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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.

Latest Journal Update

"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.  

MEDICAL UPDATE

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.

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG

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.

LET THANKSGIVING BE THANKSGIVING

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.

QUICK TAKES:

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.