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But first let me apologize up front if this posting gets long-winded and boring -- it is, after all, 2:15 in the morning and the time when my brain actually begins to work. I have a round of chemotherapy at 9:00AM so I'm rather hoping it'll be a time of deep relaxation (fat chance). In future I'll keep any postings short and to the point ... but not this time. :D

Anyway, a big THANK YOU to everyone that took the time to respond to my initial posting. I know I don't need to tell any of you how important each response was to me but I'll say it anyway -- they were all very uplifting (and that is my understatement of the week). I've always considered myself strong emotionally and ready to take on most challenges without help from anybody -- such a masculine trait and quite useless at a time such as this. The moderators are obviously doing a great job of filtering out the nutcases and I haven't read a post yet that didn't have value. Great job!

Now why did I change my photo? About 20 years ago I read a little piece about the advantages of having a pet, especially during times of great anxiety. If I remember the figure correctly, the author of the article said quite emphatically that if you own a pet and you bother to spend some time giving and receiving a little love from that pet then it'll add at least a decade to your life. At the time I thought ... well, that's a cute article but ain't it a shame life doesn't work like that. Man, was I wrong. So meet our Great Dane, Mrs. Dickens -- not exactly a ladylike pose (and I had to rotate the image so I wouldn't squash her down to the size of a postage stamp). But let me tell you, on those down days when humans can't give you what you want and sometimes need, our Mrs. Dickens comes through every time. It's just a coincidence that her initials are MD -- or maybe not? Now whether this theory works with turtles I have no idea, but I'm starting to believe that it probably does. Often times, I think, animals outdo us humans in so many human-like ways that it's uncanny. Anyway, she just turned 3 years old and she's called Mrs. Dickens simply because she's a girl and Charles Dickens happens to my favourite writer -- so what the heck. I'll put my photo back in a couple of days, but nice to swap it out every now and then.

I don't know if these postings have a maximum word count so I'm just going to continue. If it ends abruptly, that's why.

Now Christmas is coming, and Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. Even though I knew what to expect when I had my chest X-ray and CT scan, I figured I was done for. And it really bugged me that I wouldn't experience Christmas ever again. I realize there are people out there of differing faiths and "Christmas" may not be the term they use, but bear with me as I don't have the knowledge to list all of the possible options and I'm not a great fan of the term "holiday" to describe this time of the year. I was born and raised in England (which explains some of my spelling quirks) at a time when it used to snow every year without fail -- not so much anymore as global warming seems to be doing its thing. But it's that time of the year for me when images of snow-covered roofs, icy pavements, white forests, and even Santa Claus make me feel like a kid again. It's such a wonderful time of the year for me, albeit just memories from an age gone by, that all my adult cynicism evaporates and I'm reminded of what a great place this world of ours really is. So now I'm planning on sticking around to enjoy it ... even though here in Los Angeles the chances of snow are about as good as a house brick falling on your head in the middle of a golf course. And just for fun, should I pop my clogs before February then at least I'll be spared the pain of having to suffer through more of those stupid episodes of Lost (everything has an upside). :D

Me thinks this posting is getting too long, so I'm going to start to wrap it up. My wife, Teri, has her own profile here but I can't remember her username (something like "tware"). For those of you that asked me to provide details and a timeline, I'll do that as soon as I can figure out how to copy and paste from Teri's profile -- as she has all the correct information. I would have forgotten my chemotherapy session today had she not reminded me (and that really is the truth).

Oh yeah, it occurred to me (after the fact) that my username isn't exactly upbeat and positive -- bware21. But it doesn't mean what you might think. It's a contraction of my name and the only username I ever use (more than one username and I'd forget them all).

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. And that's not an off-the-wall statement -- I mean it. This is a crossroads in all our lives, those with the pesky cancer cells and the family and friends that carry the burden. It really helps when a signpost comes into view. This forum is a massive glow-in-the-dark signpost for me.

And finally ... a positive quote from the master of negative quotations, Oscar Wilde:

"My cradle was rocked by the Fates. Only in the mire can I know peace."

Take care of each other,


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Write away I say. There is no limit on words. Never too long unless you fall asleep on the Z Button. Thanks, that was interesting reading, but what is Pop My Clogs :? THanks and prayers and good luck in treatment. Keep us posted whenever the urge strikes

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Could she be the lovely Teriw on this board? She's been asking all the right questions and seems very proactive in your treatments and research of this dreaded disease. I'm sure I don't need to tell you but you are one lucky guy to have her support! There are survivors out there. Cindy RN is our small cell hero and I'll leave a link to one of her "great news" posts. Good luck with treatments Bill and I hope you see positive results soon!

http://lchelp.org/l_community/viewtopic ... highlight=

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Hi Bill,

Hope chemo went well for you today.

I was forced to look up "popping your clogs" in order to satisfy my curiosity, so I learned something new today. Based on the definition of the term, I wouldn't pop 'em if I were you...you will probably be needing them.

Your post filled a lull in my long tedious workday!

Mary Colleen

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