Saturday, March 29, 2008

Time Well Spent...

As per usual in life, highs and lows permeate the world of yours truly. I've simply learned to adjust and in the words of Steve Winwood “you gotta roll with it baby”. Stopped by Terri's to check on her. She's still feeling like ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag. But is trying to bounce back from the chemo treatment. Lou is definitely feeling better and was on the computer playing a card game when I showed up. Now you'd figure that in her condition, Terri would just want to rest and not really talk about much. Of course, you have to remember that this is my family we're talking about... no one has ever used the word “normal” and our name in the same sentence. True to form, Terri decides she wants to engage me in talking politics. Oh perfect... of all the things she could want to talk about... just perfect! She and I are opposites when it comes to most things political. But our debates, while very spirited, are usually respectful and cordial. And of course, how can I argue with a woman who is lying in bed from enduring a chemotherapy treatment? I'd look like a complete, heartless slug! Most of my family would tell you I'm a heartless slug anyways... but they'd say it out of sport and not out of spite...
I got the rare treat of spending time with the gal pal for a few days. She was in rare form if I do say so myself. I was so amazed... more on her in a moment. Her grandfather is not doing really well and they had to take him to the hospital today. But she was steadfast in having a good time with me and boy did we. We spent so much time together and I've got to tell ya... I've found THE GIRL... or should I say that the good Lord blessed me with her. Because she is amazing. She leaves me speechless because of who she is. The fact that she's crazy about me is an honor I don't take lightly. But her warmth, tenderness, and her gentle humor leaves me flabbergasted. I think you can tell by the pictures that we're pretty smitten with each other. DUHHHHHHH... :)

Monday, March 24, 2008


Hope everyone had a nice Easter. Me, I had to work, but I stopped over at Terri's and got something to eat before I went to my job. To say that Terri pulled out all of the stops is a gross understatement. She was not feeling the greatest, but she takes to cooking like I take to eating... very naturally thank you... She bought enough groceries to fill a small building or nuclear fallout shelter (take your pick) and it was all for Easter dinner. Not for the month, not for a week... but for one meal. Wholly cow! (for a minute, I thought she actually bought a whole one.) Let's put it this way, we couldn't eat at her dinner table because of all of the food choices that she put out... My whole family was there and they were having a ball... For a few hours, the whole thought of cancer took a backseat to just being a bunch of wacked-out, out of sorts, mentally disturbed, crazy people... y'know... FAMILY!!
Terri goes for chemo tomorrow and it's going to be a new type of chemo. So I'm hoping it works. Me, I'm taking a few days off and am going to go spend time with my gal pal... it's been a long time since we've gotten to spend any quality time together. So I will be M-I-A for the next several days. But for a good reason :) Yak atcha soon...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Re-orienting Myself to the Eastern Time Zone

It's nice to be home again. I just spent the last week in Iowa which felt more like a year. There was not much to do outside of the hockey rink but eat and watch TV... no wonder they love their sports teams there. Geez, if all I had to do was watch paint dry, I'd go out and support about any sports team they had too... I'm not knocking the people of the Hawkeye State, it's just that there is not much of a nightlife in the city of Dubuque. I drove out to Iowa and parked my car at the hotel. The rink was literally across the street from the hotel, and I walked everywhere I went. I didn't start my car up for 4 days. There was absolutely NOTHING to do as a tourist. But of course, the players were pretty cool cause they wanted to go watch some of the other teams play so we did everything together as a team. We went to eat together, watch some of the other games together. And of course, prep for our games... we made it all the way to the semi-finals before bowing out. I was really disappointed but the guys were pretty good about it. I got to spend some time with the guys afterwards to see where they what they were going to do with their futures. A number of them are coming back, but a number of them are also moving on and going out into the real world. They're nervous, and scared and wanted this to last as long as possible. These kids will be fine. I'm sure they'll do wonderfully.
Nothing new to report on Terri and Lou. After last week, that's probably a good thing. Terri wanted to make sure I would be in town for Easter so that I would go over to her house for dinner. She sent me a text about it, and all it said was "come hungry"... typical Terri.
Anyway, a number of you dropped me a note and/or an e-mail offering your ear for support and concern. I've been gone for the last week and haven't had time to answer in a proper manner to offer my thanks for your prayers and best wishes. You guys are the best. It's going to be an interesting journey but my prayer is that Terri and Lou will feel the love of those who are praying for them and can face the future with faith and hope and yes, love...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Here I Go Again (apologies to David Coverdale)

I'm sitting here in Iowa as the playoffs start in a matter of hours... not caring one bit about hockey right now... Terri called me and I knew it was coming, but I still felt the sucker-punch to the gut. Her cancer had spread to her vertebrae. I just sat here in silence, wishing I could find the words to comfort, to love, to show compassion... but nothing came to mind. She told me they're going to try a different chemo and even though it only has a 30 percent chance of working, as Terri so eloquently put it: “30 is better than zero...” She told me she's not giving up (in between the sobs) and kept saying “Mickey, I want to live”. I sat on my hotel bed, just numb. I asked what I could do to help and she tearfully offered up “please pray for me, that I have the strength to go through this...” I tried to stay strong and reminded her that this is where we have to have faith. I completed the call with her telling her about my drive out here from Ohio to Iowa. That made her laugh lots and lots and I hung up with her feeling a little bit better. Me, I wanted to just go down to the bar and drown my sorrows big time. But I came to the computer and was chatting with the gal pal. I was feeling really down, and she knew it. She didn't have any answers, but she was there for me. She was there. That's why I didn't go down to the bar. Not too long ago, I wouldn't have even bothered turning the computer on... I would've just sat at the bar ordering a beer, drinking shots while I waited for my beer to arrive. Today, I knew it wasn't worth it and that it would've been the wrong choice. So I sat here, chatting with the gal pal and when we said goodnight, I flipped on the TV and heard a song that made me think of my sister who started raising me when she was sixteen. I lost it, and wanted to punch the wall out of feeling so helpless. I just sat there looking up and for the first time, instead of saying “God ya gotta heal her”, through tears of pain, I let go and surrendered, saying “Lord, your will be done.” and after a while, I felt the bitterness go away. I felt a little more peaceful and was able to sit here and pound out this entry. I'll be broadcasting hockey games online, for the next couple of days on and I will not mention anything at all about my personal stuff... But know that I'll be thinking about God, Terri, the gal pal, and everything but hockey...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

How Lame Can I Get? Here's How...

Sorry I haven't been around much. but I've been a busy little goof to say the least. We've had three snowstorms in less than 10 days... I love winter but I've had enough. It's okay when the kids are out sledding, but I don't like the prospects of sledding in my car. Terri had her PET Scan yesterday but won't know the results till later this week. I called her last night and she sounded completely wiped out and a little down. In a typical Terri move, instead of going on and on about herself, she wanted me to use a coupon she had for 50 cents per gallon off of a fuel fill-up because it expired soon. I did and boy am I glad I did. With all the running around that I did this week, it came in real handy.
Now, I finally got around to checking my emails... thanks to those of you that dropped me a line asking about the girls... very much appreciated... I also got one from an old friend of mine, that I absolutely regret opening. The reason? Because I have not stopped going to the website that he sent me the link to ever since I opened it.... Grrrrrrrr.... I was sent the link to a page that is
cyber bubble wrap... I'm not kidding. Bubble wrap. I have always loved popping bubble wrap in person. Now I can and have been doing it online for the last couple of days... I even added it to my favorites list... How sad is that? I need help.... lol... if you go over to it, just use your mouse and point and click... that's all there is to it. I'm completely addicted to it... grrrrrrr.... the manic model version is exactly the same only instead of clicking on the mouse, you just run your cursor over it and it pops for you. When you're done and reload a fresh sheet there's a female voice that says in a hypnotic-like way, the phrase.... MUST HAVE MORE!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pet Scan Vinaigrette

Lots going on around le chateaux du Mik.these days. I can only tread water and try to stay above sea level... Heard from Terri. Her numbers are out of wack again. Usually when that happens, that means the cancer has returned and has spread somewhere. She goes for a pet scan and chemo again on monday... Keep her in your prayers, okay? It's really beginning to wear on her. She is hurting right now and try as I might to keep my spirits up... it's disheartening to know that she is trying so hard and is getting her butt kicked. I'm going to see her and Lou tomorrow and have dinner. I hate this feeling of helplessness. And she's the one going through it...not me!
In more upbeat stuff, I went to a sports memorabilia auction/ dinner that benefitted the Make-a-Wish foundation... one of my favorite charities. They had all kinds of great items for both silent and live auction. Not only sports stuff, but non-sports stuff as well. Where else can you find an old vintage document that is certified authentic with the signature of Abraham Lincoln on it? I was bidding on the Notre Dame stuff that they had. The dinner menu was really good: Sauteed Chicken Napolitano layered with asiago cheese, roasted wild mushrooms, spinach, garlic and sundried tomatoes with tomato & prosciutto sauce... served with crisp risotto cake, asparagus spears and graufrette carrots. Dessert was a 7 layer raspberry cake with raspberry sauce. It all was pretty fancy except that it was all in portions that wouldn't fill up a 10 year old... the graufrette carrots? there were two on the plate... TWO. Not that I'm some kind of carrot fan (that would be freaky), but you get my meaning. The food was good, but it wasn't like a home cooked meal where you could fill your tummy up and feel satisfied. I left the event and had to get something on the way home to eat... maybe not as healthy... but a dang site more filling!