Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

World Lymphoma Day

Yesterday, many places lit up in green, red, or purple to pay tribute to those patients, survivors, and caregivers who have faced or beaten any form of blood cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia.  And with that, here is my tribute/memorial to those I have come across in my 23 years as a Hodgkin’s survivor… (and I apologize for any names that I forget – I can always add them – the joy of this being my blog):

Jennifer Shoemaker

Tammy H.

Danny B.

Lisa E.

Stephanie D.

Betty G.

Stephanie Ann

Peter P.

Karen Gallagher

Kim Cheshire



Jennifer C.


Jeff Iredell


Cathy P.




Eileen G.

Carolyn H.

Carol L.




Karen K.

Pam L.



Annie L.




Jennifer H.






Michael S.

and literally hundreds more.

Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Paul Edelman

Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Paul Edelman.  We all share something in common with each other.  Alright, we have to eliminate the obvious using the method used on standardized tests… which answer does not fit?  Paul Edelman.  The other three names are/were professional baseball players who hit for over 4000 career base hits.  Each time, the impossible became possible.  Ty Cobb hit for 4000 career hits, a record never thought to be broken.  Then Pete Rose achieved that mark, followed by Suzuki.

In 2012, there were eleven quarterbacks who threw for over 4000 yards breaking a record 10 quarterbacks in one season.  Future Hall Of Famers, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers just to name a few.

The late, great Wilt Chamberlain is the only pro basketball player to ever score 4000 points in one season.  The season being the years 1961-1962.

Sorry hockey fans… and I am disappointed as well there are no 4000 goals or points scored.  Goalie Devan Dubnyk of the Edmonton Oilers has stopped over 4000 shots as have Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, and bizarre former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.  I looked for any hockey player who might have racked up 4000 penalty minutes and the closest I could come was a player by the name of Tiger Williams (Toronto Mapleleafs) who retired just short of 4000 with 3966 minutes.

There has been no physical demand on my part to reach 4000 views on Paul’s Heart, just the will to put my thoughts down into written form.  I would like to think that there are more in my household who would be excited for me, especially my oldest daughter who is not really fond of reading.  You would think she would see that so many have read what her father has written and have that motivate her, but to my disappointment, nope.  Nonetheless, for the guy who’s college English professor once wrote while grading one of my papers that I “don’t have the intelligence to get past a comic strip page”, I think I can, and have done so.

I now set my sights on a new goal, 5000 views.  Thank you so much for encouraging me with your comments and support.  Darlene, thank you for suggesting this be my outlet for my thoughts in pursuit of that book I want to write.  And to everyone, I have over 100 more stories already started, not including the ideas that pop in my head daily.

As usual, I constantly run into new experiences that I want to share with you, in hopes that somehow, you will see, you are not alone.

Thank you everyone for reading Paul’s Heart.


Sometimes It’s Not Good To Look Ahead

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give any cancer patient, as an experienced patient and survivor is, “do not look at your calendar and an end date for your treatments.”

It is only natural once you are diagnosed with a cancer, and told how long you will be undergoing treatments, to look at the calendar and see just when it will all end.  An end goal is always a good thing, however, going through cancer treatments is such a struggle.  That is why we all dread going through it.  The stereotype alone is enough to cause us anxiety.

But imagine the following scenarios:

1)   you are a patient scheduled to undergo 12 cycles of a treatment plan.  This could mean 24 weeks or 12 months.  Watching the calendar could make it feel impossible that you will be able to reach that end.

2)  prior to starting your next treatment, your blood counts are off, and you are told you will not be able to undergo your next treatment, thus pushing your end date further than you had planned.  Or perhaps you get the flu or some other infection.  Delays of treatments are devastating.

My dad recently found out about this philosophy of mine, first hand.  As we arrived to meet the oncologist prior to his treatment, the oncologist notices a swelling and discoloration in the hand that had received the chemo injection.  It had become infected and needed to be treated before the next treatment could begin.  It is possible that had my dad noticed it sooner, it could have been treated when it actually started to develop, but obviously had not.  He got the news no cancer patient going through treatment wants to hear, “we will have to reschedule you for next week”.

So how do you prevent this thinking from happening?  It is simple.  Keep the task at hand as simple as you can, worry only about the treatment you are currently undergoing.  Take each treatment one day at a time.  It is really that easy.

I should know.  My last treatment was delayed because I got the flu.

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