Month 62 – New Year, New Perspective

Merced River & El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
Merced River & El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

It’s a new year with new beginnings.

I started mine with a trip back to my hometown outside of Chicago to my sister and her family. (I know. Who in their right mind flies from San Diego to Chicago in January?!?) It was a trip that was overdue.

In August, my then 54-year old brother-in-law had a massive stroke, completely out of the blue, that left him with no movement in his left arm or leg. My sister and I discussed the timing of me returning to support her, and she wanted to hold me in reserve for when the local support from friends and family there would begin to wane. Between a whole host of considerations, it just worked out best for me to return now.

Between my brother-in-law’s stroke and my own scare with the upward tick in my PSA four weeks later—and the fallout from both—it does make one reflect once again on priorities and the truly important things.

That point was driven home when I stumbled across this post on my Facebook timeline: The Tail End by Tim Urban. It’s a quirky read with an interesting twist on how to look at our time remaining in this world.

My 58th birthday was a few days ago, and with this stupid cancer thingy and a family history of cardiac issues (Dad and his mom both died at age 69 from cardiac issues), I’m afraid that I have more days behind me than in front of me. It’s time to get busy prioritizing my own list, and then act on it.

Oh. My brother-in-law? He’s made tremendous strides in his rehabilitation with movement returning in his leg faster than it has in his arm (but there’s progress in both). We’ll just have to be patient and see how far the rehab will take him.

Happy New Year!


I recently came across a prostate cancer resource, an organization called Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network. On cursory review, it looks like a very helpful site with access to support groups and plenty of related information.

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