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,



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.

"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,


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
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,