Friday, April 25, 2008

I Lost My Ass!

Today was a great day for me!  Why then the title of this post?  Stay tuned.

This morning I went to the South Riding Golf Course and joined several of my West Point classmates in supporting
 the Inaugural Kelley Thoden Memorial Golf Tourney.
Of course, Rick Thoden, Kelley's grandpa, was there, joined by Mo Faber, Jim Morrison, Mike Fellenz, Buck Coates, and perhaps one or two others I missed due to my late arrival.  A glorious weather day here in NOVA. Here's picture of me with Mike Fellenz, a classmate that Victoria and I served with in Berlin.

Although more classmates couldn't make it as players, we were a tourney sponsor, a hole sponsor and , according to Rick Thoden, we donated a very substantial amount to the three cancer charities being supported.  Proud of my amazing class, as usual, but also touched deeply at honoring the little 9 year old whose greatest fear was that "no one would remember her."  Today, we remembered and celebrated her courage and love, despite her altogether too short a life...

I rode the first nine holes with Jim, Mike and Buck, but  I am not yet ready to play.  My PICC Line won't allow for a fast swing without coming loose - an immediate, life-threatening  disaster. Also, my PEG won't permit a full body turn without creating a torque problem.  So, no  golf until after they do the probable neck dissection to remove any residuals, and of course a recovery period as well.

Nonetheless, it was great to be out in the fresh air, look at the course, and make strategic suggestions to my three classmates.  As I told them - the theory of golf is really straightforward; it's the execution that causes all the problems.  I really look forward to the day when I can get back to trying to improve my execution.

So, if I didn't play, how did I lose my ass?  Victoria was getting  me ready for a bath by covering my PICC Line in plastic wrap (it can't get wet) when she noticed that much of my almost 50 pound weight loss had come off my butt.  So much, in fact, that I have lots of wrinkles  below the cheeks.

Now, for me - always called a "buttless wonder" by my wife and daughter - this represents a total loss of ass.  It has been accompanied by a four inch loss around the waist and an unmeasured loss of muscle mass around my biceps/triceps.  Thankfully, I had been working out at a local gym for almost a year before the cancer diagnosis, so I had built up some bulk which I could lose.

Right now, our priority is to aid my recovery by trying to increase the number of calories I am ingesting to regain some weight.  We are having mixed results, but I am taking in more and greater variety by mouth.
No tastebuds yet and no return of the saliva glands, so eating most normal food requires rinsing my mouth between each bite.  No spicy food, not even black pepper, since my tongue is still shedding the dead skin and exposing the new, which is VERY sensitive.  Of course, the never-say-die mucous membranes are still firing away, so almost all my cancer related problems are directly mouth related.

Hope all of you are well.  We are making noticeable progress and I'm feeling better.  Even the gout, which jumped from left to right big toe, is now coming under control.  Thanks again for your prayers and support.

I'll see you on the high ground!


Spymommy said...

Glad to see you got out to the tourney and enjoyed yourself. I know that more and more enjoyable days are going to come your way and you will not take them for granted.

You look great in the picture - a little skinny - but great! Keep on going dad, just like you taught us - keep on going.

katrina said...

BTW - Thanks for not uploading an ass picture! LOL!

Matt said...

As the other "Butt-less Wonder" I can sympathize with your posterior loss. I recommend lots of cushions to sit on.

Tobi said...

I'm going to have to give your blog a PG-13 rating due to graphic descriptions and mild swearing.

Although I'm wondering. Is it a good thing or bad thing that you are a no-butt now?

Kernal Ken said...

I demand to have no less than a R rating. What fun is it to post to a blog which is only rated G?

Mindelicious said...

I'm only grateful that the title didn't have a photo to accompany it.

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

You are "R" for Rad!

The Queen Vee said...

You can have an R rated BLOG but half of your adoring fans will quit reading it. It's just like PG movies, they make more money and offend less people. You could have titled this blog post "My Bottoms Falling Out" or "My Life Isn't All Tushie" same message not nearly so graphic.

Spymommy said...

Let's think of more funny could-have-been titles for this post . . . like these:

"Having Cancer Is Not A Bummer!"

"On Finally Getting Rid Of The Junk In My Trunk . . ."

"The Push To Gain Back My Tush"

"I've Got Lineys On My Hiney"

Anonymous said...

Your lookin' good. I thought your blog entry was asstastic. I thought I saw a donkey running through our neigborhood. Maybe it was yours..

The Carlsons said...

I'm loving the comments. Coming from a girl who's last name rhymed with "ass" I'm not at all offended. Hey, they use that word in the scriptures.

Glad you are out golfing...what a nice day.

By the way, Chris use to be called buttless wonder by his mom and sister. Not he has a firm but...when you're ready get back to the gym.


Sue said...

I was totally cackling while reading about your ass and Lily kept asking, "What, what?" I had to pull one of those parental "none of your business"es on her!

I gotta tell you, "ass" is a great word. So mild, yet so effective and let's be honest, downright funny!

My dad is also a buttless wonder. He took shrapnel in his left butt cheek while in a helicoptor in Vietnam. I remember as a little kid being so fascinated by his scar, but there's never a good way to ask your old man if you can look at his naked keister...