No news is good news

March 25, 2001|

No news is good news

The complaints keep on coming in: “where are your updates, why don’t you update more, I need to procrastinate at work, so give me something to read”

Well, I don’t have much new news to report, interesting stories to divulge or remarkable insights to expound. That makes it a little hard to write something meaningful and worth reading, I feel. That is actually a good thing, though. The less drama the better (at least for my life).

Three weeks to pray everything away

Well, we have three weeks to pray everything away. What does that mean? In three weeks I have about 3,128 tests to determine if Mr. Evil Hodgkin’s has returned. If he hasn’t life goes on. If he has, life goes on, but under new rules. From what I understand, if he comes back, we can no longer try to stop him, we can only hope to contain him. That would probably mean chemotherapy for the rest of my life (most likely shortened life too, 5-6 years). I asked the doctors what would happen next just in case it came back when I saw them Thursday. No one wanted to give me an answer. I think that is the worst answer possible.:) But anyway, we have three weeks to give everything we got, to pray away any remaining evil cells and to pray away any remaining pain. There really is no tomorrow.

As you might then deduce, this is taking a tremendous toll on me emotionally. It is a constant roller coaster ride. Imagining the future is the worst part, and also the most dangerously destructive part. It is hard not to think of the future when much of what I am doing today is so dependent upon it- what projects to do at work, what activities to take part in, what friends to make, etc. All is really dependent upon what happens in three weeks. Scary, scary stuff. Your prayers on that would be appreciated too. That’s the problem with being an emotional character like myself. When you get high, you get REAL high, when you get low, you get REAL low. Someday when I get older I will learn how to even that all out.


A lot of people were really saddened by my last post on death. Well, I didn’t mean to bring people down. Instead I wanted to show them how close death is for ALL of us, and how important it is to live everyday as our last- enjoying it, relishing it, ensuring that all would be well if we were called to leave. I think the mere mention of death sometimes is a real downer. It shouldn’t be. If you know where you are going, then it should be a real upper. I could talk about this more, but I’ll let you think about the difference. If you think it is a downer, think about why you think that, what you were taught, and what you have experienced. E-mail me with thoughts or questions. Me, this may sound morbid, but I can’t wait to get my robe and sing in the choir.

My Spring Break- videos, conferences and getting kicked out of Wal-Mart

The Florida trip was so great. It was nice to get down south, where the girls are pretty, the skies are clear and the WaffleHouses are aplenty. The pictures should be up really soon (C’mon Patrick get them UP!:). The conference rocked, phenomonal music, good speakers, and some beautiful days of weather.

One of the biggest treats was the traditional “creative-date” event. Every year, the guys from Penn always do something special for the girls from Penn at the conference. This year probably took the cake. We decided to make a music video (lip-synching, dancing and all) of LFO’s song “Girl on TV”, filmed in the Wal-Mart electronics department and had the conference organizers put it up on the big screen at the conference in front of 1500 students. We then gave the girls roses after the video played. Later on that night the ladies walked into our condo surrounded by candlelight, rose petals underneath their every step, a delectable dessert buffet with all the trimmings (strawberries with chocolate sauce, can you beat it???) and “When Harry Met Sally” playing on the TV (to give further discussion from a previous discussion on high vs. low maintenance individuals).

To further capture the essence of the week, there is a whole documentary dedicated to the “Making of the Band” and the week in general. Included on it is our getting kicked out of Wal-Mart (no videotaping in the store!), my getting kicked out of Publix Grocery Store (no videotaping in the store!), and general Panama City Beach mayhem (you won’t believe kids these days). If you ever have two hours I will send it for your viewing pleasure.

Your assignment

You have three weeks to pray like you never have before. My life depends on it. Good luck and God speed. And be careful of undercover Wal-Mart police, they are everywhere…

Serious November

March 10, 2001|

Serious November

As most of you faithful readers know, I rarely, if ever, get super serious when I write. This may be a little more of a special one.

I just came back from watching the movie “Sweet November.” Cheesy love story, yeah I know. I am sucker for chic flicks. But anyway, I was told by a friend that I should go see this movie because I could relate to the story.

I don’t want to spoil the plot or anything, but basically Keanu Reeves is a hot-shot ad exec who meets this free-spirited girl Cherlize Theron and they end up falling in love. The catch, though, is that the girl, who only wants a month long relationship is not doing too well by the middle of the movie. She’s poppin’ pills left and right for “migraines”, she’s fallin’ over, all this stuff. Finally she passes out in front of him and he takes her to the hospital where he finds out she has cancer and has refused treatment for a year, and that she knows her time is almost up, which makes her such the free spirit.

What really made me sit up straight and think was when Reeves was told by Theron’s best friend that she has “non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Man, that was an eye-opener to me.

I started really analyzing myself and the movie as it ended. I could relate, almost too much, and it became overwhelming to a point.

As you may know, I mentioned the fact that the only way we will know if my Hodgkin’s is gone is when I feel no pain. Any pain, and boom!, it could be the Hodgkin’s back. Lately, it has been tough, and I will be very honest. I have new soreness everyday, shooting up from my upper back, from my hips, from my lower back. I was assured that I would have this soreness for awhile, normal scar tissue development. But it continually plagues my mind that the Hodgkin’s is back. Continually.

So anyway, subconsciously this thought of the Hodgkin’s returning has really been a serious issue. I mean if it comes back, there’s not mzch more to do to fight it. Consciously I didn’t realize it. Subconsciously I realize that this could be it. This could be my last year. This could be my last birthday. This could be it. Consciously I never ever thought it. How do I know this? Well one indicator was this crazy time back in Ohio where I just went bonzo seeing a million people, despite being tired, weary and sore. Another indicator was my desire to work like crazy with the Connection, trying to make an impression on these kids and leave my mark on the group. Another indicator was this desire to go out and buy stuff -a cd burner, a camcorder, new clothes, a new camera, etc. I realized subconsciously that I better enjoy myself while I can, because it may be my last to enjoy it.

Maybe this sounds horrifically morbid to you. Sorry. I only write what’s in my heart. We never know when our last days are going to be. Mine may be closer than yours. Regardless, as I walked home from the theater and pondered what this all meant, I came to realize that our days are to be sacred and precious. They are not a commodity to be abused. How could I live another day being unhappy? It could be my last. How could I live another day feeling bitter towards someone? It could be my last. How could I live another day holding a grudge? It could be my last. How could I let my youth pass me by, as I slave to the grind all to make a few extra dollars? It could be my last. How could I become so obsessed with myself that I lose sight of the people around me? It could be my last. How could I not tell someone I love them? It could be my last. How could I not tell you what I know about God and His love and forgiveness? For today could be my last to tell you.

So I leave for Florida tomorrow. I hope it’s not my last chance to go down there. I hope to show my grandkids the home videos I shoot down there. I hope to see all my friends again. I may not get that chance. If I do, praise God. If I don’t, at least I know that I lived that chance to the fullest. The movie, it wasn’t very believeable, nor would I recommend it for an Oscar, but it didn’t get me thinking about my last days and how I want to spend them. These are the last days. MineΓ–and yours.

Back in the Big Apple

March 4, 2001|

Back in the Big Apple
It’s been awhile since I last updated, and in the month of February I only updated twice, so I am little out of practice.I was trying to figure out what I should write about, and I have just had a giant attack of writer’s block. Much of that could be attributed to my lack of writing in the last month.It’s all about practice.

Well I am back in New York City after my month of (cough, cough) recovery in Youngstown, Ohio. It was sad to have to leave, but I needed to get some rest…so I moved back to the City (ironic, eh?). The past week was a whirlwind where I had one meal at home the entire time.It was great to see everyone back at home, seeing faces I haven’t seen in five years, since I was in high school.

The Art and Jolia-directed Connection also did quite well too. The kids nailed their one and only performance while I was home.They got standing ovations on three different songs in front of a tough crowd at the Saxon Club.I was incredibly proud of them (don’t get big heads, kids, you still have lots of work to do to be Connectionworthy).Probably the better performance was earlier in the day, as a bunch of old and new Connection folks welcomed injured director Baird back to her house after 2 months in the hospital.Pics will be up soon.

Hair there!
My hair is back! It is growing like weeds! I anticipate having an afro by the end of March, it is growing so fast!Yes, I am hoping it grows back curly. Last time I lost it, it came back wavy, so the natural progression would be…

Florida bound
It wasn’t easy, but I had to admit it. I am not ready to go back to work full-time. My body is just not at full strength yet. Do you know how hard it is for me to admit that? Me-Art, me don’t admit weakness. πŸ™‚ No, really, I want nothing more than to go back to work tomorrow and kick in 60 hour weeks, but I just wouldn’t last more than three days.To hopefully speed up the process, I decided to go on my first vacation in a year, heading down to Florida with fellow UPenn Campus Crusaders to the legendary Big Break conference. We stay at the best condos, nicest hot tubs, phattest pools, etc. They know us christian kids won’t trash’em.I am looking forward to the week, to really get some rest and chill. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Thank you for all your support and prayers. I am still getting cards with money in’em! STOP IT!!! I am totally getting an XTerra πŸ™‚ Just joking. No, I really appreciate your help.So far so good. My back is sore (supposed to happen, scar tissue effects), but I received a full seat/back massager for my b-day, which helps amazingly. (Thanks mom!) Other than that I feel fine, my counts are up, my energy is slowly coming back to Art-levels, and my spirit is unwavering. Seeing so many folks really energized my spirit and encouraged me. Plus all that Handel’s Ice Cream (top ten in nation- USA Today) has helped me put on 10 lbs. πŸ™‚ Let’s just pray for that final healing, and those coveted word “remission.”I am going to be away till the 17th, so expect an update on the 18th or so. Write and keep in touch! πŸ™‚