Can I Get A Prescription For That?

I’m nearly six weeks into my seven-week series of daily radiation treatments.  I’ve met several fellow radiation patients as we rotate through the waiting room.  Everyone has a story.  Some have unhappier stories than others: Unhappy – “I got cancer.”  Unhappier – “My woman dumped me when I got cancer.”  I met a guy yesterday who’s treating for throat cancer.  His body is fighting the radiation by generating a super flem that adheres to the inside his throat.  He said mornings are the worst part of each day.  When he wakes he spends a block of time doing some serious throat clearing.  For him, it’s a matter of life and breath.  I didn’t realize until I was driving home that if there was ever an expert who might advise me on a product or routine that would clear my throat, he might well be the one.  Certainly, he would be on the cutting edge.  He may have discovered something that works for him that might quell my daily (sometimes quite intense) throat clearing episodes.  Our appointments are not always scheduled for the same time each day, so I was happy to catch him there today.  I told him I’ve had (endoscopy) test after (allergy) test and prescription after prescription trying to solve or determine the cause of my constant throat clearing.  “Have you found anything that works well for clearing your throat?”  I asked.  He answered, “Well, I really don’t like it, but what clears my throat the best is when I throw-up…  that really clears it!”

We don’t get treatments on weekends or holidays, so I got to make my annual trip to Brookings and visit my brother, Loren, over the Memorial Day weekend.  I hoped to help him organize his pictures (on three computers).  I’ve been sorting, tagging, naming, dating, and deleting duplicates of my picture files for years, and I can’t yet say they are completely organized.  I don’t know why I thought we’d organize his in one weekend, but we got a good start.

We also checked the rebuild progress on his custom three-wheel Triumph and attended a car show.

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He’s owned this trike for about 40 years

The owner of this glowing ’56 Chevy inherited it from his dad.  He proudly showed us how his dad detailed the back of the license plate so it could be read in the reflection of the bumper.

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We also visited a couple of Loren’s construction business job sites

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Too busy for Cancer, way too busy to die

Most mornings, I wake before the alarm.  My sleeping mind seems to already be in progress when it joins my waking mind.  I give myself an hour before I must leave for work, but if I deviate from my routine, I’ll probably have to drive.  I like to walk the commute, it’s not a race, but there is no time to stop and smell the roses.  I usually have a few minutes to quickly check email and a news site before the clock strikes eight.  I always try to work at a quick, efficient pace, there’s way more to do in a day than I can get done.  My walk home could be more leisurely, but I hurry to get busy on my unfinished or my next endeavors.  A life overflowing with God’s blessings is a very busy life.  I hurry to get something done before dinner, and chip away at more until bed time.  I might stop and join Diane for a little TV watching, then hurry off to sleep, and begin again.  There’s much to do and time seems short.  I’m too busy for Cancer, way too busy to die.

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Out for a drive in the Chevy – Thanks, Diane MacDonald, for the picture

One day years ago, my job took me to an elderly man’s house.  It was practically on the campus of the university in our town.  The old timer seemed to know everyone there, and they all addressed him, “Grandpa.”  I quickly learned that he was deep in the pursuit of Genealogy, and that he had much yet to discover, record, organize, and share.  He was sure the Lord wouldn’t be, “calling him home” before this massive mission of lineage research was completed.

One day weeks ago, my job took me back to the Campus Grandpa’s house; to his vacant house.  I wonder if he had enough time to feel the satisfaction of a job well done.  Nothing I keep myself so busy with would sway the Lord to let me make a later connection (I don’t believe it works that way).  My projects, my list from top priority on down doesn’t even make a blip on the radar screen of life.  The most important things I’ll ever do, have probably been done, and would probably be done better if done over, but that’s life.

My job took me recently to another house.  There I recognized someone who recognized me.  Our kids were friends in school.  She asked, “How have you been – didn’t you have cancer?”  I told her I’ve had three cancers, and one is incurable, but right now I’m doing okay.  Her tone lowered just a bit, and in a reluctantly accepting voice she said, “Well, I guess that’s life.”  I added yea, or maybe that’s death.