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Glad that’s over with…

July 16, 2017

I wanted to get through the worst of it before blogging. Does it seem less like I am complaining if I wait until I am feeling better before letting the reader know what I have gone through? Well, let me just say, “Chemotherapy is not a nice guy.” There, I said it. Wow, I didn’t mince words either. Probably the only thing worse than Chemotherapy is the Cancer itself. One tries to take your life, the other only makes life more miserable.

My second treatment was Tuesday/Wednesday. Rituxan/Bendamustine on Tuesday and more Bendamustine on Wednesday. This time I tolerated both a lot better than the first time. However, the after-results were much worse. I suppose I was okay the first two days with the steroids flowing through my body, keeping me feeling up, up, up. But on Thursday I came down from the steroids and the Chemo took over. I felt like a truck had hit me. And I know what a truck hitting me really feels like too. Even worse was Friday. Remember the two possibilities of side effects with the Chemo? Constipation and Diarrhea? Well, the first side-effect makes you feel like you will never live again, and the second makes you feel like you do not even want to live again. I really did not think I was going to survive this one. I missed church service on Thursday night simply because I could not wake up enough to realize what was going on around me.

Now, I’m pretty sure this week will be a cake-walk compared to this past week. At least I am looking forward to it being better. On a sad note, I will have to preach a funeral of a dear friend and church member this Friday. He was an inspiration to me over the past twenty years I have known him and his wife. He died of Cancer also. It was Lymphoma. He had been treated for the past twenty years for this disease, beating back each time. He even had a stem-cell transplant and lived to tell about it. Knowing he is in heaven makes a world of difference. We will celebrate his life, remembering all the good times. I had the great privilege as his pastor of baptizing him in the Manistee river in accordance with his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That was a highlight of my pastorate.

Cancer, like life itself, is a series of ups and downs. Good times followed by bad times followed by good times. Seems like you go two steps forward and sometimes two steps back. It is the battle every Cancer patient tells you it is. A real battle. Each day. Every day. I may not overcome the Cancer, but I have overcome my sinful nature through the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am an overcomer, because Christ overcame the world, and I am in Christ. I made it through a rough week. Now with Christ’s help and strength I will make it through another week.

The Pro is Gressing (Progress!)

June 26, 2017

“It’s Remarkable!” (If you are a novice and layman like me.)

“It’s Unremarkable!” (If you are an Oncologist or Pathologist who shares your own language that is totally opposite to normal meanings of words.)

The sure thing about CBCL (Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma) is that there is no guessing or CT Scans or PET Scans that need to be taken before assuring the patient that the Chemotherapy is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

It has been three weeks tomorrow since my first Rituxan/Bendamustine treatment for this Lymphoma. Yes, I went through the high of the Hydrocortisone (steroid,) the last rite of the Rituxan (Monoclonal-antibody-MAB,) and the bend of the Bendamustine (Mustard Gas derivative).  Now I am starting my “down” week where the blood counts will bottom out from the Chemotherapy. Now is the time of my feeling drained and tired. But for some reason I am UP and feeling really good about this treatment. Let me demonstrate for my 13 1/2 readers (and the rest of you who only look at the pictures). Yes, “Comparison Photos” – YAY!

Before I show what has transpired, a caveat or two. This is NOT like those hair transplant photos that have been so photoshopped that the bald spot suddenly looks like a Chia-plant covering it that has been sprayed black. And this is not like those diet pictures that show a person losing 150 pounds in five days, which includes a before picture (of the thirty-year old guy with a beer gut) and an after picture (taken twenty years earlier of the same guy in Jr. High). These are legitimate pictures taken with my iPhone 6 merely nine days apart.

Right side picture taken June 17, 2017, and four days after the Bendamustine second day treatment.

6-17-17 Right side pic

Right side picture taken June 26, 2017, this morning standing at the same place as the previous picture. Please note the differences in the tumors. You know, “We Report, You Decide.”

6-26-17 right side pic

Now the left side picture, also taken June 17, 2017, a few seconds after the picture taken above on the same day.

6-17-17 Left side pic

And this is the left side picture of the same area taken on June 26, 2017 a few seconds after the left side picture from above.

6-26-17 left side pic

So, what do you think? Any comments? Any encouraging words? Any word for me to give to Dr. Word? Needless to say, I am delighted. I was going to jump up and down, but I think I’ll just reward myself by taking a nap.

New Journey

June 13, 2017

I am sitting here in my oversized recliner in the infusion center reflecting on the new journey that has begun. Yes, I am starting my treatment for the Lymphoma which has come back just under the skin. I have about 35 tumors of various sizes growing subcutaneously (dictionary meaning – adverb,  “a cute submarine floating under the skin”).  

IMG_5823

Something Old

That would be me. I am almost 63 in a couple of weeks. All the nurses keep asking me to quote my Birthday. Secretly I think they are all going to conspire to get me a Birthday present. I started this particular journey back in July of 2000 when the first Lymphoma was found growing rapidly. I have just been given the same old stuff I had my last treatment in 2012. Rituxan is the drug now being administered. “The Miracle Drug” is what my Brilliant Former Oncologist called this drug. It is a monoclonal antibody (MAB, dictionary definition – “Two letters away from MAD”) This antibody finds the cancerous cells and attaches to them.

 

Something New

I got a new port in which the Chemotherapy can be given. It is called a Smart Port. Not quite a Smart Phone: I can’t take pictures with it or go online, but I can save all the time and discomfort with them trying to find a vein that is not already compromised by previous infusions. That is a blessing in itself. The port was put in yesterday in a procedure at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. It will last me the rest of my life. I will have to keep it clean and have it flushed out every six weeks. The saddest thing about the port was that they had to cut my chest hair first. Hopefully it will all grow back. I have named the port by several names. First, it’s the Jim Port after Jim Portekalian, a friend from Indiana. It is also referred to as the “Port-Land” or the “Port-O-Ben.”

Venous-access-port(1000x700)

Something Borrowed

This is my new partner in crime. It’s my IV. In the past I always named my IV’s. I am naming this one after President Trump’s daughter. Yes, it is “IV-ANKA” (full name IV-ANKA TR-UMP). She will hold my drugs as they enter my body. I am thankful for that.

 

Something Blue

Again, that would be me. At the start of a journey there is no way to predict where you will go or how long it will take to get there. I may get sidetracked or have to reevaluate how I got to where I am today. My blood pressure was a little high today. But that was normal for the anxiety one experiences before the first drug goes into my body. Also, there are the side effects for which one has to again be prepared. The main side effect of the Rituxan with me is just a tiredness. The Bendamustine will be infused tomorrow. This is the active drug that kills the cells.

Pathology Report

March 30, 2017

This post is for all those readers who have the ultimate goal of becoming a Pathologist in your spare time. (Pathology is a Greek term for “yucky, icky blob at which I am looking.”) Sounds like a perfect job for pre-teen boys who get into too much trouble looking at many other icky blobs for no salary. First, let me tell you that Pathology Reports are very short and have absolutely no English words in them at all. Second, Mayo Clinic also had their world-famous Pathologists chime in with their own report of the “Mass from My Neck” (also the name of a new movie from M. Night Shyamalan starring Mel Gibson as a former Catholic Priest turned rogue). The following are the reports in their entirety.

From Munson Pathology

“Diagnosis: Head and neck lesion, excision: Skin, skeletal muscle and fibroadipose tissue with an atypical lymphoid infiltrate, consultation pending from the Mayo Clinic. See Comment. Comment: The lymphoid infiltrate is diffuse within periadnexal region and underlying soft tissues and is comprised of small round lymphoid cells without an appreciable large cell component. Flow cytometry performed on this tissue at the Mayo Clinic could not be interpreted due to insufficient viable hematolymphoid cells. The lymphoid cells are positive for CD10 and CD3; only a minority of the lymphoid cells mark with CD20 and CD23. There is no significant reactivity with CD30 or cyclin D1. The differential diagnosis is between a reactive lymphoid hyperplasia versus lymphoma.”

My professional take on this Pathology Report (and you can quote me): “It doesn’t sound good!”

Before Biopsy

Before Biopsy

 

From the World Famous Mayo(naise) Clinic

“Addendum Diagnosis: Fresh tissue was sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories for the following ancillary test, with results reported as follows – Luekemia/Lymphoma Phenotype Microscopic Description: A Wright-Giemsa stained slide prepared from the flow cytometry specimen was examined for quality purposes. Final Diagnosis: Lesion, left head and neck, specimen for flow cytometric analysis: Immunophenotyping was performed on the specimen; however results cannot be interpreted due to insufficient isolated viable hemotolymphoid cells. Correlation with morphologic assessment is recommended.”

My Professional take on this Pathology Report: “I have a sneaky suspicion that the Mayo guy dropped the slide, stepped on it, and cut his foot through those thin Pathology footies, so therefore, he did not have enough left on the slide to test.”

After Biopsy

After

 

And now you know as much as I do. If any readers wish to comment and give your take on these reports, please do not hold back. I need to know what you think. And with a shout out to one of my mentors, a Florida Pathologist named Dave Barry, “Icky Blobs” would be a good name for a rock band.

A Word on Faith-Healers

March 27, 2017

Yesterday after church I had a visitor come up to the pulpit. I had just finished preaching on how we are not to “find” the will of God, but simply “do” the will of God that is already revealed in His word. One of the points was it is the will of God for us to Suffer. The Bible verse I used for this point was mainly 1 Peter 4:19, which says, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” A supplemental verse was 1 Peter 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” That was the fifth and final point to the message. It was a message of encouragement to those who are suffering from difficulties like disease or relationship challenges.

I knew this conversation was going to end up badly right from the start. This person told me how much they enjoyed the message (good start), but then told me a couple of points that he felt would have made the message “so much better.” I didn’t really get his points, and it didn’t matter because the message was over. I would not have even considered adding his points to the forty-five minute message and make it forty-eight minutes. Plus, his points made no sense to me and was not part of the main message. Anyway, I graciously accepted his critique with a smile and a thank you and thought that was it.

Then he said that he would like to pray for me. I accepted gratefully his desire to pray for this old preacher. Well, he took hold of my hand and asked that God would heal my Cancer, “binded Satan” from my disease and called upon my Cancer to be “removed” from my body. After he finished, I smiled again and thanked him for praying for me. That would have been it from my viewpoint. I mean, I have had thousands of people praying for me in my seventeen years of Cancer battle. One more, even slightly wrong in his theology, would not hurt. But it was what he said next that got me. He said, “Now, I know what I just did goes against what you Baptists believe, but I want you to know that Jesus told his disciples to go forth and heal the sick, and I have claimed that promise for today.” Suddenly, I knew he had an agenda that went way beyond his wanting my Cancer to be healed or any concern he personally had for me. My first thought was that this man is a walking heart attack by being about 200 pounds overweight. (“God, heal him from his basic problem of eating too much to fulfil his lustful desire for fatty foods! Remove demons out of those French Fries! Bind Satan from those poly-unsaturated starches!”) My second thought was to learn from my situation what the Lord would have me to learn.

So, rather than take this opportunity to rail upon the lack of Biblical knowledge this man has concerning the ways of God in Scripture (boy, am I tempted), I thought I would share with my readers this basic fact of what I have come to learn, which is this:

“I am thankful God gave me Cancer and praise Him for this most excellent gift.”

  1. I am thankful to have gotten to know that God would allow the destruction of this outward body so the inward man could be renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:6). I have learned so much about how God is toward the afflicted. (Psalm 119:67 – “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” James 5:13 – “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.”) God will most readily sacrifice our outward or physical body so that we can be mighty in spirit. The spiritual growth is still so much better than bodily exercise.
  2. I am thankful for the ministry God has given me directly to those who have Cancer and the doctors and nurses with which I have come in contact. In the same exact way losing my son in the car accident in 2001 helped me relate to others who have lost children (even understand God, Who lost his Son, in a more perfect way), I have had had many opportunities to be a blessing to those who are Cancer patients. A question comes to mind: “If all Christians are healed, who is going to reach those people?” Last night I had the opportunity to spend time with a dear Brother pastor, Al Knutson, who has a rare bone Cancer and is today headed to Mayo Clinic. We shared a bond that other pastors could not share. I can pray for him more affectively than most other people who are praying for him.
  3. I am thankful to be this much closer to Heaven. We have a fatal tendency as humans to forget how frail we really are. I already have my son, Jeremy, awaiting my arrival in heaven. Last weekend I attended a funeral of my very best friend in high school and college, Gary Hitchcock. His testimony for the Lord Jesus was exemplary. He influenced my young life for the Lord more than any other person I knew. He spent the last three months in the heart hospital in Indianapolis awaiting a heart transplant. His diabetes had gotten so bad that he first started losing his sight, then his feet were deformed, and then it effected his liver, kidneys and eventually his heart. His testimony to his doctors and nurses affected them for Jesus Christ. They KNEW first-hand that Gary’s relationship with the Lord was real. Yet, this so-called “Faith-Healer” who heard me preach would not have cared for those “others” in the hospital who needed a Christian’s witness, he would only have cared that this man be healed and had never seen a hospital.
  4. I am thankful I get the privilege to share in the “fellowship of His sufferings.” Philippians 3:10 states: “That I may know Him (Jesus), and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death.” I am glad there wasn’t a “Faith Healer” at the cross. Pardon the sarcasm, dear reader, but a prayer while holding Jesus’ bloodied hand that goes – “God, heal Jesus of all His wounds and bind Satan from affecting his body, in Jesus name, Amen” – somehow grieves my soul. And to think that Jesus actually had Apostles who could have done just that, BUT DIDN’T! Now, my afflictions draw me to Christ’s sufferings.
  5. I am thankful for those dear, Christian friends who have shown a real concern for me by praying for God’s will to be done in my life. Again, many thousands of people have and are praying for me now. Friends have called and written me showing their love and faithfulness during my affliction. Some have cried when they heard of the Cancer coming back. I cannot express my thankfulness for those dear people, some of whom are reading this column.
  6. Lastly, I’m thankful I get to DIE! Follow – if Christians are not supposed to get sick, and sickness is what we die of, then how would we ever die. I mean, let a “Faith-Healer” follow us around all our lives so that each time we get sick we can be healed. Then, how would a person die? And if some “Faith-Healers” even claim to have risen people from the dead (not many of those around anymore, eh?), then let them snatch me back from heaven each time I die.

What I Believe

I was told by this man that he did not respect my Biblical beliefs that only Jesus and God heals, and that they do not need human means to do so. I tried to explain that those healing gifts were a “sign of an Apostle” that no other people in Scripture were given by Christ. (“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” – 2 Corinthians 12:12 and Hebrews 2:3-4 – “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”) There was a difference between being an Apostle and a Christian who was not an Apostle. The difference was that Apostles were given healing gifts to show that God was really in this Christian movement long before there was a Bible. If everyone could heal everyone, then why did Paul write “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick (2 Timothy 4:20)”? Why was Paul concerned that the Philippian Christians had heard that Epaphroditus “had been sick (Philippians 2:26)”? Verse 27 – “For indeed he was sick nigh unto death (but I healed him – no, it does not say that), but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

Parting Shot

I have a thought. Why don’t all those Christians who believe God wants them to be “Faith-Healers” stop coming to churches that believe differently from them, and head straight to the hospital and heal all those people? If God has people who can heal others with a touch and a prayer, I believe that would convince all the gainsayers in the world if someone just started to – I gasp as I write this – HEAL THE SICK! Hey, empty the hospitals. Start your own health clinics! People can come to you when they have Cancer growing in their bodies and you can heal them. I am sure once they are healed they would slip you some money to take care of you so you can quit your day job. And while I am at it, Jesus also told those same Disciples in Matthew 10:8 to “raise the dead.” So, don’t stop just at the hospital, but go to the morgues too. Nothing like bringing all those potential Lazarus’ back from the dead to tell us what they really saw. What? You are not using the same Scriptures you use for healing people for raising the dead? Inconsistent, don’t you think?

Finishing With a Word from Jesus Himself

Jesus said in Matthew 25:36 – “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me…” Now, when was Jesus sick? They answered in verse 39 – “When saw we thee sick… and came unto thee?” He answered them – “Insomuch as ye have do it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

New Biopsy

March 22, 2017

I had a biopsy on a bump on my neck today. It seems that the B-cell Lymphoma has returned in a brand new way. I had suspicions that something was happening as some bumps occurred on the back of my neck in the past few months. Now they are appearing on the side and front of my neck and also on the sides of my face.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Most people want the bad news first, so I will comply. If you are one who wants good news first, skip the rest of this paragraph and go to the next one. It seems that cancerous cells can travel some. The B-cell lymphoma cells have traveled to just under the skin (cutaneous) where they start multiplying into their own tumors. I have about a dozen or more tumors just under the skin, mostly on my neck, but a few on my shoulders and back. When this happens, which is pretty rare, it is called Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma (CBCL for short).

3-22-2017 Biopsy

Biopsy off left side of neck. You can see a few tumors on the front of the neck. A large one in front measuring 3 cm, and smaller one.

 

The good news is that this Cancer is treatable. There are several treatments available. When there are a few tumors, sometimes a local radiation which does not affect the body is used. Another treatment is by a Dermatologist who treats the skin with shots, probably of chemicals right into the tumor. The most used treatment is a regular Chemotherapy regimen of modern chemicals which have little side effects. Again, the B-cell Lymphoma is very treatable and responds well to a wide range of treatments.

So, this is my third cancer in 17 years. Large B-Cell Lymphoma in 2000, which was cured. Follicular (B-Cell) Lymphoma in 2010, which was put into remission with a combination of Rituxan and Bendamustine, and now CBCL.

Well, onto another journey in this part of my life. I will keep the reader abreast of the progress along the way. Thank you for reading, and thank you for praying for me.

New Oncologist Visit with New Oncologist

August 30, 2016

I was feeling a lump growing on the side of my throat which I just new was a lymph node growing back that was cancerous. Remember, I have been through two kinds of lymphoma in the last 16 years and three kinds of Chemotherapy treatments. So, I am a genius when it comes to lymph nodes (sarcasm, denoted like this – (s). ). Actually, I suppose I am just still a good pianist, and that’s all.

I went to my NEW Oncologist, Dr. Zachary Hector-Word this morning. (Note: I still haven’t given him a title yet.) It was a visit brought on by my family doctor who felt some swollen lymph nodes on my neck that should be checked out. I was totally convinced this was it. The Cancer was back again. Well, just wait a minute there, Townsend. Don’t get the “Heart before the Course” (“Cart before the Horse;” only how a Cancer patient says it.). He diagnosed no such thing. He found a swollen lymph node behind my ear (“huh?”), but it probably was from an infection of come other kind and not the Cancer. It was pretty hard, a good indication it was not cancerous. And the swollen “lymph node” on my neck? He felt my neck a couple of times and felt where lymph nodes actually were, and didn’t count the swollen area as a lymph node. Wow, I’m smarter than I thought (s).

That’s good news. No, that’s great news. What a relief. Maybe I’ll live another year or five. Hopefully the CT Scan the first of November will show all clear again. Dr. Z wasn’t concerned too much anyway. I’ll go on his expertise and not the expertise of a pianist. Besides, EVERYTHING seems like a Cancerous Lymph Node in my body. We check everything out each day to see if the Cancer is growing back.

My Body: “Hey, Ben, I just created a sty next to your eye!”

Me: “Aaaaauuuuggggh! The Cancer is coming back!”

My Body: “Oh Benny, is that the end of a bone, or something more severe?”

Me: “OH NO! The Cancer is back!”

My Body: “See that puffiness in your throat?”

Me: “The Lymphoma is Noding again!”

My Body: “Feel that bump in your arm pit?”

Me: “The Nodes are Lymphoming again!”

My Body: “Ben, there is a hard lump under your chin.”

Me: “Oh no, the Cancer is Noding AND Lymphoming again.”

So, I feel better already. Cancer coming back or not, I feel much better. Just remember, if you know a Cancer patient in remission, they are always fearful of when it will start coming back. That means new treatment, more tired episodes, nausea, feeling unhuman again. Just a tip of you: “Don’t ever say to them, ‘Does your face feel puffy?'” Don’t even kid with them. It could put them in despair right away. They already have enough self-inflicted touchy/feely, wibbly/wobbly, Timey/wimey episodes. Please do not give them any more. I know, I know, you know someone who has Cancer and you can always find the Cancer by just looking at their face (s).

Thank you. Maybe I just saved a Cancer Patient from sleepless nights because of all us Professional Cancer Diagnosers (s). (Note: I kind of like the Sarcastic sign – (s). I will probably use it a lot.)

Signed,

A Cancer Survivor (but for how much longer?) We wonder all the time.

The “Brilliant” Dr. Kosinski

January 29, 2016

Kosinski

All good things must come to an end. I and my Cancer have outlasted my Oncologist. Yes, the Brilliant Dr. Kosinski is retiring. And I wanted to express to my readership my gratefulness to this doctor who helped me through each phase of my two Cancers.

Several have asked me why I always refer to the good doctor as “Brilliant.” Well, besides the fact that he is brilliant, by knowing much more about Cancer than I do, there are other factors involved in saying he is brilliant. For example, when sitting in my dentist’s chair, the wonderful Christian brother of mine, Dr. Phil Yancho was checking my mouth and neck for cancer screening. He felt several lymph nodes that were swollen and asked if I had any concerns for the swelling in my neck. I smiled and told him that my Oncologist was Dr. Kosinski. The revered dentist’s eyes widened as he smiled and he stated, “He’s the most brilliant man I have ever known!” I told him I agreed. But he did put it in perspective from someone who intimately knew his dear friend Dr. Koz. He stated that his son and Dr. Kosinski’s son were in college together as roommates. He stated that he and Dr. Koz had done many things together and whenever he spoke with him he felt that he was in the presence of brilliance. I could not have agreed more.

The Brilliant Dr. Kosinski

                The Brilliant Dr. Kosinski

Attached to that Brilliance is a maturity with wisdom that I am sure has grown over the years. You and I cannot comprehend what it is like to be a doctor, much less to be an Oncologist/Hematologist. What I mean is, those people by calling have to be “different” from other doctors. Most of what they see are people dying, and they struggle to keep them alive for one to five more years (and hopefully more). In other words, they have to say goodbye to most of their patients over the years. I am sure they see more tragedy in families, especially the elderly, than most other kinds of doctors. The “facts” about Dr. Kosinski do not tell the full story. A Bachelor’s degree in Biology from U of M and medical degree from Wayne State, completing his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at George Washington University let us know that he studied a LOT. Coming to Munson Medical Center in 1986 to the present tells us more. That reveals to us more of his experience with people. Doctors with this specialty have to walk a fine line between professionalism and personalism (to coin a new word). I believe Dr. Kosinski walks it perfectly. He is never aloof, which would be going too far one way. Yet he is friendly, but not too much. Perhaps it could be referred to as a Personal Professionalism. I am pretty sure that seems like an oxymoron, but there are certain doctors that accomplish this feat of staying professional while showing a caring personality to their patient.

The "Brilliant" Dr. Kosinski

                

Even more brilliance is revealed by what those who work around him believe about him. Those workers at his clinic (now Munson Oncology) who have been there the longest attribute to his brilliance. They are all so friendly and caring. I was always treated as if I was the only patient they encountered that day. And what a wonderful feeling that is when you are going through Cancer and treatments. I was never treated as a number or not as a person, neither by those who drew my blood every visit or by the receptionists or nurses. There is a core group of caring individuals at the center that make all the difference. I believe Dr. Kosinski contributes to that whole process. Perhaps they reflect what he demonstrates, or maybe they complement each other in that regard. Either way, their true character traits of care and concern add to the healing process as much as any Chemotherapy regimen could. They make you apart of their “family” by getting to know your name and more about you each and every visit.

The Best Hematologist/Oncologist in the Whole World!

      The Best Oncologist in the Whole World!

I remember first going back to the clinic after finding out about my second Cancer. I pulled into the parking lot, turned off the car, and broke down crying. I did not know if I could go through everything again that I had to just a few years back. After gathering myself together, I walked into the clinic. There, even after seven years, were all the same wonderfully caring people. It is like walking a dark path and seeing bright lights ahead to lighten the uncertain way you are heading.

And several times at the Infusion Center at Munson Medical Center as I would engage in treatment the nurses would ask who my Oncologist was. When I said Dr. Kosinski’s name the response was consistent – “Koz is the best there is.” “You’ve got the very best.” “Oh, he’s great!” I believe everyone can realize how much better that response is than just a blank stare, a frown or a roll of the eyes. Believe me, realizing your doctor is respected by the medical community is a plus. Even last year when I smashed my finger, my Orthopedic Doctor, Jason Hollander, asked who my Oncologist was. When I said Dr. Kosinski’s name, his eyes revealed his respect for him. “Great! Did you know his wife is a surgeon and his son is a surgeon also?” I guess I did not know that. But when doctors in other fields recognize the name, it is even more assuring.

1 iron joke

I still remember a joke Dr. Kosinski (which he borrowed from Pro golfer Lee Trevino) told me when he found out I played golf. He said if ever I were caught out on the golf course in a storm and were afraid of lightning, run out into the middle of the fairway and hold a 1-iron over my head. I looked puzzled at him until he revealed the punchline – “Not even God can hit a 1-iron.” Only golfers would understand that one.

So, March will be his last month to practice medicine. He will retire. For a Cancer patient it is not a bad thing to live long enough for your Oncologist to retire. He and I started this journey almost sixteen years ago together, him holding my hand (figuratively) all along the way. Two separate Cancers later, cured from the first one and still in remission from the second one, and it seems like I am losing more than just an acquaintance. I am losing my road warrior, the knowledgeable one who knew the answer to each step in this battle of life. Now I have to pray God send another road warrior to lead in this battle. But, no matter who else comes along, it sure would take a lot to take the place of the wise, venerable and “Brilliant” Dr. Richard P. Kosinski.

Let’s Put 2015 in the Rearview Mirror

January 15, 2016

It has been a year since my last post on my Cancer blog. But there were no Cancer related posts to share. I was in remission all year. Hurray! I made it to another year. That’s always a positive. I am awfully glad it is a new year. Ring in 2016. “Ring, ring, ring.”

The reason for my joy is that when it comes to physical ailments, 2015 was basically the pits. You can read my last post and see that last January I smashed my finger to smithereens. The finger still hurts some. (Yeah, it was smashed flat.) It goes totally numb when I am out in the cold. I can play the piano okay but have to adjust my playing method just a tad. If I strike the finger on something it really hurts. But, all in all, it is so much better than last year. I am considering it a distinguishing mark of ownership. In other words, if I am in a horrible plane crash and they find my lift index finger, show it to my wife, she will be able to identify that it was me in the crash.

Okay, I feel like venting just a bit so I can put it all behind me. Last March 30th I sneezed while sitting in “my chair” in my living room. It wasn’t even a big overgrown, titanic sneeze. It was just a little “achoo.” That suddenly threw my left middle rib totally out of place. I could not even breath for a bit. Nothing I did relieved it. I just suffered until I got a back brace and wore it tightly. The rib episode lasted a month until there was relief and it was back to normal. However, a cough in July caused the same rib to go out again. Another month down the tubes. Yes, I still fulfilled all my duties. But it was uncomfortable for another three weeks.

September saw the horrible cold my wife and grandkids had in August attack me with unmerciful dread. All of September was a normal cold for a week turning into this horrid cough for the rest of the month. I could not sing and sometimes had to speak with a whisper. I couldn’t wait until I gave it away.

Then came October 23. That night my sciatic nerve started hurting. Just a little. After a few days, it was hurting like a catfish sticking into your stomach with its tentacles. I was treating it like a hurting sciatic nerve. Hahaha on me, because then I broke out with Shingles. Now, please don’t tell me to get a Shingles’ shot. With Lymphoma I cannot get one of those. I now advise everyone I see to get a Shingles’ shot. The Shingles went down the sciatic nerve in my right leg. It basically settled in my right foot, both numbing it and hurting it. Intense pain. I equated that pain to a thousand teeth that needed root canals done at the same time (by a thousand dentists I suppose). I was totally incapacitated for two weeks. Thank God for pain pills. For more than a month, it was the only way I was able to sleep. I had three epidurals in my spine to numb the nerves going down my right leg. Pain Doctor: “Numb is better than pain.” I agree. Here it is three months later and the nerve in my right foot are still mostly numb. I still limp when I walk. I limp, not because of any pain, but because of the numbness causes me to be unsure of where I am stepping.

Yes, you are correct; I am presenting all the bad stuff that 2015 represented. There were scores, yea, thousands of blessings and blessed events from God. We generally gravitate to the bad that happens rather than all the good that happens. I am no different. “Stop griping about your finger being smashed! Be thankful for the rest of your body that was NOT smashed!” Okay, good point. This year, I will try more to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative (sounds like song lyrics, doesn’t it?). You know, “don’t mess with Mr. Inbetween,” whatever that means. I have learned many lessons from my infirmities. Maybe I can share some of those lessons here later on when I am through ranting.

Okay, I’m through ranting. Have a great year everyone! And don’t worry about those doomsday people who keep reminding us that 2016 divided by 6 is 336 (which is 3+3 and 6), so basically this must be the year of the Antichrist, therefore Christ is coming back this year (probably on my Birthday). Remember, you heard it here first. Fortunately, there aren’t four bloodmoons this year, and that secret place in Geneva is actually looking for new nuclear energy instead of raising demons. In other words, look up, your redemption draweth nigh. Well, hopefully. I sure could use eternity in heaven to recover from all the turmoil here on earth. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Smashed!

January 20, 2015

I finally got the x-rays of my finger which attempted to be the glue between two large pieces of firewood. Everyone who has seen my finger has reacted as if they have had a smashed finger. A clerk at a store gasped and had to look away. A man at church named it Fingerstein (ala Frankenstein). Or maybe it was Frankenfinger. I really could not tell because of all the giggling. I have heard many stories of how others have smashed their fingers/toes/foot/hand/etc. But I don’t think I have met anyone who has outdone my finger experience. If you have, please let me know in the comments how you did it. The 13 and a half people who read this blog would like to hear better stories than mine. Somehow, certain of my readers get a thrill out of other people’s pain. I think they call that Masochism. Sadism is when you delight in hurting yourself; Masochism is when you delight in the pain of others.

Finger Blog 1

Having the spiritual gift of Exhortation, I have had to get used to being hurt. God has to help me (Mr. Clutz) understand the pain of others so that I can help those who will going through similar pain. Mainly the left side of my body is all messed up. From my broken left shoulder in our accident with the semi, I also tore completely the left rotator cuff when the shoulder broke and had to rework all the other tendons in that area to be able to use the shoulder. (Not counting the damage to my left shin and foot in the accident, the dents are still present after 14 years.) I had surgery on a torn Medial Collateral Ligament in High School playing basketball. The 12 inch long “Railroad Track” is still visible on the inside of the left knee. And my left ear was almost cut off in the accident and had to be sewn back on. I am still picking out pieces of glass that have worked their way out from behind the ear in the last 14 years. It is the back of my LEFT hand that was full of glass pieces from the wreck, the scars still quite evident.

Finger Blog 2

I have no theory on why only the left side of me is the scarred side. I am sure some of my readers can come up with a quip or two as to why this is. Maybe even a political jab on the “Left.” You will notice in the x-rays that there is a definite fracture on the “left side” of the “left” index finger, along with a smaller fracture on the “left side” closer to the joint. Also, the tip of the finger bone was broken off. It all has to somehow grow back together. I supposedly will lose some feeling in the finger also. Hopefully not, but I am supposed to lose some feeling. Thank you for praying for me. It is frustrating to not be able to play the piano during the church services. Sunday I did play some until the finger started hurting . No, I didn’t use this finger, but only used thumb and little finger in octaves in my left hand. But the finger waving around did start hurting after a song or two.

Finger Blog 3

Any predictions on what else on the left side of me will get hurt?

Starting 2015 Out Right…(Not!)

January 6, 2015

As the large piece of wood came down our wood-chute into the basement from the garage, I started to pick the piece of wood up with both hands and throw it into the furnace room to my son-in-law Brad, who was stacking the wood. Knowing the rhythm of throwing the wood down the chute is a must when the receiver (I call this position “Catcher”) must grab the wood and toss it in the direction of the stacker (I call that position “Stacker”). The “Pitcher” at the top of the chute times his throw so as not to hit the piece of wood just thrown. We have done this many times before. Usually one of the young men at the church (I personally think Josiah is the best because of quick reflexes) does the job of catcher. I had given up the position years ago right after my left thumb was smashed between two pieces of wood, resulting in the eventual loss of the thumbnail. Fortunately, my thumbs are just fine. However, the Pitcher threw me a curve and tossed two large pieces of wood simultaneously. I reached for the first piece, grabbed it with both hands, and…SMASH! I saw stars. My 60-year-old life flashed before me. I had heavy work gloves on. That saved the finger. I decided to forget about what just happened, and like any man who has a job to do when people are counting on you, I grabbed the wood that just smashed into my LEFT index finger, and threw it into the wood room. Then I picked up the next piece of wood and tossed that into the wood room. Then… excruciating pain went up my left arm, into my left shoulder, up my left neck (I know, impossible, only one neck), and into the right side of my brain. My brain told me to walk 5 steps into the basement living room, fall down immediately and writhe on the floor beating my right hand against the basement floor while screaming “OW, OW, OW!” (Side note: Personally, I think cussing is overrated. Words are just words, so, if given a choice, why use a word that makes you sound like a stupid, vile idiot?)

My daughter Bethany found me on the basement floor, writhing in pain. She asked me what was wrong, and I took my left work glove off. When she saw my index finger (the side smashed was hidden to my direct view) she thought the bone was sticking out the side. The finger was split down the side from the top to the second joint. I immediately knew it was worse than I had thought. Usually a smashed finger stops hurting so much a few minutes after it is smashed. This one increased in pain.

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She rushed me to the Walk In Clinic in Traverse City after putting gauze around the finger. While in the waiting room, I got really dizzy and told her I was getting ready to pass out. The room was getting fuzzy and my ears started hearing ringing. The nurses immediately came with a wheelchair and took me back to a room. First they took my blood pressure. My wonderfully normal 120/80 was actually 77/39 when they first took it. We all knew I was in trouble. They took me back to a bed and elevated my feet above my head.

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They took x-rays and found the distal phalanx was fractured. The doctor said it was smashed into several pieces. I am headed to see an orthopedic hand surgeon this afternoon. Please pray that this will heal well and that it will not hinder my playing the piano, which is a possibility. Hey, at least it’s not Cancer. Praise the Lord. Besides, I have nine other fingers which will all perform magnificently in place of the other.

Oncologist Visit

November 5, 2014

I went in for my 6 month evaluation today. Got my blood drawn first of course. The following is mainly for other Lymphoma patients following this blog. To give you some examples of the different blood counts, before Chemotherapy on September 12, 2011, my White Blood Count was 6.7. After two different types of Chemotherapy spanning the next 9 months, my White Blood Count was 4.4 which is well below normal. Today it is 5.1; still on the low side, but steady (same reading six months ago in May). Platelets read 193 before Chemo, 120 after Chemo, and 150 today. 150 is the lowest range for Patient limits, which normal is 150 – 450. My Lymphocytes were 14.2, which is very low. Normal is between 20.5 – 51.1. So this is a concern. Hemoglobin was 14.2 before Chemo, 11.5 after Chemo, and 13.5 today. Normal ranges is between 11 – 18.

The Brilliant Dr. Kosinski felt all over my body and told me he did not feel any swollen nodes. My wife Debbie game him my newest CD, “Revive Our Hearts.” We talked about the CD for a while and he said he might play it for the patients in the Chemotherapy room in the building. Debbie gave two other CD’s out, one to the lady who drew my blood (Ms. Vampire) and the other to the friendly receptionist. He released me for another six months before another visit. He did tell me that there is a new Chemotherapy drug that has been approved for relapsed patients, which is in the form of a pill taken through the mouth (where else would one take a pill?). But he said it was VERY expensive and that we would probably opt to go the Bendamustine (form of Mustard Gas) again since it did so well the last time.

I always get very anxious going into the office there. I still don’t know why, but I assume it is normal. The sights, sounds, even smells of the place simply remind me that the Cancer could return at any moment. On a side note, the nurse that weighed me before my visit asked if I wanted her to translate the number into pounds. I said, “no, I want to be ignorant of foreign weight measurement; besides, the kilogram scale makes me seem so much lighter.” She said she gets that a lot.

Well, that’s the latest.

Each Reader is Important

July 18, 2014

I must start by saying how humble this blog makes me feel. Looking back, I just wanted to track the Cancer that I had. It was a way that I could put my thoughts down in total honesty and be able to look back on those thoughts to see how or if I had grown in Christ. I know all things come into our lives for a purpose to those who love Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28), even the supposed “bad things.” The bad things can be turned to “good things” based upon one’s perspective of how it can be used for Christ to influence others.

I have hardly posted in the past couple of years since the Chemotherapy treatments were finished. Since then I have only written about a couple of follow-up Oncologist visits which come once every six months (for the rest of my life) to see if the Cancer is still in remission. That has not stopped the readership of this blog. There have been a total of 260,000 readers since I started my Cancer articles a little over four years ago. I know many of those have been repeat readers throughout. However, my stats for the blog also show first time readers and consistent readers. I always joked about my 13 and a half readers and got quite a good response from those who claimed to be the “half a reader.” In all actuality, this blog has been read around the world in nearly every country, actually 175 countries in the last two years. Just today’s stats have tracked readers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Romania. India, South Korea and Japan. Twenty-seven different countries are recorded just for this week alone. 30,000 total readership from the combined countries of United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Philippines, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland and New Zealand. Forty countries are in triple digits of readers, between 100 and 1000. The largest month of readership was November of 2012 with a little over 21,000. The best day ever was November 15, 2012 with 2,959 readers. This blog has been reposted by both Cancer societies and Cancer research websites. So not only are amateurs reading, but professionals too. I am amazed when I click on a post that my stats tell me have ended up on a Cancer website and actually go to that site and see all of the professional articles on Cancer alongside my little blog post.

What does this tell me? It tells me that people are hurting everywhere and are looking for answers for those hurts. Many people, mainly potential Lymphoma patients, have written me personally to ask for my advice as to what they should do after finding a lump they could not explain. I write back and tell them what I believe they should do. I am not a doctor, but I can give the information that I have gleaned over the years from many sources. And I can send them in the right direction. And I can also pray for them. This blog has put me in touch with many Christians who suffer from the same disease, and who have been a blessing to me by encouraging me to keep posting for God’s glory.

It also tells me once again that life is short. That every person on planet earth will eventually go out into eternity. That is the destiny of everyone, including those reading this blog. At that time, no one will be judged to see if they had Cancer or did not have Cancer. People will not be judged on how much money or goods they accumulated while living here on earth. The only judgment criteria will be one’s relationship to God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Do you know Him personally, and have you dealt with your sins against God by trusting the crucifixion of Christ for those sins and the cleansing of those sins by His shed blood? While I am pretty sure this particular post will not end up on a Cancer website, maybe you have searched for your answers and found yourself reading this. I can give you some answers to your temporal questions about Cancer. But the question of where you will spend your eternity is of much more importance to me. I know I am spending my eternity with Jesus Christ; no doubt about it. Would you please bow your head (and your heart) and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Confess yourself to be a sinner before God, and ask Him to forgive you for those sins.

May God bless, and thank you for reading.

-Ben  

Latest Oncologist Appointment

May 8, 2014

I know I have not blogged for a while. But I have not had much to report. I have been in remission for two years this month. That’s two years with no growth in the Lymph Nodes that are Cancerous. I thought I would update everyone who has followed this blog on what I have been going through and also what the Oncologist said.

First, it is incredible what comes over a person who is in remission. It seems that every abnormality tends to send the brain into panic that the Cancer is coming back. This gives a person great anxieties. I know, I know, a Christian is supposed to keep his eyes on Christ and realize nothing is going to happen to him that is outside of God’s will. However, the flesh still does not want to go through Chemotherapy or the side effects. My six month check-up was yesterday. It was supposed to be the week before but the Brilliant Dr. Kosinski was on vacation and rescheduled it for a week later. That brought more anxiety than I thought it would. And I confess that I thought I had a tumor that was growing. At least it seemed it was. Although I know it has not grown any in the last four months since I “found it.” Also, we thought the appointment was at noon yesterday and it ended up being at 2 p.m. That was another anxious moment. I had to wait two more hours before he could check all the places that he normally checks to see if there are any growths. During that two extra hours I had what I would call an “Anxiety Attack.” I could not catch my breath and was breathing heavily. I was also somewhat dizzy and disoriented. My wife Debbie was pretty convinced it was because I had not eaten that day yet, and that could have added to the problem. Still, I have not experienced an attack like that before. So, I guess I am a wimp. At least I admit it.

I did get my blood drawn at noon since I was already there. And the great news is that the technician found a vein the first time she tried. And there was no pain when she poked me. I was mildly surprised. She looked over both of my arms and could not find a vein that could be used. Actually, she could not find a vein period. She settled with one on the back of my left hand. All my other veins have been compromised by the three different types of Chemotherapy over the years. The good news was that the blood counts were all within the normal range. Doc made the statement that my platelets were doing well enough to perform their duties.

The good report from Dr. Kosinski was that he found NO swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphadenopathy) at all. He was pleased with what the Bendamustine had done. He stated that if my Cancer came back the Bendamustine would once again put it into remission. That was also good news. And he said he would use the Bendamustine by itself and not with the Rituxan. I told him it was quite a savings to only have the one.

The funny thing is, I still have my anxiety. Not as much, but it is still there. I don’t really know why, but maybe it has not sunk in just yet that I am still in remission. I think I had convinced myself that the Cancer was growing again. I prepared my mind for the worst. Trusting in the Lord is one thing, and I do trust the Lord to know everything He is doing in this situation. But the thought that “this could be it for me” is daunting. Like Abraham, God increased his faith by increasing his trials. I do pray I pass all of God’s tests for me in this regard. That I will accept what He has in my life, whether good or bad for me personally. May He get glory out of all that happens to me.

Oncologist Visit plus a Joke for Guys.

April 22, 2013

I have my six month Oncologist visit with the Brilliant Dr. Kosinski tomorrow. I am hopeful that he will tell me that I am still in remission and to come back in six months. I will write as to what he actually tells me sometime in the next few days.

For now, I just wanted to give you an anecdote which I read earlier. Here it is.

This reminds me of the story of Isaac.  Isaac lived in San Francisco.  He was a very pious and honest man.  He was a mensch.  Isaac lived by all 613 (or so) of Gods commandments.    God noticed and since it is so rare to find a man that lives by all of His commandments, He wanted to give Isaac a gift.   So He went to Isaac and said, “Isaac, this is God”.   Isaac replied “I know!”.  God told Isaac that He saw what a good and pious man he was, and how much He appreciated his following all the commandments.  He told Isaac He was going to give him one wish.  Anything at all he wanted.  Isaac pondered this for a minute and then said, “God, you know (because you know all) that I am afraid to fly.  But I have always wanted to go to Hawaii.  Could you build me a bridge from San Francisco to Honolulu?”.  God was taken aback.   He retorted “Isaac.  I am a little concerned with the materialistic aspect of your wish.  Plus, it would be an incredible engineering feat.  We would have to have pilings to the deepest part of the ocean.  We would have to have gas stations and rest stops so you could refuel and eat.  I could do it of course, because I am God.  But isn’t there anything else you could ask for?   Isaac was quiet for a moment.  Then he spoke.  “God, I would like to understand women.” ……………………….  “Do you want 2 lanes or 4?”

Over 100,000 YouTube Hits

December 18, 2012

I am truly humbled. Since I started my YouTube Site, I had no idea that anyone would see any of the songs I put on there. It was just a place where I could upload some of my songs and have memories for anyone who would want them later. I put some from my Zambia trips and a few from church specials. But with the details I have received from the site, it is well worth stating that I believe people have been blessed by the site. Notice some of the blessings I have received.

http://www.youtube.com/user/lmstily (My YouTube Channel)

Certain songs have not necessarily gone viral, but they have done pretty well compared to other songs. The song most watched from America is the Early Bill Gather Medley at 12,692 viewings. People have really liked the nostalgia of remembering those early songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither as they were just starting out in Gospel Music back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

The second-most viewed song is the Watchman Nee song (“Hush, Lady Watchman, Don’t You Cry”) that I sang at the last ELC Conference, which comes in at 12,416. Half of those were views from Communist China and Taiwan. People were typing in “Watchman Nee” into YouTube, and listening to the song about him. What a great testimony for the Lord, as Brother Nee still has a wonderful testimony in those countries.

The Ira Stanphill Songs Medley came in next at 9,822. I have had some great comments on that song also. One man stated that he was a member of Dr. Stanphill’s church in Texas and remembered hearing him sing these songs. Another one made mention that Dallas Holm was youth director in Dr. Stanphill’s church when he was younger. Of course, Dallas Holm wrote the song “Rise Again.”

Coming in as the fourth-most watched video was “The Cat Got Dead” at 7,576. It is such a fun song, and one of my most requested songs when I am out singing my Silly Song Concerts.

Landing at London’s Heathrow airport was next at 6,624 views. This was taken by my Flip recorder off of the video screen in front of me which came from the “tailcam” of the plane. I thought it turned out very well.

The “Day by Day” flute/violin duet with Lydia and Anna has been viewed 5,799 times. Way to go girls!!! It is really a great duet done for one of our church services.

My biggest disappointments have been my songs “Be True to the Lord” at 51 views, “Swallow the Fly” at 88 views, and the quartet number in my 1992 Concert “Turn Your Radio On” at only 7 views. 7 views (sigh)??? But, I never know what is going to “take off” and what will go unnoticed.

“Turn Your Radio On” is here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nvLmh5X-kQ. Maybe those who follow my blog can help it a little bit. Only 7 views? That’s not good.

But I am encouraged. I can view details of every video watched by who watches it around the world. Many of my videos are now being watched in England, Canada, Austrialia and New Zealand. Those four countries equal about 10-20 views per day. But just about 100 other countries around the world have watched my videos.

As a side-note, this blog has now reached over 200,000 readers; at this moment surpassing 220,000. That was another 120,000 since last January when I wrote that it had reached 100,000 views. That’s more than 12,000 per month since then. I know of medical journals online that have recommended this blog for cancer patients going through what I have gone through. And I have had contact with cancer patients from around the world as a result.

Well, I just wanted to thank you for reading this blog. Because of the faithful 18 1/2 readers and their encouraging comments over the years, many people are now being helped, both emotionally and spiritually with the entries here. And may our Lord Jesus Christ get all the glory for what He has done.

Last CAT Scan Results

June 19, 2012

I had my last CAT Scan for a while done recently, and the Oncologist’s office called me with the results. Of course, they have to couch all the good news in language that keeps them from having liability for anything said or promised, but at least the news was good for now. I was told that the CAT Scan showed no abnormal lymph nodes, and there did not appear to be any sign of the Cancer in my body. Of course, this is why I suffered through the last four rounds of Treanda/Rituxan, so I could hear these results. I must say that it is a relief to know that for now, the Cancer is gone, or as they say, in remission.

How long the Cancer remains gone is now in the hands of the Lord. It could be two years, five years, or it could max out at 14 years, which is the latest number being tossed out for this mixture of Chemotherapy. At least I can take a deep breath, try to get my body back in shape, and enjoy feeling really good. Believe me, this does change my daily outlook. The mental and emotional horrors of Cancer/Chemotherapy are just as real as the physical horror. But now, the mental is taking on a whole new future, at least for the near future.

The Latest Impression from the Doc: “Recurrent follicular lymphoma, in remission.”

I still have a ways to go to recover from the effects of the Chemotherapy, but I am definitely on my way. The future looks bright. I am so thankful for all those friends and family that encouraged me with their prayers and notes. They all helped me make it through to this end. It felt so good to be able to be at church for the whole day, and not feel any after-effects of the Chemo tiring me out. I really will not know what to write about on this blog now. I guess I could continue to put parts of articles about the new discoveries of Cancer treatments. I just do not know yet. If any of my 13 and a half readers have any suggestions, please let me know. I would hate to turn philosophical. Blogs are meant for information, and not as a diary for other people to read. This is my “Mindset,” so I could still speak my mind on lots of topics, like cats, Commies, and cartoons, but those are being done by others also. I do not want to turn this into “Nosebook. (the only portion of the “face” that is really on that social network).” Oh well, just let me know if you have a suggestion. And thank you for reading my journey to get to this point in my life. May God get the glory for Who He is!

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