Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Before we jump in, a quick update. When I started this latest round of chemo, the doctor in Houston noted that it works about 25% of the time and when it works it's usually dos so for a couple of months. The good news is that a scan last week indicated that the main mass is responding and there are no new lesions. Whether it’s two months or two weeks, I’ll enjoy the good news for as long as I can. I’ve done a terrible job of keeping up my correspondence during the last couple of weeks. If I’ve failed to respond to a text, email, call, or IM, please accept my apologies. I’ll do better next year!

The Rushing family took to the road last week as we decided to spend Christmas week in New York. As it was the boys first trip to the city, we spent the majority of our time doing magnificently touristy things – the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State building, Central Park, The Met, The Lion King*, and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular**. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It rained most of the time we were there, making for a number of soggy slogs through the city. The cloud cover also prevented to boys from ever getting the iconic view of the city skyline (most egregiously on the only day we could go up the Empire State Building- zero visibility). It was also somewhat difficult to get in the Christmas spirit while it was 74 degrees out. Fortunately, we managed to get over the weather and enjoyed a fine few days.
Our selfie with the Statue of Liberty.
Against better judgment, we stayed near Times Square. Last time I was there was for my bachelor party. The place has changed a lot in thirteen years. The number of LED billboards has grown exponentially, and it appears to be more family friendly. However, on one walk back to the hotel, my oldest said “Hey dad, let's eat dinner at The Cheetah, they have sushi. Plus, it’s a gentleman’s club, and I’m a gentleman.” My tap dance around that was indeed worthy of Broadway.

The young one and the iconic view of the New York City skyline.
This, my friends, is the last post of 2015. It was an up and down year to be sure. The news of the year came in March when I was diagnosed with stage IV gall bladder cancer. Obviously, this was a downer, but it could be worse. I think I’ve done a reasonable job of handling the situation.

A view of the city from the Empire State Building.
On the up side, I got to travel a bit this year. I took the oldest to England, the youngest to Atlanta, and both of them to Washington D.C. I crossed a couple of American buildings off my architectural bucket list with my wife (the Kimbell in Fort Worth and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania). I crossed off a couple of others on a solo trip to Istanbul. The whole crew vacationed in Seaside, New York, and Disney. We traveled extensively in the tri-state area, watching young men play soccer. I worked with dear friends in Iowa. I took my medicine in Houston and Nashville. I kept my medallion level with Delta, and according to them I traveled about the same number of miles as I did in 2014. Not a bad year at all.

The statistics say that 2016 will be my last year. Whether or not this will be the case remains to be seen. Since that is largely out of my control, I’m not stressing about it too much. I don’t suspect that I will be able to travel as robustly as I have for the past several years, but I’m going to do my best to get out and about while I still feel like it. There is, however, plenty to look forward to this year: will Alabama make it another national Championship? Where will the boys end up going to school? Will I be able to beat the Crushing Big C Countdown Clock? Stay tuned for the answers to these and many more 2016 questions- see you next year!

*Were it left to me, I don;t think we would have gone to a show where the dad dies and leaves his progeny to fight hyenas. The boys seemed to enjoy it, however, so I won't quibble.

**I am shocked that the NY libs have let this one stand- a show with a line of dancing girls, a nativity scene, and the Christmas story actually read from the bible. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before this one is rewritten to become a “Holiday Spectacular”.

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