Tag Archives: friends

BRINDLEY 2.0: POWERED BY PLEX

BRINDLEY 2.0: POWERED BY PLEX

Let the journey begin!

Today I begin my cross-country trip with my sons to LA to join the rest of the cast and crew to film our movie LEAVE.

Pretty awesome.

And unbelievable.

As I’ve expressed here and on other networks often in the past and even more lately, there are many wonderful and supportive people who helped me through many adversities these past several years to allow me to be in this fortunate position I am now in.

This could get long and teary-eyed so I’ll save everyone the time and me the embarrassment and cut to the proverbial chase:

Outside my immediate family, I am hard-pressed to think of anyone who has supported me more, through times bad and good, with his physical, spiritual, and financial presence and care, than my long-time friend, my mentor, and my boss, Paul Weidow.

LEAVE would absolutely not be possible without Paul’s and his partner Stan Nolen’s (another long-time friend and eternal brother) generosity towards and faith in me.

Paul bringing me on part-time to be a member of his PLEX Solutions family, allowed for a stress-free transition back to normalcy and under terms very, very favorable to one still fragile and unsure of himself, yet one in great need of validation of worth, as well as one in great need of the time and funds to support and develop his movie-making dream, a dream that now, in much part because of him, is only days away from becoming a reality.

Thank you, Paul. I love you, brother.

Check out this amazing guy’s amazing company >> www.plex-llc.com


And please remember, LEAVE still requires much more support in the form of love, currency, outreach, and effort to ensure not only its completion, but its completion in a manner that enables us to fully realize our vision:

To Create a Cinematic Work of Art that
Entertains and Inspires Positive Change

#beliveinleave >> PLEASE DONATE

 
 

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Catch 22 Saloon

Catch 22 Saloon…if the food doesn’t get you, the spirits will.


 

Congratulations to my buddy mojoshawn for coming in with the winning caption for our very first Caption This! contest of sort.

mojoshawn

mojoshawn.com

I would just like to say how happy I am to be able to introduce you to Shawn here. While Shawn and I have never met in person, we have become good friends via our blogging relationship. Please take the time to visit with mojoshawn at his site and I am certain you will find him just as interesting and fun and friendly as do I.

Thanks, Shawn, for your friendship and support.

My Friend, My Advisor

My Friend, My Advisor

You’re always giving me advice,
You must think that I’m really dumb.
Cuz you advise me on just about everything,
From books to bubble gum.

You know, I’m really not so clueless.
My head is not filled with just air.
Please stop telling me how to dress,
And how I should wear my hair.

To prove your point you’re willing to fight
About anything—even Parchezee!
You ALWAYS act as if you are ALWAYS right. . .
You know, it makes me rather queasy.

So please stop acting like my advisor,
And like you always know best.
And please just shut your mouth, that’s all,
So my ears can get some rest.

Well, you’ll be my advisor until the end,
In my mind there is no doubt.
Still, I do want to keep you as a friend,
It’s just your advice I can do without.

From Poem Man

 
 


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My Cancer Class, 2011

At the beginning of any new journey, maybe it’s starting with a new company, going back to college, or signing up for fitness classes at the local gym, it seems that you can easily identify those who are just starting out. Like you, they are the ones who are just learning the ropes of the new system. They don’t know exactly what to do, where to go, or how to get there. Like you, they just look new. Over time, whether intended or not, a bond will form between you and the group of new travelers and you will begin to identify yourselves as a sort of class. Maybe you will become friends with some of the people from your class or maybe you won’t, but the chances are you will always feel a special kinship with those who traveled on your journey with you.

My cancer journey was no different. Practically from the moment of my diagnosis, I began to notice others who had also just begun on their cancer journey. New cancer patients are especially easy to identify: they are the ones who have a constant stunned look of disbelief on their faces; they are the ones who are irritable, stressed, and anxious, not just from recently having learned about their disease, but mostly from the side effects of the steroids and other new drugs they had just started taking; and they are the ones who still have their hair.

After diagnosis, I was immediately admitted to the hospital for the first two weeks to begin my initial phase of chemotherapy and medications. From time to time I would see other new cancer patients as either I or they walked laps around the ward; or, I would see them pass by my door on their way to the little kitchenette for the always available ice cream or cup of noodles. Sometimes we would wave or nod our masked heads at each other. Oftentimes, we would just simply shuffle by each other without any acknowledgement.

After I was discharged from the cancer ward, I was admitted to the Inpatient/Outpatient Clinic. At IPOP, new cancer patients usually have appointments every day. Every day, my wife—my caregiver, my inspiration, and my guiding light—would pack me up and drive me to the hospital. The drive could take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on Baltimore traffic. When I got to the hospital, I would reluctantly don my mask, reluctantly disinfect my hands, reluctantly enter the clinic, sit down, pull my ball cap down tight over my freshly shaved head, and glumly wait to be called by the nurse. Meanwhile, my wife, always positive, always cheerful, would sign in for me in the registry, make herself a cup of coffee, grab a magazine, and then sit beside me and try to cheer me up. Other familiar masked faces would also be there waiting with their caregivers.

Soon my wife became friends with several of the other caregivers and, through her reports, I would be able to track the progress of the other cancer patients from my class. It helped me to hear about them from my wife. Knowing that others are on a similar journey as yours, that others are just as confused, just as sick, just as scared as you are, provides a certain level of comfort and a sort of release. I was able to let go many of my fears and better accept my condition because I learned that nothing that I was going through was unique just to me.

Unfortunately, there are many, too many, cancer patients in my class. And even though I was familiar with all of them and drew strength from their silent encouragement and solidarity, I only came to personally know a few of them by name. And of those, I only know the current fate of two, which is too bad because I often think about all of those faces who I had come to know so well and wonder how they are doing now. I try not to wonder who didn’t make it.

Next year my cancer class will graduate. Sometime next year, we will meet with our oncologist and we will be released from his or her care. Our disability insurance will stop and we will hesitantly and apprehensively return to work. After graduation, we will be free and encouraged to begin other new and exciting journeys, which is why graduations are often called commencement ceremonies. And when our new journeys do commence, we will look around and see that there are others who are also just starting the journey, too. And, while we will hope that we never have to travel down the same road as we did on the journey we just ended, we will know that we will all be better travelers for it.

Bloodwish

There has been much focus on finding a bone marrow donor match for me. It makes sense because the sole reason I am going through all of the nausea and discomfort of the chemotherapy treatment is to destroy my diseased and dysfunctional bone marrow and replace it with someone’s healthy bone marrow. I named my blog Marrowish because of this need–a wish for marrow–and to remind myself to live a marrowish life–living a full life, right down to the marrow.

It amazes me how, because of my need, so many of my friends and acquaintances have volunteered to donate their bone marrow, knowing that the odds are way against their marrow being a match for me. Some have even wanted to set up a bone marrow drive in my name. Amazing.

I registered for the national bone marrow registry a long time ago. In fact, I had forgotten about it until my leukemia diagnosis. I do not remember why I did it. As far as I know I have never known anyone with leukemia. In fact, I was not really too sure what leukemia really was when I was diagnosed with it. And still, after all these years on the list I was never called. I suspect most people on the registry never are. That being said, I still encourage as many people as possible to register. Not for me, but for those who do not yet know that they will become inflicted with the disease…especially the children.

But there is also another, more immediate need where your help will be put directly to good use: donating blood.

During my first phase of treatment the chemotherapy drove down not only my white blood cell count, it also drove down my red blood cell and my platelet counts. As a result, I regularly had to receive both red blood cell and platelet transfusions. I suspect the same will be true during the subsequent phases. Each time I had a transfusion, as I watched the nurse hang the bags of blood or platelets and hook their lines up to my catheter, I felt a little guilty and wished that I had donated more blood. I am pretty sure that I will never have an opportunity to donate blood again.

So, if you are looking to have an immediate impact on someone’s life, perhaps an injured service member, or an unfortunate commuter, or even a scared, young leukemia patient, please donate blood and donate it regularly. Many of you certainly already do. Thank you. For those who have not, please do. I guarantee that, even if you hate needles and get queasy from the thought of it, you will still feel good about it after you are done. It is a noble cause. In fact, I would not be able to survive without someone with O+ blood taking the time out of their busy schedule to donate their blood to me. There are many, many others who are in just as much need, if not more. And I pray it never happens, but you never ever know–some day you may be the one in need.

If you’ve ever donated blood before, or if you donate blood any time after reading this post, please leave me a comment to let me know so we both can feel good about it together.