Friday, October 29, 2010

Slowing Down Time

We have all said it. " Time moves way to fast", or something to that sort. When several Doctors and cancer experts look you right in the eyes and say "six months", time really does matter. Now that I have started Erbitux (chemo) treatments, that "drop dead date" (literally) may be extended for a while. So give me a little time  and I start goofing off. Well at least as this BLOG thing goes. It has been almost a month from when I first got the idea that I needed to do this, and yes, this is my second entry. I don't even know how to invite people to read it!

Now that 1/6 or so of my remaining time here on God's Green Earth, I am going to try to be a little more giving by posting more often. Hell. I may even find out how to let you know how to find me. I guess I did you you wouldn't be reading this.

Lisa and I traveled several time to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis in search of a "cure". None was found, however, we did have some great times in St. Louis. Being in a city with so many cultural and ethnic attachtions, the hardest decision is what to do next. And on the budget of an unemployed cancer patient, what can we do and see.

We started by exploring the neighborhoods around Barnes-Jewish, which is by the way a top notch hospital with all the advanced medical equipment with the brilliant staff of the University of Washington at St. Louis, and found so much. Forest Park is right there! Big and beautiful, it holds all kinds of treasures for every interest. From Golf, to the world class zoo, to the museums, it's all right there, and so much is free!

So we had to go to the zoo after one of our several Dr. appointments. We didn't realize that the zoo closed at 5:00 and we had arrived at 3:30. Hard headed and determined to see the zoo, Lisa and I decided to get a wheelchair as I was very tired, and very slow. She said she didn't mind pushing me and although I had never been in a wheelchair, it sounded kind of fun. So my beautiful little wife in her heels starts propelling me through the park. It was more uncomfortable that I had hoped for and gave me a new appreciation for those who are in one every day. But off we went, Bears, Prairie Dogs, Monkeys, how fun.

I do get a little confused, the Dr.'s call it "Chemo Brain". So while stopped at an exhibit, Lisa tells me "Brake!". So I put on the wheel brake to keep me from inadvertently running over little kids. When we got ready to move on, Lisa, once again, yelled "Brake" and I released it and off when went on our mary way to the next caged creatures. When we got there the now familiar "Brake" was sounded and I set it immediately.
Did I mention, I get confused? Well, the "Brake" and my Chemo-Brain got out of sequence. I heard Lisa huffing and puffing as we headed up the hill. I turned back to look at her and she was sweating like a offensive guard for the New York Giants in a big game! Your right, I had the brake ON. I quickly released it and Lisa's strain and effort was reduced. What happened then, at the top of the hill, Lisa claims to be a total accident. I think the "Brake" thing might have had something to do with it.

We stared down the hill, toward the Flamingo Pond, and I noticed we were moving right along, in fact, we were hauling ass! I turned around to see little Lisa doing her Might Mouse run trying to catch me as I was heading down the slope. And, yes, she was screamimg "Brake". I started yelling hoping that all parents would sweep their children from my path as I tried to apply the "Brake!". The pond was coming into focus now, the cement curb appeared to be just high enough to stop my wheels which should project me like Superman into the pond for a swim with the fishes and flamingos. I was grabbing at the wheels when I felt the hands of my little Mighty Mouse grab the back of the chair, rocking side to side, Lisa had stopped me, running in heels and all. A small amount of applause came from the bystanders as Lisa and I both took a deep breath, or two.

Saved from my dip in the pond, Lisa asks "What time is it?" I looked and it was 7 'till five. We would loose our $25 deposit if not back to the gate by 5:00! We were way across the park. Lisa yelled the all to familiar by now "Brake" and I released it and of we went toward the gate. Lisa was running, people were getting out of her way! "You made it just in time....5:01" said the gentleman as he was closing the wheelchair service area. We got our $25 and headed, silently, to the car. Now in the car, I took a look at Lisa and she was a little more exhausted than most would expect from a couple of hours at the zoo. We both laughed out loud and headed down the road for our next adventure. Boy, I love that woman.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed the story. Support cancer awareness. Thanks, John L.


  1. Hi John!
    I admire your courage in the face of this devastating diagnosis. Hang on to your determination to enjoy the time you have left...and thank God every day for a wife who will chase your runaway wheelchair - in heels no less!

    Life is good but they say that where you are heading is even don't dispair. Hang in there, old friend!!

  2. John & Lisa:
    Thanks for telling us about your blog. We enjoyed reading your hysterical story about the zoo.....even though it was even funnier when you told us the story in person! :)
    We love you both!
    Sherri & Phil

  3. I have to admit, I did laugh out loud. You two are way too funny! I did have a smiliar experience with Mom. I was taking her to radiation one day and when she was done, I wheeled her outside, set the brakes on the chair and went to pull the car around. You could park right outside the radiation center which was also the emergency entrance to the hospital. The whole parking lot was like a bowl, everything going downhill. All I had to do is back down to the radiation entrance, as I was doing this I see in the rearview mirror, Mom has taken the brakes off and is rolling down the parking lot! Of course I freaked out, slammed the car into park and jumped out running after her. I was yelling Mom! Mom! Fortunately the valet parking attendant noticed what was happening and he came out and started after her also. He reached her first and stopped her. When I finally got there Mom was laughing like hell! I was pretty shook up and said Mom! What were you doing? She replied, I was only trying to help you! I didn't see the humor in it right away, but now I see it as one of the goods days!

  4. Buffalo.....WAY TOO funny! I see that you're still loving life. Your title is perfect.I could hear the small applause from the crowd as I read it.I believe you have reinvented yourself once you have become a writer. You are the only person I've known in this world that becomes whatever he wants. I'm proud to know you and be your brother..Tim

  5. Tim, I agree. We have had several conversations about this very sugject. Let's see, machinist, owner of the machine shop, martial arts instructer, martial arts shop owner, retired lake side owner with all the toys, ranch owner, raising horses and cattle, restaurant owner/chef etc, oh yeah rock star in his youth, almost forgot that one! And now a writer, I guess we should have known something else was coming! lol
    Like time, I am proud to call you family. Love you!