Friday, November 20, 2009

Waiting and Gifts

I'm still here. Waiting. I have about a week and a half until I finally get my first post second relapse treatment. I'll be swallowing about ten pills every day and we'll see if it's working around Christmas time. If it doesn't, Plan B is to go to the Mayo Clinic for a combination drug that's showing promise. That's if it's not too late. Because I have only about a 30% chance of the first drug working, I've already scheduled an appointment with them. The head guy there can be seen in February at the earliest. So I'm not seeing the head guy. 

As I wait, the cancer spreads. There's nothing anyone can do. The day is very difficult for me. I'm very tired and sore. Sometimes drugs help and sometimes they don't. I'm taking naps now but that's not good because I'm not so tired at night. 

I want to tell Conner. I want to tell him to remember every second of this. But I can't. In fact, I haven't. We haven't said anything to any of the kids yet but eventually it will become obvious. When I do, I have to put it in good kid terms. Harmless and non-committal. But I want to tell them differently. I want to tell Conner to lock in each second.

I wish I was Michael Keaton in that movie where he died from brain cancer but filmed all kinds of footage of himself. I just don't know what to say. Plus I look like shit. 

I read other people's cancer blogs and they are much more upbeat. Some of the day I'm like that. It's those times when I tell myself that this is now a disease like diabetes and I just have to live with it. Those are the times I like the best but I feel like a fool thinking that.

The holidays are coming up. My wish is that I am given the gift of mind discipline. I want to think the right things, good things at the right time so my family and friends can enjoy the moments. 


  1. I wish that for you too, Michael. That and so much more. And I don't think you're a fool for trying to view it more like diabetes. I think it makes sense.

  2. May God favor you with his many blessings...and patience....serenity....clarity & and always....

  3. Wishing you and your family a joyous Thanksgiving. Yes, you do have bounty and much to be thankful for. I pray that you feel & absorb the love that surrounds you.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to Team Herlehy!

  5. Ok, I’m back from Mexico. I’ve never been there except on a cruise. Wonderful place. Very few tourists due to fears of swine flu or kidnapping. We went to Wet ‘n’ Wild one day. Get this, it cost $25 per person to get in and that included all food and drinks. Freaking Florida is like $45 bucks a person and then they violate you nine ways to Sunday for everything the kids want to eat, drink, lick etc. On top of it all, the longest line was 10 seconds.

    I’m sorry to see things have not improved here, but as always I come with an amusing anecdote to share with the class. As part of an ongoing case I had to read this idiot’s confessions of, how shall I say this delicately, his explorations with self-gratification. Now let me start by saying this guy is in his 40s or 50s and he apparently is, how shall I say this delicately, spanking the monkey three times a day. My first issue with this is who has that kind of free time in private? My second issue with this is that it’s not like the guy is 16. On the flip side, he is married so we can assume there’s a lack of sex in his life, plus, at least he’s not doing it the Tiger way. Now his history starts out normal enough in that he found some of his dad’s Playboys as a kid and then discovered the wonderful world of, how can I put this delicately, jerking off. Where he went off track is when he started using the following inspirational viewing materials: Glamour; store ads for bras and panties from the Sunday papers; People. Seriously. How sick is this guy that he’s whipping out People magazine and then whipping out his little buddy?

    Obviously this guy is not my client or I could divulge any of this and as I am certain that the case is going to get really weird, I will have to update you when it is permissible for me to do so.

    In the meantime, I hope you are feeling better and that the new treatment goes well when you begin. I also hope that as you look through Sunday’s paper and the department store ads you have a little smile on your face.

  6. Even dread needs a humored soil....thanks tc2424....Michael...keep a smile in yuor heart!

  7. Let me preface this by saying that I’m a few beers into it, so there could be some typos. I have this stupid theory that since I’ve never run out of gas, that gas is just an illusion and you don’t actually need it to run your car. Admittedly, it’s a stupid theory, but I think you should adopt it for the whole cancer thing. It can’t possibly beat you, because it’s never beaten you before, and as such it must not truly exist. Now I’m not saying that you don’t continue to do everything you can to stick it up its backside. After all, I still put gas in my tank every week.

    I play poker almost every Thursday night with a regular group that has 8 or 9 guys. The group of 8 or 9 has changed over the years but “the game” goes on. It’s gotten to the point that “the game” is bigger than any of the players. It will go on despite any one or more of us departing. Anyone who leaves is simply replaced. This last Thursday, one of players called the guy sitting next to him a mother f---er. Not a good thing to say, but the testosterone flows freely at the table. Unfortunately, the guy who he said it to, took it quite literally and threatened to pound the doody out of the guy who said it. At this point the existence of “the game” was being threatened because all of us are way too old to deal with the threat of physical violence arising out of a stupid card game. Cooler heads prevailed and “the game” continues.

    I’m certain you are all wondering what the hell the point of the poker story is at this point. I’m pretty curious as to what I’m going to come up with also. I think I have two points to make. First, going back to your concern about letting your family down, I don’t think so. Regardless of what happens, you go on. Your influence on those whose lives you have touched, especially those of your wife and kids will live on through them. Anyone who has ever posted a comment on this site has been touched by your life and you will always continue as a result, regardless of the cancer outcome. Secondly, I believe your life, like “the game” is bigger than just you. It goes on and it will keep going on because it is bigger than just you. Your life is so much more than your life, embrace all that is around you. That being said, while you are embracing what is around you, do your best to f--- the shit out this cancer thing. Quite honestly, it’s pissing me off. I want to relive the days of messing with Sister Pat in Madison at spring break – you whore monger. I want to hang out listening to old Dire Straits and Velvet Underground albums in your dorm room, I want to buy you beer that only costs $0.25 and I want to go back to Vegas and leave everything that happens in Vegas in Vegas. Perhaps I’m being selfish talking about what I want but let me finish by saying that I, like everyone else just want you be there to do it all again. Get well my brother.

  8. I don't mean to sound all weird and exestential...but I was thinking about something the other day, and it sort of applies to what you are saying. I was thinking about my Mom. She gave birth to 6 kids. And now that I (the baby) have hit 40, the grandkids are starting to marry, and the grandkids are having kids of their own. And it made me realize, look at all the lives she affected by starting with just the 6 of us. Without us, so many lives would be different. (27 of them to be exact!) If it weren't for my Mom, these people would have different spouses (some would be Ok with that!), and the children we all brought into this world would have other parents, and their children...well, you get the point. Think of the Legacy that you and your wife have created. Long after all of us are gone, there will be people here, that can honestly say without you, they wouldn't be here. Pretty awesome. No matter what happens Michael, there will ALWAYS be a part of you that goes on!


  10. Michael.....are you trying to wing this all by yourself? You need to be in some sort of support group where you can vent without guilt and draw strength from those kindred spirits who know all too well the road you are travelling. Your family and friends are not prepared to deal with all the emotions you are experiencing right now and you are quelling your anger because you feel guilty that you have cancer. The pathway to a cure is not paved only with drugs, tests and procedures....let someone into your hurt to help you!!! Did you get the Nurf bat yet?