Long story longer, Cellulitis. I had a staff infection that was spreading very quickly. After an early morning talk with my poor oncologist Dr. Malone, the ER Doc, Dr. Hale started pumping me with 3 different antibiotics through my port. Here's the good part.
3 days later we traveled down to Orange County for the funeral of a long time friend, Mark Farish. Throat cancer. He was 60. It was a wonderful service and a great tribute. See you soon Mark.
Then off to Utah for a visit with my mom, family, freinds and my 40th missionary reunion. Many of those at Family Camp watched my transformation from skinny to ... stout. Here are a couple missionary pictures:
For those who think that I'm just a goof-off, I posed for this picture to prove you wrong. Love the wallpaper.
Had just a wonderful time at the reunion and saw really quite a lot of the "ol' missionary gang". I believe we had a better turnout than the 30th reunion. We had lost several of our friends too and that was very sad. Our mission President, Hans Wilhelm Kelling spoke. My great Zone Leader in Muenchen (Munich) Bouncin' Bob (Robert) Condie also spoke as the recently released mission president of our old mission to share all of the updates and growth. Scheduled from 6-9, people were there by 5 and we left around 10:30.
While in Utah we (Dale Darrell & I) also were pleased to attend my nephew Cory's (Brian's oldest son) sealing in the Draper temple. Congratulations to Cory and Courtney. We love you and wish you the best.
We also visited some family, friends and church historical sites. great fun. Thanks Ken and Debbie for meeting us in SLC, and Carrie Connelly for letting us stop by on a very busy day! Love you guys.
The Tues. night after we got back, some good friends from our Long Beach days came for a visit of the central coast from Tacoma Washington. Butch and his buddy Kyle rode their motorcycles from Tacoma to SLC, then to Monterey, then back to Tacoma. Butch's wife, Chelli, didn't. She and Kyle's wife and 2 daughters flew to SLC for Conference, then to San Jose for our fun and frolic. So on Weds. Dale and I, Butch and Chelli hit Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel. We had a great time. I'll share a few pictures...
This is at Monterey Bay looking towards Pacific Grove. Butch is the one on the left. He's a counselor (don't remember which) in their Stake Presidency,again. Butch and Chelli were very generous in their support of us during my "down time". It was wonderful to be able to repay them a little for all of their kindness and love.
First, the cancer checkup was good and I've gotten all of the tests back (they email them to me). My numbers are up, but not to the point where I have to go back on the daily maintenance chemo. I'm still doing so amazingly well overall and Dr. Wolf just shakes his head and mutters, "You are a special study". Most patients, who have myelomas, have to go back on it about 4-6 months after getting off of the maintenance chemo. I have 2 myeloma friends who didn't have it anywhere near as bad as I did, but had to go back on it after about 6 months. In just 3 days i will have been off of the maintenance chemo for 18 months! Unheard of? Miraculous! This next Fri. I get my quarterly chemo infusion to try and build back up my bones, but that only affects me for a few days every 3 months. I truly lead a charmed and unbelievable blessed life. OK, heading for the stretch run now... but first just a couple of pictures of my exploration of more of Golden Gate Park, just outside UCSF. If you haven't been, it really is quite amazing. It's a HUGE park in the town with many lakes, miles of walking paths, and fascinating things to see. Bison. Yep. They have them.
Fri. Nov. 1st was my second ablation procedure. Those of you who wish to go back to a Feb. '12 post will see more, but I'd like to give you an update on the personnel as well as the procedure. Dr. Melanie Henry, who supervised the last ablation, couldn't do it 'cuz she only works a couple days a week to care for her family. Dr. Naidu, her Fellow (specialized training) is now a real Dr. but was unavailable so I was assigned (she drew the short straw) to Dr. Pham. She and Dr. Henry went to med school, did their fellowships, and now work together. She has a fascinating story about her family escaping from Vietnam when it fell to the Communists. Her father was an officer and pilot in the Vietnamese Air Force and he commandeered a DC-3 troop transport and flew 12 members of his extended family, and many others, to safety in Thailand just at the last minute. Dr. Pham was 11 months old when it happened. I was 19. I know. I'm old. There's a lot more to the story and it's a wonderful story. Here's a picture of Dr. Pham in front of the X-ray screens that they use to locate the offending nerves. Looks like she has Micky ears? I meant that. The dark spot in the pictures is my L4 vertebra with the kyphoplasty (cement) in it. The other 2 are T12 & L1 above it. The speculation is that the weight of the kyphoplasty may have caused the herniated disks below it. Oh well