It's come to my attention, through Plumber Rick and private personal messages to myself, that there are members concerned with my health since I haven't been posting much. I appreciate the concern of those members and feel that it is now best to post my situation for anyone who cares.
I was reluctant to post my personal problems on the forum, because I've felt that the forum should be a networking center for plumbers to discuss plumbing. But in this case, I think that those members inquiring about me deserve the truth, and my continued participation in the forum will be easier if it is done in the clear air.
During the holiday season I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Unfortunately, due to the silent nature of that form of cancer it was not detected until it had spread extensively into my lungs, liver, and lower spine.
The bottom line--- It is incurable. With treatments (chemo, radiation, etc.) I will probably have two years of living left, although some in my situation have lived five years.
At the current time I am bed ridden due to the enlargement of tumors in my lower spine. The tumors have created fractures in the spine causing nerves to be pinched. In turn this causes a tremendous amount of pain in my legs and lower back. In short, the only way I can be comfortable is laying on my left side or stomach, and taking heavy pain killers.
That was the bad news.
The good news is that I have been given a gift. I have stared into the face of death, yet been given the time to place my life in order. I've had the chance to re-establish a relationship with my estranged brother. I've talked to family and friends I haven't seen for years. I've had the time tell people how truly meaningfull they've been to my life. I've been able to view life through a different perspective. View it through the eyes of one whose every moment is precious.
Since I'm on forced retirement I will have more time to post, but sometimes it's difficult to find a comfortable position to work on the laptop with. Other times I have to medicate heavy, which I can't write on. So if you notice I haven't posted in a week, it's ok, I'm just having a bad week. When it gets to the point when I can't post I have a friend who will notify the forum.
Let's get back to plumbing discussion.