Marty's Joke of the Day

Marty's Joke of the day is an internet column that I've written for more than 5 years.
I tell humorous stories about my "sweet wife" and raising our 4 young sons, named #1, #2, #3, and #4.
After 5 years of story telling, in August of 2005, doctors found a brain tumor in son #4.
Our focus here has changed little as we still try to find humor in our lives.

Monday, October 31, 2005

10/31 - Firetruck Prayers

Monday, October 31, 2005

[11/33 = 33% - 22 more treatments to go. They say if his hair is
going to fall out, it will do it this week.]


Happy Halloween to everyone! Things are starting to wind down
after a several hour quest for sugar. Since it was family night,
we all decided to head out early. But by 7PM, son #4 was tired, so
he and I came home to hand out candy to everyone who came to
visit. We had a grand total of zero people come over. Now I have
to figure what to do with a bunch of unopened candy. Maybe I’ll
take it to work and put it in a bowl for everyone else. So, son #4
and I played cars on the carpet until the rest of the family was

Last night at dinner, I asked son #2 to say the prayer at dinner.
He opened fine, thanked Heavenly Father for this, then that, and
then asked to bless Grandmas, Grandpas, and the normal stuff. Then
his voice got a little quiet and he quickly mumbled something like
“andblessitsowegetalotofcandytomorrow”, and a quick “In the name
of Jesus Christ AMEN!” The other 3 boys said, “AMEN!” and started
to eat. “Hold on a minute, what was that?” I said. “But Dad,” he
said, and then said, ‘aren’t we supposed to involve Him in
everything we do?’

Well, yeah, but...

Anyway, my sweet wife and son #4 went to the children’s hospital
after his radiation treatment today, for a Halloween party. She
said the most ingenious costume was a kid in a wheel chair,
painted all red, with a blue upside down plastic cup on his head.
Someone asked what he was, he said, “A fire truck!”

That’s a good one...

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

p.s. I put a little song on the blog site on Saturday. Very
fitting I thought. ( http://martysjotd.blogspot.com )

Reader Comment Section:

Marty, love the jokes and hearing about the family. Hope everyone
is faring well. In the meantime, here's a funny for you:
~Katrina B.
[See Joke #3 today]

Saturday, October 29, 2005

10/29 - Get your kleenex out now...

He's My Son by Mark Schultz (Click Here)
Click on the play button below

I'm down on my knees again tonight,
I'm hoppin' this prayer will turn out right.
See, there is a boy that needs Your help.
I've done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired,
I'm sure You can understand.
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand,
And she tries
Not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place some how.
See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
I dream of the boy he'd like to be.
I try to be strong and see him through,
But God, who he needs right now is You.
Let him grow old,
Live life without this fear.
What would I be
Living without him here?
He's so tired,
And he's scared
Let him know that You're there.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place some how.
See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow.
See, he's not just anyone.

Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don't leave him,
He's my son.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

10/27 - Barney and 'da boys

9/33 = 27% - 24 more to go

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Some of you have commented “what about the other boys?” [see
comments] They’re doing just fine. Son #1 is struggling in
Spanish, but he’ll pull out his grade up before the quarter ends
next week. (He’d better!) Son #2 still loves video games and reads
everything in site. He wants to be a marshmallow for Halloween
(hmm...) and son #3 is growing like a weed, and still loves to
tease son #4 whenever the opportunity presents itself. [I know, we
have to watch this, and give #3 a bit more attention... We are.]

All 3 of them still like to ‘teach’ son #4 about life. The other
day son #4 came out of his neuropsych testing to see what type of
damage surgery may have caused, and what damage radiation might
still cause. (He did fine. Some things he scored well on, some
only fair... but...) The test administrator came out for a break
at one point and told my sweet wife that son #4 was teaching her a
new song about Barney. My sweet wife said, “Oh, that’s funny, he
doesn’t watch Barney anymore.” The administrator said, “He sang a
nice little song; something about Barney being on fire...”

My sweet wife shook her head and said, “He got that from his

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Reader Comment Section:

that car commercial scared the biggibbes out of me...woke me up
~Ruby C.

Hey, Marty!
Thank you for the updates on Son #4. Know that he, and the rest of
the family, remains in our prayers. (And, as always, thanks for
the jokes, too!) But there is one thing I'm wondering about: How
are Sons 1, 2, and 3? We haven't heard much about them of late...
as a long-time reader I feel left out! What are the other boys up
to? How are they responding to Son #4's illness... Inquiring minds
want to know! ;-)
Praying for you all,
~Bea K.
[See above...]

I COULDN'T GET [the car commercial video] TO WORK. PROBABLY NOT

[That was my first attempt to add video to the web site. Try this
link, it should work.] Click Here

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

10/25 - Scary Cheetos...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

7/33 = 21% 26 more treatments to go!...

Each day when son #4 wakes up from his radiation treatments, he
has to do two requirements before they’ll let him go. (Besides
having good vital signs) He has to drink something, and eat
something. After the first couple of days he got tired of the
apple juice and graham crackers the nurses offered him. So, he
asked my sweet wife to bring cheetos. So for the last several days
after he woke up, he’d ask for his cheetos.

When he goes in for his procedure, he likes to sit on the table
and hold on to one of us when he goes to sleep. Then we’ll lay him
down and they do their stuff. Yesterday my sweet wife said, just
after he went under and they started laying him down for his
procedure, he yelled out, “CHEETOS!” So my sweet wife had to
explain everything to the staff.

I’ve put a few pics of son #4, sleeping and in his radiation mask,
on the blog site here. (along with some other goodies)

For those of you who get our email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Reader Comment Section:

None today.


Bonus Web Joke today

Strange but interesting. This is a car advertisement from Great
Britain. When they finished filming the ad, the film editor noticed
something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist.
They found out that a person had been killed a year earlier in that
exact same spot. The ad was never put on TV because of the
unexplained ghostly phenomenon. Watch the front end of the car as
it clears the trees in the middle of the screen and you'll see the
white mist crossing in front of the car then following it along
the road....Spooky! Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You
decide. If you listen to the ad, you'll even hear the cameraman
whispering in the background about it near the end of the

Monday, October 24, 2005

10/24 - Dr. #4, Paging Doctor #4...

Monday, October 24, 2005

[I was a little down in the dumps last night and asked my #1 mom
to write today’s issue because she witnessed it first hand. She
went to son #4’s fifth treatment on Friday. In her words...]

Son #4 decided that for Halloween he wanted to be a neurosurgeon,
so his mom ordered him a set of scrubs, a surgeons cap and a lab
coat on e-bay. When they arrived, he wanted to wear the scrubs and
hat to the hospital for his radiation therapy. (He left the lab
coat at home as that was his "costume").

Since they had been at registration several times, the clerk knew
who Mom and #4 were, and when she saw them come in she went over
to inform them of some "rule changes". From time to time she came
out from behind the desk and talked to them. After a few "visits"
she bent down to #4 and said "You look just like a little
doctor!" He looked at her with disdain and said "Well, Yeah!" It
was just like the "duh" in a blond joke. The whole waiting room
erupted with laughter. That’s just what everyone needed.

[Thanks Mom!]

You can see a picture of son #4 getting his PICC line dressing
change sometime last week, with his scrubs on, at our blog site at

And speaking of eBay, my sweet wife has some miniature paintings
up for bid on eBay here.

And, for those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Doctor #4

Reader Comment Section:

the King Arther store is actually the "Wife of Bath's Tale" from
the CAntiburry Tales. I wrote a Parody of it in high school!
~Bro. In Law #1

plant the pumpkin seed & grow your own for next year. Have a great
day I must run
~Kobus B.

how is the little guy doing? I think of you all often and send
you my good thoughts. Guess what? I got a joke from a friend
here in Marin. She had gotten it from your Joke of the Day
website!! I told her I am related to 'Marty' of Marty's Joke of
the Day! She was impressed!! Love to you,
~My 1st Cousin once removed Daria

[I’m impressed too! (#4 is hanging in there...)]

Thursday, October 20, 2005

10/20 - Shave and a hair cut - 2 bits!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

4/33 = 12% - 4 down, 29 treatments to go

Usually we don’t buy shaving cream in our house. Not because I
don’t shave, but because I think it’s a waste of money when I
can drag a wet razor across my face and get the same result with
or without the stuff. But, the other day I heard on the radio
that if you take some shaving cream and smear it on your mirror
before you take a shower, it will keep the fog away. So, I asked
my sweet wife to get a can.

She told me the other day that son #4 had pulled the can down
from the counter, put shaving cream on his face, and walked out
of the bathroom “shaving” his face with a toothbrush. My sweet
wife smiled and said, “Why are you shaving your face with a
toothbrush?” he said, “Because I’ll cut myself if I use one of
dad’s razors.”

Well duh.

2 bits!

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Treatment update: Another non-eventful day. We saw our 2 new
friends in the waiting room today and compared notes again. We
went into the hospital a little early, and I ended up going to
work about 10 minutes late. That may work out pretty good. No
problem with his red ear today. They said his ear may have been
folded under the mask yesterday.

Reader Comment Section:

Hi, Marty & gang--
Thinking of you and praying for #4 muchly...our G-bone hates
when Daddy doesn't come to the hospital, but after a full year
of there & back he just can't come every time...he knows how you
feel about that one. I don't like it much either! ; ) By now
you're down one more treatment...any grand fandango planned for
the end, something to look forward to (other than the bliss of
"done"?)? Have fun with the pumpkins--with 125 lbs of pumpkin,
hope you all love pumpkin seeds!

[Good question. Does anyone have any (cheap?) suggestion on what
to do in 6 more weeks when son #4 is done with radiation?]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

10/19 - Hey Punk'n Seed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

3/33 = 9% - Only 30 more treatments to go

While driving around today, I heard that our grocery store was
selling pumpkins for 9¢ a pound. This was the same store that
sold them for 8¢ a pound last year. (Click for story) But, it’s
still the cheapest place around.

One of the rules that we have is that in order to pick out a
pumpkin, you have to first be able to lift it. This year, the
pumpkins in this batch were huge. We dug and dug and couldn’t
find one that son #4 could lift. (or that we wanted him to try)
So, we bent the rules a little and ‘helped’ him lift his 18
pound pumpkin. With our 6 pumpkins, we ended up with over 125
pounds this year. Good thing we’ve got another family night or
two to cut them up and decorate them!

What to do with 125# of pumpkin

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Treatment update: son #4 was none too happy during yesterday’s
treatment. The only excuse he came up with was “dad didn’t come,
so I was scared.” So, I went with him today. He just played
around and didn’t seem to notice I was there. But, he acted a
lot calmer when they put him under today. His left ear is
starting to turn red. Something to ask about tomorrow.

Reader Comment Section:

Hello! I have been following the news daily through email about
your wonderful family, and your precious Son No. 4. All of you
remain in my prayers! I pray not only for healing, but that all
of you feel God's presence right there with you!
~Your Friends: Thair and Chadwick the guide dog

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

10/18 - Out like a light

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

2/33 = 6%. Two down, 31 more.

Not too much to talk about tonight. We did have the annual
Church talent show tonight. Son #4 liked a dance by two 9 year-
old girls of “I’ve got no strings” from Pinocchio. He watched
them really close and clapped loud. Other than that, he was
running around like a bright flame just before it goes out, or
else crying and pouting over some small thing. I think we’ll be
glad when treatments are over for this week, and he gets the
weekend to ‘recover’. He cried this morning when I told him I
had to go to work today and couldn’t go with him to the
hospital. “But, I’ll be scared dad.” *sigh* melt your heart

The hospital has strange ways of scheduling things too. The
first morning it was 7:30, this morning was 8:30, tomorrow its
6:30. So, I think I’ll go in before work and see how it goes.
I’ll also ask them to get us a set time.

Now, it’s time for sleep.

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Reader Comment Section:

Years ago a friends son went through this uncertainty. Even had
measles too! Treatment has improved ! Has wife and children
now. It was a long drawn out teadius process as I remember. He
broke his leg during this too! Hope # 4 is verrrrrrry careful .
Hmmm his age NOT!
Kay (crabby old auntie) no relation but I have many nephews!

I love your emails and look forward to hearing about your family
everyday! I especially enjoyed the "brothers" story. I have had
a friend for 43 years, and we had a falling out. I have sent the
story to her with hopes that I will be able to start our own
bridge. Thank you.

Monday, October 17, 2005

10/17 - Sickness and cures

Monday, October 17, 2005
1/33 = 3%

“Mom... I’m sick.”
Whoa, when you’ve been through the stuff that we’ve been through
for the last 2 months, 5 days, and 6 hours, you really take
notice when your little one says he doesn’t feel well. A
thousand things go through your head and you prepare yourself
for the worst possible outcome, and hope for the best. “What’s
up?” My sweet wife asked son #4 when he said he didn’t feel
well. He replied, “I don’t feel good, and I need the water thing
on.” (I had a nasty case of the somethings last weekend, and had
the humidifier on, in hopes of making my life more tolerable.)
My sweet wife asked son #4, “What doesn’t feel good honey? Why
do you want the humidifier on?” He thought for a second and
said, “Because I have the hiccups.”

And you wonder where moms get their training to see through
kids’ fibs...

On Friday the insurance company denied our appeal to have them
pay for proton beam radiation at Loma Linda Medical center. So,
we didn’t have any choice but to start the 3d IMRT radiation
today. (Not only because I didn’t want to spend my $49,000
savings, [HA!] but because time was getting to be a huge factor.
8 weeks is about the max they want you to wait before radiation,
and we were about 10 weeks out already. It would have been
another 2 or 3 weeks for proton radiation. So, we’re going with
photon radiation, and will take our lumps as they fall.

Here’s how a typical day will go; My sweet wife will take son #4
up to the hospital to check in, get weighed, (He was 19.4 Kg
today. He was only 17 Kg the day of diagnosis [42.3 lbs vs 37.5
lbs]) then he’ll go to the radiation therapy waiting room.
(Today we met 2 other families. One 2 1/2 year old girl and one
with a 2 1/2 year old boy, both with total resected brain
tumors. The boy’s family was on their 5th week, but it was the
girl’s first day too. We compared notes with everyone. The boys
dad had to quit his job 2 months ago to take care of his kid.
That would suck. Then they’ll call son #4 in, he’ll sit on the
table, get his “sleeping medicine” (he says he hates it) and
falls asleep. While the anesthesiologist watches, the techs move
him so his head is in the proper position. Then they take a hard
plastic mesh mask that they made last week, and strap his head
down to the exact position each day. They have a huge machine
that moves around and zaps radiation into the tumor bed. After
about 15 minutes of that, the anesthesiologist carries him up to
the recovery room with mom and dad in tow. That’s where he’ll
sleep anywhere from 10 minutes (today) to an hour or longer.
When the nurses think he’s ok, he heads home to be a really
cranky kid. Then we start the whole thing over the next day.
Every day, 5 days a week, for 6 1/2 weeks. One day down, 32 more
to go. I counted 3 nurses today who said he was so cute, and 2
commented on his eyelashes. You’d think they were 3/4 of an inch
long... Wait, they are...

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today
is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
~Babatunde Olatunji

Reader Comment Section:

Hello Marty and family:
Well, after reading your Tuesday issue about your tough day with
the eye appointment and the insurance appeal, all that can
really be said is that you and yours are, as always, in my
prayers. God has watched over Sun #4 so far and will continue to
do so. These kinds of decisions are tough particularly when you
have several options and you want to pick the best one for your
little son. Please know that you and yours are deeply cared
about by all of your readers and we're always here for you.
May God bless and keep you all, and may He keep his hand upon
your sweet son.
~Shannon in Nevada

Sorry.. just reading your posts from around when son #4 was
diagnosed and had surgery. That smile make me smile. What a
wonderful picture.
~Doug S.

>"I wish I could be more like son #4."
I wish I could too. God bless and keep your family through the
trials you are going through.
~Your brother in Christ, Eddie

I love everything about your family and my husband has just gone
through 34 treatments of Radiation. His tumor was on the left
side like a swollen tonsil and wrapped around his juglar, so
could not operate... ...I love to read all your mail too. I wish
the best for all of you and taking time for all your family.
~God Bless, Anne G.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

10/13 - Dogs in the Twilight Zone!

Hair is nice

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Read in Rod Serling's voice in... “The Twilight Zone”

Imagine, if you will a little boy with a vivid imagination. Not
any ordinary little boy, but a special little boy. A four-year-
old, fourth son, in a happy family of four boys with two parents
who love them all. This is a special little boy who not only
loves his family, but also his “grandma neighbor”, his mailman
friend, and his home nurse ‘Michelle’. Imagine if you will for a
moment that he’s a very sick little boy who doesn’t know it, or
at least doesn’t care that he’s sick. A boy who only wants to
laugh, play, and give love to anyone and anybody he can.

Our story today starts with our little boy getting his PICC line
dressing changed by his home nurse ‘Michelle’. Son #4 had a
particularly bad day last week with his dressing change, so
nurse Michelle promised to bring him a piece of cheesecake on
her next visit. Son #4 was surprised on Monday when she brought
an entire 12-piece-4-kind chocolate cheese cake. Son #4’s family
happily agreed to help him dispose of the ‘extra’ pieces. As
nurse Michelle leaves on this day, son #4 and his (Shweet)
momma(!) go outside to wish her a good day. Son #4 says, “Let’s
check the mailbox” So they do. Son #4 exclaims, “Look, there’s a
dog in our mail box!” (Shweet) Momma(!) plays along, “Really,
what color is he?” “He’s just like Buddy. White with brown spots
on him.” The little boy replies. Then he looks down the street
and sees his mailman friend delivering mail just up the street.
He waits with excitement. When the mailman arrives, (Shweet)
Momma(!) takes the mail while son #4 explains to his mailman
friend that there is indeed a second dog in the mailbox for the
mailman. The mailman thanks son #4 and drives to the next house.
Son #4 is excited about giving one friend a dog, so he runs
across the street to “grandma neighbor” and drags her to her
mail box. “See! There’s a blue dog in there for you too!” She
thanks him and gives him a hug. Son #4 has accomplished his goal
of giving his love to anyone he can, without a care in the world
for himself.

I wish I could be more like son #4.

Have a great weekend, and
For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

p.s. Got a quick photo of the family on the blog site, just
before we shaved our heads... I think I like us better with

Reader Comment Section:

"Rejoice, for the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God"..
I truly feel that whatever decision you make for your child will
be the correct one.
~Glenda B.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

10/12 - I see better today, thanks

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Today was a little better day than yesterday. I think I came to
grips some of yesterday’s reality. As bad as things seem to us,
we’ll be able to handle things. Just one day at a time.

Anyway, today my sweet wife, son #4 and I all went up to the
hospital for a dry run simulation for his radiation treatments.
(We’re appealing to the insurance company about approving proton
beam radiation in Loma Linda, but just in case it doesn’t go
through, we’ve got to continue with things here for IMRT/3d
radiation. It costs $49,000 if we do it on our own. ~ouch~)
Anyway, they put son #4 under, and did a CT scan and made a
plastic mask for him. He didn’t go under very easily and flopped
around again. And, when he came out of from the drugs, we
couldn’t get him to wake up very easily. I think it’s in his
nature to be stubborn.

Since he’ll get IMRT radiation at a regular hospital, and not
the children’s hospital, we get a lot more looks (and smiles)
from people when we walk down the hall. He had almost every
nurse and technician say what a good looking kid he was, “And
those eyelashes!” the nurses would say, “They’re so long. It’s
not fair.”

So, after he finally woke up after the simulation, he said he
was hungry and wanted to go to the hospital cafeteria for lunch.
He rode in a kid’s wheel chair that he thought was cool. There
were 6 postal workers in the cafeteria that he wanted to meet
(and show them his post man hat) and they all said, “Hi”.

After we finished lunch, we had to give the wheel chair back and
make him walk. He was a little woozy from the drugs, but we
didn’t think he was that bad. That is until we started walking
down the hall. He started listing to one side and almost fell
over. I grabbed his arm and he kept walking. Then he did it
again, started to lean over to one side pulling my arm, and
almost fell over. I asked my sweet wife to grab his other hand
to steady him. But, he did it again. I got a little concerned
and said, “Is he ok? He keeps leaning over to one side?” She
said, “Oh, he’s just walking on the tile pattern on the floor.”
Oh... yeah, I knew that.

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

p.s. I’m going to make it a goal to get these done a little
earlier and try to get a bit more sleep. Let me know how I do

"Divinity is rooted in each of us. ‘We all are the work of God’s
hand' (Isaiah 64:8). We are eternal beings... "We came to this
mortal experience to acquire a body, to be tried, and tested. We
are to form families and be sealed in holy temples, with joy and
loving relationships that endure eternally. To these everlasting
truths, we are personally rooted."
~Russell M. Nelson

Reader Comment Section:

Oh, Marty.... we will continue to lift you and your family up in
prayer. Our family is going through some very tough times also,
and I surely know what you mean about needing a good day to show
up. I do know the only peace and comfort that we can count on
is from our Heavenly Father, and we do pray for strength and
courage and the meeting of your every need, every day.
~Linda B.

My daughter also has vision loss from her Brain tumor...the rads
did not make it any worse, at all. The original damage got a bit
better during her first 2 years out of treatment.. she is stable
now, with about 20/200 in either eye, and field loss. You could
never tell unless you saw her reading, close up with mag.
glasses...school can be tricky, but doable.
Hang in there, day at a time.
~Mary D.

[Thanks Mary, I needed that comment.]

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

10/11 - I hear you, but can't see you...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What a day, what a day... We’ve sent in an appeal form letter to
the insurance company asking them to pay for proton beam
radiation. No answer as of this afternoon. Either radiation way
we go, we need baseline readings to see how he does after
radiation. So, we went to the hospital campus today to have his
eyes and ears checked. We had an appointment at 1:30 at the
University for his eyes, and one at 3:00 at the children’s
hospital for his ears. After waiting at the University for an
hour to get in (we were 15 minutes early) and after they looked
at his eyes for 5 minutes, they said, “Sorry, they sent you to
the wrong doctor. We don’t see kids here. But, (we’re really
nice, aren’t we?) we’ve set up an appointment at the children’s
hospital for you. They’re expecting you now.” I said, “Uh... but
we’ve wasted more than an hour here, and we have an appointment
in 20 minute for his hearing test.” “Sorry” they said. *grrr*.

After we checked into the “correct” eye department, I ran
upstairs to the hearing place. They said there wasn’t a problem
moving the appointment from 3 to 4PM. Nice folks.

Anyway, to make a long story short, his hearing is great. Before
the tumor diagnosis they said he had high frequency hearing
loss. Apparently that was wrong, or he’s learned to overcome it,
because they said he has normal hearing in both ears now. That’s
the best news we’ve had in 2 months. But, we weren’t so lucky in
the eye department. Both optic nerves were pale. (A bad thing)
and his right eye was much worse than his left. He has no sight
in his right eye, but has a little light sensitivity. In his
left eye, he has 20/100 or 20/125 sight. (He can see something
at 20 feet that a normal person can see at 100 or 125 feet). So,
it’s the old joke, ‘he’s blind in one eye and can’t see out of
the other.’ That could be humorous for an 80-year-old man, but
not so with a 4-year-old boy. Doc said that most likely neither
eye would get better, and that his “good” eye may sustain
further problems with the radiation treatments. Son #4 does have
a slight astigmatism in his “good” eye, so the doc did give us a
prescription for glasses with heavy duty lenses (he said they
were made with the same stuff that bullet proof glass was) more
so to protect his “good” eye, but also to help slightly with
vision. So, anyway, it’s been a tough tough day for us.

Brain tumors SUCK!

Now that we’re not sure we can go to Loma Linda for proton
therapy because of insurance problems, we’re going to go ahead
and start IMRT preliminary procedures tomorrow. They’ll do
another CT scan, and do a ‘simulation’ on him. (whatever that
means) I guess in about a week and a half after that they will
start the actual IMRT radiation. So, we’ve got about a week to
argue with the insurance company, and hope for a miracle.

And so, how was your day today?

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today
is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
~Babatunde Olatunji

[I’m starting not to like this quote. I’ll be happy when today is over and
I get a ‘present’ tomorrow.]

Reader Comment Section:

All quiet today

Monday, October 10, 2005

10/10 - People, Pies, and Protons

Monday, October 10, 2005

So, I’ve told you that my sweet wife and I joined a pediatric
brain tumor group on Yahoo Groups. There are all sorts of folks
there and everyone is so different from everyone else. But, they
all have one thing in common; a child family member who has
brain cancer. Most of them are in a lot worse shape then we’re
in, so at least it’s made us count our blessings. Anyway, we
found a really neat family who has a 7 year old girl who had a
brain tumor 4 years ago, and seems to be doing pretty well now.
We found that they went to the same hospital and had some of the
same doctors that we had. Then we found out they only lived only
10 minutes away. So after emailing each other for a while, they
invited us over to their home one night for some dessert. At
dinner that night, before we met our new friends, son #3 asked
if we were having dessert after dinner. We told them, ‘yes’, but
not at our house. We told the boys about our new friends, and
that we were going over to meet them after dinner.

I think son #1 saw an opening to rib us a little. He let loose
with a string of parroted profundities that he’d been taught
since before he could walk.
“Meeting people on-line dad? You’re not supposed to do that, are
“Their parents are supposed to meet your parents first, right?”
“You don’t know who these people are. What if they’re just
trying to ‘get’ you?”
“Taking the whole family, ‘eh? What if they’re serial killers
and try to poison us with the apple and pumpkin pies?”
He went on and on, teasing us with our own words. It was kinda
fun, but a little eye opening to boot. At least he remembers
this stuff.

In the end, our new friends were really great people. They were
very gracious, willing to answer any of our questions, and talk
about the treatment of their daughter with cancer. In all, they
have 3 daughters. Two are around son #3 and #4’s ages, plus a
littler one. My older two got a little tired of playing with
‘Barbie’ stuff, but they didn’t tear up the house too bad.
(grin)... These folks are good people.

Now, about our decision on son #4’s treatment; we’ve decided to
go to Loma Linda children’s hospital for proton beam radiation.
However, after we made our decision, we found that they can’t
start treatment until mid November, plus our insurance has
refused to pay for it. So we’ve gone three steps forward and two
steps back. We’re thinking about rethinking our decision. Of
course we think about thinking about these things 24/7 already.
I wonder if we’ll ever think about thinking of something else,
much less actually thinking about anything else.

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

Help Volvo fight pediatric cancers. Test drive a Volvo between
now and Oct 16th, and they’ll donate $20 per test drive to fight
pediatric cancers. More info at

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today
is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
~Babatunde Olatunji

Reader Comment Section:

So..... did son #2 ever get some new shoes? And, did Jimmy get
new underwear & church pants? Your boys' shopping story sort of
got 'lost' along the way because of a..... push up bra. :-)

[Yup. New shoes for #2 and sponge bob and tighty whiteys for #4]
[But nothing for mom...]

You will be in my prayers to make this important decision.
Jane S.

I have been reading you for a couple of years now. In fact most
of the times, I skip the jokes just to read what is going on
with you sweet wife and the boys. We live just outside of Philly
PA (very close to Children's Hospital and DuPont Hospital) If
there is ANY chance you need to be in this area, our house is
open to you and family! We have extra space & a 3 1/2 yr old who
would LOVE the company. Keeping you in prayers
Colleen P.

[You readers are just awesome! That’s the kind of email I love
getting! It makes my heart glad to see good people willing to
help out. I’ve heard CHOP (Children’s Hospital of PA) is one of
the best hospitals for pediatric cancer patients. I don’t think
we’ll ever need to head out that way, but if we do... I’ll keep
your email around. Thank you again!]

Hi Marty,
Will be thinking of you & your family & praying that you get
confirmation that the decision you make about future treatment
for [son #4] is the correct one.
With much love to you all,

[Thank you Ruth!]

I'll pray that you all get some clarity for what to do next for
Jimmy...so many times I've asked docs/nurses/people in elevators
"can someone just tell us what to do?" --but of course, they
can't. (although elevator folks can be surprisingly helpful...)
best to you—

[As can wonder reader/friends. Thanks again guys!]

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

10/05 - A dyslexic man walks into a bra...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The other night I was awakened by son #2. “My feet hurt” he
said. The next day I found that he has feet as flat as my sweet
wife’s. I examined his cheep tennis shoes and said, “Remind me
when I get home one night, and we’ll go buy some shoes that have
a little more support in them.”

Tonight I didn’t have anything scheduled, so when I got home I
asked son #2 if he wanted to go. “Naw, we can do it tomorrow” he
said. I said, “I might be busy tomorrow, and might not be in
such a generous mood.” He relented and said he’d go.

“Hey Jr!” I called to son #4, “You wanna go with us?” Of course
he did. As we got to the car, my sweet wife came out and said,
“As long as you’re going, son #2 needs some church pants too.
Oh, and son #4 needs some underwear.” I rolled my eyes, “Oh,
fine trying to spend ~all~ of my money tonight, aren’t you?” She
just smiled. I said, “Ok, is there anything I ~need~ to get
tonight?” In her impish way she said, “Yeah, I could use a new
bra.” I shook my head and said, “Yeah, right.” And we drove off.

We looked around for some tighty whiteys for son #4, but didn’t
find any small enough. So, we headed off to the shoe department.
I sent son #2 off to look at shoes, “I’m going to look over here
for underwear in the right size. We’ll be right back.” As we
walked by the women’s section, son #4 ran over and grabbed a
push-up bra and held it out for me. “Here dad, this is for mom.”
I said, “Hey, put that back. Mom can get her own.” Then I
reached over to grab it and put it back on the rack. He stated
to take off and said, “No, mom said to get this!” After about 3
steps I caught him and put back the merchandise.


Oh, that's just too funny

Ok, now, back to reality. Today is 7 weeks since they took out
the tumor from son #4’s head. (And 2 weeks since they put his
bone flap back in). The docs say we have to start radiation
treatment within 8 weeks. With this type of tumor and a gross
total resection, the ‘experts’ in this field (the children’s
oncology group), recommend 33 treatments of 3d conformal
radiation. This would be M-F, 5 days a week, for 6 and-a-half
weeks, putting him under each day for treatment. “Photon”
radiation like this goes in one side of the head, all the way
through the brain, and out the other side. The new 3d photon
radiation takes that beam of radiation, splits it into something
like 8 or 10 little “beamlets”, has the beamlets come from
different angles and converge on one spot in the tumor bed.
(Kind of like 8 Scouts on a night hike, shining all of their
flashlights at a dead rabbit on the trail.) The thought is that
several small beamlet rays will got through 8 or 10 different
lines through the brain, but with much less intensity than one
large beam. It sounds kind of nifty cool, but still having more
of his brain affected, even with small amounts of radiation is
still dangerous. Long term side effects may include; no chance
of regaining site in his right eye, hearing problems, ADHD,
learning disabilities, pituitary glad and growth problems, loss
of 10% or more of his present and future IQ, etc. Not to mention
short term side effects such as nausea, hair loss, and more.

That is our first choice. Our second choice is something called
“proton” radiation. This is similar to single beam regular
radiation, but using a proton matter beam, not photon energy.
With proton matter radiation, they use actual matter made of
protons. The proton matter would be shot into his head, but
because it’s actual matter, it won’t go all the way through the
brain and good tissue. They say they can stop the matter within
something like a half centimeter of the tumor bed. This should
alleviate some of the long term side effects. The only problem
is that there are only 3 places in the US that do it. Loma Linda
California, Bloomington Indiana, and (?) Boston Mass. There’s a
longer waiting time, and we’re not sure insurance will pay for

Our third choice is to just watch and wait. The 3d conformal
radiation technician said that if we don’t do anything, there is
a 40-60% chance the tumor will reappear (and more than likely be
much more aggressive) but if we choose 3d radiation, it will
only cut those chances in half, to a 20-30% chance of

So, we’ve got a big decision to make in the next couple of days.
My sweet wife and I are asking that you keep us in your prayers
so that with our Father in Heaven’s help, we will make the right

For those of you who get this as email...
Enjoy today’s Jokes!

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today
is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
~Babatunde Olatunji

Reader Comment Section:

>(He didn’t realize its 25¢ for adults and a buck for adults)

So, is it 25¢ for adults? Or 25¢ for adults?
~Doug S.

[Ahh... but you failed to mention that I at least spelled
everything correctly this time. So fooie on you! (grin)]