Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hitting the big time

My beloved Columbia Chorale is finally getting some recognition. This year our Messiah production has been picked up by the University Concert Series and they've done some great promotional work on TV. Check out the ad:

Thursday December 7, at 7 PM. Be there!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks

I received a solicitation from the Indiana University Cancer Center yesterday, and my first thought was, "Boy, I'd give my left nut to help find a cure for cancer!"

But seriously folks...

It's coming up on two years since my initial diagnosis, and Thanksgiving seems to be an appropriate time of year to reflect on where we've been in the last couple of years. If not for the intellectual curiosity of folks like Dr. Einhorn, I might not be around today. So the Rev. and I will be making a donation to further research at IU.

You can give to IU online through the IU Foundation, but it's a pain in the butt using this method to designate your gift for cancer research. The easier way to support IU cancer research is to write a check to "IU Foundation/Hem-Onc Gifts" and mail to:

Indiana University Cancer Center
c/o Indiana University Foundation
PO Box 663802
Indianapolis IN 46266-3802

Happy Thanksgiving! Follow the Rev. and I online tomorrow as we head to Atlanta.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Boring days and not-so-boring days

Another yawner at the oncologist's office today. That's my last visit for 2006. We'll try for a surgery-free year in 2007. Hard to believe we'll soon be marking two years from my initial diagnosis. Some of the folks who were going through TC when I started this have not been as fortunate as I have. Just this week I learned from my TC mailing list that two more folks from our ranks have departed this life and a third has begun palliative care. Sad, but life goes on.

On the less-boring side, our birthmom / adoption partner is planning to move to town this weekend. While we are encouraged by this development, it will be an exercise in proper boundary setting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Be a Star!

Here's your chance to take part in a sort of classical music karaoke. My esteemed singing group Columbia Chorale will be performing Handel's Messiah on Thursday, December 7 as part of the University of Missouri Concert Series. It promises to be a great night and it marks a new high as we've increased our artistic stature over the past few years.

The following Sunday, we'll also be singing Messiah at Missouri United Methodist Church as part of their concert series. Now then for the fun part: the eight solos (two for each voice part) will be auctioned on eBay. The winning bidder gets to sing a solo at the Messiah sing-along on Sunday, December 10, accompanied by the 9th Street Philharmonic Orchestra. Starting today and continuing for the next week, a solo will be put up for auction. You can now bid on the Soprano Aria "Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion". Best of all, your donation is tax deductible!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Baby News, Vol. 2 Issue 2: Meet the Parents

Tuesday (Halloween) was a good day, even if it was exhausting and emotional. The Rev. and I took off for a 1 1/2 hour flight (vs. a 5-hour drive) to meet with our birthmom and go to some appointments together. Neither one of us slept very well the previous night, just due to the pure excitement I suppose. I'm probably acting a bit more cautious than I normally would, with our recent experience with Mini Vinny still fresh in our minds, and Birthmom probably picked up that vibe or else chalked it up to being tired.

Anyway, the ultrasound went well (Birthmom is probably 18-19 weeks along). The Rev. and I crowded over the monitor as the tech, who was very good at his job, took all sorts of measurements and showed the three of us different views of what was happening inside Birthmom's belly. It's a boy (we could see the penis and scrotal sac) and he's quite active. He seems to have all the necessary parts; he's about 9 ounces right now and is scheduled to make his debut in early April 2007.

We had a nice lunch together and talked about all sorts of stuff. Amazingly, we even managed to have a non-baby-oriented conversation! After lunch, we headed to the OB/GYN office for a brief visit and got some suggestions as to adoption-friendly folks to work with at the hospital. Afterward we walked to the hospital and Birthmom asked for a tour of the birthing suite and postpartum rooms. It was a slow day in babyland, so the hospital staff was able to accommodate us.

In a lot of ways, Birthmom reminds me of my younger brother. She's very passionate about her role in this process and wants to provide us with as full an experience as possible. She also seems to know exactly what she wants and is not afraid to ask for it. We could see that in her interaction with the nurse in the birthing center. She basically took charge, explained the situation and while not bullying anyone, made very clear what her expectations of the hospital would be for her and for us when it comes time for the baby to be born. She wants us to be well taken care of.

There's a possibility that she may move a little closer to where we are. She seems to be highly motivated to be out on her own. Her moving closer has several potential positives and a few possible negatives, as you can imagine. Our boundaries will probably be tested, although right now I can't say with any certainty what those boundaries ought to be. We'll have to figure it out as we go.

The journey continues, and it is never boring.