Tuesday, January 1, 2008

nothing changes on New Years' Day

Sorry for the oblique U2 quote. It had to be done. ;)

No, nothing really has changed except for the year. Jody posted a nice reflection on 2007 but I'm just too overwhelmed with the most recent goings on. It feels like a lifetime ago but let me try to think about it.

I can remember trying to call home on Valentine's Day with a dead phone only to find Jody had upgraded me to a new RAZR as a surprise gift. I walked in apologizing for being late and not being able to call her when she sprung the phone on me. It still greets me with "Happy Valentines Day! I love you!" when I turn it on.

I can remember a great long weekend at the end of March to VIR where I got to meet the guy who would become this years' SCCA Pro GT champ, Randy Pobst. He would sign on later in the year with APR's VW GTI Koni Challenge team to drive with Ian Baas and Mark White; the former took me around VIR in my own car and convinced me it needs no new go fast parts but a faster me behind the wheel. What a great ride and what a cool guy Ian is.

Jody and I celebrated our anniversary on the water for my first ever cruiseship experience. I recall being nervous about the whole all-inclusive environment but somehow got used to it with ease. Our stops were nothing to write home about but the ship (RCI's Radiance of the Seas) was spectacular. I came home eager to cruise again but Jody isn't ready to slow down to cruising just yet. We're still nap of the earth kinds of vacationers. :)

Summer was uneventful save for more track days and me deciding on a different route for track toys. I had been saving money and collecting parts to build my own Factory Five Racing replica Cobra but I got to see one up close and personal and decided two things. First, it was too small for me and second, it really was a bit too expensive. For the same money, I could ball up my GTI and be stuck thumbing a ride to work. Let's spend a lot less and be like Jason... who bought a cheap old Porsche and was driving it like it had always been intended. I found a great deal on an old BMW and pulled the trigger.

Then I got sick.

At first I thought the old car had given me a mold or fungus and I just couldn't beat it back. The truth was it was colo-rectal cancer and damn, didn't that just change my life a little bit.

That's what dominates my present thoughts of 2007; just that final third of the year. I grabbed it by the horns and fought hard through early confusion and lack of information. Jody and I prayed hard and were given answers both as and before we asked. I came out of the first chemo and radiation period and regained a lot of strength. I thought I was doing well. The year would end with surgery and some genuinely unexpected difficulties. They have done their best to crush me, but I am still standing.

I do not stand alone though. God has been faithful to me through thick and thin. Jody has shown me strength I never knew she had... she may not have known she had. Both sets of parents have gone out of their way to support me, not to mention my family out of reach. Friends both old and new have found ways to tell me they care, they're scared, they're here for me, and that I'm going to make it. Not the least of all have been the specialists and doctors I've been led to whom have -all- spoken to me with absolute confidence that this nuisance can and will be beaten.

As long as I can hold on.

I will not joke with you guys; it has been really hard to keep my grip over the last few weeks. The lack of pain from the surgery has been substituted by pain from recovery and humbling challenges just to get out of the house. I've been, heck I still am afraid to leave home. I have never felt my stamina disappear so quickly nor been so worried.

So maybe one thing changes this New Years' Day and that is my attitude. I was able to focus and get regimental about my diet and water so I think I need to pray and get military about increasing my strength. The fifty pounds I've lost since this time last year should help. ;)

Please forgive me for the long quiet periods on the blog. I've been so down lately, tired, and just impatient about how slowly the recovery is going. It's been a serious drag on my spirit. I have my moments, but they aren't like they used to be... and that's one thing I want back once this is all done with.

Enjoy the Bowl games today and drop me a line. And for you locals, I am still home and earnestly welcoming visitors any time! :)


Michele said...

Oh, John I didn't know you were feeling so down. The prayer warriors will step up the prayers a little harder. Thank God you are blessed with such a wonderful wife and support system. I am so grateful to my husband for his support.
Prayers are with you.

James said...


I am sorry I have not had the chance to stop by and say hey. As you know it's a crazy time of the year for me with family comming over for xmas and then my nieces birthday on new years. Keep your chin up, heal and remember that your first need your health before you can have anything else.

I'll be in touch soon.

Scattered Gemini said...


Welcome to 2008! Maybe you thought you might not be here to see it arrive? But here you are. You are with us on this great green globe and i'm sure you are a great joy to all who know you personally, even during all of your struggles and pain.

I continue to put energy out into the Universe, asking for your pain to be less and your healing to be more. I also ask that you and Jody be surrounded by the love of your friends and families and that they all continue to support you both.

Before you know it, 2009 will be just around the corner and you will be looking back over this time...

Nittany Knits said...

Alex would like a game night VERY SOON, so just give us the word!!!!!

Anonymous said...


It's been a heck of a year indeed. I'm still talking to God daily on you behalf (He's not talking back but I have a good feeling!). People who know you and read your words know this is a better world with you in it. Cheers! Happy New Year! And God Bless!