Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm still learning, because I'm still breathing.

(Written Friday,  April 9th, 2010)

I don't believe this will be the first time I've written a blog post while sitting in the chair at chemo. It is, however, the first time I can remember handwriting a post. I'll type it all up later of course. (That's how you're reading it now.) Then I get to use spell-check and rid my writing of the “personality” and Freudian slips that can only come through when you discover all my misspellings. Maybe I'll take a pic and post it, or scan it and make a PDF document, so you can see my poor penmanship, notes and edits.

Currently I'm writing in cursive. It has a different “voice” than when I write in “block” lettering or type. I don't know why. I suppose it has something to do with which side of my brain, if any, get's used depending on the implement. I even remember feeling a slight difference in my writing “voice” when using my old travel typewriter, as opposed to a computer or word processor. (As I write this I'm realizing I really miss that old typewriter. Though I really enjoy having spell-check.)

It's possible that writing in cursive makes me slow down. (Maybe that's why they call it “long-hand” huh?) Writing slower means I'm forced to think a little slower. Will it make me less witty? Was I ever witty to begin with? Any who... Thinking slower isn't thinking “better.” You develop certain skills in improv to process faster. It doesn't mean you haven't though thoroughly. Just a different style of thinking. Kind of like the writing. (Sorry. That paragraph completely makes sense to me but I understand wholeheartedly if you're left confused.)

Today my Mom is with me at chemo. She's reading a magazine. Sometimes that's the best way to spend time. Just hanging out. We're not really interacting. But it is time together. Just knowing someone you love is in the same room, spending time with you, feels good. My Dad's talked about it in the past and I'm only starting to understand. Kristin and I can be doing two completely different things with no interaction whatsoever, but as long as we're in the same room, we're together. Those moments, for me, are becoming just as important at miniature golf dates or watching each other get inked.

(The writer pauses to make a phone call about getting some more ink, having been inspired by the previous sentence. Greg at Cry Baby Ink in Eugene, Oregon is not only my tatt artist, he's my friend. So time spent getting ink is really therapeutic for me.)

Time, especially time with my family (which includes not only relatives and my wife, but also a few precious friends and a splendorous puppy), has become more and more important to me. As you would probably expect. The three to nine months I have left to live are coming sharply into focus. That's conceptually into focus. I have no idea what the actual future looks like. (If I ever start trying to predict the future, other than things like knowing that Pat Robertson will absolutely embarrass me as a Christian sometime next week on 700 Club, you can start referring to me as “Nostra-dumb-@$$.”) But, continuing with the metaphor I've weakly established, as three to nine months comes into more intense focus... It's not very far to be able to see. The view isn't horrible. I can see friends, family, love... joy... even a puppy. (Why do I have an urge to use the phrase, “Romper-bompber tell me do?”)

At my very first cancer group therapy/support session I unintentionally learned a very good lesson. Sometimes I think we, as humans, learn all our best lessons unintentionally. That usually also means painfully. Though it's not so much the case here. There is a very strong woman in group who has lived longer than she or her doctors had, at first diagnosis, expected. She is struggling right now to live long enough to see her son's graduation this June. That is her goal. She also would like to see her daughter's graduation, which is at least a year away and would like to travel back to her home country in order to see her mother one more time. Someone said that such a trip would be a good “goal”. She quickly corrected the thought and said that at this point, with all that is going on, it was her wish but not likely enough to be a goal. I'm still learning. I would gladly give up as much of my time here as she needed so she could see her mother one more time. I am still learning.

"If you can find a path with no obstacles,
 it probably doesn't lead anywhere."
 - Frank A. Clark

There are many things on what most would consider to be my “bucket-list”. My “official” bucket-list (you can find a link to follow in the right side-bar) is more a list of wishes. They aren't things that are likely to happen. Which means I'd prefer not to call them “goals” anymore. There's a lot more invested, for me, in a goal than there is in a wish. Not that God can't, and doesn't, supply miracles. But they're unlikely. That's why miracles are so miraculous. If they happened every day they'd just be called, “occurrences.”

Next week, as those months continue to come into more focus, I will begin working on one of my actual goals. I plan to do my own memorial video/slide-show for my memorial service. Hopefully I'll get a little help from a couple of friends who are actual professionals. But the majority will be my own fault... er... creation. Do you wanna help? I'm short on photos. If you have any photos, or even videos, of me that are important memories to you, or you think might be important memories for me, or just, speaking of miracles, in which I look good... could you send them my way? I know many are on Facebook. But I'd like the best quality I can use for the video. Please either email them to me: or feel free to mail me photos or videos (which will most likely not be returned) to:

Aaron, Kristin & Bell Jamison
Pre-Memorial Foundation Project
PO Box 72047
Eugene, OR 97401

I look forward to being embarrassed, blessed and honored by your submissions

You may notice some advertising and a music player showing up on the old blog now. Clicking on the ads and buying things will result in a miniscule payment in an account that, when it reaches a certain amount, will send a check to Kristin. Soon you'll be able to purchase a download of some of my songs here, on iTunes and on Just trying to “monetize” the site a little bit. If it really takes off we could be looking ten or even fifteen dollars over just a few short months.

Some have asked for large quantities of the “CANCER SUCKS... LIFE IS GOOD! CHOOSE JOY!” bracelets I hand out. While I do give individual bracelets away for free. It has been suggested to me by my board of advisers (Kristin & Belle) that I should charge at least cost of the bracelets to those who wish to hand them out on their own. I'll do better than that. Cost plus a dollar. NOW I'm making money right? I'm getting ready to place an order, so let me know how many you want (if you want any) and I'll get back to you with the cost.

THIS JUST IN: My song is up and downloadable on! I won't ever make much money off it, but this is a pretty big deal to me!

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