Thursday, February 20

Dear Friends and Family

Just wanted to drop you an update as I am feeling good today. I came through Cycle 3 of my treatment ok. Each time we go through this, Kath and I have a better understanding of how to regulate all the side effects with the medications they’ve prescribed. We did a little better this time than last, but unfortunately it still takes me 4-5 days to fully work through the chemo. Hopefully, I can shave a day off that recovery window by the time we get to Cycle 4 (Feb 28). Met with the Doc last week and everything is on target so far. Digestion is better and the pain is down, so those are positive signs.

You all have done wonders to keep my spirits up and make me smile. My buddy Nathan has reminded me that things could be worse :o), Karen has encouraged me to finally get that Fedora I’ve always wanted, and your thoughts and prayers have given me peace and confidence that, whatever happens, things are unfolding as they should.

We’ve received so much support from such wonderful people, it is very humbling. Wendy filling in twice to make sure my nurses and recoveries are “up to standards”, Mike and Paulette have taken me to medical appointments, as has Ernie, who split a pizza with me and shared old stories. Phil has given up, for now, on getting me back to the clarinet, but he is still coming over on Wednesdays to crack me up and to encourage me to get better, – i think he needs help putting up a new wall at his place :0).  Lee Ann, Agnes and the Utilities team filling my house with melodies I won’t forget…Carl’s generous reminders that I am never alone… Linda’s care package of wonderment…

So manny wonderful dinners and baked food – Mike’s chicken soup; pies and soups from Shelly; a shmorgasborg of dinners from the Park and Rec Team; Marsi’s wonderful bread (we are on the second loaf); Mom’s fideo (soul food) and muffins… all the little dishes dropped off to tempt my appetite – It has really helped my efforts to keep the weight on, though that is still a bit of a struggle for me.

I still spend most of the days resting, reading and finding little things to do. You know, its a little funny, but I find myself thinking about doing those little things I used to do growing up but abandoned because I “out grew” them. I have always loved playing board games and find myself rummaging through old boxes of games long put away. Or getting out old model kits I’ve had for so long and always meant to get to when I felt like feeling like a kid again. As I look out my window and the sun streams through an old tree in my backyard, I think that perhaps we should hang on to these frivolities of youth a little more than we do. They made us happy for a reason – they gave us a smile inside and for some reason, some of us, as I have, put them aside. Well, I think I will break out that old ME109 WWII fighter plane and see if I can still follow some directions without getting cement everywhere. And I think you all should, too. Take time for you – do something that made you smile, made you happy when the day was young and dusk was far away. Pull out those oil paints or watercolors. Dust off that woodworking kit. Break out the needlepoint and thread. Make some gem stone jewlery or colored glass art. You deserve it. And when you do – tell me about it. It will make me happy, too.

Take Care,

Alex

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14 thoughts on “Thursday, February 20

  1. Maureen Hall says:

    I’m retiring in a week and while cleaning out my files I found 9 pictures of you and me and others on the State Water Project Tour. If you’d like them please shoot me an email at mahall@sandiego.gov with your email and I’ll send them to you.

  2. Marie Boundy says:

    Hi Alex, I am glad you came thru the 3rd cycle and that you are feeling okay. It’s so lovely to hear of the many act of kindness around you and Kathy. I would send you some food from Aussie land but I am afraid it would be eaten by customs. May still find something that will get thru. Enjoy the board games. My son Alec and I play battle ships. Just love it when the voice says “that ships a goner”. Let us know which board games you choose. Love to you all. Marie

    • That’s so funny that you would try and sneak food across customs. Maybe hide it an old fluet or clarinet.:0)… I was awesome at Battleships until I caught my brother sneaking a look at my board. Fortunately for me he was 8 years younger and wasn’t fast at inverting the letters and numbers as he leaned over the top when I wasn’t looking.

      So great to hear from you Marie. Went to visit Olivia a few weeks ago. Can’t believe its been over 20 years since we lost her and my dad.

      I hope you and your family are doing well and staying far away from those awful wildfires down there.

      Take Care.

      Alex

  3. Kristen and Jivan says:

    Happy Happy Birthday dear Alex! So happy to hear about things moving in a positive direction. Less pain is definitely the right direction!! Eating and enjoying food is very good too. Jivan is in India right now, got any requests for a birthday present from a faraway land? Please let me know. I get what you say about taking time to “play” again. Yes, there is no feeling like creating something. For me right now, that creative project is my yard/garden. I love tinkering out there, arranging, taking care of my living art works. Being in those moments, the time just flows by. It is a different energy. So what are your projects of late? You do seem to always have something on the mind. I talked to Kath about setting up a date to visit. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Enjoy your special day…and everyday after that. Love you Alex, Kristen

    • I think Kath and I will be seeing you and Jivan soon. So will save most of the updates for you till then. I like your garden. Its about the same working size as my mom’s but, Oy, Mom’s could use a weed pulled here, and plant chopped there. We will get her there eventually. You play time makes me happy. Stay Dry!

      Love
      Alex

  4. Luis Generoso says:

    Hi, Alex. So happy to read that you are doing fine and enjoying life and quality time with family and friends.

    And as you do so, I wanted to greet you a happy birthday! Happy Birthday to you!!! I know you prefer not having your birthday announced but that may have changed by now. I figure celebrating life with all its meanings, memories and milestones is done best with people who love you. Have a good one!

    • Thanks Luis. And Yes I am celebrating life now with friends and family and reflecting on milestones past and yet to come.

      One day I will get you down here for a game of darts… and a beer or two.

      All My Best to you and the Fam
      Alex

  5. Joann Dorn says:

    Alex, we are so happy to hear that your third cycle has gone well. We knew you would be able to get on top of the medications and how each one affects your body. We pray for you daily and know that you are very strong. At times like these I wish we lived closer we could surely help you out with those board games and I am sure create lots of laughter for you too. It is good to keep yourself busy and to go back to those memories that are so precious. One of my favorites is getting out the videos of the kids and spend the afternoon going back through the years. The time has flown by and now all those grandbabies are young adults discovering their way. Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoyed your celebration. Love You and sending hugs to all!

  6. Aggie says:

    Sorry this is late, but wanted to “sing” you Andy’s Happy Birthday song: Happy Birthday to you, cha cha cha! Happy birthday to you, cha cha cha! Happy birthday dear Alex, happy birthday to you, cha cha cha! Oo lala! Charlie Brown!!!

    • “Oo Lala Charlie Brown”….very nice ending. Thanks. You and Luis always remember my birthday. And you weren’t late at all..I celebrate my birth the ENTIRE MONTH of FEBRUARY.!

    • Thanks Jen
      I think each cycle gets easier from a “side effects management ” standpoint. Today I am feeling ok so I decided to respond to some email if I could. I am currently on a “portable chemo pump” at home and I wont complete that (the last of the infusions) until Sunday at 2. Then the effects of all the chem usually catch up to me and knock me down for 3 more days.

      But as I say, we are getting better at all this.

      How is work goingl Hope it isnt too stressful. Do something fun just for you. Not RW related, not working on another special project. But something you used to do but gave up because you didnt have enough time, or thought of it as something restricted to the young, but not really. It would make happy if you do. Don’t make me do a “make a wish” thing inorder to get you to do something fun :o) Tell me about it. You can send even me the details at kathalmoc@cox.net

      Take Care. Be Safe

      Alex

  7. Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

    The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.

    What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form
    and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a God.

    William ‘NateDog’ Shakespeare.

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