Well, like my subtitle says, this is mostly an upbeat, but sometimes a downbeat, blog – last night was one of those downbeat times.

If anyone reading this has recently been diagnosed with leukemia, I hope you’ve found this site to be uplifting. But, I’ve also promised to be honest. Yesterday was a downer.

I work alone at night in a large, empty building. I like working alone, but the lack of distractions allows my mind to wonder.

I was mostly sad. I was remembering wonderful days from my past. Then a song came to me. (I write songs in my head sometimes.) This was a sentimental song about an old man remembering his past. Anyway, it got me feeling old. I started thinking of the things I would miss.

It turned into a real pity party. I don’t have many of those. I seldom give into Leuk that way. But last night I did.

You will too. It’s okay. Hell, it’s more than okay; it’s to be expected. But don’t give in and let days like that turn into weeks or months.

Every now and then I give Leuk a day. Not that he deserves any. But it happens.

Just make most of your days a celebration of the time you’re given.

Godspeed and hang on.

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I’m planning difficult but needed decisions this week. But, you know, I really don’t mind. It seems that having Leuk by my side (even though I wish he’d take a hike) gives me a different view on the challenges of life.

I mean, it’s a blessing to have those challenges. As long as we’re out of the pine box, we will have good and bad days… but days they are, and that beats pine any day.

Don’t get me wrong. Certain issues, like moolah, bread, green backs, cold hard cash – or whatever you want to call it, can get me down, make me whine, raise my ire.

But, if light is understanding, and Leuk is darkness, then light can come from the dark.

So, in the light of darkness, I’ve found a certain gratitude for life.

It’s strange how I needed to get a terminal disease to figure that one out.

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Are you one of those who grew up thinking they always had to put other people first? I’m one of those. I guess growing up in the hospitality industry, as I did, taught me to be like that. Or maybe its because I’m a second child. Or maybe I just lost my mind at an early age.

Anyway, whatever the reason, nurture, nature, or insanity, it’s not always the best philosophy to live by. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it works well for both you and the person you are putting first. But it often means you are swallowing a stress pill for someone else’s sake. Do that too many times and you choke on all those pills.

I’m having to make a decision that will help my wife and I, but will negatively affect another person I love. I have two reasons for this decision: (1) Our financial future relies on it, and, (2) My health relies on it.

If you have leukemia, or any other serious ailment, and are struggling with a philosophy at odds with your health, please rethink it.

Changing our life philosophy is very difficult. Like an addictive habit, it fights back when you try to free yourself from it. Ask any long-time dry alcoholic and he’ll tell you overcoming his addition is an everyday struggle.

But he’ll also tell you it’s worth it.

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Hi gang,

I haven’t made any entries in the last few days. Guess I’m off my game. I’m still good. Feeling healthy. Leuk’s been leaving me alone pretty much.

The plans for a debt-free future for my wife if I’m gone, or for that matter a debt-free life if I’m here, have gotten a lot more complicated. It’s a good plan except for the pernicious influences of people who seem to not care that they are slowing things down – maybe even stopping my plans.

I think becoming anti-social could be a new hobby of mine. The fewer people in my life the better; a small hermitage on some isolated island maybe?

I’d miss my grandkids, but hey, they could row out to visit from time to time. My wife might get lonely out there, but she could swim to the mainland anytime she wanted.

We’d have everything we need. I’d catch salmon to eat, collect rain water to drink and shower with, and pick maple leaves for toilet paper. We’d have it made!

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The last two days have been challenging. This time it’s nothing to do with Leuk. Just issues that we all share from time to time – mainly financial. Negotiating with people & creditors is wearing. But I’m doing what I can and trying to not focus on those things I have no control over.

We have a house for sale. It is not the one we live in, but a beautiful house directly on a beach. It’s the family home I grew up in. Its difficult to let it go. Very difficult. I think I’ll miss living next to the saltwater even more than I’ll miss the house (which is a lot).

But the sale of the house will allow us to pay off the mortgages we have on the house we are now living in. With Leuk hovering over me, I need to make sure my wife won’t be left with debt and that no bank can touch the house.

I’ll probably be with her for a long time yet, but either way, staying or going, I’ll rest easier knowing she’s secure.

I love her so much. She’s beautiful, charming, and smart. She can be strong and independent when she needs to be. But most of all, she’s my best friend. I’ve known her since kindergarten. We are a part of something bigger than each of us. The ‘We and Us’ is more than the sum of the ‘Me and Her’.

I hope my plans to become completely debt free will happen soon. I grew up in a time when the White Knight still rescued the Damsel in Distress. You remember… back in the day when women actually needed us men.

I want to be her White Knight at least one more time.

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