Running Through Cheese Grits

Sorry to keep you waiting- last week was a bit of a slog. I felt like I was running through cheese grits, but I got a great deal accomplished. I had a heck of a week at work- taking my board through a strategic planning process, preparing a presentation for Iowa, interviewing potential employees, and working on a very cool conceptual plan for a site in the Innovation District. I got my golf in with the guys (wasn’t spectacular but made my quota), and stepped on the tennis court for the first time in a dozen years (wasn’t spectacular, but beat my wife and son- playing as doubles- handily).

Five cycles into chemotherapy, it may be starting to catch up with me. It’s tough to say how much can be attributed to chemo and how much to my advancing age. Would I not be worn down after a tough workweek? Would I not be fatigued after a round of golf in 95-degree weather? Would there not be a bit of grey hair in the shower drain? Maybe it’s the chemo, maybe it isn’t. I don’t suppose it matters either way.

I promised in the beginning to share the good news and the bad. This week my tumor markers were up. Not good news. That number tends to fluctuate, however, so it’s not catastrophic news. The biggest problem it poses is one of morale- it’s much easier to stay up when the news is good. As the kids say- I’m aight tho. I try to equate this with the ebb and flow of a game- winning doesn’t require that you be in the lead the whole game. There is time on the clock yet, and I'm up for it.

Slow day at the office.

The Snake
Had I heard it earlier in life, I might have adopted this quote as a personal motto: “There’s nothing wrong with studying the playbook by the light of the jukebox.” That, of course, from Alabama great Ken Stabler.  He died of cancer last Wednesday. As he was at the Capstone before my birth, I have no memory of the Snake playing for ‘Bama. He was nonetheless a legend among the youth of the state. Kids at school would tell second hand stories of his exploits that they overheard from their parents. The man was is a legend in his own time.

After a bit of reflection, I am reminded once again that life is not fair. I’m no saint, and lord knows I have spent more than my fair share of nights out on the town. But I was no Ken Stabler. God bless him, he lived hard. Despite that, he made it to 69. For those counting, that’s 26 years older than I am now. Ain’t that some shit. (and don’t even get me started on Keith Richards again). Please don't get me wrong though, I'm not hating on The Snake.

More on Waiting
There is no doubt that waiting sucks. I suppose this is why patience is a virtue. The thing about waiting is that the time spent in anticipation is essentially lost. When we spend time focusing on the future, we miss out on now.

Living in the moment is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Given my situation, it's difficult not to appreciate every moment. The shock of a serious cancer diagnosis gives one a different perspective on life. After my prognosis I realized that every time I do a particular thing it is potentially the last time I will ever do it. It’s impossible not to appreciate everything a little more.

On the other hand, as I’ve noted before, I have every intention of beating this particular tumor. The current course of treatment, however, has involved a good deal of waiting. The first stint was a three-month wait between the start of chemo and the first scan. That went well, and the reward is more chemo and another three-month wait until we go back to the tumor board.

The result: I’m not waiting...and, I’m waiting. In not waiting, I’m working hard on getting the Design Studio up and running, and on a Riverfront Renaissance in Iowa. I’m doing my damnedest to play golf, I’m booking traveling when I can (stay tuned for an exciting run- three weeks, three trips, three continents), and I’m jealously guarding my time with D and the Boys.  On the other hand, I’m waiting- seven weeks until I go back to Houston.

As for this week in chemo music, I feel like an underdog. I hopped in the time machine for this one. Let's bridge the gap with this
. And finish with obligatory Noel.

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