The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

go on! Joanne Cork

December14

Your being on this particular email distribution indicates you have been tracking our family through Joanne’s fight with breast cancer. Your unwavering love and support has been terrific, and our gratitude has no measure.

Its been five weeks this very day since Joanne had the double mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries. As many of you know or can surmise, we were extremely fortunate having both procedures accomplished on the same table. It was a very long day, but both surgeons were outright triumphant when they found me in the recovery waiting room. Our primary surgeon was evidently VERY aggressive with surrounding tissue, but only took five nodes for testing. With all that, she was confident she accomplished our objective. I then managed to break protocol and snuck into the corridor that led from the surgical theater, so I was able to greet a decidedly dazed Joanne almost straight away. I had not relished holding her hand more since the day she agreed to go on a first date with me, and the moment she accepted my proposal of marriage, and when we brought our children into this world.

Over Thanksgiving, Audra, the Godmother of our daughters (her daughter, our God daughter, is a sophomore at Emory University, here in Atlanta) came out for a week, traveling from New Hampshire, and cooked a magnificent celebratory dinner. Terrific food and family. That week we received word that Joanne’s pathology report is clear. Joanne and Audra visited with both the surgeon and oncologist for follow-up reports where they confirmed the pathology. By God, it was one of the sweetest weeks of my life.

We are looking great and can now officially focus on healing. Joanne is still quite sore with limited range-of-motion. So, we begin therapy soon. She’s a bit self-conscious over her hair. I think she is lovely with a well-shaped head and the whole affect makes her gorgeous big brown eyes pop. But, its not looking good for the Christmas party circuit this year. NOTE: Many of you will be relieved that as Joanne’s hair began to grow back, I finally cut my own. It was shoulder length and shaggy. However, the stand and effort were made with good affect. I’ll also add that forty of my buddies also finally shaved – to the collective and immense relief of their own spouses.

More good news is that our oldest daughter Haley Anne has been accepted to Alabama. Roll Tide! The only thing that might stop her is an offer letter from Ole Miss. In addition to that, I’ve been accepted into Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a double Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction and Master of Science in Enterprise Transformation. These will set-the-stage for the pursuit of my PhD in Technology Transformation (and, hopefully teaching in my fourth season of life).

These are important milestones and signals that life is circling back around and reminding us that we must needs continue to be grateful at every turn, and prepared to give back to anyone that we can. A fascinating aspect of this ordeal is the community of cancer. Joanne has been befriended by numerous other women that have muscled through similar fights. Now, in-turn, she often finds herself supporting others. Along the way we have both forged meaningful friendships and relationships with a host of people that we might have never known but for the ordeal. Blessings come wrapped in the oddest form of package.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holiday. And, Happy New Year.

– Brian Patrick Cork

cancer is NOT a journey

August10

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.

go read another and prior post of mine: http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com/2013/03/08/riding-that-big-glassy-fronted-wave-of-life/ do it!

“live your life darling. all of it. question everything. accept nothing.” – Barbara Anne Cork, Wife to one, Mother to all

mere survival is not an option. this must be about “thrival”. I made that up; but will see it through.

UPDATE:

when this episodic travesty finds it’s end, Chuck Papageorgiou is taking me fishing.

also… Denis McDonough, himself, and politics aside, says he wants to sit quietly with me and smoke a very good cigar.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters

brian patrick cork

I don’t know how to sing the blues

July9

borrowed, with gratitude from, Humans of New York : http://lnkd.in/bgtFJi5

the rest is me. sometimes we need examples of who not to be and what not to do.

some people channel such BULLSHIT through their lives.

so… that got me to the following:

Joanne has cancer. I spend almost every minute of the day willing her to be healed. I would take every ounce of strength I have and infuse her with it. I would give her every last drop of blood and white blood cells I can generate. I would carry her to the top of the mountain if I thought God could hear me more clearly.

this morning I ventured out to Starbucks in my Jeep. I often do annoying things that might include singing country songs at the top of my voice out of key, pray, play music loud (my current favorite to the horror of my neighborhood) is, What It’s Like (not a country song) by Everlast, from the Whitey Ford Sings the Blues album. it fits nicely with an open-air Jeep Wrangler (in Milton, Georgia this is the new Porsche).

a prayer popped into my head. then I realized it was a poem. then thought it might be a prayer. but, $@&% it… I meant it.

I love God He keeps me on my feet I love God He does not know the meaning of defeat I love God He keeps me on my toes I love God he is the architect of my woes I love God He makes me strong I love God He confuses my understanding of luck and fortuna I love God I beg him to make Jo well Soona (that was me rollin a bit ghetto).

so… what if poems are a form of prayer? does that mean stupid poems possess the potential to piss off God? if it makes me feel better, I think that’s a good sign.

…this reminds me… I wish Brandon, the creator and curator of Human of New York, would offer a method other than TUMBLR to share his own efforts. I wonder if he hears me?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

letter to Emily

December28

“by the way… I feel fear is a form of cancer.”

most of you don’t know the Emily I’m writing to.

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.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

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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