there exists a walking and waking nightmare. its a perilous path that requires us to be ever vigilant, and ready, willing and able to thumb Satan in his blood-shot pale eyes.
spare me the platitudes and existentialist bull-shit. cancer is not a journey.
Thursday was Joanne’s fourth chemotherapy session, and mid-point for the course. that is always followed by a Nuestra shot to increase her white blood cell count. interestingly, that ends-up being the most painful part of the treatment. listening to her description of the pain, it sounds like what The Wolverine must go through when he deploys his talons and/ or regenerates.
that said, she is tough as Wolverine; any super hero, to be certain.
the good news is that the cancer is evidently not in the lymph-nodes. we caught this bitch early and we responded with pace and a sense of purpose. I recruited, petitioned and secured the best surgical and oncology team in the Southeast. the two masses have apparently responded well to chemotherapy. thusly, her prognosis is good. if we remain on-plan, we have the BIG surgery November 6th. hopefully we are in the recovery and healing phase by mid-December.
me? I am restless. resolute. exhausted. encouraged. relieved that my daughters seem to find comfort in me. I miss my wife. she has already told me nothing is going to be the same. I’ve never loved her more. I can’t ever be more angry at something else, ever again. thank God for modern medicine, and my Jeep – oh… and a sense of purpose to stay fit, and, possibly, sane.
Wanted to share with you guys a letter I got today, because I think it’s a testament to the community of people who follow this blog. I’ve also attached the photo/caption referenced in the letter. I get nervous as the blog grows that the culture will fall apart, but with 2.7 million and counting— the HONY comment section remains a sort of rare internet jewel where everyone, for the most part, is really nice. And when there is a mean comment, it sticks out as an anomaly, instead of the other way around. So thanks for that.
I’m Ted, we met getting off the Six at Grand Central. When I got home Sunday evening, I had an e-mail from friends in Chicago. One of their daughters reads your blog (is that what it is called?), and recognized me even though she has never seen me with a beard. I am astounded! I’ve read about 1000 of the comments, words cannot express how touched I am by what I have read. Its actually more than touched, it has been very emotional to read the wonderful things people have said. A couple people appear confused about what happened, for the record she had acute myelogenous leukemia, we were diagnosed July 2008, we lost our battle February 20 2013, not quite a year ago. Thanks for doing this, it has really touched my life. The most wonderful people in the world read your material and comment on it.
“At first we kept saying: ‘We’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it.’ Then after awhile we began to realize that we might not beat it. Then toward the end, it became clear that we definitely weren’t going to beat it. That’s when she started telling me that she wanted me to move on and find happiness with somebody else. But I’m not quite there yet. Not long ago a noise woke me up in the middle of the night, and I rolled over to ask if she needed anything.”
however, many of you have asked questions around bravery, or contemplated its application, or utter devoid of it in your life.
regardless of your position, role, or perspective in the matter, I present a heart-felt message to Emily:
I don’t see yours as a difficult question. the topic itself might be something that you’ll find deep within your own heart.
God has a dark sense of humor – and, more often than not puts things He wants us to know about ourselves in odd places, like just beyond our fingertips, in the voice of strangers that become friends, or in the very face of adversity.
So… mine is really an opinion based on decades of experience and perspective.
I know many people that have dealt with cancer. Some survived; others not. They all handled it differently. I know people that were bullied. I also know bullies. I can add stories about parents that have lost children to cancer, and bullying. all of these people are brave, or have the option to be brave, can be brave, or won’t ever be. Separate from bravery comes courage. that is another word with an entirely different meaning and application.
by the way… I feel fear is a form of cancer.
with all those words, my use of the word brave in relation to you was my emerging sense that you have an ability to deal and muscle through situations that have crushed many other people. I don’t know if you demonstrated courage through any of it. but, I know that on the other side of it all I see a person that has a good vibe, wants to do great things, cares about dogs, has a zest for life, wants to be in love… that is bravery because its so much easier to to be bitter. and, “bitter” is not how I’d ever describe you. I may not be able to offer you clarity with this, yet. we often can’t see ourselves as others do. this is why I try to view the world through other people eyes. its no simple task. it takes a lot of living to see the world from so many different perspectives. part of my role in the lives of my clients is to walk with them and share. thats a catalyst for changing.
spending money on a business, or on yourself – outside of material possessions – does not make you brave. its just not common, both in-terms of application and ability to do so. most people are the opposite. they live in fear and don’t invest in themselves. thats a bit ironic, don’t you think?
you are investing in yourself. I’m investing my time and positive energy in you. fortunately we both agree you are worth it.
I really do understand the quest for financial independence. however, I’ll leave you with something of a puzzle around it… you won’t understand or value it until you have achieved it coming from the places you have been. I don’t know anything about your sleep issues. but, dreams can be realized by conscious effort.
that said… What do you WANT? by the way… does it have to be in Atlanta?
also… financial independence does not always mean the balance in the bank account. It can also mean always have the means. maybe the primary thing we need to evolve (I purposefully did not say “change”) is your perspective. here some additional perspective… the best surfing spots amongst the islands of Hawaii were formed from volcanic activity. craters are formed. over thousands of years the ocean chews away at them and creates bays. …this is meant to be a bit frustrating as you ponder all of it.
on a personal note… you surf a HUGE wave big enough to crush a whale four feet above razor sharp coral surrounded by thunder loud enough to drown-out everything including your inability to think (you only survive by following your gut and instincts) – you begin to understand where life and death are simply the difference between a breath, a blink, or balance. certainly choices.
David Sugarman once said to me, “when I stopped worrying about money it found me”. love might work that way as well. I know it does with scoring soccer goals.
lets talk about the mistakes and next steps when we next meet. its a bit too complex for email. the exchange needs to be more dynamic.
what do they (“they” defined as that shadowy globe controlling organization) know that you don’t?
you are warned…
we head into Easter weekend with our thinking through the course of events that led to His rising, and it’s anniversary Sunday. we understand He sacrificed his mortal body so He could be a great example of our collective, and greater potential. so, there is always that hope.
meanwhile… and, possibly grimly at the other end of the spectrum…
not the flesh-eating monsters that eerily represent their prior existence… the show, itself.
better still, is the not less than brilliant and far-flung World War Z – by Max Brooks. NOTE: go with the Audiobook. trust me on that one. do it!
mind you, the zombie theme remains a consistent favorite for TV and movie fans and in a few months the mother of all flicks in the genre – Brad Pitt’sWorld War Z - will hit theaters.
Pitt’s version of World War Z is more of an abomination than the ghouls themselves portrayed in his movie. in fact, the trailer makes me think in terms of “dead man walking”. In the film, Pitt portrays a United Nations crisis specialist battling a deadly zombie-creating pandemic in a bid to save humanity.
“The book focused on slow zombies. We chose to be more dynamic in that we wanted to base all of this on science. So it’s ‘What if we had them move like ants? Or a swarm of bees? Or birds or a school of fish that’s being chased?’ One of the first [questions] we asked was how to portray the zombies and how to do it differently because it’s been done so many times and been done pretty damn well. “This unprecedented threat comes along, and it’s going to end everything and everybody unless someone comes up with an answer. The interesting thing is how different those answers are and the way those choices lead to power shifts and life-and-death consequences.” – Brad Pitt
that seems reasonable, I suppose. however, I wish he had made creative changes, as in license, with another story-line. In my view, Brook’s effort is sublime.
Max Brooks created a narrative story about society and the genuine human condition as it evolved through a historical event later known as “the Crisis”. the “Zombie War” came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, travels across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. he recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
however, Pitt makes the movie about the narrator himself. he completely lost the point of pathos that Brooks ingeniously engineered.
that said, where the two classic efforts vitally differ from other zombie faire is in the ultimate message. what is both cool and noteworthy through “The Walking Dead” and World War Z is how they manage to make zombies the back-story.
what do they (“they” defined as that shadowy globe controlling organization) know that you don’t?
in any event, I believe this is about the devolution of man or humankind when faced with the unimaginable. while some people rise up – just not as the reanimated dead [sic] – most others channel the abyss and literally lose their humanity through endless examples of depravity. they exchange their souls for a kind of survival. they lose their way of life, and become literal dead men walking.
as most of you know, and now even more of you do, I coach youth Lacrosse. These kids are fifteen, fourteen and thirteen. they love zombie stuff. they eat it up. seriously. and, they would think me saying that was funny. hell… my wife would roll her eyes (so would both of my daughters), but the lads think their coach is hilarious. in any event, one of our assistant coaches, Jake, is a star on the reigning state high schiool championship Lacrosse team. we were discussing Dawn of the Dead, one of the zombie-fan-nation favorites al-la George Ramirez, himself. but, he had to make the point that if the zombie apocalypse came about he would forget the mall and head straight for Home Depot. “there is noting you can’t do once you have control of Home Depot“. You have all the tools (they can be weapons) you need. they even have hydroponics”.
absolute genius. there is hope for the latest generation yet. they are full of life, hope and promise.
let’s be grateful this weekend, for what we have, and can have. and, don’t be surprised if you see me strolling purposefully around Home Depot taking careful notes that have nothing to do with finishing basements.
by the way… remember what Hemingway said, “you can always defend Spain”.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork
Special NOTE: Brooks is also the author of the determinedly straight-faced parody The Zombie Survival Guide (2003).
Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.
You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.
So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.
All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.
brian cork by John Campbell
photos by John Campbell
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