Friday, May 30, 2008

message from John Douthwaite

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Douthwaite <>
Date: Thu, May 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM
Subject: blog not

hey Randolino,
tried to blog but I am blog 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?


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,

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,


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.

Tag from Gregg - a 45 year friend...

Hi Randy,

It was great getting together with you and Larry over lunch last week. Your candidness, compassion for others and hopeful perseverance is an inspiring testimony. To hear you tell it like it is shows you embrace reality and dignify us as listeners. It is life-giving! Thank you.

It was fun reminiscing some of the old stories – like the warm water (sewage) we found when camping. How our parents camped in that fashion is a wonder – if I recall, one outhouse and all meals were cooked, dishes washed, etc. + cleaning fish. Then us kids coming in smelling like ….. I guess I understand why the mom’s didn’t continue on that annual fishing trip.

Also, thanks for validating my early memory of you riding Flipper (Mitzy) as I vaguely recall envying you and being disappointed I got pulled in a boat because I was not old enough. You did, however, fulfill my disappointment of presenting me with the Donald Duck hat (with squeaky bill) I wanted at Six Gun Territory (I believe) about twenty-five years later. I was surprised how many seemed to know of that story of my dad offering me many other cowboy hats, but I refused – must have thrown quite a fit. Perhaps a chip off the ol’ block as Tyler wore that hat with pride golfing a few years ago.

Randy, your blog is most impressive and I am so pleased you are surrounded with loving, caring and godly people. I find it honoring to God as your faith is inspiring to so many of us. Trusting in God’s good purpose and embracing life in a adventurous fashion is how I believe we’re meant to live. And Randy, you’ve had and are having your share of adventure.

Did you and the kids make it up to Mt. Eleanor? A friend was up that way on Sunday and almost got stuck in the snow. If so, hope you all had a great time.

Keep in touch and know a call is welcome anytime. Perhaps I’ll see you when your parents visit.
I pray for your quick healing and to continue fighting with strength, vigor and humor. That is you.


Monday, May 12, 2008

B James

Broady -

You are one of the luckiest people I've ever known. Lucky, gifted, charming and charmed. So of course your latest turn of events leaves me wondering how you and the universe are going to join forces to work some magic on this thing, too.

Jesus, Randy. Cancer. This is where everything you've learned your whole life, everything you've grown to be, gets challenged and put to the test. If anyone has the heart to rise above, it's you my friend.

You've always had a knack for cultivating quality relationships and I'm so happy to know you have such loving and devoted people around you. God bless Liam and Brad. I don't know them, but God bless 'em.

And now you have my daily prayers to add to the roster of many many folks who are pulling for you and sending you their love and support.

I don't know if this is the appropriate venue to catch up on what's happening in my life. Let's just say, life is treating me very well in Portland. I'm madly in love and happily married. I live in the best place on earth. I'm healthy and happy and broke most of the time. We're raising a few chicks for pets and I get to be a mother hen which is the closest to motherhood I'm going to get and that's perfectly fine with me.

Thank you for writing to me and letting me know what's happening. Randy, if you ever want some company, I'm just a few hours away. If you want to talk I'd love to hear your thoughts. We've always had a such a sweet connection even through all of the lapses in time. And here we are and this is huge and I will be there for you in any way you need me to be. Whatever you need and however your needs change. Silently, on the phone or in person. Please let me know.

Big Big Love,


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren wrote ("PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE"). With his wife now having cancer and him having "wealth" from the book sales, below is an insightful short interview with the author.

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,"which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

* Happy moments, PRAISE GOD
* Difficult moments, SEEK GOD
* Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD
* Painful moments, TRUST GOD
* Every moment, THANK GOD

Letter From an Old Friend - Monica

Randy -

I wanted to e-mail you and let you know that I think of you every day and pray for your healing. I have enjoyed reading your blog and I am struck with how God has formed your vibrant soul, which is larger in personality than you are in physical form.

What a blessing to be formed by God in such a way that you have the ability to bring life into a room, situation, event etc. My father was that way. It is a much needed gift in this world. He had a purity of heart, an ability to give that people need. I see that talent in you.

Randy, I am in your corner. I believe that God can heal.


Hi Moni,

So great to hear from you after all this time. Funny how it takes an illness to bring us back together after all these years but that's the beauty of God and how HE likes to work. I'm so very blessed to have the people in my corner through this it's sometimes daunting to make the connection. But I am grateful.

Charlotte Graham and I have been back in touch for over a year and what a true blessing that has been. We've really become quite good friends and I enjoy her more every day she's in my life. What a true loving soul she is and again, I'm so very grateful God brought her back into my world as the connection runs deep.

Carol had /has so many good friends (although at the time I thought they were only put on earth to tease me) and it's good to hear from / see them again.

Thank you for reaching out and making the re-connection. You were always one of my favorites on my sisters team with your non assuming demeanor, genuineness and easy going fun loving style. Your smile remains an infectious image etched in my soul to this day. I still recall the night you, Sheri Knosum (sp) & Carol played Barbies in Carol's room. That picture still runs deep with the innocence, fun and smiles in your high school hearts ...

Much love and please stay in touch.

Wishing you all that is good,


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The week following Chemo session #2

A quick note to let you know how this past week has gone since my 2nd treatment. In a word, different than the first. As in more challenging. I've felt weaker and more nauseated this week with the worst days being Sat & Sun (same as last go around). Difference is this lingered a bit more and just plain wore me out by mid / end of the day. Sleep hasn't been my best friend @ night either.

All in all though, if this is the worst they throw me, I'm still in good shape. There's a cancer rumor running around that the worse you feel with chemo, the better it's working. Don't know that I buy into that one and my Dr. just smiled when I mentioned it, but if it's the case, I'm on my road to recovery.
The other is that with each treatment, you feel a bit more of the negative effects as well. Again, my Dr. told me my symptoms following should be similar to the first...well, they weren't. The second one was definitely more intense from a feeling crappy most of the time than the first.

Again the good news, it's been a week and I feel better with each passing day. So I'm looking forward to that course of action continuing. I can handle feeling like a pile of Sahara desert beetle dung for a week to get the cancer out of my body, that's for sure.

I'm planning on taking the kids and their friends along with our trusted guide Jim next weekend on a snow hike up in the Olympics. Jim knows of a natural snow shoot similar to a toboggan run where you can slide down on your rump and Riley's had his heart set on this since last fall. Hopefully the stars will align and we'll all be careening down the slope ice ax in hand and snow a flying in a rooster tail as we flail around like a bunch of snow monkeys. It's apparently about a 1500' slide...full report when I'm back.

Best to all. Two down, one to go...

Slow Dance - the poem

Slow Dance

This poem was written by a teenager with cancer, a terminally ill young girl in a New York hospital .


Have you ever
Watched kids

On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to
The rain

Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a
Butterfly's' erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading

You better slow down.

Don't dance so

Time is short.

The music won't

Do you run through each day

On the

When you ask How are you?

Do you hear the

When the day is done

Do you lie in your

With the next hundred chores

Running through
Your head?

You'd better slow down

Don't dance so

Time is short.

The music won't

Ever told your child,

We'll do it

And in your haste,

Not see


Ever lost touch,

Let a good
Friendship die

Cause you never had time

To call
And say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down.

Don't dance
So fast.

Time is short.

The music won't

When you run so fast to get somewhere

Miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry
Through your day,

It is like an unopened

Thrown away.

Life is not a

Do take it slower

Hear the

Before the song is over.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weekend after Chemo #2

Randy in the waiting room before Chemo session #2.

We left the SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance) at about 5:30. Randy was a bit pale, but otherwise in good form.
Even with everything on his mind, with tubes hanging out of him, he was on the phone to contacts in Microsoft trying to get a contract for his old friend Liam.

I dropped him him. He took a quick shower and he and I headed to Hector's for a quick dinner. He was so tired he went straight back to bed.

The weekend came quickly and so did the expected fatigue. His hair is beginning to thin out. We both thought that'd be a good sign. Since chemo attacks fast growing cells, such a hair cells, it could be a sign that the chemo is working aggressively against the cancer cells too.

It's now Saturday mid-afternoon.
More postings to come...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A letter from my friend Cindy

Hi Randy,

How are you? I think of you from time to time and wonder, how is Randy? Did you ever sell your place in Grapeview and buy the place next door? How are the kids? Are you still living in Kirkland? Are you selling real estate? I am doing well. I am working with my clients whom I love, running, swimming, and playing a lot. I still love concerts and in fact I'm goingto one in Seattle tonight. So many fun things to do! Keep in touch, I like hearing from you.

Cindy :)

Hi Cindy,

Very nice to hear from you. Much has changed in a very short time since we last corresponded. The house in Grapeview sold 1st of the month and it was a good thing and timing. The house down the way still eludes me but I stay in touch with the owner and hope to revisit after Mothers day as she's having her kids down and I believe they're going to discuss. So, it's still on the docket but not with any real movement. Timing is everything.

The kids are great and growing like a weed. Emily a total teenager and Riley readying his body for puberty. Both so sweet though and they mean the world to me. I'm taking them next weekend on a snow hike up in the Olympics to slide down a natural slide shoot. Jim has done it many times and will serve as our guide.

I am still in Kirkland and its working out well. I've even gone back to work. I'm just plugging along and not killing my self and it feels good to get back in the swing of things.

On a bit of a more serious note, I have been diagnosed with lung cancer and have begun to the battle. It has only been a month since I was diagnosed but things have been moving very quickly since. I'll not bore you with the details in this note but will send you the link to my blog which you can catch up, write on, add images, etc. Some days I'm up for talking, some not. So this is a good way to keep posted.

Great to hear from you Cindy. I too think of you and wish you all good things in your island paradise.

Love, Randy

OH MY GOD Randy! I read this e-mail and then your complete blog and I am very upset! What is going on in this life? I HATE cancer! I am so sorry that I haven’t kept in touch with you these past months.

You know, I was talking to a friend just two days ago and I said, “There are only two men who I felt I was attracted to both physically and mentally and one was Randy”. I am looking for a man with your personality. Kind, funny, positive, honest, and fun. That’s you.

My girlfriend’s husband is going through a stem cell transplant at the Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle and they have been staying at the Pete Groves Apartments next to the clinic. He has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I have been staying in touch with them daily and they are doing ok for now. What a great place!

I would love to keep in touch with you and talk when you have time and energy. I would also love to come visit you sometime. Please feel free to call my anytime. I know a bit about the stresses of Cancer as you know. I will be sending you very good thoughts every moment and know that a lot of people love you.



Thanks for all your kind thoughts and words. You are such a sweetheart and I know had logistics / timing / etc. been better, you and I would have had far more of relationship as I felt much the same way.

Life is strange and wonderful. It sure has its twists. And if you want to make God laugh, just share your plans with him. I want you to know that I'm choosing this cancer, not letting it choose me. And that's very empowering. That's not to say some days I don't have my moments and concerns; they exist. Mostly around my kids and being around for them. But I'm not afraid of this journey and am ready to tackle whatever it presents. That brings me great peace.

I truly feel I am one of the most blessed beings I've ever known. I have so many wonderful things in my life to be thankful for I cannot begin to list them all. It's truly a wonder that God has been so good to me as I don't begin to feel I've begun to return the favors. Perhaps this is the moment of truth He's set in motion for me.

One thing I have definitely picked up through this experience already is a much greater sense of compassion. To go into the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and walk through the different floors and see the multitude of patients in their current physical / mental state is quite an eye opener. Cancer is an epidemic and although the professionals continue to make inroads, there is a long long way to go to find a cure. It's really quite something when you get in the middle of it. Again though, I believe that attitude is 99% of the healing process and as long as I hold this tight and near, there's not much control this illness has over me.

Kindest wishes,