Betsy and I have just returned from a board meeting in Chicago. This is a board that I resigned from a year ago, thinking that I was a goner. Unable to go to last year’s meeting was great loss. These people love me and I love them – fiercely. We skyped together last year and said our goodbyes, with all of us thinking – this is it.
Well, this was before I learned that I was bozo the clown. Did you have one of these punching bags growing up? You would punch him down, but he would just keep popping back up!
So this year, I got on a plane and showed back up! It was a glorious weekend. We began with a tour of the seminary I graduated from back in the early 1980’s. I barely recognized the place. Even the location where I was electrocuted with 12,000 volts was hard to distinguish (the scorch marks were gone).
I thought they would have put up an eternal flame (or spark) to mark the spot where I did one of my first bozo pop-ups (after losing all of my short-term memory and blithering like an idiot for a little shy of a week). No such luck.
We then spent two wonderful days sharing our lives, talking about the last year, helping each other through our stuck places and just being community together while the snow fell and the temperatures stayed in the teens. In between this we ate glorious food – and drank. A lot. Or maybe it was just me.
I also apparently slept (this may have been related to my medicinal drinking). Donald, forgive me. Whatever you were saying about art, beauty and God was scintillating, I’m certain. It’s just that every few days I fall asleep in my soup – or beer.
Yesterday the doctors owned me. An IV (two attempts – sigh), a nuclear bone scan, two sets of blood work, a consult, an infusion of Zometa, and a partridge in a pear tree. Tomorrow, another consult. Today, I have been the walking dead. So far, we have the bone scan results back:
Layman’s translation? This boy has cancer all over his bones, but it hasn’t grown any in the last 4 months. UNCHANGED is the operative word here, folks. I rejoice with exceedingly great joy!
Plus, we talked about me going back on Xofigo when the cancer starts growing on my bones again. For some reason, this made me cry. She is still my first love in all of this mess.
And for you who have always wondered what device they use to do a nuclear bone scan, here you go:
I heard that after the board meeting one of the founders asked a staff member, “How did you think Ed seemed?” She replied, “Really tired, but just as dangerous!” This meant the world to me. In the midst of all this crap and the impact it’s having on my body, I don’t want to be nice or really anything you would expect me to be.
Instead, I want to be really dangerous – in the best sense of the word. Hey, wasn’t that how Jesus was?
Speaking of Jesus, I have a friend that’s with him now:
Yesterday, Greg had just lost a round of “Words with Friends” with his wife when he went out into their yard to trim their crape myrtles with a new chainsaw he had purchased. I don’t even think Greg had time to start the saw. He just collapsed and died.
I loved this man and he loved me. He was always a deep encouragement to me. Gruff, but just under the surface, tender-hearted. Kind of like a godly mobster. We were the same age, if I remember correctly. And now he is gone from this world. Julie, grace and peace to you this evening as you begin to grieve this great loss of a great man. You are not alone. And we will see Greg again. I promise.
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
~ James 4:14