Sunday, September 2, 2012

LOT OF 'SPLAINING TO DO! (a la Rickie Riccardo)

     Hi everyone (both of you).  It's been a long while since I last wrote something and I've been prodded (by both of you) to update the blog, so here goes...
     Let me first bring you up to date on the whole cancer thing.  This next Thurs. & Fri. I'll be in SF to see my doctors.  Thurs. for Dr. Wolf and the oncology/hematology crew, and Fri. with Dr. Burch the orthopedist. So I should have something more specific to tell you after then.  I also know that it usually takes me a week or two after my appointments to put it in the blog, so I'll bring you up to date, THEN, give you that info.
     It's taken 2 months but my numbers for my internal organs FINALLY started to improve.  According to Dr. Tulanian, my liver function is about 10% and my kidneys about 20%.  At least they're going up and not down!  It will be interesting to see how much they've improved this month.  Red blood count hadn't been normal in 35 months, and it hit to bottom of normal range the beginning of August.  White blood count's been worse, but it's at the bottom of normal too.  Platelets? Barely normal, but normal.  The number of cancer cells is doubling every month, BUT, their numbers are low enough that it isn't too distressing to the Drs.  The trend is, however.  Hoping that trend ends this month with the next test Thurs.or there's a possibility that there's more chemo in my very near future. All in all I'm doing pretty doggone well with more up days and less down days.
     Since I last posted I've been able to do some fun things that I'd just like to mention: 
First, I was able to go to Europe for 2 weeks from mid to late June.  A little southern Germany and Austria, a lot of Switzerland and Italy.  I was the informal tour guide for Joyce Olsen and her twin sister Sharon Rushforth.  Dale stayed home to take care of her mother.  They were wonderful traveling companions and the fact that they paid for my flights, rental car and various activities was very generous.  Sugar mommas. The trip was absolutely fabulous and I was able to make some real friends on the trip.  We also presented 4 Books of Mormon (2 in German, 2 in Italian) with friends and family there as well.  I made it through OK, but paid for it for weeks after.
Second, I was able to attend my 40th high school reunion.  That was a lot of fun.  It was very well attended and the committee had been contacting people for a year.  So much fun to reconnect with old friends.  We'd lost quite a few as well, and I was happy not to be on the wall of pictures honoring/remembering them.
Third, I was able to attend the Monterey Historic Races again.  The featured marque was Cobra, and it was literally a heart pounding event as the cars went by. The most fun was having some friends and family here for it.  My great friend Greg Fisher came from Orange County.  My brother Alan flew in from Denver. Dale's brother Rick and his main squeeze Nancy (whom we LOVE) also came from Canyon Lake near Elsinore,  and the son of my friend Ken Schmutz, Kenny, came with Darrell and I.  Saturday we went back for the concourse cars and it was great fun too.
So, there you go. I'm not dead yet.  By the way, August 28th is the 3 year anniversary of my diagnosis.  Gee, and in some ways it seems like only a month ago at some times, and a decade a go at others.  Best news it, it's still going on.  Thanks for all of your love and support. I'll do better with my reporting after my appointments this week.  Don't forget to remember my friend Mark Farish in your prayers and fasting as well.  He's fighting throat cancer and it is a battle.  If you go to the temple, please try and remember to put his name on the prayer rolls.


  1. All these trip to San Fran and no phone calls to the Ashby's! :)

    We love you and hope you are feeling good. Sounds like you are living it up! Give our love to Dale.

    I can't believe it has been 3 years!

    Love, Leslie

  2. Great to get an update, Kevin. I've been wondering about you. I'm pretty sure there are more than two people following this blog!

  3. well, at least three... First, I join in the prayers for our friend Mark. This is one of the parts about getting old that I detest the most. On the other hand, every morning I open my eyes, I'm grateful I'm on the right side of the grass. Lots and lots to be thankful for.

    Nancy and I were honored to be part of the Kevin Ontourage to the Monterey Historics last month. We had a great time, and to anyone else still following Topic: We had a hard time keeping up with him, so, numbers be damned, he's doing something right.

    So, our prayers go with you up to SF, and with the doctors who have to make the tough decisions. See, we ARE following...

    Love, Richard and Nancy

    PS: 40th???? You're older than I even thought...

  4. We love you Uncle Kevin!

    Thanks for the update! You're sugar momma trip sounds amazing! And 40th! We are glad you are doing ok!

    Miss you all like crazy! Big hugs all around!

    love the Hancock's

  5. So we are a little slow to respond but that doesn't mean that we aren't keeping track of ya!
    We love you Uncle Kevin and Aunt Dale! Sending hugs, kisses and prayers!!
    TLC and Family

  6. Oh- I Love Lucy is one of Becca's favorite shows. Too fun!! They just don't make them like they used to. :)