Sunday, January 13, 2008

Crossing the LD

In the military, where I spent 30 years of my life, "crossing the LD" refers to crossing the line of departure, beyond which the enemy is presumed to be waiting.  Hence today's title.  

Several weeks back I sent the following to my West Point classmates, using the same title:


In the immortal words of Mrs. Gump, "Forrest, life is like a box chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get."

Well, the Carlson family found out what we're gonna get for 2008 - the challenge of fighting Stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma, better known as head and neck cancer.

I had developed a plum sized lump under my right ear, at the lymph nodes, over the previous few weeks.  A needle biopsy was done and the results given to us at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.

The lump is not the primary tumor, hence Stage 3 means wherever "it" is, it must be found....

We are now several weeks down the road whose path is now known but ultimate results unknown.  This blog will provide a travelogue of our journey, probably in much more detail that anyone would want to find in their email inbox.

In the past year, Victoria and I have personally witnessed the power of prayer in the healthy birth of the five Wilkinson Quintuplets, our great nieces and nephews whose odds of all being normal were 60 million to 1. They are all very normal.

If you join us for the likely weekly post here, we humbly ask for your prayers and those of others you may enlist.

Yes, I am a retired Army Ranger and my neck now feels like leather.

Talk to you soon, Kernal Ken 


Spymommy said...

Glad to see the blog is up and running. I will help you "spice it up" a bit and I'm sure many will be grateful for the weekly update. Way to go dad! You are so with it. Love you. S.

The Carlsons said...

Dad, looks great! I think the colors are awesome and good choice of pictures too! I think that this will be a great way for everyone to keep up to date with your battle. In the words of Lance Armstrong "Fight like hell!" Love you, A

The Hubby said...

You forgot to note in your profile that you are the father to the world's greatest daughter and son-in-law. The site looks great. I look forward to reading it and being there along the path to help in any way I can.

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

We love you guys. You are in our thoughts and prayers every day. And I hope you know how integral you've been and are to our family. I'm really glad you've got this blog now so I can keep tabs on you from the other side of the country and T can do it from the other side of the world. Love, Shar

Reggie said...

I like it, Ken. Good luck this week, and with the rest of this saga -- it'll make a great story at our 50th reunion. Your brothers in the great West Point class of 1966 are with you.
Best always,

Sue said...

Somehow I missed the Christmas email announcing your diagnosis, so it was with great surprise and heartache that I read your email about starting this blog. Damn Cancer, it seems that it has to bully it's way into every family. Good thing you're a big tough guy and you don't take crap from nobody!

We'll be saying lots of prayers for you and reading the updates often.

Susie Garlitz Richardson

yoda said...

Ken--great blogscape! Have lined up a combination of Navy SEALS and other squid prayer warriors to join you in crossing the LD. edb

bhaymore said...

Kernal Ken,

Good morning. Thank you for the update. We are thinking of you and praying for you.

We so appreciate having spent Thanksgiving with you and your family in your home this past year.

We are also grateful for your example of kindness and the way you make us want to be better people because of the great soul that resides within you.

Carry On!

We love you.

Brinton, Heather, Ryan, Tanner, Jared, and baby boy Haymore

Mo said...


Wow! All of this has happened so quickly....and fortunately it appears that there is good reason to be optimistic about the subsequent outcomes. I know you are a fighter and that you will prevail. But you are not alone, your band of brothers from '66 are behind you and we'll be there however we can. You, Victoria and the rest of your family are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Keep up the fire, my friend. Mo