Day 14 – 24 Radiations and Chemos to Go

LESSON OF THE DAY – Just plan plan one day on the weekend!

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Day 14 180 COLD lbs

Happy Sunday!  I hope that it was a perfect day for you and yours. For me it was a learning moment.  Yesterday I had such a great day we saddled up and headed out to WoodCraft to pick up our woodturning club’s items for the Jacksonville Fair and deliver them to the fairgrounds.  Kat and I left home about 9 and hung out at WoodCraft until noon.  Well thank God we thought to bring some warm clothes!  It was a balmy 50 degrees but we got to spend some time with our turning buddies and catch up.  We ended up with 35 entries and they are stunning.  Bernard and Susie met us at the fair to help unpack the boxes – Thank you guys!  The fair people will set the display and next Saturday is judging.

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Susie, Bernard and the entries

We were out of there by 1:30 heading to The Dreamette for an well deserved ice-cream cone and then home for a nap.  I got up about 6 and Kathy fixed pork barbecue sandwiches for dinner.

Guys I will be brutally honest – I overdid it this weekend and I can barely think! My throat hurts and I am weak. That is why I started with the lesson of the day.  Next weekend I am only planning one fun thing and if it is a must do, I’ll have my back-up buddies in place. So, with a grin and a groan I am going to bid you goodnight and head for the bed. I had a great weekend, learned some stuff and tomorrow is another day.  Peace Out


Day 11 – 26 Radiations and 4 Chemos to Go!

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Day 11 182 lbs

Hola Compadres!  Thursday night and all is good in the house.  How the hell did it get to be Thursday night??? I went into the radiation treatment room and Hana goes I’ve got you scheduled at 8:20 in the morning I replied who did I make mad?  She reminded me that tomorrow was Friday and my double day!  But I get ahead of myself.  My day started with a text from my brother-in-law Albert wishing me a good day and a message from another woodturner, Suzanne Bonsall Kahn.  Susan sent me a picture of a project that she is working on to raise money for a “Movember” event and it is awesome!  It really gave me a smile and started my day. Suzanne is an accomplished woodworker, woodturner, artist and teacher.  She is on my “to do” list for classes to take.  Her


studio is in Philadelphia and her work is wonderful.  You can check her out at or her Facebook page dovetail facebook  .  When I arrived at the center today I stopped at the art table to see what was going on and was met by Oscar.  I wish I could show you his picture but he was so cute and about 5.  He presented me with a Halloween Card and wished me a spooky day.  How can you not feel great!

When I got home I went to the shop and had a couple hours of fun.  I told you that I am making wooden fish out of scraps from my table bases for the centers art project.  Well here they are.

The only problem was it really took the wind out of my sails.  I knocked off about 3:30 and came in to get dressed for yoga and made the mistake of sitting down for a moment.  As I started to doze off I decided I needed a nap more than yoga so changed into my pajamas and snoozed.

Today was a good day, it was filled with people, sunshine, sawdust and you, what more could a person want.


LESSON OF DAY – Take time to notice the little things they are important


Day 8 – 29 Radiation and 5 Chemos to Go!

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Day 8 176 lbs

Okay, fasten your seat-belts,  we are going to rumble tonight with an age old dilemma.  WEIGHT!  God bless those of you who have been born with the weight and shape of your dreams and even more to those at peace with yourself.  I know that is all over the board and I appreciate your contentment and happiness. I am not so blessed and haven’t really come to terms with the subject.  The Penny clan has always been characterized by it’s ability to look at a piece of cheesecake and put on 2 pounds.  Since childhood I have been up and down the ladder.  To keep my weight I have run, worked out, Adkins, Sugar Busters, South Beach, walked, starved, high protein, low carbs, moderation and through it all I have figured out how to maintain a 10 pound range between 175 and 185.  I feel best, ie clothes fit, work comfortably, at the 175 mark, but I know that Halloween through Christmas are going to put me near the 185.  Candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, special foods, eggnog I’m there!  And I have become at peace in that range.  Normally by summer I am back down and life is good.  This year with the injuries and pneumonia, it wasn’t coming off and secretly I was tickled to death when they told me I could lose around 20 pounds in treatment…..yes I know some of us ARE sicker than others.  When they did the throat biopsies I lost 10 pounds and was digging it, but the reality of what the doctors where telling me sunk in and I knew that I had to put it back on before I started.  I ate everything that wasn’t nailed down a gallon of ice cream a week, double desserts, honkin’ steaks, fried chicken, potatoes, biscuit and gravy, ribs, field peas, fish sandwiches, Kystal, McDonald’s, Wendy’s the Dreamette, anything that I thought that I might love and more and I made it!  1st weigh in was 186 pounds.  Dr. Guthrie told me that I needed to consume 2000 calories of high protein food every day, drink 2 liters of fluid and make one of those an electrolyte drink.  Well friends, it is without a doubt the hardest thing that I have ever done.  I keep a food diary and record everything that I eat.  For breakfast I drink a smoothie – one banana, one cup of coconut milk, 2 scoops of egg white protein, one cup of greek yogurt, and a cup of berries  and while it gets me 700 calories and 75 grams of protein – it fills me up!  I start immediately thinking of lunch because treatment is mid-day and I know if I wait too long I’ll really screw up dinner and miss my mark.  So I think of what sounds good and try to add to it.  Bologna sandwich, add mayonnaise and cheese to get the extra calories and protein, wash it down with eggnog and finish with a cookie.  Snack is peanut butter on crackers with cheese and then dinner!  Scrambled eggs made with cheese and milk mixed with sausage with a side of toast and finish it off with a bowl of ice cream before bed.  I AM FULL!  And you know the really stinking part of it?  When I stepped on the scale this morning I was 176 pounds… I have lost 9 pounds in a week.  WTF?? So I really packed it in today and we will see tomorrow.  I wander through WalMart, yes I am WalMart junkie, looking for that high calorie, high protein treat and worry what is going to happen when my throat gets sore and I have to go to softer foods.  BUT I will get it down because I DO NOT want a feeding tube.  Maybe the next time I need to lose a couple of pounds I will try the Dr. Guthrie EAT IT ALL DIET.  I know quit bitching.

Today was a good day.  I gave a little blood, spent some time on the radiation table with Hana and Jenn, wandered WallyWorld and came home and took a walk.  Just a little fatigued and sore, but tolerable.

I walked in the rain today and realized how much I missed it.  It was just a light drizzle, but cool and relaxing.  I met a couple of critters, a garden snake and a banana spider.  (that’s what we call them anyway) and communed with nature.  Bernard and Susie stopped by to deliver goulash, mashed potatoes and  corn muffins for dinner – it was spectacular! and I spent some time on the phone.  God is good and has given me another wonderful day.  Kat, Sydney and I are watching The Voice and getting ready for an appointment with Dr Guthrie, chemo and radiation tomorrow.  I hope that your day was just as magical, enjoy your evening and we will catch up tomorrow!

LESSON OF THE DAY – Be careful what you wish for, God may give it to you!

Day 4 – 32 Radiations and 5 Chemos to Go!

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Day 3 – Back in the shop! 182 lbs

Hey guys!  I hope that it was a good day for you, I am quickly realizing that this is a game of ups and downs.  Today was not especially a good day.  I woke up about 4am and and lounged in bed reading and dozing until about 8, when I finally got up and fixed my breakfast protein smoothie.  I have a table I am working on and I got dressed and put a coat of stain on it before I went to radiation at 1:50. That way I could put a second on it when I came home.  So after forcing down lunch, macaroni and cheese and hummus, I decided to get cleaned up and lay on the couch to catch the news.  Not such a good a plan!  I awoke at 2:10 and had to call Hanna to let her know that I was late for a second time this week.  It all worked out because there was another

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Bread Board Table Top

patient who got done with his doctor appointment  early and she switched us. Well that didn’t stop the sleepy head jokes when I got there….I got plenty of good-natured kidding from everyone. On they way home I stopped by the store and did get the second coat on the top before I collapsed on the couch.

Expectations are going to have to become a thing of the past if I am going to get through this with my sanity.  I am going to have re-adopt a real “one moment at a time” attitude.  Today my expectations were to get that table finished, not just stained, go to my appointment, run by the bank and the store then come home to turn some acorns, before i went to yoga and writing to you.  As you can clearly see that was a pipe dream.   I have to go back again to early sobriety where my job was to don’t drink, call my sponsor, go to a meeting and perform necessary functions.  I have to switch my expectations to taking my medication and treatments, consuming calories and taking care of myself, then anything else.  I cleared my calendar for a reason.  The problem is admitting I need help….EGO, letting go of the idea that I am not enough.  It seems that this would be an easy thing with all the love, support and offers that I get everyday from people who are happy to do it.  It’s admitting that I am sick and that I need help and being okay with that. Peter and I had a discussion on the phone this morning about what really is humility?  It is defined; the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc. Wow!  My self worth is not defined by how much I get done, the household and world will get by if I don’t meet my expectations….Who Knew?  We have Bernard and Susie coming for dinner tomorrow night and guess what?  They are coming to spend time with Kat and I, they don’t care if the house is picked up or the laundry is done – hell, they would probably do it if I let them, OR even better, asked them! I am acceptable and lovable just as I am, they know I am sick.  The love and caring that I get are not contingent on what I get done, or how my house looks, they love me for who I am.  They know and accept that my only task is to fight cancer and take care of myself.  They are okay with that and so should I.  God will sort out the rest if I ask, have faith, and set aside my ego to humble myself to ask for help.

Tomorrow I am scheduled for 2 radiation treatments, one at 8am and one at 3pm, come home and ice down my neck and apply aloe vera, consume 2000 calories of high protein food and rest if I need to.  That is my job, anything else is gravy!  When Bernard and Susie get here if I don’t feel good I can spend a few moments and get some hugs then go to bed and let them enjoy time with Kat…..It will be okay – they love me and understand.

LESSON OF THE DAY – Remember that you are not defined by what you get done. Let go of your stinking ego and ask for help if you need it. My only job is to get well.