Christmas Update

As I’m writing this GV and I are on an Amtrak train heading back to NYC from Lanc, PA where we’ve been since last Monday.  Wow the past week blew by.  The good news for me is that I’m now traveling without spit cup in hand.  A huge step.  Not that there aren’t times I could use one, but the hacking can be a bit more discriminating.

As my brother Pete reminded me this past week, when he was healing from a severe burn accident, even though he was getting better every day, daily improvement was barely measurable.  He measured improvement on a month to month basis.  And my throat has been burnt.  He was telling me to have patience and know that improvement was happening.  And it is.  In one week the difference is noticeable.

Yesterday GV steamed up a batch of brussels sprouts and they were soft enough that I was able to chew them slowly.  Supposedly this is a good anti-cancer food.  And accompanying the sprouts was a nice portion of soup-bone broth that my mother made so that I’d ingest some marrow nutrition that is also good for the immune system.

But more than food, the trip to Lancaster was a nice and well needed reprieve from the city.  What made it so relaxing was staying at my sister Mary’s home where we had everything we needed to bunk indefinitely.  Fire place and plenty of wood included.  Never have I spent so many days sleeping so late.  Kind of felt like a guilty pleasure.  During the week my mother couldn’t help herself preparing what she thought I needed to eat,….good organic free ranging chicken broth, special egg custard (a recipe of her 94 year old sister), aforementioned soup-bone broth, among the unexpected treats.

For some reason, during the past week I had an almost insatiable appetite for sweet stuff, especially soft cakes and cookies.  Anything dunkable.  Maybe because of my body’s drive to gain weight.  But now I’ve got to start controlling what goes in the gullet because there is good weight and bad weight.  Obviously I want to make sure my skinny ass gains good weight.

It was also good seeing my 83 year old father who just received a clean bill of health from his doctor last month.  He still works part-time and keeps his life full of hobbies, the most recent includes baking bread and making full meals in a pressure cooker (a la Wolfgang Puck).

Daughter JA invited us over a couple of times and on one visit I was able to gobble down some lasagna (with lots of sauce) washed down with water.  Really wanted to eat her delicious looking spinach salad but it was just too dry for the chewing action.  Being with the grandkids was (somewhat) enlightening.  Her husband’s (Matt) parents reminded me that I’ve got to decide what I want them to call me.  Even though one is close to six years and the other almost three, it’s not until recently that I’ve been able to actually say the words “I’m a grandfather.”  Most people I know are proud to be grandparents.  It’s not that I’m not proud, it’s just that the passing years took me by surprise (I guess).  Anyhow, I haven’t decided what they should call me.  My partner grandparents told me it can’t be “hey.”  I’m thinking maybe something like buelo.  Grandfather in spanish is abuelo.  Buelo for short sounds like it would be easy without shouting out grandfather.  (it’s my hope that no one will analyzing this).

While staying with my sister, I had the opportunity of going to the gym where one of her sons (Sam) works where he gave me some ideas for future core exercises.  The tube hole is closing and even though it looks like a hole, I think I’ll be able to start exercising by the beginning of the year.  An appropriate time.  Anyhow, he was explaining the difference between the inner core and the outer core.  Most folks work the outer core– exercises geared toward appearance, (think six-pack abs).  The more important core however is the inner, which constitute the stabilizer muscles, and have everything to do with overall flexibility and transference of strength and balance efficiency to the rest of the body.

The stabilizing exercises should involve what’s called “progressive” movements which make relatively simple exercises significantly more tricky.  I.e., if you normally stand on two legs for an exercise, doing same on one, or on a ball.  Another pointer Sam gave me was to forget counting reps.  Work instead on time.

His twin brother (JD), who is a martial arts black-belt, also gave me some lessons (without knowing it) in quick thinking.  And, during the week if he was verbally challenged about anything he may have done or said, his response was “I’m not too worried about it.”  I think I’m picking up that line as an appropriate response, perhaps even to myself at times.

So now on a train stuck near a switching track near Philadelphia, where there’s been a nice snowstorm last night.  The tracks are frozen so we are waiting for someone to manually unfreeze them.  I’m happily sitting here with a bottle of water sans spit cup feeling like I found a few nice nuggets during the past week in Pennsylvania.

For those following this blog, apologizes for letting the posting go so long.  I do appreciate the fact that anyone would read this and care to follow the progress of my throat cancer treatment and curing process, along with the additional side musings (thanks E).  Whether the reader comments or not, the fact that it is read is much appreciated.   Therefore I’ll do my best to be more conscientious about keeping this updated more often, even if it’s a blurb or two.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Update

  1. kate

    it was great seeing you…. i hope progress keeps coming as quickly. moms house can be just as great as any medicine for matt and i too.

  2. rel43

    Merry Christmas Fred and family. Nice to hear you were together over the holiday. (Hugely important)

    Have a great new year. Keep up the excellent work!

  3. Stryker Warren jr.

    Grandfather Fred: Lots of good advice the past week, lots of good family atmosphere, lots of food for the soul, and lots of good reflection on the progress–hopefully apparent nuggets even. “Drink it all in” as it sounds as though you are setting yourself up for a terrific 2011. Wishing you health, happiness and especially comfort, swjr


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