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Archive for the month “June, 2013”

It’s a miracle!

Yesterday I had my consultative meeting with a Cancer Doctor about my radiology options in getting rid of my cancer. This meeting went even better than we could had expected. It appears I have an option where they implant radioactive ‘seeds’ in my prostate.

While fairly invasive upfront, and by that I mean ‘in the beginning’, the actual procedure is quite in the ‘land-down-under’, the end result should be full use of my prostate for years to come. It doesn’t have to be removed. The cancer will die. I’ll be able to use this mysterious gland for a good long time it appears.

In fact, the doctor said the slow growing cancer doesn’t even need treated at all, at its current size, although he didn’t recommend that option.

We joked. We discussed the procedure and he gave me some more literature to read. The meeting went pretty well in the end.

My attitude has done a 180 since that one week in mid-May. While I still see my moods going from scared to nervous, relieved, hopeful and ambitious, I still remember that one week when my prospects were not so bright.

My doctor had told me I had about a 25% chance of having cancer after my blood tests. Then BOOM! I have cancer after the biopsies. I was set up with CAT scans, DOG scans and Bone scans to see how far the cancer had spread. This was new to me. It HAD to be a mistake. The C word? And I was scared for one dark week. It didn’t matter that it was the bargain-basement type of cancer. I had cancer cells in my body!

I looked at my girls I wanted to see grow up all that week. They were placed in our hands to take care of. How could this be?

I promised two very special birth families WE, a mommy and a daddy, would raise these girls to the best of our ability.  I felt like I had let them down that week.

What about my wife? She does everything she can for these girls and there is still not enough time in the day for her. You mothers know what I mean. The thought of leaving her alone to struggle more was tearful.

And my parents, to outlive their son?

And so I walked out of that dark Cancer ward into the sunshine of the parking lot. I had a bit more bounce in my step than when I walked in. I didn’t even have to schedule the procedure until September! While not cured, this out patient ‘procedure’ can kill this dreaded cancer.

I hopped in my car. Turned the ignition on and headed for the exit.

Some people believe in coincidences and some people believe in miracles. I am beginning to lean more towards miracles.

As I headed towards the exit this song came on:

Click play and join me in my car as I drove home…

I knew this song from a few years past. I remembered it and knew how it went. Some of you who know the intro to the song may know where I am going with this.

The phrase I remembered came to me “Its not my time” instantly.

Followed by the words, “This could be the end of me. And everything I know.”

And as I drove away listening to more of the words I celebrated by turning the song up as loud as I could stand it.

And it’s not my time I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

But its not my time.

And I thought about the smiling faces of my two little girls.


Did you see Shake, shake, shake like a big wet dog?

Have you read any DYLANism’s?

I’ll be around to enjoy these things, and more, for a good long time I thought. And I am only moderately embarrassed to tell you I came to a stoplight and cried.

And I thought ‘what are the chances’?

What are the chances I hear this song at this time? A song I haven’t heard in years. A hard rock song from 4 years ago being played on an 80’s radio station. A song starting just as I turn on my car, after I kidded around with the nurses in the Cancer center, said good bye to my wife in the parking lot, and fumbled with my keys. The timing was spot on. What are the chances?

The man that sits beside me in church calls these things miracles. God did this for me. It doesn’t matter why.

Some may not believe this. It doesn’t matter. I’m not here to preach. It felt like a joyful, insanely happy (explicative) miracle. I’m going to live a long (explicative) time! It was the perfect (explicative) song at a great time.

“My friend this life we live
It’s not what we have
It’s what we believe in”

If you believe in miracles, or just want to,  play this song. Then hop in the front seat of the car with me as I relive the day. I promise I won’t sing!



Looking back at the beginning of this
And how life was
Just you and me and loving all of our friends
Living life like an ocean
Now the current’s only pulling me down
It’s getting harder to breathe
It won’t be too long and I’ll be going under
Can you save me from this

‘Cause it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go

I look ahead to all the plans that we made
And the dreams that we had
I’m in a world that tries to take ’em away
Oh but I’m taking ’em back
Cause all this time I’ve just been too blind to understand
What should matter to me
My friend this life we live
It’s not what we have
It’s what we believe in

And it’s not my time I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

But it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a will in me
And now I know that
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go
I won’t go

There might be more than you believe
There might be more than you and me
There might be more than you can see

But it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

But it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a will in me
And now it’s gonna show
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

There might be more than you believe
There might be more than you and me
There might be more than you can see

But I won’t go
Oh no I won’t go down

HIDDEN GEMS: Skellig Michael – Puffin Paradise!

Here is another Hidden Gem off the west coast of Ireland. This post combines some great photography of nature, Puffins and sea gulls along with the natural beauty of Ireland. Beyond the birds, look at those scenic stairs along the mountain. Beautiful! Thanks to ‘The Journalist On the Run’  for these great pictures! Check these and other great travel posts out at The Journalist On the Run. Thanks!

Journalist On The Run

Last Sunday, a day in which we experienced the most beautiful weather Ireland has seen in years, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Skellig Michael, an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, just 11 km off the West Coast of Ireland.

Skellig Michael, while not known to a lot of people (thankfully – that’s what makes it a hidden gem!), is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to one of the oldest Christian Monastic settlements in the world – founded sometime between the 6th and 8th century. It is also home to a vast range of wildlife, including Puffins, Seagulls and over 50,000 gannets! Not bad for a tiny island off the coast of Kerry!

Thanks to its status as a world heritage site, its obscure, remote and exposed location, only 13 boat licenses are granted each year and these tour operators are only allowed to run

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Shake, Shake, Shake Like A Big Wet Dog…

Another weekend has come and is going.  We made it to the beach again despite Andrea’s attempts to keep us in all weekend. Our weekend plans were hastily rekindled as the news of Andrea hit the road and was a quick blur up the coast.

Bye-bye Andrea!

Bye-bye Andrea!

The famous Aunt Sue checked into our B&B on Friday. She comes down with her vacation already planned out. So it was good news to her Andrea didn’t get in her way.  In fact, in typical carpei diem fashion she had our girls in bathing suits before I ever got out of bed on Saturday morning. And so in a blink…and a shower and a breakfast we were off…

Philly trip 001

It was a nice day again, a bit breezy as the dry backside of Andrea kept pushing her northward. The girls found their favorite tidal pool again, which was fine with dad as I just wanted to make up for the the 0-60 morning they put us through. And after a brief tumble in the waves I grabbed my hat and my shades and tried to become invisible and part of the chair.

Philly trip 005

I frequently talk about some of the incredible things that come out of Dylan’s mouth, both funny and perceptive in the DYLANism’s.  Skylar, in her own way, is getting her own version of SKYLARism’s too. These are super cute things that come out of her mouth, and more so, the cute way she says them.

I can’t recapture in print the innocent tone of some of these but early SKYLARism‘s include:

  • “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy in my tummy, tummy, tummy which has morphed into her favorite tasting food simply becoming,
  • Deee-wish-ous!. Again, these seem to be her unique ideas and so adorable as the way a happy Skylar says them. But where did she get them from in the first place?

Now, somewhere, somehow, from somebody, she learned to “shake, shake, shake, like a big wet dog” when she gets out of the water to dry off.

Huh? Too cute, but where did this come from?

She reminds me what our past greyhound would do when he got out of laying in the tidal pools


Even though he had a super short coat you didn’t want to be around as he shook off surf and sand together.


But what Skylar does is sooo much cuter than Cloud. 

Take a look…..but be ready, she’s fast…

That’s her version of drying off coming out of the surf!

...and then going back in again!

See any similarity?

She's no stranger to sand...

She’s no stranger to sand…

The boy behind Cloudy liked to imitate him too...

The boy behind Cloudy liked to imitate him too…

Now before you start sending hate mail to me for me comparing the super cute little Skylar to a greyhound I am not doing that at all.  I would never do that! We love our 2nd miracle child so much and these sayings just add to the adoration, although there are certain parallels.  She is way too precious to be even in the same sentence with an animal.

I’m just saying…..

…and where does she get these things?

Where the children play on the shore each day

The weekend turned out to be a Beee-yout-ti-ful one. We tried to make up for Memorial Day this weekend, now that a lot of the tourists have gone home.

Philly trip 013

We made it out to the beach by 10:30 Saturday morning. We do this to beat the crowds, traffic and get the girls off the beach in time for some naps. It was a perfect day; perfect temps, perfect winds, perfect tides.

We go out to a beach called Isle Of Palms. It is more of a residential beach (summer homes) than a touristy one (hotels and condos). The beaches then are unprotected by the lack of use of stone jetties. Accordingly, the beaches kind of reshape themselves about every full moon.

Sand bars head off the beach and parallel to it as as well. These parallel sand bars turn into warm tidal pools when the tide goes out. They are the perfect place for youngongs to play that are otherwise intimated by the ocean’s waves.

They are warm and safe. They can explore and jump and kick safely.

Here’s a brief look at the girls making do in their Atlantic backyard…

And so that’s where our two girls spent the majority of their morning. Since it was our first time back to the ocean since last September, Dylan digressed a bit in her love of the ocean. We played in the waves a little but it only took a couple of knock downs from the waves and mouth fulls of water to have her come in.

But we had a great day.

It reminded me of all the things I missed over the winter, the beach combing, riding the waves, the therapeutic sound of the sea. So I wanted to see of mommy wanted to head back out on Sunday too. (hint, hint)

Kicking back in our lounge chairs, watching the girls make their own fun in the tidal pools couldn’t help but remind me of one of my favorite beach songs. And so I will leave you with that and a few more pictures of summer to start your week. Cheers!

I know I don’t get there often enough
But God knows I surely try
It’s a magic kind of medicine
That no doctor could prescribe
Lagoon at Lions Dive Club

I used to rule my world from a pay phone
Ships out on the sea
But now times are rough
Oh I got too much stuff
I can’t explain the likes of me

But there’s this one particular harbor
So far but yet so near

Philly trip 009
Where I see the days as they fade away
And finally disappear

But then I think about the good times
Down in the Caribbean sunshine

Tube Racing

In my younger days I was so bad

John's 'extreme' diving

Laughin’ about all the fun we’ve had

That was fun!

I’ve seen enough to feel the world spin
Mixin’ different oceans meetin’ cousins
Listen to the drummers and the night sounds
Listen to the singers make the world go ’round..

Lakes below the mountain
Flow into the sea

Like oils applied to canvas
Oh how they permeate through me

Philly trip 007

But there’s this one particular harbor
Sheltered from the wind

Philly trip 012
Where the children play

on the shore each day
And all are safe within

Philly trip 014

A most mysterious calling harbor
So far but yet so near

Philly trip 008
Where I can see the day

when my hair’s so gray
And I finally disappear

going down

But Not Yet…

Have a great weekend everyone! Make it the best week yet!

(Thanks to Jimmy Buffett for that One great Particular Harbor)

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