April 2006

To: Tom
From: Eric
Date: April 5, 2006

Tom:

Happy belated birthday. I'm sure it's very difficult writing about one's
possible demise but wanted to thank you for continuing to share your
thoughts as well as sharing the process you're going through. It's
opened my eyes to many things and caused me to take a look within and
reassess some of those things I previously thought important. Seems
you've been keeping a positive attitude which (from what I've read and
heard) could be the key to licking this thing.

-Eric

To; Tom
From: Bro
Date: April 15, 2006

Hey,

We haven't heard much from you for the past couple of weeks or so.
My guess is that you're not feeling so good.
I get a bit anxious when I don't hear from you - so if it's at all possible
let me (us) know how its going.

Love ya

From: Tom
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006
Subject: Update

A number of you have sent me email indicating that it's been awhile since I last updated you all about my progress. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I'm still overwhelmed, and somewhat humbled, by the support demonstrated by all of you. I've learned much from it, not the least of which is to point out my own past shortcomings when it comes to offering support to others in their times of need and the importance of doing so. Thank you all for showing me how to be a better human being.

The combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatments have taken an increasing toll on my body. I have been very fatigued for the last couple of weeks and spend most of my time sleeping or laying on the couch watching TV. These are two activities that I have always endeavored to keep to an absolute minimum and I'm having a hard time learning to accept this as a necessary condition.

A blood test from two weeks ago indicated that my immune system, particularly my white blood cell count, had failed to rebound from the previous chemotherapy sessions, so I had to give myself shots in the belly fat (shudder) for seven days to bring the count back up. While I don't really have a problem with other (knowledgeable) people sticking needles in me, I had an incredibly hard time learning to do it to myself. I had to force myself to do so as soon as possible in the morning so I wouldn't have to think about it any longer than necessary. Another blood test in the middle of last week indicated an elevated WBC count, so at least it worked.

Monday will be my last radiation treatment for the time being. I'll probably have the cranial radiation procedures after finishing chemotherapy in May, but I'm trying my best not to think about that for now.

I'm going to Hawaii for a week in early May! Besides being a damn nice place to recover, I need to go and see how it has changed since I was last there. I need to know if I still want to move there, and if so, gather some information and make some plans. In view of the dismal statistics I spoke of in my last message, I've decided that I should make every effort to fulfill my ambitions as soon as possible. While I recognize the need to keep a long range plan in mind, the importance of living for the moment has taken priority in my life.

That's all the news for now. I'll keep you all updated.

Tom

To: Tom
From: Chris
Date: April 17, 2006

Tom,
Good to hear from you, and I'm glad you are making progress fighting the
disease. I wanted to respond a little about Hawaii, as long ago I used to
live there. During the Vietnam war I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, and
after I married my wife we lived there for 2 years before coming back to
California. That was a long time ago, but I can tell you that we went back
in 1991 for a visit, and it felt like we had never left. It's the only
place I've lived besides California that ever felt like home.
Specifics I remember:
1. Getting around on a motorcycle is much easier than with a car.
2. Daily rains are not much of a problem on a bike, except in downtown
Honolulu where every other car seems to leak oil.
3. You get used to the humidity in about 48 hours, and never notice it
again.
4. You will pick up a pidgin accent in less than 90 days, and once you
learn to pronounce "Lilliokalani" (the street I used to live on) you will
never forget.
5. Casual Friday happens every day, and the only place you really have to
wear socks is in church. Unless of course you go to church on the beach,
where everything beyond a swimsuit is optional.

I think Hawaii seemed like heaven to me, because it was the place I came
back to after every tour in Vietnam. Besides the flowers, palm trees, and
beautiful ocean, not being shot at is a real motivator.
Enjoy your trip over there, and know that there are lots of people thinking
about you, and praying for you.

Chris

To: Tom
From: Steve
Date: April 24, 2006

Iím just getting to my in box, been out of town. What a lame excuse!

Keep your spirits up soon youíll be enjoying Hawaiian Time.

I recall from my Dadís treatments, as he approach completion of therapy he became the most depressed, frustrated and physically exhausted. This is understandable. Then things slowly and methodically began to turn around. Heís doing quite well now. Heís back from his three month visit to Arizona and heís working in the yard having increased energy and appetite. His mental outlook is 1000% better even though he is quite aware of the fragility of life. Heís living day-to-day, making some plans and just enjoying things now.

So I know things seems bleak and you may feel like you have absolutely no control over anything about your life, but be as patient as you can. Things should begin to ease a bit. I firmly believe that the change of scenery will do you more good than all those needles and beams.

Take care.

Cathy and Cory wish you the best. (By the way Coryís on his way to New Orleans to help with relief efforts.)

Keep on trucking.

Steve

To: Tom
From: Jim
Date: April 22, 2006

Tom,

It is so good to hear that your white blood count rebounded (sorry about the self inflicted shots Ė yuck).

You remain in my thoughts and prayers, although Iíd prefer you back in the office (desk next to me is open) I am envious of the Hawaii thing and certainly understand if you make some new life decisions.

I consider you a good friend and a good person.

Godís blessings on your continued progress.

Jim