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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Latest Results

Monday I paid my my monthly visit to the Farber.  The news is still good!  My blood work came out fine and I got the printout of my annual bone marrow biopsy pathology report.  In my last post, I mentioned that the bone marrow aspirate contained 7% plasma cells.  I lied.  Actually, it was 8%.  Last year it was 6%.  I asked Mary about this, and she said that Paul Richardson had reviewed the report and said it is no problem. Whew!  I still find that a little worrisome, however, since the standard criterion for complete remission is less than 5% plasma cells.  I might just have a little chat with Paul about this one of these days.

The best thing about the bone marrow pathology report was the conclusion:  "Diagnostic features of involvement by a plasma cell neoplasm are not seen".  I find it amusing to read doctor speak.  Notice the circumlocution and passive voice of this sentence.  It's as if the author doesn't want to take actual responsibility for this conclusion and chooses to cloak it in obfuscatory language (like what I did just now).

So what is a neoplasm anyway?  It sounds a bit ominous.  The term "neoplasm" is medical terminology for abnormal cell growth.  So why couldn't they just have said simply,  "We found no abnormal plasma cells"?  That would be straight to the point.  I guess that wouldn't sound erudite enough for the medical community, so they have to use pompous officious-sounding verbiage to impress one another.  I've gotten used to reading this kind of crappola over the last number of years of research and trying to translate it into understandable English.  Anyway, hurray!  I'm closing in on 5 years since my initial diagnosis and it's all good!

Only 4 days to go until the MMRF Boston 5K Walk/Run event in South Boston!  I'm overwhelmed that we have over 30 registered participants who plan to either run or walk with us in support of Team Epic for Bill on Sunday.  I'm also pleased that our fundraising is going very well, with over $9,000 of contributions to date.  We're still a little short of our $10,000 goal, but I am delighted with the outpouring of support we have gotten for this worthy cause.  I am very thankful for the many family members and friends who have made donations.  Because of our successful fundraising efforts, the MMRF has designated Team Epic for Bill as a "Top Team", so they will provide us with our own tent where our team can congregate.  Great!

It's still not too late to make a donation!  Here is the website:

http://support.themmrf.org/site/TR/RaceforResearch/General?team_id=41495&pg=team&fr_id=2362

The weather is supposed to be good on Sunday with no rain and temperatures in the 50s.  This should be a lot of fun!  After the race, we will host a brunch gathering at the Coppersmith restaurant in South Boston.  It's a way to say Thank You for those who are taking the time and effort to participate in this event.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Florida Trip

Last weekend, we traveled to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida to attend Pat Killingsworth's Myeloma Survival School.  It was a beautiful setting and what a wonderful time it was!  About 140 people attended from various parts of the country for this weekend event.  It was an awesome tribute to Pat's life.  Pat's wife, Pattie, was amazing!  She was so outgoing, upbeat and cheerful, and she made everyone there feel comfortable.  I can see why she was such an wonderful caregiver for Pat.  Her optimism and enthusiasm must have helped him greatly during his hardest times, and I'm sure she gave him extra energy to deal with his nearly constant pain and suffering. Wow! 

We met a number of very interesting people.  All were knowledgeable and well-informed.  It was an intellectually and socially stimulating experience.  I learned a lot by talking with patients and attending some of the seminars.  For example, some of the recent advances in gene expression profiling were very interesting, which could lead to individualized targeted therapies in the near future.  The Saturday night dinner was a tribute to Pat's amazing life, and it was a very fitting closure for those of us who miss him so much.  I hope and expect that they will continue to hold this event in years to come.  If so, we'd like to attend.

On Sunday, we drove down to Cape Coral, near Fort Myers, to visit with my college roommate, Steve, and his wife, Sue.  They have a really nice winter home on a canal which connects to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a beautiful place.  We had a wonderful visit.  The weather was great!  Since it was cold and snowing in Boston then, it was a really good time for us to be in Florida.

Scott and Gretchen
We took an excursion on one of their friend's boat to cruise out into the Gulf.  On the way, we stopped for lunch at the Boat House Tiki Bar and Grill. They had a really good singer entertaining that day.  Gretchen started a conversation with him (surprise) and he happened to have family in Massachusetts.  When he told us that he grew up in Burlington, Mass., Gretchen told him that she did also.  It turned out that he graduated a couple of years behind her.  As an amazing coincidence, when she asked him if he knew her younger brother, John, he gasped and said, "Are you Gretchen?"  His name is Scotty and his brother is one of our best friends, Jeff Williamson.  Scotty spent a lot of time in John and Gretchen's home when he was young.  He told us that John taught him to play the guitar.  There were lots of hugs after that.  It's really a small world sometimes!  That was too much.  It's hard for me to get my head around that.

My bone marrow biopsy results are back, but when I try to access them through the Patient Gateway, there are no specific results posted.  I guess I'll have to wait until my next Farber visit to get the full results.  If I was really anxious, I would call, but I think I can wait.  One number that they did publish was the percentage of plasma in my bone marrow.  Last year it was 6%, but this time it is 7%.  That may not be a big deal, but that's not going in the right direction.  I'm slightly anxious to get the full report.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Monday at the Farber was the time for my annual bone marrow biopsy.  Last year, I found the procedure to be extremely uncomfortable and painful, so they suggested that this time I could take an anesthetic to supplement the lidocaine, so I agreed.  I had Gretchen come with me so that she could drive us home.  However, this note wasn't in their system ahead of time, so I didn't get any prior instructions. Unknowingly, Gretchen and I went to the cafeteria for lunch before the procedure.  That was a mistake, because the IV they were planning to use required an empty stomach.  Oops!

One of the nurses came out to explain the remaining options.  I told her that none of this would be necessary if Zack was still there.  He moved out to California about two years ago, and everyone misses him.  I never had any issues with Zack doing my biopsy.  He was great!  The nurse said, "Let me tell you something.  The nurses here were the ones who trained Zack."  I replied, "Then he was a very good student."  She had to agree.  She gave me a couple of alternative options, including some anesthetic knockout pills, but in the end, I settled for just an Ativan to relax me.  That actually worked quite well.  I was able to relax more and this time was much better than last year.  I didn't feel any after effects at all, so I even drove home.  I think I'll opt for an Ativan (or 2) again next year.

Other than that, my numbers still look good.  I'll find out in the next couple of weeks whether the bone marrow biopsy confirms a deep remission.  My fingers are crossed.

We were planning to leave for Florida tomorrow to attend Pat Killingsworth's Myeloma Survival School in Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville.  It's so sad that Pat is no longer with us and I will never get a chance to meet him.  I'm looking forward though to giving my respects to his wife, Pattie, and meeting other MM survivors while there.  However, Gretchen isn't feeling well, so we changed our reservations to Friday instead.  I hope she feels better by then.

After that, we are planning to drive down to Cape Coral, Florida to visit Steve and Sue for a few days.  We are really looking forward to that.  The weather there is supposed to be in the 80's.  Yahoo! They told us to be sure to bring our bathing suits.  That sounds good to me!

Our fundraiser for the MMRF 5K Run/Walk is still doing pretty well.  We are over $6,000 in contributions so far, but we have a long way to go to meet our fundraising goal of $10,000.  If you haven't contributed yet, please consider making a donation to Team Epic for Bill.  Here is the website:

MMRF Boston 5K Walk/Run Team Epic for Bill

Thank you in advance!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Birthday

Today marks the fourth birthday of my stem cell transplant on March 20, 2012, when I received my brand new immune system.  I now have two birthdays, December 2 and March 20.  I share the honor of having two birthdays with Queen Elizabeth, whose actual birthday is in April but whose official birthday is in June.  How many people can say they have two birthdays?  I feel so regal.  I think Liz and I share something special.  Maybe I'll give her a call tonight just to share this.  Maybe not though...she's probably asleep and it's too late to call.  Oh well, dream on.

Seriously though, I am very pleased to have reached the four year mark after transplant and still be in remission.  I am so grateful. 

I'm healing slowly from my facial surgeries for skin cell cancer.  I'm not too happy yet with the wounds, especially on my nose, but I go in tomorrow for a followup visit.  I just don't want to be horribly scarred for life, not that I'm planning on auditioning for any movie roles.  I'm not ready to call the surgeon a butcher yet, but we'll see.  Meanwhile, I've found a new dermatologist in Newburyport that I have heard good things about.  I may try to set up an appointment with her in the next couple of months.

We are getting ready for our trip to Florida.  Visiting Amelia Island to mourn Pat Killingsworth will be an emotional trip.  I'm sure I will meet some other MM patients whom I have either met with in person or communicated with online.  I want to pay proper respects to this most amazing person, who has been a beacon of hope and light to me throughout my MM journey, as he has been to so many others.

After that, we will visit my college roommate Steve and his wife Sue for a few relaxing days in south Florida.  After all the stuff that's been going on here, I think we can use the break.

Please help us raise funds for the MMRF Boston 5K Run/Walk event on May 1.  So far, we have raised over $4,000, but we have a ways to go to meet the Team Epic for Bill fundraising goal of $10,000.  Please help us raise money for this worthy cause, which will help to give hope to all of us multiple myeloma patients.  Here is the website:
http://support.themmrf.org/site/TR/RaceforResearch/General?team_id=41495&pg=team&fr_id=2362
Thank you for your support. 




Saturday, March 12, 2016

This and That

Last week at the Farber, everything came out normal again, thank goodness.  I'm very lucky to still be in remission at cycle 45 of my maintenance therapy.  Believe me, I don't take this for granted.

We are getting ready to head to Florida at the end of March to commemorate Pat Killingsworth's death at a memorial celebration for him at Amelia Island.  I'm still not over the shock of Pat's passing, as are most of his devoted followers.  I look forward to meeting in person some of those MM survivors with whom I have been in contact over the years, as well as new friends I don't yet know.  I hope this can be both a solemn memorial and a new dedication for us to move forward in his memory to find a cure for this insidious disease that took him from us.

Afterwards, we will then drive down to Cape Coral, FL for a few days to visit my college roommate and his wife, Steve and Sue. Even though this winter has been kind to us so far, we are really looking forward to getting away to the sunny south of Florida and spending time with our good friends.

Tuesday, I had some minor surgery on my face for a couple of skin cancers:  a squamous cell carcinoma on my jaw (Mohs surgery) and a basal cell carcinoma on my nose (scrape and burn).  I now look like I've been in a street fight as I sport my bandages (I'd like to think the other guy looks worse).  I'll spare you by not showing a selfie.  Anyway, this is the price I have to pay for the indiscretions of my Irish youth by basking in the sun without using enough sunscreen.  I'm sure there's more of these to come, but I plan to keep on top of this by frequent visits to my new (as yet to be named) dermatologist.

The big thing in our lives right now is my sister-in-law, Kathy.  I've been helping her with research and in finding her the best oncologist: Dr. Temel, Clinical Director of lung cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  Yesterday, she finished her 3 week regimen of whole brain radiation for her metastasized lung cancer.  She has been a real trouper, and has survived this phase amazingly well, with few side effects so far.  Her hair has now fallen out, but she is sporting a new wig, and she looks and sounds as great as ever.  She starts her chemotherapy on March 22.  If anybody can beat this down, Kathy, with her amazing health, energy, and incredibly positive attitude is a good bet to do this.  In the mean time, there are a lot of new therapies being tested that might give more favorable long-term prognoses to lung cancer patients like Kathy.  Let's just hope for her to live many more years along with those of us who love her.

I'm really looking forward to the MMRF 5K Run/Walk event on May 1.  We have 19 participants signed up to run or walk.  So far, we have raised about $4,000, but that is far short of our goal of $10,000.  I invite any of you who have not yet contributed to please make a contribution to this worthy cause.  I would really appreciate it.  Here is the website which you can copy and paste into your browser:

http://support.themmrf.org/site/TR/RaceforResearch/General?team_id=41495&pg=team&fr_id=2362

I thank you in advance.

Today I went to the gym to train for this event.  I am doing interval training, some walking and some jogging, to prepare myself in case I might want to run rather than walk.  I wasn't supposed to do any exertion after my surgery on Tuesday for a full week, but I felt I could run and walk today.  I did 25 minutes of combined walk and run.  My surgeries were fine.  Unfortunately, I forgot to put on my knee wrap today.  I got through the exercise fine, but afterwards, my right knee started hurting, and I have been hobbling ever since.  Shit!  Maybe I just screwed everything by pushing too hard today.  I don't know.  I have been using this 5K run/walk as an impetus to get myself in shape.  I hope I can still do this without screwing up my knee.  We'll see.




Friday, February 19, 2016

Cancer Sucks - Part 2

In my previous post with this title, I was worried about Pat Killingsworth, who tragically passed away last week.  I feel like I have lost a real friend, though we have never met.  However, I also had another reason to worry that is closer to home.  My sister-in-law, Kathy, has just been diagnosed with lung cancer!  By the way, she doesn't smoke and she is only 56 years old.  Our whole family is stunned.

Kathy had no symptoms, but she recently noticed an enlarged lymph node on her neck.  A biopsy then showed it to be adenocarcinoma.  A PET scan then showed several other cancerous lymph nodes near her lungs and a possible lesion in her lungs, so it was diagnosed as a Stage 4 lung cancer!  Furthermore, a follow-up MRI showed that it has metastasized to her brain.  Yikes!

Since I have been through this drill for myself, I have been helping her with online research and trying to help find her the best care possible.  Gretchen and I have been supporting her by attending her appointments.  Fortunately, with the help of other close friends, we have been able to direct her to one of the best lung cancer oncologists in the country,  Dr. Jennifer Temel, the Clinical Director of Thoracic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston.  She is now Kathy's oncologist.  MGH, along with the Farber, is one of the best cancer treatment centers in the world.  I think finding Dr. Temel at MGH is similar to my finding Dr. Richardson at the Farber.  She couldn't have found anybody better.  Starting next week, she will begin whole-brain radiation therapy for about 3 weeks, to be followed by chemotherapy.  Kathy is a real trouper, and she has been handling this extremely well with strength and optimism, which will help her greatly as she and her family and friends face the long road ahead.  Cancer sucks!

Another friend of ours, a cancer survivor, has recently been experiencing very low white blood cell counts.  She just had a bone marrow biopsy to determine if she has myelodisplastic syndrome (MDS).  If so, it could have been caused by her previous radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  We are awaiting these biopsy results, which should be available in another week.  Cancer sucks!

My daughter-in-law, Pam, phoned me two nights ago about a friend of her close friend in Holland who was just diagnosed with lung cancer.  He wants to come to the U.S. for treatment, and she wanted my inputs.  I am waiting to hear from him with more details, but I might be able to help set up appointments for him either at MGH or Dana Farber.  Cancer sucks!

On a much less dramatic note, I had an appointment with my dermatologist yesterday, and quite a few anomalies showed up.  She used liquid nitrogen spray to treat fifteen (!) pre-cancerous actinic keratoses on my scalp, face, and torso.  She also took two biopsies of sites on my face which she suspects are either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.  I will get the results in a week or so, but I'm pretty sure I'm headed for more surgery.  All of this has occurred since my last visit 6 months ago, after which I had surgery to remove a squamous cell carcinoma from my forehead.  That's a lot of shit to happen in only 6 months!  After the biopsies, she suggested I make an appointment to come back in a year.  (!!!)  What the f**k!  I told her she had to be kidding me.  She looked shocked and asked if I wanted to come back sooner.  "Damn right I do", I responded, so she then scheduled an appointment for me to come back in 4 months.  I won't keep that appointment, however, since I plan to have a new dermatologist by then!  This is another example of how you have to take charge of your own health care.  Cancer sucks!

Tomorrow, I am headed to Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. for a week of golfing with my son, Jeff, my friend, Bobby, and about a dozen other old farts like me, all of whom are from the Pittsburgh area.  (Maybe I should leave my Patriots cap at home.)  After all the stuff going on around here, I think I need a break, although thoughts of Kathy won't be far from my mind.  I'll just hit the shit out of that little round ball and not care much about where it goes.

Oh yeah, and I think I will take some sunscreen along.

By the way, cancer sucks!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Sad Day



Sadly, Pat Killingsworth died today on his 60th birthday.  His frail body could no longer sustain the ravages of the various complications he has recently faced in his myeloma fight.  His passing is a tragic loss for his wife, Pattie, his family, and for the many hundreds of us myeloma survivors who relied on his daily blogs to sustain us, inform us, encourage us, inspire us, and entertain us as we dealt with this insidious disease.  His death leaves a tremendous void in all of our our lives.

Pat's blog has been a constant and comforting companion to me ever since my diagnosis with MM in 2011.  He has been an invaluable resource in my research over the years.  I relied on his experience with his stem cell transplant to help inform my own decision.  I read his book on the subject, and we spoke on the phone several times along the way, which was very helpful.  He invited me to document the decision process I used leading to my stem cell transplant, which he then published on his blog.

If you read the comments to his last post,
http://multiplemyelomablog.com/2016/02/im-not-dead-yet.html ,
you will understand how much Pat has meant to those of us in the myeloma community and how much he will be missed.

I have always wanted to meet Pat face-to-face.  For the last two years, he has hosted a "Pat's Beach Party" near his home in Amelia Beach, Florida, to gather myeloma patients from around the country to share stories and get to know each other.  I've wanted to go, but unfortunately we couldn't attend either year due to previous conflicts.  This year, however, we have made plans to attend the event on April 1-3, and I was excited about the opportunity to finally meet this incredible person.  I'm devastated that he is no longer with us.  I'm not sure what will happen with this year's event, but I suspect it will still be held as a memorial to his life and works.  If so, we'll be there to honor Pat's memory and to share our grief at his passing.

Pat would always end his posts with this message,  "Feel good and keep smiling!".  Right now, I don't feel so good, and I'm finding it kind of hard to smile.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cancer Sucks

Despite the title of this blog entry, Gretchen and I had a good visit with Dr. Richardson on Monday.  Fortunately, my primary numbers are still good as I start my maintenance Cycle 44.  I did notice, as I have in previous visits, that my bilirubin number is high.  Normally, it should be <1.2, but mine was up to 1.8!  Some of my previous visits also showed high bilirubin numbers.

Since bilirubin is associated with the liver, I have been concerned that I might have some liver malfunction.  Considering the amount of alcohol I have imbibed over the years, I'm surprised it works at all!  Previously, when this number was high, Mary has told me that it is no problem because all my other liver functions are normal.  But when I brought this up to Paul on Monday, he casually said "Don't worry, you have Gilbert's Disease", as if I should have known this all along.  Oh really?  What's that?   All I need is another disease, right?  Anyway, he said it is no problem.

So I did a little research.  It turns out that it is a benign disorder of elevated bilirubin which has no serious consequences.  I found that those who have this Gilbert's Syndrome may suffer from mild jaundice.  So if I look a little yellow to you, now you know why (I'm not saying that I'm a chicken).  I also learned that this condition is associated with a much lower risk of Coronary Artery Disease.  Well that's comforting.  Maybe this is good news after all.  Not to worry, right?

As for the MMRF Boston 5K Run/Walk event, Pam's Team Epic for Bill has started out well.  I'm gratified that there have been some very generous donors.  I thank all of you who have contributed so far!  We have raised almost $2,500 to date, but we still have a long way to go to get to our fundraising goal of $10,000.  I think it would be awesome to raise that much money to fund MM research.  Those of us with MM depend on continued research to find the medicines that will either control or hopefully cure our disease.  I would appreciate it if you would contribute and reach out to others who might be interested in contributing to this cause and/or joining us in this event.  Thank you in advance!

I have started going back to the gym to train for this event.  Right now I am beginning interval training combining walking with running to see if I might be able to actually run rather than walk in this event.  I've been wearing a knee support to see if that helps.  I'm just starting, so I don't know where this might go, but I think it would be really great if I could actually run for 3K if my knees hold out.  If not, I will at least walk or crawl, but I'm determined to do it.

I'm really concerned about my favorite bloggist, Pat Killingsworth.  He has been a constant source of inspiration to me and many other MM patients over the past years.  He has suffered myriad setbacks along the way, but he manages to blog on a daily basis no matter how badly he feels.  We are planning to visit him in the beginning of April for his annual Pat's Beach Party in Amelia Beach, Florida.  I'm really looking forward to meeting him face-to-face for the first time. 

In the last few days, however, he has had some serious setbacks and has been in the emergency room for complications from his dual tandem stem cell transplants a few months ago.  All of us faithful followers are holding our breaths hoping that he makes it through this difficult stage.  Here is a link to his blog:  http://multiplemyelomablog.com/.  Here's to you, Pat!

Pat is one of the reasons that I titled this blog "Cancer Sucks".  There is more, but I will save that for a later blog.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

MMRF Boston 5K Walk/Run

Brian, Pam & Logan - 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon
Something very wonderful happened this weekend!   My son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Pam, have recently spent the first Sunday in May running in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Pam, along with her sisters and cousin, are all avid runners.  Last year, I went to Pittsburgh to cheer them on and to hook up with my family in the area.  This year, however, the Pittsburgh Marathon is on May 1, the same day that the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is sponsoring its annual 5K Run/Walk Team for Cures event in Boston.  Here is a link to the website:  MMRF Boston Team for Cures.  Last year, I attended the 5K event (as a spectator) and supported our friend Anne Riskin's team, Jeff's Juggernauts, in honor of her late husband who succumbed to MM.  I decided that I would stay in Boston this year to support the MMRF Team for Cures event again.

Yesterday, I found out that Brian, Pam, and her sisters have all decided to forego the Pittsburgh Marathon this year and run in the MMRF 5K instead!  More remarkably, Pam and Brian have created a team to raise funds on my behalf!  I was overwhelmed.  The team is called Team Epic for Bill.  Here is a link to MMRF team website:  Team Epic for Bill. They plan to enlist additional family and friends, including Pam's cousin, Guy, who will come up from Houston!

Doin' my job at the 2015 MMRF 5K
I have already joined the team and signed up to walk the 5K.  Last year, all I did was hold up one end of the finish line.  I know that is an important job, but I'll let someone else do that this year.  I just started going back to the gym after a long hiatus, and I have been using the treadmill.  I now have a goal to get myself in shape for this event.  If my right knee holds out (torn meniscus, arthritis, etc.), I might even consider running (or slowly jogging).  Dammit, I'll crawl if I have to, but one way or the other I'm going to do that 5K!

Dr. Richardson is the honorary chairman for the MMRF Boston 5K, and he also runs in it.  I emailed him about Pam and Brian's new team, and he is delighted.  As a coinkydink, I have an appointment with him tomorrow at the Farber for my monthly checkup.  I suspect this topic just might come up.

Team Epic for Bill has set a very ambitious goal to raise $10,000 for Multiple Myeloma research this year.  We will have to work hard to achieve that goal, so you can expect to hear a lot from me about this over the next 3 months.  Don't be shy...sign up now!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Still in Remission

Monday I went to the Farber for my monthly checkup, and everything is still good!  I am now on Cycle 43 of my Revlimid maintenance therapy that began in August, 2012.  I have now signed all the paperwork that extends this transplant clinical trial for another 3 years until 2018.  If I am lucky and stay in remission, I will still be a part of this trial until then.  What's really good news is that my Revlimid will still be cost-free to me as long as I am on this trial.  I can't believe how fortunate I have been so far with all of this.  What would have happened if I hadn't found Paul Richardson back in 2011 when I first got diagnosed with Smoldering Myeloma?  Where would I be today?  I don't even want to think about that!

The holidays were wonderful.  We spent Christmas at Brian and Pam's in New Jersey and got to watch Logan open his presents from Santa.  That was special.  The magic of these days will soon pass, but it's great to see it while we still can.  My bro, Terry and his wife Sherry came up for the week over New Years, so it was a really nice family holiday season.

I have signed up for us to go to Pat Killingsworth's beach party for MM patients at Amelia Island, Florida on April 1-3.  This will be the first time we have been able to go, and I am really looking forward to meeting Pat in person for the first time.  He has been through an awful lot lately, having tandem cell stem transplants, with all the associated complications, but he seems to be doing quite well now.  I hope to meet a lot of fellow MM survivors at the beach party.  Here is a link to his daily blog:  http://multiplemyelomablog.com/.  He continues to be a font of information to those of us in the MM community.  He's amazing!

After that, we plan to visit my college roommate friend, Steve, and his wife Sue in Coral Beach, Florida for a few days.  I hope this winter is a lot friendlier than the Snowmageddon of last year.  Maybe by the end of March we'll be glad to get out of Dodge.

May the Force be with you!