Friday, July 01, 2011

Relay for Laffs - And Other Things That Won't Pass Spellcheck

Relay for Life is coming up quick, quicker than I can comprehend. My wife has been working tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for our team, "Choose Joy!" and for Relay for Life as a whole. From organizing "curbing" (where our team and other volunteers stood at different points of the intersection of Pioneer Parkway and Q streets in Springfield and collected over $300), to scheduling walkers, continuing to seek out teammates (which we can still use a few more of to cover the 24 hours of walking from Noon on Friday July 29th to Saturday July 30th)... But one of her biggest fund raisers is coming up next weekend.

You can purchase tickets in advance here:

Please keep in mind that, due to all my wife and I are dealing with concerning my illness, there are no refunds available on advance tickets. It's an added work-load we just can't take on right now. Also, the price of $26.50 for children six years old and under is not a joke. We have found that, in general, children in that age group don't tend to "get" the pop-culture references or the interactive format. They're also unlikely to enjoy sitting anywhere in any circumstance for an hour and a half. If you think this does not apply to your child or, for some other reason, your kid is an exception to this rule please email me at and we'll discuss a more appropriate ticket price (around 3 bucks) for your child.

This show will be comedy for ALL AGES so you can bring your kid or your grandma and not be afraid in any way.

I should also mention how proud I am of my brother, Tim O'Donnell who, when when faced with the fact that I was in no condition to put on a show... took it over without hesitation. He put together the performers, the stage and the sponsorship. Along with the help of Lilith Lincoln-Dinan and the LCC SPA he has saved this show.

My goal, for a couple of months now has been just to make it until after Relay for Life. I just want to see my wife be and feel successful She's worked so hard and, in spite of the original plan for me to be her "co-captain" and help her with everything, she's done it all on her own. I couldn't be more proud of her than I am today. But, to be honest, I'd be proud of her no matter what the result. She amazes me. She's just amazing.

Things keep deteriorating on me. I started out taking 40mg of Methadone a day for pain, along with all my other drugs. Then we recently increased it to 80mg a day and finally, for now, 90mg a day this week. My hospice nurse, who I trust (along with most of my care providers) almost implicitly, has already arranged the prescription to raise the Methadone again by 30mg to 120mg.

Downhill, physically anyhow, seems to be the way we're headed. The way I'm headed at least. But it's hardly a reason to cry. The closer I get to the "end", which I see as a new beginning more and more these days, the closer I get to permanent pain relief. There's an old song I still sing now and then:

When I get to Heaven, gonna walk with Jesus,
When I get to Heaven, gonna see his face
When I get to Heaven, gonna talk with Jesus

Music is more and more important to me as all this goes by. Yes I play it less and less. I also keep looking at every one's, everyone with what I consider to be a valid mentally stable  outlook on what Heaven may be, view of Heaven. I like to look at their ideas, see what's Biblical, what's tradition and what's just fantasy and sometimes I imagine all three together. One of my favorite views of Heaven right now is from a band called Audio Adrenaline:

Life keeps changing, even at this late date.. It keeps moving forward. Forward toward the joy that I have worked so hard to achieve for the last two years. Soon I won't have to "choose joy" any longer, it'll just be a way of life.

Is it sad that I'm leaving my parents behind... my wife... my friends... my puppy? No. I'm not leaving them alone. What I am leaving them with is the lesson, one they've taught me too, to choose joy in whatever they face. It'll be hard for them but, when the leaving finally does happen, it will be a goal met for me.

"I'm not dead yet," to quote Eric Idle, so don't expect that this will be the last you'll hear from me. But I wouldn't expect a lot more either. I think I've said most of what I have to say. At least that's true today. Tomorrow, who knows, right?

Found these signs outside of FedEx Kinkos. I assume they were left by a currently
housing/beer challenged person. We put them to good use. Then I sanitized my hands.


Jeanne Gibson said...

Aaron, Your "Choose Joy," motto, your courage, and your mostly cheerful posts have helped me so much as I go through some serious medical tests my own. Your bracelet speaks volumes where it says, "Cancer Sucks," but I know that God is Good, and that someday we will know the reason for all this suffering. I pray for you and your wife, often. Please continue to share whenever you can.

Ivy said...

The Relay for Life is such a fun, inspiring event. I try to make it back for the one in my hometown every year. Mom and I provide the Aim-N-Flames and help light the candles every year. It's a special ceremony. I'll be lighting a candle in your honor this year (notice I said HONOR and not memory). You'll have to stick around a bit longer. :)

Early congrats to your team! Are you guys doing the whole theme with decorations and food?

My favorite so far was a warrior theme a friend set up for breast cancer. It was complete with "Stop the War in My Rack" t-shirts.