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Showing posts from November, 2012

I'm back ....

Last night I had the special privilege and honor of providing the musical program for "The Well" event at FUMC-Grapevine. "The Well" is a bi-monthly gathering of women for fellowship, a great meal, followed by programs from noted women's authors and speakers.

Ann Hailey had asked me if I could provide a musical program of Christmas carols for the event. I initially planned to decline. I had not accepted any invitation to sing since my 2nd throat surgery in early October. Between a fluctuating energy level and vocal problems, I just hadn't felt comfortable singing in public in front of an audience. After thinking and considering the invitation for a couple of hours, I felt compelled to accept. i replied back to Ann and suggested a Christmas Carol sing-a-long to help compensate for my voice not being at full strength. Ann thought it was a great idea, and we confirmed I would be there.

This week was a good week energy wise. I worked a good full-time week w…

Joe Walsh . . .

If I have a favorite electric guitar player, it's Joe Walsh.

During my period of isolation last week, I watched an abnormal amount of television.  Granted, normal for me is NO television at all . . . seriously, I just don't watch TV anymore.
However, I watched my Eagles DVD (live concert in Australia)  and also found a Netflix movie called the "Strat Pack" which was a tribute concert in England in memory of Leo Fender.  Joe Walsh had the longest set on the movie, and he was just fantastic. 
This past month, Joe was Daryl Hall's guest on the most recent Live from Daryl's House internet program.  Check out www.lfdh.com.  He and Daryl do a version of Joe's "Funk #49/50" on the show which was just plan awesome.
What a program!!!!  Joe looks as broad shouldered and healthy as I have ever seen him.  His new album, his first in 20 years, is out and its called "Analog Man."  Joe has been sober for 18 years now, and shared that it took him tha…

Update: Out and about . . .

My isolations and restrictions following radioactive iodine ablation are over.  I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.  However, my body is telling me I am going to have to slowly work back up to full speed. 

Yesterday I went by the guitar store and to my office at the church.  I didn't stay long.  I was tired, and had a dizzy spell.  Today I arrived at the church early . . . but my concentration just isn't up to the task.  So, after catching up on my daily devotions, I am going to head over to Sonic for a grilled chicken sandwhich and then leisurely run a few errands before heading back home. 

I so want to be ready to take on a full schedule . . . but 2 surgeries and 2 months of reduced activity (sitting in my recliner recovering) have taken their toll on my stamina and energy level.  Apparently I am no far enough along the hormone replacement process for it to have made the "big" difference others have told me to expect.  

Liz and I will be in worshi…

Update: I can taste again!

Yay! The old taste buds are working again!

The swelling in my neck, which I am pretty sure is due to swollen salivary glands, is reducing. Other than my neck still feeling stiff, I think I'm good to go.

3 pm today ended a long list of 5-day restrictions. I can be near loved ones and others. I can hug but can't kiss (a 7 day restriction ... Awwwwwww!) I can hold my cat again, which may not be very soon because he apparently believes that I've given him up for Lent or some other human celebration. I'll work on him some. He'll come around.

Tomorrow I will spend a good part of the day cleaning and washing clothes, sheets, blanket, mattress pad, towels, bagging up "Rick's" trash, cleaning and disinfecting the bathroom (twice) and wash the shower curtains. I have to throw away my toothbrush, and little travel toiletries I've been using. Also have to throw away my old CPAP mask and start using a new one.

I am glad that I did not have any sweating sid…

Update: Some side effects continue

Two days now with a very tender and sore neck, including some swelling. The very bad fatigue of Wednesday evening and yesterday has let up. Taste buds are still a bit off; however, the metallic taste is gone. I have not yet experienced any kind of dry mouth, which I had been told to expect.

I can resume some normal activities on Monday, and can be back in public for sure on Tuesday, and glad for that as the Reigelman's are coming through town and we really want to see them.

Yesterday was just one of those rare "mostly bad days." I don't have many bad days, because I believe that a bad day is more about my deciding it's a bad day, rather than trying to identify something redeemable. I believe there is something redeemable about every single day, in every single relationship, in every single person. I decided, a long time ago, to live life this way. Doing so has served me well for a long time. It's been an act of faith.

Yesterday ... was pretty bad. Pa…

Live from Daryl's House new episode just posted ...

Joe Walsh is Daryl Hall's guest this month.

Watching this brought a decent ending to what was, quite frankly, a horrible day. But redeemable none-the-less ... Because of some wonderful music. I'll write more a out how I feel about bad days tomorrow.

LFDH is my favorite internet web show. Joe looked great, and played even better.

www.lfdh.com

God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

Update: Phase 3.1

I'm home! A completely un-eventfull treatment ... Swallow a pill that 3 people were involved in giving to me.

I was surprised by the peace I had during the entire process. Apparently, I had been the only patient so far in the day that was either very worried/emotional. My response when asked how I was doing was "Go Team!" My nurse said, "you are to be just fine."

My visual for all this is to imagine any remaining cancer cells or thyroid tissue will just soak up the "I-131" radioactive iodine ... then to scream "Raid!" ... and then blow up.

I think I just dated myself again.

Doing ok!

God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

Update: Phase #3 begins today

Here in a little bit, I will head toward my radioactive iodine ablation at my oncologist's office. After the treatment, provided there are no side effects, I head back home for a 1 week period of isolation as the Radioactive Rev. Rick!!

I admit I am a little nervous, not about swallowing a radioactive pill, but about my being able to stay out of everyone's way here at the house. However, Liz has it all planned and she is the best project manager I know and trust!

My family is being so sweet to me. My church has gifted me with additional time off so I can focus on getting better. Folks from the church have called to let Liz know when they are available to run errands or do yard work. Long distance friends are calling or emailing with words of encouragement.

I am overwhelmed by love and by God's grace.

That, in part, is why I always end each blog entry, no matter the topic, with my favorite line from my favorite Phillips-Craig&Dean song ...

God's love "still…

Ain't she sweet!

My Taylor T-5 custom electric guitar arrived this past Wednesday. It has a dark, rich stripped sinker redwood top, with mahogany back and neck. A lot darker than the sinker redwood top on my Taylor GS, which is a very rich reddish orange with hardly any stripping at all. Both are simply magnificent in their own unique way.

Oh, oh, oh, oh ...... I am a fan of the sound a redwood topped guitar makes. I thought cedar was a warm sounding wood, and it is. But redwood, to my ear, is warm ... but with more volume than cedar, but not the brightness of spruce. A great sound for the the performer like me, who usually sings solo, or in a duet or trio.

Sinker redwood really touches something in my heart and soul.

My thanks to Sean Simon at Grapevine Guitar Works and J.R. Robison of Taylor Guitars for getting this truly one-of-a-kind guitar created. This guitar is one that I'm going to very much "enjoy" paying for. It's been a needed bright spot during this medical journey I…

Some after election thoughts ...

A few after election thoughts this morning ...

Cheering your candidates victory, or grieving their loss may make you happy or sad for the moment ... in the end it all doesn't matter.

What matters is this .... for real constructive change to happen for everyone's benefit, you have to raise your individual and personal level of involvement in the process to doing something more than just casting your vote and then sitting back hoping the winner will do what you want them to.

Get involved yourself!

Start in your neighborhood or local community. Volunteer where ever there is a need. Commit to serving on a civic or community committee, or help build a playground, or feed and clothe the poor. Pick up the trash along a section of road. Drive around and really look at the needs in the world you live in. Take your children with you because they have eyes that see things more honestly and clearly than adults do.

Purposely work with people who are "different" than you in hop…

Yep, I must be a cat bed...

A splitting headache and flu like symptoms (related to an ever increasing level of fatigue) have me at home again today. I'm just about ready to call this week a wash.

I've done a lite of thinking in all the time off I've had recently.

And right there in front of me ... I discovered that I have truly missed my calling!

I am, in reality, a king-sized cat bed!

I wish I could believe they both were acting out of sympathy to how I feel, but then I know better.

God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

Update: Fatigue / the home stretch ...

Thanks again for all the cards and calls. I am overwhelmed.

Well, it's low-iodine diet week (finally), and as promised, the fatigue is quickly getting worse ... Lasting longer and feeling much more draining. I am now considering taking most of this week off, and have cancelled most of my appointments. I sure hope I can make the Gala this coming Saturday, but if I can't go, I can't go. My mom is coming down for a visit this weekend, and I'm looking forward to that.

And ... It seems because of my sitting in my recliner so much this past month, that one of our cats believes I am his new custom cat bed!! I bet he stayed in my lap for 4 hours. The little guy recently had de-claw surgery, and was probably a bit woozy.

I know what that is like. Anyway, he seemed comfortable and was just so dang cute!

Our diet plan for the week is very doable, really not much different from my regular diet, except for no salt or commercially prepared foods. No eating out this week. All home…