It was a dark and sunny Monday…

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a difficult time with some of the lessons learned during wood badge (particularly those that were related to the future). Well, apparently those concerns persisted into the evening, as I had a particularly upsetting dream last night. It was not a ‘scary’ dream. Essentially, I was stopped by a police officer for erratic driving (my car had been vandalized and I could not control it). I was immediately seen by the judge and received a suspended sentence (because the judge somehow knew I had just completed wood badge). You would think that I would be excited, but the judge then told me that while I will not have any penalty, I would have to wait an additional 12 months to get my wood badge beads (leading me to begin uncontrollably crying). I then woke up and my mood was in the toilet for much of the morning. After my doctor’s visit, though, I dropped by my old digs (the then named Program Evaluation Research Branch) and visit of the Divisions of HIV/AIDS and talked with friends. Jane, one of my closer friends from that branch went to lunch with me and we chit chatted and I felt better after. Thank you, Jane!

Today MaryBeth and I spent 3 hours at the Winship Cancer Center.  In the end, we met with a clinical social worker, spent about 15 minutes with my oncologist, and I had 11 tubes of blood drawn.  Tedium not withstanding, today’s appointments were pretty basic.  Dr. Kauh did prescribe another medicine (Ultrase) to help supplement pancreas enzymes into my system (to help address some — um, gastrointestinal challenges I was experiencing).

I did hear from the folks at Hopkins.  Dr. Cameron wants me to come up to Baltimore for a 3D CT scan (woo hoo), but he could NOT fit me in before May 27th, which is the start date for my chemo / radiation therapy.  After consulting with Dr. Kauh, Dr. Cameron agreed that he could see me after my 6-week treatment regime.  So tomorrow I have a radiology appointment where the doctors will take a high resolution scan to very precisely isolate the location of my tumor.  From this appointment, the radiologists will create a treatment plan that implements intensity modulated radiation therapy.

In the end, today started out kinda yucky, but it eventually got better.  I do have to take a moment and thank some important folks: JoAnn came over to help watch the kids while MB came with me to keep me company during my appointments.  JoAnn has also offered to help out tomorrow, so MB can come with me when I go for my radiation simulation.  JoAnn and her husband, Steve, have been supportive of me and my family through a great many tough times.  I feel incredibly lucky to count them as friends.  JoAnn and I taught the Coming of Age program together at UUCG twice and we are getting ready to teach the Our Whole Lives program together next year (note the positive outlook on the future!)

Second, I want to thank Marina.  Marina graciously offered to coordinate the volunteer efforts of folks from UUCG.  With all the sundry issues MaryBeth and I need to pay attention to, it’s nice to be able to send an Email to Marina and know that she will keep on top of stuff and get people to help when and how they are needed.  I cannot again say how moved I am by the outpouring support for me and my family.  I feel like I am repeating myself, but I continue to be amazed that folks from church, work, karate, and scouts not only offer their help, but in many cases do so with a certain forcefulness that moves me to speechlessness (which, for those of you who know me, is quite a feat).  To one and all: “Thank you!”

Merle