Day 144 – Worm Fest!

2018-04-22 15.55.26
Day 144

I woke up this morning not wanting to get up.  I was pissy and cranky and just not very grateful.  I was sore, tired, funky and just generally out of sorts.  It brings back memories of a childhood favorite;

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones
Eensie weensy squeensy ones
See how they wiggle and squirm!

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!

I bite off the heads, and suck out the juice
And throw the skins away!
Nobody knows how fat I grow
On worms three times a day!

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones
Eensie weensy squeensy ones
See how they wiggle and squirm!

The good news is that I realized it and have made an attempt to stay out of everybody’s way.  William came home yesterday and Kat has been smoking ribs for a small party.  Jan and Albert, Uncle Mike and William’s dad David are coming over to say hi to Will.  He flew down for the week so that he could pick up his car and drive back to New York.  He brings his car south for the snowy season then takes it back north so he can explore in the spring and summer.  I got up and asked God to help me through the day by keeping my mouth shut and me on my best behavior.  I picked up sticks and limbs from the yard that came down in last Sunday’s mini storm then went to the shop to finish Albert’s Christmas present.  I made him a razor handle and stand to fit his preference of blades. It worked out pretty good because the other two have just been napping on the patio leaving me to my mood.

There is really nothing wrong or out of the ordinary I guess that it is just my “time of the month”…lol.  I have been trying to remain balanced in my activities but they just seem to pile up.  I haven’t written in over a week because I have been going to bed early trying to keep up.  I got my new glasses Friday a week ago and have been trying to wear them all the time to get used to them.  They have been an asset, but have taken a little more to get used to than the hearing aids. I did make a trip to Waycross Friday a week ago to see my friend Jerrid Roberts, AKA the Swamp Hippie 3, to pick up one of his ant hill pours.  Jerrid melts down aluminum cans  with a homemade smelter and then pours the molten aluminum into ant hills to get unbelievable sculptures.

He has a niece with cancer and is putting together a raffle consisting of artwork and asked me to do a bowl and Kat to use one of the anthills to work her magic on.  The next day Kat and I played around in the shop for awhile then got cleaned up and went to Gators Barbecue for dinner and ran by to see our in-loves Amy and Keoni for a minute to see how their hurricane reconstruction is going.  Sunday we had a fellow turner from the club, Jackie, come over to learn how to turn pens.  Monday I started a new adventure , I went to work part time.  My friend Eric Miller owns the company that I build table bases for.  He has had the good fortune of receiving a number of orders for furniture and can’t get to it all so I am working 3, 4 hour days for him, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Now while that seems like a reasonable amount, it was extremely tough to get started – I have found muscles that I forgot that I had and the chemo-brain has presented some challenges.  Thursday I put 2×4 crosses on a table where the plans called for 3x3s and didn’t even realize it until Eric got back.  At least I had only done one!  But otherwise it went pretty well.  Here is a set of barn doors we did.

Wednesday I went up to Barb Hahn’s shop in Kingsland to play around with embellishment tools.  We tried so many different things that before we knew it it was 5pm!

2018-04-18 15.27.13
Embellishment 101

And Kat and I got to do something really special on Friday evening.  I have a client The Volunteers In Medicine who I make bowls for .  It is an organization that provides free healthcare to working uninsured patients.  They do this through the generosity of physicians, nurses and every type of healthcare provider who donate their time to treat these patients.  Last year there were over 200,000 hours donated. In recognition of 2,000 cumulative hours donated they award the volunteer on of my bowls.  This year I was asked to attend so that I could present the bowl. It went to Dixie Murphy, a pharmacist, who it turned out is a member of the Jacksonville Gem Society, a club that we just joined!  We also had the pleasure of sitting with one of last year’s recipients Tocca Chester who was just thrilled to meet us and learn about the bowl.  She was so interested that she is going to come out and spend a day in the shop.  It was a very humbling experience to be introduced to and thanked by people for their bowls that they treasure and appreciate.

So when I sit back and look at the last 10 days it is no wonder that I am tired, sore and a little grumpy!  We had the welcome home Will dinner and I improved a bit and am now sitting on the couch recovering.  Ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, fresh tomatoes and fresh baked bread – my wife is awesome – and I can even taste most of it!  Earlier this week I shared with Kat and Barb that the cancer and treatment has truly changed my life.  I have hearing aids, glasses, sores that haven’t healed, I get to wear a compression wrap on my neck and head every night to bed, I am continually fatigued, have reduced saliva, brush with special toothpaste, taste is compromised and still can’t think clearly.  (Really it can be argued that I never thought clearly…LOL)  But sitting here tonight I am grateful to be alive, grateful for my experiences,  grateful for my family and friends, grateful for my faith and for my sobriety.  I keep reminding myself through my daily discussions with God that this whole adventure is for a reason and in many cases I will never know who was influenced or given hope.  I continue to pray that at least one person will benefit from my struggles and find their own relationship with a God of their understanding.  Tomorrow will be another day, but because I told some people how I felt, said some prayers and took some action today I’m pretty sure tomorrow’s going to be a better day.


Lesson Of The Day – Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.      Denis Waitley


Author: Don

Hi my name is Don Penny I am a professional woodturner in Jacksonville, FL. I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in 3 lymph nodes and the base of the tongue and this is my story of day to day life while fighting cancer.

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