Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 377 - Mrs. Kruger Visited Me

Allow me to share with you a personal memory lane visit. Last night at physical therapy the candy dish on the counter caught my eye. Candy doesn't catch my eye and seize my attention often but it did then. It did last night because there was a certain Strawberry hard candy in the dish.

You see it pictured there. The wrapper of this candy has not changed since I first saw it as a toddler. That wrapper, that candy, is the connector to many of my early memories. Funny what triggers memories.  

Every time I see this candy, immediately I remember back to 1969, 70 and a neighbor of ours, Mrs. Kruger. We lived in Chicago on the 3rd floor of a large apartment building. Our back porch (if you could call it a porch) was shared by our neighbor next door, Mrs. Kruger. Picture Mrs. Cunningham and then visualize what she would have been like as a Grand Mother; that is Mrs. Kruger.

Several of the memories that occupy the wing of my brain which holds my earliest memories involve Mrs. Kruger. One of my favorites is her love of prunes. It was not uncommon for me to wander over to Mrs. Kruger's side of the porch and peek in her back door. Often she'd be sitting at her tiny kitchen table eating a bowl of prunes. She let me try one once and of course I thought it tasted like yuck!

For some reason I liked talking to Mrs. Kruger, I wish I could recall what we talked about. Being Mrs. Kruger she wasn't going to let me sit there while she eats alone. In 1969 what did you feed a fidgety four year old? That's right, candy! Mrs. Kruger also had a love for hard candy, specifically strawberry hard candy. She must have, because she always had a bowl heaping with just this strawberry hard candy nearby.

It would come to be that if I caught her while she was eating her bowl of prunes, she welcome me in to sit next to her at the table, she'd place the bowl of candy in front of me, and we'd eat and talk. After a few pieces she'd take the bowl away and that was good timing. Remember I was four, as nice as Mrs. Kruger was I only had the capacity for a few minutes of chit chat before I had to get going somewhere else to play.

I also have memories of the neighbor down stairs, Mrs. Heller; but they have nothing to do with candy and they aren't fond memories either. Perhaps another day I'll let you back into that wing of my brain for a Mrs Heller moment. More likely though I'll share more of Mrs. Kruger, actually, mark June 14th on your calendar for another Mrs. Kruger snippet.

Memory triggers... strawberry hard candy triggers fond memories for me.

What is it that when you see it (or hear, smell perhaps), what is it that triggers distant memories to instant recall for you?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 376 - You Have Me Wondering

 From yesterdays post this is what I learned from your answers, and what I am left wondering...

1- When was the last time you exercised and were you satisfied with your effort?
About 50/50 here, actually just a slight edge in favor of those who are satisfied with their exercise. For me, lack of recent exercise had me answer dissatisfied. No doubt there is plenty of room for improvement here for many of us. Which has me wondering...
What would make your exercise more satisfying?

Myself, when my exercise is filled with variety I am my most satisfied with it. I am too easily bored. One day I have to be outside for cardio, then the next session can be indoors. Or one day a walk/jog is good, but the next session shouldn't be the same walk/jog. Same for strength training, I don't want to feel the burn in the same place from one time to the next. If I do, I am likely doing the same exercises and ho-hum will soon set in.

2- Do you find Angel Food cake easy or hard to pass up?
Unreal, just not even close to real. I LOVE angel food cake. And none of you gave it any love at all. Hello... it is ANGEL food cake! I find it very hard to pass up. Maybe I just a sucker for angel's? Or sponges?? Maybe angels who give sponge baths??? Hmmm, I wonder...
What are you a sucker for?
Not an easy question really. I am a sucker for confidence. Engage me with confidence and decisiveness, you will have my attention and maybe more. To serious of an answer for you? You don't have to answer as seriously :-).

3- Salad dressings, do you do the right thing by eating salads but misuse salad dressing?
Another 50/50 result with this one showing a slight edge in favor of those who misuse dressing. At times I do misuse dressing, at others I do not. Probably depends upon the quality of the salad stuff I am dressing up. This dangerous inconsistency with salad dressing needs to be addressed! I can only sit here, look to the sky (or ceiling blocking the view of the sky) and wonder...
Seriously, how flippin hard can it be to exhibit salad-discipline?

4- Twinkie The Kid versus King Ding Dong, in a cage match to the death, which one wins?
Twinkie The Kid had the early lead but King Ding Dong love votes came in late and we have a tie. Not sure how we can break this tie, keep voting I guess. My fellow Chicagoland'ers feel free to vote multiple times as you always do in elections. While we wait for this to be resolved, excuse me for this bit of wondering...
Has anyone else ever eaten their twinkie, or ding dong, with a fork?
Yes, I said "else", thus I admit; I have! (a twinkie)

5- Tanning booths, is increasing the chances of skin disease/cancer tomorrow worth the risk to get a great tan today?
While some kind words for tanning in general, I didn't sense any true love for tanning booths. Myself, I can't help but laugh. I am a Caucasian of Irish, Scottish, and Snowman heritage. I've never tanned a day in my life; not on purpose. Obviously, after my recent dances with melanoma I am not likely to pick up the tanning hobby anytime soon, or, ever. On this question I have no further wondering.

6- Are you going to achieve your dreams of living healthy, living long, living happy?
Lots of believers here that they are achieving their dreams. Very good to hear. For this question I have many follow up wonderings...
If you aren't working towards our dreams, then we are just existing for the sake of existing; right? 

Of all of your dreams, which is the one you going to realize next?
And what will/are you doing to make that dream reality? 

Of all of your dreams, which is the one you want more than any other?
And how confident are you that you will realize that dream someday? 

I'll get back to you on my own dream wonderings.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 375 - Answers, Questions, And...

 It dawned on me last night that I never provided the answers to last weeks riddles & such. So quickly here are the answers are should anyone have been waiting for them and wish to refer back to the questions...
1- The castle photo was a trick question as it really isn't a castle. It is the 'Castle Entrance' to the cemetery that is across the street from where I lived in the 70's. My sister should have recognized that!
2- President John Adams
3- Alfonso IX of León, King of León & Galicia
4- No Excuses
5- This was a joke, so there was no answer :-)

Ok, that bit of business over, I have a new set of questions for you; not as playful, a bit more serious, but every bit as fun...

1- When was the last time you exercised and were you satisfied with your effort?
2- Do you find Angel Food cake easy or hard to pass up?
3- Salad dressings, do you do the right thing by eating salads but misuse salad dressing?
4- Twinkie The Kid versus King Ding Dong, in a cage match to the death, which one wins?
5- Tanning booths, is increasing the chances of skin disease/cancer tomorrow worth the risk to get a great tan today?
6- Are you going to achieve your dreams of living healthy, living long, living happy?

Final thought for the day; it is said you become what you think about. Hmmm, can anyone dispute that?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 374 - Share Your Acronyms

Who doesn't love a good acronym?

Ah, that is a trick question isn't it? The operative word being 'good'. There are so many so-so to so-bad acronyms out there that they frankly give the art of acronyms a bad name. Yes, acronyms are an art form. If paper mache gets to be called art, then I declare acronyms get to be called art too!

Why my mind is on acronyms today is due to a horrific acronym I saw yesterday. I found it horrifying because it butchered a brand which I am quite fond of. Here it is...

ADIDAS - All Day I Dream About Sex

Oh the horror. Ok, the truth, sure I am guilty of the implication. But I don't need an acronym to reinforce my belief in this particular purpose and commitment to the same. That is after all what acronyms are for in my book, to simplify the reminder of something important and inspire towards achieving it. Sex is important, but it needs no acronym to inspire me into action. Moving on...

As I said I find Adidas to be a fine brand, and as well a funny name to be sure. A couple of mouse clicks will reveal the company name was derived from the founders name; Adi Dassler. There is your trivia for the day, use it wisely in your next social gathering. But stop there, do not, please; do not follow up with that acronym All Day I Dream About Sex. That is unless you really believe it will lead to sex, then by all means that may be the one instance where citing it is acceptable.

Left me offer a better acronym for the fine brand Adidas...
ADIDAS - Adopting Desire Into Determination Achieves Success

Ah, Adidas is not so easy to work up a 'good' acronym with. What good acronym can you cook up with Adidas?

Here are some other acronyms that I like...
PRIDE - Purposeful Responsibility Inspires Deliberate Excellence
LEAD - Listen, Encourage, Appreciate, Develop
TNT - Today Not Tomorrow

What about you, what are some of your favorite acronyms which inspire you?
Please do share!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 373 - Catching Up Bits N Pieces

Hope all had a fine Easter. We got together with my in laws up at my sister in laws house and enjoyed a cozy feast. They served boy a pig ham and a bear ham. Both were excellent, the bear ham was surprisingly sweet in comparison. Good time, easy relaxing day for the most part.

So how are gas prices treating you? Yeah, I know; dumb question. This weekend I heard some one say that gas prices are already well over $5 in Florida; not sure I believe that. This morning I heard on the radio that Chicagoland continues to have the highest gas prices in the country which is typically true due to a number of factors the leading of which is the insane taxes the city and Cook county levy on just about everything.

This past week/weekend we took our college tour into Indiana & Ohio. The 1,015 miles we drove consumed a good bit of gas, probably 35 gallons. The $4.27 you see there was the price last Thursday evening in Elmhurst, IL where we stopped for dinner before leaving the area. Had we actually ventured into Chicago many of the pumps there on average run 20 cents higher. Once we got out of Chicagoland and on our way we saw no prices over $4...

We spent Thursday night in Cleveland, OH where we saw $3.84 as their highest...
We spent Friday night in Ft. Wayne, IN it was $3.97 for a high...
It was in Ohio's western farming communities where we saw the lowest price of our trip at $3.77...

Enough gas talk, just no way to put a positive spin on it as I see it. Other than, nope, not going to try.

So back to our college tour, Cleveland was our first stop to visit Case Western Reserve University. Cleveland is a decent city, but as I tweeted on Friday, they really need to invest in some street sweepers. They also have some cool lake front scenery, not that we saw much of it, in fact here is the view from our hotel room...

Case Western Reserve U. was the only stop on our tour where there was an actual admissions event planned for prospective students. Apparently they've done this before because they know the most powerful recruiting approach is not to show off their modern campus, or their many accreditations, or the many offerings of Cleveland itself. Nope, they recruit with Rice Krispy treats... 

Hence, CWRU will remain on his short list for now. From there we ventured back west towards home and did a few campus drive thru's of other colleges on his long list...

Of these Ohio Northern was promptly crossed off of his list simply because the community was too rural and the campus didn't feel much more than that of a community college. TOSU & UofND will remain on the list for now. My guess is we will get back to Notre Dame for a scheduled admissions event next summer. As for TOSU, he will first look harder at another Big Ten school close to home; Northwestern. If he likes what he sees there, I'd expect he will drop TOSU off his list. We're just scratching the surface of what will be his college selection experience. There a no safe bets as to where he will go yet. 

Some other pics to share from our trip...

Rain, rained all day on Friday. Miles & miles of rain from Cleveland, OH to Ft. Wayne, IN...
 A train, a llooonnngggg train, caught us in western Ohio. While we waited we watched this white cat (see red circle) walk in the rain; that should sum up the excitement that is western Ohio...
 Dinner in Ft. Wayne was very good. The restaurant next to the hotel was Naked Tchopstix.
There I enjoyed a Mafia roll and Sashimi Salad...
 And the view from our hotel room in Ft. Wayne was a bit better than the night before as well...

So that was the essence of my weekend. A new week is here, back to work, back to enjoying life and making it a better life.  Tonight I have physical therapy for the knee & hip. Tomorrow I have a follow up with my surgeon and have my fingers crossed I get the green light to resume weight training.

What are you doing today, tomorrow to make a better life for you?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 370-372: Happy Easter

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 369 - Things That Make Me...

Things That Make Me... LAUGH
Smart Cars make me laugh. The concept, purpose of them, I get it. But they are just funny looking and I laugh everytime I see one.

Things That Make Me... Go HUH
Zhu Zhu Pets are a testimony to the power of ideas.
For Christmas shopping season 2009 we drove ourselves koo-koo looking for these things.
Someone had an idea, a battery operated colorful hamster that putts around and makes noise.
That someone is a gabagazillionaire now.

Things That Make Me... MMM
Buffalo Wings make me go MMM.  One of my temptations I have to be cautious around for sure.

Things That Make Me... COOL!
Eeyore is the coolest of the 100 Acre Woods gang, by far! He is my definition of Cool!
Yeah, he is glum on the outside, but on the inside; he is the hero of optimists everywhere!

Things That Make Me... BELIEVE

Look way up top there.
There you see my wife with the Stanley Cup.
One of them gives me reason to believe in victory.
One of them give me purpose behind my belief in victory.
Shouldn't be too hard to figure which does which.

My wife & I, without the Stanley Cup, are off this afternoon to check out some colleges in Indiana & Ohio with one of our sons.
We'll be back on Saturday.
Hope all enjoy the rest of their week!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 368 - Three Something Wednesday

Not much response to the riddle, trivia yesterday. Perhaps a bad selection from the fun bag on my part. Lets give it another day and see if anyone takes a peek back to yesterday for a crack at any of these before I give out the answers. I know one member of my family who I believe peeks in here from time to time should recognize that castle. "Should", being the operative word there.

So what shall we do today?

Lets do something responsible for ourselves, something sincere for someone else, and something a few notches outside of our comfort zones.

Here are my three somethings...

For Myself:
Spend some time in reflection upon a commitment I've made? No More Fast Food.
A year ago yesterday I made that commitment. For the last 8 months of 2010 I bet I didn't eat a fast food meal more than 5 times in total. Here in 2011, I bet I've had a dozen. While not a all out fall of the wagon collapse of this commitment, I think it is safe to say I have a limb or two hanging over the wagons edge.

Today I am committing to getting those limbs safely back within the wagon but reaffirming to that commitment to change. Next week I expect to be released from the hold I've been placed on from lifting weights and strenuous exercise while I recover from last weeks surgery. I will be ready; man I can't wait to grip that bar and knock it around. Fast food will not benefit me in any way towards reaping maximum benefit from that exercise. Choosing to eat No More Fast Food will!

For Someone Else:
I am hoping others, YOU,  who read this will join me in this sincere act for someone else.
The someone else is Lynda over at Taking Less Space. In her post linked there from yesterday she stepped up bravely and owned up to having slipped up hard on the diet yo-yo. Please go read for yourself and help her any way you can.

For Lynda, this is what I have for her to ponder this day... Think, just stop and think quietly (after you read this post of course). Listen to the voices inside right now, who do you hear? I am willing to bet the $3.49 in my pocket that your Evil Inner Dialogue is back and louder than ever. Now listen harder to that evil, can you identify what its been feeding off of that has pumped up it's volume in your head? Find it, whatever it is, and focus on improving/eliminating that one loudest source of evil. For now, forget about all the other sources of angst, today they are not important. One day, today, you can choose to find & fix the primary root of your weight gain. This you can do, today, tomorrow and any day you choose.

Outside My Zone:
I'm going to have some fun with this one, I can't help myself; sorry (not). I have a personal purchase to make soon; not going to say what it is here to protect surprise factor from onlooking eyes. In most buying situations I do not haggle price much if at all. This item does have some room for price haggling. So I am going to haggle my face off.

The amount I may be able to haggle down is irrelevant as I have no intention of making the actual buy today, my need today is product comparison. The fun will come from observing the reactions of the store sales people as I drag them through a haggling that is really more of a hazing.

Do you have three somethings?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 367 - Pull Over And Play

For good reason most of my recent posts been serious. Positive and with great news and plenty to feel good about as well, so I'm all good with the recent string of serious sharing. But today, the last sentence is the last serious one I plan to share on this day.It is time to pull over and play for a day. Join me if you care...

Recently I stated it had been a while since we've had a picture riddle. So for starters lets do just that, sort of. Sort of in that this picture riddles a bit different than those we've done in the past where you had to guess the larger object from a picture of a small section of that object. Today, you get to see the whole object; the castle picture above.

1. Where on earth is that famous, or infamous, castle located?
I know some of you are castle buffs, most are not. I think we would all appreciate the hard work that goes into building a castle. No? Ok, then how about the pain of seeing hours and hours of your hard work washed away when the tide comes in washes your castle away; no? I'm the only one?? Hmmm...

Don't care about castles period huh, Ok. Try this...

Nicknames can be cruel, especially for those over weight and doubly especially for kids who are over weight. But not even the mightiest to live have escaped the scourge of a heavy nickname...
2. What world leader was also known as His Roundity?
3. What world leader was also known as The Slobberer?

Seems the brain bats we did recently were enjoyed so lets throw one in here...

And last but not least, an oldy but goody from the joke department. We obviously are all into computers anywhere from a little to ALLOT. If you disagree then I am interested to know who printed thos post out on paper and handed itto you? Enjoy...
5. Gender and Computers

Top nine reasons computers must be male:
  1. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
  2. A better model is always just around the corner.
  3. They look nice and shiny until you bring them home.
  4. It is always necessary to have a backup.
  5. They'll do whatever you say if you push the right buttons.
  6. The best part of having either one is the games you can play.
  7. The lights are on but nobody's home.
  8. Big power surges knock them out for the night.
  9. Size does matter

Top nine reasons computers must be female:
  1. Picky, picky, picky.
  2. They hear what you say, but not what you mean.
  3. Beauty is only shell deep.
  4. When you ask what's wrong, they say "nothing".
  5. Can produce incorrect results with alarming speed.
  6. Always turning simple statements into big productions.
  7. Smalltalk is important.
  8. You do the same thing for years, and suddenly it's wrong.
  9. They make you take the garbage out.

Have Fun Today!!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

DAY 366 - Moving Forward

THANK YOU to all who respond with such excitement and relief to my news Saturday of my latest victory over cancer. Your comments, tweets, emails, phone calls, and I believe someone actually made it through to me telepathically; it is 2011 after all. Again, for all of your support allow me again to say...


Three exclamation points, one for each time I've knocked the beast out of me. Please let that be the last.

Now, with all the cancer nervousness behind us minus the healing and some follow up appointments; it is time to move forward again with this life I have been given to live. And living I am, and living I vow to do as I've never done before.

My wife & I started doing just that Saturday evening....
On Valentines Day for some reason I didn't share her what I gave my wife. Amongst the flowers and dinner was the gift of an evening with Johnathan & Andy Hillstrand, Captain's of the Deadliest Catch's Time Bandit. That evening was this past Saturday evening at a community college about 90 minutes south of where we call home.

Cathy (my wife) is a reality show fanatic and Deadliest Catch is one of her faves. Some may recall last summer we met Josh Harris at a local restaurant. Captain Andy is her Captain and given the chance she'd punt me for him in less time than it takes to turn channel. Um, remember when we actually had to 'turn' the channel?
We had a great time listening to the entertain us from the college auditorium stage for 90 minutes and then afterwards sign autographs and take pictures. For the record Johnathan was bad boy who was well on his way to a good drunk from the moment he got on stage. Also for the record he was the crowd favorite as anytime a kid asked a question he got up, hopped off stage and met them in crowd. Andy was the good boy who played off his brothers antics very well. If anyone can remember Laurel & Hardy here, these two could be the modern day L&H. 

Like I said we had a great time, we always do together! The picture up top there is Cathy & I waiting for the show to get started. As you can see my neck is still quite swollen from the surgery. Hoping that abates shortly. Can't see it? Ok, here are some better shots of what will be my victory scars...

Before I close I must once again say....
(yeah, I am not an arts & crafts person; marker on a paper towel is akin to Picasso from me)

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 364 - VICTORY


We received a call last night about 9:45 p.m.

My wife was on the couch watching t.v. and I was on the third step headed upstairs to go to bed, wiped out. Blackhawks game or not it was time to turn in.

As she answered the phone she said I'd want to take this, the caller-id flashes on the t.v. screen so she knew who it was.

Three seconds later I had made it back down those three stairs, enough time for a conversation as she was already wrapping up the call.

By the time I walked the four steps across the family room floor to the couch the call was done and she hung up.

"All clear," she said.

"Excellent," I replied. "We'll celebrate tomorrow". And off to bed I went.

My nights sleep was the best one I have had in weeks. No doubt from knowing that I am once again CANCER FREE!

So today, tonight & for the rest of our lives my wife & I will celebrate being cancer free (again), being in love, being alive!

What are you celebrating today?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 363 - Turkeys & Sequins For Friday

Very glad to hear from so many of you bloggers, tweeters, emailers that my hospital fashion sense is at best trend setting, and at worst lacking sequins. Sequins? As if I'd ever consider such a thing. Thanks again for all of the well wishes; very much appreciated!!

The healing goes well. Sure there is pain and I have meds for that. I've tried to hold off on the meds as long as I can to avoid being loopy anymore than I have too. My knee & hip pain jumped up a bit late yesterday. That perhaps is more frustrating than any post surgery pain.

Enough talk about me today. Lets do some Friday Follows, Shout Outs, shall we...

Jody is in the running to become the Face Of Fitness over at Fitness Magazine. You can vote for her HERE. You can vote daily! Voting ends 04/17/2011... As Jody says, "Let's show them older people rock too!"

Tish over at Incremental Improvements continues her recovery from surgery for herniated discs in her back. She continues to do well and continues her posts packed with amazing nature pictures.

Lynda over at Taking Less Space has written, is in the process of writing, a Dear Blogger post that is worthy of your time & comment.

Ewa over at Trail To Wellness is a blogger I have very recently connected with. She goes on some amazing hikes and has some amazing nature & wildlife pictures. One of them that caught my eye, and I must say got my mouth watering, can be seen up above. Many more like it are on her blog for your enjoyment.

Oh and I could go on and on as I follow so many fine people with interests in health, weight loss, fitness and much much more.

How about you, who do you have a urge to give a Friday Follow, Shout Out?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 362 - Hospital Fashion, Wings & Control

Thanks everyone for the posts, emails, etc of well wishes for yesterdays surgey. Very much appreciated!

Isn't hospital footwear the coolest stuff on earth? Yeah, that's a bit of an over-statement. Ok its an outright mis-statement. Even the hospital folks know just how lame they are as they allow you take them home when you leave. They don't let you take home the gown, or the robe, or the stylish mesh cap. Oh no, those they want back. The footwear, they go out of their way to make sure you understand you can keep them.

Everything went well yesterday. We arrived just before 9 a.m. and the parade of forms that needed my signature was soon underway. I must have signed my name 10 times between the time I arrived and actually going into the O.R. about 4 hours later.

I mentioned the gown and robe, it would be wrong of me not to model this cutting edge fashion (pun intended)...
Here I am dressed and ready to get going on the days festivities. No where is my bed on wheels!?

And I mentioned the mesh cap, I think it accents my blue eyes...
At this point I was on the basement where nuclear medicine is located. They had just finished injecting my foreheard with a foursome of needles filled with radioactive something-or-other. I hung out here about an hour and a half while they took a mess pictures tracking just were that stuff traveled to.

And here is where it traveled to...
Now that these doctors and radiologists (I think that is what they are called) did their job the surgeon will know where to target. She would make an incision in the center of that line of X's and then use a small a gieger counter of sorts to find the specific nodes which the stuff traveled to.

Now unfortunately I do not have any pictures of her doing her work, or of the plastic surgeon doing his work on my forehead. Would of loved to have pics or video of that. But since they insisted on knocking me out I was unable to take any.

About two hours after surgery I had awakened enough to leave the hospital and head home. My mother in law saw to it that we didn't have to worry about hunger and had Franks wings waiting for dinner!

Here is what I look like this morning...
She ended up taking out three lymph nodes. Those and the forehead tissue he removed are now enjoying the wonders that take place in pathology. Possibly by end of day tomorrow, but more likely Monday, is when we'll receive those results and know what, if anything, is next.

Until then I feel good, sure in pain but I have meds for that. I'll work from home today & tomorrow and take it easy as prescribed. I'll take some walks to keep the blood moving and head clear.

Ironically I just saw a t.v. commercial for a cancer treatment facility which relates treating cancer to a journey. Sure, call it a journey, call it a battle, call it anything you want.

Should you have to ever have the mis-fortune to have to take this journey take the lead role in your treatment. Question everything even if you appear to be a pest, learn more than you ever cared to know about it; only then can you feel confident and in control. You must be the one in control, not the cancer!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 361 - Surgery Day: NO Platypus Please

So today is the day, surgery day. Next to the last hurdle I need to bound in determining the gravity of this dance with the beast.

Several family members are convening at the hospital today to lend their support, or check out the doctors/nurses too perhaps. Below is an email I wrote to my sister earlier this week that does well to describe my day ahead; so well that I figured it will do well too as my blog post today...


You asked for the details on Wednesdays festivities. They are as follows...

8:45 a.m. I need to check in at LFH, the entrance in front by the flag pole.

All who decide to come for the fun should enter here, ask the receptionist where to go for the outpatient surgery waiting room. They have free coffee and water there, only the best for all of you.

Somewhere between 8:45 & 10:00 a.m. I will disappear into the bowels of our health care system.

10:00 a.m. is when they will inject my forehead with radioactive super powers, not sure if I will get x-ray vision or the ability to take the form of a platypus; I'm hoping for the former.

12:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. is when surgery is reserved.

When they are done with both procedures I'll go to recovery and then somewhere where all in the peanut gallery can come and see how loopy I am. Shortly after that we can leave. They said the post surgery recovery can run between 1 & 2 hours depending on how I respond.

We will not get any results from pathology from my forehead tissue or lymph node for 2-3 days, so anti-climatically we'll leave still waiting and wondering the gravity of it all. Not that I will care as I will surely be starving by this time and any discussion of anything other than food will not be my preference. If someone would bring Franks wings to recovery for me I will be most indebted.

If not mistaken I believe that I failed to mention that results of my blood test from last week came back good, all numbers normal. That was a 'whew' moment. Hoping from another whew moment in a few days when the pathology reports come in from todays surgery.

I so do not want platypus powers; Fingers crossed!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 358-360: Just Stuff U Wanna Read

Hope all had a fantastic weekend!. I did; highlights:
Wife bought me a new LaZBoy chair to replace the LaZBoy she bought some 11 years ago.
Dinner with my wife & mother at Bonefish Grill.
Watching (on TV) Matt Kenseth win the NASCAR race in Texas.
Watching the Blackhawks secure a playoff spot even though they lost their final game of the season.
Getting in an outdoor walk with my wife.
Going to the DMV on a Saturday morning, wait; that was NOT a highlight!

Yeah, I know it is Tuesday and that weekend well wish may be a day late. Took Sunday off from blogging and yesterday just too busy to get here. Almost made the time but just couldn't get the quality 10-15 minutes needed to write a post.

Question: How long does it take you to write your typical blog post? I know some can bust their typical post out in 5 minutes, others need an hour or more. Myself, 10-15 usually.

So the picture there to the top/left, what do you think that is? No, this is not a picture riddle. Has been a while since I've posted one of those, about time for another; soon I promise. But as I added in those two red circles to this cell phone photo of mine I wondered just what others might think I am highlighting...

A. That I started to draw a pair of googly-eyes and forget to finish?
B. My way of reminding myself that if I want to look so far away I need to remember to wear my glasses?
C. Using these circles meant to highlight something else?
D. Other?

My guess is more of you have D thoughts and if so please do share. While it is true both B & C apply here, C is what my intent is. As for A, I rarely draw googly-eyes but when I do, I am the Picasso or googly-eyes; just another of my many unknown talents now made public.

So the something else I am highlighting for you here is a pair of deer. The walk my gorgeous wife & I went on this past Sunday was at the Rollins Savanna, a place I have blogged about often. We just did the 2-mile segment versus the 3.6 mile full loop. Weather was amazing, it was this amazing...
Friday it was 50F'something, Monday 60F'something; great days sandwiching an awesome 84F Sunday. A freak temp spike for April for sure, not complaining for certain.

OK, back to the red circles, sorry had a momentary bout of bloggers ADD, aka as BADD. As I said there are deer in them circles, see them? No, of course you don't, neither do I. This photo was taken while my amazing wife & I were on that walk. I used my trusty Blackberry to snap that shot knowing full well it was futile. OK, it was an excuse to stop walking for a minute and look at lunch, I mean at the deer.

Trust me, there is a deer in each of those circles. I could see them clearly with my naked-eye, and not at all with the Blackberry camera; doesn't say much for Blackberry does it?

Gas prices continue to rise around here. Hard to find the cheap stuff under $4 now. Saw one yesterday that was $3.97, this however seems to be the norm north of Chicago & Cook County...
Last week John shared with me his horror of when he landed at Chicago's Midway airport and was shocked to see 4.29 for regular unleaded... ugh, soon that will make its way north to my pump I am afraid. Forgetting about gas, let me talk about John. Not that he has gas, not uncool correlation intended there. Rather let it be know John is way cool and you would be way cooler if you followed him. My opinion, for what it's worth. What is it worth by the way?


Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 357 - I Am The Worst On The Planet?

 Yesterday I went to the physical therapist for my knee/hip pain. First time ever with a physical therapist if I remember correctly. So I went with an open mind, a bit skeptical to be honest as to just what I'd get out of it. After two hours I left beaten down and if I am not mistaken, violated!

After an initial evaluation, she told me I have the worst flexibility on the planet. Yes, she said "worst" and she said "planet". Ok, I know I don't really know my head from my butt when it comes to proper stretching, but, I am the worst on the planet?

That means the likes of Jack Black, Drew Carey, and Larry the Cable Guy have better flexibility than me? Oh I refuse to believe that.

She then put me through a battery of stretching exercises to work on the iliotibial band which is the source of my pain, and my over all flexibility which is the source of my planetary status. I held my own just fine, worst on the planet my butt.

Now, speaking of butt, when the stretching was done it was time for a heated ultrasound massage. Ok, sure, why not. The target area was my hip. But she had me drop my sweat pants far enough I was a good 75% bare-butt.

Between the warming gel and the vibration of whatever she was working me over with, I soon forgot what I was there for. And then when that was done, she tells me were about to get a little rough. Usually I have to spend money on a good meal and a bad movie to get that kind of action.

In the end I walked out of there worn out in more ways than one. I'll be going back to see her a couple of times for the next three weeks for more 'therapy'.

Yesterdays puzzle, Tish again was first to join in with the correct answer. She is the puzzle-master!

Have a great weekend!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 356 - Hurry Up & Wait

Happy Friday to one and all. Well not everyone. The person responsible for gas proces, no happy Friday wishes for you. Booo I say! Yep, that sign is legitamite. Here in Chicagoland the cheap stuff is above $4 a gallon in many places. Took that gas picture yesterday while driving to a doctors appointment.

The visit with the ortho re: my knee/hip led to a disgnosis of maybe this, or that, but whatever it is take these pills and go for physical therapy too. Let me tell you, if I wasn't preoccupied by the cancer stuff, I'd have left that appointment less than impressed. However, being the look at the positive chap I am, I took it as good news. If all I need to do is take a pill and work on my stretching with someone, fine by me!

The visit with the medical oncologist saw me give three vials of blood yesterday. Today we wait to hear the results of the gaggle of tests they are running on it. Hopefully today I'll get that news. Otherwise the doc & I had a long talk and he did well to paint out all of the likely outcomes considering the PET Scan with what we know now. So I feel well informed, not happy about some of what I'm am hearing, but I believe I'm doing this right at present and I know in the end victory will be mine.

Oh, yesterdays answers to the brain batters... you got them. Tish was first take a crack at them and nailed them...
Look before you leap
Grown up
Fast Food

Here's a different puzzle for your Friday fun...
You have a basket with five pears in it. Can you divide these pears amongst your five kids in order for each kids to get a pear and still have one pear left in your basket?

Mmmm, pears....



Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 355 - Dr. Joke & Brain Games


Docpalooza continues for me today...

This morning its a trip to see a bone doctor for just whats up with my left knee. MRI showed no concern there for cancer, but that doesn't mean the pain of the past two+ weeks has a known cause for hanging around; hopefully get that riddle resolved today.

Then this afternoon its a trip to the medical oncologist for the blood test & general consult on whats next based on its results and those from the PET Scan. I am armed with my list of questions and as much blood as they need. And jokes, I always crack a joke or two with doctors. Seems to loosen them up, slow them down and allow them to talk to me more so than talk at me.

I'm bringing my 'A' game, these docs better do the same!

Hmmm, A game... shall we play a game? How about some Brain Batters, why not...

1. What does this represent:

2. What does this represent:

3. What does this represent:
200mph sausages, 100mph peanuts, 150mph bananas

Take a crack at those, enjoy the cartoon above and no matter how many doctors you see today, Have Fun!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 354 - Leslie, Elle, Kathy, Jenn & Me

This morning I opened up Blogger to see what's up and write a post. Lots going on out there, and lots of thoughts bouncing about my head. So many I am at a loss as to what topic to snag and gab about today. So, since I seem to be a bit scatter-brained this day, let's just spitball shall we; random thoughts/comments/whatever coming at you ready or not…

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to kill me before anything else. With just 3 games to play they have yet to clinch a berth in the playoffs; not what we expected from our defending champions. They can still make the playoffs and probably will, but their recent inconsistent muckiness has seen many fans move on to chewing other peoples finger nails.

CRAP a tweeter I follow tweeted this recently: @LeslieGoldman "Don't eat CRAP: Caffeine, Refined sugar, Alcohol, Processed foods. @ellemcpherson (Her trainer's philosophy. Seems to be working for her!)". First this tweet gave me flashbacks of the early 90's when Elle Macpherson was 'the' gal who could get us guys drooling the fastest. Well, most guys; I still say Kathy Ireland was 'the' gal of that day. As much as I enjoy reliving fantasies of Kathy & Elle, this tweet grabbed my attention more for the CRAP reference. Think about… what percentage of your daily intake was CRAP when you were at your worst? Honest reflection; I'll say 60%+ myself. On my best days; 20% or less'ish… meaning I am not certain. Something to pay more attention too. Check out Leslie's blog here!

And you can check out Elle here, and, Kathy here (yeah, Kathy rules but Elle's site is better).

News is that the U.S. Government may shut down soon. Huh, meaning they have been working up until now?

My Ford Expedition hit 145,000 miles this week, picture proof above. This week it has also been knocking and making uncool sounds. I think it is a tank of bad gas, something I personally have been accused of often. But ever since filling up at a grocery store last Sunday this racket has come & gone. Hopefully the octane boost added and running this gas tank dry remedies this woe. My goal is to have this ride around for another 145,000 miles of 7 years, whichever comes first; I know, not realistic.

Seriously, word is that 2 Billion people are predicted to tune in to watch the royal wedding; Seriously?

I have another shout out for you: Jenn over at AGirlWhoLovesCupcakes, also tweets as @iheartreading. Jenn achieved some cool fame recently that many of us will only dream about; she found herself on a highway billboard, the link there will take you right to her proud post. Did you check it out? Yep, pretty cool huh? Plenty more reasons to follow Jenn… the food pics on her blog are tasty looking, her writing is top notch, and my fave Jenn'trait is how she ends each blog post with an {I am grateful for} list. If you didn't check her out yet, stop being a fool and get over there!

My final thought for the day, and a thought for everyday really:
There is no such thing as courage without fear.... to be fearless is to be foolish...

Respect Fear, Embrace Courage, Achieve Victory!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 353 - Bring On The Needles!

Some good news on the cancer battlefield... The MRI on my knee showed NO metastatic cancer there; whew! Above is one of the 180+ images of my knee, I have no idea of know what I'm looking at there is good or not, and don't care as long as I'm told it is sans cancer.

We engage the enemy next on Thursday for a blood test to determine if there are any indicators that the melanoma has spread beyond skin or lymph nodes. Bring on the needles!

Exercise, lets talk exercise... I took two of the boys to the YMCA Sunday to get some sweat'n on...
Needed a warm up since I pulled them out of bed to join me, so we started with a mile on the elliptical:
I think they were hoping this was all we were going to do.

I dig the rowing station so it was our next stop:
Andrew working as fast as he can, like he has somewhere else to be.

Then it trying to get the boys more involved in the workout I let them pick what we did next...

Andrew picked incline sit ups:
Yep, there I am gett'n my 2d set in. I am enjoying myself; can't you tell?

Cameron then picked cross over flys:
Here he demonstrates, "Form" is his middle name.

Next I chose this 'thing' since it was available & I had never done it, need to try new stuff:
Andrew is seen here doing what I called Tri-Shoul-Back Press Downs, as it ravaged those three areas so.

Andrew took us next to the Overhead ISO Pull Down station:
and then he snapped this pic of me; this is a cool exercise.

Cameron got last choose and chose Squats, yes, Squats:
I was taught to squat early in a routine - Rebel!

That was enough, I was wiped, they were anything but wanting more. Not a routine you'd find a trainer advise perhaps, but on this day it was our routine.

Have you pulled the family out of bed lately to join you get some sweat'n on?

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!