’?
  • bowel dilation….there is no free fluid or free gas” …despite what my wife will tell you..
  • “the (my) prostate seminal vesicles are grossly unremarkable.” What’s up with that? That’s the way it reads. It sounds like a ‘whole lot of nothing’ concerning my prostate….grossly unremarkable  The doctor says it is sick and wants it for his collection.
  • Focal increase uptake in the right foot around the (big toe) …degenerative osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis such as gout.” Gout?! WTH? Gout?
  • what about my 70 year old shoulders….” a mild uptake in shoulders over some sumpthing sumpthing joints, a frequent degenerative pattern. This is symmetric.”Degenerative? That’s it for these worn out joints? Degenerative?
  • and the best one of all, “No areas are suspicious for metastatic disease related to the patient’s prostate cancer.” Translation, these degenerative old bones don’t show any sign of cancer. Yeah!!

So it appears I am unremarkable! Good news in the medical imaging field I suppose. It’s still a bit of a bubble-burster when all my life I have striven to be a little extra-ordinary.

As far as thoughts and prayers go, I have one thought…


thank you

You want more good news? 

Have you been outside recently? It’s practically summer! We’re making plans to go to the beach this weekend!

Anyone who has kids knows the summer solstice is practically upon us as the kids are waking up earlier and going to bed later and later each night. So break out the flip flops and come mingle your toes with some sand this weekend with us. Its Summer time! Let’s work on some tan lines!


More good news? 

I was paying bills last night and I looked out my window. Here is my 5 year old daughter trying to wrestle her 7 year old male neighbor to the ground. He was just standing there. It was Dylan that kept on falling off of him to the ground. It looked silly.

I just stared out the window for a minute or two. It was endearing to watch as our first miracle child is getting older, turning into a playful and wonderful little girl. PLUS, I know how hard she can body-slam! Trust me! I felt I had to watch out for the little boy. He was wearing glasses!

But here in our new address she has kids her age on both side of us, and many more riding their bikes down our street. Our girls can have so many friends here in our new location. Schoolmates…. in the ‘burbs. It does my heart good to think of the possibilities.

That is……for 5 or 6 more years…. until this 7 year old boy turns into a teenager…. just 2 years older than Dylan.



Someone find me a realtor!

I wanted to send a shout out to fellow blogger, Susan Lindau (Susan’s Wild Ride) who is undergoing surgery to remove cancer in her one breast on Friday. Susan is the one who frequently offer ‘blogger mixers’ where fellow bloggers can mix and mingle and meet new friends.She’s a lot of fun, always upbeat and takes you on her wild ride of life.

If you are inclined to pray for other people please remember Susan in your thoughts today. While there are cures available now its never easy when dealing with cancer; an emotional Wild Ride.


Susan is heading into her procedure fully optimistic, with grand plans after its all over. You can’t keep this woman down!

So good luck Susan! I hope to be Susan Strong when my time comes too.

I’ve been tongue’ed

This morning, during Sunday morning cartoons, the Cat in the Hat was talking about how certain animals use their tongues to get their food. And then they went on to talk to a giraffe.

Then, at breakfast, we had these D-lish cinnamon buns with the cream cheese topping; not the low fat on these babies but the real sugary icing.

Skylar loved ’em. Dylan loved ’em and Mommy cleaned her plate. Really! Her plate was shiny after she was done.

So I couldn’t resist the giraffe analogy and how Mommy likes to get her food using her tongue. I said, “See? Look how shiny Mom’s plate is! And look at mine…I use my fingers. Mommy uses her tongue” And then I demonstrated for the girls.

The girls all had a good laugh. Mommy laughed the hardest. It was a good way to start what looks like a beautiful Sunday here in the Lowcountry.

And the stories reminded my of another beautiful day, the day last Christmas when Dylan and Skylar got to feed momma and baby giraffe at the zoo and got a first hand look at those amazing tongues (that mommy appears to possess)

So if you want some nice warm feeling this lazy Sunday, here’s a look at Dylan and Skylar feeding the giraffes last Christmas.

Have the best, lip-smackin’ Memorial Day weekend ever!

It’s Book Launch Week!

One of my favorite writers and funniest lady I know, Leeanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom)


has a book being published this week, “Don’t Lick The MiniVan” and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids“.

How many out there have some children, raise your hands.

Now those of you with hands in the air, how many of those kids can be the cutest thngs you’ve ever seen? Keep your hands up.

And how many of you with your hands still in the air have kids that have done, or said some things that have you scratchin’ your heads thinking these kids can’t possibly be prodigy of mine! If so, take a look at Leeanne’s book. She’s a fun read (I hope I can say that about her) and maybe, just maybe, she can remind you of some of your own stories with your own Minivan Lickers!

Have fun! If you are looking for a fun (ny) read this weekend, or this summer, check the Ironic Mom out and her book. She also does blogs for NickMom and others. She gets around! She’s funny and she knows how to use it!


..and have the BEST Memorial Day ever…


PS: I already have my copy!! Luv it!!

In a day of surprises

Last night, while we all were all eating, a UPS truck pulled up in front of our house. It was apparent they had something for our house. But what was it?

I joked right away, “oh that’s some Big Beer from Texas. Laura Hayes said she was going to send some in a comment just after I posted about buying and selling our house. “

You know what? I called it!

One of my original followers and long-time friend of the family, Laura Hayes has a heart the size of Texas. She sent up 6 beers that were made in Texas. Plus a bottle of (Texas) ‘Rangers Home Run Red’ wine, only available for sale in Texas. Home Run red wine, eh? I gave my wife a wink and hoped I could score a Home Run some night this week.

If I can give a shout out here, Laura is actually the mother to our very first nanny, Jessica Hayes. Jessica came on at a very special time in our lives.  Not only was she a great nanny but she was an great amateur photographer and filled both ours and her mother’s house up with adorable pics of our very first child, Dylan.

Laura took our miracle daughter to heart. This lady sent gifts to Dylan in the mail, including some great educational books and learning materials for our daughter. And you may know the results of these investments!

Laura quickly became part of the wonderful list of  ‘grandmothers’ to Dylan. We had a grandmother type name for her. Dylan would try to pronounce Laura but it came out, ““wa wa” . And the name stuck. Ms. Laura became Grandma Wa-Wa.

We had the honor of meeting this nice lady one time in a visit that was too short. But we thought it would be one of many more. Her daughter, Jessica, has moved back home to Texas to continue her photography and go back to school I believe.

Jessica, was awesome in her own right. She was great with Dylan and completely relieved us as parents as to how good a teacher and role model a nanny could be.

However, what I really remember and truly miss, and unfairly to Jess, was her ability to make her professional looking videos for us. FLIP video is such a drop off compared to the magic an creativity Jessica possesses…

Here is a sample of Jessica’s work (in case any of you would like to hire her)

A video summarizing Dylan’s first year:

A video showing Dylan’s 2nd birthday and the present of a new baby sister, Skylar:

Or get your tan oil and and your favorite boat drink and travel with us on  our getaway to someplace warm on Valentines trip:

Ms. Laura sent a cordial letter with her intoxicating package that stated she also sent us something from Target. I felt bad, as we have never received any gift from her for Target. What should I tell her?

And then I opened the days mail and there was a gift card that would just about cover….ah…

Well, I better hold off. I don’t know if I wanna tell the misses about this yet…its that nice!

Thank you so much Laura for your kindness and generosity! We love you!

I will soon be playing “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” upstairs this week!

Other good news, my parents are still in town this weekend and opted to get us a new patio table and umbrella for our anniversary…which isn’t until September. Thank Mom and Dad! Make sure you use it while you are here!

The weather is warmer and we are planning trips to the beach in the weekends to come. Come with us if you are in the area! We would love to have you with us! And our summer vacation is right around the corner. Hello summer!

See? I told you I would try to do better the next post?

To be fair, the prostate results didn’t go as hoped for this afternoon. I have a few more tests to see if the cancer spread anywhere else and then they may have to remove it. So I guess its imperative I ’round the bases this week’! As another blog friend Susie said in her Wild Ride, just more obstacles and U-turns. So with a deep breath I say, “Let’s do this!” Life is short! Opps….sorry… bad saying….Howabout “Its better to burn out than it is to rust”.

That doesn’t really fit either. Oh well, I’ll figure that saying out. Anyone else have one that fits? Does anyone want to hear some poor prostate jokes with little to moderate bad taste?

No, I have these girls to live for and that’s more than enough for me, looking forward. More than enough….

Birthday Wishes…

I know this blog has been uninspiring lately  and I really hope this is the last.

I wish things would work like they are supposed to work. Now this could be anything, from a car to the Internet to a service to an airplane. If it is supposed to work one way or do just one thing you count or rely on, it needs to do its function.

Yes, cars get old and wear out and don’t perform. Things like that are expected. It may be disappointing sometimes but it doesn’t set me off.

Going to a restaurant, for instance, and being placed on a wait when you can see plenty of open tables is what I am talking about. If I was asked to wait and the place was full it is understandable. But when you see open tables and you are hungry? Restaurants aren’t supposed to work like that.

Or movers that show up late with out the agreed upon number of staff, or vehicles. Or lawyers getting paid to do their jobs but missing some  very important details. Or an airplane ride that says it will have a plane ready for you at a certain time, at a certain terminal, with a seat for you, only to find out this isn’t your plane at all and you have to scurry through half the airport to find the plane that is meant for you, only to find its not leaving for several hours, making you miss your connecting flight so you can’t kiss your girls that you missed the lat two days good night that same night. Yea stuff like that really sets me off.

And so it was Friday night; birthday eve. I raced through the streets of Philly, stuck in traffic, fracturing more than a few traffic laws, relying on a GPS that knew more of where I was than I did, going though all that stress to make my flight home to see my girls before they go to bed.

I made it with moments to spare.

US Air, ya gotta love them! I swore I would never fly US Air again because they did this very same thing to me and my family the last time we flew them…at this very airport.

I make my flight, against the odds (a demise of my own actions this time). We get called on board only for the grapevine to pass around, “this isn’t our plane. this isn’t our plane. did you hear, this isn’t our plane”

The flight attendants call us back out to the gate and say its not our plane (who’s plane is it then? It looks like our plane! It could be our plane. Why can’t this be our plane?) They tell us our plane is resting down at terminal A10, the International terminal.

Like the Liberty Bell, the US Air service out of Philadelphia needs fixed

Like the Liberty Bell, the US Air service out of Philadelphia needs fixed

Now I want t stop here for a sec. If this sounds vaguely familiar well this is the exact same ordeal my family went through on our last family vacation to Jamaica this past September..with American Airlines, who we also swore we would never use again.

So like a herd of angry buffalo we stampede against the flow to this new terminal; new plane.  The illustrious US Air staff was prepared telling us  this plane just arrived and it would need to be cleaned first.

Oh, it just arrived on a flight from Athens Greece!

OK clean it up. How long can that take, even with that long flight?

Oh, and I notice my cell phone is dying so I have to switch it off to save some power.

Then they tell us the plane will need some maintenance issues addressed before we take flight so our plane will be ready in 90 minutes. (!)

And that 90 minutes along with the time of the flight just made me miss my connecting flight for the second half of my journey home. Now what?

By the grace of God, the man standing behind me in this now unfortunate line in front of the US Air terminal was from Charleston too. He was on the phone to his travel agent it sounded like. I showed him my ticket going to Charleston and held up the peace sign, asking him if he could find TWO seats to Charleston.

I heard him say the next connecting flight was already filled up. Several long minutes later he smiled and said they found a direct flight to Charleston leaving Philly at 9:00pm. He handed me his phone and I gave my details to the agent.

Phew! Crisis averted! But I was not going to hug my girls tonight before they went to bed. And made to suffer dinner in a foreign place with huge prices for inferior food (finding out 30 hours later just how poor a quality this food was).

I spent just about the whole amount of a birthday check in a ‘Bistro and Wine’ bar directly beside my new gate to freedom. I wasn’t going to miss this one no matter how many chardonnays I had! I found a delightful ‘Menage a Trios’  that I never tried before. Ordered a 3 course meal at the bar, trying to pass the next 3 hours with the bartender without being asked to leave.

Time passed and boarded this tiny plane and slept all the way home uneventfully. I turned my cell back on and found a text from mommy asking me to be sure to give Dylan a hug when I got home; she asked Mommy to tell me that. I was more than happy to oblige! This morning she sat on my lap the entire service during church. It was pretty cool.

All dressed up for when Daddy gets home

All dressed up for when Daddy gets home

And so I didn’t begin my birthday waking up in some strange hotel room wondering how and what flight to catch to get home, which is what was running through my head some 4 hours before.

OK, some good news!

Our construction team says the leak in our house turns out to be the supply line feeding water to the wash machine. So they don’t need to tear out the brand new virgin shower and tub after all! And that will be fixed sooner than later! ( Hurray!!)

My parents drove into town last night. We have two b-day cakes and a tub of homemade banana pudding, a gift from my wife while I was away (my favorite).

So much for the 2 pounds I lost this week riding my bike to work! Ahh, it’ll come off again. I got some small puny weights for my b-day in which I can rehab my shoulders from at home, instead of waiting for the day in the gym.  So life is good.

Now if you can wish me luck as we review the results of my prostate biopsies on Tuesday. My reservoir for handling bad news is about drained.

A perfect transition into the saving theme of last year’s birthday drama….

Sorry, again, for this parade on depressing news. I will try to do better next time! 🙂

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