A ray of hope

On April 6, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

I walked in to a n informational meeting for the Knights of Columbus (we’re trying to start a Council at the Cathedral here in Portland—we’re real close to our 30 members now, by the way! Anyway, the first person I ran into was Greg, one of our transfers from Beaverton. He asked me about the job hunt, and I told him my news. He told me not to worry about that. Find a job, he says, and when I need to move, we’ll make it work.

I am taking that as a message from a bit higher authority: Focus on treating the cancer and getting back on my feet. God will take care of the rest. I needed that, I’ve been a bit depressed about the whole thing. Time to stop being depressed, there’s work to be done.


Good results, but bad news

On April 5, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

So I wound up spending pretty much the whole day dealing with medical stuff, most of it waiting. The good news is that the MRI showed nothing—sort of. There’s something my doctor noted about a bone, but he didn’t seem terribly concerned about it. I’ve asked for a copy of the results, which I’ll have probably in a day or two.

While I was waiting, I received a call from a person with the Oregon Work Incentives Network. As regular readers know, I’m a blind guy, and I’m unemployed. I’m on just about every public assistance program out there, and I don’t want to be. I just want a job, to live where I want, and to pay my taxes like everyone else.

The problem is that if you are in public housing, getting a job that pays a little, but not a lot, disqualifies you immediately from the subsidy, but doesn’t guarantee you enough income to afford the “market rent” (which is 120% of what a similar apartment in the same place would cost). That means an entry-level job could make you homeless.

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The waiting game continues

On April 5, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

As I type this, I am sitting in the waiting room of my oncologist. It may be quite awhile before I’m seen, this place is packed today. And I’m nervous. Whenever I finally am seen, it should be pretty quick. The doctor will look at the incision site, note it has healed quite nicely, has very little redness from radiation, and is generally doing as well as one can expect.

Then down to brass tacks. What did the MRI’s show? I’ve been waiting for that answer now for a week. Probably nothing, but maybe there really is something to worry about?

The only way I have found to mitigate this kind of anxiety even a little is to pray and to trust in God. Whatever result there is, it fits his plan. He never gives us more than we can handle—though sometimes I sure wish his estimation of my abilities was nit quite so high. 😉

I could use a few prayers right now, if any of you, my faithful readers, can spare a moment to offer them. Thanks! :)


Praying for a good woman

On April 2, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

Last year when I was recovering from surgery, I could not attend mass. After a few weeks I could actually go, but the wound vac would likely fall apart if I got warm at all in the winter. Since that never happens in Oregon in the summer, it was necessary to have the eucharist come to me since I could not go to it. A kind older woman by the name of Theresa brought me communion during that time.

I recently learned that Theresa is presently in Palm Springs…fighting a type of cancer that appears in bone marrows. If you would be so kind, please pray for her.

Thanks guys!


The waiting game

On April 1, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

It’s that time, folks! It’s time to play the waiting game. Wednesday I spent most of the day at the hospital because I had two MRIs and radiation treatment. That’s a few hours laying on an uncomfortable table getting cooked from the inside out! Not what I’d call a fun and exciting day, and I still don’t know anything, and I won’t until Tuesday.

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When we found the second tumor, Katie took it better than I expected. I had kind of primed her to expect it a bit, because I expected it. I talked about the “if” stuff at a time when people around me were saying that I shouldn’t worry myself needlessly until the doctor ordered tests and got the results from it. I did that for Katie, because I knew she wouldn’t be able to handle the news of a second tumor out of the blue very well at all. And it was the right decision, because by the time we got word it was another tumor, she had a similar reaction to my own, “Okay, how do we kill it?”

But I knew that it was still going to be hard on her. It’s not exactly easy on me either, and I am a lot better at keeping my head when faced with tough situations than most. So I got it in my mind that perhaps I should consider a support group for the two of us. There’s got to be something like that, right?

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I always wanted to be a knight!

On March 29, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

Emblem of the order

One of the things I mentioned last time that has kept me busy in the middle of radiation is that I have joined the Knights of Columbus. That deserves a bit more explanation, especially for non-Catholics who have maybe never heard of them.

While I generally try to keep my politics out of this blog, I need to approach the issue long enough to say that the Catholic Church is far from united even on those political issues that fit the work God has called upon us to do. Some Catholic organizations lean a bit either to the left or to the right, politically speaking. Since I first learned of the Knights of Columbus as I was preparing to enter the Church back in 2006, I’ve never heard a single person complain that the Knights leaned either direction. They lean to God. I know that sounds corny, but they do.

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Not gonna lay around!

On March 28, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

So they tell me that during my radiation, I should expect that I’ll have some fatigue. Probably less than last time around. Sure enough, about three weeks in, I’m finding that I’m dragging a bit. Last time around, I began to really feel it about the beginning of week 4 (of 6), which is to say it was pretty mild until then when it hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt like I slept a few days straight.

Then one day, I had to be out and about pretty much all day. You gotta remember that I’m blind, so the only way I get somewhere is if I walk, take a bus, or walk to where I can take a bus. So even with just four or five errands to run, it was a day-long affair. After all of that, I noticed something: I felt fine! The trick was to keep moving and you can for the most part outrun the fatigue.

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Google AdSense makes none

On March 27, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

Okay, I have to rant for a minute.

What is this blog about? It doesn’t take long to figure that out. It’s about cancer—fighting it, living with it, and getting beyond it, all from a Christian perspective. So sometime last fall, at the suggestion of an online acquaintance, I added Google AdSense to this blog to help pay for the cost of this thing—a relatively paltry $120 per year. The thing is, nobody clicks on the ads. It’s not hard to see why not!

I have yet to see an ad directing you to a worthy place to donate to cancer research or to help out people with cancer. I never saw any Christian ads, not even some site selling Christian books and the like. The only ad I ever saw even remotely related to this site was one for some crackpot miracle cancer cure snake oil which looked so completely ridiculous that it didn’t even have a faint whiff of legitimacy one would associate with a decent scam! And it’s not like the unrelated ads have been much higher quality, either. The whole thing has just made this blog look like a cheap attempt to make a buck, and I’ve never really intended to make anything on this site (which is good, because I haven’t!)

I dunno how long I can keep this site up—I’m not going to actually have a job at any point during radiation (they just cannot schedule a time for me to do it that would allow me to work any job that’s currently hiring in the area), and the cost of the hosting is only paltry when you’ve got the money.

I’m looking into an alternate hosting arrangement for now, but if I can’t arrange that, I dunno. But I think I’d rather request donations to keep this site up and running to even one more day of prostituting myself and my blog to Google and their increasingly disagreeable ads, partners, and increasingly invasive business practices. This blog, while generally just my own ramblings, is about something.

As for not writing about other things, I owe you all an apology. It’s not that there has been nothing to write, so much as it has been that I’ve had so much going on that I have not had time to write anything coherent. I’ll make some time for an update tomorrow.


Even bad news can be good…

On February 2, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Joseph

When you find a second tumor nowhere near a first one, the news is objectively either going to be not good or really bad. Subjectively, though, when faced with bad and worse, bad is what you hope to hear. It’s really just a matter of perspective, really.

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