I'm in NY visiting with our dear friends Karen, Mike and Sue. It's damn 19 degrees here right now with wind gusts up to 35 mph. Damn, I'm not designed to endure this crap!!!
It might be cold, but I'm happy to be here. I'm here with friends John Parker from Atlanta and Phil Allen from Seattle. We got to spend some time with Mike at the hospital the last three days. Got to meet all the family, Noreen, Mike Jr., Lloyd and Nicole. Add those to Mike, Karen, Sue, Me, Phil and John, we had quite the party at the hospital! Mike is doing so well that instead of arriving as expected in a wheelchair, he came strutting in with the assistance of a walker! He's made huge strides in the last couple of weeks, so much so that he is able to use his right side (the tumor is on the left side of the brain), walk, carry on coherent conversations, joke and laugh! With the exception of heavy use of "the word of the day", his conversations are completely normal. It seems that since his last spell, (I really don't know what else to call it. It's the result of the screw up with his meds brought on by too many Dr's having their hands in the mix) the word his brain defaults to is "well". So, you'll be talking about a lure coursing motor and it's "that lure well", or the hospital cafeteria is "the well". Hell, anything is "the well"!! It's really amusing once you get used to it. If he's talking about someone, it's "Richie Well". It's not that he can't think of the name, it's more like that just replaces some of the words. I'll have to do some research and see if I can figure out what it's called.
It's been an absolute joy to be here and spend time with my friend. I hate to say it, but when he was first diagnosed, I thought I wouldn't be spending time like this with him again. As luck has it, I might just get another chance to get up here in the near future. The plan now is for R to be able to come up again in a couple of weeks. She might not know it, but she is!! :)
I love these people and wish them all the best. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you know them, please feel free to drop them a letter, an email or a phone call and let them know that you're thinking of them. You should see Mike's face light up when he hears from an old friend or family member. Both he and Karen can use all the support they can get right now.
I'm heading home in the morning. I won't soon forget this wonderful weekend.