Monday, May 01, 2017

Chuttumbee #1 Turns 15

My Dearest Pablo,

15 years ago yesterday the earth trembled as God sent one of his emissaries down to Earth.

That would be you. Happy B'Day.

The time has hurtled by and each year as we come upon your B'Day I am always deeply moved by how much, in one mere year, you change and your situation changes. Overall I get the sense high school has been a good thing for you, and that people (for example from the XC and robotics teams) enjoy and look forward to your presence among them. Shockingly, you are even leaner than a year ago ( I did not think that was possible) and you are DEFINITELY more sinewy and stronger - thanks to the entirely different level of athleticism from Coach Brad and the time and effort you have invested.

Paul 15-bPaul 15 
A Good Day
Abraham Pachikara, Copyright 2017 (Click for larger image)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Deforestation: Epilogue, Perhaps?

Hi Folks!

This is the last note (God willing) related to cancer that I will be sending.

The regime of chemotherapy & radiation are complete, and the upshot: any malignant cells are "below detection." Don't be fooled - they are still around, probably numbering in the hundreds of millions, but within a being with ~40 trillion cells, it's a scattered minority. Nonetheless, for myself, that's good news on an intergalactic scale. Further, I am lucky enough to send out my own "final" note.

Thank You’s

The Dalai Lama once said, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice."  The tremendous support by all of you made it easy to not choose suffering. Here's a brief that is intended to be as inclusive as possible.

My deepest thanks to…

  • Mom and Dad, my sisters Cindy and Susan, Susan's better half Chris.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Slipping Past Corny Neufeld

In 8th grade I was one of the smallest kids among my peers, yet I loved sports. I was by no means brilliant at any of them, I just loved the comradery, the tension of winning and losing, and being out there with friends. So I was in every sport offered to us.

With one exception: ice hockey.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Deforestation: “Life is Epic” Exercise

Last May, when I learned I had a malevolent disease, one frightening thought kept floating back into my head: "gosh, this thing may kill me." But after a while, my fearful reaction surprised me. Of course, we all die. So what exactly made this news different? It was my assumption I would live long - to a 120 years specifically. One fact, one assumption and one aspiration had created more than an assumption, it had morphed into an unstated, firmly held belief.

  • Fact: I was 40 when Paul was born.
  • Assumption: Paul would probably be 40 before he had his first child if he is anything like myself.
  • Aspiration: I would like to see how my grandkids turn out, meaning grown adults, in their 30s or 40s.
  • Fact + Assumption + Aspiration = 40 + 40 + 40 = 120. Funny how the brain works, no? Over time, I had mulled over this whimsy so many times it become a truth. Hitler is attributed with the idea that if you say a lie 10 times, it's still a lie; say it 100 times and it becomes a fact. I had concocted a fact.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Deforestation: Radiation Does its Damage

Hi Folks!

I do hope this note finds you in a good place. My PTCL-NOS journey has come to a notable place - the end of radiation. I am deeply, deeply blessed to be ending a round of cancer treatment alive and writing about it, no? What's left is recovery from the collateral damage, and smiling into the sunlight at the end of this tunnel.

Let's start with the all-important Thank Yous

Monday, January 23, 2017

Deforestation - Radiation Is Underway

Hi Folks and a belated Happy New Year!

My journey into the world of PTCL-NOS continues…

First off are the thank you's to for your full-court press against the invading malignancy…

  • My parents and sisters, Cindy and Susan, and Susan's better half Chris.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Pale Retelling of a Deeply Rich, Vibrant Life

I gave one of the eulogies at my dad’s funeral on Saturday, Jan 14, 2017. The event brought together aunts, uncles & cousins from both sides of the family, and long time friends.