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.

Friday, October 01, 2010


I know it's been awhile since I posted, but I think I got burnt out.

Things are doing well at our house. Son #4 just had his 5 year post-treatment MRI, and we got the all-clear. Still no tumors or anything growing in his noodle that shouldn't be. Apparently survival rates go up dramatically at the 5 year mark. They're up to 78% or something. So that's good news! Last summer he started having seizures. They're trying to control them with meds, but they are starting to look at other options. So that's just another twist in our 'new' normal lives.

Lots of other stuff has happened since we last chated. We've started our own little farm, and are raising chickens. We're getting about 2 dozen eggs every day. If you've never tried fresh cage-free chicken eggs, wow, there really is a difference!

Let's see, all of the boys' grandparents have moved away, which is hard for everyone. I'm still at the same old radiology-computer-guy job, and the paychecks continue to roll in, so that's good.

And lastly, you can keep up to date on some of our goings on, at my sweet wife's blog here.

Until next time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5/22 Brain Tumors in the News

Thursday, May 22, 2008

With the recent diagnosis of Senator Kennedy's brain tumor, there has a been a lot of stuff in the news about it.

Most of the news has already pronounced him dead.

C'mon media! There is hope. Look at son #4!

Today we're 2 years, 9 months, and 14 days since diagnosis of son #4's ependymoma brain tumor. Sure it's been up and down, but we're doing great right now. We only have a little more than 2 years to reach the golden number of 5 years cancer free, where survival percentages rise dramaticlly.

Senator Kennedy may be on the far end of the political left wing, about as far as you can get away from me, but I'm still praying for the man.

And, there's more we all can do.

St. Jude Children's hospital just ran an article (here) about a collaboration researching ependymoma brain tumors. (the kind son #4 had)...

They'll get an extra chuck of change from me this year, hope you can do the same!


The world’s top experts in pediatric and adult cancer are uniting to eradicate a rare cancer that kills both children and adults.

What’s the best way to find a cure for a vicious cancer that kills both children and adults? The answer seems obvious: Assemble the world’s top experts on adult and pediatric cancer. Encourage them to focus their intellect, energy and creativity on curing that disease.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it has never been done before. Until now.

Recently, two groups of brilliant scientists embarked on the first direct collaboration to find a cure for ependymoma, a rare central nervous system tumor that affects people of all ages.

Ependymoma arises from cells located within the ventricles of the brain and spinal cord. In children, the tumors usually appear in the brain; in adolescents and adults, the tumors generally form along the spinal cord.
(more here)

Enjoy your day...

Monday, May 12, 2008

5/12 - The Eyes Have it

Monday, May 12, 2008

FWEW! I still remember how to post! Cool...

Ok, it's been weeks since I posted, and I was finally shamed into posting by my buddy Wanda, who left a comment on my sweet wife's blog.

"I am so glad you are blogging!! Since Martys stopped writing you are my window to your family. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Wanda in Battle Creek."

Alright Wanda, this one's for you!

The following was a post that I had written a few weeks ago but didn't post;

Hair Club for men has been around a long time. Now they have Hair Club for kids. If your child has lost hair, they will give them a toupee (sorry) “hair system” until they turn 18. I assume they think son #4 will pay big bucks after that to keep the hair piece.

Anyway, son #4 has 2 big bald spots on the back left side of his head. And, a week ago Saturday, he got new hair! Although the texture is a little course, the color looks great, and you can’t tell. (pics on my sweet wife's blog)

The other day son #4 had an eye appointment. My sweet wife keeps coming back and saying that, “he’s getting a little better.” I’ve been told that because the tumor affect the optic nerve, that no improvement would ever occur. But they now have his ‘good’ eye at 20/80 (at a distance) and 20/40 (close up). This is awesome! (He still only has a little light perception in his ‘bad’ eye).

My eye glasses were getting old, and it’s been almost 2 years since I got new glasses. So I scheduled an appointment last week with the ophthalmologist at our clinic. (The one who original saw son #4’s optic nerve and said, “Um, I think there might be a problem...” which started us down the brain tumor path.) I wanted him to check my eyes, but I also wanted to talk to him about son #4’s eyes. He said that nerves don’t regenerate; but that the brain is a strange place and it can make new neuro-pathways that we can’t explain. My guess is that’s what’s going.

My sweet wife was walking down our dark street, hand in hand with son #4 last week. It was late, the moon bright, and it was a clear night. He looked up, and said, “Mom, what are those little white lights in the sky?”

This blew us away! And a full two and a half years after his initial operations... Wow, this is one special kid.

As a matter of fact, he’s one in 6.6 billion. Here’s why.

July ’07 World Population = 6.6 Billion
Male (50%) = 3.3 Billion
4th son (6.25%) = 206,250,000
Born as a Caulbearer (est. 1 in 80,000) = 2,578

Couple that with these brain tumor stats the 6.6 Billion who;
Had an intracranial glioma brain tumor (6/100,000)= 396,000
6% of those were ependymoma brain tumors = 23,760
36% of those were males = 8,554
40% of those were supratentorial = 3,222
30% of those were in children = 966

Out of the 2,578 and the 966, I can tell you for sure, there is only 1 boy like mine in the world.

Enjoy Today’s Issue

So, back to today. Monday May 12, 2008...

I have been busy. I busted my backside on my two classes, Business and Physiology. The Business class was 10 times more interesting than Physiology, but I worked hard enough to get an ‘A’ in both classes. I think next fall I’m going to try and match things up, get some direction, and see what I need to take in order to get a bachelors degree.

I’d like to get a business degree, because I’ve always thought about being a financial planner or something like that. I may be starting a little late in the game, but, who knows. It’s still good to learn something. Several times during the Business class we talked about our debt and mortgage crisis. I kept thinking of a talk given by Gordon B. Hinckley in the fall of 1998. For some reason that talk stuck with me. This was where he talked about the 7 lean cows eating the 7 fat cows in Pharaoh’s dream. The talk stuck with me so much so, that I told myself I needed to get out of debt right then. I did it and have been debt free since. (ok, except for that mortgage thingy...) Anyway, it’s good advice. Read the talk if you haven’t already.

And, let’s see, Go Jazz!
Series tied 2-2.
Now, if we can just steal one on Wednesday...

More later.
But, to keep up with the Jones, make sure to check out my sweet wife’s blog. She does a better job that I do anyway!

Oh, and one last thing. I’m convinced that son #4’s eyes are getting better, or at least he’s finding out how to use what he has. The other day he said, “Dad, I want to show you a trick!” I said, “sure”. He had me cover up his ‘good’ eye. With his bad eye, he looked to the extreme right and said hold up your fingers. I did and he guessed how many fingers I had up 3 out of 4 times. One wonders if he could always see out of that corner of his eye and is just discovering it, or if there is truly some optic nerve regeneration or some other miracle going on.

Either way, life is good!


Monday, March 24, 2008

3/24 - Oops...

"Problem is... that's not what happened..."

Ok, I guess we all make mistakes. I had a funeral to go to today. On my "out of office" notice on my email, and voice mail, I said I would return on Tuesday, April 1st. D'oh... I meant Tuesday the 25th.

But, at least I'm not running for president touting all of my experience...

Oh well.


3/24 - Chocolate Time!

Here's a few videos with animals in them

One of my favorite songs

Easter is over, now get back to work