Sunday, December 17, 2017


Due to the prolonged drought there are rarely enough clouds to produce a sunrise worth photographing. This morning was different, but there were no crows commuting - I could hear them in a nearby tree with their beaks chattering - baby it's cold out there (currently 29 degrees, yeah, I know).


AllenS said...

It is dark and cloudy at the present time. I don't think we'll see the sun today, but 28º for a high today, ain't bad.

ndspinelli said...

Allen, We usually head out of the frozen tundra right after New Year. But, the day before Thanksgiving our 30 year old daughter was diagnosed w/ Stage 3 melanoma. A real sock in the gut. So, we'll be here helping out. Hope to get west in February for at least a few weeks. I hate the cold! I liked it when I was younger but it makes my pain worse.

The Dude said...

Nick, that is very distressing news. I hope she gets the best treatment available - that is serious stuff. Hang in there, bro - that is a tough situation.

ndspinelli said...

Thanks, Sixty. She had a great plastic surgeon do the first surgery. It was on the very top of Lauren's breast and he does cancer surgery in areas where the scar will show. the guy is a Greek and a man's man. Calm, answer all questions, makes his own phone calls. He removed the initial tumor and found 2 positive lymph nodes under her left arm. He then referred her to a surgical oncologist. A woman who I also like[Lauren's husband, Leslyn and I go to all appts.]. It was decided yesterday in a consult to hold off on removing all the nodes and do close surveillance. Removing all the nodes often causes lymphadema which is painful and debilitating. It is tough, but faith helps a lot. That, and confidence in the doctors.

The Dude said...

Edema anywhere is bad, but in one's lymph system has to be a big problem. Having good doctors, ones that you can trust is a big part of successful treatment. I hope she has the best possible outcome. The fact that she has a family to support her has to be a big plus.

ndspinelli said...

Sixty, She's a great kid and is appreciative of all the support. When a surgeon recommends holding off on surgery you know she's not cut happy and greedy. Thanks much for your support. It's been a tough month. But, I am a positive and patient man and that helps me, and those around me.

The Dude said...

Finding an ethical surgeon is like finding an ethical lawyer - I have encountered one of each in my life, at times when I needed them most. They are the best.

AllenS said...

God bless, Nick.

deborah said...

So sorry to hear, Nick.

Leland said...

Best wishes Nick.

windbag said...

Nick, I hope and pray that everything works out for you and your family. That's a tough kick.

Chip Ahoy said...

The sky is on fire!

Most impressive.

I'll recall the woman's name in a minute. It'll spring to mind after I hit "post."

We were 20 years old and we both worked the night shift at FRB. We didn't want to go straight home. So I drove to the top of Green Mountain, this side of Dinosaur Ridge with Red Rocks behind us, behind the ridge, and my car facing east. We just looked out the windshield at the sun coming up. The sky was interspersed rippling clouds as this photo, except the whole sky was filled with them. As the sun appeared to lift up beyond the horizon the whole sky lit up to gold and then orange and red. We both just sat there studded by the magnificent grandiose planetary beauty, an awe-inspiring gift of nature, of God. We were simply blown away. And although simple and everyday, you could say ordinary, it is no less stunning and literally breathtaking to behold.

Maybe we were naturally high. "Oh my God, a rainbow, a double rainbow," that actually happens and we felt so humble, felt such humility, that we are presented this, and all we have to do is wake up and look. One simple sunrise left an indelible impression such as a branding or a permanent tattoo on our hearts and our minds. It can't be just me thinking and feeling this, I'm certain she's feeling it too, wherever she is now. Her name still escapes me. I hate that.

windbag said...

Sixty, thanks for the picture. We were at Wake Forest for a couple of days this week and commented on the sunset, as we looked out our hotel window. Back here in the mountains, we don't get spectacular sunrises/sunsets, since the mountains block the horizon, where the best colors appear. It's always nice to see a decent sunrise/sunset.

ricpic said...

It's very comforting to have a doctor you have confidence in. In my case that's my dermatologist, who's been zapping pre-cancerous outbreaks on my skin, mainly on my face and neck, for over a decade. This November he found an actual cancerous growth on my forehead and within what felt like ten seconds - really a little more than two weeks - he had cut it out, got word from the lab that he'd removed all of it, and sowed it back up. A scar is all that's left. But I realize how lucky I've been in the type of cancer that struck me. Nick's daughter's situation is different.

chickelit said...

Nick, for what it's worth I'm sorry to hear that. I know how especially fond you are of her and your grandchild and how you moved even. Mayo clinic isn't too far from you guys, is it? South, I reckon.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter, ND. I hope you all find a path for treatment that works.

I had a stage 1 melanoma decades ago in my early 20's. I was fortunate to find a doctor who didn't want to remove half of my head. I went to the Mayo Clinic in MN and the docs there wanted to remove my entire ear, slice down my neck and remove lymph nodes for dissection. Turns out I didn't need that.

After speaking with a man who had a similar situation with melanoma on the ear, I ended up down in Houston. The doctor at MD Anderson in Houston suggested that none of those extreme measures would do a thing to prolong my life. He operated on me and removed the top section of my ear. The margins were clear and after a few years of scans and x-rays, the cancer never spread to any of my organs. I know I am lucky because of state 1.

I recomend MD Anderson In Houston if you feel like you need another option.

ndspinelli said...

Thank you to all for your wishes. It truly means a lot. For me, this is where those theology and philosophy classes help. Also, having worked so many med malpractice cases I sorta understand the jargon and can assess docs.

chick, You are correct, Mayo is just an hour away and if this goes south on us, we will go south to Rochester. That city has grown remarkably as Mayo has. And, your good wishes do mean a lot.

Dick, Thanks for telling a personal story. That means a lot. My sister died of leukemia @ age 58, while @ MD Anderson. She had gotten a bone marrow transplant there. But, the dear woman had lupus for 20 years and had a horrible immune system. I visited her @ MD Anderson twice and was very impressed.

The YUUUGE breakthrough in melanoma is in immunotherapy. In just the last 3 years the FDA has fast track approved 3 drugs that have been incredibly effective. There are some side effects to the treatments, but not nearly as bad as chemo. And the immumotherapy turns your body into a cancer cell Seal Team. It was immunotherapy that turned Jimmy Carter from an inoperable melanoma brain tumor to cancer free. The treatments are very expensive[125-150k]. Insurance should cover a good portion. But, whatever it takes. We meet w/ the regular oncologist next week and that will be the topic. Thanks again, all.

MamaM said...

That's hard news to hear and live with, ND, life changing for all of you. I'm sorry cancer has entered your lives in this way, and it's my hope and prayer the treatments your daughter receives will address what needs to be destroyed and removed from her body, along with what needs to be built up, in order for her to experience a return to health and strength.

The awareness that you and your wife are in position and on location, prepared as it were in advance, to stand alongside your daughter in such a time as this, and offer her your love, encouragement, discernment and support, brings tears to my eyes. I'm grateful this grace is present for you and her in the midst of a difficult and hard reality.

Depending on where your wife is at with this, the following are two books on healing that I've found encouraging and would recommend, especially so if she is able to find comfort and calm through reading. They're written by a Dr who is known for her work with patients and professionals engaged in cancer treatment, Rachel Naomi Remen. She's also written a curriculum for medical students called "The Healer's Art" that's taught in medical schools here and abroad.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal
My Grandfather's Blessing: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging

ndspinelli said...

Mama, Your kindness and thoughtfulness is very helpful. We will check out the books. You know, having faced whizzing bullets has helped me become a live in the moment person. I lose sight of that on occasion, but in large part enjoy each day. What I am seeing in my daughter, a person who deals w/ severe depression/anxiety, is an increasing appreciation for the moment. My mantra has been of late, "gratitude" a point you just made. Love is what had us pack up and sell a house we lived in for 33 years. And we are indeed grateful we did it..every day, good and bad. Your prayers are much appreciated.

Dad Bones said...

ndspinelli: Hoping to one day hear of your daughter's recovery from that frightening disease.

MamaM said...

A Christmas present I'd ordered for myself arrived today, a book of poems by Mary Oliver, entitled "Devotions". I opened it to find the first and the last poems listed were both devoted to thoughts on sunrise. While they may not be everyone's cup of tea, they resonated enough with me to arrive here as another response to a post that opened with a sunrise and moved on to include indelible moments and experiences, with what's hard and good about life given due regard.

I Wake Close to Morning

Why do people keep asking to see
God's identity papers
when the darkness opening into morning
is more than enough?
Certainly any god might turn away in disgust.
Think of Sheba approaching
the kingdom of Solomon.
Do you think she had to ask,
"Is this the place?"

Morning in a New Land

In trees still dripping night some nameless birds
Woke, shook out their arrowy wings, and sang.
Slowly, like finches sifting through a dream.
The pink sun fell like glass into the fields.
Two chestnuts, and a dapple gray,
Their shoulders wet with light, their dark hair streaming,
Climbed the hill. The last mist fell away.

And under the trees, beyond time's brittle drift,
I stood like Adam in his lonely garden
On that first morning, shaken out of sleep,
Rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves,
Like tissue on some vast, incredible gift.

ndspinelli said...

Thanks, Dad Bones. And thanks Mama for the poem.