Friday, August 27, 2010

Make This Weekend Count

Thank you all again for the prayers and well wishes!  I am nearly full strength after Wednesday night's surgery.  I have the green light to take off the dressings and shower later this evening (first since Wednesday morning), so that is exciting.  I am working from home today because I still hobble around a little bit and due to the placement of the stitches (right at the bend in the thigh when you sit down).

As if this isn't more real, next week is when things will really start to ramp up.  I have my benchmarking MRI scheduled for next Wednesday, and my final chemo consult on Thursday.  Now the big question for me is when will we start treatment?  I would imagine it will be very shortly after that, because they want the MRI to be taken as close to the beginning of chemo as possible.  This could mean I might have to enjoy the beginning of the college football season being pumped full of medicine at Crawford Long in Midtown.  I wonder how the tailgating scene is there?  Am I allowed to bring a flask?  Do they have Peachtree TV (the Dawgs will be aired here)?  So many questions..

I have begun reading Lance Armstrong's first book, "It's Not About The Bike", and I must say, I am really enjoying the read.  It is interesting to see how he went from a reckless and cocky young athlete to a very humble and grateful man after his battle with cancer.  While I hope I have never been labeled reckless and cocky, I will attest that cancer is a very humbling experience.  As I talked about in an earlier post, most of us take our good health for granted, so in a way we are cocky regarding our well being.  I have heard from a number of my friends who have taken a greater interest in their body after I shared how I detected my tumor, and I must say, I was really touched to learn that I might have helped friends in some way shape or form. 

Another way this disease humbles you, is it makes you realize that arguments and petty differences between friends are so stupid.  I know I had lost touch with a longtime friend for nearly a year until I made my diagnosis public.  Since then we have caught up and will remain friends for years to come.  There is just no reason to hold grudges or not communicate with friends for silly reasons.  I hope that all of you will think about if there is someone who is/was close to you that isn't so now because of a trivial reason, and then reach back out to them and reconcile.  There are much better ways to spend time than to be bitter or mad towards a good friend.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I will hopefully have some decent stories to report on Sunday.  Thank you all for reading, and of course thanks for all the prayers and support!



  1. Hi Michael,
    This is your second cousin, Rhonda Harries in Maryland. Your Mom and I have been close for many years. We have some crazy stories about fun times on Bethel Ave. and in Aunt Mary's playhouse when we were kids. Someday, we may reveal all. Just kidding. We have great memories of growing up together in Indiana. I have been following your blog and am so impressed with your win-take all attitude. I have volunteered to be the communicator for this end of the family. That would be my family of 2 guys in your age group and a daughter who is a freshman at UVA, Margaret, Eunice's sister-in law and the best one a gal could ask for. She has loved on Mom for years. I'm sure you've heard lots about my brother Brian and his wife Cheryl and their family. They are pretty unforgettable. And Jan is a key person in our family as she helps us all with Mom who is now 88 years old and doing great. Just know that we are all praying for you and pulling for you and learning from your posts and communication. Keep up the courage and continue to reconnect with all of us.
    Rhonda and family

  2. Michael, cousin Rhonda is a very special member of our family despite the fact she was part of the conspiracy to keep me hidden in the bowels of Bosma Dairy instead of in front of the peeps while working behind the counter at Bosma Dairy Bar. Not that I'm bitter or anything!

    Uncle Dave

  3. Michael and Dave,
    The answer is simple---I made better banana splits.

  4. I'm not exactly sure what one finds in the bowels of a dairy, but I am certain that was the perfect place for Dad.

  5. Michael,

    I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the good luck wishes that you sent my way. I just found out that the lake where the triathlon starts has a very high level of blue/green algae. Apparently this can cause some pretty nasty skin stuff if you aren't careful. I will definitely be doing some very thorough body checks over then next couple of days.

    Love you,


    P.S. I have to agree with my sister. The bowels of the dairy was probably the best place for my dad to contribute to the family business!

  6. Michael, I think you will teach all of us some life's lessons the way you are handling this issue. Just know the Reddens are all pulling for you. We appecciate the blog as we can keep updated without bugging your parents all the time! May God Bless!

    The Redden Family

  7. Rhonda, it is great to hear from you! Thank you so much for the support and prayers, it means a lot to me. It appears as if you and Dave have some old grudges, so perhaps we have a banana split making competition to settle this once and for all?

    Thank you Kristin, and congrats on finishing your race yesterday! What an accomplishment! If i can figure out how to freestyle kick next year, maybe I will join you on the triathlon circuit next year. Thanks again, tell everyone hi!


    Great to hear from yall as well. Thanks so much for the kind note, I hope everything is going well up there for the whole family. Your support means a lot, and I hope to see all of you very soon!

  8. Oyler-
    I think I'm a little behind but just noticed the link to your blog on little oyler's facebook page. Sending good thoughts and lots of prayers your way! Loving your positive attitude, which I'm certain will be the key to a speedy recovery! Wish I could think of some humorous note to make you laugh but wit has never been an overwhelming asset of mine. I will offer, however, that I am more than happy to make the short trip to Crawford Long to sneak you a flask at any time! Feel free to let me know your preferred concoction and I will be prepared on call!

  9. Michael, Reckless and cocky...certainly. An athlete? I'm not so sure. Although I have heard you can be a world class sprinter when Superdome security guards are in hot pursuit. Okay enough of picking on you. I have been thinking about you and praying for your recovery since Michael told my about your surprise. You are obviously facing this ordeal with a great deal of courage, and I admire you for that. Please let your parents know that I am praying for their strength also. Your friend, Tom

  10. Carolyn,

    Great to hear from you! Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers. I hope you are well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Be careful, I might hold you to that flask delivery

    Dr. Tom,

    That is probably the fastest I allegedly ever ran. Thank you so much for the prayers and thoughts. I know my parents appreciate you thinking of them during this as well. I fully expect to be out on the links again next summer, so make sure you have that stack and tilt perfected!


  11. love your words of wisdom in this one...we definitely all need reminders to keep things in perspective. Thank you for reminding me today :)

    Thinking about you!! xx

  12. Michael,

    This past weekend Athens, GA hosted an event called Tri 2 Beat Cancer. This triathlon raised money to help people who could not pay their cancer related medical bills. If you learn how to flutter kick I would be more than happy to drive down for this tri! Maybe we could get Trish and Lauren to do it too!


  13. Thanks Rachel! Hope you and Chris are doing well!!


    That sounds great, I am more than willing to give that a go for a great cause in my favorite town. Lets look into it and make it a family goal!