Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the day “January 6, 2013”

2013 Goal To Be More Informed, More Funny, More Inspiring

This year, I want to take this blog up a level.  I want go into my stories in alot more depth, a lot more personal.  I have a various amount of subject matter from Adoption, Bullying, Education, Cancer, Heart Disease, Emotional, Parenting, Relationships and so on. 

Our health is often scary, especially as we get older.  And as many readers have experienced, fear is not only normal, but expected.  But when you can her from someone who has been there done that, the circumstances could be different, but witnessing the end result can often boost our ease and confidence, reduce our fears.  I am going to take you on my personal journeys to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and other facilities, that follow my long term cancer survival.

If I struggle with care, I plan to address that.  During a recent hospital stay, I had a doctor attempt to rush to release me though clearly the results had spoken differently.  Patients have rights, and the first step to exercising those rights, is to realize that you have them.

As I pursue another attempt at the North Penn School Board Director position, I will come across education related issues which I will share with you.  This includes curriculum, environments, bullies, and school safety.

Two of the major issues in my life revolve around cancer and cardiac issues.  Times have changed since the days I went through both and there are wonderful new opportunities and higher cure rates.  I want you to see that.

As my daughters get older, it will be possible that we will be facing issues related to their being adopted and our family being interracial.  Of course, nothing is funnier than watching his “baby girls” finally growing up.

I plan also to throw in some short story fun pieces, reactions to current events, and exploring oddities.

Most importantly, I want to inspire.  I deal with quite a lot physically, but when anyone looks at me, people respond with “but you look so normal and… healthy”.  I do what I can not to let my cancer history, side effects or other struggles define who I am, or limit me.  As always, I need your feedback.  Please feel free to comment on this page (good or bad – I want to improve my writing).  And please, share this web site with anyone you feel it could inspire.

I want to help you laugh, inspire, and deal.  Here is to 2013.

When The Holiday Does Not Feel Like The Holiday

New Year’s Day.  Only Christmas and Halloween have as easy a date to remember.  For New Year’s Day, it is the easiest to remember, the first day of the year.

The night before, called New Year’s Eve is often spent in revelry either with friends, family, or with Ryan Seachrist on the television.  For children, it is most likely the only evening that they are allowed and encouraged to stay up well past their bedtime.  For some grown-ups like me, I look at 12:01am as the time to start preparing for slumber.  The next day is normally a work day.  So at least 5 years, this is the case.  When New Year’s Day falls on a Friday or Saturday, I will have the following day to recover from the overindulgence of food and drink.

Over the last ten years, about seven of our last New Year’s Eves have been spent with my in-laws, dining at a fancy restaurant who has reduced its menu to five or six selections (none of which are cheesesteaks or cheeseburgers) and raised its prices as high as $20 over what it normally would charge.  Now I made the comment about the food selections because I am a picky eater, and with the entrees offered, the restaurant clearly is not Burger King and will get upset with special orders.  I tried once, only once to order from the children’s menu for some “plain” fare and was nearly kicked to the curb for ordering chicken nuggets.  I personally did not see the big deal.  Both my daughters were getting chicken nuggets.  And then I was supplied with the reason for their lack of approval.  “We do not serve chicken nuggets to adults.” 

I guess that the restaurant figured I would make a stink about paying $69 for an order of chicken nuggets because after all, the bottom line was, I was an adult, taking up an adult space on the busiest night of their business.  As if some other adult would have been willing to sit with a family of strangers because that one seat was open due to the finicky eating habits of a grown up who had to be removed from the rest of the table of eating adults.  Quite honestly, I have a problem paying that much money for any entree, but knowing I was going to be stuck paying an “adult fee” for my meal, at least I would have eaten all of my chicken nuggets rather than just stared at a plate of something I could not pronounce (my rule of thumb – if I cannot say it, not gonna eat it).

The remainder of time on those evenings are spent back in one of our homes, where we continue to shove food down our throats, for me, usually it is a meal’s worth, all kinds of snack foods:  cheeses, ring bologna, cookies, etc.  We attempt to play some sort of game stalling time until the countdown to midnight.  And then it arrives.  The second round of clockwatching begins so that I can get some sleep.  It will be another day of glutiny and partying, followed the next day by the return to work.

Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and others are not very big party days, so recovery to return to work on Monday is not that difficult.  But New Year’s Eve this year was Monday, New Year’s Day is Tuesday, and return to work is Wednesday.  It just does not feel right to return to work on hump day, when we have not worked the week at all yet.  And it never fails, all the other big party holidays like Christmas and Halloween and July 4th, all have those roving holidates, making the return to work the next day if you have partied the night before, as bad as waking with a hangover.  But when you assign the name “New Year’s Day” and that automatically implies January 1st, I guess we do not really have the choice of the day of the week to celebrate it.

We often take the opportunity to look at the coming of the new year to look forward to what lays ahead.  New Year’s Day next year is on a Wednesday.  I do not see a lot of motivation to work on Monday to party Tuesday and Wednesday, and then go back to work for just two days.  I say, we start declaring holidays to cover whatever days it takes to get to the weekend.

100th Story – Out With The Old, In With The New

It was not intentional or oringally planned to have my 100th story written to coincide with the New Year, but as it looked like a possibility, I decided to make that planned effort.  And so, here it is, my 100th official story, saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.


You know what?  I am not going to list everything that happened in 2012, bad or good.  I am only going to look forward.


I am not one to make resolutions.  But here are plans that I hope to make happen, and wishes that I would like to see come true.

I want to make sure that everyone in my life knows how much they mean to me.  I value any time spent with you, whether it be via IM on Facebook, snailmail, a visit to my home or yours, whether we meet ever or share a meal.  I know that if it ever came to it, I could ask you for favor as you could ask of me, and we would be there for each other.  And to those who make it their goal to cause me stress and strife, I want to do a better job with not giving you that power.

I am one major step closer to writing my first book, thanks to all of you.  I will hopefully have begun to write that book in 2013.  I have read every comment written to me about my stories and will begin to assemble the format of the book.  All the while, continuing my stories here, and other publishing efforts elsewhere.  I am hoping also to return to public speaking as an inspirational/motivational speaker.

I definitely want to stay out of the hospital, but will be happy if I can keep the emergency room visits to one.  An emergency room visit is just that, an emergency, not something planned.  This past year, my body let me know that it was still in charge.  So while I plan to continue my long term cancer survivor care, I really hope to have the unplanned trips to the hospital reduced.

I do not want to jinx it, but at least as far as we are concerned, this will be my longest marriage.  Wendy and I have been through an enormous amount.  While things happen as we get older in life, we had no idea the events that either would face.  Whether our role is patient or caregiver, we know the importance to each other.  We are Ying and Yang, polar opposites in so many interests, but share the most important common bond, raising our family.

I know it is a lot to ask, but can I have at least another strong year with Pollo?  A golden retriever with a heart of gold, the most loyal of friends will turn 13 in February.  The box of rocks did something very foolish last year which almost ended his life prematurely.  Wendy and I rehabbed him back to health, and he continues to be the “happy golden”.  Watching him roll around in the snow today, just as he did twelve years ago, he is still a puppy with so much left in him.

An orange belt for me, and two blue belts for my daughters.  While I always appreciate time spent with my girls, this is an interest that we all get to do with each other.  Hopefully a picture of this to come.

Attention Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks:  I am going to be home this year.  I believe you have a great chance to not only get to the Super Bowl, but to win it.  I missed the one in 2006 for a very good reason.  And now she is old enough and likes to watch the games with me.

I would like to see a ski slope again.  It has been too long and Madison is bugging to try it.  Our latest snow storm and she slapped the snowboard on that she got for Christmas.  She is a natural.

I am going to run for the North Penn School Board Director again.  My first election process was an exciting one and now that I know what to expect, just like at “half time” of a football game, adjustments will be made.  There are currently three of us who are looking to carry on the momentum from the 2011 election.  We fell just short, which clearly was a result of voters not coming out to the polls.  It is going to be an exciting year.  In spite of the planned political schedule, I want to take more time to see what my house is like.

I think that is enough pressure on me.  Honestly, these really are not things that are difficult to achieve.  To everyone, I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!  And please, continue to enjoy, get informed, and relax with my stories.  Be safe, and see you soon.  Happy New Year!


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