Well, the first half of the year was not too bad. I don't have much of a blog record of the first half…I rebuilt this blog after a crash in June and lost all my posts up to that point. They were mostly boring until Guitar Gathering in July. That has become an annual highlight for me. I meet up with 40-50 folks from all over the country who are learning guitar from Steve Krentz…mostly through his Learn and Master DVD course, but also through Youtube and other on-line media. I get the opportunity to once again have it rubbed in my nose…I need to practice, more.
I am the unofficial videographer for the event…I've been able to catch some great performances by other students as well as accomplished musicians (well, quite a few of the "students" are pretty accomplished). Vince Gill, Jack Pearson, Corey Congilio, Phil Keaggy, and a lot of studio musicians who I can't put a name to right now. Some videos are linked in this blog. Others (from previous years) are on my Youtube page (https://www.youtube.com/user/popitz/feed) and some others on my Vimeo page (https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos/page:1/sort:date/format:video).
I spent many weekend evenings at Scat Jazz Lounge in downtown Fort Worth. Ate many great meals at Reata, Grace, Bird Cafe, Del Fresco's Cafe, and Waters as well as my favorite local family restaurant, La Gondola in Mansfield. Spent many Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Mansfield Starbucks, drinking coffee, getting a little weekend work done, and visiting with my good friend Doug…another guitar guru.
Then, the 2nd half of the year hit and everything went to hell. It is all documented on this site, but I made a quick timeline of major throat cancer-related events:
|9/1/2017||Noticable lump on one side|
|9/5/2017||Large lump across entire larynx|
|9/19/2017||Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosis|
|10/2/2017||First day of chemo and radiation|
|10/8/2017||Intestinal blood clot|
|10/9/2017||Emergency surgery for clot w/removal of 125cm of small intestine|
|10/18/2017||Discharged from hospital|
|10/22/2017||Swallowing becoming difficult|
|10/28/2017||100% PEG feeding starts|
|11/3/2017||Tumor noticeably smaller|
|11/13/2017||Last chemo treatment|
|11/17/2017||Last radiation treatment|
|11/22/2017||Noticed difficulty pulling in air intermittently|
|11/28/2017||Difficulty pulling in air continuous|
|11/29/2017||Tracheostomy tube inserted|
|12/6/2017||Home after tracheostomy|
|12/20/2017||Noted constant fever > 100.5; ER visit|
|12/21/2017||Cardiologist orders constant heart logger|
|12/23/2017||Bad odor (decomp) from tracheostomy; red, tender skin around neck stoma|
|12/28/2017||Dr ordered hi-res CT of neck and ordered 2 antibiotics|
And that pretty much brings me up to the last day of the year. I can honestly say with heartfelt passion: thank God 2017 is over. I am so ready for 2018. I suspect I've still got a few months of bad, but am counting on most of 2018 being on the good side of the ledger.
So, tip a toast to the new year for me…I'll catch up once I can drink, again.