I sometimes go to a local coffee shop to work on my computer and just relax. Today, as happens sometimes, my friend, a pastor of a local Lutheran church, stopped by. We often talk about theology, philosophy, politics, and life. He doesn’t preach; we just explore.

He is a rather progressive (a.k.a, liberal) preacher. His thoughts are refreshing to me. Anyway, he expressed the possibility that all will be saved and not lost. That God’s grace is stronger than we think. I hope that he is right. God and I have been at odds for a long time, so if He is there, I hope there is some of that grace left over for me…. believe me – it’s my only way in!

Somehow, during the conversation, while illustrating a point, I found it appropriate to tell him about my leukemia. It wasn’t out of a need to tell him, it was just part of the natural flow of our conversation.

We had a fine talk; not as a pastor trying to ‘save’ a soul, but as two friends exploring the possible.

Towards the end of our exchange he asked me if there was anything I would like him to do for me. It was an interesting question. It wasn’t the usual ‘would-you-like-me-to-pray-for-you?’. It was asked as an offer of practical help.

I paused in thought. No one had yet asked me such a question. I wondered if there really was anything I needed. “I can’t think of anything I need, except possibly for my family. My wife could use some prayer.”

It turns out some older ladies of his church knit prayer shawls. As they work, they pray for the shawl’s future owner.

“What’s her favorite color,” he asked.

“Blue, I think.”

“Good'” he smiled. “we are big on blue ones. They’ll knit one up and I’ll keep it in my car until I run into you again.”

Some people, like my pastor friend, make it a good day without even trying.

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So… I’ve been away from this blog since Oct 2012. Sorry about that. Got a lot of info to catch you up on. I’ll do that over the next few posts. First of all…

I need to update you on my last two lab tests.  Last November my results showed a white blood cell count of 40.2 – double since August of 2011 (see “Score Card” link).

My most recent labs, taken just last week, show an increase to 44.7. My red blood cells and platelets, however, are still in the normal range. At my last doctor’s appointment (Feb 2012) he told me that since these are still normal, he would continue to “watch and wait” without chemo.

This time around, since my RBC and platelet counts are still okay, I’m hoping I won’t have to do chemo. But with the big WBC increase I’m a little concerned.

I am planing an expansion of my business to website design/development. However, this will require a lot more travel and effort, so I’m putting it off until I meet with my doctor this week. If I have to do chemo I’ll have to take that into account when considering my business efforts. I’m not sure what type of chemo he’ll subscribe and what, if any, debilitating factors might occur. I don’t want to be unable to meet my new commitments.

So we’ll see. But I am still positive about the whole thing. If it turns out I can’t do as much work as I’ve planned, well… I guess it will be a good excuse to relax on a fijian beach!


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Hi. Been awhile since my last post. Been crazy busy.

We sold the family home I grew up in. It was directly on the beach – you step off the back porch, onto the lawn, and onto the beach. It was in the family since 1950 or so.

It was hard to see it go; sort of like a death in the family.

But circumstances required it and now that the deed is done I can move on. It helped pay off a mortgage that put our own home at risk and would have left my wife with debt if I’m gone.

My sister and I each inherited half of it and she needed to sell too. It’s been hard on the rest of the family. I just hope they can understand why we did it and that it wasn’t a frivolous decision.

I miss the smell of the sea.

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Whether it’s Leuk or some other heavy disease, it is natural to be worried when you first get the news.

But it’s a waste of time.

We all worry about everything. We worry that interview won’t go well. We worry about money. We worry about our car breaking down on the freeway. We worry we’ll miss the next episode of Storage Wars. We worry that Obama might get re-elected, or, we worry that Mitt will make it.

Worry, worry, worry.

One thing I’ve learned over my years it that worry isn’t real. And it does us no good.

I think that Worry is just Fear trying to be productive. In many ways, Worry is worse than Leuk because it devours our hope. And hope is something you need big time when Leuk’s around.

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Here’s a rough draft. It needs work but I thought I’d post it anyway:

He smiled as he waited
For his last breath
Frail, but calm
Not afraid of death

Tell me, Dad, why is it
You smile that way?
You seem so at peace
On this your last day

It’s not my last day, son
It never will be
He once made me a promise
And He’s kept it for me

A day will come
When you lie on this bed
So I’ll tell you that promise
And you’ll have nothing to dread

You’ve got a Carpenter
and He’s drawn up the plans
And built your mansion
With the nails from His hands

You’ve got a Carpenter
No need to cry anymore
Because your Carpenter
Hung your new name on the door

We’ve got a Carpenter


copyright 2012 Jim Smith

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