Well, it is August 17. 57 years ago I was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. My parents Russel and Louise were given some challenges with me. I was allergic to milk and instead of gaining weight like a normal infant - I lost weight. Of course since I am writing this the doctors figured things out. I don't remember when it happened but after getting over the allergy to milk - I was a milk monster.
I at 57 years old am in the generation called Baby Boomers. I am old enough to have watched TV in black and white. I watched Evil Kneivel succeed and fail at jumps that as far as I know have never been duplicated. One of his failures was an attempt to jump across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. That spot is marked and a hill where his launch ramp was is still there. I watched the jump on TV and totally by coincidence ended up in that very spot when I lived in Jerome, ID and worked in Twin Falls. On quite a few occassions we actually drove down to the park in the Canyon and swam in the river. I don't recall how old I was maybe around 11 - I was "forced" by peer pressure to use my bicycle and do a jump. I am pretty sure I missed the down ramp and ended up face down on the pavment. The rest of that summer I wore a cast on my left arm.
My dad took time to be at my side and allowed me to play in the Softball leagues for several summers. Sorry, Dad - baseball was definitely not my sport. I look back at my time playing this sport and I can't even figure out why I was so bad. I literally froze up everytime I was supposed to go to bat and unless the pitcher was reall bad - I was not making it to base. I think my miracle happened the season my team was in first place and heading to the playoffs. My coach pulled me aside and said when you see me give you this sign - just bunt the ball. I wish I could remember more but what I do remember is that bunt (yes I hit the ball) became my homerun. The team I was ended the season as the Champions and I stopped playing.
My dad left the house if I recall correctly at 6:30am and walked a half mile so he could catch the bus that would take him on his way to downtown Toronto. He would usually walk in the house about 5:45pm. Some days I would find a place to hide and have him find me.
My parents, took the time to make sure that I grew up knowing that I was not allowed to just sit around. Saturday mornings I woke up early and would watch cartoons. After some period of time I would bust into my parents room and Dad and I would wrestle. Once everyone was up, the order of the day was breakfast and then chores. Saturday evenings if we were at home were spent playing some game.
No matter what I though about Sunday morning - I was going to get up, be dressed and head to Church.
Mom and Dad, didn't like the way I was being treated by the Scarborough Board of Education and after some serious consideration on their part - I was allowed to decide if I wanted to attend Grenville Christian College ( highschool in Brockville). My life changed immensely while at Grenville. I developed friends from around the world and yes still communicate with a number of them. I was able to develop friendships from people in Hong Kong, Bermuda, Australia, Uganda and the United States.
It was at Grenville that one of my teachers, Miss Case put me on the spot. A spot I didn't like and I changed immediately because of it. Miss Case, told me to stand up and answer a question. She also told me that I was going to stand up and answer a question everyday until I volunteered. I only stood up one day. It was also at Grenville that I had a wonderful teacher Mr. Fred Christmas, a lawyer as my law teacher. Mr. Christmas, made law very enjoyable and very logical. I almost decided to become a lawyer but decided against it because of the time it would take in school. (dumb). Mr. Christmas is also the only teacher that handed back a test facedown and said "you blew it" as he put it on my desk. This guy that was always on top of his game when it came to spelling - lost 2% on the test because I misspelled a couple of words. My grade on the test 98%. Mr. Christmas was confident in my understanding of law that he told my class mates to ask me for help.
Grenville, was co-ed with plenty of rules on what not to do. Mostly, there were no relationships between the guys and gals. We learned respect for everyone and all the girls were our friends. I had an accident in the wood shop with a band saw. I was stupid and attempted to cut the top of my right thumb off. Oh yeah that hurt and a quick call to my parents - had them visiting the next weekend. I mention all this because out of that stupid accident and my thumb wrapped up the size of a watermelon one of the girls came to my rescue and would make sure my notes were rewritten. Traci, and I developed a strong friendship and would have find ways of having fun together but always in mixed crowd so that we didn't break the rules. I don't know if Traci reads these entries but I am quite happy to have her as a friend still today. This guy pulled off another dumb move because of being young. Traci, lived in the USA - and I figured at the time there was no way I was going to move to the US and wouldn't have expected her to move to Canada.
Traci, is one of the Alumni and as you can tell a special friend. She is also a Cancer Champion and part of my Friend support team. Yes, I have now been living in the United States since 2000. I also have another member of the Alumni on my friend support team, Amanda and she is also a Cancer Champion.
I played Trumpet in the Grenville band. Along side me was Bill. He is younger but we enjoyed each others company and worked well together to make sure the Trumpet section of the band was always spot on the game. Bill, called me just a few weeks ago and we spoke for an hour on the phone as he was driving home. Bill closed that wonderful conversation with a prayer which at the end just made me cry.
I also found a gentleman by the name of Bruce. I first met Bruce due to an event my sister was attending at the University of Toronto. He was involved in the same group as my older sister. I am hoping I have this correct but - i met Bruce again due to being involved at Amway year later. Grenville has a reunion and who ends up coming down the hall towards me - Bruce. He was also a Grenville Alumni. Bruce, is an artist and somehow I shared with him some of my poetry and he loved it. He is probably my biggest fan. He also took the time to help me and did the editing for the book. Which by the way although the name was tinkered with a bit - he gave the book the name.
Three friends from my high school days in Brockville, Ontario - 38 years ago. Four wonderful friends that mean so much to me as I know they are in my pocket. My parents sacrificed a lot financially to send me to Grenville - but the Return on their investment has been incredible. Oh I know I have other friends from Grenville but these three are the ones that i have touched me recently. Thank You Traci, Amanda, Bruce and Bill. I am glad that God brought us together so many years ago and although we are still hundreds of miles apart we are still friends.
After graduating from Grenville I headed to College. I studied in the realm of IT and became a Computer Programmer. After graduating my parents pushed me to continue my education and I ended up with three Diplomas. In the US, they get a more lofty title of Associate Degrees. My career in IT came to a screaming halt in 1998 and I started work in Call Centers doing technical support. At this point in time I now have about 20 years experience in Call Center work.
My mom passed so many years ago (26 years) I find it hard to believe. It was mom's passing that started me writing poetry and now have a book " Killing Mr. Indiscriminate B. Cancer" I am hoping that someday relatively soon that I will be able to work with a publishing company and have my book put into stores. Maybe it was the naming of the book that led me to experience Cancer first hand. The company I hope to work with will allow me to change my book before it gets copyrighted again and sent out to the stores.
My Dad, well he is Dad. I guess about the only thing I can say here is: That if I can become in some small way more like him - I will know that I personally have succeeded in life as a person that people want to be around. Dad remarried, I think in 2000 to a wonderful lady named Mary. Unfortunately, life keeps happening and it has now been 17 years since I was back home.
Sorry folks for such a long entry but i will sum this part of it up by saying quite simply: You never know while getting older who in life is going to be there when you need it. As I say that I realize I must mention one more person that sticks out and yes she is on my Support Team. Many moons ago I had a wonderful teacher, grade three actually. Well, she remembered me and since we connected on facebook I took the time to phone her - we talked for almost two hours. Can you imagine still communicating with a teach from grade 3. Thank You Stephanie.
Now moving on - Most of this week has been the same routine with my Radiation Treatments. On Thursday, after some very frustrating email communications back and forth I finally had a manager contact me from my employer. I was told what needed to happen as far as beginning Short Term Disability. Upon getting that information I walked into work Thursday morning and said - I won't be working. My Supervisor - Donna who is just an all around special person gave me a hug goodbye.
I have been introduced to more challenges since late Thursday. I am having to head to the restroom at least every 90 minutes. I am not going to any further in detail than that. Yesterday after my treatment and getting dressed I happened to look at the mirror while I was get ready to put my shirt on. I noticed multiple pink spots on my abdomen. They faded away fairly quickly but I will mention them to my Radiation Oncologist on Monday. I also noticed last night that my left leg hurt. I looked at it and then asked for a measuring tape. My left leg swollen so that it is about 1.5 inches bigger than my right leg.