Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gal Pal Time...



I was able to steal away a couple of days and got to spend it with the gal pal... She absolutely leaves me stunned with who she is. She has absolutely no idea how awesome she is... it doesn't occur to her that she impacts people and has changed lives more than she knows... She is by far, the greatest gift that the Good Lord has ever blessed me with... I still stymie her on occasion because she feels as equally blessed by having me in her life. I always tell her though that I had to come a lot further to give my heart to her. She's a born and raised good and decent Christian woman. Involved in church and is spiritually strong in her faith. Me, I was an absolute clown for the longest time and believed in God, but didn't want much to do with Him. So I didn't care about much of anything spiritual. It wasn't till I lost some close relatives and friends that I began to search for answers. I didn't like what I was finding. But I had to realize that I needed something more grounded in faith. I decided to reach out and believe in something I didn't physically see. It can get scary sometimes, but it also can be so peaceful and amazing... And my gal pal is someone I lean on considerably. She helps keep me grounded and firm in what I truly believe. At one time, I didn't want to be with any woman ever again. Now, I sit here wondering what my life would be like without her... I don't think about that much but instead think about the future... something I never thought about before...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Brilliance On Ice... and Snow !

Hey all... I always said that I would write for better or worse about the little nuggets that happen in my life... well, I guess that I should plow forward with the silly event that happened to me when I got home in the middle of the night from Iowa. It was something that could only happen to me. So, when last we left our hapless hero, I had just survived a spinout and had to have my car yanked out of a ditch of mud and frustration was ruling supreme. I went to Davenport knowing full well that there was going to be a nasty storm that was going to hit throughout the midwest and our team bus was going to ride right in the middle of it. No big deal, I've been through storms before... not a problem. Being midwesterners, we're used to this stuff. So I planned to scrape off the ice and snow and let the car warm up with the defroster going full tilt. So we get home, I go to my car, and see that it's coated with over an inch (or a few centimeters) of ice and ridiculous amounts of snow. So I go and clear the key hole for my trunk and manage to get it open and put my luggage in... I went and tried to unlock and open my door. No dice. I chiseled and scraped till I lost feeling in my hands, face and feet... Still, no go... I tried for over a half an hour to get into my own car with no success... After applying the stuff that unfreezes locks and still not being able to get in my car, I had all these thoughts going through my head as I was trying to turn the key in the lock to the right... more time passed as I was beyond frustrated. I was thinking about how I had to work in just a few short hours and how was I going to get there. The weather is very cold so when was the stinking lock ever going to thaw... just all kinds of questions as I could feel my heartburn start to kick in... until one of the other players asks “are you sure you're turning the key in the right direction?” I'm looking at this kid like he's on drugs... “yeah I'm turning it in the...” and then I turn it in the opposite direction and BAM... the *&*^%%$$ DOOR OPENS... over an hour of freezing my ya-ya's off in below zero temps with 25 mph winds... and I was turning the key the WRONG WAY!!! I am such a dork! The players that were still there scraping the ice off of their own cars (about 8 of them) were laughing hysterically and making all kinds of jokes at my expense... to be honest, I didn't mind that. I started to laugh myself after a little while... I learned not to take myself so serious... I love these guys... they are a riot! When I got home, I just plopped on the couch and fell immediately asleep for what amounted to a nap before work... But I know that through my, uh, sharp brainiac skills, I gave them a memory they won't soon forget... I suppose it could've been worse...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sliding In A Winter Wonderland...

Greetings from Davenport, Iowa...
NO I'm not out here checking out the canidates running for president. Thank God, I couldn't handle it... I'm here because we have hockey games going on. I had a fun experience last weekend. I was on my way home from a Cherokee hockey game and we were in the middle of a beauty of an ice storm. I was doing fine all the way home until I got off the exit to head to the house. I wasn't speeding but I still felt the car hit a patch of ice and start to slide sideways and I ended up flying into a ditch. I was really furious but kept my cool (at least on the outside)... I called a tow truck and it cost me a small fortune to get my car pulled out of there. I was so frustrated... I was only 20 seconds from home... 20 freakin' seconds. But at least there was no damage to the car. I was stuck in the ice and the mud... grrrrrrrrr.... and now this weekend we're going to head home from Iowa and drive right into the middle of a raging snow storm... yippeee... I'm not mad... BUT... I'd sure like a quiet relaxing week... HA!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Grateful (I'm Not) Dead...

Ahhh, the joy of breathing...
I feel a whole lot better after a week of being in bed and sick as a dog... Lou is doing better as she was hospitalized with a kidney infection, dehydration, and a urinary tract infection. Her blood pressure was also through the roof. Anyway, I finally got everything I needed to finish rebuilding Terri's computer (namely so I can get mine back...heh-heh). It turned into a battle of wills as instead of just dropping a new hard drive and processor and some memory in it.... I ended up also getting a new motherboard, video card, power supply and sink fan and tower for it... grrrrrrr... I don't mind, but since I'm not rolling in cash, it did make it a challenge. But I got it all done and this weekend we'll get the rest of the job done of putting it all together. I think this is going to be her birthday/ Christmas gift. Believe me, it was a pain. But I'm glad that we're over the hump... Now that I'm up and around (finally), I went last night and did a little Christmas shopping. Spent a lot of money... more than I thought I would, but didn't really have a ton to show for it. But you know what? After seeing what that moron did in Omaha, gunning down those 8 people and then taking the gutless coward's way out and turning the gun on himself, I decided to take a 'so what' attitude in regards to how much money I spent. Life is so freakin' fragile. Just when I complain and moan about all the things I have to deal with in life, I can honestly say that I bet there isn't a family member of those 8 people that wouldn't give anything to have their loved ones back to celebrate Christmas with... to say 'I love you' one more time... One more hug, one more kiss... one more smile... I guess like always, it comes down to a matter of perspective. Instead of fretting over the little things this Christmas, I'm choosing to show some grattitude for being alive. No matter how much I struggle, I am grateful to wake up every morning... and to spend time with those I care about... including my friends right here... Talk to y'all soon...
Mik

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feeling Crappy, But Still Happy... Or Is That Too Sappy?

Hey y'all,
I'm a little under the weather as I crank out this entry... okay, who's kidding who here? I feel like absolute CRAPOLA!!! But I digress... I've been fighting the flu, cold, fever, congestion... all of those little pearls of goodness that you go through when you get sick. Me, I'm not nauseous, but the rest of it I have in abundance. And here's the worst part of it... I called into work for today because I couldn't muster up the energy to go. But at about ten in the morning I get a phone call from Lou's visiting nurse telling me that she needs to go to the emergency room. She was very dehydrated, her blood sugar was high and her blood pressure was through the roof and she was tiger-chunking (aka vomiting) to beat the band. Terri was in bed because of the wonderful ravages of chemotherapy. And the only hospital that the ambulance would take Lou to, is not covered under Lou's insurance. So, either I get up and go take her in, or she's stuck in a rut of misery... Believe me, I thought about it... but I sucked it up and threw some clothes on and headed out in the delightfully balmy 30F (-2C) temps to go rescue Lou and take her to the ER at the hospital she needed to go to across town. My head felt like a stinkin' bowling ball and my head was/is spinning around... of course with Lou being a big girl with only one leg, no one can move her around when she's like this. So I ended up having to move her into her wheelchair from my car, and from the wheelchair to the hospital bed when she got into the ER... I honestly don't mind, and would probably not even mention it if I were feeling better. But I just got home and I'm going to curl back up on the sofa and sleep and rest and peek occasionally on my laptop to see how you all are doing... I'll be fine. I'm in a decent mood even though my body feels like ten pounds of poop in a five pound bag... I just have to take my meds and let this puppy just run its course... Hang in there people...and stay warm... Unless you live in florida in which case I hope you freeze... hahaha... just kidding :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Turkey Musings (sneeze free)

Well, I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. I ate pretty good for a change... dare I say it... ALMOST healthy...ha!... I had a pretty good weekend. Found a brand new 10 cup coffee maker at the for four bucks... It was such a great deal I had to buy it... and I don't even drink coffee! Found some other things too but I have to keep those to myself because I know that some people (hint: gal pal) read this space so I shall keep things mum... :) Anyhow, my weekend was fun because for a change, my sports teams won... woo-hoo... that's always nice. My favorite thing to do this weekend was watching the Grey Cup football game. I have a little to-do every year for it and it was fun. For those who don't know what that is... the Grey Cup is the equivalent of the Superbowl in Canadian Football... I know the question to be ask is: "Mik, why do you watch Canadian Football?" Big answer: I don't know... I just do. Larger field, only 3 downs instead of 4... I dunno... but I just do. I still love college and pro here in our country too, but I've liked the canuck version since I was a little kid back in the days when dinosaurs walked the earth... my favorite team won so I'm happy...
Had a strange experience on Saturday night. I had to broadcast a basketball game online down in Fremont. No big deal, But as the game was ending, I could feel myself coming down with something. I was feeling very congested and sneezing almost uncontrollably. I wasn't driving so I closed my eyes and tried to sleep some on the way back home. No such luck. I finally got home after what seemed like an eternity and sat in front of my TV set to watch the end of the Missouri-Kansas game when I popped a throat lozenge in my mouth. Not a cough drop nor cough syrup, but just a lozenge that numbs up your throat when it's sore. I fell asleep about ten minutes after I was done with the lozenge and woke up the next morning with no congestion, no sneezing, no cough, nothing... It felt almost surreal... I had put in a 20 hour day on Saturday so part of it is due to exhaustion. But when did a throat lozenge cure an oncoming cold??? Must've been Divine Intervention... mind you, I'm not complaining... :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks = Thanks Giving

Hey y'all,
Just wanted to take a moment here on Thanksgiving to give thanks for life, family, and friends. First, I thank God for His Blessing me with the gift of life. My life may not be a bowl of cherries or the life of riley, but I've seen too many instances where people have lost loved ones way too soon and don't have a second chance to patch things up or make changes in their lives to turn things around. We can't change our past, but we can do something about the future. Which is why we live in the gift of the 'present'... Always remember folks, it's not how you start in life, it's how you finish. So to God, I say thanks for loving your kids here... even when we color outside the lines.
I give thanks for my family. This hasn't always been easy. I grew up a self serving selfish punk. It was always all about me. I didn't want to be around my family because I was hell bent on doing my own thing. As I've gotten older and absorbed some of the bumpier side of life, I've come to realize that while you can't pick your family, it's never too late to make things right. I made things right with my father in the final 5 years of his life. That is a gift I treasure. There are others that I wasn't so fortunate. But I can't change the past so I live in the now. I can't impact the lives of people that are gone from my life. But I can impact the lives of people that are in my life right now. My sisters, my nephews, have become very important to me. Watching Lou and Terri struggle with their health has really made me realize how strong they are and that they impact lives a whole lot more than I ever could... I talk alot about my faith... They LIVE their faith. Actions, not words, are what gets things done. But I'm growing and learning to appreciate them more than I did in the past.
Finally, the gal pal. She has taught me more about life and what it is to overcome obstacles and she does it with such beauty and grace. She has absolutely no clue as to how amazing she really is. There are times where I wonder how she deals with things like not being able to walk. Things that I take for granted everyday. It doesn't even register with her that she has a "disability"... She prefers to think about the abilities she does have. She touches lives and continues to live each and every day to the fullest. I am in complete awe of her. It blows me away that she is as crazy about me as I am her. Thankful? Are you kidding me? ABSO FREAKIN' LUTELY... Grateful to God is more like it. She has rocked my world and I'm a better man for it...
One more thing... I thank God for all of you... that's right... YOU. You guys have been a true blessing to me. I know some might say that you guys are out in cyberspace and not part of my 'real life'... well I say that is a pile of buffalo bagels... when I've been down in the dumps, discouraged, frustrated... angry and po'd at the world, you've been there offering prayers, words of encouragement, practical advice. I am honored that you guys would come hang out at my little outpost and become my friends. Thank you seems inadequate but that is what I have to offer... THANK YOU... and may you all find something to be thankful for... even when things aren't going perfect. I know tomorrow starts the insanity of the Christmas shopping season... I'll be out there too. I'll do a little online shopping but I like going out there and watching people go all maniacal in the stores. Hey, if you've got a funny or cool story about your turkey day or black friday shopping experience, feel free to leave it here. I want to hear from you guys... In the mean time, my gratitude, and best wishes for a blessed thanksgiving go out to all of you and your loved ones... God Bless You...
Mik

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Pretty Good Day

Today is one of the better days going on in Mik-dom... First of all, Lou gets to come home to her house for the first time in over four months! She worked her butt off to rehab to the point that they said she could be discharged. Her and Terri are going to make a go of it. Terri has a couple more weeks of work and then she's done. She's still not that happy about it, but is going to do what she can to keep going... Lou had yet to see the new ramp that was built for her. There are lots of reasons to be thankful as we head towards the Thanksgiving holiday... This point was driven home BIG TIME at church on Sunday. It wasn't this big religious experience or anything. But we had a visitor in the form of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick and his dad (Patrick John) were the featured speakers for services this past weekend. Patrick Henry's story was on ESPN and he's done speeches all over the country I guess. PH was born without eyes and can't walk and his arms and legs can't really straighten out. But he developed an ability in music from the age of 9 months and by age of two could play his kiddie tunes. He now is a freshman in the U of Louisville marching band. His father (PJ) pushes PH's wheelchair in the different formations while PH plays the trumphet. The irony of it: PH is not a music major in college. He's a spanish major. What a hoot. But he and his dad were at my church and boy I felt like I had no reason to feel bad about anything... these two were a huge inspiration. I hope that I can improve and be a better person and no matter how bad things can get, that I can be grateful in all circumstances... If you want to check out the service, they have it archived on Cedar Creek's website. Just click on the the link on the right side of this page and click on "watch messages" on their home page. Now please note, the video that will pop up is from 11/11/07 and Ben is sitting in a comfy chair at Starbucks. But if you look to the bottom of the video it has a link also that reads 11/18/07 and if you double click on that, you can watch Patrick's story... it's really awesome... anyway, I thought I'd say hello and wish you all a great day. By the way, I had a blast on friday on the radio show. Todd said he wants me to come back and fill in again sometime... I have a heart today of gratitude... I pray I can keep that spirit within me...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Heard It On The Radio...

Hey folks,
Just wanted to touch base and say howdy. Terri's birthday was this past Sunday so I was/am thankful for another year of life. She was told by her doc that she has to go on disability. She is really bummed about that. She's tried putting on a brave face, but it really has got her down. The doc told her that the tumors haven't shrunk any, but they haven't grown either. So it's a minor win. At this point, we'll take it. She cheers up when she wants to know how me and my gal pal are doing. She and Lou both eat it up when they hear and see their little brother squirm trying to not talk about my relationship. Great as it is, I'm just not used to talking about me. That has always been a tough thing for me. But it lights them up when they hear that my gal pal keeps me in line. They just howl and have big crap eating grins when they see me squirm. It cheers them up. Lou is doing great in her rehab and the prosthetic leg... she'll be getting ready to think about home before too long.
Nothing new with me. I'm going to co-host with my buddy Todd on a morning radio show on our local Christian rock station this friday morning. It should be weird. But I'm looking forward to it. I don't know what all we'll talk about, but I'll try and be ready for just about anything. Plus, it's a music intensive show so I won't have to chat THAT much. But it should be fun. The station "
Christian Hit Radio- Yes FM" streams their station online also so if any of you guys are bored and want to hear me and Todd talk a little about God, sports, music and whatever else we'll be yakking about, just go to Yes FM's website and click on the listen live link. They stream 24/7 so you can go check it out anytime to see what kind of music can be heard. Mostly geared towards our youth, it's more hard rocking than say, K-LOVE... but it remains Christ centered... Todd's normal radio partner Laura is on maternity leave, so he's had different substitute co-hosts. We're on this friday morning (nov 16) from 6-9am Eastern Time... I hope not to screw up too much... but I'm going to just have fun and be a goof... I'm good at that y'know...lol...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Kiss and Tell... ME? Nah...





Got to spend some time with the gal pal this past weekend. I don't get to spend a lot of time with her so when I do get to be with her, I absolutely enjoy it. She is wonderful. A whole lot more than a guy like me deserves... But I am simply the happiest guy on the planet when we're together...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not A Whole Lotta Love... BUT(T)!!

Not much new to update as I went to see Lou tonight but she was sound asleep when I got there. So I let her rest and didn't bother her and I left. Terri is still plugging along as best she can so no news there. I still am insanely in love with my gal pal. She really inspires me to no end... But you guys all know this already. But I wanted to update you on what's happening. Since there's nothing new for the moment, I'll share with you a very brief phone call I got this afternoon at work and did everything I could not to laugh. It about did me in, but I kept my composure...

Me: "Can I help you"

Female Caller: "yeah, I wanna know if you can help me find somebody"

Me: "Who are you looking for?"

Female Caller: "I want, you know, I want you to hook me up with a doctor who can give me an organic shot with a needle to, you know, when you want your behind to get bigger"

Me: (thinking all she needs is Dunkin Donuts) "I tell ya what, let me send you over to physician referral."

Me: "I need HELLLLP!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

HIS Faith Is Kept...





After nearly 2 months of hospitalization not knowing what was wrong...followed by more than 2 months in rehab due to the amputation of her leg. My sister Lou finally... FINALLY got to where she was able to get up and walk... yes WALK without the rails on each side of her... on her first attempt. She shocked the therapists with her ability to get up and about... on the very first try. Typical Lou. They wanted her to take a few steps so they could measure the prosthetic leg and make adjustments to it before having her get the final version of it. They figured she'd take a few steps with the aid of the rails. She kept walking back and forth up and down the hallway. Her first time walking since the beginning of June. When she finally sat down from walking, she just smiled and cried and cried. She was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn't believe how far she's come since summer. As much as I was feeling blah the other day about myself and my faith... Well this is truly a time to feel joyous and grateful to God... He really is good. He really is...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Keeping the Faith... 'Alone' from Barlow Girl


Needed to remind myself today that God is always there even when I don't always feel Him near or when I need Him to minister to me and it seems like there's no answer in sight. Sometimes He is paving the way down the road and I don't always see that... But no matter how hard life can be sometimes, I've got to remain faithful...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Letting Go Of My Ego...

Hope you're doing alright,
Me, I'm doing so much better than I was last week. My attitude is good... My sister Terri called me and told me her computer wasn't working and wanted me to go check it out. The hard drive is toast. I don't know a tremendous amount about computer repair. Just a little...I'm not much of a computer geek. But my co-hort Mike is a bit of a geek. So while Terri is ticked about her computer, I have a little surprise for her. Her birthday is in 3 weeks. She is frustrated... but I'm going to take her computer and have not only a new hard drive installed, but change the motherboard, processor, and memory on it too. Her Dell is about 4 years old and is a bare bones model. Well, when I get done with her computer, it's going to be a very souped up high caliber system...But I'll spring that on her later...hahahaha....
My day in a nutshell: I've got a girlfriend whom I love with wreckless abandon. I told her the following true story and she had a big laugh... If you ever thought I had an ego, well, this should take care of that... So, I'm walking down the hallway at work. A couple of attractive young ladies make eye contact and look me up and down and are smiling. I just smile and keep on walking towards the restroom. Before I go and do my business, I go look in the mirror, wondering 'why would they be looking at me?' I check to make sure my hair is not messed up. I'm looking over everything when suddenly I looked and said 'oh perfect Mik... what a ding-dong'... The reason? Simple. My ZIPPER was down and my shorts were showing... I could do nothing but laugh out loud and not take myself so seriously... I zipped up when I left the water closet... So when I went back out into the hallway, I sheepishly went to the cafeteria, bought an apple, and went into the corner and sat away from everyone... I don't think anyone will ever use my name and the word 'ego' in the same sentence...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mental Notes Noted

Hey,
Y'know, sometimes it can seem weird to just go on autopilot when enduring things that don't always go your way. I've really had that presented to me this week. I had to think about some things and decide whether or not I was going to remain in a good mood despite not always having things go my way. It wasn't easy, but I thought about all the times that I talked about my faith. Well, it was put up or shut up for me this week and I had to decide if I really had a strong faith. I stewed for a little bit, but after talking with the gal pal, decided that when thinking about my family and the things they're going through, that my so called difficulties weren't even real problems. So that brought me out of a lousy mood in a hurry. I'm feeling pretty okay at the moment. Not euphoric, mind you... but pretty okay. And then just when I think about my smallness and want to have a pity party, I experience a moment like this:
"Hi, can I help you?"
caller: "uh, yeah. I have a question"
"Okay, what's the question"
caller: "How much do they pay the volunteers that work there?"
(long pause for stunned silence) "Just when I thought I was losing it... thank you for reaffirming my belief in the public."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Flint's Tones

Howdy.
Well it's Sunday and I'm in Flint, Michigan with the hockey club and we're struggling right now. In the grand scheme of things, I can honestly say 'big deal', but I love the game and the team, as it takes my mind off of things going on. Granted, things aren't too bad currently. But as with all things Mik, everything is always subject to change without notice... lol... Terri is still putting up a very brave front. She is trying to live despite the diagnosis to the contrary... she continues to keep herself busy with lots of things and still makes it over to spend time with Lou in rehab. I went by Terri's house yesterday before I left for Flint and she wasn't home, but out in front there were a couple of guys who were building a ramp for when Lou gets to come home. It looks beautiful. I guess the couple of guys were from the school that Lou used to work at and wanted to help somehow and figured that this would be the best way that they could. Can't wait till Lou sees it.
I'm going to try this week to start saying hello and leaving messages on your journals/blogs. I have been swamped and haven't had the time to leave too many messages, but please don't think for one minute that I don't care or don't at least read what's going on... I've been deliquent in my duties of keeping up to date with everyone, but I going to try when possible to leave a comment... thanks again y'all for being so understanding... Meanwhile, I've spent any free moments I've had with the gal pal and my life is so much more enriched for it. When times are tough, she's there to keep me from thinking about what's wrong and encourages me to look at what is good and right. She does all this from a wheelchair. Not that the wheelchair deserves any publicity but it just simply amazes me that she impacts lives every single day just by being herself. She has made a HUGE difference in my life. I don't deserve her, but I'm grateful to the Good Lord that she's crazy about me. She has changed my life in a way that I never thought possible. And from a male pig perspective, she's a great kisser too!!! Just thought I'd throw that in for my own benefit... Take care and I'll talk to y'all soon... Love you guys lots,
Mik

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wrong Number Wishing....

Greetings from the Glass City,
I know my entries have not been as frequent as they have been, but I appreciate your understanding. It's been a zoo as of late with lots going on but most of it could be worse. I'm feeling okay right now. My sugar has been staying where it needs to so I am very blessed to know that my meds are working. Today was a nutty day at work when I got a call from a guy who was calling the wrong hospital and wanted me to do something about the service he got at another hospital. He talked to the president of the other hospital and said he wasn't satisfied with the response he got and said it was "not in a timely manner to my satisfaction"... so he called the president of the other hospital "a joke" and wanted me to do something about it... I told him he needed to contact the other hospital and talk to their administrative reps or a patient advocate etc... and the guy didn't want to. I tried four times to explain to him that we don't have anything to do with the other hospital and tried to re-direct him. But he wouldn't listen. Finally I said "is there anything else that I can do for you?" to which he responded "you aren't helping me with what I want right now"... I wanted to pound my head against the wall. I repeated my earlier comments to him and he finally said "I wish you all the pain and suffering that I've been through"... and then he hangs up. What a dreamy sweetheart that guy was. I wanted to say something nasty, but my christianity had to go and come to the fore... so I wished him a good day and that was that... arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! There, but for the grace of God, go I...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweet n Low... but still lovin' it...

Just wanted to touch base and say hello... still trying to get used to life with a glucometer. I hate it. But I know what has to be done. I am feeling so much better now that I'm getting adjusted to my meds and my diet is better (but I'm still royally ticked off about having to give up my lifeline...bread and potatoes)... went and saw Terri today. To my complete amazement, she is STILL teaching. She went from chemo to the classroom. Her doc wants her to go on disability because of her prognosis. She's considering it, but her heart still believes she has things to do in this world and wants to teach still. I mentioned if she goes on disability, she can volunteer to teach and tutor etc... she's still thinking about it... Her skin is blistering all over and it's getting more difficult for her to swallow food, but she cuts everything in small pieces so she can eat. She is still driving to work everyday and has become my hero... here on earth anyway.
Some sad news... a couple of entries ago I wrote about partying at hospice and playing poker with my friend Donnie. Well, Donnie passed away and Thursday was his funeral. I went and paid my respects and saw some old friends that I haven't seen in a long time and we had a few laughs over some old times with Donnie. His son and daughter were there and were doing pretty good. They were all prepaed for this. Donnie is now reunited with his true love... his wife. He's not suffering anymore and I wish him peace and joy in Heaven. When I found out he passed, I smiled. I remember how even though he was 71, he was very young for his age and lived life to the fullest. He golfed up until 5 weeks before his death. He really enjoyed the outdoors... I'll really miss him. But I remember him with fondness... not sadness...
On a happier note... I talked with Lou on Thursday also. She is back to her old, happy, cantankerous self :) I am pleased as punch. She is still working on learning how to walk again. She'll be in rehab for quite a while yet, but she's in a better frame of mind and is working everyday in PT to get better and stronger. Her attitude is very positive. She still does little tricks to do things like have each of us bring her food from outside... Typical Lou... And on an even more positive note... the Gal Pal... I don't know where I'd be without her. She has been a rock for me. I thank God everyday for her. She has been the one I lean on to share my joy, hope, pain, frustration.... you name it... To say I love this woman doesn't do her any justice... she is beyond amazing... I am in awe of her. And it's because God blessed me with her love that my attitude remains positive, upbeat, and my faith remains entact... that's what I have to cling to right now...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm Sweeter Than I Thought...

Well, I've been told I'm a nice guy and have been told how sweet I have been for whatever reason... Little did I know I'd take it a few steps further... oh yeah, leave it to me. I was feeling like total crap. Like I was hungover or something... problem is that I haven't had a drink in forever. So I call my best friend aka my doc and he has me stop in the office and after checking me over decides to run a few lab tests on me. He puts the results only like he can... "Mik you have gone from nothing to being the worst diabetic in my practice" Huh?? Diabetes?? Crap... that's the last thing I need. So I'm trying to adjust to doing some things that I'd rather not be doing... namely, learning how to eat food that's sugar free and healthy for me... I HATE IT... My lifestyle has always been that of a road dog... living out of motel rooms on the weekends eating motel food and fast food at the stops on the road during the fall/winter/spring... now I have to monitor everything including my blood pressure... Boy does this tick me off royal... I'm about taking care of others. I don't want to have to think about me... arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!! Terri called me because she knew something was wrong because I hadn't been by in a few days. She was worried... That is Terri in a nutshell... she's trying not to die, but is more worried about her little brother... I'm starting to feel a little better but I'm still trying to get used to my sugar levels cause I can feel when the sugar is up and especially when it's down. Thank God, I'm not having to use needles for insulin shots... at least not yet. But it's still an adventure as I feel everything in my head and have to get used to it all... But I will. I have to... I've got to think of someone other than myself. My gal pal... my family. Yeesh, I don't feel like being responsible right about now...lol...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another Perfectly Crappy Monday

I hope you all had a pretty good weekend. Me, it was tough because I was on the road in Iowa (zzzzzz) and it was long, but I survived it. But the hard part was hearing from Terri. She went to a oncologist and he told her that her cancer is terminal. It hit me between the eyes like someone sucker-punching me. She doesn't deserve this. Not at all. Her doc is trying to talk her into going on disability because of the drastic stuff they want to try. Terri actually is handling it pretty well. I'm probably dealing with it worse than she is. She told me that she has to keep a positive attitude and she is going to stand on her faith because she still feels that she has a lot to live for and feels very strongly that she has things to accompish on this earth. It really ticks me off because she helps so many people (including Lou) and this is how she is rewarded? I still struggle with this from time to time because even though my faith in God is entact, I wonder why one of God's true angels is made to suffer like this. I know there are others who are going through stuff like this and worse. I think of Donnie going through his last days in Hospice and yet he's older so I can almost understand that one. But Terri is just a couple years older than me. I humbly ask for your prayers for my sister. She's a wonderful and beautiful person. People say nice things about me because some of the things that I do... well that's a direct result of what Terri has done as she raised me after my mom died back when we were kids. My dad climbed into a bottle and Terri took over the household and kept us together... at the ripe old age of 16. Now in her 40's, Terri wants to enjoy life. But she's in the ultimate battle for her life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Living for a Reason... And Partying at Hospice...

Greetings one and all,
Hope you all are well. Me, I'm doing fair... I'm in the throes of my busiest time of year... My time to travel and do lots of broadcasting. So I haven't seen the sisters in a few days but they remain in the status quo dept. So I guess no news is good news... at least for now. I worry about them but they are fairing okay. Last night, we did something different. I normally get together with some friends from the hospital (okay about 5 doctors, one drug rep, and me) to play poker. Usually we are cheap when it comes to the money we play for... usually nickels, dimes, and at the most, quarters. It's just an excuse to get together and gab and laugh and enjoy ourselves. We've been doing this for the better part of about 15 years. One of the players, Donnie, who was a surgeon at the hospital, was diagnosed with cancer and it's throughout his abdomen and it's mets... which means there's nothing they can do. Donnie knows that and has been pretty okay in understanding it. He lost his wife to the same disease a few years ago and it destroyed him. I think he feels that maybe in death, he can be reunited with the love of his life. Well, Donnie has been moved to hospice. Some of the poker boys decided that instead of playing poker at somebody's house last night, that we'd go see Donnie at hospice and all of us with medical backrounds, we knew it wasn't going to be pretty. But we all love Donnie so it wasn't even a question. I finished my radio show and left and headed over to the hospice. I was kind of surprised. I got there and was expecting it to be really depressing and sad. It was anything BUT that!!! Some of Donnie's nurses from the old outpatient surgery dept. decided to stop out to cheer him up. That huge group was all female. Donnie is about 68 years old and all the girls loved him... like a little teddy bear. Of course, the sensitive guy I am, I had to comment... one of the guys says "geez Donnie, you're quite the ladies man...even now". To which I chimed in "hey boys, that's what happens to short, bald, surgeons..." The place just broke up and Donnie could not surpress his infectious grin. And the poker boys sat at a rec room table with Donnie and he wanted to play poker. So instead of using money, we used sugar packets and dairy creamer packets from the hospice kitchen to gamblewith and someone brought a pack of cards so it was poker night like always. Donnie had a ball. He tired easily but was able to keep up with everything in a pretty good way. We finished playing and helped Donnie back to his room where his nurse was waiting for him to give him his meds for the night. Donnie was woefully thin from this awful disease, but all things considered, didn't look all too bad. I got to spend a few brief moments with him alone and asked him if there was anything I could do for him... "yeah, get me a new stomach" Donnie quipped. I told him I loved him and that I was going to keep praying for him. Donnie's not much of spiritual guy, but he understood my sentiment. So we left and out in the parking lot we decided that our next poker night was going to be back at hospice... I never thought I'd say this... but I actually had a good time there... man, does that sound weird to say... I best get some sleep now... Gotta work and right after that it's to the bus and head to Iowa to broadcast some hockey games. I'm beat... I need to sleeeeeeeep!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lou-natic Fringe...

Hello folks,
Thanks for being patient with me while I continue with the insanity that is my life these days... But I must say it is a whole lot better than it has been in quite sometime. I have been so busy that even I am starting to feel a bit under the weather but am on anti-biotics and am feeling better as I write this. Okay, first things first: the sister updates. Terri found a lump in her breast. She's not tickled and had a mamogram done and after she gets the results back next week, she'll go see a specialist who is supposed to be a cancer hot shot... She is just exhausted and doesn't know what to think or feel at this point. I want to scream and pound my fist in the wall. The easy way out is to say "why God are You allowing this to happen?" But I know better... this isn't God allowing this to happen. This is the enemy trying to attack our family and have us lose our faith. But I'm standing firm on my faith and believing that God is good and will give us the courage to stand in the face of adversity. Terri has had her pity party and now she is standing on her faith and is going to work during her chemo treatment. I think that's insane but she's just one hard nosed teacher... I'm glad she's got the determination... I just hope she has the strength.
As for Lou, as I said in a previous post: I've got my sister back. She is still over at rehab and they are going to work her butt off everyday. She's now got things to look forward to. Namely.... GOING HOME! That will be in about another week or so and I know she can't wait for that! It'll be a change. But she's up for it and she's back to her old self. The anti biotics are doing their job. I'm glad she's feeling better and is being her normal, cantankerous self... I saw her yesterday and we joked around a little bit and she was peppering me with questions about me and the gal pal... I felt like I was at a one person press conference because my family have become completely enamoured of my girlfriend, even though they've yet to meet her in person... I got to spend last weekend with her... and in one word.... amazing.... simply amazing. The profound differences in me since I've had her in my life... my family keeps asking me who am I and what did I do with their brother? lol... I am feeling pretty good as I get ready for the weekend. Lot's of broadcasting to do as i head to Holgate (OH) on friday, Chicago on saturday, and Peoria IL, on sunday... ugh... I think I need a nap...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Home (and rehab) Improvements...

Hi, sorry it's been so long since I've posted but I've had a ton of things to do. Namely, getting things going again for broadcasting sports and stuff plus running back and forth checking on the sisters. First things first. Thank GOD that things seem to be finally settling down with Lou. Even though she lost her leg, I've got my sister back. She was getting a little remorseful again about the way she had lashed out at me during the pre-amputation stay at the hospital. I finally just told her to let it go because I didn't take it personally. She wondered how I could do that and I told I've worked in hospitals for over 20 years and have seen every kind of confused patient there is. I didn't take any of what she said to me seriously so there was no reason for me to be upset. She was grateful and besides, I knew when it was her talking and when it was just the infection. Well, she's now out of the hospital and in rehab learning to get around again... I go and see her and am tickled that she's feeling SO MUCH better. She still has a few moments where she doesn't like to look down at where her foot used to be. But even that too, has gotten better. Her numbers from her cell counts for her battle with Leukemia have improved tremendously so I'm happy that Lou's got a lot to look forward to. She'll probably have a short stay at rehab (they're still giving her heavy doses of anti-biotics to make sure the infection is cleared up) and then they'll fit her for a prosthetic and Good Lord willing, teach her how to walk again in the very near future... Now the pendulum of big concern swings back in the direction of Terri. She's still struggling but is as tough a fighter as I've ever seen. Much tougher than I am... BY FAR. She's feeling better as the after effects of the chemotherapy are less, but still the progress for her has come not as fast (at least to my liking) but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day now was it? Thank you again so very much for the kind words and prayers... I sit here a very humbled person and a grateful one for all of you and your goodness and wish you all blessings galore... Thank you... :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Humid Humor and the Rehab

Okay,
Haven't talked about all the little things that have gone on in the backround outside of dealing with my both of my sister's health conditions and believe me, there have been plenty. From Terri really hurting because of one of her students drowned at a quarry a couple of weeks ago, to the central air conditioning taking a deuce (aka crapping out) on the girls and part of Terri's instructions with the type of chemo that she's on is that she MUST remain COOL at all times. Of course, being off of work because of this means that she hasn't had steady income coming in so the cost of repairing the central air in her house would be a fortune. I didn't have the coin to do that either. But knew that I had to come up with something. Terri has a window air conditioner that was cooling the temp of the house and her bedroom from 102 to an artic-like 94 degrees because she has a pretty good-sized place. Well, when she stayed in her bedroom, it was bearable because the room is small and she had a big box fan as well that she kept right on her. But I knew that wasn't going to be good enough... so without giving it a second thought I pulled my a/c unit out of the window of my first floor of my house and hauled it over and installed it in the front of the house so that it (along with her a/c unit in the back) would cool the house considerably. So while I was at the hospital with Lou, I called Terri to check on her and it was a two-line conversation that told me that everything was going to be okay:

Me: "so is it any better or at least more bearable now in that place?"
Terri: "sorry, I busy right now... I'm building you a shrine..."

I nearly had my diet coke with lime come through my nose... Lou is doing sooooo much better than she was in prior days. She is going to be on heavy duty anti-biotics to get rid of the infection for a while yet. They took her off of some of the pain meds. In fact, the pain in her back is gone but she has the infamous 'phantom pain' so we'll see how this goes... She's been transferred to rehab services to work on getting her strength back and to deal with the loss of her leg and in about 4-6 weeks getting fitted for a prosthetic leg... She's looking forward to walking again and most important of all... to get out of this rehab place... She still gets a little confused at times but mostly she's scared because she's just had the leg amputated, doesn't know what to expect from a bunch of new faces (nurses, etc) and is now in another room and because I'm dividing my time between Lou, Terri, and work... I don't get much in the way of time for myself at all. But I knew it would be that way... hey, things are turning around and again, I'm very humbled for all of your prayers for me and my family. They really have done some wonders... That's how I've been able to have the strength to keep going and do what needed to be done with the sisters. I didn't do anything extraordinary. My sisters both set the standard of what a compassionate human being should be. Let's put it this way: for every nice thing I do for them, it's because they've done ten times more and were a lot more caring in the way they did it... Me, I'm doing it because I care, but more because I know it needsto get done... They are FAR more compassionate and understanding than their little brother. I appreciate the kind words, but I'm grateful more for my family than I am for me.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lookin' Up

Cautious optimism is the approach I'm taking these days. My sister Lou had her leg amputated and she seems to have improved quite a bit. She still gets confused about things that happen. As to what is real and what she perceives as real. That she is able to lie there and not be writhing in pain is a miraculous blessing. It's made her slow emersion from la-la land tolerable and understanding. The biggest thing right now is that she is scared to be alone. She calls Terri at home about 10 times a day and wants to know why she isn't out there with her. She gets highly emotional about Terri not being there even though she seems to be aware of the fact that Terri just had a chemo treatment and is wiped out completely. Lou is very afraid right now. I go there after work almost everyday and spend lots of time there. But she wants someone there 24/7 cause she gets very anxious and wants someone there to calm her down... It's very tough and draining sometimes but I try to keep my sense of humor entact. Lou did sheepishly apologize to me for going off on me, thinking that there was some plot to keep her trapped against her will and she was very nasty and mean for the days leading up to the surgery. But the anti-biotics seem to be doing the job as her back has improved tremendously. Let's hope she'll keep it up.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Time To Rock, Time To Roll...

So it goes... I'm feeling kind of weird... It's been a real struggle the last few days. Lou is actually doing better. But she's still confused and a little bit disoriented. The docs made the big decision about her illness. The Osteomyelitis is originating out of her ankle and the bone is so severely infected, that the docs say there is no way to save her leg. So wednesday morning, she'll have it amputated. If there is one blessing out of this, is that Lou (prior to all of this) was aware she may have to lose her leg if it progressed in a negative way. So she was okay with that... But right now, she doesn't have a clue. I went to see her yesterday and she was frustrated and was trying to put her shoes on and wanted to go home. She was lashing out at me and was saying some incredibly venemous stuff and accusing me of plotting to keep her there against her will. Any and all explanations regarding her health issues went in one ear and out the other. They are trying to change some of her medication around which is a good thing. I noticed that she was so much calmer and relaxed when she was given some meds to calm down. But the problem was that they were giving it to her only every 12 or 14 hours. She needs it more frequently and after having to literally wrestle her because she was so wacked out on the weekend, the docs and nurses were more than willing to increase the frequency of what she needs. So tomorrow morning, her left leg gets amputated up to her knee. Terri undergoes another chemo treatment today and will be a complete mess for a few more days. She does not deserve this. But she knows that she has to wage this battle to survive and keep on going and that her students want her to be there for them. The new school year is getting ready to start and she wants to be a part of it. But it's going to be a difficult road. No question about it... As for me, I'm just hanging in there. It gets frustrating sometimes and there are times that you just want to quit and bail from all of this... but we don't have a choice. I still have to go to work and head over to check up on them and do what I can. It's not always alot, but I do what I can. The rest, I send it to my Creator. If I tried to do all of this by myself, I'd probably be in the psych ward trying to write strange things on my forehead... but by turning to Him, I'm able to at least find some peace in the midst of all this misery. He really gives me the strength to keep it together and go forward. The one other area where I am able to keep my chin up is with my gal pal. She has been my rock and has kept me going when I've felt any feelings of despair. She has been so encouraging and uplifting to me... She helps me stay focused and just by her warmth and tenderness, she makes me realize that I'm going to somehow pull through. I really love that girl y'know... :) I thank God every single day for her...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Scanning For Answers...

Looking forward to a Saturday off from the job. I have to go broadcast some motorcross on Saturday night. But more important stuff... Lou is still in the hospital, she is still completely confused and disoriented and it's beginning to worry me. The folks at the hospital at first thought that her baseline included dementia... when I politely informed the nurse that up until six weeks prior to admission, Lou was walking and talking and driving... HELLO... the nurses were shocked. I'm trying not to feel anger or throw in the towel, I just hate that when I see Lou lying there, she wants help and is scared beyond belief, but can't really communicate her fears or anything clearly. She just starts crying and it kills me to know that she is suffering like this. Terri finally broke down and went over to the hospital to see her, even though her doctor told her not to. Lou had to have a CAT Scan and an MRI but was not co-operating. Terri calmed her down and they were able to get the tests done. But Lou tries to get everyone to do things for her because she thinks that if she does certain things that maybe she'll get to go home. That can't happen because she is unable to take care of herself. Terri's still got four more months of chemotherapy... My attitude is still positive, but man, this is some heavy duty stuff...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Making Sense...

A new week begins... oh yippee.
Well, things seem to be figured out (maybe) with Lou about what's causing her such pain and misery... well, we think! The infectious disease doc that came to see her after she was admitted to the hospital took another look at her MRI that the pain management doc said was normal. The infectious disease doc said that she absolutely suffers from osteomylitis in the L4 and L5 lumbar region of her back and that it stems from a blood infection from her foot. Osteomylitis is an infection of the bone. It causes tremendous pain and the infection can cause you to act a little bit wacky. So they are giving Lou tremendous amounts of anti-biotics to try and combat it. They still may have to amputate her leg. But that remains to be seen. Hopefully, we'll find out more today and get a plan of action. Fortunately, the pain mgt. doc is on vacation so we won't have to deal with him. Sad really, because I've known him for years.
Anyway, on Saturday it was the mini grade school reunion as my buddy Billy and his wife Dani flew into town for his parents 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We've known each other since 2nd grade and the funny part is that we were not friends in grade school at all. But we got along in high school and became really good friends right after graduation. We've kept in touch since he moved out to California and we've grown very close and count each other as the closest of friends. His family here in town and I still keep in touch with each other too. There were a couple of other friends from grade school there too. Jeff and Robert. Jeff and I weren't close at all but he and Billy were/are so we know each other but don't really have a lot in common. No biggie though. Jeff seems to be a nice guy. Robert and I grew up together. From the time we were in diapers till about 8th grade. Our families were very close back then too. Robert went to a different high school than me so we kind of went our seperate ways. We would run into each other over the years but not too often. Life is like that sometimes. But whenever we see each other, it's as if we hadn't ever left. This weekend was no different. But then again, it was. Robert used to get into lots of trouble in his teen years, but that was then. I always had this judgemental stupidity in me that would say that more than likely, he was going to end up being a statistic. Booze, dope, the usual suspects. But here we are, all these years later, and Robert is clean and sober. Doing some big things at the company he works for and last year decided that he was searching for something meaningful in his life. He felt kind of awkward talking about it in front of the group at the party, but I could tell he was referencing that he has a relationship with God and is going to church now. Most of the people there were not spiritual in nature. But when he and I were helping to pack up stuff to put away afterwards, I could tell he wanted to share. So while we were standing outside at Billy's dad's truck, I simply asked "so, Robert, where do you go to church?" His eyes lit up and we had a very nice conversation about how he knew he needed something to help get his life back on track. and that he found it by reaching out and I could see the awkwardness leave him and we were having a great time just joking around and having good conversation. I think he may have felt that everyone would think that he was weird for his new found faith. I just said and he agreed that he found a 'home' where he can believe and be at peace with himself. Finding a fellow christian to talk to makes it a bit easier. Most of his friends now are at church but he still has a few friends from our old days. But most of them don't drink or get into trouble any more. I think of the four of us, I'm the only one who still has a cold one every six months or so. I never had a problem with it, but I lost the taste for it... But it was great to see the boys from childhood and see that we're all okay. We all have our own paths to travel, but we will always have each other's back when the chips are down. I love those guys. Billy and Robert are the brothers I never had... it felt good to spend time with them.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Roller Coaster Ride Continues...

Well,
Just like the title infers, the ups and downs of life goes on... My sister Lou has been wacking out again. I am convinced more than ever that she is affected by the medications that her doctors have put her on. She is not at all herself and is displaying weird behaviors and is a mess right now. A few days ago she seemed to be really making a bit of progress. But today I got a phone call from the visiting nurse who said that she was completely disoriented and acting very irrational. I headed over there only to find out that she was already enroute to the doctors. She was in great pain and the doctors have been dragging their feet in finding out what's going on. Her pain management doc said he won't touch her until she goes and sees an infectious disease doc first. So she made the appointment and was supposed to go see the I.D. doc today. Well the pain mgt. goofball says that he's on vacation next week so he can't see her until the 20th. What the heck is this noise? So I got a phone call saying she's going to see the infectious disease doc in the hope that he'll refer her to the hospital and a pain mgt consult so that someone other than the meathead she has will treat her and actually DO SOMETHING! But the I.D. doc wants to wait and try something in a few days but Lou has been in pain from her back for over a month. So she went from there to the hospital ER. I spent the afternoon talking with Terri. Terri is about ready to go crazy. Lou (in the state that she's in) is confused and disoriented and has been running Terri ragged. Terri was telling me this stuff through tears. It's eating her alive because she wants to have compassion on Lou and help her. But Lou's erratic behavior at all hours of the day and night have driven Terri to the breaking point. Not to mention Terri is on chemotherapy herself and is SUPPOSED to be resting and not doing much at all. Ha! My prayer is that they admit Lou to the hospital and try to find out what is going on with her. She's not safe to be home alone and is a danger to herself... To be honest, I want Terri to have a break from the pressure and all of this stuff that has her at her wit's end. Other than that, I'm plugging along. The Cherokee tryout camp is this weekend. I'm not going to be there for most of it as I have several other commitments including working at my day job.But I'm looking forward to hitting the road again this fall. But say a prayer for Lou and Terri. They're both really good people who are in a season of trial and storm. But my prayer is that the season be a really short one and ends soon. Like maybe, yesterday! God, please have mercy on them...

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Gal Pal...





Some pics of me and the Gal Pal from my birthday. We had such a wonderful time together. I have never been happier than being in her arms. It's definitely a case of 'Beauty and the Beast'... She's way out of my league, but loves me anyway. I'm her big dork. She is my heart. Need I say more? I am blessed... :) By the way, the charmin was just lying around so I decided to make good use of it... lol...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dreaming Of Blue Grass...

Random thoughts as I look forward to a weekend of … of… of… NOTHING!
I can’t believe what I’m writing! I actually have most of the weekend off that doesn’t require me to be at some ridiculous place at an ungodly hour to broadcast some insane event… I get to spend time doing things I should be doing… uh, let’s see: the lawn, sweeping, vacuuming, the dishes… y’know: CHORES!!! My house isn’t too bad, mess wise. But man, I’ve got to get some of the dust bunnies cleared out of here. One of the drawbacks of living on a lake… bugs! Some spiders, a few flies, (Mayflies have been lingering around even though they’re supposed to be done for the season) and they are generally harmless and aren’t that irritating. BUT for some reason, I remember how disgusting they were in my childhood, so even though it is many years later, I still have an insatiable urge to wipe out ever last one of the little varmints… I mean as a kid, I felt like the little CARE kids in the TV commercials that were always looking into the camera and there would inevitably be a couple of flies who were hellbent on getting their smug little wispy wings on television and would be crawling across the poor little faces that were on there. My heart always went to those people (it still does), but I hated those dang flies because those kids in those CARE commercials would NEVER swat or shoo the flies away. The little flies would just crawl where ever they felt like and the kid wouldn’t do anything… and that bugged (pun intended) the living crap out of me. That was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Oh how I hated those commercials. The purpose for them was good and just (I hate that those little ones have to suffer), but the stigmas from my childhood of seeing those kids just stand there and let those dang flies just crawl on them. Ewww… I’m still scarred for life!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten some old neurosis on the table, I can feel free to give an update on the sisters: in a word… better. Lou is still in great discomfort but is able to tolerate it better and is awaiting the results of her biopsy. She sleeps a lot more than she has and that’s good. But it’s been a rough road for Terri. She is feeling better from a pain standpoint. But she is wiped out because when I’m at work and can’t be there and no one else can be there because of work, she and Lou have to fend for themselves and she’s supposed to be resting. Lou gets around okay considering the amputation, but Terri has to do a lot for both of them and it bothers me a little bit sometimes… okay, a lot! But they both were feeling pretty good even though they were drained… they were giving me crap about the gal pal cracking the whip on me to keep me in line and were talking in fake accents pretending to be me and my beloved and they were picking on their little brother mercilessly and making his girlfriend out to be one smart and tough lady… Okay, that part is very true. SHE IS… but they love it when it’s about the gal pal keeping me in line. We’ve got a good sense of humor about it. I love that girl… She never fails to amaze and inspire me. I am a very blessed man.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I Could Have it Worse...



Sometimes when I feel a little frustrated about things in life (the sisters), I need to get a little perspective and remember that I don't have it so bad. This video is from Easter at my church where Mike Leeland does a great painting during this song. It kicks my butt and makes me realize that I don't have it so bad. That someone suffered worse... much worse... even for those of you that aren't christian, hey, it's a pretty cool canvas painting to check out... hope y'all are doing okay...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Thoughts...

Howdy do...
Just checking in to say hello and let you know what's been going on over the last few days. Not a whole lot really. Terri is still on her butt from the chemo. She is whipped to say the least, sheer misery right now... Lou is just out of it... she's just laying in bed sleeping off an on. They're trying some different combinations with her meds and the docs are going to run some more tests to see whats going on with her back. She's having a biopsy next tuesday to see what she's dealing with... meanwhile her back is absolutely killing her still. But I guess if there's one positive (sort of) is that while the pain is bad, it's not as bad as it was...so... Thank you all for your prayers. It means more than you know. Spent my day off from work on Thursday over at the girls and they were both just awful. I felt like a big dufus cause all I can do is just sit there and watch them suffer. I did a couple of little things like make dinner and what not, but I am still at a loss as to what I can do to help them... It's a little frustrating but I know that all I can do is just be there. I am hoping that things get better soon, but I know that it's all in God's hands... Meanwhile, not much else is going on between work and other stuff... we did our online golf radio show last night (great lakes golf today) and had a good laugh about lots of things... a nice escape from the reality of seeing both sisters suffer so miserably.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gratitude...

What a time...
Right now I'm swooning thinking about tons of things that are going through my brain at the moment. First off, a huge thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes. It meant a great deal to me. I had a GREAT weekend. And the term 'great' doesn't even begin to cover the weekend I had. But first things first. The sisters update: not much more new to say other than Terri is going to get her next chemo treatment tomorrow. I know that is going to kick her butt... I'm not looking forward to that, but it's a necessary evil if we're going to keep her going. Lou is still a bit of an enigma. She still has some kidney issues and hopefully those will get rectified. But she's been 'out of sorts' as of late and I'm really beginning to get concerned. I hope that her docs make some decisions. Okay, now to the weekend. Two words: GAL PAL... My gal pal has been nothing short of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! I saw her on Friday and just smiled as I threw my arms around her. Her parents took me to a ball game (which is what I wanted to go see) and treated me like a million bucks. On Saturday, I spent the day with my gal pal and to say that she is awesome does not do her justice. I can't even begin to find the words to say what this woman has brought to me emotionally. I've gotten more out of holding her hand and seeing her smile than I've gotten out of any other intimate relationship I've ever had. That's not an attempt to insult those other people, but it is just a tribute to the beauty, warmth and tenderness that is my gal pal. She is an awesome, beautiful, Christian who has good, grounded beliefs and to say that she is an inspiration to me doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
Saturday night brought a cookout. Not just a cookout like I'm used to where maybe six or seven people would show up and grill a hot dog or two and have some chips and everyone would pound beers till they passed out... I was blessed and I do mean BLESSED by my gal pal's family. I mean her whole family came as in uncles, aunts (hi Sundae), grandparents, cousins, friends, etc., and they all brought just obscene amounts of food. And the big ol' fish fry was wonderful. And I think I had two servings of fish. Interesting, considering that I don't even like fish. It was THAT good. I couldn't believe what these people (most of whom didn't even really know me. They only knew of me) went and did for me. Even her cousin and and a friend of hers broke out the guitars on a warm and breezy evening and started playing some music. Most of the people there go to the same church so I knew I'd see them the next day. The birthday cake they had made for me was HUGE... and very delicious. I think I had three pieces. I was dumbfounded. They all just shrugged it off as nothing more than hospitality, but I couldn't even fathom such wonderful kindness to what amounted to a stranger. They get together and fellowship and picnic outside like this on a somewhat regular basis. But they all came up to me and sang happy birthday to me twice and were so happy to see me with the gal pal. They took a picture or two of us and when I get them from her, I'll pop them up here.
Sunday brought a quiet day for me. It was the actual b-day for yours truly. I just went to church with the gal pal and her family and we went to lunch afterwards. We had a really wonderful weekend and I wanted to spend some quiet time with my best gal. We spent Sunday afternoon with a movie and some time talking and really enjoying each other's company. Looking in her eyes, I found myself falling in love with her over and over again. Spent more time with her family and friends and found myself in a very odd position of getting ready to head home and embark on the long drive, but my heart wanted to stay there. I wanted to just sit and watch the sun set with mi amour. The sun went down while we were sitting at her computer (i'm such a romantic...ha!) and I left and made the long trek home and knew my heart was smiling a mile wide inside.Well, today finds me back to reality as another work week begins. Also, today is the second year anniversary of my dad's passing. I still miss him. We didn't always have the closest of relationships but we pulled it together in the last five years of his life here on earth. He really showed what it was to love someone and I learned that from him. He loved his family and he loved God and even though it took us a while to patch things up... yep, he even loved me... I miss you dad. I know you're happy in Heaven with the truest love of your life. Give mom a hug and kiss for me and enjoy your eternal rewards... oh, and if you think about it, tell God I said thanks for giving me you as my dad... I'm sure He knows, but tell Him anyway, okay? And tell Him how grateful I am for our family and my gal pal and her family too! I love them all... I really do...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday On My Mind

It's been a wacky week. But fairly decent. As for the sister update. Lou had an MRI done and she's doing better but still has some serious discomfort in her back and they may find out why and do something about it. Terri is doing a little better for having to deal with the skin issues she has had in regards to the chemo. She gets another dose of it on Tuesday. It'll knock her on her can for a while and she's trying hard to prepare for it. I hope that she somehow keeps up the brave fight she's waging. She is one tough lady and deserves to be happy and healthy. She loves God and her family and her students. I hope and hope and hope. We'll see what happens. Thank you all for your prayers for both of them... I really appreciate it.
Well, the last couple of days, I've done nothing but eat, eat, and eat... I got an early surprise in that the people I work with sprung a little party on me as an early birthday present. I ate (okay graze might be a more appropriate word) like they were going to stop making food and felt good with a full tank of grub. My nephew Dyl, who some of you that have read this column for a while... well, you know about his exploits, well he just had a birthday so I always encourage my family to celebrate his birthday instead of mine because he's just a kid and I am an oldie but a goodie... I turn 43 on Sunday. Inside of my heart, I still feel like a 12 year-old, but outside, I feel like I'm 103 sometimes... but overall, I'm hanging in there. I'm getting to spend it with the gal pal so I'm good. Dyl is having a party with his family tonight but I won't be there. So I invited Dyl and his brother and parents over to my place last night, so they could go swimming at the lake and eat some pizza and have ice cream and we watched a movie as well. There has always been an unspoken understanding that I always had to drive to family members' homes to visit and no one would ever came up to my place to see me. Thursday night, my kid sister and her family came to my place and they loved it and actually said they want to come back. The boys wanted to spend the night but I am heading to see my gal pal and since I haven't gotten to spend as much time as I want with her, I'm taking this opportunity to enjoy some quality time with my best girl... I think we're going to a baseball game tonight. Saturday is a cookout at her family's... and I don't even know what she's got planned for me on Sunday, but I'm looking forward to spending my b-day with the woman that I really love... she is beyond amazing and has really made me a much better person... I thank God for her every single day... She has been such a blessing from God... He really is awesome!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday Moanin'...

Ahhhh it's Monday again. Geez, I'm so excited (yawn),
I survived the weekend with some sleep. Not much, mind you, but some. Lou is feeling better. Her labs were way off and it caused her to be flat out miserable. But she's better. I am grateful. She still has got kidney problems but hopefully a trip or two to the nephrologist will help. Terri is feeling the skin effects of her chemo. She wants to scratch constantly. She is trying to not scratch but... other than that, not much is different with the sisters right now but please keep the prayers going... After work on Saturday, I went and did the security thing for a high school graduation party. That went off without any problems. The kids were smart and later on met somewhere else to go do stupid stuff... Me, I went to church on Saturday night then went to Todd and Nicole's and watched baseball late Saturday and got up on Sunday feeling pretty relaxed. I took my time because the mass was at 10am and the baptism for Grace wasn't going to be until afterwards. So I pop out of the shower and leave a little early and stop to gas up before heading up to Monroe to the church. I get there about 9:50 in the morning and my cell rings. It's Nicole and she's in a mild panic as the priest informs her at that time that they're going to do the baptism DURING the mass. Oops... fortunately, Nicole's family (who are all Catholic) was there to go to mass anyway. So that kept everything pretty calm. I arrive at the church, ready to be the godfather, not having yet even meeting the godmother. This girl comes over and sits down next to me. She is a very cute kid (as in all the young guys at church were staring at her because they thought she was as one guy said 'smoking hot'). And never said a word to me. I never felt so OLD... I wanted to yell at some of the guys sitting behind her like I was her father or something. As we went up to the baptismal thingy to do our part, I'm like six foot two, standing next to this 18 year old girl who is in a very tight, revealing dress. who is only 5'2" at the most. I am standing there making sure that I do not look at her because of our height differential, it would appear like I would be looking straight down at her cleavage. Unlike most guys my age, I don't have a thing for young teenage girls. I'm very happy with the girlfriend I have and am not interested in anyone else, thank you very much... after we get done with the baptism of Grace, we head back to our pews and I step on the edge of a step and proceed to roll my ankle a bit and have to jump in the air so I could balance myself and not fall down. I was just grateful that there were no cameras flashing.
We go to lunch afterwards and I'm having a good time. I knew that I had to leave and head over to Sonja's memorial trust fundraiser. I arrive there and the place is packed. I know that Sonja would've been proud to see that. Lots of family and friends and co-workers. I see some of the co-workers whom I'm friends with and am looking to enjoy myself, when I hear a 'Hi Mik' that I hadn't heard in about 7 years. It was my old flame K who I haven't seen in a few years. Last I heard she was out in Vermont with a guy and now she comes up to hug me in downtown Toledo. I smile and am polite, but didn't say or feel anything towards her. I've lost some weight since we last saw each other and she kept saying 'Oh my god' over and over. I think I asked if she was back in town and she said yes but then I seen an old friend from high school who was there as well, so I started a converstation with him and K stood there for a minute and opted to leave. I couldn't have cared less. When I looked at her, I tried to remember what it was that I found attractive about her... I couldn't. I felt nothing. I then began to think about my current girlfriend and my heart came back to life. I realized just how far I have come in the last 7-10 years... I couldn't be happier or more grateful for where I am right now. I am completely in love and very happy. And I am at a point in my life where I want peace in my heart and in my life. I never had that before with any other female. I have that now. My heart is relaxed and I have a grateful heart for being blessed with an amazing woman who inspires me every single day. To embrace life and live it. She is my rock... God has my soul and she has my heart. That is how I am able to keep it together...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Post Holiday Thoughts...

And so it goes...
I have had a pretty good week. Thank the Good Lord. A little sleep deprived but that's okay. My sisters are fairing a bit better. Lou is still battling the emotional stress from the meds she is taking, but it's a little better than it was. She's sleeping more and that is a good thing. Terri is doing better but preparing for her next chemo treatment... I just hope and pray that it does it's job... My personal highlight... installing the commode riser for Lou in her toilet... I tried not to think about the obvious rear-end jokes that would fly with this... No ifs, ands, or but(t)s about it... (groan)
Getting ready for the weekend. Did some shopping for the new goddaughter to be... I'm going to be spending more time with my best friend Todd this weekend and his wife Nicole than I have in the last six months... lol... but that's a good thing. I asked Todd why he wanted me to be the godfather of his kids... his response: "because, I can't hold a baby that little while they toss water on her head" Uh, Todd, your first daughter was over 10 lbs at birth and Grace was almost nine. I think we know where they get their genetics from... hello? Nicole just throws up her arms and has given up on trying to figure Todd out... Of course he and I are best friends so what does that tell you about me? HA!
Hope everyone Stateside had a great holiday. Now that it's the day after, I am trying to let all of the food I ate yesterday settle... I chowed down big-time. My stomach still hurts so good. Played horseshoes and cornhole (the game with the bean bags), and tried the Pepsi summer mix (tropical fruit flavor)... as a coca-cola guy, I was surprised how good that new Pepsi tasted. But now I have to let my tummy settle down today and get ready for more eating and eating and (big drumroll) MORE EATING this weekend... ahhhhhhhhhhhhh (burp!)
God's Blessings to all of you!
Mik

Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday Musings... July Edition

I'm here... for the most part,
The weekend wasn't too bad. Let's see... the city-wide garage sale was pretty cool. I found a 'Hooked On Phonics' set (only a couple of the parts were actually used- the rest were still sealed new) for only 20 bucks. Normally it costs over 300 smackers... got it for Terri for her classes. Speaking of which. Terri is feeling a lot better from the chemo and is getting around again. The only problem now is Lou. Lou is doing better physically. But the meds she is taking for everything is affecting her emotionally. She is now easily rattled and does not sleep. She had an MRI on her back but the doc is on vacay till next week. So it won't be read until then when they can change the medications to a more appropriate combinations and dosage. Thanks for keeping them in your prayers. I am grateful for your kindness.
From the 'good stuff' dept: My best friend Todd and his wife Nicole are the proud parents a beautiful baby girl... Grace. I was honored to be asked to be her godfather. (i'm the godfather of their other daughter too) So this coming weekend is going to be another busy one. I'm going to work at the hospital on saturday, go and work security for a graduation party. Go to church. On sunday, doing the godfather thing, and probably going out to eat afterwards, and then head over to the memorial trust fundraiser for the children of my friend Sonja who was killed in a car wreck back in May. Somewhere in the middle of that, I have to check on the sisters. But that is a typical of my schedule these days. I haven't gotten to everyone's journal/blog yet but please know that I've been swamped and have not had as much time to do much of anything. But I will get to you all, and say hello...
More good stuff: The gal pal is back from vacation so I'm a happy guy. This whole thing with my family has been really trying at times, but she has been a rock... such an incredible blessing that I've been able to keep focused and do what I had to do... Don't know how I could've dealt with all of this without her... I am blessed!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Update (or is there such a thing as 'Downdate'?)

Aloha y'all...
Thursday finds me feeling a bit rested but still wiped out from the last week or two. I've been laying low the last couple of days to recoup and recharge the batteries. The gal pal is vacationing with her family so I'm missing her right now. I'm a little out of sorts because work has been a little wacked lately. People getting a bit testy. But I'm still surviving... As for the sisters, it's still a bit bumpy but otherwise status quo. Lou has a birthday tomorrow and I got her a pair of dinner theatre tickets to go out if she wants to... I hope she does. I guess it'll depend on whether her back holds up. Terri is still feeling like someone beat her up and left her in a heap with the treatments. And she's only in week two of a six month ordeal with no guarantee of success. But that's what we got to deal with... like the old saying goes: it's not about seeing through each other, it's about seeing each other through...
Well, this weekend marks the annual city-wide garage sales here in the Pier... how does a hick town of about 1200 people use the term 'city-wide'??? But the cool part is that the fourth of July celebration is being held this weekend (something weird about observing the 4th of July on June 30th) and that means the big fireworks display at the beach on Saturday night... woo-hoo...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trying To Keep Up...

Hey kids,
Hope you all are enjoying the summer. So far it's been a bit of an adventure for yours truly. But you all have responded with prayers and hopes for good things for me and my family who (like me) are stunned by the response of so many kind hearted (no longer) strangers who have taken me and my family in and have reached out to us in such a wonderful and prayerful way... again, this chirpy, loud-mouth from NW Ohio/SE Michigan (as in right on the border)... is speechless. As for the sisters: well, baby steps would be the proper term. Lou is progressing very well. She's able to take steps without the aid of a walker or wheelchair and the only thing really giving her trouble right now is her back. It's been aching lots but right now she has color back in her face instead of looking deathly pale... But she tires easily and everything takes her a long period of time to do...
Terri is not sure how her treatments are working but she's in a lot of pain and discomfort and any physical exertion wipes her out. I went today after church to see them and ended up running all over town to get stuff they needed for around the house etc... and to top it off, I can tell they are both starting to irritate each other a wee bit because they have to rely on family members to help them and when we don't do things exactly as they normally do them... well... the attempt to stifle their disdain or disappointment is not well hidden... no poker faces here... :) But I understand that it's just the frustration of having to deal with such a crappy situation and a freakin' disease that kicks your butt and every other part of the human body. So I try to let it roll off my back and have been successful for the most part. When I'm not, I try not to be around them so I don't take out any frustrations I have on them. But my frustrations don't hold a candle to theirs, so I am working at trying to keep things in their proper prospective.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back At It Again...

Howdy,
Well, tuesday was a day that started out very lousy, but ended quite nicely. I was not having a good day at work with some lady who didn't know me, right out of the blue, call me a f'ing imbecile. Maybe she had talked to my ex-girlfriend...lol... Anyway, it was just nutty because people were really in a snotty mood and just being nasty. I was trying to remain in a decent mood but was losing the battle... until I got to talk to the gal pal. Things started to straighten themselves out then. Much needed and I felt a whole lot better. I needed to get an attitude adjustment before I went to see Terri and Lou. I knew that they were both going to be feeling pretty bad. I knew it was early, but the girls actually weren't as bad as I expected. The day after is usually worse but for the type of treatment Terri was going through, I knew it was going to whip her. I get there and walk in and while she looked a little pale, she was resting on her bed, reading the paper. Lou was also there, laying down and taking it easy. I was surprised a little but just smiled and asked how it was going. Terri was feeling very weak, but offered up a 'better than I was earlier' so I took that as a positive sign. It's only the first day and I didn't want to build it up and try to make it more than it was... still, she was wobbly in walking to the bathroom but navigated herself reasonably well. I know the next couple of weeks are going to be brutal, but that's up to God and Terri's attitude...
As for me, I'm just kind of quiet and not really sure how to handle things. I'm feeling not so much confidence as I am trusting in God. I'm not going to shout that He'll do this or that... but I believe in Him no matter what happens. I love Him and pray that His Mercy and Grace is on my family...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Let the games begin...

Hope y'all had a good weekend...
Me, I didn't do too bad. Did the little things: the lawn, the laundry, some groceries... the usual suspects. Spent time over with Terri and Lou... I was feeling pretty good until Terri told about the regimen they're putting her on... the treatment they're putting her through for six straight months is the same type of treatment for AIDS patients. So in addition to all of the misery of pain, nausea, and vomiting, she'll also get the added fun of needing to stay out of the sun and a lot of different types of food she can't eat as a result of this... Plus the usual added attractions of weight loss and hair loss... there is nothing wonderful about this unless she is cured... It is going to be sheer hell, but she knows this and has spent the weekend getting prepared for everything she's going to have to go through... Me and my other family members are going to take shifts staying over there to watch Terri and Lou and do whatever needs to be done to take care of them... I'm really bumming about this crap that she has to go through, but as she likes to say: "if that's what I gotta do to live..." how can I compare anything to that?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Better Day...

Mik: "hey Terri, what's going on?"
Terri: "Oh, not a whole lot"
Mik: "so how are you feeling today"
Terri: "okay I guess"
Mik: "well, that's better than yesterday."
Terri: "oh I got some news"
Mik (not sure what to think): "okay, hit me"
Terri: "the tumors that are located in my chest wall are benign"
Mik: (screaming like a school girl): "PRAISE THE GOOD LORD!!!"
Terri: "Yes, He is awesome. I know it's going to be a long hard path with the cancer everywhere else (her stomach, and mommy parts), but I was most worried about any tumors in my chest. Those are the worst. But those are benign and I start my radiation and chemo next week. Oh, and I got another little surprise for you".....
Lou: " I MADE IT OUT ... I'M HOME!!! "
Mik: (the one who is at times accused of being completely devoid of any emotion): (sniffle, sniffle)

As I sit here typing this out, I am simply, profoundly, humbled... I am speechless when I try to even remotely fathom an answer to the incredible response from all of you when I was feeling at my lowest. I needed prayer for my family and was too proud to really ask. I can provide lip service, but when it counted most, I just stewed inside. I woke up this morning and headed into work, a bird left a gift for me (hint: he made it himself) that missed my shirt and tie but caught the back of my pants. And I didn't notice it until I got to work. A lady in my office noticed it and proceeded to grab a rag and wipe my pants... (the bird turd was on my backside) I was too stunned to be embarrased at a lady old enough to be my mom cleaning the top of my backside. Something inside told me not to give in to the temptation of getting hacked off about it... just keep a cool head Mik... like you always do... When I took a break, I went and checked my email for a response or two... HUH??? I was completely stunned by what I saw. I had to fight back the tears as I read note after encouraging note. I was humbled to my core... Thank you seems so inadequate to what the power of your prayers have meant to me and my family... But I humble myself and offer the most heartfelt, and sincere thanks to all of you. I will keep you all in my prayers as well. I know she has a long way to go yet. But I'm at least more optimistic than I was 24 hours ago... I told Terri about all of you offering us up in prayer... she wept openly... Whoever says that prayer does not work... well, they don't know who they're messing with!!! Terri was pretty low key about getting the call from the oncologist regarding the chest tumors. But knowing how vicious those things can be... I see it as a major step in Our Lord making His presence felt... I pray that she faces her next stage of this challenge with determination, courage, and hope! You all have given me hope... With a tear or two in my eyes, I say thank you...

With the deepest gratitude... Mik

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Teed off On Life...

Howdy,
Well the news was pretty grim for my sister Terri. The cancer is not only back, but its spread all over. Her stomach wall, her chest wall, and the prognosis is not good. This was just a lousy day yesterday. It was my kid sister’s birthday and when she found out about Terri, she sat and just cried and cried. Terri felt like she ruined Angie’s birthday. I wanted to get mad because that was so not true. Terri didn’t ask for this (expletive deleted) disease. She wants no part of it. She didn’t try to upstage her little sister by letting us know what the results were. We knew she was going to get the results back on Tuesday. Still, Terri felt horrible about (in her mind) “ruining” Angie’s birthday… I talked with Terri a couple of times yesterday and she is still trying to come to terms with facing her own mortality. As she so eloquently put it: “Today (Tuesday) was not one of my better days.” If that isn’t the understatement of the year…
I was heading home and trying to put things in perspective. It just didn’t seem fair to me. It goes back to that all too familiar question; God, why do bad things happen to good people? I know God has His reasons for everything. But I keep thinking that Terri still wants very much to live. She is a school teacher and wants to impact the lives of the children she teaches. Virtually every class that goes through cites Terri as their very favorite teacher. She has such a genuine heart for children. She gave up her teenage years after my mom died to raise our family and keep us together somehow. My sister Lou is in an ECF trying to rehab to where she can get out of there and get back to trying to deal with her leukemia. The one person who is there helping her day after monotonous day, is Terri. And Terri’s reward for all that she does? She gets this… THIS????