Sunday, October 29, 2006

Team Wagner

First, I can't hardly believe that it has been over 6 weeks since I posted. More on that later. Tonight was the Light The Night Walk at the Dell Diamond and it was a huge success! Of course final figures aren't in, but it was announced that it was almost certain they raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the local chapter on this walk. Team Wagner did their part too. Between my wife, my daughters and me, we raised $2,558 thanks to the tremendous generosity of my wonderful family, friends, internet friends, and our fantastic co-workers. (FLASH: UPDATE, we received even more money this morning from some fantastic folks at church. Our new total is $3,118!!!!) I had quite a group walking with me tonight -- Cheryl, Cindy and Jonathan, Cheri and Marc, Jimmy and Holly, and friends of Cindy's (the folks who bought her house) and their kids. Cindy's friend is taking this picture, but her husband, Tom and their two kids are on the right.

I am carrying a white balloon as a survivor, and they are carrying red balloons as supporters. My shirt is red because I raised over a thousand dollars on my site. We all wore stickers that showed who we were walking for -- me and in memory of my dad. Of course I was also walking in honor of all my friends who are suffering from CLL who I have met on the CLL forum and on the ACOR site and in memory of those who have died. I have known too many who passed away in the last couple of years. It was quite a sight, turning the corner and looking back at a couple of thousand lit balloons bobbing in the air. So many stories behind those balloons, I am sure.

As we were walking on our first trip around the stadium, Jimmy started crying. We asked him why and he said he was sad for me and he was missing his "Mo-Papa," my dad. He is such a great, caring boy. Actually all three grandkids are quite caring. Their parents have done well with them, teaching them to care for others. When the boys were very little, they started calling me Papa. When we were trying to explain the relationship of my dad to them as being their great grandfather, we told them that he was their Mommy's Papa. One of them looked at my Dad and said, "Mo-Papa?" meaning more Papa. Ever since then my folks were known as Mo-Papa and Mo-Nanny. By the way, my Mom was 92 this week and she is talking about coming down here with us again this year for a few months.

So where have I been for the past six weeks and why haven't I posted? I have been traveling for four out of the six weeks. I was in San Angelo, Houston, El Paso, and Lake Charles. All for either four days or five days. The first three were for my work and the last was with Cheryl and a group from her work. One of the weeks home I was in a trainers' meeting all week. The other weeks seemed to be taken up with various doctor, dentist, optometrist and other appointments. Also we have been having repairs done at the house as a result of a leaking air-conditioner that caused part of a ceiling to collapse clear back in August. The contractors finally were able to schedule us. We had to move everything out of the living room/dining room so dry wall could be replaced, carpeting could be replaced and the walls and ceiling painted. They are painting the ceiling through most of the house as we have an open floor plan and there wasn't a place to stop. We decided to take this time to do a little remodeling too! So, bottom line is that I have just been too tired to get on the computer most nights like I usually do. However, there really is nothing new to report health wise from me. I am just enjoying this break from chemo treatments. I am also not keeping up very well with the folks on my CLL Forum and Acor sites.

Speaking of the CLL Forum, so many of my friends there have had to go into treatment in the last month or two. Several are not doing too well and a few are even in the middle of bone marrow or stem cell transplants. I haven't been keeping up with them like I should, either.

Some good news, though. David E. raised over $20,000 for prostate cancer research with a golf tournament he put on. Last I heard, someone was going to match that so he really raised over $40,000! If you remember, David is a fellow I have written about several times who is fighting advanced prostate cancer. A link to his Blog is over on the right. He is the one from whom I stole his motto -- Faith, Love, Hope, Win! He also got some fairly good news this week. His PSA number dropped 40% in the last four weeks, although it is still very high at 51.48. It was up to 83.97 (under 4 is normal). What this means for him is that he will continue his current treatment and is able to avoid harsh chemo treatments for a while longer. Keep him and his family in your prayers.

Well, I will try to do better with keeping my scattered family and friends up to date. A week from tomorrow, Sunday, I fly down to McAllen to do a week-long training. At least for this one I will have co-trainers so I won't be doing it all day long each day.As always, thank you so very much for your prayers and support.