Monday, June 25, 2018

LIKE THERE'S NO YESTERDAY


Growing up playing sports, I would have coaches that would tell me and the other players that we had to have a "short memory."  

By that, they meant we cannot let the last play....the last turnover....the last error....the last success....define how the rest of the game is going to go.

So many times (talking to myself...but you can listen), we keep looking back and we either get way down on ourselves for past mistakes, or we continue to live in the glory of the past without acknowledging what we are facing in the present.


Jesus said in Luke 9: 62, "...Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."

HAND TO THE PLOW.

EYES FORWARD.

Our "YESTERDAYS" are there for examples of remembrance....NOT to live in.

What did you learn?

Repeat the good.

Don't do the not so good.

You have probably heard the saying, "live like there's no tomorrow."  To some, this is a license to do whatever they want, as much as they want.  To others, it's a reminder that we are guaranteed tomorrow, so make the most of today.

Either way......

LIVE your life LIKE THERE'S NO YESTERDAY!

You can't get it back....BUT....you can do something today that will have an impact on today and on your tomorrows.

How about we START....today?




Sunday, June 3, 2018

THE CLUB



The CLUB.

Not a CLUB any of us think about joining before we are diagnosed, but VERY grateful to be a SURVIVOR in the SURVIVOR'S CLUB.

Not everyone who get's the diagnosis makes it to the CLUB.

Some in the CLUB wonder "WHY ME?  How did I make it and many others didn't?"

Today, I'm thankful to be counted with all those who get a chance to celebrate NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY.

Actually, I want to do more with my life than just SURVIVE.  Don't get me wrong, SURVIVING is the beginning.  THRIVING in my SURVIVAL, or THRIVIVING, is what I want my life to demonstrate.

This day is about letting all those battling right now and those who have gone through, know there is LIFE...productive LIFE after cancer.

I have said it here, having a BEST YEAR YET is all about choices....choices that we each face, moment by moment AND our response to those choices.

I can choose to have a pity party....or I.CAN.CHOOSE.TO.LIVE!

I CHOOSE TO LIVE!

Whether you have or had cancer or not, you have a choice to LIVE as well.  There are many...MANY who let their choices and other circumstances of life keep them out of LIFE. Don't let that be you.

If you are in the CLUB today, congratulations.  LIVE LIFE LOUD!

If you aren't in the CLUB and battling right now (whether with cancer, any other disease or just the circumstances of life)....LIVE LIFE LOUD!

Here are 3 THINGS you can do, right now, to LIVE LIFE LOUD:

  • SMILE MORE!
    • Did you know that it takes less muscle to smile than it does to frown?
      • (I don't know if that is true, but it sounds good!)
  • LAUGH MORE!
    • You might say, "Tim, I don't know if I have anything to laugh about?"  I get it.  I've been there.  Here's a suggestion, find a "stupid funny" movie or TV show and watch it over and over and just LAUGH!  
  • GIVE MORE!
    • Your time
    • Your talents
    • Your resources
    • JUST GIVE!
Here's to LIFE and LIVING LOUD in this BEST YEAR YET!


FINAL THOUGHT:
You have heard me talk about the importance of my Annual Physical with my doctor and how being consistent with it, every year, helped to catch the cancer in my body early.  PLEASE, PLEASE go see your doctor, everyone reading this, guys and gals.  You and your family will be grateful!

Also, as I mentioned, today, June 3, 2018, is National Cancer Survivors Day, which is just one day to celebrate the whole month of June as June is National Cancer Survivors Month! If you know someone who is in the CLUB, let them know you are thinking of them and thankful they are still here to LIVE LOUD with you!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

SUPERMAN AND THE RED RAIN PONCHO



WOW...WHAT A DAY!

April 16, 2018 will go down in my book as one epic day!
I'm sure most of you are aware of by now, but this past Monday, April 16th, was the Boston Marathon.
We have been talking about this day for the past 5 1/2 months.
Now that it is over, I thought I would give you a little recap.
Prior to heading to Boston, I had my eye on the weather....for about the past 2 months!
The week of the race, all forecasts showed that there was a 100% chance of rain and wind...and boy did they get that one right!
From the time I woke up on race day, until the time I shut the lights out at night, it didn't stop raining.
We got to the Starters Village (fortunately, we had a house that was right at the Village that we were able to be in before the race) and when it was time, my St. Jude Teammates and I made our way to the Corral
Due to a steady rain, all those from our Wave (there were 4 waves of runners in this marathon and each wave had multiple corrals that they would send out one at a time), were walking toward our corrals, we heard over the loud speaker that due to the weather, they weren't going to hold us up.
They said to keep moving and when we get to the Starting Line, GO!
It was cold, windy and rainy.
At times, we experienced wind gusts up to 50 mph, but mostly we dealt with a driving rain and steady wind.
I heard, later on, some of the Elites who have ran this race multiple time says that this was the worst conditions they have ran the Boston Marathon in.
So off I ran with a stocking hat and rain poncho that I intended to discard at the start, end up being the items that kept me sort of dry and warm for the day.
The hat....an old stocking hat I grabbed from the closet before we left home. It had a Superman logo on the front.
Because of the rain poncho being over my St. Jude race singlet, no one knew who I was running for. Usually, someone might call out, "Way to go St. Jude." "Come on St. Jude" and so on, but since they couldn't see my singlet, instead I heard, "Come on Superman." "You got this Superman" and so on.
The first time I heard it, it took me a few seconds to realize they were talking to me.
I thought, "I'm no Superman. I'm just a guy who loves to use running as a way to represent and promote a cause that is greater than myself."
I thought about ditching the hat a few times and just putting on my St. Jude ball cap that I was carrying with me. Each time I was about to do it, something would happen; a wind gust....a sustained downpour of rain....or I just forgot about it.
Nearing the end of the race, with about a mile to go, I decided I was going to get rid of the rain poncho.
I knew I missed out on many pictures that photographers were taking during the race (they identify you by your bib number and since mine was covered all race, no pics would show up) and I at least wanted one of me crossing the finish line.
Honestly, it was a little tough to let go of this flimsy, plastic poncho. It had been my comfort blanket for better part of 5 hours. WE ran the Boston Marathon together...but hey, I wasn't THAT sentimental with it...so off it went!
I thought about doing the same thing with the Superman beanie, but I reflected back on the race. Each time I heard, "Come on Superman" "You got this Superman" it made me think about WHY I was running this race.
It made me think about ALL of those who supported this great organization.
ALL who supported me and my fundraising efforts.
I thought about the kids who were currently in the fight.
Although I'm no superman, it reminded me of all those who truly are.
So I kept on the hat, over the finish line, so the hat could tell the story!
The Superman Hat....the red rain poncho...they helped to keep me calm in the storm that day.
Go out and be the CALM in somebody's STORM today.
FINAL THOUGHTS:
Our St. Jude Team of 12 runners helped to raise over $210,000 for ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL on just this race alone. The fundraising is still open. PLEASE consider a donation to this GREAT organization and cause. To do so, go to:
ANY donation is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for joining me on this journey as we continue in our BEST YEAR YET!
Here are some other scenes from the 122nd Boston Marathon








Tuesday, April 3, 2018

6 MONTH CYCLE


cy·cle
ˈsīk(ə)l/
  1. a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order.



So I find myself marking time by a 6 month cycle.  Hitting repeat every 6 months.

October to April.

April to October.

Every October and April, I get a reminder in the mail that it's time for me to go see my urologist.

In May of 2016 I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and on August 1, 2016, I had a prostatectomy to remove my prostate and ALL the cancer that was there. 

Beginning in October of 2016 and for the next 10 years, I am on the 6 MONTH CYCLE!

Here's my struggle:  
When I had the surgery, my doctor said he got it all.  
The first test following surgery, in October of 2016 (and subsequent visits/tests)  showed no cancer.
But about 2 days before my next visit, my mind gets attacked with thoughts of cancer.  My body starts to have "pain" in different areas that play tricks on me (for the record, I train for marathons almost year around, so those "pains" I'm feeling are usually due to my marathon training).

So why do I let my mind wander to a place I don't want to go?

I have found, it is so important to not listen to all the "noise" that it out there.  And usually, that "noise" is cranked up to 10 inside of your head.

Worry...anxiety....fret....all of these type of emotions do not help you....in fact, they can cause other types of negative health related issues.

Here's how I get through it:
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7 [NLT]

I exchange fear, worry, anxiety, etc., for HIS PEACE ("Then you will experience God's peace...).  

I would rather have HIS PEACE, which is GREATER than anything!

By the way...my next appointment is tomorrow, April 4th.  Time to continue the exchange process!





Wednesday, February 28, 2018

.2 MILES...FOR THE FAMILIES



We have been on a journey for the month of February.

The ABCs of CANCER....a 26 MILE/LETTER journey through the eyes of the patients of ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL.

We showed, each day, a letter of the alphabet and how the patient/artists described what that letter meant to them in relation to their time at St. Jude.

Some were lighthearted and funny.  Some where straight out honest and heart wrenching (remember the letter Y just a couple of days ago?).

I mentioned yesterday, that in a marathon, you can't stop at mile 26 and think you are done. 

There is still .2 miles to go.  

352 yards.

Almost one lap around the track.

At this point in the race, you can see the finish and the feeling of accomplishment sweeps over you (at least it does with me...every time).

Life is a marathon...not a sprint.

Unlike a marathon race that is 26.2 miles long, in the marathon of life, we don't know how long it will be.  We just know that it is supposed to be many, many years.

So even though our journey is over, like the marathon race itself, there are MANY who are still in the race.  

Still fighting.  

Still battling.  

Day in....Day out.

As we take our ".2" to reflect....we acknowledge ALL those who HAVE run and those still in the race.  

YOU are the true HEROES of this journey.  

Thank you for giving us your insights into what your race looks like.

THAT is why I run as a ST. JUDE HERO!

FINAL NOTE:
Each day in our ABCs of CANCER journey, we asked that if your name corresponded with the letter of the day, to consider a donation to ST. JUDE via my Boston Marathon St. Jude Heroes donation site.  I am blessed to report that over this time, we have had $2176 come in!  You ALL are amazing.  So, if your name begins with ANY letter of the Alphabet, would you consider a donation to St. Jude at the link below?  THANK YOU!

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/stjudeheroes2018/timpete


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Z IS FOR...




MILE 26...LETTER Z.

Z IS FOR...ZOFRAN

  • Zzzzz....as in sleepy b/c chemo makes me tired
  • Ondansetron is the generic name
  • (helps me) Feel better
  • Ran through IV at hospital & pills at home during treatment
  • Always have Faith
  • (helps prevent) Nausea & vomiting
MILE 26.

We can see the end.

What a journey it has been.

We're not quite done.

In a marathon, you still have .2 miles to go....352 yards....almost one loop of the track around the football field. 

We're almost there.....but not done yet.

I remember after getting involved with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, raising money and awareness by running marathons as a St. Jude Hero, learning how far medical science has come in treating pediatric cancer.

When St. Jude opened in 1962, the survival rate for a child with cancer was 20%....1 in 5.

Today, the survival rate is over 80%...4 in 5.

BUT....we're not quite done yet.

Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude, once said, "No child should die in the dawn of life."

Until the survival rate is 100%....the race isn't over.

Tomorrow, we'll finish out our ABCs of CANCER journey....with .2.

Until no child dies from cancer......



FINAL NOTE: 
If your name begins with the letter Z, would you consider a donation to St. Jude via my Boston Marathon donation page?  Any amount is greatly appreciated.  The link to the donation page is below.  THANK YOU!

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/stjudeheroes2018/timpete





Monday, February 26, 2018

Y IS FOR...



MILE 25...LETTER Y.

Y IS FOR....YUCKY!

  • Needles are YUCKY and scary.
  • Throwing up is YUCKY.
  • Taking medicine is super YUCKY.
  • Cancer is mean and YUCKY.
Maybe today's should have read, "Y IS FOR HONESTY!"

Many kids have no filter.

They tell it straight out.

"Mommy...that man is bald."

"Mommy...that man has a gray beard."

"Mommy...Cancer is MEAN and YUCKY."

ANYONE who is in the fight....knows it's a fight.

They know it's not fun to be sick.  It's not fun to be a human pin cushion.

IT'S YUCKY!

BUT.....if we can embrace the YUCKY and keep fighting....we'll win!

I have a friend who usually tags his posts on Facebook with #embracethestrugglecelebratethevictory

So, if you know someone in the fight....be there for them.  Listen to them.  Embrace the struggle with them.....AND....CELEBRATE THE VICTORY!



FINAL NOTE: 
If your name begins with the letter Y, would you consider a donation to St. Jude via my Boston Marathon donation page?  Any amount is greatly appreciated.  The link to the donation page is below.  THANK YOU!