Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We have struggled with the numbers this past year... trying to keep them down -- those nasty, cancer-spawned, light chains that have caused all the problems.

The chemo cycle has been relatively "easy" (and I put this in quotes) for Sabine. She continues to be active and exercise daily (though there has been an impact with being tired). And who shouldn't be with either dialysis or chemotherapy taking up six days of the week?

Sabine did a remarkable effort during the past nine months preparing three teenagers from our parish for confirmation. It never fails to amaze me how good she is with others (particularly children).

These past two months (chemo rounds) she has been undergoing a pretty heavy dose of carfilzomib plus Revilmid plus dexamethasone and it has caused some debilitating daylong nausea on the second or third day after her last (Friday) chemo infusion.

Of course, when something physical happens, I get anxious and start to worry.

So this coming Thursday and Friday she will take the last two infusions of our current cycle and then see Dr Sheehan the following Wednesday. We will monitor (and try to medicate) the nausea and vomiting, check the numbers when the blood work comes back, and then meet with Dr Sheehan and see what's next.

I must never forget that this life or cancer-fighting is one day at a time plus being ever and always thankful for every day I have with her.

Life, and God, remain good.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Needed Update

Hard to believe that the last post I wrote was in February -- just after we entered our seventh year of the struggle with cancer.

I guess I am a fair weather writer (looking back on my poetry that is exactly the truth). I tend to write very few poems when things are going well. After all, without grief, loss and tragedy, what would a poet write?

This has been a long way to say that life has achieved a new normal for us. I would call this the "management" stage of the disease. Sure, we dialyze five days a week and have a three-week chemotherapy regimen with, then, a week off (but still dialysis!).

I was still able to encourage Sabine to help me re-edit a workbook we collaboratively wrote over 20 years ago ("The New Quality Leadership Workbook For Police." We published it earlier this month. And Sabine was still able to take three of our youth from St Peter's along a year-long process which ended in their confirmation two weeks ago. And then there is (again) our annual family summer reunion this coming July. (Whew!)

Nevertheless (and if you know me) I venture forth warily, watching for signs of trouble. Sometimes I think of my self as an old western wagon master. The guy who leads a group of settlers west across the prairie and all the time looking for danger, prairie fires, and stampeding buffalo.

Yes, I do enjoy this role (is it not too unlike that of a police officer?). So I am the guardian, the protector. Sabine and I enjoy the journey -- each other's company -- and the time we have to become even better friends and lovers. God is good and so is this life. We are blessed.

Stay tuned.