Bet you wish you could have this, don't you? Well, thanks to the coolness of my cousin Steve and his wife Jen (and the kids) I now am a proud owner of the jungle-pattern slanket for my own use. Originally, when I called Steve to thank them for the gift, he wanted me to post a pic of myself wearing the slanket and my fake dreadlocks hat (thanks Philby). But, after further analysis of the potential future damage to my reputation via electronic images on the internet, I will at this point waive my right to the slanket/dreadlocks picture and just let all of your imaginations run wild with the image of this pasty irish/french canadian white boy looking like a complete jackass. To further enhance your verbal imagery, here is a pic of the rasta-hat that I received from our friend Phil in the "Fairmont Methodist" care package our friends in Raleigh sent to me when I started the fight with cancer.
Don't worry, I'm not nearly in as good a shape as this guy, as my inability to work out during treatments, coupled with the wonderful cocktail of pseudo-toxic drugs have turned me to a flabby boy. Enjoy THAT image sports fans. Once I get back on the bike (beyond my current incremental 1 minute a day increase) I'll attempt to get into reasonable shape again.
So, Bill - what does the slanket and a fake rasta hat have to do with cancer? Funny you should ask, but it's a good reminder for me of the importance of small gestures by others and how they can really make your day.
Whether a gift in the mail, a card, an email, a phone call, or a visit to 'check in' - lots of small showings of kindness by hundreds of you have really been what has brought me to the place I am now. This is a place, I firmly believe, where I am on the cusp of eradicating this DNA mutation from my body for good. If you don't believe me, just ask my Oncologist, Dr. Hinshaw.
When we first started meeting and going into treatment this Romanian doctor (I only use her ethnicity to give you a stereo typical image of how her initial bedside manner may have been-sorry all of my PC friends) it was 'all business' and not a lot of smiles. She was very matter of fact when she first told me that based upon statistics there was only a 54% chance that my cancer would respond to chemo, based on its advanced (Stage 4) progression. But once she got back from her vacation (after my PetScan results in July) and saw the results, her smiles and demeanor have taken a markedly more positive direction. When we meet now, she's pretty happy, joking, and very positive about everything.
As more than one medical professional (and spiritual clubhouse leader) has said to me "attitude is everything". Thanks to all of you, I'm on the mend and will soon be back in the thick of life, taking each day by storm. Little things have mattered, like my parents stopping in each week to 'check in' and help us keep up on the housework, the encouragement cards I receive from my Aunt & Uncle in Dayton and Tom & Jill Grubb after each round of chemo, like the week-long visit from our friend Craig in Ohio just to 'check in' and make sure we're OK, the visit this weekend from our friends Mike & Lisa from Texas, the HUGE stack of get well cards and emails, the phone calls from dozens of friends I haven't talked to in over a decade, the celebratory cigar pictures from my boys at Tiger Team 2, and the calls & emails from clients, past & present, hoping I'm doing well. Heck, we even got a gift box that contained sweet-pea crisps from our friends the Waggoners in Raleigh - how awesome is that!
I didn't try one, Amanda did, she says it was the texture of a 'Funion', but not very good. Sorry sweet pea crisp company, hopefully the recession is eradicating you and your product from the face of the earth.
So, with the power of Slanket - I say "thank you" to all of you out there. Your love and kindness has been appreciated and received, I only hope that my 'gift' of additional time in life will be spent repaying your kindness.
- P.S. "Cost of Cancer Update" - As of August 20th, the full cost of my treatment & diagnosis for Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is tallied at $144,899.90. I think I'm worth it - don't you?