Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back to Square 1

This Tuesday I saw my medical oncologist to see if we could find out why I have been feeling so poorly. He didn't think it was an infection and wanted to investigate other options. What he pointed out is that two spots showed up in my chest on my head and neck CT scans. These could be a few things, but they could be putting pressure on veins going to my head and disrupting bloodflow.

I had a CT done on just my chest today to investigate further, and it showed no signs of pressure on any veins. However, it did show multiple spots in my chest. At least one is over a centimeter that puts it in the "worrisome" category. The oncologist speculates that it is either valley fever, or that the cancer has spread to the chest. If you remember, the original suspicions by the oral surgeon was that I had valley fever, tuberculosis or cancer.

So, I will have a biopsy done of at least the largest node to see what is going on. Of course it is frustrating to think that I may have to go through a lot more, but we don't know what it is yet, and it could just be something like valley fever. That would explain why I have also been feeling so poorly.

Whatever happens happens, and I will post when I find out the results of the biopsy.

Steve

77 comments:

lindsayellen said...

steve-
i've had the sickest feeling in my stomach since i heard the back to square one news. To be fair, i did have taco bell and gummi worms for dinner, which is what happens when mar isnt here to cook for me. Worry is the shittiest feeling in the world but i learned the only way i can ease it is to force myself to think purely good thoughts and nothing else. i know that good thoughts can't work miracles but we gotta take what we can get.

i have a good feeling. i really do.

i love you so much.

linds

Rye Bread said...

Well if you do have valley fever you would be the second member of the family to have it. If anyone can guess the other one then I will buy them a candy bar. Anyway I love you!!!!!!

Dop said...
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GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Prayers going out for you... I pray that it is not cancer that you have to go through again.

Greg said...

Moke -
I didn't expect you to have posted already after such discouraging news, but I checked anyhow because I was so anxious to hear from you, and a posting is next best to seeing you - you've really got heart. Everything Lindsay said is true for me, too (sans the Taco Belle or Gummi worms for dinner). I'm glad they're finally getting to the bottom of why you're feeling so poorly and why your energy is so low. Let us know the next step. I'll let you know just as soon as I hear if Frankie's a dad yet (labor with contractions 4 minutes apart as of 8 last night, but I haven't heard anything since). Love you so much, Steven. Greg

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

Sorry for the delay in posting, but life as a new granda has been a busy life. I have always thought that my purpose on earth was to be a mom....just a mom. I felt that being a mom was the only thing I was good at (well there were times when the King boys were in trouble, that I questioned how effective I was). Anyway, being a grandmother is the best.

It's so refreshing to sit back and watch Mary and Danny experience the role of parenting. I am constantly impressed with how they've handled their new role. I was babysitting Makenna earlier this week, and one of her favorite things to do is lie down and stretch her body. So I put her on the blanket that you and Jen sent and she had such fun.

I am so sorry to hear your news, it seems like at some point we should hear some encouraging news. I don't believe that you may be back to square one. You are such a stronger person after all you been through. If there is a phase two, you have proven to all of us, that you have the strength and motivation, to accept a new challenge.

It is so frustrating for us (all the people that love you so much) because we feel so helpless. I think we all hope that we can do something for you to make all of this go away, or at least make it easier. So if there is something we can do, please let us know. We are all hoping for a phone call or email from you asking for more visits, different movies, more books....anything that will ease some of the pain.

Baby, I love you so much and I am so proud of you. I can't think of a time that I wasn't proud of you.
You have a great mind, but even a bigger heart.I can't wait to see you and Jen again.

Love you for always...

unclejim said...

Hmmm. It is not often that I am at a loss of what to write. I have an opinion on everything and love to share with anyone who will listen. I guess this comes close to making me speechless. I send every once of strength I have your way, my prayers and my good thoughts. I hope knowing that you are not waiting alone brings some comfort. And hug your mom and dad and sister and brother and Jen often. Their strength needs to become yours and your strength needs to become theirs. I am amazed at how you all have handled this to this point. No matter what you hear in the next couple of days, you will have the power to face it. You are the strongest skinny kid I have ever known.

Mary Driscoll King said...

Steven,

I too am at a loss for words but for some reason feel strangely optimistic (which anyone who knows me well will tell you I am not very often.) It just seems like your strength and determination to beat this thing are going to be enough to make it happen. Not a minute goes by that we don't think about you. I was just rocking Makenna and talking to her about how she is going to get to meet her really cool Uncle Steven one day soon (I know you are not technically her Uncle, but second cousin sounds so distant) and I swear she SMILED, even though babycenter said she would not do that for three months. Your strength obviously inspires everyone! We love you so much!

Elz said...

Everyone has mimicked my thoughts exactly....just disbelief and frustration that this may take longer than we all thought....and a want to do whatever you need to make things better. I too am sending positive thoughts and tons o' love your way.

annabelle said...

Steven, you are not back to square one. You have fought hard to get to this point and you can't give up now. I have positive thoughts about the biopsy today and whatever it is, it is but I'm sure we will all see this to the end and your strength and determination will bring you back to the U of A, put meat on your skinny bones and leave you cancer free. I believe..you have always melted my heart when you say,"i love you maw-maw" and I'm not ready to give that up. So stay strong and positive no matter how hard. becuse there are a lot of us in this fight and we will not give up. We win win. I love you, Steven

annabelle said...

I for got to answer Rye's question: guiness. What's my prize?

bjhost said...

If you concentrate on your obstacles, they will grow into giants and you will sink into a grasshopper.

But if you concentrate on your powers, you will become the giant and your obstacles will become like grasshoppers......

prayers everyday steve.....

Mudge said...

Mary D...the smile...it's gas.
Lindsay...gummi worms!!!!!!? You disappoint me...and I hope you have plenty left for dinner over the next couple of days because your mom is waiting until we kick her outta here to come home.
Greg - warning...if Lindsay invites you over for dinner while Mary is gone you better hope Ted is cooking.
Ryan...I know the answer to your Valley Fever question, but will you really pay up, and are immediate family out of the running?
Steven - you look better than you did 3 days ago and you inspire me. I am calling on all to pray the Rosary for healing. My sister Elaine suggested we each take a day to do some adoration. Any takers? Thanks. Jean

Kevin in Seattle said...

I was really hoping that the reason for you feeling under the weather was because you are allergic to something like not eating ice cream or not watching enough Iron Eagle movies.

I would like to pin down a time to visit you. I will email you once I have my work schedule figured out.

Kevin

ccschneider5 said...

Steven,
I've been away from my computer for a couple of days. Visited your cousin Carrie in Chicago. I was sad to hear your latest news. I am with you always in my thoughts and prayers. I recently read the Oprah book club book A New Earth and I agree with Lindsay. Not only think good thoughts but try to live each day in the moment and don't spend it worrying about tomorrow because that is a waste of today. I know that is easier said than done and maybe too preachy but I have tried to apply it in my own life too.

I love you, Steven. Aunt Cindi

edward said...

Steve

I have to echo Lynnie and Maw-Maw's opinion. I just watched Kerry Wood blow a two run lead in the 9th for the Cubs. He may be back to square one- you, my friend, are not.
It is true that your situation is a tad south of ideal. But the way I look at it, not much has changed. All that you have going for you, your youth, your 25 1/2 years of perfect health, your history of stellar athletecism, and of course, your incredible support system are all aces. All I see is that changes is that you have to feel lousy for longer than we expected. Not fair, but such is life. When you're at the beach this summer, eating a Sara's fish burro (burrito, I suppose, since it is California) and I'm freezing my Royal Rastafarian nee-nees off in Larsen Bay, this situation will seem ludicrous.
I also feel obliged to let everyone know that it was not gummi "bears" that served as our repast last night, but AMC brand gummi "stars." They were greasy and made me feel funny.

Positive thoughts

Theo

draye said...

Hey Steve.
Of course I hope we hear good news from your doctors. The intervening days of uncertainty are especially tough, but they are probably the best time to highlight your courage. What's amazing is that as anxious as I feel about what the biopsy will tell us, I have no doubt--none--that you will fight again if that's what it takes.
I'll also sign up for adoration rotation, subject to changing my day when I start work (read: allowing a firm to buy my drinks all summer) May 12.
Dom

Aunt Mary said...

My Sweet T,

Last night, driving down to Tucson, I had such mixed emotions. I couldn't believe you had yet another bit of bad news, and quite honestly, I was so worried what I was going to walk in on. But once again you rose to the occasion, showing strength and confidence, reassuring all of us in that gentle manner that is so completely you. I fell like I have won the lottery in that I can reach over and smooch that face anytime I want. The very thing I dream of doing as I sit in Phoenix wondering what your day is like.

I know your head is so sore, yet you never complain. You seem so focused.

I love you so much, Steve.

Bill said...

Moke: When you come out of this and are snagging my line drives with one hand while straddling the line, I'm gonna smile at you (and then flip you off), by you a delicious Sara's shrimp burro, and then remind you what an amazing amazing feat you accomplished. Time to head it into the wind, Moke.

Danny King said...
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Danny King said...

We all know Billy doesn't hit line drives. However, if memory serves correct I believe Steven and I put on a beautiful concert with our use of the "banjo" in OTL. We made sweet music.

We will be having a repeat concert this summer. Bring your lighters.

lindsayellen said...

steve-
i was just thinking about the time (you probably don't remember this) when i was about 6 and you were about 8 and i idolized you so much that i asked you if we could get married. This is totally creepy, i know...but i was six.

anyways, your repsonse to me was that we couldnt get married because our children would be born without legs.

i dont know why i remember this so vividly but i like to think about it because it reminds me of how much i've always looked up to you.

love you, cousin.

Bethany said...

I am at a loss of words like many others but Ted has a very valid point. The only detail he forgot was your superior mental strength. I read the article below a few days ago and the following quote reminded me of you; you and your athletic abilities, your courage and your mental strength. “Our bodies are controlled by our minds. Nobody ever won without first daring to dream that they could. So we push ourselves not as much to the limits of our body, but to the limits of our imagination…In a world that believed in the limitations of man, Roger Bannister dared to imagine. He imagined that he could run a sub-4 minute mile, a feat that was far beyond the collective imagination of the time…In a funny way we are like goldfish – we will always expand to the size of our bowl. No matter how big the challenge set before us, we will find a way to succeed.” – Jeff Matlow

I have no doubt that you will succeed.

http://ironmanlife.blogspot.com/2007/07/buy-bigger-bowl.html

unclejim said...

After re-reading your post, it seems like they have given you an option. I want to go out on a limb and say go ahead and opt for the Valley Feaver. You already showed you can beat cancer so why not try fighting something new. I would hate to see you get into a rut. It's kind of like how ASU gets tired of beating the U of A all the time. Occassionally it is nice to beat someone else.

Sending all that is positive your way.

Chad Vader said...

I am staying hopeful that the spots are some sort of old war wound from when you were a secret agent. Hang tough...Kevin is right on about watching more Iron eagle. Maybe we should get a Bow? Bow Hunting! let us know when visiting is good for you!

annabelle said...

Hi Moke,

How I wish I could write like Ted.

Would someone please tell me when the biopsy is scheduled?

Your uncle Bean is coming tonight so I know we will be driving to Tucson in the next few days. I can't wait to see him. Always an upper!!!

I enjoy Bethany's post as I do all the others. It's my first project of the day; reading the blog lifts my spirits. Dominick, the next time your in Phoenix you better come see me. Danny is studying for the bar as I'm sure you are and you could study together. Just a thought.

Tomorrow is my 57th wedding anniversary. I know poppie is pulling for you, Steven. We are all in this together, and WE WILL PERSEVERE.

One last thought..Teddy's ass is way to small , kinda like yours, so I'm not worrying about it freezing.

Greg said...

The biopsy was scheduled for 7am, but last time I talked to Mary, about a half hour ago (10am) they were just beginning. There will be no results today, and it may be as late as Monday before they have the results, so, as they say when you stand down and wait in the army, "smoke 'em if you got 'em." I should stop using that expression - the tobacco companies are such bastards!
Steven has been feeling really lousy and it's encouraging that it looks like they may admit him to get his hydration, nutrition, electolytes etc squared away. I know that will make him feel better. That's all I've heard.

draye said...

Hi Steve.
I made it to Mass for you today, which is no small feat when facing a securities regulation exam that makes your grandmother's invitation to study for the Bar seem inviting. Happily, I still have another year of law school, Annabelle, but I hope to be back in PHX within a month or so--flights from LA are much easier than PHL. Plus, I can almost afford to golf in AZ this time of year...oh, and it'll be nice to see Steve too. Take care.
Dom
P.S. Grove, or "Rev Kev," as I am calling him now, will be here next Saturday. I'll be sure to fill him in, internet communications not being his strong suit.

Greg said...

Steven's out of surgery for the biopsy and will be admitted. He's really weak and tired, having not slept in a while, and he's obviously in pain and feels lousy. I'm told that if anyone's thinking of visiting, it would be a good idea to first check in with Tom, Jean or Jen .

Jen said...

Thanks Greg for updating everyone...I hear you have had a busy day yourself; it is so amazing to see how many people have made Steven's healing their own priority.

He is still hanging out in the "patient holding room". He said the pain medication was helping his head, but his side is in the worst pain he's ever experienced. For all you runners out there, he said it was the worst sideache he as ever had. Maybe it's only the really bad runners, like me, that get sideaches, though.

He was at least able to talk, which has been painful to do for weeks because of his head pain. His lung kind of collapsed during the procedure, which obviously sounds frightening. This is the reason for the pain, but they think they won't have to intervene and are just watching him. They should take him to a hospital room as soon as his lungs appear to be okay so they can address this head pain and find a way to help him. As Greg said, results won't come until Monday or Tuesday, but Steven needs the weekend to focus on just getting his head to feel better, anyway. He is so strong and has such a great attitude, but I think the pain and lack of sleep he has endured for the past three or four weeks is pushing his limit. As you all probably feel, we can't know exactly what he is feeling, but want to help ease the pain and give him strength. Continued prayers and some really strong positive energy sent this way help him keep fighting. He loves to read of your support on the blog, too.

I hope soon he can tell you more himself. I'll print off your comments since he last read them and read them to him tonight...so if you are shy like me and hesitant to post, you better get your butt in gear (-;

-jenny

Tony said...

Steve,
I hate not knowing- the comfort is that I know you, and know that you are a champ and will fight and beat whatever is making you feel bad, whether it is taco bell and gummi stars or something like scarlet fever. You're getting lots of prayers from the Groseta family.

Also, I can't think of a funnier image than an 8-year old Steve telling an 6-year old Lindsay that their kids wouldn't have any legs.

Mary G. said...

Steve,

Keeping you, Jen, and your entire family in my thoughts and prayers. The strength you have displayed over the past several months is amazing and will no doubt carry you through to a happy and healthy finish.

Lots of love,

Mary G.

Elz said...

Hey steven - this is actually lizzie - i can never remember my username and password so i have just given up and decided to use other people's accounts. anyways, i dont know if you will be able to read your blog because i know you went back to the hospital today, but i just wanted you to know that i am thinking and praying for you. when i heard the news, all i could think about was conner ross and how he had such a great support system (much like you) and kicked cancer's ass! i know you are going through a lot but am confident that you will do the same. i think it is important for everyone to stay optimistic because you never know what will happen. i love you and am looking forward to seeing you soon!

lizzie

mary heiland said...

Dear Steven,

Just wanted you to know that your friends in Phoenix are praying for you like crazy and planning to begin a novena on Monday evening, May 5th. For those of you who won’t be out celebrating Cinco de Mayo (and maybe those who will), we will gather at Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral at 7 p.m. This will go on for nine days (same time, same place) as we say the rosary each night and pray to St. Jude for intercession. Seven o’clock seemed like a good time considering it’s in between the 5:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. summer league baseball games (you remember those). On the weekend we will meet a half an hour before Mass on Saturday (at 5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (at 4:30 p.m.).

For those of you who might be wondering … a novena is “the reciting of powerful prayers and devotions for a special request over 9 consecutive days which signifies the 9 days the Apostles prayed together during the time between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost when they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit”. You don’t have to be Catholic to join us for this novena … just come if you can and feel the power of prayer. We will continue through Tuesday, May 13th. Hopefully someone from your family might be there to give us updates.

P.S. Jean … we love you, miss you, and know you are taking good care of your boy 

Love, your friends

mary novotny said...

Steven,
Adding the prayers of the Novotny's to ALL these people who love you so much!!
You are so loved.......that carries alot of weight in this fight.
Our prayers continue.

Joan said...

Dear Steve,

We have never quit praying for you. You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Gordon keeps thinking about how you wore him out during our walk not very many weeks ago! Try to not get discouraged. Easy advice, I know, when we don't have to go through what you are, but remember there are so many people that love you and are praying for you.

Gordon and Joan

Paula said...

Hi Steve and Jen,

I feel that I have to follow through with Jen's challenge here. This might just force me to go back to church. Stay positive.

Paula

annabelle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
unclejim said...

We just heard the news that Lindsay has relocated to El Dorado, Texas. Steven, as strong as the pull is to follow her, you must know that it just isn't right. Stay put in that hospital. I know the long hair, the better to wash your feet with, and the flaterring pastel colored dresses can be tempting, remember she is your cousin. And most people who have all of their teeth do not marry their cousins. We are not talking "I am Legend" territory here. You are not the last two on Earth responsible for keeping the species alive. She is a sireen, but resist her spell.

I swear, that was one of the funniest recollections I have ever heard. And Lindsay told it in her such unique style. Lindsay, you are a treasure beyond compare. As with all my neices and nephews, you are all unique treasures.

Steven, I cannot wait for your head to stop hurting so that you can enjoy the posts once again.

Elz said...

Steve,

This blog is starting to become like the best yearbook ever! You are def. the most popular ;) As has become a minutely ritual, I have been thinking about you all day and wish I had half as awesome a story as Linds, but hugs via internet will have to do. I am sending a million of them and wish, wish, wish for good news this week. At least you will be a bit more comfortable this weekend. To add to the significance of the number 9 (as mentioned in the Novena definition), it symbolizes moving forward in Thai/Buddhist culture...so, it's gotta mean something special. Much love. ELZ

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

My positive thoughts and prayers are directed South every morning and night. I am so glad to hear that you are in the hospital. Of course I would rather by on the patio of the Mexican restaurant that we sent to to celebrate Jen's birthday, but my guess is the i.v.s and pain medication may be more of what you have been praying for, instead of the good mexican food and a shot of tequila.

When you start asking for burritos and tequila, then we will now you are getting better.

Lindsay, I thought about that story you wrote about having a crush on Steven and wanting to marry him - I almost wrote about it on the blog, but didn't want to embarrass you. But the way I remember it, you were more like 18 or 19????


Love you forever, give you mom, dad, and jen a little kiss for me!

Aunt Lynnie

Mudge said...

It's been a very long day and so nice to come home to read his blog and see so many people have been tuning in. I was hoping this was the case since we couldn't get cell phone reception in the hospital to place/return phone calls. Another update: he finally got up to a room @8pm and had not had anything to eat since 11:30 last night. They didn't have an order for food, but he did for pain medicine which they freely give him whenever he asked. Jenny says he will probably not remember this evening. Poor thing is spending the night in his room on a chair just as she has for his other two hospital stays while his parents are enjoying a comfy bed at Tim's. I figure if these two ever get married they have the unique opportunity to have already experienced the "for better or for worse" part which does most people in. She is dauntless in her encouragement and perseverance; as is Steve. They did another CT scan of his head (don't know results)to compare to last Friday's and will do an MRI in the morning. He has terrible headaches and swelling that shouldn't be there this long after ending radiation and chemo. I could be wrong about that. I never trust my memory. There will be a PET scan on Monday. We signed him up for acupuncture and a head message next week. We're trying to cover all the "what more can we be doing for him" bases. On that note I am so appreciative of the novena from the SSJ crowd, and Dominic making it to mass, but not surprised. You guys are the best! If I am in Phoenix I will be there and dragging Ryan along with me. He'll be thrilled. News of the results of tests will be posted as soon as we know and can.

lindsayellen said...

hey steve-
i know my mom and mudge signed you up for yoga and reflexology classes at the cancer center that you weren't so stoked on so i signed you up for a cardio striptease class at the downtown YMCA.

it starts on monday. wear something shiny.

once again...i love you with everything i've got.

linds

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Continued prayers going for Steve and all that love him. I do not know how long this road of trial will take but please know that I am here praying for you. Steve you are such a strong spirit and a person that I definitely admire. God has definitely blessed you in so many ways.

Jean (mudge) you were definitely missed this week and also in my thoughts and prayers.

Greg said...

Steven -
Frankie and Kristen had a baby boy last night - Jackson David Lesselyong - a real porker weighing in at 8lbs 11 oz. Maybe someday Jackson and Makenna will get married and have enormous kids. Hope a night in the hospital was . . . well . . . just what the doctor ordered. Hope Peggy likes hospital food. Lins, I see you're full of energy and good ideas in the middle of the night. I think the Y class is just the thing. Moke's 2 piece Missou basketball outfit is pretty shiney, and it would be super easy to slip off. Love you so much, Moke. Greg

unclejim said...

I will also be attending the novenas, but confess upfront that part of the time I will be praying Mary Anne joins the striptease yoga class. I have pre-ordered the pole dancing for the Wii.

Hope today is the start of a string of better days. Hard to concentrate at work thinking of you but my hope is you are resting pain free.

Aunt Mary said...

Steve,
I am just getting ready to start my run. For some reason the idea of running on my treadmill isn't near as appealing as running with the Catalinas in full view, even if I do still manage to get lost every single time.
Honey, you will have to excuse my most eloquent daughter. After 16 years of Catholic/Jesuit education, you can imagine my pride as I read her postings..... Money very well spent!!
I wish I could squeeze you, but for now I will take delight in remembering that incredible strength and that sweet smile. Jen, I know we have all told you a million times what you mean to this family, not just in what you do for Steve, but the positivity and confidence that you excude is such a comfort to all of us. I am thinking of a way that we can clone you and then I wouldn't have yo worry about all the unattached men in our family....Oh God!!! I am sounding a bit like Linds....Love you so, so, much!

edward said...

Steve,

Hope by now the respite in the hospital has done you well. I hate to hear about you being in any unnecessary pain. Have to say that I think the alternative medicine approach is a solid idea. Just watch peggy...I think Jean's starting to harvest her own wheat grass.
I just wanted to post that quote from "The loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner" that I read to you on one of my first visits. I really think this is one of the most inspiring passages in literature:
"Soon as I tell myself I'm the first man ever to be dropped into the world, and as soon as I take that first flying leap out into the frosty grass of an early morning when even birds haven't the heart to whistle, I get to thinking, and that's what I like. I go my rounds in a dream, turning at lane or footpath corners without knowing I'm turning, leaping brooks without knowing they're there, and shouting good morning to the early cow milker without seeing him. It's a treat, being the long-distance runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do or that there's a shop to break and enter a bit back from the next street. Sometimes I think I've never been so free as during that first couple of hours when I'm trotting up the path out of the gates and turning that bare-faced, big-bellied oak tree at the lane end. Everything's dead, but good, because it's dead before coming alive, not dead after being alive."

Stay strong
Ted

Adrian said...

Steve
I have a hard time finding words this time. I hope this rollercoaster will end soon with a positive outcome and that in the meantime you will be strong enough to keep your heart and mind above the tumult that pushes your limits.
I am thinking of you as so many people do.

Chad Vader said...

Steve,

My prayers are with you. Thinking of you on every run buddy! Are you in the kind of pain similar to the Ice Baths at SU? Remember the Punching contests you would have to keep your mind off the pain? Not that I am suggesting you let someone punch you in the arm with all their might, Just and idea. In all seriousness keep you head-up!

-Carlos

The Dude said...

a Cinco de Mayo lesson is on it's way per "The Dude's History of Mexico and other such southern countries" not yet in print. Viva tu Revolucion!

Stuart said...

Steve,
I've never wished valley fever on someone as much as I have on you. I think you have a lot of friends who share that sentiment - and were you not frying bigger fish right now, this might, on paper, suggest cutting some of us loose. (cf. Drik Calloway from Rushmore: "With friends like you, who needs friends?") For my part, though, that would be a disaster; your posts are the only thing that make me feel good amidst this experience. Sometimes they're so funny or otherwise good (smart, interesting, etc) that I'm ashamed to realize you're carrying the parts of the load for me that I, for one, should probably be carrying for you. I'd feel worse about it if I didn't enjoy them so much...

But the point (today anyway): without a clear silver lining that is discernable enough to highlight, don't forget that all of this counts for something. It counts toward getting better, or at least breaking even. It counts towards demonstrating the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. It counts towards showing ALL of us how a real man (yes, I'm invoking a gender-specific term here) behaves when the S hits the fan. (another Rushmore reference- "Were you in the S? Yeah, I was in the S." Sorry for all the S, MawMaw) And it counts towards something else that I can't quite find a word for, but basically it describes a characteristic that you have in spades, a characteristic that - if you think about any of the great men that our culture celebrates - some of them might have had it or might not have had it, but none of them were pushed hard enough to need it. Well you have been pushed hard enough to need it, and you're being pushed that hard now. And the good news is: you have that characteristic, and whether it counts with cancer, and whether any of us feel it counts with God (I do), it definitely counts with me. I hope I have that characteristic, and I hope my kids have it. I hope we all have it. If any of us do, there's a good chance that you helped put it there, and that most certainly counts for something. So thanks, Steve.

Looking forward to hearing more posts on how valley fever is kicking your butt. Although for the record my hopes for you do not include any more biopsies for you or nights spent in hospital chairs for Jen.

Stuart

Chrissy said...

Hi Steve!
What has it been, 10 years since we last saw each other? My mom has kept me current on you and your family even when I was away. Your dad was always there for my mom and us girls - what an amazing family you have! Truly incredible. And what?! Danny married Mary? haha! Time does go by fast. I'll send all the love and good energy I have your way.

Cheers,
Chrissy

annabelle said...

Hi Moke,

Heard today that the pain meds were doing their job. Let's hope they got it right. Bean came in last night and it was so good to see him. He is at your Dad's house now. He said he was going over to help hime with the lawn work, no really that's what he said. He has already had two Molly's tamales and some shrimp dish in spicy sauce.

Stu, don't worry about all the references to scata (I think that's how you spell it), remember I had two girls at a catholic all girls school and I was introduced to that and much more.

I hope you're resting without pain Moke..eating and drinking via peg. Get strong and stay strong. I think about you all day every day and I'm even praying while I'm walking roxy. She thinks her new name is "our father".
I love you, Moke.

Does anyone else hate the word verification as much as I do?

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

I am so glad to hear that you are getting some relief. I think easing the pain and letting your body rest will make a world of difference in how you feel.

Before you give the "thumbs up or down" on Uncle Beanie ie. Uncle Buck, coming to visit, just a word of wisdom, in case you forgot. When he gets to Phx he eats nonstop, whether it be red chili burros made with goat meat, or any other specialty meal-which is an ok thing, until he stomach tries to digest, then he has a big problem with flatulence. Just a nice reminder....it can be very embarrassing..

I'll see and talk to via the blog tomorrow. I am blowing kisses your way...

Love,
Aunt Lynnie

lking said...

Oh Mooch,
I forgot to answer your question....I hate the word verification as well...I feel like it's a sobriety test that I fail a lot.

My love and prayers for everyone tonight...

Danny King said...

love you cousin..

Rye Bread said...

Hey TT,

I love you and am thinking about you as I read the book The Alchemist. It is all about fullfilling your personal legend(your goal in life). It just talks about how you can not give up because when you want something the whole universe conspires to help you obtain it. In the book, the main character is on a quest to fullfil his personal legend and is obstructed many times by objects trying to stop him. I thought that it kind of related.

Love you,
Ryan

Aunt Mary said...

Today we celebrate the birthday of a very special individual. For so many years, we have been blessed with her sincere demeanor, infectious laugh, her positive attitiude, but most importantly, her undying sbility to always be present when needed. She always shows up. For all you parents whose lives are consumed with your children's, you can only imagine the unimaginable....your child becoming seriously ill. I have had the extreme pleasure of watching this mother serve as an example to us all. She is continually upbeat, to the point of reminding all of us that Steve responds to our level of positivity so much. Her undying faith in God is remarkable (yes, sometimes I do get a tad tired of her pleading with us to attend a Mass for the Healing), but that's what makes her so unique. Her ability to laugh at herself is so endearing. I cannot express how many times she has been there to pick me when life seemed all to overwhelming. And now, watchng her care for Steve is an experience I will never forget. So today, pleased raise your coffee mugs your wine glasses, Steve, Peg), and toast one of the most exceptional woman I have had the privedge to know and love.

Happy Birthday, Jean. I love you so very much!

Greg said...

Everything Mary said about Jean is so true. Jean makes me smile just to see her. Happy Birthday, Jeanie! Love you! Greg

The Dude said...

Let's not forget that in the Alchemist, the boy is a shephard in southern spain, surrounded by hills and sheep. His legend and treasure are under his and his flocks feet/hooves. But He MUST go on his journey before he can LIVE this legend. You can not run that race until you toe the line. (excuse the mixed metaphor)

Steve, when you eat meat again, i'm coming down and making you some lamb. Eat More Lamb, 50,000 coyotes can't be wrong. (NZedders eat 39 pounds of sheep a year per capita, we ''freedomers'' eat only 1 pound, free your stomach of beef)

Also, no amount of alchemy can change the things that aren't gold in life, into gold. But gold still exists. And you Steve, need to be around to help me find it.

Bill said...

Moke: You have an amazing support system in your mom and dad and bro and sis, plus an army of people all over the country, any one of which would gladly step into your shoes for a day if it meant we could share your pain. I love you and am thinking positive thoughts.

FYI, if you are up to wathcing the D-backs game Monday night, there's a new rookie, Max Schurzer, who's getting his first major league start. He throw's upper nineties. He's kind of a big deal.

Mudge said...

Thanks for the birthday sentiments. All I really wanted was to see a smile on Steven's face, which he did grace me with this morning...what a treat! It actually went along with, "How old are you?" so maybe the smile was that I had to do the math to remember. Goes with age.
Glad to see you are doing your homework, Ryan, while I am away. I also noticed the posted homework reference was at 1 o'clock this morning! You are truly a teenager and on your brother's schedule it appears.
Steven is staying one more night in the hospital. They are concentrating on getting the head pain under control. I heard the doctor use the term "Superior Vena Cava Syndrome". I haven't "webmd"ed it yet so who knows if I spelled that correctly. It apparently does not indicate a spread of the disease just a very painful side effect of the treatment. Biopsy results are a day or two away. As usual he has not complained and his nurses always get a sweet smile from him.

annabelle said...

Happy Birthday. Jean. So glad you got that big smile from Steven. That's what it's all about. Tom and Bean should be there by now. Made a fast lazagne this morning and sent it down with some tuna salad for Jen's lunches. Gonna call Amie and see what time she is going back. I plan to go to 5:00 mass and thought maybe I could take Rye and Amie to Sweet Tomatoes and celebrate your birthday. Give us a chance to toast you. You are a wonderful daughter in law and as Paw Paw Morrison would say, "the toast of Jefferson County". I love you, Jean. Hope this year is your very best!!!

patrick said...

Hey Steve - this is pat haas. I was thinking of you earlier today because I ran a 10k in portland this morning...that is, I went 6.2 miles, although I'm not sure you'd call it "running" per se, but let's not dwell on the specifics.

Anyhow, my Dad liked to run (as I know you do) and he kept a poster in our garage of a man running down an apparently endless road leading into the distance. The caption said "the race is not always to the swift but to those who keep going," (or something close anyway.) I'm sure you've heard that a 1000 times before, but that sort of insight can't be repeated too often.

I hate to think about what you're going through but I wanted to tell you that I think you have an amazing amount of strength and tenacity to keep moving forward regardless of setbacks. I read that Winston Churchill said, "If you're walking through hell, keep walking." There's some good advice and good humor in that quote.

I'll keep you in my prayers. Running in the northwest is a real treat. If I'd known how many pretty girls liked to run, I'd have started a LONG time ago. Whatever keeps you going, I guess. Let me know if you've read Charles Bowden's "Blue Desert." I'd be happy to send you a copy.

Talk to you soon - pat

Elz said...

Steven,

Lizzie, Pat and I went down to the Greek festival last night and ate some dalmathes (sp?) for you...I was dreaming of you enjoying them the whole time. Can't wait till that time comes.

Ryan, I am glad to hear you are reading The Alchemist...it really is a good book and most of his other books are too...all about the road of life.

Jean, happy birthday!!

Steve, again, as many have said, I hope today was at least more comfortable and that this week brings much needed good news. As I write this, my dad and I are watching "Saraphina" and there is a wonderful song (that my dad just said is his favorite) and the lyrics say "you can wound us, but you can't stop us." Fitting, I think.

Love you.

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

I am hoping the pain meds and sleep are making you feel stronger. It's so hard to comprehend the pain you've experienced, as I am one that can't tolerate any sort of pain.
I'm hoping you will be strong enough to go home soon- and let the real nurse Nightingale (ie Jen of course) take care of you.

Not much going on here in the Valley, but please remember we are all praying and sending healthy thoughts your way.

I was thinking of a story this morning, when Patrick and Danny spent the night at your house when you all were pretty little. The next morning Danny called and asked if I could pick him up. I was surprised that he wanted to come home so soon. So I picked him up and asked why he wanted to go home so early. His response was that he was really hungry, and the only thing to eat for breakfast was rice cakes with peanut butter on top. So needless to say we ended up going to Winchells for donuts.

So when peg comes out and you are hungry, I promise to bring rice cakes with peanut butter.

I'll like you for always, and I'll love you forever, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

Aunt, Lynnie

lking said...

Happy Birthday Jeanie,

I can't imagine a better birthday present than a smile from Steven.

I was thinking earlier today about what I could say to you that I haven't already said-and I couldn't think of anything. So I will repeat some things that best describe how I feel about you.
A sister always loves her brothers, and looks up to them alomst in admiration. When the brother in my case Tom, decides to marry, I can't think of anyone that deserves him-but then we meet Jean, and not only does she deserve my brother and becomes a wonderful wife to him, she also becomes another sister to me.

Jean, I love you with all of my heart.

Birthdays come but once a year, so we sing this message clear, happy birthday Jeanie dear, happy birthday 'til next year.

Love,
Lynn

Robert said...

hey steve, you don't know me but I spent my southern hemisphere summer in New Zealand trying to get away from this crazy hick kid from spokane. Me being a crappy runner and him being a good one I never did break the shackles, though he told me all about you and how you always wooped his arse. Spot on brother.

Rob Dean

Kelly F said...

Hi Steve. It's Kelly. Remember, we have the same birthday. I wanted to tell you that I'm thinking of you often for several reasons. One being that I'm living in Eugene now and when I first moved in to my house I soon discovered that I lived only a few blocks away from BJ's Welcome Inn. What a great surprise. I had almost forgot about that place, but I think it's a memory that we shouldn't forget. Also, I've been training with Team XO here and we sometimes workout with the Oregon Track Club which used to be the farm team....so I occasionally see Nicole Teter at practice. Every time I see her, I think of the time you Carlos and I were cooling down at Stanford and when we ran by, you yelled something to her. I have no idea what you said, or why I thought it was so funny, but that moment stuck with me for some reason. Also, I watched Clifford a while ago and am beginning to think that the bartender was conspiring against the uncle...theory, theory. And let me just say that I know none other like you, Steve. I've seen you run and I know that you have pure strength of the body and mind. My thoughts are with you.

Rye Bread said...

Speaking of Clifford, I wanted to share some of the funnier lines:

Clifford: Wasn't nice of the mean old lady to smash your collarbone was it, Steffen?

Clifford: How many years you think you'll get for kidnapping me, Uncle Ten-Most-Wanted?

Martin Daniels: That was so ebarrassing with Mr. Ellis. Please don't ever tell someone that they have a nice wig.
Clifford: I said it was the bestest-looking wig I ever saw. It was a compliment.
Martin Daniels: He says he doesn't wear a wig, and a person doesn't take it as a compliment if you say, "Nice wig".
Clifford: But I didn't say "Nice wig", Uncle Martin, I said "Bestest-looking wig". I believe there is a difference.

Clifford: Oh Uncle Martin, I am so glad you're here. I got on the train to run away, but a person tried to touch my no-no special place! And when I got back, there were bikers here. And they tied me up, Uncle Martin, and then they told me stories that they do on their bikes. Some of them were fun but some of them were scary!

Clifford: Any luck with that chocolate?

Love you,
Ryan

Aaron Van Dyke said...

Hey Steve-- Still thinking about and praying for you here in Boston. You've shown amazing courage and endurance so far and I have no doubt you'll be able to push through this latest uncertainty. Hang in there!

-Aaron

Aaron Van Dyke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lauren grant said...

hi steven,

i'm so sorry to hear you're feeling so badly. hopefully, cinqo de mayo is turning out to be a better day for you. sending you prayers and yoga intentions from seattle!
lauren

Aunt Mary said...

Quite a set back my, my angel. But the troops are poised and ready to rally. I wish there was more to say, but I think you know the drill...Happy Cinco de Mayo. Oh, how I wish we could sneak a bit of Tequila through Peg.....Another time, perhaps! I am certain you know that I love you more then I could possibly express.

I love you, Jen.

The Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annabelle said...

Hey Moke,

This new news stinks. I have no doubt that you will once again fight through this, but I hate that you have to. When you can tolerate some company, please let me know. Bean left today (3:30 am) I was up to say good-bye but it's put me in a downer mood. I guess I need some of Lyndsay's blogs to pick me up.

Steven, I know they have given you pain meds so don't be afraid to use them. If they don't work , there are plenty out there for you to try, just be vocal about it. As poppie used to say "the meek only inherit shit".

I love you soooooo much. My love to your soulmate.

Now on to the @#^&* word verification.