As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.

Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”

I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.

Key West

Key West

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My best tan ever wasn’t worth this

My best tan ever wasn’t worth this. 

Friday was surgery day for me again.   That was surgery #8 for those who are counting.    Hopefully next week when the pathology report comes back I get the news that the margins are all clear and I can put this chapter behind me.    It is scary for me to think that in two weeks I will be living in a new town and if I need more surgery it will either have to be with a new Dr or I will have to fly back to Kansas City to have it done.    Let’s hope it doesn’t become an issue.   I am excited to move to Vancouver and am really excited to start my new job there but I am not looking forward to having to find all new doctors.  I heard the statement “It’s just skin cancer” again last week. Well, “Just skin cancer” killed 24 people yesterday, and will kill 24 more today.   One of the lives taken Saturday was a young woman whose mother shared her brave and courageous fight with us.   I can only hope for an ounce of her courage and fight.   RIP Jillian, you have inspired me and I am sure many others.   Thank you Susan for sharing her journey with us.   You have done so much to raise awareness about this horrible disease.  

Protect your skin, stay out of tanning beds, and see a dermatologist regularly.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012


As if my life wasn’t crazy enough I am relocating to Vancouver, WA in January of 2013.   It’s hard to imagine moving across the country and I will miss my daughter and granddaughter more than I care to think about.   I am also terrified at the thought of continuing my journey with cancer without my trusted medical team.   I had a real eye opener this week when I was looking for an apartment to rent while waiting for my house to sell.  I toured 6 different apartment complexes around Vancouver.  Each and every one of them had free, unsupervised and unlimited access to tanning beds.   It’s been 30 years since I have lived in an apartment so I am wondering if this is normal for apartments?  Is this something unique to the NW of the country due to the number of cloudy days?   Not sure but it was stunning to see.  I am here for a few more days before heading back to Kansas City for the holidays.   My next trip out here I won’t be leaving.   It is still hard to imagine.   I have done some exploring around Portland and plan to do a lot more.   I think I will like Portland.  I drove out to see the ocean today but I am not sure why.  I walked on the beach some but it was cold and rainy.   It was nice to hear the sound of the surf again.  I have always found the sound of the surf very relaxing.   I also was excited to see that there is an AIM event in Portland in May.  Hopefully I can get involved.  Crazy times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lucky #7

Well today I underwent my seventh surgery since this journey started back in September 2010 and I am hoping it is my lucky number. When half the people at the local surgery center know your name it’s not a good sign. This was a follow up to my surgery a couple of weeks ago. As bothered as I am about the surgery I am much more bothered that the medical bills from two additional surgeries these last three weeks will prevent me from making the trip to Charlotte to walk with my molemates at the AIM event there this weekend. I know overall my problems are small and I am blessed but I was really looking forward to meeting everybody. Maybe next year.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pushing The Reset Button

I think it is safe to say that every melanoma patient’s worse nightmare is to learn that they have had a reoccurrence of melanoma.  We have regular scans and do self exams hoping we never find anything.   Waiting for something that we hope never happens to happen.  Well this month my waiting came to an end.   After a long month of tests and biopsies I had a lesion removed yesterday from my upper left chest wall that tested positive for melanoma.   The surgery was actually the easy part of my last month.   The Dr visits, the scan, the biopsy, and the worse part of course all the waiting.  In the end I am very lucky.  My PET scan came out clear but the needle biopsy on the spot in questions was positive for melanoma.   The bottom line to me is that although this is not good news the fact that my PET was clear other than the known bad area is very good news and my cancer free clock starts over.  After 23 months cancer free I have to push the reset button.  Today I am cancer free one day and to steal a line from Rev. Carol I am grateful.   The positive out of all of this is that it affirms in a way that I am being vigilant and it works.   I noticed a suspicious bump on my chest went to my medical team and got it out before it could spread.   The million dollar question of course is where these cells came from.  It was just below my original site so I am guessing it goes back to my original melanoma.   Much more discussion to come between me and my oncologist on this subject to come.    
It has been so long since I have written anything.   This summer was a blur.  I can’t think of much that I wanted to get done this summer that I didn’t do.   I had a great trip to Alaska to spend some time with my son.  My daughters and I had a blast running 5k races this summer.  I forget how many we did exactly but it was several.  My times were horrible and I never came close to my goal of a getting in good enough shape to run a 10k but I am really enjoying running again regularly for the first time since my early 20’s.  I hope to keep it up all winter.  It’s killing me this weekend to not be able to run because of my latest surgery.  My running shoes are calling to me. 
Many of you know that the older of my two sisters was diagnosed with cervical cancer this fall.   Her experience has given me a different perspective on cancer.   It really makes me appreciate the caregivers in my life.   It is so hard to see somebody you love go through this battle.  The good news is that she is fighting back and doing great.  She finished her chemo a couple of weeks ago and has her last internal radiation treatment next week.   It has been really hard on her but she is fighting like hell and on her way back.  We were talking about the menu for Thanksgiving here in a few weeks so I know she is feeling better.   Two weeks ago she didn’t want to talk about food.  She and I are hanging out together this weekend taking care of each other.   Going to her chemo treatments was an interesting experience. Just walking in there and seeing those chairs and the bags of fluids brought back memories of being a patient there myself   I got that metallic interferon taste in my mouth as soon as I walked in that room.  i am glad I could go with her and give her some support but am glad it is over with. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prayers For Steve


July 17th Update

Steve got the call yesterday that it was time to come home. He fought like hell so he could spend a couple more months’ among his friends and family. I was so inspired by him. Whenever I pull out my black Livestrong "Fight Like Hell" t-shirt and put it on I will think of him. RIP Steve. You have inspired so many.


For me to call Steve a friend is a bit of a stretch.   We know each other only as we cross paths on various melanoma sites and though mutual friends.   His latest post is below and I ask for your prayers for him and his family tonight, especially his young children.  I consider myself a man of faith but have to be honest in saying at times like this I don’t know what to pray for.   It sounds like he has another brain tumor and he may be in the last stages of his battle.   I am holding out hope for a miracle.  Melanoma is a horrible, fast spreading, deadly disease.  Use some common sense while outside this summer the stay out of the human sized rotisseries known as tanning beds. 

Steve’s latest post.

im sorry. but im done fightng,m thism isnt a life anymore. thanklyoui to all my friends that stuck by me especially my m0m aand dad. my sister and best nest friend bryan and my girl tami who has stuck by me noo mater what. i my arm is just about dead now i have a huge tumor in that po[ped up almost over night and had the worst seizure i have ever had, so i sai all i have to. Thank you for the love and suppoort. i love you all. too hard to write anymore. th ngs are just bettin g worse by thr hour. please get your skin checked :'( p,lease you dont want to die like this. ill give my phone to tami and she can update, i dont want to thin k abouit any more. I love you all

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Interferon Treatments and Vegas or San Diego?

It was a year ago this week that I pumped the last few ounces of this crap into my veins.    I wondered how I would feel a year later.  Would I regret my decision?  Would it make we wonder how tough I was?  What did it say about me that I quit just past ¼ of the way through my supposed year long treatment regimen?   Well a year later I really don’t have any answers but I don’t seem to be asking the questions near as often.  I guess that is progress.  A year later I physically feel so much better.  But mentally I hadn’t really realized how far I had slipped.  I still have short term memory loss and at times will see people I recognize and know that I know but their names just don’t come to me   .  I recently had to get a copy of my chart from my oncologist (more on this later) and in reading his notes I can read that he noticed it.  He was mentioning it way before I had called it quits.   I am sure my friends and family saw it but there was nothing they could do.  As I posted in my original post the week I quit treatments ( I do not regret starting interferon, nor do I regret quitting.   I just couldn’t do any more.  I felt like I had fallen off a cliff and no matter what I  couldn’t seem to get back above ground.   In hindsight I realize the problem is I let myself get bad enough I fell off the cliff to begin with.     I don’t see any reason to look back when the future is scary enough for melanoma patients.  I am sure if some day my scans no longer show me to be NED I will wonder what if I had taken one more month, one more week, maybe just one more treatment……..    Where would it end?   We will worry about that day if and when it comes. 
While waiting to testify before the house subcommittee on health care issues in Missouri I met two very nice doctors.  One is the dean of the school of dermatology at MU and the other was one of her former students.  When I told them both about my case and that I had taken just under 5 months of interferon treatments they both suggest I go to see an oncologist that was affiliated with MU who was doing treatments and trials the same as MD Anderson and was achieving great results.   I flip flopped back and forth about going to see him for a month and finally at the encouragement of my older sister made an appointment to go and see him.   To make a long story short he didn’t recommend I do anything different than I was doing but was kind enough to take almost an hour to talk to me which I really appreciated.  A very nice man and it gives me something to consider should the beast return.  I absolutely didn’t consider it a waste of time.  I thought to myself on the drive back home that I was just attention seeking.  I hadn’t seen my own oncologist for 90 days and was having oncologist withdraw or something.  Oh, so that is why I asked my current oncologist for a copy of my own chart.  Curious does anybody else keep a copy of their own chart?  I had about a 60% copy and wanted the complete story.  It actually was enlightening and pointed out another flaw in my approach to this battle.  Once the girlfriend and I were no more I went to all my Dr appointments alone and to be honest I don’t remember most of them.  Reading his notes was like reading about somebody I didn’t know.   I really like Dr. D and am always afraid he is going to retire one of these days.   I was an amazing stroke of luck that I ended up sitting in his office in September 2010.  As a side note the Missouri House did recommend that they pass HB1475 when it comes to a vote before the full house so restrictions on teens being able to tan in Missouri are a step closer   This bill basically made it this far last year so maybe this is the year it makes it through the senate and we get to see if Governor Nixon will sign it into law or not. 
One of the greatest things to come out of this experience is the people I have met along the way.  I have met so many brave and courageous people who are on some version of the same journey as me.  I don’t always post on Facebook or on your blogs but I follow so many.  You inspire me and give me strength when I need it.  Days like today are a little rougher than others as I see another warrior has been called home.  Another family says goodbye to their daughter, wife, mother, and friend.   We fight on my friends and live for the moment.  I still plan to live another 40+ years but none of us are guaranteed anything.   This is also the one year anniversary of me publishing my blog for the first time.  I can still remember the sick feeling I had in my stomach when I hit publish the first time.   It is funny the things I found scary.  I am spending two weeks in California for work so this weekend finds me in Victorville, CA.  Vegas is about 2 ½ hours one way, San Diego is 2 hours the other way.   Not sure what I am going to do yet.  I may even just stay here.   Lots of mountains and I am sure I can find a place to go for a good hike.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My day at the state capital, giving thanks, some notes from vacation, and the longest blog post ever?

How I ended up testifying before the Health Care Policy Committee on February 15th is actually a fairly short story.  The day after governor Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) signed the under 18 ban for tanning beds in California I wondered what was happening in my home state of Missouri.  I called Samantha Guild at AIM and she caught me up on what was going on in Missouri and Kansas.  She was going through all the prior year’s legislation and came across a bill by Representative Gary Cross of Lee’s Summit which happens to be where I live.  I called his office, his legislative assistant game me his home number, and I called him at home and the next morning we were having coffee and bagels at Panera.  Multiple conversations later Representative Cross later he asked me if I would to appear before the committee and testify and I jumped at the chance to do so. 
Representative Gary Cross is a lucky man and I believe he knows it.  He is a cancer survivor but that is not what makes him lucky.  He has a daughter who after years and years of tanning bed use had to have pre cancerous growths removed and he knows how close his family came to having to deal with melanoma.   I believe the dance team his daughter was on in college was actually sponsored by a tanning salon.  I believe this is the reason why he introduced this legislation and why he feels strongly about the issue.   He started out the testimony by introducing the bill and telling the story about his daughter.    He made the point that melanoma rates were climbing among young women and that this legislation was necessary.   His daughters personal Dr. testified next and did a great job.  She told how she tells young women all the time not to use tanning beds.  It was at her recommendation that Rep. Cross daughter visited a dermatologist who found the pre-cancerous growths and removed them.   The portly nervous as hell token melanoma survivor was next.  All I wanted to do was not say anything stupid which I failed at.  It was actually a relief that there were 3 doctors testifying which meant I didn’t have any real reason to talk science or statistics.   I certainly was not an expert at either, even though I think I am.   I tried to keep it between 2 and 3 minutes and I think I went over but am not sure.  I wanted to make a few points.   One that there is a disconnected between what we now know about indoor tanning and its link to increased melanoma rates, and reality in Missouri that allows anybody to tan anywhere at any age however many times they want.   I also wanted to make the point that my daughters at a certain age cannot go to the mall and get their ears pierced without me being there but yet they can go tan as much as they want at pretty much any age.  The last point I wanted to make was that we have to change the perception of what it means to go to the tanning booth.  There are known risk of using tanning beds and we need to make sure parents and teens both know these risk.   This is where the stupid comment comes in.  The whole time I am testifying I am pretty much staring down the chairman of the committee.  Dr. Balaraman had told me that if you go too long the chairman will just cut you off and you are done.  The point I wanted to make in closing is that one person an hour dies from this disease in the USA and that we needed to change the perception of going to the tanning salons.  Our teens today don’t give any more thought of going tanning than they do of going through the drive through at a fast food restaurant.  Well as I am about to make this point I see the Chairman reaching for his microphone and I am sure he is about to cut me off.   I tried to make the point mentioned above but that is apparently not how it came out.  Either that or I was seriously misquoted by the media which unfortunately I doubt.  Seeing yourself quoted in print is odd, even if they keep misspelling my name.  I did a brief TV interview afterwards but have no idea if any of it aired.  The stations were from Jefferson City and Columbia.   After me came Dr. Brundha Balaraman from St. Louis U.  She really had a great presentation and did a fantastic job.  I am going to see if I can get a copy of her presentation.  Her commitment to this issue is amazing.  This is her 5th straight year of testifying before the Missouri House on this issue.  She started when she was a Med student at MU.  If anybody who follows my blog lives in the St. Louis area and needs a dermatologist I would give her a call.   We talked about some of the new treatments available and about my case some.  Next came Dr. Karen Edison, who is among other things is Chair, Dept. of Dermatology at the University Of Missouri.  She really brought home some of the statistics of this disease and offered the one light moment of the day.  After all this testimony on the dangers and risk of melanoma she reminded the committee members that the MU school of Dermatology will be doing free skin exams at a future date for all the house members who were interested.  There was a nervous chuckle from the committee members at that point.  Dr. Edison was the nicest person.  We talked a lot about my case and she really wanted to know.   Sometimes people, even doctors, will ask but you can tell they are only being polite and don’t really want all the details.  We talked about some additional treatment options that may be available for me and my desire to never go through anything like Interferon again.  I e-mailed her yesterday and she got right back to me.  I know a department chair at a major US University and medical school has better things to do.  Nobody testified against the bill and I believe yesterday the bill passed out of committee and will be sent to the house floor.  
I strongly encourage people to get involved in this issue in their home states.   Two different representatives came up to me after the hearing and thanked me for coming and Representative Cross told me that it really makes a difference when people like me testify.  They see experts and lobbyist all day long.  Testimony from a normal Missouri resident catches their attention.  To be honest I feel a little selfish after testifying.  I got way more out of this than I gave.  There were a lot of brilliant and passionate medical minds there.  They didn’t need me.   Your first call should be to Samantha Guild at AIM if you want to get involved.   She was so helpful and helped me put my thoughts together of what I wanted to say and also prepared me for how the hearings usually go. 

 Thank You Rev. Carol
I also wanted to thank fellow warrior and blogger Carol Taylor, or as I like to call her Rev. Carol.  Maybe this comes across in my blog or not I am not sure but I am an extremely private and introverted person.  I don’t like attention and fear public speaking the way Sampson fears scissors.  It’s very uncomfortable for me to do.  I prefer to live in the background.  I was looking for any excuse to get out of doing this.  I was going to have to change my vacation plans which were going to cost me a day with my daughter in Colorado as well as hundreds of dollars in change fees.  Then I read Rev. Carols post titled Come Over To The Dark Side Of Melanoma, see link below. 
As I told Rev. Carol in an email earlier her timing on this was perfect.  After reading her post I was reminded why I wanted to do this.  If had the chance to have some minuscule part of preventing just one family from going through the hell of this disease I needed to do it.  No amount of personal discomfort or a few hundred $ in change fees was a good enough excuse not to do this.   I called my youngest daughter and she understood why I was going to have to put off seeing her a few days.   Thanks again Rev. Carol.  It was with a tremendous amount of anxiety that I logged in last night to get the results of your day at the oncologist.   I was so relieved to hear the great news that you had indeed given up Cancer for lent.  

Serenity Is What We Get When We Stop Hoping For A Better Past.
I shot that picture on my first day of vacation.  It was kind of odd.  I left Kansas City at 6:00 am and by 10:00 am I was staning at the botton of lift 2 and ready to snap my boots into my ski and head up the mountin for the first time in four years.  This is one of those things that I had dreamed of doing while I was doing interferon.  That first ride up was a long lift and it took about 15 minutes.  I savored every second of the experience.  The sound of my boots snapping into my skis, the whirling sound the lift makes on the way up, the breathtaking scenery of the mountains.  To be honest I got emotional.  There were days I didn’t know if I would ever do stuff like this again.  200 yards into my first run I was picking snow out of my teeth and looking for my glasses in the snow after committing the cardinal sin for skiers, I crossed my tips while trying to remember how to turn.   The next day Rich made the trip up the mountain and I got to check buy Rich a beer off of my list of things to do.  I really should have had the bartender take a picture.  Oh well, we can get a group one on Charlotte in November. The first round of Kamikazes is on me. It was great to meet Rich and we had  good visit over lunch and a cold one.   

That is my youngest daughter playing the piano in old town Fort Collins.  It’s funny the things I miss about each of my children now that they are grown and gone. I miss the deep discussions I had with my son, I miss the energy my middle daughter always has, and I miss hearing my youngest playing the piano.  I am still waiting for this empty nest thing to grow on me.  The city of Fort Collins has this program where they spread pianos out across the city and people can stop and play them if they want.  I got Sara to play a little but when people started coming around she stopped.  Unfortunately she has her dads introverted nature.  I spent 5 days in Fort Collins just hanging out.   I read a lot, spent a lot of time with my daughter, spent a lot of time in Old Town, and even stepped into the time machine and visited Boulder for a day.  I swear I saw Abbie Hoffman there.  My first real vacation since August 2010 was a huge success.  Back to work and the real world on Monday. 
But not before spending my day today at Phog Allen Fieldhouse watching my mighty Jayhawks hammer the Missouri tigers and claim our 8th straight conference championship.  I am so excited for the game today.  I get to watch a great game and hang out with my godson.  Wow, this may be the longest blog post ever.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tanning Bed Use By Minors In Missouri

Missouri House of Representatives

Melanoma rates among our young people are increasing dramatically. Dermatologist will tell you that 15 years ago it was very unusual to see somebody in their mid 20’s with melanoma. Today it is unfortunately common. There is a substantial amount of research that points to increased tanning bed usage as a factor in this increase. People like me who have battled this disease see this as an opportunity to save families from this nightmare. I strongly support banning tanning beds for minors nationwide. Unfortunately getting anything done on the national level is unlikely so we have to take a grassroots approach to this effort. Later I will be posting some information for people who want to read more about this subject but not this evening. Instead I have a favor to ask. I figure there are three groups of people who read my blog. Fellow warriors, friends and family, and people who like a good train wreck. I don’t really care which group you fit in to I ask a couple of favors of you. 
There is a bit of activity in the Missouri House Of Representatives currently around the issue of tanning beds and their use by minors.  There have been three bills introduced this session.  I have tried to summarize them below. 
The first one (HB1283) was introduced by Rep. Jay Barnes who I believe is from the Jefferson City area.   His bill has been co-sponsored by Rep. Gary Cross from Lee’s Summit.  This bill is a ban by anybody under the age of 15 from using tanning beds.  I love that this bill is a ban but not crazy about the age or the fact that it doesn’t speak to anybody between the age of 15 and 18.   Here is a link to the bill. 
The second bill that has been introduced by Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst who is from one of the suburbs of St. Louis I believe.   His bill is a ban for anybody under 16 and requires parental consent between 15 and 18 years of age.  Again, I wish this was a ban for anybody under 18 but unfortunately it is not.  Here is a link to his bill.

The third bill was introduced by Representative Gary Cross of Lee's Summit.  I have spoken to him several times over the last few months and he met me for breakfast one morning this winter.  He is also a cancer survivor and has a pretty good reason for introducing this bill.  We both agree that we need to take any opportunity to prevent anybody else from ever hearing that they have cancer.  His bill however is not a ban for under 18 but  a parental consent for anybody under 18 with no ban.  Here is a link to his bill.  I haven't spoken to him since this bill was introduced but I imagine he still feels that an under 18 ban has 0 chance of passing.
What I would like to ask from my fellow Missouri residents it that you reach out to these gentleman and let them know your thoughts on this issue and that a full ban for anybody under 18 should be our goal.  I don’t like the parental consent bills.  However a bill that bans under 16 and requires parental consent between 16 and 18 is better than nothing which is what Missouri currently has.  Remember that your average state Rep. knows about as much about melanoma as most of us did before getting to know this disease personally.  It is a teaching opportunity for us.   The second thing I would like to ask is for you to call or e-mail your own state rep and let them know how important this issue is to you.  So far what I am hearing is that nobody believes an under 18 ban has a chance to pass.  We have to make a statement that we can and will support any effort to ban tanning beds for minors.  We also need let them know we are watching this issue closely.  The Indoor Tanning Association is of course opposed to legislation like this.  It will take numbers and passion to get this done.  My hope is that if they hear from enough of us that someone will be willing to introduce an under 18 ban.  For my friends in the St. Louis area support from that side of the state in crucial.  Nothing gets done in Missouri without support from St. Louis.  Below is the contact information for the people who introduced or co-sponsored these bills.  Take a few minutes out of your day and drop them an e-mail or a quick phone call.   The need to hear from us. 

Representative Dwight Scharnhorst
Legislative Assistant:
Aaron Smith

Representative Jay Barnes
Legislative Assistant:
Amanda Littlefield

Representative Gary L. Cross
Legislative Assistant:
Jacqueline Geary
Last but not least is a link to the legislator look up web site.  You enter your 9 digit zip code and it tells you who represents your district.  Perhaps you know already but to be honest I had to look mine up. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year. Looking forward to 2012.

I know this is a little late but I have been thinking of what I would like to do this year.   From the looks of this list it’s going to be a busy year.  I am not big on bucket lists or New Year resolutions but there are definitely some things I would like to do this year. 

·         Spoil my granddaughter.   My granddaughter Taylor is amazing.  She will be 5 in April which is so hard to believe.  I really look forward to spending a lot of time with her this next year.  Watching Taylor grow is just confirmation of what a wonderful mother my daughter is and how blessed I am. 

·         Be a better father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend.   I don’t know what else to add but to say my commitment to the above statement is solid.  I appreciate all the people in my life and I hope that they know it.  I really have leaned on a lot of people this last year and am very grateful.   

·         Run in a 5K with my daughter Jenny.  Believe it or not I was once a runner and ever since I watched her run her first marathon I have wanted to run a race with her. 

·         Visit my daughter Sara in Colorado as often as I can.  I still can’t believe my baby is now a freshman in college.

·         Visit my son in Alaska.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  All those frequent flier miles will come in handy.

·         Work with my fellow melanoma warriors to make this coming May the loudest Melanoma Awareness month ever.  Friends we have some work to do. 

·         Have a beer with Rich on one of my trips to Colorado.  Rich is the author of one of my favorite blogs ( ) and is a fellow Dylan fan.   I have gotten a ton of entertainment from his blog during a very difficult year and think I owe him a cold one.

·         See multiple Royals, Chiefs, and Jayhawks games this year.  I haven’t seen a Royals or Chiefs game in two years and only two Jayhawk sporting events.  Todd I swear we will catch a Royals game this summer. 

·         Be a regular at BB’s, Jardines if they open again, Knuckleheads, and The Blue Room this year.  Great spots for live music.

·         Start dating again.  Somebody who enjoys the above activities would be nice.  All kidding aside this is very complicated now.                           

·         Enjoy the great outdoors

·         I have spent so much of the last two years afraid of the sun.  I miss being outside and feeling the sun on my face.  Just have to be much smarter about it now than I was.    A hat, sunscreen, UV protective clothing…..  No need to hide, just have to be smart.

·         Put 2,000 miles on my bike this summer.  Would love to do RAGBRAI ( but it’s probably not possible due to other summer plans.

·         Take a dip in Baker Lake in New Brunswick, CA.  I would love to visit with my Uncle Bobby and his wife Collette with my mom this summer.  Great people I don’t get to see nearly enough. 

·         I will not complain about my post interferon curly hair.  I thought I was going to be bald at one point but my hair came back thicker and with a lot of curl.  I sure wish mullets were still in, I could have an awesome one.

·         Participate in a fundraiser for AIM and LIvestrong.  Both of these organizations were great to me in my hour of need.  I would love to give back however I can.

·         Throw my support behind any effort to ban tanning beds for minors in my state.  I had a couple of meetings with Representative Gary Cross and I think there will be more to come on this.  Samantha Guild has been putting me through tanning bed school.  Where I was once just an angry anti tanning bed guy I am not an educated angry anti tanning bed guy.  Seriously if you want to find out what is going on in your state or get involved in starting something she should be your first call.

What I want to do this year more than anything else is just live my life and enjoy every day.  On December 30th after a 14 hour day at the office I came home and saw on a fellow bloggers Facebook page that a fellow warrior and blogger Randis ( journey had come to an end and she had been called home to meet her maker.  I was shocked and saddened by this news.  I did not know Randi well, we followed each other’s blogs and sent each other a few messages but I felt like somebody had just punched me in the gut when I read the news.  To be honest it scared the hell out of me.   Her experience is my nightmare.  Cancer free for over 5 years before it returned this April and she was gone before the end of December.  Unfortunately that is not an unusual story.  As I lay in bed that evening I was thinking of her family and how they must be feeling and fearing it would be my family some day.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that my fate is in my hands only to a certain extent.  If I live 100 more years or 1 more year I just want to be able to look back to this point in time and not have any regrets.   None of us know when our journey will come to an end.  I am not ready to go and cash in the 401K and quit my job but I do want to enjoy life more than I have these last couple of years.  I expect to be here for many years but none of us know for sure.  For those of you who are still reading this long post I say thank you.  Sometimes I blog to tell people how I am doing or to try and educate or inform people on an issue, other times I blog to just get something off my chest.  This is one of those posts I guess.  Happy New Year and let’s have a toast to a year with no regrets