Friday, November 14, 2008

Latest and greatest

Wow, hard to believe it's been almost two months since I've added anything to the blog. No real reason other than I was waiting to hear how things look since I did my 8 weeks of chemo / radiation. Kind of in limbo land if you know what I mean. It's a weird place to be and one I've got little experience with.

Last week I had my CT Scan and subsequent meeting with my oncologist Dr. Martins (btw, no relation to the shoes). In a line, he stated I came through as good as they could have hoped for. My blood work came out very well with healthy platelets and white blood cell count back to normal.

The Lymphs are completely relaxed - " not hot"- and no disease noted there - the best we could hope for. All in all, it appears the radiation and chemo did what it was suppose to do.

The original mass is about the same size as at diagnosis; it has not grown since March and possibly shrunk some. The doctor noted that it is possible it is just scar tissue at this time. They will not do a biopsy on it. He contined to say, "I need to see you every two month for the next two years to keep an eye on things".

No further meds called for at this time.

One thing I found out is that due to the radiation treatment, my lower left lung is fried...as in non functional and never will be again. The doctor gave me a number (not sure what it meant) but he said my lung could withstand up to 20 and they gave me 60. Thus, no more lower lung. But that what is required to kill the tumor via radiation.

As I started to say in the beginning, much has transpired in the past couuple of months and it is an emotional thing and sometimes I'm not able/willing to talk or write about it freely - too many questions and too many things to remember. I know you are all concerned and I have rec'd many inquiries and letters of love from so many its still hard to fathom. I do attribute my success to date to the number of prayers I've rec'd from around the world. Please keep it up as I need it daily.

The last thing the doctor told me before we parted was to 'Live your life'. That I intend to do.

It was as good a meeting/appointment as I could have hoped for. Keep up the prayers and God bless you all.

Much love,

Randy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Human Touch

As I went through my eight week treatment, another helpful aspect of enduring treatment was seeking out the human touch. I believe heartily in the human touch as a natural healing property and making sure I received an adequate amount of this was paramount to getting through the treatment and the subsequent side effects.

Now, I can hear the groans and guffaws in the background when you read 'the human touch'. So for clarification sake, I'm going on record that this was all professional in nature and one that would not include any Vice Squad interference.

The human touch is defined by massage therapy, facials, pedicures, manicures, and the such. I made sure I had at least one of these treatments every single week of the treatment. And in most weeks I doubled or tripled up on this wonderful part of the eight weeks. I found it to be a definite help and a break from the action of going to the hospital every day. And if truth be known, the massages were the very best and I believe the most healing.

On the subject of healing and human touch, I recall a study I read in Scientific America some years ago. It took place @ a University library and was conducted on multiple occasions to ensure the outcome they received was consistent throughout the process.

The study was a simple one. It consisted of a checkout person and an interviewer. The checkout person was first asked to check out books and under no circumstance whatsoever touch the person who was checking them out. The person checking out was then interviewed as they left the library and asked, "How was your visit to the library today?" In more than 90% of the cases where the person was not touched, the reply of, "Nothing special" or there abouts was proffered as the answer.

Next, the opposite was administered. The checkout person had to make physical contact with a touch to the hand or arm as the person with the books was exiting the check out area. Same question ensued, "How was your visit to the library today?" This time in over 90% of the cases, the reply was along the lines of, "It was nice, special, good experience, etc."

As mentioned, the research team administered this form of test over and over and each time came back with similar and consistent results. The human touch made a positive difference on the simplest of undertakings.

I for one firmly believe in the human touch and the power of it's healing capabilities. Try it sometime with loved ones, friends, strangers, co workers, etc. Touch someone and see if it brightens up their day. I believe you'll be amazed by the result.

Randy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A poem from a dear friend Anne

The Lines on My Face

To his grandson, the old man said,
The wrinkles on my face
Are a treasure map to my wealth.
Revealing a life rich in experience
Accompanied by good health.
In these lines you see where I’ve
Laughed and cried.
Moments that seemed fleeting
Have instead made a permanent mark.
Right where all can see, especially me,
In the mirror and in my memory.
Some think being rich has to do with a bank account,
But now that I’ve made it here,
I realize what has made my life dear.
It is the deposits of love made by family and friends
Into this bank I call my heart.
It's knowing that I’ve mattered
That has sustained me from the start.
So even if I look old and feeble,
And perhaps not much of a sight to see,
Never see me and feel pity,
You should be so lucky.
To have lived a life
Through both joy and strife
Graced by loved ones
Willing to share and see things through.
Their value has appreciated with age
The way all things with value do.
So here I sit, old and wealthy,
Content in these years.
And if you see past the lines on my face,
You’ll see a treasure of happiness in their place.
Mary F. Van der Linden

The final stretch - a blessing

This week marks the eighth and final week of treatment which can be described as nothing other than a marathon of chemo & radiation therapy. All in all it has gone well and the time has passed without any big incident; albeit the side effects have been somewhat less than a walk through the park on a summer day. As such, I've been dark on the blog during the past several weeks as I haven't had too many positive things to say about the experience. I felt it best to put some time between me and it before chronicling.

One key ingredient during this tenuous time which helped me immensely is the time spent with friends. I made a concerted effort to have lunch/dinner, go for a walk, take in a museum, the market, tea, etc. each day of treatment with good friends. My good friend Danielle even came to town for a few days and her wonderful company accompanied by her epicurean delights were blissful.

This time spent with close friends was a true blessing and reminds me again how fortunate I am to have the people in my life that I do. It's very special indeed!

Another element which helped get through this treatment was meditation. I found that by meditating on my multitude of blessings, it guided me daily with a positive agenda thus creating less focus on the negative aspects of what my body was feeling and going through.

Top on my blessing list was my parents. I meditated over and over on how much they mean to me and how incredible they have been for me over the years and helped form the very fabric of who I am as a person. I prayed to God thanking him that they are who they are and how fortunate I am to have them as the key and guiding light through my journey on earth.

During one of my meditative prayers, God spoke to me that I was able to pick my folks in heaven before I came to live on earth. He stated that I had many to pick from and to pick well as they would be the only parents I'll ever have. I was not given a window on the future, only to look at them as humans and how they act and are as people on earth. They would be my decision to pick, not the other way around. So depending upon the life I wanted to lead on earth would depend a lot about how I made this decision.

Needless to say, this was a true revelation and one that became dogma throughout my meditation's. It opened all kinds of thoughts and self observations and ultimately put more accountability on me as to who I am and how I have lived my life; one without blame or self criticism. It was truly a BLESSING to come to this realization and one I doubt I would have ever come to had I not gone through several weeks of hell.

I highly recommend taking a moment from your day and meditate upon your blessings. You may be pleasantly surprised what comes before you. I know I was.

Wishing you many blessings in your world,

Randy

Monday, August 18, 2008

The David returns to Italy from US Tour





After a two year visit to the United States, Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy . . .


The Proud Sponsors of the US Tour were:
McDonalds
Burger King
Dairy Queen
KFC

STONE & SAND


TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT. DURING SOME POINT OF THE JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE IN THE FACE.

THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED WAS HURT,
BUT WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING, WROTE IN THE SAND,
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE .
THEY KEPT ON WALKING,UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
WHERE THEY DECIDED TO TAKE A BATH.
THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING, BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.
AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM THE NEAR DROWNING, HE WROTE ON A STONE:
'TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE'.
THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND ASKED HIM,
'AFTER I HURT YOU, YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW, YOU WRITE ON A STONE. WHY?
'THE FRIEND REPLIED'WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.

BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US, WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE WHERE NO WIND CAN EVER ERASE IT.
'LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE.
IT'S SAID IT TAKES A MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL PERSON,
AN HOUR TO APPRECIATE THEM,
A DAY TO LOVE THEM,
BUT THEN ,
AN ENTIRE LIFE TO FORGET THEM.
SEND THIS TO THE PEOPLE YOU'LL NEVER FORGET.
I JUST DID.
IF YOU DON'T SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE,
IT MEANS YOU'RE IN A HURRY AND THAT YOU'VE FORGOTTEN YOUR FRIENDS.

TAKE THE TIME TO LIVE! DO NOT VALUE THE THINGS YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE,
BUT VALUE WHO YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE!

AND IF I HAPPEN TO GET IT BACK, THEN I KNOW MY PLACE IN YOUR LIFE

'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hair line rising

Well, it's begun to happen...yes, my hair is falling off my head like snow flakes on a January ski slope. At the current rate, I should be completely bald by Wednesday as it's coming out in clumps rather than individual hairs when I run a comb through it.

I haven't seen my scalp since I was a little boy so it'll be interesting to see how many bumps I've accrued over the years...perhaps there's a hidden tattoo or something under the mop. We'll soon all see.

I spent the past weekend with Brad, Autie, & Riley @ the Canal. We had a blast. George Van Boeven & Jim Hill joined in the festivities as well. We ate an amazing fish stew of fresh salmon, clams, geoduck and a ton of veggies all brewed in a clam nectar stock...it was to die for. Just gotta love what the Sound proffers up in the way of seafood dinners.

All for now...film @ 11 of my new doo!

Randy

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Letter of Love from Bel

Randy,



Hello my friend. How are you feeling? We have your blog up and read your updates all the time. I sent you a long letter about a month 1/2 ago but figured life was a bit on the "focused" road so didn't follow up. Did u ever get it? We sent love, happiness, strength, and gardens wrapped in a soft blue sky and tied with sunshine. It sounds like you are in Kirkland somewhere.



We would love to visit or just write e-mails if that works for you. You have a wonderful family, your children are getting so big and your friends are your healing helpers. You don't leave our thoughts very often and cause pause for great reflection with your daring and dashing attitude...a true warrior you are.



I feel a special connection with you...depth and ever evolving spirit, the gardens...perhaps we should write a book...Gardens of your Soul. It could be about the evolution of life or perhaps just watching the flower grow as we watch our children and ourselves. I hope the kimo isn't taking all of your energy...with much love and Gods healing hand.

Love, Charlie, Jordan, and Bel' ps...picture attached is Jordan a princess at Halloween...




For those of you who don't know Bel & family, I purchased the Grapeview house from them in'05. Bel is the most amazing gardener I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know. Chuck does all the heavy lifting...and of course Jordan is their wonderful and beautiful (not so little anymore) girl. She was 4 when I met her for the first time...as you can see, she is all the things Bel mentioned above that she sent my way...




Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clearing the air about lung cancer - article

Clearing the Air: Group fights lung cancer stigma
By JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

When 44-year-old Dana Reeve sang Madison Square Garden earlier this year, she showed no sign she was battling lung cancer. Two months later she died.
Dana's death becomes a dramatic reminder that lung cancer strikes even non-smokers.
In an emotional broadcast in April 2005, longtime ABC News anchor Peter Jennings revealed that he was ill. Four months later Jennings died at home. His passing put a temporary spotlight on the country's most stigmatized and lethal cancer.
Even in Washington, where the number of smokers has dropped and cigarettes are banned from public places, lung cancer is the number-one cancer killer. Often overshadowed by pink ribbons and yellow wrist bands, the cancer has few advocates.

KING
Peter Jennings died four months after announcing his illness.
“There just aren't many of us around,” said one patient. “Since I’ve been in the group we've lost five people. And you can't keep enough people in the group… this is really unusual because the group is usually pretty small.”
As the only lung cancer support group in Washington, smokers and non-smokers talk freely at Northwest Hospital and Medical Center. Just compare cancer deaths and you see how lung cancer out numbers them all. There are a couple of reasons for that.
Medical specialists like doctors Renato Martins and Douglas Wood of the University and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance say diagnosing lung cancer early can be difficult because symptoms show up so late.
“The symptoms depend a lot on where a lung cancer is -- a lung cancer that's near the central part of the lung may produce pneumonia, with cough,” said Dr. Wood. “On the other hand, a tumor on the outside part of the lung that is growing and starting to invade the chest wall , the ribs will produce pain.”
Video
Fighting the lung cancer stigma
It takes the average smoker eight attempts before they can quit. This is the first day of a quit smoking class for Fred, Rich and John.
Kicking the habit is the number one way for anyone to prevent lung cancer. But, there are no guarantees. Just ask Cecilia Izzo, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and now has difficulty talking and walking.
“I have a joke with friends,” she said. “I tell them I’d love to go for a walk with them but I can't walk and talk…It is tough because I have just the one lung.”
She smoked a little as a teenager, but that was it.
“I smoked as teenager, I wanted to be cool, I was never a heavy smoker, so I don't know why,” she said.
She was also raised in a family of smokers,
“I have give siblings that are alive and everyone of them smokes cigarettes, which is the irony of this,” she said. “I am the one that preached for years: exercise, eat right and don't smoke. And I have these five siblings who continue smoking and they’re fine, not to say they won't be, they may very well have lung cancer in a few years because it has been shown that can happen.”
Three years ago , while living in another state, Cecilia suffered excruciating pain in her right shoulder. It came as quickly as it went. It was a right upper lobe cancerous mass that went undiagnosed for seven months,

KING
Cecilia Izzo was raised in a family of smokers.
When surgeons finally found her mass and went to remove it, they took much more than anyone expected.
“So I woke up to find out it wasn't just the mass, it was the entire lung,” Cecilia said.
Months of chemotherapy came next, then a move to Seattle. Cecilia now cherishes every moment with her family and she doesn’t let two teenage daughters or a missing lung slow her down.
But, look at her x-rays and you can see the ghostly, empty gap in her chest and the irregular curve of her trachea.
“So when I breathe, it doesn’t go straight up…you know when wind goes around the corner and you get that wheezing and that high pitched sound?," she said. "That's what happening to me, because sometimes I hear this sound and I think it’s the trees and it’s me breathing.”
Although she sometimes struggles to speak, it doesn't stop her from speaking out about lung cancer. She's the one who started the one-of-a-kind support group
“I always felt I needed a lung cancer specific group because whenever anyone would hear I had lung cancer, the first thing they'd say was: ‘Were you a smoker?,’” she said.
“So what if somebody did smoke and they quit 20 years ago ? Should they still be punished. If somebody tells me they have cervical cancer, the first thing I say to them is not ‘What sort of sexually transmitted disease do you have?’ You just don't do that. Lung cancer seems to be fair game for people.’”

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Hi all,

I wanted to make you aware that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM). This is a national campaign dedicated to increasing attention to lung cancer issues. By organizing rallies, distributing educational material, holding fund-raising events, contacting Congress, and speaking to the media, those involved in LCAM bring much-needed support and attention to a disease that each year kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined.

So you know, I'm in the planning stages of hosting a major event in Seattle to support the research for a cure for this deadly disease. Details to follow but I'd like you to put an X in your calendar for that month as IT will happen for sure. I have the scope of my plan and will share once I begin to fill in the blanks. But whether you are near or far, I am hoping that everyone (and mean everyone) will attend this event. It will be one like no other and one you'll not soon forget nor regret attending.

Stay tuned and fasten your seatbelts...

All in God's big plan,

Randy

Saturday, August 9, 2008

From Trina

Hi Randy,

Praying for you. Each day I pray for God to give you comfort as you go through chemo and sustain and give you physical energy and that you have time in God’s word and in prayer. There are many scriptures to share but I want to share this one: Philippians 4:19: I (God) will supply all your needs!. … I like that He means ALL.

With Christ’s Love,

-Trina

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cross another red line through the page

I made it through the second week of treatment pretty well. The fatigue is beginning to creep in, my ears ring pretty much all the time, and the nausea is ever present. But considering what I've been through so far with the combined one two punch of chemo / radiation, I think I'm holding the fort together pretty well. I now have the weekend off from everything and hope the chill time will recharge me for what's ahead next week.

So you know, the radiology nurses call me their star & favorite patient. I told them they say that to all the boys but none the less, it felt good to hear. Again from the patient standpoint, I couldn't be with a finer set of people who are tending after me.

Each day this week after treatment I was able to meet with a friend and go on an adventure. Short & long walks, lunch, museums, etc. One of the true blessings of this situation is the reconnection of past friends. Kathy, Cindy, & Karin this week all stepped up and made my week a little brighter. We walked & talked and they have all been there for me and what a treat it has been to spend quality time with each and reconnect in a meaningful way. And of course Liam and Brad are omnipresent and guiding my emotional output every step of the way as well.

It continues to reinforce for me how big the little things really are...

Much love,

Randy

Monday, August 4, 2008

Still got my hair

Today I finished the next round of chemo. Six straight days and all in all, I can't complain too heavily about the side effects. Today was an all-dayer (6am - 4pm) but it is now behind me and I don't do the next round for more of the same for 21 days from now. Only daily radiation so I'm relieved as radiation only takes about a half hour from the time I arrive till the time I leave the hospital.

Still no real side effects other than the ringing in my ears. I still have my hair but am told that 'may' disappear within the week due to the type of chemo I've just been administered. We'll see. There are certainly worse things and if having a military corp cut walking the street, it may get a salute or two.

I've been staying more active during this go around and I believe that has helped tremendously with my stamina. I even went for a good 8 mile bike ride yesterday in lieu of Seafair and felt good accomplishing this task.

I'm heading out shortly for my evening walk with my walking partner Karin. She's been very diligent about keeping me moving and not allowing too much dust to settle on my fatigued body.

All for now but know I continue to appreciate your cards, letters, emails, posts, signs of encouragement and of course all of the prayers. It does help and I feel very strong God is working with me through this time and I've got much work to do here on earth before he's done with me.

Much love and wishing you all good things,

Randy

Friday, August 1, 2008

One down, seven to go...

Today is the end of week one and so far, fatigue is the only casualty of endurance. I will say although the week went fairly quickly, it was still long.

I'm getting my chemo treatments @ the UW Med Ctr in lieu of SCCA from here on out and it's fabulous. Not that SCCA wasn't, it's just the UW is smaller, less crowded, more attn., better accommodations, food, etc. I even have the nurses fighting over who is going to tend to me the following day...nice. And, it's right upstairs from radiation so the transition time is nil.

I still have my hair, my wits, and of course the sense this is going to all work out great in the end. The doctors are all encouraged and the treatment as I stated couldn't be going any better.

Next week only one day of chemo (albeit all day) and then I'm solely receiving radiation for the next 4 weeks. So far, little to no side effects with the radiation. Keeping my fingers crossed.

RB

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 2 and all is well

Quick update to let you know I've started the journey and have two steps into it. I finished day two of treatment today and all is well. I'm feeling it but it's gradual. I'll keep hoping that it stays at a minimum.

I'm getting chemo treatment from the UW & SCCA this go around and today was the first time @ the UW. Once again, unbelievably professional and I can't sing their praises enough when it comes to caring for people. Everyone there treats you as if you are the only patient. Believe me, it couldn't be further from truth.

One huge lesson I've learned from this experience is how many people are afflicted. If you ever want an eye opener on living each day to the fullest, I suggest visiting the SCCA and walk each floor. Doesn't matter which day or time. Eight to eighty, blind crippled and crazy are in the waiting room with all different levels, stages, and afflictions of the disease. And to think, this is only one center in one city. Cancer is a true epidemic in our society and it's something we always think the other person is going to get. Not us.

Back on course, I'm 2 down with 38 to go. But I'm glad to begun the fight again with the doctors help. They're all so great, I'm glad to have them in my corner.

All for now and wishing everyone who reads nothing but goodness,

Love,

Randy

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Lords Prayer

Hi all,

I wanted to share one of the oldest but certainly the most famous prayer of Christianity. I'm sure you know it by heart but as such, we sometimes skim over the words and have them fall empty on our hearts. Whether you believe Jesus to be the Saviour or not, the words of this short verse should not go unheard nor unnoticed.

I believe heartily in these words and their composition and had the opportunity to attend a service today that the pastor broke the prayer down line by line. It had been 30 some years since I first read Emmet Fox's 'The Sermon on the Mount' which did the same in great detail. It forever changed my view of life and became my core philosophy from which I attempted to live my life. Not always achieving mind you...

I'm taking the liberty to copy a version of the interpretation here below. I hope you enjoy the lesson as reliving today's message helped me tremendously in readying myself for the weeks ahead.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.]

"Our Father, which art in Heaven"
Together, the first two words — Our Father — are a title used elsewhere in the New Testament, as well as in Jewish literature, to refer to God.
The opening pronoun of Matthew's version of the prayer — our — is plural, which would be a strong indication that the prayer was intended for communal, rather than private, worship.

"Hallowed be thy Name"
Having opened, the prayer begins in the same manner as the Kaddish, hallowing the name of God, and then going on to express hope that God's will and kingdom will happen. In Judaism the name of God is of extreme importance, and honouring the name central to piety. Names were seen not simply as labels, but as true reflections of the nature and identity of what they referred to. So, the prayer that God's name be hallowed was seen as equivalent to hallowing God himself. "Hallowed be" is in the passive voice and so does not indicate who is to do the hallowing. One interpretation is that it is a call for all believers to honour God's name. Those who see the prayer as primarily eschatological understand the prayer to be an expression of desire for the end times, when God's name, in the view of those saying the prayer, will be universally honoured.

"Thy kingdom come"
The request for God's kingdom to come is usually interpreted as a reference to the belief, common at the time, that a Messiah figure would bring about a Kingdom of God. The coming of God's Kingdom is seen as a divine gift to be prayed for, not a human achievement.[8] Some scholars have argued that this prayer is pre-Christian and was not designed for specifically Christian interpretation. Many evangelicals see it as quite the opposite — a command to spread Christianity.

"Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven"
The prayer follows with an expression of hope for God's will to be done. Some see the expression of hope as an addendum to assert a request for earth to be under direct and manifest divine command. Others see it as a call on people to submit to God and his teachings. In the Gospels, these requests have the added clarification in earth, as it is in heaven, an ambiguous phrase in Greek which can either be a simile (i.e., make earth like heaven), or a couple (i.e., both in heaven and earth), though simile is the most significant common interpretation.

"Give us this day our daily bread"
The more personal requests break from the similarity to the Kaddish. The first concerns daily bread. The meaning of the word normally translated as daily, ἐπιούσιος epiousios, is obscure. The word is almost a hapax legomenon, occurring only in Luke and Matthew's versions of the Lord's Prayer. (It was once mistakenly thought to be found also in an Egyptian accounting book.)[9]. Daily bread appears to be a reference to the way God provided manna to the Israelites each day while they were in the wilderness, as in Exodus 16:15–21. Since they could not keep any manna overnight, they had to depend on God to provide anew each morning. Etymologically epiousios seems to be related to the Greek words epi, meaning on,over,at,against and ousia, meaning substance. It is translated as supersubstantialem in the Vulgate (Matthew 6:11) and accordingly as supersubstantial in the Douay-Rheims Bible (Matthew 6:11). Early writers connected this to Eucharistic transubstantiation. Some modern Protestant scholars tend to reject this connection on the presumption that Eucharistic practise and the doctrine of transubstantiation both developed later than Matthew was written. Epiousios can also be understood as existence, i.e., bread that was fundamental to survival. In the era, bread was the most important food for survival. However, scholars of linguistics consider this rendering unlikely since it would violate standard rules of word formation. Koine Greek had several far more common terms for the same idea. Some interpret epiousios as meaning for tomorrow, as in the wording used by the Gospel of the Nazoraeans for the prayer.[10] The common translation as "daily" is conveniently close in meaning to the other two possibilities as well. Those Christians who read the Lord's Prayer as eschatological view epiousios as referring to the second coming — reading for tomorrow (and bread) in a metaphorical sense. Most scholars disagree, particularly since Jesus is portrayed throughout Luke and Matthew as caring for everyday needs for his followers, particularly in the bread-related miracles that are recounted.

"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us"
After the request for bread, Matthew and Luke diverge slightly. Matthew continues with a request for debts to be forgiven in the same manner as people forgive those who have debts against them. Luke, on the other hand, makes a similar request about sins being forgiven in the manner of debts being forgiven between people. The word "debts" (ὀφειλήματα) does not necessarily mean financial obligations as shown by the use of the verbal form of the same word (ὀφείλετε) in passages such as Romans 13:8. In Aramaic the word for debt is also used to mean sin. This difference between Luke's and Matthew's wording could be explained by the original form of the prayer having been in Aramaic. The generally accepted interpretation is thus that the request is for forgiveness of sin, not of supposed loans granted by God. But some groups read it as a condemnation of all forms of lending. Asking for forgiveness from God was a staple of Jewish prayers. It was also considered proper for individuals to be forgiving of others, so the sentiment expressed in the prayer would have been a common one of the time.

"And lead us not into temptation"
Interpretations of the penultimate petition of the prayer — not to be led by God into peirasmos — vary considerably. The range of meanings of the Greek word "πειρασμός" (peirasmos) is illustrated in The New Testament Greek Lexicon. In different contexts it can mean temptation, testing, trial, experiment. Traditionally it has been translated "temptation" and, in spite of the statement in James 1:12-15 that God tests/tempts nobody, some see the petition in the Lord's Prayer as implying that God leads people to sin. There are generally two arguments for interpreting the word as meaning here a "test of character". First, it may be an eschatological appeal against unfavourable Last Judgment, though nowhere in literature of the time, not even in the New Testament, is the term peirasmos connected to such an event. The other argument is that it acts as a plea against hard tests described elsewhere in scripture, such as those of Job.[11] It can also be read as: "LORD, do not let us be led (by ourselves, by others, by Satan) into temptations". Since it follows shortly after a plea for daily bread (i.e. material sustenance), it can be seen as referring to not being caught up in the material pleasures given.

"But deliver us from evil"
Translations and scholars are divided over whether the evil mentioned in the final petition refers to evil in general or the devil in particular. The original Greek, as well as the Latin version, could be either of neuter (evil in general) or masculine (the evil one) gender. In earlier parts of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Matthew's version of the prayer appears, the term is used to refer to general evil. Later parts of Matthew refer to the devil when discussing similar issues. However, the devil is never referred to as the evil one in any Aramaic sources. While John Calvin accepted the vagueness of the term's meaning, he considered that there is little real difference between the two interpretations, and that therefore the question is of no real consequence.

"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen "
The doxology of the prayer is not contained in Luke's version, nor is it present in the earliest manuscripts of Matthew. The first known use of the doxology, in a less lengthy form ("for yours is the power and the glory forever"),[12] as a conclusion for the Lord's Prayer (in a version slightly different from that of Matthew) is in the Didache, 8:2. There are at least ten different versions of the doxology in early manuscripts of Matthew before it seems to have standardised. Jewish prayers at the time had doxological endings. The doxology may have been originally appended to the Lord's Prayer for use during congregational worship. If so, it could be based on 1 Chronicles 29:11. Most scholars do not consider it part of the original text of Matthew, and modern translations do not include it, mentioning it only in footnotes. Latin Rite Roman Catholics do not use it when reciting the Lord's Prayer, but it has been included as an independent item, not as part of the Lord's Prayer, in the 1970 revision of the Mass. It is attached to the Lord's Prayer in Eastern Christianity (including Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches) and Protestantism. A minority, generally fundamentalists, posit that the doxology was so important that early manuscripts of Matthew neglected it due to its obviousness,[13] though several other quite obvious things are mentioned in the Gospels.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Plan

Last Friday I got the call from the UW Medical Ctr that I will begin my next round of chemo / radiation on Monday, July 28. The chemo will be two sessions that start on Monday and will be 6 straight days in conjunction with the radiation. There will be another round of chemo @ the end of the 8 week stretch and will be the same as the beginning; six straight days.

Radiation is everyday for 8 weeks (with weekends off). Apparently cancer doesn't work on you during the weekends, only during the week.

Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to this next stint. I'm still sore from the surgery and am glad to have had the extra time to heal from that, have a bit of a reprieve from treatments, and be with my friends and family without the fatigue that comes with chemo. None the less, this next go around will be a marathon and I'm readying myself for it this week. Hopefully it will go quickly with minimum side effects.

That's about it for now. It was great having my folks and sister and brother in law up from California for 3 weeks. That time flew by and it was great to relax with them and hang out. I'm a very blessed person for having such incredible family and friends.

Much love and wishing everyone the best of all things,

Randy

82 Reasons






As Carol mentioned below, we came up with our list of 82 reasons why we love our father. Here they are for all to enjoy.




41 Reasons Why I Love My Dad
by Carol Broad Schneider
June 24, 2008

1. He is the best example there is of a what it means to be a gentleman.
2. He has a wonderful sense of humor, even if he does tell “groaner” jokes once in a while.
3. He cares about others more than he cares about himself.
4. He read me bedtime stories after a tiring day at work.
5. He always has time for me and anyone else who needs him.
6. He never tries to put on airs or impress anyone—he’s completely comfortable with who he is.
7. He has always been a wonderful provider for our family.
8. He is a man of integrity and honor.
9. He is always honest.
10. He lives the Golden Rule.
11. He is kind-hearted.
12. He has an infectious laugh.
13. He gives his best at whatever he does.
14. He sets the best possible example for learning what it means to be a good person by the way he lives his life.
15. He is a great listener.
16. He is soft-spoken, patient, and extremely slow to anger.
17. He likes to give others the benefit of the doubt.
18. He was a dutiful son.
19. He is a loving, caring, and giving brother.
20. He is a loving, caring, and giving husband.
21. He is a loyal, caring friend.
22. He always helped me figure out the answers to my math homework.
23. He would sit down at the piano with me when I just couldn’t get a piece “right” and help me work through it until I got it.
24. He’s willing to try new things and be adventurous.
25. He loved to travel to distant lands and explore new cultures.
26. He has a strong sense of who he is and his place in the world.
27. He loves to try new foods.
28. He always compliments me even when I don’t deserve it.
29. He always thanks the cook(s) after a meal, no matter what he’s been served.
30. He’s generous beyond measure both with his time, his money, his energy, and his love.
31. He never expects anything in return, no matter what he does for others.
32. He always offers to help, no matter what.
33. He’s a great handyman. He could fix whatever needed fixing; or, if he couldn’t, he’d figure out a way to get it fixed.
34. He always sees the rainbow in the rainy day—every cloud’s silver lining.
35. He loves to have fun and knows how to do it.
36. He would give up doing something he enjoyed so I could do something I enjoyed instead.
37. He sacrifices for others without ever mentioning it.
38. He doesn’t know what it means to complain.
39. He always greets me with a smile, a hug, and a kiss and tells me how great I look.
40. He always believes in me.
41. He is the embodiment of love.







41 Reasons Why I Love My Dad
by
Randall Robert Broad
June 24, 2008

1. He taught me that a homemade sword was better than a manufactured one.
2. He taught me how to be resourceful and figure it out.
3. He always helped me with my homework and to think through a problem when I couldn’t figure it out on my own.
4. He taught me humility is better than pride.
5. He demonstrated that you don’t have to be a good singer to sing @ church.
6. He is always the perfect gentleman and leads by example…except when he farts in public.
7. He showed what side of the window a BB came from.
8. He taught me that a good dinner with your family is the best entertainment there is.
9. He’s the most well read person I’ve ever known.
10. He can speak intelligently about any subject without being a know it all.
11. He demonstrated that hard work is worth it.
12. He taught me how to enjoy and appreciate a fine garden.
13. He taught me how to build a fine garden so I could appreciate it.
14. He’s the pillar of patience. Something I’ve yet to conquer.
15. He taught me that beef tongue sandwich tastes better than it smells.
16. He’s always learning new things.
17. He’s traveled to more countries than I can count and always had a good time doing so.
18. He is a great husband.
19. He is a great friend.
20. He taught me that it’s better to have a sense of humor than to be a curmudgeon.
21. He appreciates the simple things in life.
22. He taught me that honesty is everything.
23. He taught me how to get a job and the value of such.
24. He taught me a good work ethic.
25. He taught me it was better to buy my own car than to have one bought for me.
26. He introduced me to the game of golf and all of the good that comes from that.
27. He showed me the value of having a dog and being the one who feeds it and cleans up after it.
28. He taught me the value of being a good brother.
29. He demonstrated how to be a dutiful son and the power of this virtue.
30. I could always count on him.
31. He smiles more than he frowns.
32. He taught me how to use a ruler.
33. He taught me the value of a firm handshake.
34. He is the most gentle person I have ever known.
35. He showed me the best things in life can’t be purchased.
36. He taught me it’s not worth making your mother cry over a $3 pair of shorts.
37. He taught me the best part of fishing is catching fish.
38. Sitting together in silence is sometimes the best conversation.
39. Showing me that by starting a job means it’s half finished.
40. He demonstrated that it’s not that important that everyone like you but it’s very important they respect you.
41. He set the highest standard for a son to be better than his father.




Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seattle Sojourn

I thought I'd let everyone know how our time in Kirkland and environs was with Randy. 
My parents,  my husband Steve, and I were up for 3 weeks (end of June to mid July) to visit Randy and help him out as much as we could. We had a wonderful time together. Randy was in good spirits and on the mend from his surgery. He's still working on his To-Do list which I helped him with a little. He has lots of things on his plate and trying to get them all accomplished can be rather daunting at times. I know I'm a procrastinator when it comes to doing things I'd rather not do, so I could completely relate to him. However, he did get quite a bit accomplished and keeps chipping away at the list.

Every day we started by having breakfast together at Randy's and enjoying the breathtaking view from his dining room. The weather was glorious and we enjoyed it immensely. Friends frequently popped in including some of my best friends from high school whom I hadn't seen in years. I felt so fortunate to be able to connect with them on several occasions. They came and visited Randy and my family as well, so it was a mini-reunion of sorts. That was definitely a bonus on our trip (at least for me).  It was also great visiting with Emily and Riley several times and being around them.  They are definitely growing up quickly and it was very special to be with them for such a long period of time.  They are wonderful kids who are a joy to be around.

We visited our family friends that we've known for over 40 years (the Dawsons and Scrivaniches and Karen Vaughn Montague) as well.  In fact, my parents even stayed with the Scrivaniches for 3 nights.  It's such an incredible blessing to have so many wonderful long-term friends who are like family.  We can pick up right where we left off with them, even if we haven't seen them in ages. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with all of them.

One of the highlights of our trip was when Randy and I presented our dad with a copy of Tim Russert's book "Big Russ and Me" along with 82 reasons why we love our dad.  I had seen an interview with Tim Russert in which he was explaining how people had responded to his book after it was published and someone had written him and said how he had come up with this idea.  For his father's birthday, this reader had created a list of reasons why he loved his father.  He came up with a different reason for each year his father had lived.  So, Randy and I each wrote 41 reasons to correspond to his 82 years of life.  It was definitely a moving, emotional experience for all of us.

During our time up north Randy and I were able to spend some time alone together which was also wonderful.  I realize more and more how much I love him and am so grateful to have him as my brother.  He always makes me feel loved, no matter what.
No one can ask for a better gift than that!  All in all, we had a memorable, relaxing, albeit emotional time visiting Randy, his friends, our friends, and family (we even got to see my dad's sister, Betty, and her daughter, Anita).  We enjoyed every moment of our time together.

Carol Schneider

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awaiting the plan

A quick entry to give you an update on treatment status. I'm awaiting a call from the University of Washington Medical Center Radiologist & Oncologist to inform me of when I will begin the chemo / radiation treatment. They have to formulate the plan which I expect to know by July 18. From there I'll have a clearer idea of the schedule.

I don't view this as a bad thing as it's given me a chance to heal from the surgery which occurred 4 weeks ago today ... amazing how quickly time flies and I am healing from it well. I'm still a tad sore and tire in the afternoon most days but all in all, I'm getting along great. The Doc's said it takes 60 days to get to 90%. I believe I'm on course.

The past weekend I made my way to the Gorge in George to see the Police and Elvis Costello ... great show, incredible weather, great lodging and fantastic time with my good friends Phil, Vicky & D'Laina. We had a blast and it was a great distraction from what's ahead.

All for now. More when I know.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Carrot, an egg, or coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial- hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials arethey're greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A new beginning

As my sister so succinctly put it, I'm off to radiology land in a week or so for the balance of the summer. As I see it, the good news from this is any woman from here on out that takes me on will most likely light up like a pin ball machine. At least glow in the dark (which will make it easy to locate on a moonless night).

I'm still sore from the surgery and I'm going to visit my surgeon for the first time today since the surgery a couple of weeks back. Should prove interesting to hear his take on the course of action.

Needless to say, I'm a bit disappointed from the direction this has taken as I was hoping to be cancer free and sing from the highest hills the course this has taken. Not to be though and now I'm gearing up for the next fight. It's still a series of ups and downs but mostly ups. My folks are visiting for a few weeks along with my sister and brother in law and it's been great to have them near through this.

Jhenya, my surrogate mother took on the task of caring for me for the first week out of the hospital. This was a true joy and a living angel to have in my corner fixing some of her famous epicurean delights whilest tending to my every need. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through that first week without her...like I say, there are angels on earth and she is one of them.

I have had such an outpouring of love and support from so many friends it's beyond the scope here to list them all. But please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers and I am eternally grateful for all you have blessed me with during the past several weeks. The visits, dinners and walks have all been great and a true treat to help me through this recovery period. Again, I can't thank everyone enough for the love and support that has been sent my way.

I'll break with this for now as I'm off to the surgeons appointment and to garner more 'information'. I will be a walking encyclopedia on cancer care when this through so if you come across anyone wishing to hear first hand accounts, by all means send them my direction. I'm certain to have a point of view on any related topic.

All for now with wishing you all good things,

Randy

Monday, June 30, 2008

Randy's Visit to the Radiologist

Today my mom and I accompanied Randy to the UW Cancer Alliance to meet with his radiologist, Dr. Shilpen Patel, for a consultation. We were first met by a young medical student who went over Randy's treatment since his cancer was discovered in March. After a thorough review, his radiologist arrived, a young, personable doctor who acted like he had all the time in the world for us. He explained what type of treatment he plans to do with the radiation and how it will be used in conjunction with the chemo. Right now it looks like Randy will have about 8 weeks of daily (Monday through Friday) radiation treatments that last about 3-5 minutes each. His first scheduled treatment is on Monday, July 14. Even though the actual radiation treatment lasts only a few minutes, he said Randy can expect to be at the hospital for the treatment for about an hour because it takes a good 40-45 minutes just to get him and everything else ready. He also went over all the possible side effects and what Randy can expect. He said that the first 3 - 31/2 weeks will be pretty much side-effect free in terms of the radiation. He might have a little redness and possibly a little fatigue, but nothing very noticeable. After that, however, things start to change. Redness of the esophageal area and his back will occur, he may experience a feeling of a sore throat due to the burning of the esophagus, and he will feel fatigued. He emphasized that he needs to exercise daily for 30 - 60 minutes (nothing extremely strenuous, but he needs to run, walk, bike, etc.), eat well, avoid alcohol except for a glass of wine once in a while---and he needs to get enough rest. Also, he'll be having another round of chemo in conjunction with the radiation this time. They'll give him one at the beginning and another at the end. The only thing the doc said about the chemo side effects is that they will amplify the radiation side effects. A lot just depends on the type of chemo he gets and right now he doesn't know exactly what that will look like. He meets with his surgeon, Dr.Wood, for the first time since his surgery this Wednesday. Mom and I plan to go with him again and get the lowdown.

After answering all our questions, Randy was escorted by a very friendly technician named Lee to another room where she explained exactly what she was going to do (hook him up to an IV and give him a "contrast" where they inject dye in his veins to find out exactly where the tumors are so they know where to aim the radiation), and then made an alpha cradle--a pillow-like contraption that will be formed to his body so that when he goes for the radiation, he will lie on it/in it and they'll be able to exactly pinpoint where to aim the radiation. Lots of things to do to prepare for these treatments.

While we were meeting with the medical student, Randy was scratching his left calf and noticed that it was bleeding. It took a while to get it stopped and he said it had been itching the night before and he thought he'd been scratching it in his sleep. His other ankle had been itching, too. Then, after he had the contrast dye, his skin flushed pink so the doctor decided to give him some Benadryl to take care of the reaction which it did. He said that when Randy needs more contrast dye treatments he'll have to have Benadryl and some Prednisone beforehand to prevent this reaction. 

Randy seemed to be handling the news in stride, but as we were leaving he said he now knows how he'll be spending his summer. He was a bit discouraged, but trying to keep a positive outlook. The doctor seems optimistic and went over every possible side effect--he said he didn't want to hide anything from him. I asked a few questions as did my mom and between the three of us, I think we left feeling like we knew a lot more than we did going in. As Randy has mentioned before, the people at the UW are amazing--every single person we came in contact with was upbeat, positive, smiling, caring--just the kind of person you would want to be taking care of your loved one. He's in good hands!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Randy comes home from the hospital

I've never seen a hospital room with so many flowers!

Randy was very happy to leave the hospital today. I picked him up just after noon, and we headed back to his apartment in Kirkland.
Frankly, I was amazed at how much Randy had recovered since Monday! The color had come back to his cheeks and he was zipping around like the proverbial spring chicken. (Someone needs to explain to me some day how the term "spring chicken" came about. I'd also like to know where the term "as easy as taking candy from a baby", which MUST have been coined by someone who has never tried to take candy from a baby. Anyway, I digress...)

Otto (Randy's cat) was definitely glad to have him home.

We had a quick cup of tea and I headed home.

The next stage is to wait 3 - 4 weeks before Chemo and Radiation. This will give Randy the time he needs to recover from the operation.

More in a bit...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a change of strategy

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
The surgery yesterday began a lot later than planned. It was probably well after 7:30 before it ended.
Candy and Jenja were there to talk to the surgeon, who explained why they decided not to remove part or all of Randy's left lung.
The tumors had grown in a way that made it a bit more difficult to remove them, and decided that a combination of radiation + chemo would be more effective at this juncture, and they closed him up without removing anything just yet.
The good news is that his right lung is totally clear of cancer - which had been their biggest concern - and also, they know now that Randy responds well to chemo because the three original rounds of chemo shrank the tumors significantly.

Even drugged with painkillers, Randy's first questions were about how much they had removed. He was naturally disappointed when he learned that they hadn't scooped out what was left of the cancer yet.
Still, they now have a much better understanding of where exactly the cancer is located and will be able to target the radiation very effectively. The best understanding they get is when they are able to look directly at the tumors, etc..

I'm in Tully's on Dickerson - my favorite Seattle-side Tully's because of all the space - for a few hours, then I will visit Randy. Brad said he'd be there for the later shift.

I don't know visiting hours yet, but it seems like it is ok to drop by. If anyone would like to visit and would like to call, feel free to call me or Brad:
Liam: 425-985-4464
Brad: 206-650-0480

More in a bit...

Liam

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Big Fella goes to the Fight

Randy does some final email checking before heading into the University of Washington for his surgery today.





He asked me to add this card to the blog, so here it is. I hope you can all read it ok.








Click each image to see a bigger picture....



It's about 11:30am now. With a bit of luck, the surgeon is already well on his way to removing the remaining cancer from Randy's body.
I'll head back in to the hospital in an hour or two, and post phone numbers, visiting hours, etc., to this blog as soon as I learn what's what.

Say a little prayer everyone. Your friend (son, brother, father) is in good hands.

The best gift of all

This weekend I was blessed to have spent with my kids and have the very best of Fathers Days. My friend Karin who works @ the Bellevue Westin made sure we had the greatest of everything and provided the perfect backdrop for us to play, relax, be entertained, laugh and most of all, be completely connected for 24 straight hours.
It was the very best of weekends.

We saw movies, did spa treatments, had room service (too much room service), swam, laughed, wrestled and just plain hung out. A weekend to remember for sure. Riley went so far as to say, 'Dad, we need to do this monthly'. It was great.

On Sunday, Emily and Riley were struggling with what to get me for Fathers Day. I told them to surprise me. So off they went to the mall with two of Emily's good friends, (Hana & Ashley who had joined us).

While they were gone, I went to the gym and swam a few laps in the pool. During this time, I realized they'd already given me my gift, a gift of a lifetime. I realized in that moment they had provided the gift of Life as that is exactly what I had received in abundance!

I am blessed beyond words to describe my feelings of joy. It was the finest of Father's Days gift a father could have possibly imagined.

Love,

Randy

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Be a Tiger...

Randster:

Happy Father's Day...I'm just so happy that it's Father's Day and happy to wish you Happy Father's Day!
I bet that you are happy that I am happy and that we both hope that all fathers everywhere are happy today.

Just left you a voicemail ... we are all thinking of you as we know tomorrow is your surgery day. We will be thinking of you, praying for you and will be focused on nothing but the best outcome. Thank God and dedicated researchers for the advancement in cancer treatments we now have today. My mother is a perfect example of someone who has survived because of the new technology and treatments.

Be a Tiger!!

All our Love...Greg, Nancy, Grant and Andrew:-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Houston, we have Lift-off

Surgery is scheduled for 10:45am next Monday. 4 hours later I trust I'll be cancer free.

RB

Dirk

Dirk Brandenburg to me

Hi Randy, I just wanted to know that I am thinking of you a lot. I am sure you are receiving a lot of support from your many other very good friends. I just wanted you to know that I am out here quietly giving you all my support. I look forward to you getting through this long difficult process, you will.

As you know, only with the "intimate understanding" that we really will not live forever can we understand and live our lives authentically. Along with everything else, I am sure that you have gained a great understanding of what is important to you. What a great gift you have received. Don't you wish there were an easier way...? Hang in there buddy!!

Dirk Brandenburg

My bro Claude

We will all be there on the 16th bro. I wish I was in town personally but I will be ringing you to get an idea how you're doing and what the new designer narcs are like....snag a few for your friends for the recovery party....

PS: I am told that it is good practice to take some Viagra prior to the surgery...that way you send the right message to all the nurses and gets you extra care (with a smile)...

Peace brother and speak to you later.

Claude

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A slight change of plan

Monday June 16 will now be the day they remove the lower lobe of my left lung and along with it the shrunken tumor. Prior to doing so though, Dr. Wood will perform a bronchoscopy to make sure nothing is in my windpipe and a mediastenoscopy. The latter is a couple of cuts above my breast bone to extract some of the lymphs, dip them in some liquid nitrogen and freeze the little suckers to see if they're 'active'. Bottom line, further diagnosis of the illness to determine treatment. All things looking good, off with the lower lung we go. I'm either in there for 15 minutes or 4 hours...the latter being the optimal scenario of which I'm confident will be the procedure.

Dr. Wood gave me the option of waiting the full 6 weeks following final chemo or pushing us ahead as he feels I'm in good enough shape to take on the full effect of lung removal. Thus, a positive and I'm treating as such. Also, I figure by the time I recover from this, summer will have finally arrived in Seattle making it all the better to enjoy my convalescence in a more meaningful environment and use "Junuary" as the down time.

The procedure will occur @ the UW Medical Center, 1959 N.E. Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195. I will be there 3 to 5 days all depending upon how fast I recover. The main number is 206 598-6334. I don't plan to be on line nor have my Cell phone as the hospital frowns upon the latter. I'll be on the 5th floor of the Pavilion Surgery Center. I'll have my own private suite so if you want to plan a party, I'm in. Just keep the 'Free Bird' CD @ home as I recall that one always calling the cops from the neighboring parties.

If you wish to visit, park below the center and bring your parking ticket with you for validation. It's not 100% covered but it is discounted.

I had scheduled a trip to go to Puerto Vallarta on the 22nd of June for nine days and relax in the sand to ready myself for the July timeline. But seeing as how my focus is on defeating this affliction, I opted to take the battle to the cancer and alleviate any possibility of it being the other way around.

God willing, I'll make it to Mexico as I know it will still be there when I'm ready and it will be all the more rewarding as I will have accomplished a major feat.

The doc's tell me it's a 60 day recovery period to get to 90%...little golf or tackle football in that time frame but that doesn't mean I can't take everyone's money again come September. I quit playing tackle football about 35 years ago so that's not a problem.

Thanks all for your love, devotion and most of all your prayers. God is listening and he's not ready for me to lie down in his lap just yet...He told me the other night during a prayer vigil there's a few more things HE wants me to tackle on HIS behalf on this planet between now and then.

Much love and faith in all that is good. Wishing us all a speedy recovery.

Randy

Monday, June 9, 2008

Childs Surgery

Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside the operating room---the first surgeries of the day. The first kid leans over and asks, 'What are you in here for?' The second kid says, 'I'm in here to get my tonsils out and I'm a little nervous.' The first kid says, 'You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a breeze.' The second kid then asks, 'What are you here for?' The first kid says, 'A circumcision.' Whoa!' the second kid replies. 'Good luck buddy. I had that done when I was born. Couldn't walk for a year.'

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Reflection from Jazz Vespers

Hi Randy,
This evening Steve and I attended a Jazz Vespers at our church that was really wonderful. I wanted to share with you and your readers some of the timely and meaningful pieces that were in the liturgy. I found them especially comforting and uplifting and I hope you do, too. 
The opening prayer is: Loving God of all that is, help us to be still. Loosen our grip on our cares and concerns; clear away all stresses and frustrations. Quiet our busy minds; open a space deep within us; fill us with your grace. Help us to see all you have made as holy, the earth and people as sacred. Help us to live our lives with you at the center. Guide us, encourage us, resource us to articulate your kingdom, in partnership with those who differ most from us. Surround us with your love that casts out fear. Fill us with your hope for the world as it might be. Amen.  

Another wonderful piece is one by Fred Buechner: 

Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.
In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.

The last one is from A New Zealand Prayer Book:

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts that we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen

God bless us all! Amen.

love,
Carol

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Journey

Every step of the journey is the journey. And the first step to the journey is to lose your way...

Mi Amigo Karl

Randy, Thanks. Your blog is on my favorite list. The blog is full of incredibly well said thoughts. I think of you and pray for you every day. I am so sorry this had to happen to my extremely good friend, Randy. And I am enthused to hear some positive news, I know that you have Angels watching you and that you will win.

I want very very much to spend time with you soon. I would welcome the chance to see you anywhere anytime, either doing something fun or nothing at all. I am good to go for any oportunity to be there and help in any way I can. It is sure good to know that you have some of the finest friends that ever walked on this planet. I am honored to be among those that love you forever.

Karl

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Next steps; surgery planned for week of July 10

I'm pleased to report I survived the final chemo treatment with flying colors. It lingered a bit longer than I expected with the typical nausea & fatigue but all in all, it wasn't the worst thing I've ever experienced. That said, I'm not exactly recommending it nor do I wish more in my future.

The good news is I am chemo susceptible which translates into it did what it was suppose to do and that was shrink the tumors / affected lymph nodes. The doctor didn't specify the exact amount of the reduction but both the oncologist and the surgeon concur it did a good enough job to take me to the next step in the process of removing the tumor(s) in my lung via surgery.

The plan as it currently stands is to have surgery to remove the lower lobe of my left lung and the affected lymph's (3 or however many they find once they go in). The surgeon likes to wait six weeks following the last chemo treatment. That puts us into the first / second week of July depending upon the surgeon's schedule. I don't have an exact date but my guess it will most likely occur the week of July 10.

Convalescence from this type of surgery looks like 4 -5 days in the hospital with 60 days to get back to 90 percent. But during this time I should be able to function fairly well and get about my daily routine fairly quickly. They want you up and about, not lying around. So while it will be a gradual recovery, it should prove fairly non invasive from a life hindering debilitation standpoint. At least that's how I'm interpreting it and planning on it to unfold.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to work and will get myself as physically fit as possible in the next 4 weeks to be on top of my physical game when they start carving me up.

I'll have a nice C shape scar on my left side under my arm that wraps around my back I'm told. It should prove a nice match the one on my right hip from last years hip replacement.

After all of this, please let me know if you know any casting directors looking for a middle aged guy for any horror flicks where they're wanting to save a little on scar make-up artist fees. I should fill the bill nicely.
There is also a new iPod docking station holder and GPS they install into your ribcage these days and since the insurance covers most of that, I'll get that new kit too.

My spirits are good and so between now and then will be gearing myself up for this all important next round.

Friday, May 30, 2008

message from John Douthwaite

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Douthwaite <fakehead1@seanet.com>
Date: Thu, May 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM
Subject: blog not
To: randy.broad@gmail.com


hey Randolino,
tried to blog but I am blog challenged...here is my submission. How're you
feeling? do I need to set a tee time yet for you and me and Rog and ...?

---
Last week I went in to visit my good buddy Randy during his third chemo
session. I wasn't sure what to expect. When I first heard the news it hit
me, as I'm sure it did all his friends, like a brick in the face. You gotta
be kidding me! And then, when all of us in the room on that blessed day
heard the good news of an incredibly optimistic prognosis, it was one of the
best days of my life! Only seeing my kids born can compete. Guardian angels
working overtime. If only the nurse would have helped Randy out with his
heavy load. JH - nice work on the tunes!

RB - you hang in there and we will all be there for you in our prayers and
our thoughts. Your time isn't up quiet yet. And as for that Fiat...wasn't
it was an MG?

JD
----

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good News on efficacy of Chemo #2; Chemo #3 begins.

There was a palpable sense of relieve in the room as Dr. Martens told us that every one of Randy's significant tumors had all shrunk by at least 20% as a result of Chemo #2!!!!
The only problem Martens mentioned was that Randy would need an extra long operating table - or they could shorten him during surgery - the regular 6-foot tables are too short.

Plenty of miles yet to travel, but yesterday's progress and news are a great boost in Randy's fight. Perhaps you could say he has successfully crossed the English Channel and is on his way to Berlin.

And even BETTER news is, the cute little nurse found the missing 1968 Fiat Spider car keys!!!! You can click the image to the right to see the results of Randy's CT scan in a larger format.
Now all we need to do is find the original Fiat motor vehicle itself. Locked in the glove box is his parents' 1974 tax returns which he forgot to mail by April 15 1975.

And so, Chemo day #3 passed mainly without incident. I dropped him in to the SCCA in the morning and hung around just long enough to hear the Good News. Randy's old friend John Henry stayed to keep him company, and over the course of the day Brad Easton, Charlotte, John and several others came to visit for extended periods. By the time I returned at 5pm, I thought they were giving the big fella last rites, there were so many visitors present.

Jim the nurse as usual did an incredibly diligent and sensitive job. He's the kind of man every father wants as his son-in-law.

Debra the very sweet and lovable chaplain also stopped by - and gave Randy her blessings and good wishes for the next stage - get through the Chemo and surgery.

On to Berlin, everyone.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hi Randy,

I've been meaning to add to your blog for quite some time, but didn't quite know what I wanted to say. I thought I could come up with something profound, but I can't. But what I would like you to know is how very proud I am to call you my brother and to say once again how very much I love you. You are such an amazing person--I admire everything about you. You are strong, wise, kind, loving, compassionate, and tenderhearted--all the best qualities anyone could want in a person. 

I keep you in my prayers each and every day and you are always in my mind and heart as well. I'm still having a hard time believing that this is happening to you, my very own brother. But it is and you are handling it as I have come to expect that you would--with grace and strength and serenity. What an incredible role model you are for me!

I wish we were closer to you so that I could sit with you, talk with you face-to-face, touch you, just "be" with you. I am there in spirit, but it's not the same. Whatever I can do, let me know. I will do it without hesitation. You continue to show me what real love is and I am blessed for having such a wonderful brother and friend.

All my love,
Carol 


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spiritual Healing

Randy -

I have put off writing this e-mail for awhile now. I don't know how to start. I have been praying for you and Jesus has given me a picture of a red hot ball, about the size of a ping pong ball. This was too hot for me to touch and Jesus instructed me to wrap the white towel, (the fabric was soft and thin like you would use when dusting) around this red hot hurt after I had dipped it into the bucket with liquid that reminded me of water.

Yesterday, the picture came back and I was asked to take the towel and dip it again in the bucket of water and wrap the hot, hot ball. I sensed that this was emotional, not physical and yet the need to cool down the emotional hurt was tied into the ability to heal physically. The ball was a little cooler but I sensed it would be a process. Jesus projected me forward so that I know where he wants to end up.

The ball will be turning white and than dissolve into powder. I have allowed Jesus to talk to me this way in prayer for quite some time. It is my way of connecting to him and allowing him to lead the prayer and show me his heart. When I allow him this kind of control I am blessed because I can feel his heart better and my faith is strong because I know I am praying about what he is interested in, not what I wish or desire.

Anyway, please be assured this does not make me a spiritual person, just a person who enjoys communicating with God. Randy, the exciting thing is that Jesus is very, very interested in your healing!!! He seems to be more centered on the red hot ball right now. I am sharing this with you to encourage you and also to give you a possible heads up. It is possible that you might start feeling a little more emotional about things. If hurts start to come to your mind, seek Jesus, get into his arms and surrender the hurt to him along with the RIGHT to feel hurt. It is freeing. I am convinced that Jesus is more concerned from an ETERNAL perspective about our growth.

I wonder if because you are such a strong person you might have pushed down these hurts and remained positive in spite of. We all do this, but these hurts struck at the core of who you are, it goes back years. Jesus feels for us far more deeply that we feel for ourselves.

I don't really know what this is about because I felt like I was intruding into your personal space. What I am trying to say is I can't claim this last little bit about the hurts is from Jesus only the first part with the pictures. I have only sensed the rest.

Randy, is it OK that I pray like this for you? I want to respect your boundaries and if you do not want me to continue I will stop and surrender to your wishes.

Much love,

Monica

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Choosing Cancer

Several of you have had questions around my position of 'choosing' cancer over it choosing me. Please allow me to explain where I'm coming from and my position on this topic.

Choosing cancer for me is all about empowerment. Empowerment of a disease that has infected my body. If I allow the cancer to choose me then I’m giving it all the power. I’m choosing not to do that and taking away all the power from the disease.

Picture this if you will. Imagine someone holding two ice cream cones out in front of you; vanilla & chocolate. They ask, which one do you want, vanilla or chocolate? Go ahead, choose one.

Now, why did you choose the one you chose? My guess is you’ll give lot’s of ‘reasons’ why you chose one over the other. You like one flavor over the other, looks better, tastes better, fewer calories, bigger cone, more/less on one than the other, etc.

Now try it again and choose which one you want and ask yourself, why did I choose one over the other. Your answer should be I chose the one I chose because I chose it. No reason needed. As humans we get wrapped around explaining ourselves and rationalizing our subsequent decisions all the time on why we do what we do, why we need to look good, not look bad, etc. Choosing something because you CHOSE it is so much more in the moment and freeing oneself of approval or disapproval, need to or not need to, hope I will or can, etc. Who needs it? I sure don’t.

I choose cancer because I choose cancer. There’s a lesson in this that God wants me to learn from and take on from now through eternity. There is absolutely nothing I can do over having cancer as it will be with me forever / never go away (now that I’ve got it). That’s not to say that the doctors cant work their wonders to make it go into remission and prolong my life on earth but that’s the best they can do. Remission. Remission is not removal. That being the case, why would anyone want to take a position of succombing to IT and allowing IT to control oneself. I refuse to give it any such power and thus diminish it’s ability to interfere with or take away my spirit.

I hope that helps to explain where I’m coming from by choosing to have this cancer over it choosing me. It’s far more freeing and thus more powerful place to come from by being the one in charge.

Live life in lieu of life living you.