Praise You!

April 26, 2022—Driving home from the West Cancer Center, I changed the car’s Sirius Satellite to Lithium, which is a channel dedicated to grunge and other alternative music from the 1990s. I had a pretty good morning, even for being at a cancer center. The CT scan showed no significant changes in my tumors and my lab work showed that my body continued to tolerate the immunotherapy treatment.

The song that popped up on Lithium was Praise You by Fatboy Slim—a short, upbeat tune with very few lyrics. If you’ve never seen the award-winning video, it’s essentially a low-grade recording of a flash mob performing in front of a crowded movie theater in Los Angeles.

We’ve come a long, long way together
Through the hard times and the good
I have to celebrate you,…
I have to praise you like I should

As I listened to those short and sweet lyrics, however, I was struck by their meaning related to my relationship to those of you who have followed and continue to follow my melanoma journey.

To praise means to express warm approval or admiration of someone or something. So, I want to express my warmest approval and admiration to everyone. Your love, support, kindness, and caring have meant the world to me (and to Vicki and our family). I simply can’t put words around how fortunate I have been—and will continue to be—because of all of you.

I have to praise you
I have to praise you
I have to praise you
I have to praise you like I should

In other words, Thank you.

Melanoma Treatment

Decent CT results aside, I will continue on immunotherapy (Keytruda) at least until October of this year. The protocol is for a treatment period of two years—I began Keytruda on October 1, 2020. Treatment options for late-stage melanoma are changing almost daily, so once we reach October, we’ll have to see where the journey next takes us.

Emily’s Car Accident

I’ve been reluctant to post much about Emily’s car accident, which happened at the end of October 2021. Part of that is out of respect for Emily’s privacy and part of it is that we continue to deal with the aftermath of that terrible day, which remains—for us—an almost surreal experience.

The bottom-line is that Emily has mostly fully recovered from her injuries, and she finished physical therapy earlier this month.

Thanks to those of you who continue to ask about Emily and who have offered support and encouragement. She greatly appreciates it.

Travelin’ Man

Vicki and I are back to traveling on a regular basis—although we did a bit of traveling during both 2020 and 2021. We love exploring new places, visiting old haunts, and discovering great places to eat and drink. Thanks to everyone who comments and “Likes” my travel posts on Facebook. As Bob Seger once sang:

Out to the road, out ‘neath the stars,
Feelin’ the breeze, passin’ the cars
Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul

That said, I am working towards writing more and more travel pieces for StoryBoard Memphis and other local and regional publications. Travel is a tough market to break into, but writing about travel is something I enjoy doing. Wish me luck.

And That’s a Wrap

This will likely be the last blog post directly related to my melanoma journey. Other writing priorities, along with my advocacy work, have taken a greater amount of my time. Also, the amount of internet traffic to my new webpage has dipped significantly in the last several months. Frankly, it’s easier/simpler to post a brief health update to Facebook, which also doesn’t require as much reading or screen time for you.

As I mentioned above, more of my writing will center on travel and travel-related subjects. You will soon see updates to my Facebook writer’s page from the Travel section of my website.

Thanks, once again, for your love and support.

And as always…thanks for stopping by to listen.