“The Curse”

October 31, 2001|

“The Curse”

“From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”

2 Kings 2:23-25

Relevance you may be asking? Yes, it is that time of year again, when the chemotherapy drugs strike fiercely, decimating the thick and luscious mane of Frederick Arthur Canning III. The above passage so wonderfully illusrates what could happen if you happen to jeer one of us baldfolk. Sure, I used to make fun of my dad when I was kid. Now look what happened to me. 🙂 You too beware…

Anyway, it always takes a little getting used to. There exists a steep learning curve getting acclimated to any new thing, losing my hair holds no difference. It took a day to adapt, back to wearing hats again (it’s freezing up there!), but now, eh, it’s old hat, excuse the pun. 😉

“The Ticket”

So I was driving to New York City last week along I-80 in Pennsylvania. Cruise control set on 67 mph, minding my own business. To occupy myself on the drive, I typically listen to old sermon tapes from my church in NYC (www.redeemer.com). Because I have a CD player in my car, I typically just stick on my headphones and listen through my walkman. So there I am listening to the marriage series, supposedly Dr. Keller’s best series ever (btw, not that I am looking to get married or anything close to the sort, but you always want to be prepared…), when a Pennsylvania highway patrol car zooms by me in the left hand lane at like 80 mph. All of sudden he slams on his brakes, pulls up behind me in the right lane and turns his flashers on. I have no idea what is going on, I have never been pulled over before, I mean I have never, eh..err…let’s just say I have never got a ticket before, OK?

He casually struts up to my car and informs me that I can’t wear headphones and drive, it’s against the law. I had no clue! I have never been pulled over before for this on my 8000 trips to NYC! I have never heard of anyone getting busted for this violation before. I tell him I honestly didn’t know. He goes back to his car for what seemed like an eternity, and comes back with a ticket! Now I don’t want to undermine or badmouth authority and/or the government, but I will say this- there are far worse things going on on Pennsylvania’s I-80. I know, I have driven the whole length of it about 10 times in the past three months. To bust me for wearing headphones, seems quite trite…but anyway, I learned my lesson. The next exit I found a Wal-Mart and bought a mini-tape player with speakers. The first guy ever busted for wearing headphones while listening to a sermon on marriage. Dr. Keller, if you read this, know that I will and have violated the law to listen to your tapes.

“The Horror”

Last Friday I finally got a chance to visit downtown Manhattan and see my old stomping grounds. The site was amazing. The smell of smoke still permeated the air at Ground Zero and the surrounding radius. Tourists packed the area around Broadway, hoping to get a closer glimpse of the action. Everyone was taking pictures. Vendors on the sidewalk selling American flags, NYPD and FDNY hats, and pictures of the World Trade Center. It was somewhat reassuring to see things back to normal, at least according to those purveyonrs of cheap wares.

When I first rose above ground off the subway, I could still see the mall portion, I think that was WTC building # 5, still standing. Charred, but still standing. For the next five blocks, heading down Broadway, all I could see was rubble and metal piled high about two blocks from where I was standing. Because of the blockades, I could only go as far as Broadway. My heart dropped as I walked along that corridor. TV does not accurately potray the destruction. This is 5 blocks by 2 blocks of destruction. That is a huge huge piece of land. All decimated. Unbelievable.

I had another heart dropping moment on Sunday. My youngest brother Billy invited me to see U2 with him at the Meadowlands that night. As U2 sang “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” someone lifted an American flag towards Bono. He lifted it and wrapped it around him, as the crowd went bonzo, shouting “USA, USA!” to the rhythm of the song. It was electrifying. Then at their final encore, a giant screen appeared behind the band, 5 feet high by 40 feet long. As the band played “Walk On”, a touching song by itself, the names of all of those who had died in the plane crashes, the FDNY and NYPD scrolled on the screen. It was amazingly touching, especially seeing this in New York City. It was definitely the best concert I have ever seen. My heart may have dropped, but my spirits were lifted.

“The Health”

And lastly, I am doing well. I crashed hard yesterday, taking a four hour nap. All of the driving, the lack of sleep from goofing off on the retreat over the weekend, the emotions, all caught up with me. I was able to hike over 2 miles on Saturday, the first time I have done any physical activity since March. Hardly any leg pain. Sleep patterns are crazy, but manageable because of not having to work. Chemo again this Thursday, thankfully in Youngstown. Thanks for the prayers and support. Pictures from Ground Zero and the weekend will be up soon.

New York, New York

October 24, 2001|

New York, New York

I am heading to New York City today to start my next round of chemotherapy. I have been knocked out for the past couple weeks, I apologize for not writing sooner. The steriods did wear off, and consequently I developed a cold I just can’t shake. To top it off, I started sleeping again, but much more during the day. Two hour naps are the norm. It’ll be nice to get back on the steriods.

I have also been very busy trying to figure out what schools to apply to next year for graduate school. I am looking at getting an MBA or a PhD (in Organizational Behavior). I have been on the web constantly researching schools and programs. I have also been studying for the GRE and/or GMAT, which are like an SAT for grad school. Analogies, I stink at them!

More news next week…

P.S. I thought this was extremely funny…by the way…I can see the statistics of how many people view this page, what pages they look at, etc. One of the functions allows me to see how people got to this page via a search engine. Someone(s) got to this page twice via the search term “Margaret Thatcher Naked” (see archived letter from 8-11-01). That is gross! I don’t ever want to see Margaret Thatcher naked, do you? I guess someone did…

Chemo Deux

October 8, 2001|

Chemo Deux

Hi all!

It seems like it has been forever since I last wrote! Latest news on the health front: I did my second round of the chemotherapy on Thursday with lil’ fanfare. Other than a huge breakout of acne on my back and shoulders (caused by the steriods), I can thankfully say all is well. The pain in my leg is minimal, the nodes on my neck and groin have shrunk and the appetite is up and running. So far so good. This week I tail off on the steriods and start giving myself shots of gcf (white blood cells). Yeah, I have to give myself shots again. Remember last year? I said I would NEVER give myself shots. I ended up having to do it and eventually it wasn’t that big of a deal. Now, eh, I’ve been there, done that, no biggie. It’s amazing what you’ll do once you HAVE to do it, isn’t it?

Once I am off the steriods, though, I imagine the immune system will take a bit of beating and fatigue may hit. It has been crazy, lately, in terms of fatigue and sleep. The steriods don’t let me sleep. I was getting away with three hours of sleep a night the past two weeks. I just couldn’t sleep. Can you imagine me even more wired? It was great:) Reality will hit soon, and I predict that my body will crash from such a lack of sleep and I will be toast for a couple days. I shall keep you posted. For now though, I feel fine.

East Coast Trip

I returned last night from my East Coast tour, hitting New York City, Philly and Lancaster respectively. It was a lot of driving, but it was made enjoyable by having a new car (my new 2000 Dodge Neon. Cruise control! Holy moly! It’s the best!) and a backlog of sermon tapes to listen to from my church in New York City (www.redeemer.com).

I had an absolutely fantastic time visiting old friends who I haven’t seen in a year or two or three on the trip. For me, it was so rewarding and encouraging to see God at work in so many different people in so many different places. Plus, I hope it was encouraging for everyone to see me looking normal (hair, lil’ meatier, pigeon-toed, bowling shoes, etc.)

Prayer and Fasting Calender

I am not sure if you noticed, but a new prayer and fasting calendar is up. I encourage you to sign up, not just for me, but the country, and yourself. Can you believe the change in the country since 9-11-01??? It seems like every politician, actor, musician… everyone is praying! God must be really busy now:) Anyway, given the current situation, we still need more prayer and fasting. Fasting is hard. Fasting is difficult. But the rewards are amazing. Do try it. For me, I kind of have to eat (Dr. Moskowitz would not be happy if I didn’t). But there are other ways to fast, which I am exploring. What consumes your time? Watching TV? Music? Coffee? Who knows, find that thing, give it up and look for God to give you the strength to deal without it. I look forward to hearing your stories… 🙂 Me, I am hooked on music, e-mail and the Web. When my day hits, no surfing and music. It’ll be hard, but that’s the point. Discipline, my friends, discipline.

Life, What Next?

I have really been pondering life lately. Lot of high thoughts- What am I doing here? What do I do with my life now that I am back at home? What do I do next year, healthy or not healthy? I have really been examining what I do now and figuring out how it fits what I am called to do. It hasn’t been easy. Figuring out what you love to do, where your gifts lay, what you are called to do, how you can do it…those are really difficult questions. I can see the gears in your mind moving, which is good. Take a night, hit Starbucks, bring a notebook, buy a cafe latte and answer those questions. You’ll be suprised how you act from that point on. It is so easy (and I am guilty party A1.) to get caught up in clockwork habits of life and not pull back and see the bigger picture. It has been eye-opening for me, it should be for you too.

Coming Soon…

Within the next few weeks Patrick and I are going to make a lot of changes to the site. I am working on the vision and direction of the site, while Patrick is working on the technological aspects. He’s done an amazing job, so far, hasn’t he? You can e-mail him and see his Web site (www.pataltman.com) and tell him so. Anyway, look for new pictures, new links, new stories and new information soon. If you have any recommendations for things you would like to see, pass them along. By the way, I only have so much memory on the site, so I can’t put pictures of everyone I know on the site. So I apologize now if your picture isn’t up. LOL:)

Thank you to all those who are praying for me (on the calendar or not:)). I can assuredly say that I feel so good because you all are praying for me. Thank you so much! Look for another update in two weeks. Till then, later!