Angie and I have been crafting in the shop. We are making signs and birdhouses and listening to KCCK. They have some great jams but sometimes it borders on elevator music. I still appreciate that stuff because I’ve been a musician most of my life. We have a lot of fun, especially when I have energy. Angie always has fun. She feeds the squirrels on the ground and chases them out of the back yard on a daily basis (they climb on the bird feeders, of course they do). They just keep coming back, the little savages. I think they are adorable.
I’ve spent the past few years getting back into woodworking. I find it as enjoyable as playing guitar but the risk of losing a finger adds an element of adrenaline that is hard to explain, unless you have pulled the trigger on a miter saw and watched it cut oak like a spoon through pudding. Good times. The obvious irony in all of this is if I lose a finger, I won’t be able to play guitar. Such an exciting time we live in! (coffee is kicking in)
We are making these signs and birdhouses completely from scratch. We mill the rough lumber on the table saw and router and use clamps along with Titebond glue and brad nails, in some places, pocket screws. The birdhouses are decorated with re-purposed hardware. For the color, we start with primer and finish with acryclic paint. The final process is distressing the finish with sandpaper followed by spraying a UV resistant sealer. We are designing them to be used indoors for decor or hung on a tree branch. I think they are too pretty for birds to shit on but I would like to see one occupied by a wren or sparrow. I bet after a few weeks of living in one of these any bird would get a bit snobbish and probably start drinking Starbucks and order all their seeds off Amazon.
My appointment, this week, went pretty well and we got a lot of questions answered. I have an appointment with another physician, next week and we are going to discuss radiation treatment. As I understand it, the process will not be invasive. The radiation will be conducted outside of my chest and focus on the lower esophagus. More details to come in another update.
We talked to Dr. CC about chemo, radiation and surgery. The main question I wanted answered was “how long do I have to be on chemo? Her reply was, “as of right now, for the rest of your life”. She did mention she has two patients who are still alive four and five years, respectively since diagnosis. She still hasn’t met with the tumor board due to scheduling conflicts. We will know more about my ongoing prognosis once that meeting has occurred. Also, I will get a break from chemo at some point. I am looking forward to it.
Angie is working diligently on procuring a venue to host a fundraiser on April 20th. It is the day before Easter and we realize some people may not be able to make it but you can’t please everyone. The truth is, my bills are piling up and it is time to ask for help. We will be selling, auctioning and raffling Angie and I’s wood shop crafts along with other items, some donated by others. We will also have food catered, smoked meat provided by my friends, Chris Gilbert and Jeff Theis.
The location and time frame for the “day” portion of the fundraiser is to be determined at this point but we are carrying the “party” over to Old Neighborhood Pub in the evening, thanks to my good friend Andy Caffrey. There has been some confusion and miscommunication regarding this in the past few days but we are getting things squared away. Andy has a big heart and he wants to help me because that is what friends do, they help each other. He just rushed into it a bit fast because like me, he likes to get shit done. We are ironing things out in the next week and it should be a good time had for all.
ONP is by far one of my favorite places when I can get out of the house. The food is great and so are the staff and owners, Draya and Jeremy VanHoek. There will be live music provided… surf (The Surf Zombies), punk (CR Dicks,
Greg Wheeler and The Polygamist Mall Cops ) and rap (Imperfekt and Crackadon). Many of you know how much Angie and I enjoy watching live music. Watching your friends play is even more enjoyable. I am planning on getting on stage with the CR Dicks if my health allows. Don’t read into the name of the band too much. It’s punk. It’s raw. It’s dirty. It’s clean, at times. It’s Cedar Rapids without Starbucks, if one could imagine. The CR Dicks slap ear drums with gritty sound waves capable of shaving the bark off trees and sending Angie’s squirrels back to their sky high nests in the neighborhood oaks. If you can’t make it to ONP for the evening portion of the fundraiser, we completely understand. The daytime portion will likely be held between noon and five. Stay tuned!