The Column That Writes Itself. It probably used to be so hard and frustrating. Now it is easy. As the humble scribe for ’75 Best Alive, I peruse the Class News in the printed Checkpoints for updates on the other classes. Yes, I compare writing styles and penmanship to my own. I am curious what methods the other scribes use to deliver the happenings of their classmates. In every column there seems to be a few classes that have little or no news to report. Not this class. In fact, the gracious editor has given me many reprieves in the past allowing me to publish more than the allowed 1200 words. Until the last column. He said, “No More.” Guess what class has the highest percentage of registered members in zoomienation? (Now Defunct) Hint: this class still has the highest attrition rate of any military academy ever. At 303 registered members (as I write this), the next highest number for a graduating class is 41. No wonder writing this column is easy. Between all of you and our highly motivated president Jim Carlson, you are the reason writing this column is a breeze. Thanks for making it so.
News, Happenings, Retirements. Nice article featuring Dean Cox. The bulk of the article follows:
"Wedge-shaped 1980 TR-8 Triumph 1 of 250
"Shortly before graduation, students at the nation's military service academies are permitted to shop for automobiles.
"In 1975 Marvin Dean Cox found himself in such a position at the Air Force Academy. He had been reading about the new (at the time) Triumph TR-7 but the car was not readily available. Instead he bought a Pontiac.
"During a 1978 tour of duty in Anchorage, Mr. Cox purchased a Triumph TR-7. That car was eventually sold after confirming his initial good opinion. In the summer of 1982 Mr. Cox contacted an Orlando, Fla., dealer who specialized in foreign sports cars. There he found a carmine-red 1980 Triumph TR- 8. Mr. Cox explains that the builder of the Triumph believed that U.S. regulations would not permit convertibles to be manufactured. The first 250 cars built that model year are hardtops. Later a better understanding of the rules permitted convertibles and the rest of the Triumphs that year left the factory as convertibles.
"The Triumph Mr. Cox purchased carries serial No. 007, which indicates that it was one . . ."
Dean Cox adds: BTW, check out the Washington Times AutoWeekend section, page G1 and G6. I was able to get 1975 and Air Force Academy in the article, though he missed on some of the facts. (Complete Article and Photos Below)
From Jim Carlson: Well, another Class of 1975 Dark Ages Party (DAP) in Washington DC has come and gone. And this one, to me, was the best! About 46 classmates and significant others braved the cold, and overcast early evening, to meet up on Saturday at the Ft McNair Officers Club to celebrate our 7th annual get-together here in the DC area. We had a grown-up affair with a sit-down meal in a dining room all to ourselves. A fine meal of seafood jumbo and the fixins was served and time flew by way too quickly as usual. I'll post the photos soon. (Gallery Below)
In the meantime, I had earlier asked for the guys in the local area to dig up some photos of our time at the zoo so that I can hand them to our classmate Bill Estelle (who put together our DVD at our 30th reunion) when he comes to the area on a visit. Muddy Waters (CS-08) was the only one to actually bring actual photos to the DAP. I made a quick set of scans and attached are the memories he's willing to share with us. I hope this inspires you to rummage through the boxes you haven't opened in decades.
Jim Burling organized, on Feb 23rd, the first Class of '75 Dark Ages Party (DAP) for C Springs at Giuseppi's. Jim’s announcement: “We will be in a separate room and will have a buffet dinner. See the attached menu for dinner selections. Cost will be $17.50 per person which include tax and gratuity. There will be a separate pay-as-you-go bar.
Of course, the prime reason for this get together is to socialize, since we haven't had an "official" function since the reunion. Mark Volcheff made the Giuseppi's suggestion writing, "When I recommended "G's" it was to bring back the memories of Pizza and beer and rushing back to the dorm before Taps." I realize this is kind of short notice, but there was no USAFA Basketball and Giuseppi's had an opening. Note that we need to have at least 30 attendees for this buffet, so I really do need your RSVP. Please respond by Feb 22. Thanks for your inputs! PS. To set the tone for the event, all 75ers should wear something from your cadet days-parka, A-jacket, prop/wings, squadron patch, etc. (Class rings don't count!)”
Jim Carlson sent the scribe the draft lottery numbers for those of us born in 1952 and 1953, in case you forgot the draft was just ending at this time. The scribe hopes to post this right after this column. Jim notes: I was born in 1952 and got a fairly high lottery number (240). Yet, I completed BCT and stayed at the zoo.
From Duane "LoDrag" Lodrige: Just a quick update to give you some upcoming "LoDrag" news. My last official day in uniform is March 28th and I've just about set my retirement date in stone. The likely date will be May 31st for a ceremony/reception that AM either 1000 or 1100 at the Bolling parade field. Nobody will have to march. I will get the official invite out to you in April. All '75ers are welcome to the retirement ceremony/reception. Currently, I'm interviewing with some defense/aerspace/computer companies seeking an opportunity in business development to capitalize on my 22 years in uniform in the National Capital Area. I've focused on Business Development consulting but I would consider fulltime employment in either business development or program management if the right combination of potential/challenge/compensation were available. My resume is available if requested. Also, the USAFA-Navy game will get here before you know it. We should use the web to take ticket orders so we can get a large block together from the AOG as early as possible. I will agree to once again setup a tailgate or some type of hospitality event as long as Al Bready minds the grill and some "Ratz" lend a hand. Maybe we can eclipse our total of 52 '75 grads in 2003. The only downside would be the lack of a "tent" if it rains.
From Mike Anderson, who is Chief of Staff for Alaska’s only Congressman, Don Young: Here's a pic of Dave Janetta, myself, and Congressman Don Young in the Congressman's DC office. Dave is here for an ITS (intelligent transportation systems) day, display, and presentation here on Capitol Hill. As always, it was just great to hook up with him! He's been working on stuff that we in the DC area can relate to – sensors and systems in place to help make our commute a little easier – or at least give us the tools to help make the right decisions for traveling around the district.
OAI Appoints President, CEO. Nice Article about Mike Heil:
“The Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) announced today the appointment of Michael L. Heil as president and CEO. Heil will join the Institute in mid March, according to Salvatore J. Miraglia, Jr., chairman of OAI's board of trustees and president of the steel group at The Timken Company.
“Heil most recently served as director of the Center for Space Studies and Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He has extensive history in the aerospace and defense community and more than 30 years experience in research, development, test, acquisition and higher education. He replaces William R. Seelbach, who recently left the organization that focuses on the economic development of Ohio's aerospace industry.
"Michael is a proven leader who offers a rich background of experiences involving development and research in the aerospace industry," said Miraglia. "We're confident he will leverage his expertise to inspire more OAI programs and research that position Ohio's aerospace-dedicated companies, research labs and universities at the forefront of the industry."
“A distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Heil earned a bachelor's degree in engineering sciences. He holds a master's degree in flight structures from Columbia University; a master's in national resource strategies from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and a doctorate in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
"I am delighted to join the OAI team," said Heil. "Our Ohio universities, federal laboratories and aerospace industries make Ohio a strong leader in aerospace, and I'm looking forward to helping OAI grow Ohio's aerospace economy."
About OAI: The Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) is a non profit organization that works to build Ohio's aerospace economy through research and technology development, education and training, and networking and information exchange.
Announcing to all graduates the Dedication of the Association of Graduates Memorial Pavilion on Friday, May 11, 2007 Time: 2:00 p.m., Memorial Pavilion
From Jim Burling: Grim Reapers. I wanted to let you know of a new venture that Rich Chanick is heading up. He is President of Fun Finders. It is a company that uses GPS receivers to provide directions and suggestions (for fun) at theme parks, ski areas, national parks and large cities. Mary and Rich came up with the idea while at San Diego Sea World watching a lady push a stroller up a hill while trying to read a map enroute to her next attraction. (You gotta see Rich act out this scenario!) The concept is this: Let's say you are in Washington, DC, and you have 2 hours to see some monuments before you have to go to the airport. You'll be able to rent a Fun Finder GPS unit from a kiosk and ask it to show you the shortest directions to see Iwo Jima memorial, the Smithsonian, the new AF Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. It will provide directions in the shortest logical flow. Then just return the unit before heading to the airport Scenario 2: You are at Vail Ski Area…(big mother). You rent a Fun Finder unit at one of the Kiosks. You make plans to eat lunch at Two Elk Lodge, but you're in the back bowls (Colletti). It will program your quickest way to get to Two Elk Lodge to meet your friends. OR It's your last run of the day, your knees are shot (Fergy and Burling), so you want the easiest run down to the bottom. Fun Finder will show you the way. Scenario 3: Jack Storer is at Yellowstone and wants to take his son, Micha, to Old Faithful, see the local buffalo heard, have lunch at the Yellowstone Lodge, but his real goal is to fish for some trout in the best stream in Yellowstone. Again, Fun Finder to the rescue. (Jack's a pilot…not a navigator!)
This company is just getting off the ground, but you can see the possibilities. Grand Canyon, Cruise ships when they stop at ports, Big cities, national parks, zoos, etc. The first locations to be mapped will be DC, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Breckenrige Ski Area. Vail Corporation bought the idea and interest is shown by other large, internationally known firms. I will participate in the test run at Breck in April with Rich and his team. Rich has quite the network set up with Russ Laney (Class of '76) as his VP and Kim Wysocki (daughter of Joe '76) as one of the prime "mappers". Since it deals with Space, Joe Wysocki and I are interested bystanders. While Fun Finders is not on the NYSE yet, capital has been raised, a Board of Directors formed, and day-to-day operations are maturing. You'll start seeing Fun Finders at the locations mentioned above with the Grand Canyon being the first operational venue on June 1. Rich will provide other updates as his idea mushrooms. Who'd a thunk it? Our CS-31 Master Debator (BS Artist) would come up with such a practical use of modern technology. Congrats to Rich, Mary and their new company! Sounds like they are Finding plenty of Fun!
From Bruce Mitchell: Dick Webber, Spence Roberts and I from Stalag 17 are planning to take our wives to Dave Sprenkle's retirement from the post of Deputy Adjutant General of Colorado Air National Guard in Denver on 14 April. That will leave Gen's Webber and Volcheff (former 17er) as our remnants from the Stalag on active duty. Mark V retires May 18th.
From Mark Volcheff: I've been given an incredible opportunity to serve my country in uniform for almost 32 years and now its time to live a different life and serve my country in a different way. I will have a retirement ceremony on May 18th at the NORAD Air Museum at Peterson AFB at 3 PM. We all started this journey together and I would be honored if you could join me to complete the journey. I apologize for the electronic invitation, but it's the only list of addresses I have for all of you and I cut and paste from a number of e-mails just to get this far. Pass this on to others outside our Colorado circle and if they are passing through town on the 18th I'd love to have them share the day as well. If you don't have access to the base, please call my office and leave your name, last six of your SSAN, and we'll give it to the base gates to expedite your access. I hope to see you there! '75 Best Alive!
From Lee Colburn: Got this picture taken the other day of four of us '75ers and a true USAFA fan. Left to right: Mike Rosebush, Mike King (longtime friend of '75ers), Mike Goyden, Lee Colburn, and JD Barrowclough. We meet every fortnight (actually fortmorning) for breakfast at the Village Inn just off the South Gate
From Johnny Sims: That's me, flying my gyrkin* Khap on a cord. We had a couple of gray gyrs (they also come black and white, depending on latitude) that we weren't allowed to fly because they were confiscated evidence. I handled Khap as a 3 degree and two degree. Once the legal case fell through, another guy got to fly Khap at a game, my firstie year. The pic is when I got interviewed in Central Park (NYC) after flying him. I suspect that guy in the background is a young Gene Shalit. The other tiercel** is a prairie. I don't remember if that was Summit, the team star, or mine, Temujin, one we had successfully bred (a first in history).* 'Gyrkin' is a male gyr. The female is called gyrfalcon. ** 'Tiercel' (as opposed to "falcon") also indicates a male. It means "one third smaller" which the males are.
From Bob Akers to the class prez: Here are 3 pics that I could get to quickly. These are Karl Gabrys, Clarence McFarland, and I on various occasions in 2nd squadron. I'm the one making a night jump – we were on the 6th floor. I actually took the picture in protest of the new ruling that we couldn't open the window screen. (Someone had managed to commit suicide by jumping out the window). I remember that the CE bubbas actually came to each room to install a little "L" piece of aluminum with a screw that was supposed to keep you from opening the screen. The screw was easily removed with a penny. I'll find more pics. Sorry for the size of the pics. Your Obedient Servant, Bob Akers.
The Bill Murray Prostate Cancer Diary Feb 22, 2007: Life is a journey, and ours goes on in faith.
You know it was 30 years ago that my best friend, Paul Hansen and I, crashed in a Cessna Aerobat over Lake Folsom. Given normal circumstances, we should have died back then in that little Cessna 150. Most people in similar circumstances do. But, somehow through Gods amazing grace, we were spared that day.
Then 2 years ago I got a call from Paul’s brother saying that Paul had had a severe brain aneurysm, that he was unconscious in the hospital, and things didn’t look good. Today, against the normal course of events for this kind of health issue, Paul has made a full recovery suffering no memory loss and no physical or mental degradation. Again, Gods abundant favor was shown to us. Once again, I am reminded how frail we are as humans..
In the Catholic Mass they have a line that I just love. It comes right before you take communion and goes like this. Lord, I am not worthy to receive You. Only say the word and I shall be healed. It reminds me of our unworthiness and the fact that we have a Sovereign God, who is all-loving and all-powerful.
As some of you know, over the last year I have been having prostate issues. I don’t have a going problem; I have a growing problem! Ha. You’ve seen it on TV. Actually, it would be unusual for most of you not to know or have known someone with prostate problems. Its very common and the #1 cancer in men over 50. And let me say from up close and personal experience that nothing about going to the urologist is fun
To make a long story short, I have an enlarged prostate, my PSA has been increasing (from .6 to 3), and my symptoms (frequent night trips to the bathroom) have not subsided. So, last week my urologist ordered a prostate biopsy. I had my family and myself convinced we had nothing to worry about. He was just being overly cautious. However, the biopsy came back positive for cancer. Ill give you some details for those who have gone through it or are interested, but suffice it to say that it is an aggressive cancer, which is not unusual for someone under 60 years of age. We saw the urologist today for our consult, and he is recommending surgery. Two of the ten biopsy specimens were positive for cancer. He couldn’t tell me when I got it, or how long I’ve had it.
I have Adenocarcinoma with a Gleason rating of 7. One of the specimens was in the mid section (4+3) and one was in the base of the prostate (3+4).
I don’t fit the normal mold of prostate cancer patients. Is anyone surprised?? I’m in a category of people (<15%) whose PSA scores do not indicate cancer. That’s why I scored 7 out of 9 on the Gleason Scale (a measure of cancer aggressiveness), yet I only had a 3 PSA. A rule of thumb is normally you don’t have to worry about cancer if your PSA is less than 4. This is another reason we are so thankful to the Lord that this Doctor decided to take the conservative route and go ahead and get a biopsy. It’s really a miracle that we even discovered it!
In our consult today he spent just short of an hour with us going over the 5 options for dealing with the cancer (surgery, radiation, radiation seeds, hormones, and cryogenics – no chemo on prostates), discussing the pros and cons of each approach. In the end he recommended surgery, primarily due to my age and the aggressive nature of the cancer. He said that he would not be able to tell whether the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes or bones until after surgery (metastasis), but his gut feeling is that it was fully contained within the prostate gland. Normally, this kind of cancer doesn’t spread to other organs.
There are basically two kinds of surgery with several different techniques. One is basic surgery and the other is robotic (laparoscopic) surgery. We will talk with the experts in Arlington, TX to pursue the robotic surgery, because that’s the way were leaning right now. It’s a new technique, but they have had great success with it so far.
Nothing will happen immediately..because of the normal trauma that occurs to the prostate gland as a result of the biopsy, he would not recommend surgery for 6 weeks. That gives time for the inflammation to subside and your prostate gland to heal from the biopsy. If they get all the cancer in the surgery, it has not spread, and the margins look good, I can expect to live a normal life. In fact, if we did nothing at all, the longevity tables predict I would probably live for 10 years.
This caught us by surprise, but it didn’t catch God by surprise. On and off the last couple of years, I have been frustrated with my job because I didn’t have enough responsibility. It wasn’t demanding enough. There wasn’t enough stress to keep me engaged, etc. Now, I see why the Lord has me right here. I won’t worry about my job during the recovery period, which could last for a few weeks after the surgery.
Anyway, I would covet your prayers during the next 6 weeks as I heal up and choose a surgeon. Judy felt much better after our visit with the doctor today, but Rozi and Evie are still worried about me. I think were going to fly them home for Easter. I’m doing fine, probably a little in denial, but what a great place to be! I’ve always said that ignorance is bliss. Actually, I’m trusting God with this whole situation. He can handle it, believe me. We live by faith, not by sight. And, if He wants to give me another 30 years after the plane crash, that’s His decision. Against all odds, he spared me once, and He can do it again!
Years ago, when the girls were little, we put together a family vision statement that said, As a family our vision is to be close to one another, providing a safe heaven for ourselves as well as others. We desire to meet each others needs and to accept each other fully, knowing we can be ourselves at home. Our desire is to be an example to each other, not as a perfect family, but as a family who is working through problems and drawing their strength from God. In each relationship, we strive to share Gods free gift of salvation with each person that God providentially puts in our path. I don’t see how the cancer would alter this much, so Ill just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I’ll be in touch, and thanks so much for your support, advice and encouragement.
March 15, 2007: Update. First of all, let me thank each one of you for the encouraging email notes, cards, letters, e-Cards, phone calls and prayers. It really has been an encouraging few weeks since I told you the results of my biopsy. In many ways it reminded me of my retirement from the Air Force in 2003 (what great memories!) It’s like getting to read your eulogy before you die! What a blessing! My good friend, Joe Shirey in Virginia, told me having cancer could be like that.
Thank you also to those of you who have had people call me with prostate cancer and relate their personal stories. Besides the great information its also provided some good laughs. One guy told me, Now, Bill, I don’t want you emailing my story to all your friends! Ha.. As I said before, nearly everything that has to do with urology is embarrassing, so Ill keep to Judy’s rule of: Only talk about yourself
I’ve heard stories from a great spectrum of folks younger than me, older than me, higher PSAs, lower PSAs, higher Gleason scores, lower Gleason scores, surgeries, seeds, cryogenics, etc. And, most of them were alive! That information, along with counsel and personal study have given us the information that best fits my conditions and helped us make some important decisions.
We have decided on a method of treatment (surgery), a specific kind of surgery (robotic), a location (UT Southwestern Hospital in Dallas), a surgeon (Dr. Claus Roehrborn) and a date (Monday, 2 April).
A special thanks goes to my Air Force Academy classmate, Dr Scott Swanson, who is a Urologist with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Although I didn’t know Scott at the Academy, I’ve called him several times to check out what Dr Roehrborn said during our consult, and bounce other ideas off him. He has been so helpful! I really think he’s related to Einstein. He really knows his trade and has such a great perspective. Every time I talk with him I just feel like saying, Yes, Dr Einstein. I think I understand. Of course I felt like that a lot when I talked with my classmates from the Academy.
During our consult at UT Southwestern, Dr. Roehrborn was super. He does about 100 robotic surgeries each year, teaches, lectures and does research for UT Southwestern. We feel very confident with his approach and knowledge. He has a good bedside manner and answered all our questions. My Pre-Op appointment is Monday, 26 March, but if Dr. Roehrborn has a cancellation in his operating schedule, Im on the waiting list to get in sooner. Unfortunately, Maggie his scheduler says the chances of having a cancellation are slim, because people wait so long to get on his schedule to begin with. But, you never know.
I’ve been feeling great. Right after I was diagnosed I thought I could feel cancer everywhere, but I guess that’s pretty normal. (By the way, unless its really advanced, you cant feel cancer.) My best friend, Paul Hansen in Oregon, sent me some really high-powered vitamins and minerals, to boost my immune system. I’ve been playing some golf and working out, so physically I’m ready to go. Mentally and spiritually I’m ready also. I really believe this has been easier on me than it has been on my family.
This is the last you’ll hear from me until after surgery. I’m flying to Washington DC next week on business, but Ill be home Thursday, 22 April. The plan is for Judy to call one of my buddies here at Lockheed Martin after the operation (from 10:30 AM 1:30 PM) and let you know how things went on 2 April.
I’ll be in the hospital for a day or two, come home with a catheter, and go in for a follow-up appointment on 10 April to have the catheter removed and get the lab results. In a week or two after that I should be able to return to work.
In the meantime, please pray for 4 things:
1. That God would be glorified through all of this.
2. That Dr. Roehrborn would be given wisdom and skill on 2 April.
3. That the cancer would be contained within the prostate capsule.
4. That Judy and my girls would have peace through the next couple of weeks.
Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.
Psalms 91:1,2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
April 4, 2007: Update. I just got home from the hospital and wanted to get you a short update. Thank you so much for your prayers and concern. We have mostly good news, but first
What you don’t realize is Ray Garsee sits across the cubicle from me and so graciously agreed to take a call from my wife Judy as soon as I got out from surgery on Monday and send out a little update to everyone, because I knew I could not call all of you. (In fact, surgery ran 2 hours late, so they didn’t start until 1:30; I didn’t get out till 4:30, and I didn’t come out of recovery till 6:30! For the rest of the night it was pain, morphine, and intermittent sleep. My first thought in recovery when the nurse said the surgery is over and just try to breath deeply was: Just close the coffin door!)
Back to Ray…He got bronchitis on Monday (the day of surgery and didn’t even come in to work! When he got the call from Judy and his voicemail, he drove in and gave you the first update! What a dedicated friend and what an act of self-sacrifice! So, Ill have access to my work email, so just write me there. You’re wearing him out.
Then also on Monday, we got a call from our daughter Evelyn in New York City. She was wearing flat shoes and slipped on some cleaning fluid and fell down 25 wooden stairs at work!! The poor thing was in worse shape that I was! She was immediately taken to the Emergency Room, but thank the Lord, no broken bones! She’s on muscle relaxers at home right now and will fly to Dallas on Thursday. Josh and Rosemary, my daughter and Son-in-Law from Sacramento are flying in on Friday.
Our doctor told Judy he was most pleased with the results of surgery. There was no visible cancer in the lymph nodes, and the prostate gland came out in tact. There was little bleeding, and little damage to the nerves during surgery. But, he had to take some of the right nerve for further biopsy in the lab, due to the previous biopsy results.
When I got to see Dr Roehrborn for the first time last night, he told me he sent the prostate gland and several lymph nodes off to the lab for evaluation. We will know those results, hopefully, by this Friday. He did say that with the condition of the lymph nodes when they were removed (color, size, consistency) that he put the chances of less than 5% of the cancer being in the lymph nodes, but we wouldn’t know for sure until Friday.
My stomach didn’t wake up too fast, so I had to spend Tuesday night in the hospital. Judy stayed with me both nights, and as usual, did a very conscientious, caring job of looking after me. I told the nurses at the hospital that she was my significant other for 32 years! I have 5 incisions from the robotic surgery, and my belly is still pretty sore. And I’ve done things more fun than a catheter in my life! I tire easily (I took a two hour nap prior to writing this), so you probably wont hear anything until we hear something from the lab. My follow-up visit with the doctor to get the forward plan and have the catheter removed is on Wed, 11 April. In the meantime, I plan to rest up. Please pray for Evelyn, Ray and Judy now. I really appreciate your friendship and encouragement. God has really answered our prayers in a miraculous way. Bill
April 6, 2007: Lab Results. Great news! Just a short note to let you know that the laboratory results on surgery follow-up just came in, and they couldn’t have been better. A tangible answer to your prayers, because what I didn’t tell you earlier was that from the initial biopsy there were a couple of indications that the cancer had escaped the capsule of the prostate gland and was in the lymph glands and adjoining nerves. Anyway, the results confirmed that I had a Stage 2 cancer, Gleason 7 (1-9 scale) on the aggressive scale. The results also confirmed that there was no cancer in the lymph glands, that I had negative margins (which is good), and that no metastasis had occurred! A+ on the scorecard!
I’m feeling better today (stomach pressure and gas much less, you have to guess what happened) and rejoicing in the good lab report. I return to the Doctors on Wed, 11 April to have the catheter removed and get the official debrief from the doctor. They don’t anticipate any follow-on therapy (like hormone treatment or radiation), only to follow me with regular PSA examinations for quite a while.
I have to tell you one funny incident that happened when Judy and I were in the waiting room getting ready for surgery. The lady at the check-in desk said, Make yourselves at home, feel free to have the refreshments, and the doctor will be with you shortly. We went over and sat down, and I said to Judy I’m a little thirsty, so I think Ill get a bottle of water. (At that point I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, and I could only have small sips of water) So, I see these two nice wooden baskets full of drinks, one with cokes and the other one with bottled water sitting on the table by us. I go over and take a bottle of water, greeting all the people around us. When I return Judy says she has changed her mind, and would I mind getting her one. I say, Not at all and return to the baskets, bringing her back a bottle of water. Then Judy gets this shocked look on her face and tells me the people have moved the baskets under the table! Only then do we realize that they were a big family group that had brought those drinks for their family.
Have a wonderful Easter with your families! You’ll never know how much I appreciated and appreciate you standing in the gap with me during this family trial. I am so thankful to God for my results, although I realize many others are not as fortunate, and I’m at a loss to explain why. And I’m also thankful to God for an expected extended life now, although I realize that life is very fragile and anything could happen at any time, and many others don’t enjoy that blessing. We are truly in His Hands. He is the Risen King.
From Sandy Terry: Bill Murray's e-mail about his journey through prostate cancer treatment hits home! I'm facing surgery this summer to have a gastro/intestinal tumor removed from the wall of my colon. Fortunately, thanks to a routine colonoscopy, this has been caught when it is still small and before it became cancerous or caused other problems.
We have all been very blessed individually and as a class with success, heath, and happiness. However, there are those among us, in our families, and others in this nation who have not been so fortunate. But we, as a class can help! I am writing with a special plea, and ask that each of you send this on to as many of our classmates, families, and friends as possible.
I'm training for a Century Ride endurance event (100 mile bike ride) as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. Team in Training is the world's largest endurance sports training program and provides volunteer training for marathons, half marathons, triathlons, and century (100-mile) bike rides while raising money to continue the fight against all forms of blood cancer. Since 1988 Team In Training volunteers have raised over $660 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support research, provide financial assistance to patients, sponsor scientific conferences, produce educational materials and videos, and run support groups nationwide. Because the Society receives no federal funding, it depends on voluntary donations for continued support of these needed programs.
I'm completing this event in honor of all those who are battling cancers of all types, and especially for those graduates of the United States Service Academies (Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine) and their families who dedicated their lives to the service of nation above self, but are now facing their toughest battle with this silent killer. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line – a cure!
I ask you to open your hearts to this important effort and support the battle against cancer. A small donation won't make much of a dent in any of our budgets, but as a class we can combine to truly make a difference.
Of course your donation is a charitable deduction in accordance with section 170(f)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code; a receipt for tax purposes will be automatically e-mailed to you
On Jun 3rd I will be riding in a Team In Training jersey with our class ring crest prominently displayed on the left breast. I value my association with the Class of 1975 as one of the very special privileges of my life. Let's let the other 5000 riders in this event, and the rest of the world, know that '75 is truly the Best Alive!
Thank you for your support! Sandy Terry USAFA '75 Best Alive
The Mark Holmes Digest. From Mark on March 14, 2007: Hey Brothers in Blue, (I) had another run in with the grim reaper a month ago and this one came with a lesson. Carry an aspirin in your pocket like you do your drivers license in your wallet. It might save your life. I was making a sandwich at lunchtime when I started feeling 'something different' in my chest, thought it was heartburn, no arm pain, had heard a heart attack felt like 'an elephant was sitting on your chest'. Well, this felt more like a big dog was sitting there and being curious more than frightened wondered if what I'd felt was a heart attack (I knew one was likely coming as my dad had one weeks after leaving the service 5 years younger than I am now). I reached in my pocket, crushed it up and put it between my gum and cheek like a dip of Copenhagen, and within seconds the pressure and pain subsided, letting me know my concerns were likely real. I called the hospital and told them I was coming in and when I arrived at the ER, found that indeed I'd had a heart attack and that the aspirin might well have prevented a much more serious one that could have ended my life. The good news is that there was little damage, this was just a wakeup call to eat better, slow down and smell the roses, and get more cardio to supplement weight training. I'd always wondered just how real the commercials were on the wonder effects of aspirin and now I'm convinced and wanted to pass it on to the rest of the class. Carry one in your pocket, it might save your life, guys.
Gregory Berlan responds: Mark, Sorry to hear about your heart problems, a bit different than those heart problems caused by the Dear John letters. Anyway, glad to hear that you took the right action and hope that you continue on the road to a speedy recovery. I heard that Bill Murray's surgery (prostrate cancer) went well and the preliminary indications are that the cancer was confined to the prostrate. All the best.
Mike Marro adds: Mark, Thanks for sharing your story. It prompted me to buy some aspirin so I can slip one or two in my pocket. And your story made me pay closer attention to an article in the Wall Street Journal that basically affirms that middle aged guys (i.e., us) can lower risk of heart attack by taking a "baby" aspirin every day. Carol bought me a bottle today after I told her about your story. Enjoy the roses, have a good Easter, and take care of yourself.
From Steve Keen: Sharing the story of your experience with your heart attack and the way a crushed aspirin reduced the damage and possibly prevented even more serious consequences was a great tip for everyone. I have carried aspirin with me since Jan 1995, when at age 43 I had quadruple heart bypass surgery! I tell everyone I know the story you have told to '75ers! Steve adds: The Wall Street Journal article hopefully told readers to consult with their own physician before beginning baby aspirin therapy because according to my cardiologists and heart specialists (I see these guys at least once a year) there could be other medical issues or consequences that might be triggered by aspirin. I'm not a doc, but this advice certainly seems prudent. I hope none of us has to "use" aspirin the way Mark did, but an ounce of prevention and an early quick response to symptoms can benefit the prepared "patient".