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Cecil’s Story

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Therefore will I trust you always.  Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death I will not fear for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.  (Thomas Merton)

If you scroll back to the first journal entry it gives the backstory of how this adventure began.

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"Oh, let them stay. What possible harm can they do?"

That's the caption from a New Yorker cartoon of many years ago; two members of the Wampanoag tribe, watching a boat of pilgrims landing on the shore of Massachusetts Bay.  Ummm...that worked out well.  


Several things to cover since my last post.  Medically, things have been kind of up and down.  I had a good run from June until about two weeks ago.  Ironically, the condition that started this whole process, congestive heart failure brought on by a near-fatal heart attack, has not been a major issue.  It's other things, some related, some not, that are making the situation more challenging.  My kidneys are functioning well, albeit at diminished capacity compared to a healthy male my age.  But lately, the focus has been on my G/I system - the gall bladder, pancreas and liver.  I've had a couple of CT scans and was scheduled for an endoscopic ultrasound last week but when they did labs right before the procedure they determined my INR was too high to proceed safely.  So I was admitted and they pumped about 1200 mL of plasma into me.  We did the procedure the next day but they wanted to keep me for 24 hours for observation which meant I didn't get out until Friday.  I was given a prescription antibiotic because of two biopsies they performed.  Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction to the drug so that meant another prescription for anti-nausea medicine, but even that took 18 hours to work.  Yesterday was the first day I began to feel "good". 

Then this morning I got a call from another department wanting to schedule a consultation.  I asked what it was about and the NP said it had to do with the results of the CT scan.  I said, "Oh, what were the results?"  Pause.  She said, "Oh, they haven't discussed that with you?"  Longer pause.  "Ahhh...no."  So I wonder - is there going to be a turnaround point where my body physically returns to a more normal state or are all these things that come up a sign of what's to come.  I know the answer from a medical standpoint and I also know what I believe from a spiritual standpoint.  Our God is capable of doing anything but what his ultimate will is for my life continues to unfold...one awkward phone call at a time.


That is the question.  The updates here on CaringBridge have been less frequent and the site is really designed to convey medically-related content.  I've had a lot of people mention that they miss the blogging I used to do, which covered a wide range of topics.  I've considered setting up a webpage for a blog and come close to doing it several times but I always end up changing my mind.  Here's why.

It's not terribly expensive to do a nice, simple site but there are definite costs involved - set-up, maintenance, web hosting.  But more than the dollar commitment is the commitment you make to the people who read the blog.  Whatever writing schedule you choose to maintain, it has to be frequent enough to generate interest and dialogue, reposts on other social media, Twitter, etc.  If you only post occasionally, your readers will be indifferent.  And why should they care if you don't appear to?  There are literally thousands of Christian blogs on every theme and niche; the amount of available content is staggering.  So I wonder - is anything I have to contribute going to have an impact?

I would like to know what you think - your candid thoughts on the content I present, how frequently you'd read the blog, whether you'd help spread the word by word of mouth and reposts, etc.  As the kids say, "hit me up" (EPIC FAIL) on Facebook or here or via email.  Your input would be very helpful.  Thanks in advance.


To the retailers, large and small, that are closing on Thanksgiving...thank you.  Just a few include Marshall's, Costco, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, T.J. Maxx, Ace Hardware, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sam's Club, Petco and Nordstrom's.  Sure, the fourth quarter makes or breaks some retailer's year; in today's culture Thanksgiving doesn't have the significance it did even a generation ago.  There are some people who want to work because they need the income.  Others have jobs that help maintain public services and safety - hospitals, gas stations, utilities and law enforcement.  And having worked most of my career in broadcasting, holidays are always hit or miss.  Even if you can get by with a skeleton crew, somebody needs to be there and I've worked my share.  

If you work for an employer who gives you Thanksgiving Day off, thank them.  If you're a retailer who gives your employees the day off, thank you.  As for the rest of you - you suck.


HUH?  According to "Stars and Stripes", Jason Heap, an atheist member of the Humanist Society, applied to be a chaplain with the U.S. Navy.  His application was rejected.  Heap has now filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the eastern District of Virginia, claiming he was wrongfully discriminated against because he doesn't believe in a deity.

WHO'S COUNTING DEPARTMENT  CNN reports the leaders of the Mormon church have confirmed that their founder, Joseph Smith, married as many as 40 women - though some say it was closer to 30.  One marriage was to a 14-year old. 

7 people hearted this



Sandie Wilson
By Sandie Wilson
No comment on "to blog or not to blog" BUT I hope you stay with Caring Bridge. My husband has had a severe heart condition (CHF, ICD, VF & AF, etc.) for 16 years and now has been diagnosed with lupus. Hence, I track your postings with great interest both from a personal interest and from an empathy that only those who have "been there" can do. God's blessings to you and your family.
1 person hearted this
Walt Timm
By Walt Timm
Cecil, if your think tank would ever spring a leak, we'd all be there...maybe to help repair it but also hoping that some of which leaks out might, might drain in to ours. You're bigger than big and have so much to give...not that you haven't already given, 'cause you have...but I believe there's still more left to be shared.

My attempt at creating a website and maintaining a CHRISTian blog and posting it, along with pictures everyday...that attempt pales in what it is you've already done and want to continue to do. How you are going to continue and not let us down...that's got to be weighing you down.

You nailed every point in your 2nd paragraph under To Blog Or Not To Blog, so there's no need to remind you from an outsider's standpoint, what you already know. No knowing what you know or have the feeling for knowing to know, makes it hard. I believe you really want to continue to keep us informed but in your mind...well, there's still living to do and that may involve some fighting in order to get it done,

I'd love to know everyday what's going on in your life and what you're thinking about and read with pleasure, the anecdotes you fill your writings with. But I'd much rather just have a simple note from you or Connie or someone else, what it is you want for us to pray about. Have all our names on an email list and each day sent us a quickie; "Infusion tomorrow - need prayers for strength"."It's wearing me out, folks...ask if it be the Lords will to give me some strength."

Something like that, Cecil, is all I'd ever need to hear. And if you're up to it, whenever, write more. But please, don't ever write less...

God bless you, my friend and brother in the Lord.
1 person hearted this
JoAnn Catalano
By JoAnn Catalano
Cecil, Glad to hear from you. Your journey is one to be followed. Keep sending when you can, Don't feel it needs to be long. Just keep us in touch so that we can continue to be inspired by your journey and we can pray for you in return.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Hope you have many more!
3 people hearted this
Kate Rhea
By Kate
If you keep blogging, I'll keep reading! Miss you, old man. Praying for you and Connie.
2 people hearted this
Judy Beardslee
By Judy Beardslee
Like the others here, I enjoy reading your posts. We think of you often and wonder how you and Connie are doing. We realize keeping these posts going is time consuming but would really miss hearing from you. Anxious to get the follow-up from the latest consultation. Please know you and Connie are in our prayers. Take care.
2 people hearted this
Jane Krasinski
By Jane Krasinski
I love reading your posts. I read them to Bob too! Amazing man, quick wit with an incredible love for our Lord. God Bless!
2 people hearted this
Mary Latona
By Mary Latona
Good to hear from you, Cecil! When I pass through the Bath area, you come to mind and I wonder how you're doing. Blogging would be a good idea since you have so many friends who care. You always have something interesting to share so I think you'd have a good following.
But in this post you didn't say why the consultation was to be coming up! You have us hanging... let us know so we can pray specifically for you.
And by the way, my husband who works in our local hospital, is on call for Thanksgiving, so he will be one of those who may have to work... that is, if there are any operations needed. But we are thankful for health care and emergency workers who give of their family time for those in need.
Hope you and Connie will be able to enjoy your Thanksgiving at home with your family. Be well, and keep on!
3 people hearted this
Bob & Barb Baker
For what it's worth, Cecil---I always enjoy hearing from you: your honesty, humor, transparency, some insightful spiritual thoughts, but perhaps most of all where you're at physically so we know how to pray! Trust your Thanksgiving is extra special in every way!
2 people hearted this
Ted Hansen
By Ted Hansen — last edited
I enjoy hearing from you. You are a blessing and an encouragement. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
2 people hearted this
Jeremy Hill
By Jeremy
I enjoy reading your perspective.
2 people hearted this