These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, March 03, 2006

head down, feet up

my sister went for an appointment with her obtatrician this week and the news is good. the baby has her head way down in the womb right up against the cervix. though, the cervix isn't open at all. so emma grace is all ready to go when the birthing process kicks into place.

her due date is march 20. we'll see if she makes it up to then. my sister jokes that the baby's ready to go but that the mother's not necessarily ready. i suppose in the end it doesn't really matter. it'll happen, when it happens.

it's pretty exciting. it was then when my niece and hephew were born. but it's differnet because it's happening to my sister -- blood and kin to me. but i'll have two nieces and a nephew after she's born and that'll be cool beans.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

and so it goes on

i talked to my parents today. turns out my dad did get in to see the oncologist wednesday morning. they didn't get the news they wanted. my mom was disappoitned.

my dad's cancer marker went up slightly, though they're not starting him on chemo again. his next appointment will be april 6.

my mom asked several questions about the cancer. my dad can't get rid of the tumors or have a piece of his liver excised because the tumoers were spread out. it would be useless to do anything. also, since the cancer marker went up, there'sa big chance it will continue to rise. the oncologist said he still has a 5 percent chance of making it through it. not much of a chance. but at least there's that. the doc. said he hopes it doesn't return, but in most cases it comes back and chemo has to start again.

i, too, was saddened by the news. i talked to my dad earlier in the day and then my mom called me later and we spoke for a bit. i got a little emotional there talking to her. it's hard, man. i guess you never think it would come to something like this with the folks. i'm certaily not alone in this. some of you reading this have probalby lost a parent or parents. it's a crazy thing.

things start running through your head. will he live through another christmas or see his grandkids grow a little more. will the new grandchild, emma grace, be old enough to know who her grandfather was. will she have those memories as she grows old. it almost seems unfair that something like this should coincide with the birth of my niece.

my paternal grandparents died when i was young. my grandfather died when i was about to turn 5 and my grandmother died when i was 9. but i still have memories of them. not much, but they're in there somewhere and i do think of them sometimes. i only wish my niece, lorena, and nephew, ricardo, will keep those memories. and we'll see about emma grace.

i am talking like my dad's aready dead. he's not. but it might be inevitable and i guess i'm just being pensive.

let us see what the next few months bring with him and the wretched disease. perhaps a switch will turn and reverse the process. only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

check the back seat before cussing

it was both embarrassing and funny at the same time. i think that anyone wanting to cuss up a storm ought to check his or her surroundings before cutting loose. i obviously did not yesterday; hence, i'm writing this blog.

there was a call on the scanner about a fire in saugatuck, a small town south of holland at about 8 p.m. we neaded down there and on the way, heard that we'd run over something on the highway. when we finally made the turn off, the tire sounded odd. sure enough, we had a flat. and they were new tires, too.

we pull into a gas station. i'm pissed off. my phone rings and it's matt b. the photog who'd gone to take pics of the fire. i tell him my situation and he says he'll come right over. he does.

he pulled up in his van right next to our car. he says he'll help my wife put the doughnut tire on after he drives me to the fire scene. that way we'll get both doen quicker. i agreed but got more upset at the inconvenience of it all.

so he goes around to the driver's side and is moving things around. i open the passenger door and jump in. as soon as i shut the door, i let out a barrage of vulgar language at the situation.

(skip this if you'd like). "son of a bitch, motherfucker," i belted out.

as i said this, i half-looked toward the back seat and was thinking, i good thing he doesn't have his two kids with him. the cussing, the turning and that thought all raced through me in a milli-second.

i turned back and guess what? his two kids were strapped in their seatbelts in the back seat. i felt like shit, embarrassed, but couldn't help laughing. at the absurdity of it all. i apologized profusely to matt.

he said it was Ok. one of his kids, in fact, had just told him he knew all the f-words because he'd heard them some place. i thought it was quite ironic (or whatever the word is for the situation) that the kid gota first-hand lesson in an mf word.

i guess matt told his kids what happens when you cuss. as i left the van, he told his kids, waht do you say when people use bad language? they repeated in spanish "wash out your mouth with soap."

good times. good times in saugatuck.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

the waiting game continues

no news yet on my dad. apparently the results from the test he took last week still weren't in as of yesterday. so he has his appointment rescheduled for next monday. so it's another week of waiting, pins and needles. still, he does sound good and getting stronger without the chemo. so, we can only hope that it will continue that way and he'll continue to regain his strength.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

the waiting game

tomorrow we find out for sure what's up with my dad's cancer situation. several weeks ago his cancer marker was zero. the tests last week from his doctor were negative and all was well with his lealth. the only thing left is the results of his scan he took last onday. the oncologist will discuss the results tomorrow afternoon.

it could go in several directions, i guess. during the last exam, he still had a tumor in his liver, possible more than one. but now his cancer marker is zero. so are the tumors still there? if so, are they dormant for now? is he out of danger for the time being? if they are dormant and have shrunk, can they be removed so as to not have the cancer recur from those deadly sons of bitches? if they can be removed, when can it happen? i'd think that if the opportunity presented itself, it would be a good idea to cut a piece of his liver out where these tumors are located and put an end to this business of the cancer recurring (at least from those tumors) in his liver.

my mom is nervous. i am nervous. the family is nervous. it's funny, because i'm more nervous right now than i have beenover the past four to five months, when the cancer marker was higher and when we didn't know what was to happen. i guess it's because he's come so far and now it seems to be an end to something bad and the start of something new. it's like something that's too good to be true and when it comes downt o it, you realize it is too good to be true. so hopefully, this isn't too good to be true.

i still think he needs another opinion on this, in case it doesn't quite go the way it's supposed to. it doesn't hurt to ask another doctor about the situation. it can only bring up something missed by the current doctor. we'll see.