(Editor’s (that would be me, Alan) note:  I started this entry Tuesday (nine days ago) as chemo started.  About an hour into it one of the drugs pretty much blinded me.  So I had to hold onto this to finish/publish.  I made a couple other attempts to finish this puppy and publish it and was distracted by this or the other.  Result: Here’s a single posting that has me flavored with either optimism, dismay, or renewed faith.  All this time and difference in attitude make for a confusion for which I apologize.

Hello Friends! Just got my port hooked up and the nice nurses here are rolling the first anti-emetic (anzemet) along with a little juice (steroids) as we get ready to start pumping Round 18 of chemo.

We just returned from our trip to Washington, DC with Aiden on Sunday.  To be brief, I’ll say that every possible category with which the trip could be judged came up as 5/5 stars.  What a great time!  Aiden loved it all…and so did Misty and I.  Our friends that we visited (the Schweikerts) really showed us the town and Aiden fell into formation with their boys and had a grand time.

President Obama asked me to come in to discuss Health Care Policy but I had promised Misty "NO BUSINESS" on this trip.

Aiden and Daddy at our favorite plane at the Udvar Hazy Air & Space Museum. AWESOME!

For some reason I’ve been thinking about “One Hit Wonders” this morning.  So I ran a web search on the “Top” One Hit Wonders.  Here’s what I got:

15.  Rock Me Amadeus Falco, 1985

14.  Spirit in the Sky Doctor and the Medics/Norman Greenbaum, 1969

13.  It’s Raining Men The Weather Girls, 1982

12   Kung Fu Fighting Carl Douglas, 1974

11.  Groove is in the Heart Dee LIte,  1990

10.  Rico Suave Gerardo, 1990

9.    99 Luftballons Nena, 1984

8.    Take On Me A-Ha, 1985

7.    Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice, 1990

6.    Who Let the Dogs Out? Baha Men, 2000

5.    Mickey Toni Basil, 1982

4.    I’m Too Sexy Right Said Fred, 1991

3.    Come on Eileen Dexy’s Midnight Runners, 1982

2.    Tainted Love Soft Cell, 1982

1.    The Macarena Los Del Rio, 1996

No doubt, you, like me, recognize and recall a lot of these not so much because they were Led Zeppelin-Level ballads that tell a story of mis-spent youth, but because they are almost-embarrassing songs of that same mis-spent youth (adulthood?).  I guess what I’m getting to is that the “One-Hit Wonder” carries such a tendency for embarrassment.  In most of the examples above, it seems that the songs were just silly and scratch an embarrassing itch that America had at the time.  One hit wonder.  Now they are all as famous (perhaps less) as Gary Coleman.  So, I think you can all agree with me that the One-Hit Wonder category typically produces a song that may need NEVER to be referenced again and artists that are just not taken seriously as they did not MAKE IT despite having A hit.

One Hit Wonder Time in the limelight Breakthrough and/or final piece Album Sales
Soft Cell 3 Years “Tainted Love” No one will admit purchase. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsMz9vIaLwQ
Lee Greenwood 3 Years before gig contracts required play of “God Bless the USA” and US Military involvement in coupe or US holdings defense (preferable in the Middle East) “God Bless the USA” Millions of albums sold.  All at County or State Fairs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq0t7ZUwzGA
Jesus Christ Entered career at around 30 years old and met with 3-years of escalating critical  disclaim. Water to Wine Miracle 6 Billion Bibles have been sold.  Top selling book…ever.

Here’s a ONE HIT Wonder that played such to his advantage.  Lee Greenwood: I don’t know anything about his business but I’m pretty sure that he could stay as booked as he’d like to be singing “I’m proud to be an American”.  Much less so the case with Mr. Vanilla Ice.  And many on the list above of one-hit wonders.  Most on this list accomplished nothing more substantive than semi-permanent placement on the couples’ skate play list at the local skating rink.

What does this mean?  Why have I let loose of reality enough to ramble about music (mostly bad music)???  I’m not really sure.

I’m fairly positive that I have no Vanilla Ice Fan Club aspirations.  And to be clear, I’m not seriously comparing these questionable-talent clowns to my savior.  What I think does bear some review is the fact that Jesus’ worldly, human interaction (human career?) started when Jesus was thirty and ,as such, ended upon His crucifixion.  Timeframe: about three years.  Similar time in His profession to Vanilla Ice and the “One-Hit Wonders” above.

My savior had a short “career” as a man.  But in that short “career” He managed a ONE-HIT Wonder… a blameless life, healed the sick, raised the dead, communicated a standard by which we should live, stood up to the direct temptations of Satan and this world, started a religion in the shadow of a jealous and insecure Roman Empire, and at the cruel hands of the same, felt the pain of jealousy preparing for the cross to which he was then nailed FOR OUR SINS, died as Man would, and then suffered under Satan as though ALL of OUR SINS were His.  And then he rose from the grave and, before His ascension to heaven, where he watches over and cares for us sitting beside His Father, He introduced us to and gave us access to the Holy Spirit.  One-Hit Wonder.  Three years.  Maybe a short career does not a One-Hit Wonder make.

Back to an admittedly delayed update on me.  As mentioned above, our trip to Washington, DC was a spectacular success in countless categories.  The few days off of chemo really helped me to feel good.

So this week, I had a CT Scan on Monday.  We followed up on Tuesday with Dr. Kuo on Tuesday late morning to review the results.  You’ll recall, this is the third major Chemo Regimen that we’ve done.  It’s called Vectibix and is very similar to Erbitux.  The CT Scans show that while there are no new tumors and ALL of the existing tumors have GROWN.  Yes…grown.  This is not what we want to hear.  Dr. Kuo tells us that we are quickly depleting our types of bullets for this bear and that up to this point he’s followed standard gameplans but that now, he’s really glad that we are tuned in with Dr. Goldberg at UNC.  Towards that effect, tomorrow we go to UNC and meet with Dr. Goldberg.  Dr. Kuo did not sprinkle any sunshine on us yesterday.  In the same paragraph he discussed “clinical trials” AND the “option of relinquishing the fight and seeking a higher quality to life, however long that may be without chemotherapy”.  I have a lot more fight in me.  Please pray hard that stars and whatever else align tomorrow to produce great options for us.

After the devestating news from Dr. Kuo, Misty and I were a weepy mess.  One of those situations where the doctor tells you “you can have as much time in the room as you need”.  You get it.  I had seen my chemo buddies Randolph and Tommy in the back of the clinic getting their meds.  We had the choice to make as to whether we sneak out quickly and avoid painful sharing of our news or going back to chat with my friends and to share the load with them.  Despite feeling like talking to NO ONE, Misty and I chose to go talk to Randolph and Tommy.  Randolph listened and then encouraged us.  While Tommy sat there quietly praying for me to come talk directly to him.  After he prayed this I came over.  Tommy has been through around 42 rounds of chemo.  Tommy had six-months to live when he started this chemo two years ago.  Two years ago Tommy’s CEA cancer marker was 7500.  Today it’s 17.  Tommy’s a legend in the clinic.  There he told me that he wanted me to meet his preacher who prayed on Tommy and opened God’s healing power for Tommy.  Tommy called me this morning and gave me his preacher’s cell phone number.  I called the Reverend Cherry directly.  We met at his church a couple hours ago.  Reverend Cherry prayed over me and challenged the sickness out of my body and the healing power of God into it.  From this morning when my thoughts were, “should I double my depression meds…Again?” to this evening when I’m able to claim God’s hand in my life and my body.  Able to claim healing.  Able to believe that God wants me to have a story to tell.  That’s a good day, isn’t it.

With that, I thank you for your prayers, thoughts, wishes, kind notes and words.  I hope to have some more positive news/direction to you soon.  Misty and I meet with Dr. Goldberg at UNC tomorrow at 11am.  Love,