Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One Week and Counting

Can it really just be a little more than a week until Relay for Life?  How did time go by so quickly?  I’m within reach of my goal, but just not quite there yet and still need your help.  If a donation is not feasible, please consider coming out and walking a few laps.  The event is from 6:30pm on May 29th until 8:00am on Saturday May 30th at Leesville Road High School, Raleigh NC.  We walk, we talk, we laugh, we play games.  We also cry and remember.  

The luminaria ceremony is at 10 p.m.  The lights will be turned out, the luminaries will be lit and we walk a lap in silence, remembering and honoring those that are no longer with us.  If you have lost someone, consider purchasing a luminary for $10 and having their name put on it.  If you tell me whose name you put on it, I will look for it, take a photo and send to you.  At the end of the night, if you would like to have the bag with your loved ones name on it, I will be happy to pick it up and bring it to you later.

Relay for Life funds research.  Research produces new effective treatments.  Given time for more research, advancements in treatment can happen.  But that time costs money.  Money that is raised through Relay for Life.   Study it, treat it, beat it.  Please help me help others that are hoping, praying and waiting for viable new treatment options.

Please use the link below to make a donation online using a credit card, or use the same link to print a check submission form and mail along with your check.  Remember to make the check payable to the American Cancer Society.  All donations are 100% tax deductible.  All donations are needed.

“We walk all night because cancer never sleeps”

Thank you for your consideration and support.

Jeff
DONATE TO RELAY FOR LIFE

Monday, May 11, 2015

2 1/2 WEEKS TO RELAY FOR LIFE

Just 2 1/2 weeks from now is my Relay For Life event.  Eeeeeek!  I am SO behind!!!!!!   HELP!!!  But I have faith, and friends and it can happen. 

As I’ve said in the past, my reasons for participating are well documented and I don’t think anyone wants to hear the rundown again.  The short version, cancer.  Regardless of what kind, can be devastating to individuals and families.  Ask someone if they ever had a family member or close friend who had been treated for cancer.  100% of them would say yes.  For me, it was both my partner and my mother.  Both died of cancer.   I’m just one of millions.

Relay for Life funds research.  Research produces new effective treatments.  Given time for more research, the advancements in treatment can happen.  But that time costs money.  Money that is raised through Relay for Life.   Study it, treat it, beat it.  Please help me help others that are hoping, praying and waiting for viable new treatment options.

From 6:30 pm on Friday May 29th until 8 am on Saturday May 30th, I will be at Raleigh Relay for Life on the football field at Leesville Road High school, walking.  Help me by making a donation.   If that is not feasible, come out and walk a few laps.  The atmosphere is one of Hope.  It is both uplifting and sobering.  The link to donate online is below my name.  If you would prefer to write a check, use the same link to print a donation sheet and mail in with your check.  Please remember to make your check payable to The American Cancer Society. 100% of your donation is tax deductible.

“I walk all night because cancer never sleeps” 

Thank you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

RELAY FOR LIFE 2015

Ok folks.  And now it really begins.  Just 3 1/2 weeks from now is my Relay For Life event.  In years past, I have been much farther along with my fundraising efforts.  But in years past, I haven’t had the turmoil that this April brought.  April was a tough month in my family, but it is time for me to put my focus back on Relay and see it through to the event on May 29-30th.

My reasons for participating are well documented and I don’t think anyone wants to hear the rundown again.  I will however do the full story if someone so chooses to listen.  The short version, cancer.  Regardless of what kind, is a scourge on humankind.  If you asked every person you came into contact with, if they ever had a family member or close friend who had been treated for cancer, I would almost guarantee that 100% of them would say yes.  For me, it was my partner and my mother.  Both died of cancer.  For me, it’s 3 friends, 2 who successfully battled the disease and have won, one who did not.  I’m not unique.  I’m just one of millions.

In Joe’s case, after diagnosis, he was in treatment for 2 1/2 years before pancreatic cancer took his life.  However, for that particular cancer, 2 1/2 years is extraordinary.  How did he beat the odds for so long? Because research has produced treatments that are more effective.  His oncology team was the best that Duke offered.  But even they could not perform a miracle.  But given time for more research, the advancements in treatment can happen.  But that time costs money.  Money that is raised through Relay for Life goes toward the necessary research to advance treatment.  Study it, treat it, beat it.  

Each of us most likely has personal stories where cancer has touched our lives.   Please help me help others that are hoping, praying and waiting for viable new treatment options.

From 6:30 pm on Friday May 29th until 8 am on Saturday May 30th, I will be at Raleigh Relay for Life on the football field at Leesville Road High school, walking.  Help me by making a donation.   If that is not feasible, come out and walk a few laps.  The atmosphere is one of Hope.  It is both uplifting and sobering.  The link to donate online is below my name.  If you would prefer to write a check, use the same link to print a donation sheet and mail in with your check.  Please remember to make your check payable to The American Cancer Society. 100% of your donation is tax deductible.

“I walk all night because cancer never sleeps” 

Thank you.

Jeff

RELAY FOR LIFE DONATION

Sunday, April 19, 2015

So here I am

     One day after having a funeral for Aimee and I'm still numb and can't believe this has happened.  That little girl that I held from day one of her life; that little girl that I spoiled rotten; that little girl that I took to get her ears pierced against my sisters wishes (and SO many other things); that little girl, my little girl.  Gone.

     The service was beautiful and the funeral home was filled to standing room only and a large overflow crowd in the lobby.  She had so many friends and was loved by so many.  Wayne was able to come and I am so glad.  He needed to be there to say goodbye to his sister.  I spoke at the service and tried to do my best to make her proud.  Although that was never hard to do.  She loved me so and was always so proud of even the smallest of my accomplishments.  She was my biggest fan.  My whole life it's been Uncle Jeffrey this and Uncle Jeffrey that.

     Even though it has been a week, I can't imagine tomorrow without her, let alone the weeks, months & years to come.   I hope Joe has found her and has welcomed her into his arms.  I'm sure he has a million questions and knowing how Aimee could talk, she will have a million answers.  Hold onto each other, Joe & Aimee.  Create new memories that you can share with me when I get up there to see you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Another Loss I Never Imagined

I was awakened this morning at 2:41 a.m. when my sister called my cell repeatedly trying to reach me.  I had fallen asleep with the TV on and the volume was masking the ringing, but eventually it did wake me up and I answered.  The news was something I had never really imagined.  Aimee was gone.  That little girl that was the light of my life for most of my teen years & twenties, was no longer here.  I will not go into details of her death on here due to privacy for my family, but we are shocked, overwhelmed, confused and incredibly sad.  My sister & brother in law, Aimee's brother Wayne, along with Aimee's daughter, Sara, are in desperate need of prayers and loving thoughts.  This is going to be the roughest thing any of them have ever gone through.  I don't really know how to help them as I am feeling as if my already shaky foundation has crumbled and caved.  That may sound melodramatic but I don't know how else to describe it.  Things that I thought I would never experience seem to just be happening.  If anyone had said to me just 5 years ago that both Joe and Aimee would be gone, I would not, could not have believed them.  But here I sit.  Typing on this random blog of mine.  Bleary eyed from crying all day and having no sleep.  Exhausted but unable to find the strength to will myself to go lay down.  The mind tricks that I have employed over the last 5 years to occupy my brain when I go to bed seem inadequate tonight.  Aimee's death has sent me right back to 2013, and then even more.

I have the text message from her from yesterday at 1:37 p.m. wishing me a Happy Birthday and saying I was the best Uncle in the world and telling me she loved me.  I thanked her and said I Love You.  I am so glad I did.   Regardless of anything else that may have been going on, I hope and pray that she understood just how much I loved her.

I miss you my little girl.  You will always be my first niece, the one that danced to Madonna with me, ate really hot salsa with me, loved me no matter what.  No judgements.  Your pain in all it's forms is over.  No more surgeries, no more fears.  Rest.

                             ***************************************************

Joe- Aimee is there with you know.  Give her grief like you always did because deep down she really liked that and she loved you with all her heart.  Look over her, take care of her.


Friday, April 3, 2015

And then it was April

March just went by pretty darn quick didn't it?  Well, it did for me anyway.  Work, work, work...and a cold, cold, cold.  My days were in the office, my evenings were on the couch and in bed.  I did manage however, to go to the gym a minimum of 3 times per week every week but one.  The one week when my cold was the worst, I just couldn't get myself there.  I didn't need to be spreading germs in excess anyway.

But that is not the purpose of this post.  Mind you, I'm going to complain, but not about being sick.
Today's topic is having to avoid television shows & movies that I would have previously enjoyed.  Why do I avoid, because of either subject matter or just language.  It's not that the subject matter is offensive or the language is offensive.  The subject matter and the language is not adult in nature.  The subject matter and the language is not interesting.  The problem is, the subject matter and language is personal.  I'm sure that sentence is vague and no one has any idea what I'm talking about.
Some TV shows I've pretty much given up on all together.  A prime example is Greys Anatomy.  Granted, it isn't the show that it was 5 years ago, but it still has some quality plot lines, characters, and is well acted.  The only problem is that in practically every episode there is a cancer patient, or a dying patient.  Why is that a problem, well it inevitably puts my head and mind where it doesn't need to be.  Back in the moment.   This isn't limited to medical dramas either.  Very innocuous things that would normally not even be noticed by other people, set off things in my brain.  Example:  This week's episode of "Scandal".  One of the plot lines was a murder that had happened 15 years earlier.  The wife of the deceased had just died, and Olivia is hired to prove that the wife was the one that murdered her husband and not the man that was found guilty and has been in prison awaiting a death sentence.  The scene is Olivia talking to Huck and she says, "Mrs. whatever died yesterday very suddenly from pancreatic cancer"... - and there went my head, back to the moment.  A perfectly good, entertaining episode of Scandal, ruined for me.  I continued watching, cancer wasn't mentioned again, but my brain stayed in the thought.  But it doesn't have to be so specific to pancreatic cancer, or even cancer at all.  I was watching the movie "We Are Marshall" recently.  I have seen the movie several times.  I know it's sad.  I knew when I started watching, that it deals with the death of so many people.  I was prepared.  When the plane crashes, it's a moment, but it was ok.  What got me, made me change the channel was the one happy moment.  The assistant coach that was supposed to be on the plane, but switched with another coach to drive to make a recruiting visit with a high school player at the last minute, drives up to his house in the pouring rain and his wife comes running out, seeing her husband alive when she thought he was dead.  The reaction, the expression on her face and the emotion exhibited.  Her husband was alive after all.  That moment got me as my mind went to, why isn't Joe's death a mistake?  Why couldn't I walk outside to see him standing there and feel that relief?  Silly I know.  So I changed the channel.

I rarely go to movies unless I have fully researched the plot.  IMDB and Wikipedia have become my new best friends to research and make sure someone doesn't die of cancer in the middle of things. Or if someone looses a spouse.  Or if someone makes a reference to a loved one dying.  It's hard to be spontaneous about entertainment these days.  Always on guard.   To be honest, it's practically impossible.  So I avoid.

Of course this is Relay for Life season, so my brain for the next two months is fully ensconced in cancer.  I'm a bit slower this year in my fundraising.  Not because it isn't still as important as it always has been, but I'm trying to not obsess as much as I have in the past.  I will still send out requests, I will still attend fundraising events (I am really looking forward to "Home Brew for Life") and I will of course be in attendance for the entire event on May 29-30th.  I owe that to Joe, to myself, and to so many others.  If you would like to make a donation to support my efforts, the link to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life site is here:
                         DONATE TO JEFF'S RELAY FOR LIFE EFFORT HERE

Ok.  I've rambled enough for a Good Friday morning.  Time to bathe, get ready for Stations of the Cross at PGUMC and then dinner with the boys.  Have a wonderful Easter weekend folks.  It's a 3 day weekend. WooHoo!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

... and then things mellow out,

... a little.  But not enough to say I quit.
Wow.  The last 4 weeks have been ones for the record books.  Between the weather (snow, ice, and general nastiness) and my boss at work being first out of the country for 10 days and then a week later at a conference for 5 days, I'm pooped.  Couple that with an increase in gastrointestinal issues and I've not been in the best place physically and mentally.  But, I am doing one thing right.  I'm back at the Y a minimum of 3 times a week so at least I'm not sitting on my butt (ever widening butt) all the time.  The proximity of the YMCA in Raleigh to my office is just too good to pass up.  I can be there in less than 5 minutes after leaving work, so I couldn't rationalize not going any longer.  But geez, I don't remember it being this difficult the first time.  I'm sure I'll get back to where I was though.  Rome wasn't built in a day and after not doing much of anything for nearly 10 months, I can't expect to be able to do my previous hour of cardio with a snap of a finger.  I am back up to 50 minutes though.  My plan is to hang at that level for a couple of weeks and then shoot for the full hour.  No reason to pass out at the Y.  That would be embarrassing.

Today, Saturday, will be a slow one.  Yesterday I started coming down with a cold again, and this morning I am very congested with a head cold.  So today will be a couch day with some laundry thrown in.   I need to change the bed linens and maybe mop a floor or two...but only maybe.  That seems a little labor intensive.

Need coffee