Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Life You Imagined

I recently saw a Thoreau quote given to me on an 18th birthday card: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” At 18, I thought it was kind of a silly card to give me. Of course, I was going to go in the direction of my dreams, I was going on a full scholarship to a college in Napa Valley, I was dating a cute girl… what could possibly go wrong? If you’d asked me to imagine my life at almost 33, I’d be doing some great fulfilling career, be contributing there and elsewhere, have some good hobbies and have lots of good friends.

Well… fast forward 15 years… and my life is certainly not what I would have imagined. Between Wednesday and Thursday, I received emails from an attorney, a notice of another legal setting in August, I got  a call from my neuro oncologists office about rescheduling my summer follow up because my doctor was on call. I biked 37 miles on one of those days between two legal places and home to get things notarized and certified copies and set up a will signing. But then again, I also biked just as many miles to volunteer places on Thursday and went on the Austin marathon’s trash run on Wednesday and picked up tons of recycling in ditches. (By the way the google maps app is awesome on a bike because it tells you voice if you’re making a wrong turn… I know that sounds a little pathetic but when you get lost a lot… I start to love technology)

All I ever wanted to at 18 and at 32 t to do was to contribute to both those close to me and to those less fortunate than me but I wanted a lot more independence chemically, financially and otherwise than I have. I have limited income and it comes from an insurance and somehow being raised in a culture where it’s my job to have a job that’s the primary breadwinner, this has been tough. At the intellectual level I understand the position both the insurance that’s paying the bill and the medical kind I can’t get because of pre existing condition.  Logic doesn’t make blows to the self-esteem easier.  

And if that doesn’t mess with my self-esteem I follow some forums on brain tumors both cancerous and some about epilepsy issues. One of them had a study this week about hypergraphia ( about how people with epilepsy have a compulsion to write and me, a  guy who has called this blog his therapy wondered if even his therapy was a symptom of his disease. (Hypersexuality was in the study too for those who want to make a George Clooney joke).

But in the middle of wondering if not having the life I imagined, I received a letter from one of the authors of one of the articles about that marathon win. I’ve asked all the ones who actually interviewed me to send me an autographed copy for a scrapbook I’m making for Kiana. They have all done so and sent a nice note but this one came with a really long one that made me hope that maybe I am still contributing something

And then I was tagged in the blog by Alexander Nichols, the guy who kicked my ass and guided me through the first day of Spartan race… And he was wrong on me not needing much guidance on Sunday, I got lost twice but the volunteers called me back.
But still, there are those who are fortunate enough to pull off the life they imagined. I am not one of them but I’m trying/accepting the changes. It’s what you have to do unless you’re incredibly fortunate, just to learn to roll with the punches and as often as you can sometimes with logic and othertimes with emotion, to punch back. I have made my career as best as I know how for now as full time dad and volunteer. It’s tiny little things sometimes that you learn to reimagine. Kiana’s school picnic got cancelled because of heavy and so instead of that we have been making a puzzle all weekend. This was the first weekend that we didn’t have a race since the Marathon win (coincidentally I ran the longest I’ve ran since then, 15 miles and it turns out going from Marathon mode to sprint mode and back… hurts. Actually I was planning on doing 15 but got lost and was 2 miles away from where I wanted to be when the watch said 15 so I walked/jogged most of the last two and suddenly I wished phones didn’t get ruined with moisture. Actually I forgot my ipod yesterday as well and running during the rain reminds you of the rawness of when humans literally ran for survival, for the joy and necessity of one foot in front of the other). Some of those races were already scheduled but some were just gifts because of that. But this weekend we went to an Autism Speaks 8K where Kiana enthusiastically handed out water to runners at the finish line but at the start line she got to see that some people only had the option of being in a stroller for a race. A few people mentioned I’d have to a stroller that big to keep running with Kiana but that won’t happen. I’ll never do it once she gets tired of it and I’ll slow down to run next to her until I can’t keep up since I don’t want her ever slowing down for me.

Thoreau wrote his thoughts in the 1800’s but two of the most fun races I’ve done recently have been Greek Themed… the Spartan race and the marathons. So perhaps, it’s time to go back a little but farther to when

Socrates said “The Unexamined life is not worth living.” So for as long as some of the brain still works, whether hypergraphia is a symptom or a therapy or both, I want to keep examining and imagining my life and living it. And like being in shape, a well imagined and well examined life, doesn’t arrive but rather is maintained by continued effort. So… here’s to re-imagination and re-examination and more importantly to life.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Know at the Finish Line

Over the weekend, I got to try something new. I had been given a gift to attend a Spartan race and in the most in-the-red month I’ve ever had due to normal, legal and medical bills, it was a pretty awesome distraction. If you’ve never heard of a Spartan race (sorry for the enthusiasts,, I never had it’s a mix of a cross country race with obstacles. I did a color run last year which was just slashing through mud because of the weather and getting color splashed on you. I’ve done suburban races where it’s figuring out where you’re supposed to be. There are some that have other challenges where screwing up can get you something like an electric shock. This was all physical obstacles from climbing over a wall to going under barbed wire to shooting a javelin to doing a balance beam to rolling in mud. Many of them were things I’d not done since Junior high or high school like climbing a rope, a huge percentage were things I’d never done period… I didn’t realize this when I got on the course that you only had one shot at it or else you had to do 30 burpees… I’d never done a burpee. I did 120 in about an hour. While I recommend the Spartan race, I can’t say that I recommend burpees. Still as soon as I finished in what I guess was a respectable time, I started analyzing it trying to figure out if I could do it again. I asked one of the organizers if I could do it again and they said not that same day but I could come back the next day and do it in the elite wave. I took 15 minutes off on the second day, and did only 30 burpees which means I only screwed up one event.  Still, the tiredness from the first day challenges and the burpees, made me wish I’d had Saturday’s legs and Sunday’s knowledge…  both contributed greatly to Monday’s happiness, soreness, cuts and bruises… Saturday it was a puzzle and a challenge, Sunday it was just a challenge.  I didn’t realize that even those who do it regularly don’t know the distance till they get to the start line and don’t know when or where the obstacles are until you meet them… feels a lot like life period and certainly like my own. The second day I got a 55 minute time and apparently beat a good percentage of those in the elite wave. The brain may not be all it was but I want to continue to make death work to beat me across the finish line.
And then to my surprise and yet not at all surprising, Kiana’s mother’s new attorney had requested a de novo hearing, a requesting for a new hearing asking that some of the previous things the judge had ordered be shifted… I don’t know what to do with all that stuff. There are times I wonder if I’m the crazy one but then I realize that there are doctors and friends willing to testify on my behalf and they literally had zero (0!) people on their witness list… I mean if you can’t find any one to back you up besides your significant other, isn’t that a clue. Since November of 2010, there has not been one, not one month without a medical or legal procedure due to this cancer. I was hoping June would be but now that looks less than likely because of this de novo requests. I’m an endurance athlete and I’m exhausted. And it’s not just by the procedures but it’s because I get emails like this from Kiana’s mother in response to asking that she not swear in emails:
“Don't send me 'thank you for dropping off Kianas'. They are uneccessary, and mean nothing coming from you when we both know that I am the one doing all the driving for Kiana and making all of the sacrifices for her.

Don't email me about bullshit homework for a kindergartner: you doing most of those assingments with her is probably the most interactive you two get. Those activities are enrichment and reinforcement and it is because of the things that I exposed her to when she was young, the foundational skills that I taught her, and the learning that I procured for her when she was younger taht she is the intelligent, articulate, empathic girl that she is today so don't tell me shit about homework. I enrich her life every day that is with me and I don't need a camera or free swag to do it or a structured race.

Do not contact me or text me or email me unless you are dying.”

So call it cowardly but even as an endurance athlete, a guy who has ran marathons 3 weeks apart and Spartan races back to back days, in regards to all this with her mother, I am exhausted right now. I’ve literally decided that for every email I receive from her my response will be “I’ve received your email… while legal issues are pending please communicate through attorneys.” I mean that’s what attorneys are for… it’s like I used to try to read my own MRI”s and realized I had no clue what they said. I hope her mother and I are able to get somewhere at some point… But I just don’t see how when someone who leaves you at the weakest point in your life, keeps trying to take things from you even as you’re trying to focus on the one thing you’ve got left together, your child. The attorney helping me out thinks this is all fairly ridiculous as do I but I suppose like some of my deficits and the cancer in my brain you learn to accept some unpredictability as normal.

The Spartan Race logo is “You’ll know at the finish line.” I don’t know when or where the finish line will be in the race of life…  But at the end of the Spartan I went straight at  the guys who would take swings at you and through the course, I cheered both those in front and behind me. At the Spartan race and in this thing I’ve called life Part I and Part II, I think I’m getting more things right in Part II no matter when the finish line comes.

With things like the shootings recently and Boston and now the tornado in Oklahoma and when I was at a funeral recently, I can’t shake the notion that death is always meaningless. There are degrees to that and ways we can serve better purposes in death. But life, life doesn’t have to be. Last Friday was Livestrong day...Kiana wore her shirt and was nice enough to pose to show that we are still strong despite all but I am still trying to develop new strength. (And so on Monday I went to a boot camp for the first time ever. I probably won't be doing it that structured but I do need to do more upper body stuff). Still, the only way I'll be comfortable that I’ll know at the finish line is because you gave it what you had throughout the course despite unknowns and also because getting to the finish line was never non negotiable. I bought a tiny rock yesterday that just popped out at me as I was walking around. It just had hope carved into it, I hope I have it carved into me and that it’s something that we all know I had at the finish line


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Full Time, Part Time

(If you read this blog for giggles or happiness, this might be a good entry to skip. None of them are written for that, they are written so that I can go back and focus on my memories as they happened).
Unfortunately, my memory isn’t what it used to be but one part that’s never blinked is how well I remember dates. November 5th, 2010. March 2011, the date of the surgery, March 2012 the entrance to Duke, March 2013, the day I won a marathon pushing a stroller. I remember my wedding anniversary still and believe it or not out of simple self awareness filled the week of the divorce with tons of activities and skipped court because I didn’t want to remember the divorce date; I don’t. But I do remember today’s date, May 15, 2013 exactly 1 year since when I got fired for a history of “poor judgment” and mistakes on the stand, in a job I’d never once had a bad review. If you want to read the entry about that (

I spent time looking for work and in that process noticed and acknowledged deficits that I’d lived in denial to or from myself. Encouraged by friends and a medical professional, I then filed a private long term insurance claim that my doctors felt I qualified for and I am incredibly grateful that my insurance agreed and approved it. Having worked full time since I was 14, working at the job I thought I’d retire from, I hated doing that but those of us who grew up poor realize that sometimes you have to pay the bills and those of us educated through rough lessons about insurance realize that some things in life are use it or lose it and that pre existing conditions make you uninsurable in this country for many things  Even Obamacare, which I hope will allow me to have health insurance after January somehow doesn’t affect lots of other insurance like short term or long term ones like the ones I’m on. I’ve spent some time trying to negotiate with the billing companies for both local care and Duke care and they’ve all been paid as best as I can but the simple truth is that one of those places literally makes more money from me now than they did when I had insurance (ie my out of pocket costs are more than my copay and what the insurance used to reimburse them combine). People have pointed out they can’t deny me care but my doctors are brilliant and neuro specialists are the highest paid in the medical profession for obvious reasons so I want to pay them… I just have a hard time imagining that more money being made now for a patient that was established is just and fair. You also try not to complain because you don’t want your doctors to hear from their bosses that they are not the ones you get to continue see because these were hand chosen because while there’s times I thought my deficits were somehow theirs not cancer’s fault, my doctors are fucking awesome.  (Every once in a while I reference doctor who in here and the current one wears bow ties because bow ties are cool and so does my local neuro oncologist… if you want to see the piece he came out in with Comcast watch how well he rocks a bowtie here: . Actually what I like best about that piece is that it’s focused on what I’m focused on, running is a part of the equation of Kiana and I and while it generates attention, reading to her, walking with her to school is just if not infinitely more important.  

But I made a decision to try to avoid being cancer ( and I hope I’ve done okay with that. I didn’t want to be someone who sucked resources like insurance without giving back. I made being a dad my full time career, an expensive job for those months of waiting time during the insurance, but a few months later the child started school so 8-2 got a little more complicated. I never started working out harder then or now, somehow that felt like cheating. I started volunteering in every place that would have me and that I still felt mentally adequate. This has created some very cool experiences like yesterday I got to help out a Ph.D student with their project. They are creating cultures with different biological ideas. I got to flip over the pools that the culture had grown in but got to hear about someone who was still brilliant. I’ve helped out with jobs that are much simpler than what I went college with two degrees for (let me be clear, these jobs are no less important than what I went to college for but they regularly come with less pay and worse hours than what my insurance is kind enough to provide. If swallowing my pride means taking insurance and getting time with my kid rather than be the world’s greatest janitor, I’ll swallow my pride.  The legal issues still haven’t been settled since her mother refused to sign things and until they are since their request was to go from primary caregiver to supervised visits, I’m going to hang out with my kid and I’ll take anybody’s judgement about that. If that ever happens where I’m just allowed to be a guest in my daughter’s life or if I’m still standing when that time comes, as all good parents eventually love seeing the birds fly out of the nest, you better believe I will be a kick ass janitor if someone will have me).

The running a marathon and winning it with a stroller has come up with pleasant surprises. I now have a race far down the calendar officially scheduled. Appropriately enough it’s a half marathon in Beaumont Texas in November and so it’s the next half that’s officially on the calendar with Kiana in tow. We’ll see how much she grows between now and then. But the scholarship account was opened and that’s made breathing a little easier. I’ve continued to do some races on my own and races have also been kind enough to give me entries if I volunteer or speak or some just period which has let me keep doing more races than I would have imagined. I assume this will end but like Kiana does, I’m enjoying the ride. I ran a track meet Saturday and last year I was so proud of breaking a 5 minute mile and got exactly 5:00.0 this year but if all I’ve lost is a step while marathon training I’ll take it. I’m trying to do new ones, like that stair climb which I could have done faster but it was my first one. I am about to do my first ever Spartan race since they gave me and a helpful friend an entry. I am incredibly intimidated and excited about this race. And

The “Bon Jovi” girl that people keep asking about well, things are going well. We’d been friends for years and I think we’ll be in each other’s lives for a long time. Hell, my cousin might be moving out this summer and I think I’ll always have a back up living with me as long as Kiana does and she’s certainly on the short list for many reasons. Since long before this we were/are close friends before she’s noticed the deficits more than anyone has and recognizes both the guy before and the guy after. But the benefits of full time friendship is the certain path we’re taking because as damaged as I am mentally and emotionally, I am not sure I’m able to provide anything for her or anyone else that’s much simple than Lady Gaga’s bad romance and this relationship will continue as a very good friendship. 

3 years ago… I thought I had my life all mapped out full time till retirement and then I woke up in ambulance and found I had cancer, then lost my wife of 10 years and my job of 7 years. But still, the thoughts that I thought would be there for the full of my life left during the worst part. And while it’s not all I thought or hoped it would be, today I sit with a counselor, and attend a young adult cancer survivor’s meeting I helped organize, exercise, have lunch and do homework with the coolest kid the world has ever known… I wish I could take back some of the parts I got wrong because they hurt other people but otherwise, and while people think the media stuff is cool and no one wants to trade lives, I can honestly say that at least today, and one day at a time is the best I can do, I’ll take the full of my life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


So yesterday was the 5th legal setting where my health, Kiana's health insurance and custody in regards to that were discussed. I don't know what to say about Kiana's mother other than I don't get it... we got to court and she had a brand new attorney in what was supposed to be the close of all this. The other attorney has been through that emergency hearing and gotten nowhere, that the child is better off in daycare hearing and gotten nowhere and that mediation where it felt like I gave them 90% of what they wanted. Then I'd gotten an email from Kiana's mother that she was going to appeal the mediation... I didn't understand that since mediation  unless there is fraudulent information, are not really up for appeal. Maybe this new attorney thinks she can undo/redo/better do the finish but that's not typical. I kept looking at her through the hearing and showing the disparity, disconnection the attorney kept not looking back but in the end when we finally made eye contact  while she was talking about the safety risks of my health condition, she mouthed sorry and I said it's fine. I mean... what can I say if it's her job?

What should have been a 15 minute hearing turned into two hours in what seemed to be stuck into legal minutae. There were a couple of semi substantive things... they wanted copies of my MRI's within 7 days instead of annual which the guy who has a public blog about his health condition had no problem saying yes. I mean let me be as frank as possible. I don't get to health appointments to fight cancer anymore. I also don't take every desperate suggested recommendation because if I did I'd be dead in no time I imagine. This is my monitoring it and now that I don't have health insurance if there comes a time where it's fight or leave my daughter broke because fighting brain cancer is too expensive, well, I'll sign the futile care document, sign over custody, get my things in order and head to the Grand Canyon. I trust my doctors know what they're doing and I have a lot of lack of self confidence when most days, including the ones where I throw up and the ones where I woke up in ambulances and the ones where focal seizures occurs, I feel fine not too long before those things happen. I go to doctors not too fight but because smarter people than me can monitor my brain which was my key to doing well and now is an organ I just don't trust that much.

In court, there was a short argument about the fact that Kiana would be with me for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. If you'd read far back enough, you know that Kiana's mother told me she was leaving the day I got back from Duke and would be gone one night in the middle of the night while someone was staying at the house, when I was still on multiple drugs, before I was cleared to drive or return to work. She would file for divorce very quickly when the last thing I'd done before going to Duke was take her to the Caribbean... just in case. The divorce would be finalized before I'd even returned to Duke for follow up. I had tried to save the marriage but when there was no fight for custody then... well I gave up so it was actually an agreed divorce. I was against the divorce because I believed in that death do you part but even so more than that because we had a child. The divorce decree, in order for me to able to sign it, states that I am against the divorce because it will be spiritually, emotionally and financially damaging to Kiana but that I respect her right to walk away.  Anyway, out of my own desperation, I asked and somehow got to have Kiana that first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc. Which means Kiana was with me for both holidays in 2011 and with her mom for both in 2012. Usually one parent gets one and the other gets the other. We made it a little more reasonable this time around and Kiana will be with me this Thanksgiving and with her mother for Christmas (btw, divorce and non amicable relationship suck for many reasons but imposing this reality on children is definitely one of them in my book). I mean even a couple of days after the hearing I offered her to keep Kiana an extra night to make sure she made the mother's day function at school since she's made so few things Kiana wanted her at including mother's day itself last year. She said yes so to me... we'll call that progress.

In the end, my attorney out of the frustration of this case having dragged out for so long asked that some of her fees be ordered to be paid by Kiana's mom. I can't say that I was fan or had any objections to that idea but it tells you something about the judge's stance that he ordered Kiana's mother to pay a small percentage of my attorney's fees... In the end the judge signed the order and I and my attorney did as well. Kiana's mother and her attorney refused to... I honestly don't get why or all this and am wondering if they'll appeal it all but the fact that the judge ordered her to pay some of my attorney's fees, the fact that in our discovery we had to turn in who would testify on our behalf and her mother literally had zero people who would state that  Kiana was better off with her in the witness list and we had over a dozen... well let's just say I slept well last night. I'm not even arguing that Kiana's mother is a bad mother, I don't think that. I just have made being a dad about as close to a full time job as I can and was fortunate enough to have an insurance that due to my health problems that helps semi cover the bills... (for all you honest taxpayers out there it's a private insurance not social security). My argument which is evident if you ever spend the day with me much less read this blog is that I'm focused on catching as much of this blog as I can... and when you don't trust your memory like you once did you wanna give it a few shots.

I went home from court exhausted, reliefed and confused. We wrapped up the deck re staining and the fence cleaning up. While it looks real good, I did mostly the dumb labor and guys who knew what they were doing did anything requiring any intelligence. But other than people who come into my home, this back deck and fence aren't really visible to anyone. Like good parenting, like good race results, every once in a while someone catches it but like most good things good people do in life, it's just something that sits in the back that if we do right, helps us feel more at home.

I went running with no route in mind after and just kept going around random blocks to not get lost and put the music on shuffle. It played a song I didn't even realize I owned... Desperado by the Eagles.(

Now it seems to me, some fine things 
Have been laid upon your table 
But you only want the ones that you can't get 

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger 
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home 
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin' 
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

I've sat here in this blog and in life sometimes worrying about the loneliness of the last two years but the last few months, the last few weeks have made me more aware and more thankful for the connections that have been there all along. I'm not leaving the George Clooney lifestyle probably ever but maybe I can graduate to at least being a part time boyfriend every once in a while. While the drugs will continue forever, I still want to overcome my mental deficits, in fact achieving my highest lumosity scores ever this morning. So even if my mind isn't what it used to be and I mourned the break up with my high school sweetheart, I'm becoming aware that the eagles are right and I have some fine things on my table and that I need to stage a prison break. These have been some desperate times but some of the parts of my heart that were broken have started to heal and becoming more and more open to this realities will be a great desperate measure. 

Perhaps, home is meant to remind us of that. There was a tree I thought was dead two years ago. I cut it down shortly after Duke. It's been referenced in here as looking like it might be more alive than I imagined. I've kept watering it and it's still growing... it may not be like hope which springs eternal but it is spring and it's still reaching for life when things had been cut from it through no choice of it's own. 

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses? 
Come down from your fences, open the gate 
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you 
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late

I'm closer to home, closer to opening the (newly stained) gate but that has come from me loving Kiana and people loving me... even when I tried to get them to not come to medical appointments... And I believe and hope that at some level it's still not too late.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Things To Say

So with nothing to train for, I only went out and did one of the group's workouts last week. I'm a goal oriented guy so it's tougher to be running just for the love of the game... I can do that with sports where the goal is so obvious (make a goal, basket, etc) but with running until recently it had just been a way to cross train for sports. It's when there are races coming up or with someone next to me or a time goal that it's become a "sport." (Can you tell I'm competitive?).

I keep thinking about signing up for a new race to have something to train for and focus but in less than a month I start coaching a marathon training group and that will come with some regularity and a goal again. Last week a friend of mine who is photography producer asked if I would be part of a photoshoot for a day of the dead thing they are doing... it had nothing to do with cancer or sports, just a photo shoot. I was amused that I would be posing unrecognizable as dead after all the other media things that have occurred. (Me with serious make up on, check it out

During one of the media requests... they asked if I just had the same lines over and over again. If you've watched them, you know that's not true but the reason I don't is because of my memory problems I just answer things as they come. I actually prefer the edited versions where they make me sound a little more eloquent than I am. If you listen to the straight up ones, I do more saying things like "you know", "what i mean by that" etc because in simple frankness, a guy who used to win the debates in college is now trying to buy time to get his act and memories together. Close friends (and Kiana always) have pointed out those short term memory problem when I repeat myself sometimes and sometimes I think I may have done it, other times I suspect I may have and others, I don't recognize it. They aren't horrible or dysfunctional, they just aren't what they used to be. This makes me nervous of how much of my own life I'm missing. It's why I accept some limits  hoping that if I catch more of life and especially more of Kiana's that I'll miss less of it in general and remember it more. Maybe that only makes sense in my own  head. It's part of the reason why there's so many pictures in this blog... because I talk too much here but the pictures are frozen moments where we catch the hope and meaning and beauty of life (at least mine anyway). How do you describe instead of show when in the middle of playing in the playground, a perfect rainbow is over Kiana's head? During those moments, with or without cancer, I don't understand why I can see more kids watching tv within eyesight of the playground than there are kids on it. But then again, I pay to run 26.2 miles and my brain is screwed up...

But I've made a decision that for at least a couple of weeks I'm going to not sign up with some future goal in mind of a race but just enjoy the now a little more. I start coaching the marathon group I train during the summer at the end of May and there's track meets coming up again this summer which I'll sign up for and see if I can't repeat breaking that 5 minute mile. I have an ultimate tournament this month. And while I'm a creature of habit,  here in May, I'm going to do somethings I've never done. I signed up for a 5 de Mayo race last Saturday at the last second and got my fastest time ever (17:36) without a pre-designed playlist and the wrong gear on (it was also perfect weather and a pretty nice course) I played in a floorball tournament and turns out even if you're in marathon shape, lateral motion and something new can make you super sore. I am doing my first adventure race ever because the spartan race read the story and was kind enough to give me one. Last November the first month I didn't see any medical staff for cancer, I went and a tooth fix that had had a cavity for way too long. This year, I'm fixing some cavities around the house. There was a leak under the sink that a friend helped me out with and it's great now. My deck needed some work and me and some guys who know far better what I'm doing started fixing it yesterday and they pointed out I should clean my fence and until we did so, I had no clue fences and dirt were different color. It's interesting, when I start becoming open to life feeling more settled, I become more domestic. Shortly after the Duke surgery I started painting the house etc... In the first month with a break from medical apppointments, I got kitchen plates and Kiana got some new things in her room. This time I'm cleaning up the backyard and Deck some. In each of those I've had a variety of help... but my life, while long from  being settled perhaps like my cancer, is feeling more stable, more like home. So I try to let my home reflect that.

I thought the baby mama drama was about as goofy as possible until in the middle of that photo shoot Thursday I got a call that Kiana's mother's attorney was asking to be excused from the case without her client's permission before all the mediation paperwork got finalized. I honestly have no clue what's going on there but I don't think attorneys do that often. Court is set for tomorrow and of course I'm worried but how often do you see attorneys who don't want to keep representing a client? I've apologized as privately and as  publicly as I can for screwing up my marriage, mention the affair I had several years ago in here, mentioning how I totally screwed up this diagnosis originally in that Livestrong video ( I was glad to see a picture that when the past calls to let it go straight to voicemail because it has nothing new to say.

There are some things that I have continued to say to certain people like I love you or the spanish version, te quiero/te amo but even now a couple of years after all this started, I don't say it nearly enough to nearly enough people. And somehow while that's not something new for any of us to say, for me it keeps being a way to renew.