D'you Know?

I really, really wish I had time to sit down and compose a nice blog post for you. Unfortunately, there have not been enough hours in my day. I would, at least, like you to know that I’m still kicking. Rest assured that the reason for my silence is due to being busy, not due to malaise. In addition to being “busy” it is also a rather dynamic time for me. I suspect I will have more to fill you in on shortly.  

Health is headed in the right direction. The tumor has stayed the same size despite the fact I haven’t had chemo in a couple of months. We’ve just about licked the multiple liver abscesses, and hopefully the drains will come out in a week or so. Of course, I’m not perfect – I’m anemic, I’m still on antibiotics, my numbers on various organs are up and down due to medicines, and I’m quite skeletal and need to pick up some weight. But all in all, as long as I don’t look in the mirror I feel pretty damned good. 

The boys are both in school- one is loving his new academic environment, the other has settled in for another year-long battle with teachers and administrators (or something like that). Travel soccer (and practice) is also in full swing for the boys, so here’s to another Fall of seeing the South, one soccer tournament at a time. 

Alabama’s first game is in 5 days, and I’m having a tough time generating enthusiasm. I think I had so much emotionally invested in dying while ‘Bama was the National Champion that I’ve subconsciously dreaded a new season. Subconscious dread or not, football is upon us. The other football is upon us as well. Birmingham City has a decent but not stellar start to the season. It would be nice to see them in person again before I kick the can.

Anyway, that’s life in a nutshell. I promise to try to find some time to craft a better read sometime very soon. Until then, ya’ll be good.

This week’s top track: one of my top three favorite songs by my favorite band got remixed by Noel. This is the original, this is the remix. Can you guess my favorite? For fun, this is a hilarious interview with Noel discussing the song (F-bomb warning)


Rain, Rain Go Away...

Rushing Health Update: The boy had another MRI on his leg and we had a second opinion and we don’t think it’s as bad as the original prognosis. He’s still looking at another couple of weeks crutches- but good news on the whole. Me, I’m still on these anti-biotics (some by pill, some by portable IV), and liver drains. I look terrible, but I think I’ve still got my mind right. The other two are pictures of health.

Like clockwork, the time has come again for family vacation, and like swallows to Capistrano, the Rushings head to Seaside. I was so proud of myself when I found that for the same money we could be taking the boys to places that in addition to obvious vacation amenities held some form of cultural or worldly value. The first year we went to Costa Rica- for about the same money as it took to go to Seaside. It was one of the best vacations ever. I was looking forward to continuing to expand their range as they got older- and then I got this bullshit cancer and my wings were clipped.

As I tell you every year, Seagrove was my "home beach" and this part of the world is my default when I think of vacation. Since all of Seagrove is essentially built over (and the new Seagrove Market is starting to take shape…I’m still bitter), and because there is a deeper design reason, we’ve adopted Seaside (200 yards west) as home beach. Part of me hates doing the same thing every year when we have such a rich country to explore, but it's just so easy, and I suppose there is something to be said for tradition. There's something to be said for watching your children play on the same beaches you did, swim in the same waters you did, eat the same $15 hormone and steroid-free, grass-fed, family-farmed and pasture-raised turkey hot dogs…wait, what?

Uh, yeah...hello vacation forecast. 

After several weeks of metaphoric storm clouds, the Rushings have arrived at the beach to find real ones. Who knows what the rest of the week will hold for us, but this is the forecast:

Florida weather, however, is about as trustworthy as a Clinton/Trump ticket, so I suspect we’ll have plenty of sunshine. From my perspective, however, rain/no rain is all the same. In this sad, feeble-ass body* I can’t spend much time in the sun, and sadly I can’t jump in the pool or the ocean. I currently have three drains poking out of my liver. One was installed in Houston last fall, and it’s now more or less a permanent addition to my body. The other two more recently installed additions are set to come out after their usefulness comes to an end. Until they’re removed, I have two little sacks that hang by my side and collect purulent drainage and bile. In any event, they don’t play well will immersion, so anything akin to swimming or wading are right out. So while, the rain won’t bother me, I hope for D and the boys sake they get more than a few days of sun.

I think need this vacation. I probably should have used my spare time in the hospital to relax a bit, but everything I'm working on right now is so compelling and fun that it's tough to pull away from. Also, I always feel a certain guilt for being in the hospital and letting my clients down, so I work- a fun penance of a sort. During vacation, however, I don't feel so bad about turning off for a specified period of time (I did bring my computer just in case though- for blog writing purposes only...or something like that).

I have an idea for what I might want to write about fun to share in the blog next week, we’ll just have to see if I can pull it off or not. Stay tuned. I love you all, please have a good week, and hopefully we’ll catch up in a weeks time. Until then cheers!

This week's music: This is appropriate, as is this

*It’s amazing what extended time in the hospital will do to your body. I never recovered the full weight I lost in Houston in last fall, a full forty pounds. I got some of it back, but gave it all back this last month. I hate looking in the mirror- that’s not me, that’s some other poor, pathetic soul. But we play the hand we’re dealt…we play the ball as it lies…(sorry, my rah-rah levels are a bit low, hopefully vacation will help me bounce back). 


In Praise of Her

If you ever want to forget that you’re sick or not doing well, let one of your children get hurt. On the last play, of the last game, of the last day of basketball camp, the boy fractured his leg. It’s some kind of microfracture, so he avoided a cast, but he’s still got 4-6 weeks before he’s back in action. Oh, and did I happen to mention that this happened on the eve of the fall soccer academy season? Given, all of our medical issues, however, everyone in the family seems to be in pretty good spirits. 

Speaking of members of the family, I don’t really write in depth about them out of concern for their privacy. Sure, I talk plenty about what sport they’re playing, or if they’re traveling, but I shy away from writing about them. I am not going to break that policy in this post, I just want you to know that as I describe things (tasks), these tasks are not the reason I love my family. The love part goes far past what you do, and delves deeper into personality, and soul, and temperament. So please don’t get all salty and say I only love my son because I ask him to get up and fix a lemonade for me. Now that we’ve got that covered, we can continue.

Let me tell you one little story about how amazing my wife is. This is just an example, the typical Saturday morning over the past few weeks. She gets up before anyone and goes to the gym. By the time the boys are up, she’s home and has already made breakfast for the family. While the boys are eating, she checks her email quickly, then gets a head start on the laundry (which is a herculean task). After breakfast she takes the boys for some form of activity (bike riding, riverwalk, etc). They arrive home shortly before lunch, she takes a shower and cleans up. Sometimes she cooks lunch, sometimes we eat out, but immediately afterward we run errands- groceries, dry cleaning, etc. In the mid afternoon, the boys are turned loose, and she returns her attention to the laundry and starts to prepare dinner. Late afternoon we always do something family related- a board game, a movie, something that allows her to keep an eye on dinner. Then dinnertime comes. Afterwards, it’s upstairs and into the bath/shower for the boys, and cleaning up the dinner mess for mom. Afterwards they come back down and we have some more time- sometimes a movie, sometimes a game, sometimes they get sent to bed early for acting a fool. Bedtime always comes around too quickly for the boys. Once they’re situated, she finishes off the laundry. If there is enough time afterward she’ll treat herself to Netflix or a book, but more often than not she comes to lay down with me and we go to sleep.

On the weekdays when she was home with me after hospitalization, it was the same gig, only worse- same number of tasks, just throw in an hour-long conference call every couple of hours. 

Writing those words is a gut-shot. That she does so much and I do so little is criminal. Granted, this is atypical- I’m usually more mobile and able to help out a little bit, we don’t usually have a boy with a leg fracture, and the whole team pitches in to help out. But it really is amazing to watch her operate, especially when you consider that while she is doing all of this she knows her husband is dying of cancer and her son is hurt.

My wife is a truly amazing person, and remember we’re just talking about what she can do, I haven’t even touched on who she is. I could go on at length about all of the things that she does both in task and in spirit to hold our crew together, but it still wouldn’t do it justice. All I can say is that I am one incredibly lucky man. Were it not for her, I can honestly say I would not be here friends.