Tuesday, March 31, 2009

no test more than we cannot pass

Peter wrote to the Church at Corinth and said it this way, "No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it." This is something I believe and was the first thing I grabbed onto as Truth the very day this gauntlet began. (1 Cor 10:13)

And I shake my head and wonder how the heck I'm going to get through this.

I'm not. Well, not alone anyway. ;)

The news from Josh and Joanie was uplifting. The details came in steadily that I'd become an uncle to a little baby boy. After holding him and spending time with him, Joanie and Josh named him Simon. Calls here and there to my folks and Josh gave me little boosts all weekend. Monday arrived and Life kicked back into gear.

My assistant, the guy I really really needed and was so happy to have finally brought onboard and begun sharing work with, gave me his two weeks notice yesterday. I really couldn't blame him. He'd been actively seeking an assignment when I came calling. Through a breach of proper notice, he was offered a contingency job elsewhere but still within the company. It would have been, like a broken record, a shorter commute and more money for him, just like my first guy. He got bullied into staying on my task, if you ask me honestly. So hearing that he would now be leaving for a new company altogether came as absolutely no surprise.

I issued a tactfully muted 'I told you so' to my management as I now have to interview more candidates less than a week before the pressure cooker starts. I have back to back to back classes needing full support all the way through the first week of July. I'll be off the chemo halfway through it, but also finishing the chemo half way through it... ifyaknowwhatImean [/Vern]

But this isn't more than I can handle. Um, yeah. Thanks for that. ;)

The truth is, when my last assistant was here, or rather the lazy bum who was sitting at his desk, I was doing all of the work. It was getting done on just my limited hours and with my somewhat rusty skills and cloudy head. Yeah, I'm feeling the chemo more and more as we go, but I am done with round three on Wednesday and halfway through the forest. It might be tough, but I'm not scared... I honestly think I could live without an assistant. It's not like I'll have much free time to train anyone until July any way. I need to be very discerning in the next few days as I am or am not able to interview new peeps.

Shifting gears completely, please say a little prayer for me as I've been in touch with the Cancer Center at NIH. My loving neighbor Melissa sent me a news article on a series of trials for a new procedure aimed at treating inoperable liver cancer; specifically that which has spread from other tumors. I drilled through and found the NIH links and left a voicemail today to see if my case is one they may need volunteers for.

It doesn't sound too scary, but it also doesn't sound like a breeze. I'm also concerned that it may cost me a fortune. That would suck because I feel very strongly that these trials may be a way I can do something good by helping the research along and maybe giving someone else a better chance in the future. My guess is that they'll want my history, yadda yadda, and we'll go from there.

- Sco

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Did anyone get the plate off that truck?

I knew I'd been slacking on the blog, just not by how much.

It's been a hellacious few weeks with far more lows than highs, but let me at least get one of those highs out there. Within the next few hours, I will be an uncle. :)

My bil called me just as I was about to sit down for drip number three today. I hesitated to answer because I was already depressed so I quickly took his call and explained I was at the oncologist. He told me he and Joanie were on their way to the hospital and that she'd be induced today. It must have been about noon their time, but it really cheered me up. I needed a few minutes to dry my eyes but the IV and the drip went nice and easy after that.

It was just the kind of news I needed after these last few weeks. I know it's not going to buoy me too far though but I'll still enjoy it. I'm not even sure who's reading this any more so I'm kinda doing this for my own therapy.

Yeah, drip number one pretty much crushed me. I was already defeated and it did not help that work had become such a strain. You see, when I'd resumed working I'd done so with the express direction that I'd be working with someone. My customer needed a full time person with my background but I was only available half-time. They okayed hiring a second full-time junior person and I'd be responsible for training him/her... kinda like training myself out of a job, but it would be honest work again.

The first guy they hired after I'd phone interviewed him and was confident he was a good guy. He quit after a month when he got an offer for more money and a muuuch shorter commute. I couldn't fault him for it.

The second guy they hired came on board as a total surprise. He showed up the day I was told he'd been hired... I never even got to see his resume'.

I could go on and on AND ON about what a complete ASSHOLE this guy was, but I'll let my rare use of such foul language speak for itself. I could sympathize with the guy if he had even the slightest work ethic, but he clearly felt justified not doing a single thing the entire time he was on my task. It wasn't the job he'd interviewed for so he didn't have to do it. An honest person would have done what was asked of him even while leaving no stone unturned to find a better job, but not this guy.

When I had finally had enough and began documenting his disappearing acts, refusals to work, playing games and watching Internet videos on government computers, and SLEEPING at his desk, it then took me nearly two months to finally get him fired. In his final two weeks, I found new and more creative evidence that he was sabotaging the lab, making deliberately wrong configuration changes to cause things to stop working.

Thankfully I was able to interview and hire a competent replacement. Even if he is not as skilled as I'd like him to be, he has a good ethic and is willing to learn new things. In his first three weeks alone, he's been a tremendous help as the chemo and the side effects have mowed me down like a runaway truck.

I am trying very very hard to stay ahead of my diet and fluids, but the smallest mistake costs me for days. I cannot recover fast enough and that drags my spirits down even further. I won't say I'm on an upswing now because I felt better a few days ago and know, with today's new round of pills, I'll be back down again pretty soon.

I just need to get through to the middle of May so this batch will be done and I can get a break to go see my niece or nephew even I won't be able to hold the baby. :'(