Monday, March 30, 2009

Winter or Spring?

As usual, Texas weather has been at its finest - from the 70s to the 30s in just the last week. But wasn't it beautiful all the same? It was so nice to see the sunshine after so many dreary days. I could have done without the wind, but beggars can't be choosers! *grin*

It was a lovely weekend indeed for us. We enjoyed a (relatively) quiet weekend at home - Derek wasn't on call, and I didn't have to sing. So we stayed up later and slept later too. We had lots of fun hanging out with the neighbors. I know that comes as a big surprise. LOL! We played board games. (You: What?! Aren't you a little old for that? Me: Absolutely not!) If you haven't done that in a while, I highly recommend it. We played two of our favorites: Clue & Life. And we've decided we should drag out the board games more often. We have a whole closet full of them - Derek's kind of a collector. (A little family joke)

I also spent quite a bit of time in the craft room. I was feeling the scrappin' mojo so I took advantage of it. I finally printed some 12x12 layouts on my own (not so) new wide-format printer. Man, what a slick thing. Other than slightly different photo paper, you can't tell much of a difference between mine & the ones I had printed by a pro. I also learned how to use a photo template in Photoshop. Talk about neat! And what a time-saver! (Mom, you gotta try it!) I'll now be searching for templates online, I tell you what.

But enough about that, it was great to see two of my theatre friends. We met at The Flying Saucer yesterday afternoon. Have you been there? I'd heard about it from my friend Jana but hadn't ventured to a locale myself. (I've been to The Gingerman which is similar in concept.) For those of you who haven't been, they have a LOT of different kinds of beers/ales/ciders on tap. (I'm sure there's a number listed somewhere.) Looking at the menu is like looking at one of those big, fancy wine lists. Kinda overwhelming unless you have some idea what you're looking for. Anyway, they have food too (but you're obv. not going for the food). Mostly, it was an excuse for us to get together & chat about what's been going on in the last ... oh ... 18 mos. or so.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Things: Installment 12

Here's a fun one we all should try from time-to-time. Consider your habits. Good ones. Bad ones. Quirky ones. Annoying ones. Thought about them? Good. Discuss.

Things About My (Crazy) Habits

  • I refuse to turn ahead on my day-by-day calendars, even if I know I'll be gone that day. Like it jinxes the future or something. Not that I believe in jinxes. My college roommate used to love to read ahead on her desktop calendars. And she would try to read the "good ones" to me. I would put my fingers in my ears and sing "la-la-la." She had to save the good ones and read them to me on the right day. It was a running joke at our apartment.

  • I have to get the mail. Every. Single. Day. In fact, I can't even wait to get home to know what's in the mail. If I know Derek is home at mail-time, I'll call ahead to see what came. And it's not like I get exciting mail, people! I mean, who wants to find out ahead of time that the bills have come?! Or that you only got junk mail?! Ooo! Ooo! I do!

  • When I get home from work and know I'm staying in, I put on pjs and slippers. Sometimes I do this even IF I'm going somewhere later.

  • I do not squeeze the toothpaste from the middle. I do not squeeze any tube of anything from the middle, for that matter. Not lotion. Not antibiotic ointment. Nothing. And if someone has done this to a tube, I fix it by squeezing the contents until they're all at the top by the cap and the empty part of the tube is all at the bottom.

  • While we're on this topic, I also like for the top of the butter or the dip or anything in a tub to stay flat. No digging craters in my tubs! Don't ask me why.

  • I eat early. Like ... as close to getting-home time as possible. To me, eating late is eating at 7 p.m. And I get grumpy when there's no food at the appointed dining hour.

  • I do not like waking up to anything but an alarm. Derek shudders in fear when I ask him to wake me up from a nap. He knows that despite the fact that I've asked him to wake me up that it ain't gonna be pretty! *hiss, snarl, and bark*

  • When I get done with a craft project, I have to clean up my crafting space. Even if I'm just moving on from one project to another. To me, it's like wiping the slate clean and starting over. New project = clean desk.

  • I make lists for everything. And I save my lists in Excel. In case I need them later. Sure. Make fun if you want, but one day you're gonna want my Super Mac Daddy Camping List.

  • I organize my shopping lists. (You: *gasp* Really?! Nuh-uh!) Yep. I can get in & out of the stores I frequent most often in 30 min. or less (barring long check-out lines, of course). And it's all thanks to The System. You should try it sometime.

I'm sure Derek could add many, many more (crazy) habits to this list. But I think you get the idea of what it's like to live with me on a day-to-day basis. (You: Wow ... Derek is a saint!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Already?

Wow, the weekend just whizzed by, didn't it? Especially since we had such terrific weather. We enjoyed the patio a lot this weekend. (And naturally, I'm paying the price for it this week! ACHOO!) The boys got a new grill to take on their annual trek to the races, which meant they had to play with the new toy at home first. Since it's a large griddle, they opted to try their hand at hibachi-style food. And their first attempt was pretty tasty.

I also took advantage of the beautiful weather to do a little spring cleaning. The fridge is (mostly) clean, the litter boxes have been scrubbed, and lots of boxes were broken down & recycled. I intended to prune the rosebush on Sunday afternoon but had to forego due to an attack of the sneezes. Maybe this afternoon, assuming the rain clears out by then.

Mom came over Saturday & we scrapped all day. She accomplished a lot more than I did, but she had a game plan. I did accomplish the one thing I had on my to-do list for the day but otherwise jumped around from one thing to another. I did, however, manage to catch mom up on all of the latest news at the office. We often joke that we should write a book & call it 'As the Court Turns.' Seriously. Such drama for such a small place.

This week is shaping up to be pretty quiet, which is nice b/c I have French to learn & some scrapbook projects I'm itching to work on (looks like I finally have the crafting mojo back!). Tune in Friday for another edition of Things.

P.S. to Things: Rodeo Edition

Just in case you were wondering about the current PRA stats, my mom has this update:

p.s. loved your blog. BTW, Cody Lostroh is first right now. JB Mauney is struggling--he's kinda full of himself but he does give God the glory. There are several Christian cowboys who don't mind telling about the Lord in their interviews. Big Tex, the bull, beat out Bones and won his owner $50,000. Bones had to have chiropractic care of about 6 weeks so his owner thinks he was 'off his game.' there you go, all caught up.
:) MOM

Friday, March 20, 2009

Things: Installment 11

I tip my hat to my small-town, farming roots with this one. Enjoy!

All Things Rodeo
  • A good friend of mine from college was a rodeo queen. I went to see several of her pageant events. True story!
  • This same friend was a barrel racer. Do you know how expensive those horses are? Good lord, you could buy a nice car for that price! A REALLY nice car when you factor in the truck, trailer, and tack!
  • For the last several years of junior high & my freshman year of high school, I wore boots & Rocky Mountains every day to school. Anyone else remember when those were a big deal? As tight as you could stand them. And they had to be starched so they would practically stand up by themselves. Yeah. I had the big hair too.
  • I actually graduated in a rodeo arena ... fresh after a rodeo. Thanks a lot to the manicurists at the football field who decided to water the football field the day that it rained...which just happened to be the day before graduation! Eau de rodeo was the fragrance left in my cap & gown.
  • My mom is an avid bull-riding fan. She has her favorite riders. And she can tell you all about who's leading & how many points they need to get ahead. And stuff. She's even been known to record these events, people!
  • Did you know there's a big rodeo event at the AAC every year? And as part of this event they drive an entire herd of cattle (mostly longhorns) through the streets of downtown Dallas? And this last year, I actually went to watch said cattle mosey down the street. And there was a cow in the herd having a nosebleed & the cowboy cared nothing about it. Poor cow!
  • Did you also know that I have a BS in agriculture? And as part of my core of ag classes, I had to dehorn some of the school's calves? We learned proper technique and after-care. And we also had to adopt one of these calves, be responsible for its daily care, & halter break it. We had six weeks. Cleatis did excellent on his strut around the ring. Of course, bribery never hurts & my partner and I learned carrots & sugar cubes were Cleatis' fave! We thought Cleatis might grow up to be part of a rodeo petting zoo. Naturally, both having grown up on farms, we knew full well that Cleatis would likely become part of the food chain instead.
  • In my hometown, we have a Dairy Festival for which there is a Dairy Festival Queen. (Incidentally, this year is the 50th anniversary.) Part of the pageant process is to do all kinds of farm-related activities, like drive a tractor, milk a cow by hand, participate in a calf scramble, and help with the rodeo that comes to town. But I wasn't cool enough to be a contestant.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We Have an Oncologist!

You may (or may not) recall that we had our second oncologist consult today. Derek wasn't all that thrilled with the oncologist the surgeon recommended. And since it is traditionally the oncologist's job to conduct the follow-up regimen, it's important to have one you a) like and b) are comfortable seeing for the long-term. While the first guy was nice enough, he wasn't a good fit for the long-term. Today's oncologist, on the other hand, was/is a great fit. And his nurse is also wonderful, which is important since she'll be seeing Derek most often. This oncologist specializes in urological cancers, which includes testicular cancer (obv.). He's the only solo practitioner in Texas - aside from those at MD Andersen. So it goes without saying that he's both smart & published. Additionally, he's young, which means he'll be around for a while so we shouldn't have to worry about finding another oncologist anytime soon. Also a plus.

We didn't hear anything new. What we did hear was more detailed information - some we could actually take home (gee, what a novel concept - send your patient home w/ literature!) as opposed to reading what's on the internet. Which can sometimes be sketchy and/or misleading. We were able to ask questions and get answers - in a format we could understand. Long story short, we're now definitely in surveillance mode. Derek will see the oncologist (or the nurse, more likely) monthly for bloodwork and bi-monthly (preferably but definitely quarterly) for scans (CTs and x-rays).

So yay for finding an oncologist & yay for a definite plan of action!

Are You Smarter Than a PC User???

Did I mention that we are now a family of Macs? I didn't think so. Derek got a new "work" laptop on Tuesday. ("quotes" b/c the company does not provide said "work" laptop, thank you very much, crappy Big Company w/ gabillions of dollars but no, Big Company pays zip! zero! nada! of its employee's "business expenses.")

So...anyway. Yesterday, my dear husband learned a very important lesson about being a (new) Mac-man. Are you ready for this?

So he downloads a beta program of some kind. (I can't remember now what it was. Maybe an OS update or Safari update? Either way, he didn't tell me about this until later. Keep reading.) When he gets done, he deletes the program file. Why? Well, b/c that's what you do on a PC once you've installed the program, right? Little does he know, you Do Not Under Any Circumstances delete a program file on a Mac!!! What happens? Well, you delete all of the essential files that make your Mac programs run. Poof. Gone. Disappeared. As in icons and everything.

Whoa. Now what? You try downloading the missing programs separately. Only. That doesn't work. Then what do you do? Well, you ask your dear wife, and fellow Mac user, what the H-E-Double just happened. She says, "You did what?! (mouth agape) You Never. Never. Ever. delete a program file on a Mac! Let me see if I can fix it." I tried everything I could think of, including restoring the file in the trash can. But to no avail. "You're gonna have to call Apple. I can't help you."

Two phone calls to Apple later, he has to completely reinstall Leopard. (Doh! Neither of us thought of that before calling Apple. Good thing tech support is free!) I finally ask him, "And how did you get a program file to delete anyway? When I update programs, I never see the program file. Mac takes care of all of that for you through the updater." Which is when Derek fesses up that he downloaded a beta program. Which spurred a complete side-bar discussion about what the heck he was doing downloading beta software when he doesn't even know how to use Mac software to begin with! Arrggh! Long story short, it's all fixed now after he reinstalled the OS.

I think Derek learned some lessons tho. Lesson 1: beta programs are probably not a good idea. Not until you've gotten the hang of the Mac OS anyway. Lesson 2: Never delete a file on a Mac unless you're sure it's delete-able.

Makes for a funny story tho. (And I'm sure he's rolling his eyes that I posted it, even tho I totally warned him that it was "SO going on the blog!")

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Kissed the Blarney?
Well, an Irishman will do!
(Or so they told me! *wink*)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

When Irish Eyes are Smilin'
by Chauncey Olcott

When Irish eyes are smilin'
Sure 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing

When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smilin'
Sure they steal your heart away

When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smilin'
Sure they steal your heart away

Monday, March 16, 2009

Can You Believe...

this year is the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle?! Does anyone else remember reading this book as a child? Oh, what a wonderful book it is! This short film & interview with Carle is pretty neat.

Mr. Carle also has a blog that you may enjoy perusing. It's filled with wonderful stories about his life, work, & public appearances.

Lazy Bums

So what did we do this weekend? Not a whole lot of anything. Not unless you want to talk about tv. B/c we watched a lot of it. It was cold & dreary all weekend. So it was really pretty perfect for staying in. We snuggled in our favorite chairs, complete with fuzzy blankets and furry lap buddies, and caught up on tv shows & movies that have clogged the DVR & NetFlix inboxes. It was quite nice. Movies I would definitely watch again: Definitely, Maybe and Traitor.

Saturday we did a little catching up with my family. We haven't gotten together in several months - not as one group anyway. We had a fish fry. Yum-yum! And we had sundaes for dessert. They were supposed to be hot fudge & hot caramel sundaes, but the hot fudge had a little incident on the way to the party. Did you know glass jars and concrete, when meeting from a height of greater than two feet, are not bosom buddies? No? Me either. Let's just say, when I opened the door of the truck to retrieve the bag of goodies, I heard a *kersplat* and looked down to find my scrumptious bottle of dark chocolate hot fudge congealed on the street in one glassy glob. =( And Derek received the look of death for rearranging the bags of goodies mid-route to the party, which naturally meant it was ALL HIS FAULT that my scrumptious bottle of dark chocolate hot fudge met its maker on the concrete rather than In. Mah.Belly! *sigh* But the sundaes were good anyway. Even if they were missing the fudge. ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Things: Installment 10

I got out of the habit of posting my Things Series. It's not really b/c I ran out of things to talk about. On the contrary, I have plenty of material. I guess I just got lazy. Lucky for you, I've made a list! (You: Really? A list?! Nawww!)

Things About the Street Where We Live
  • Our house was the second one our street to be completed. There was nothing but grass on the lots when we first went to choose a lot.
  • We call our street The Fortress. Should there ever be need to hole up & defend what's ours, let's just say we have the arsenal & ammo & other supplies to hold our own for quite a while. In fact, my friend Daon says she & her husband plan to jump in the car & come hole up with us. =)

  • Can you imagine seeing a long-haired, tattooed guy on a Harley in a quiet suburb? (Not that I have anything against long-haired, tattooed, bike-riders, mind.) I was a little leary, you might say, the first time I saw my neighbor who lives across the street. But as it turns out, Frank (and his family) has a heart of gold & would literally give you the shirt off his back. He watches out for me when Derek's out of town. And is always a phone call away when we need something.

  • We actually know most of the people who live on our street - with the exception of two families. And we have block parties every summer when the weather's nice.

  • We met our closest friends on Valentine's Day 2004 - the day we got real snow. We were outside building a snowman with Frank & Hunter. When, for whatever reason, a snowball fight ensued. We started throwing snowballs at these people we didn't even know who'd recently moved in next to Frank & Denise. After pelting them with snowballs for a good hour or so, we invited Skeet & Kelli over for dinner. We've been great friends ever since.

  • The boys have a community garage. Basically, what one of them doesn't have, the others do. So amongst them, they have the complete tool section from Home Depot - complete with router tables, circular saws, band saws, jig saws, saw horses, drills, bits, hammers, screwdrivers, and a bunch of other things that I can't think of right now. Is it any surprise that none of us can fit more than one car in the garage??

  • We're friends with several other couples who live around the corner - one in our neighborhood & a few in closeby neighborhoods. If you hear me talking about eating with the neighbors, you can bet it likely involves the whole bunch. We cook together weekly and sometimes more often, especially when the weather's nice. {This photo is of one such gathering last Halloween. Well, the girls anyway.}

  • Of all the friends on our street, we are closest to Skeet & Kelli and certainly spend the most time with them. If you can't find us, we're likely with them. We would do anything for each other. We watch houses for each other. We trade dinners. We travel together. They're great people, and we wouldn't trade their friendship for the world!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yesterday was Laughable

Wanna hear something funny to add to yesterday's tale of woes? So ... Derek had an appointment scheduled for the afternoon and I was supposed to go with him. As you know, I take public transit to work. So to go home in the middle of the day takes some planning. So I left work at the scheduled time to get to the train, get to my car, and get home in time to meet Derek.

Ordinarily when I get on the train, I find a onesy seat, put in the iPod, and shut out everything else, including my phone. Mostly b/c it's too loud on the train to even dream of having an intelligent conversation what with all the rowdy hoodlums that ride the Blue Line.

Well, when I got on the train yesterday, there were no available seats b/c some elementary kids (well-behaved, I might add) were on a field trip. There were lots of kids taking up lots of seats. Rather than moving cars, I just opted to stand. Which meant I didn't plug the ears with the iPod.

Several stops down, I found a seat. I was getting ready to plug the ol' ears when I thought I should shoot Derek a message to let him know I was on my way. What? Missed calls? From work? They never call me. "Derek is looking for you." Alrighty. Wait. A text from Derek? Call him ASAP - nothing bad? Hmmm.

By the time it was all said & done, I found out that Derek's doctor had rescheduled his appointment. Lovely. That would have been nice to know, oh, about 15 min. ago! But by some stroke of luck, I was able to get off at the last station in downtown before heading into the tunnel and catch the next train back down to my office.

It was a lovely waste of 30 min. of my day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You Sure It's Wednesday? didn't start out exactly as I'd planned. I was snoozing all comfy in my bed when my alarm so rudely announced it was time to get up. Drat! As I lay in bed trying to convince myself not to snooze-button-it, I heard the pouring rain. Double drat! I rolled out of bed & proceeded to get ready. Just as I was about done with my shower, the lights went out.

Wow, it's really dark in here.

Then they came back on.

Whew. I have no idea where the flashlight is.

I quickly dried off and proceeded to look for the flashlight. But not before the lights went out again.

Crap! And! Dang - that was my toe on the bedpost!

Aha - the flashlight.

I then finished getting ready in the dark. Good thing I'd decided not to do anything but throw mousse in the ol' mop!

As I was gathering up my stuff to go to my car, it dawned on me. I can't get out of the garage without electricity!

Right. I'll just have Derek ... Wait! He can't let me out of the garage b/c the door weighs more than 10 lbs. *$~%@# ... or something like that.

Alrighty, well, I'll just take the truck. But maybe I should check to be sure Derek doesn't have any work stuff in it. (Despite the fact that HE HAS A DESIGNATED WORK VEHICLE!!!, he's been driving the truck. Grrrr!) Sure enough, he all but had a conniption when I even suggested taking the truck b/c I couldn't get out of the garage what with the electricity off and what-not. He, of course, offers to lift the garage door & I have to go through the whole "but it weighs more than 10 pounds!" thing with him.

So once we go round & round about the fact that I have to take his work vehicle and no, not the stupid truck where all your work stuff is right now (hrumph! grrr! and hissss!), then we have to go on a mad hunt for the keys to his work vehicle so I can actually carry out my plan of oh, you know, going to work. Naturally, the extra set of keys to his work vehicle are not on the key holder where they belong. As a matter of fact, the only set of extra keys on the key holders are to my car. Is that surprising? Nope. I didn't think so.

Throw in for fun the fact that the critters were a little weirded out by the no electricity thing b/c that makes all kinds of electronics in our house beep. Beep. Five minutes later. Beep. And so on. And these aren't quiet beeps. No. These beeps could wake the dead, I tell you. Like I really to need know that the alarm system and the super-duper power strip for the den electronics and the super-duper power strip for my Mac and the whole fiber-optic phone/cable/internet system are now on battery back-up. No. Thanks. I think I've got it already. What with the having to get ready by Sure Fire flashlight and all. But I digress. I think I was talking about the critters before I began this rant.

Right. The critters. Who were weirded out. By the beeping. Oh. And the lightning and thunder and pounding rain. So it was all I could do not to take a step and trip over and/or stomp on & crush some four-footed someone. All the while with them giving me that *meow* of "mommy, how could you do that?" Well. Geez. Get out from under my #$*&@ feet already!

*Deep breath*

And to top it all off, remember the pounding rain? Yeah. It was pounding alright. And blowing sideways. Did I mention the howling wind? No? Well. The rain was pounding. And the wind was howling. And subsequently, on my commute to work, which requires walking ... lots of walking, I got drenched. And I don't just mean a little wet. I mean soaked all the way through to the skin drenched. At least the parts of me that weren't covered by my super-awesome raincoat. Which was basically everything but my torso. *Sigh* Did I mention the rain was cold? Yep. Probably the same temperature as the air outside - 40F something or other. Brrrrrr!

So I'm now shuddering in front of my heater in hopes that I dry out soon.

But thanks for the rain?????

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Birthday!

To my Granny! Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Back in the Groove

I've been quite lax in my posting lately. But I'm sure you all understand that we've had a lot weighing on our minds over the last month. Thank you all SO very much for your thoughts & prayers. They've meant so much to us!  With the first (of several, we hope) good report under our belt, we can finally breathe a little sigh of relief and settle back in to normal routines.

Derek has just finished his first full week back at work. And I'm quite proud that he's taking it easy. When you're sitting around at home, you think, "gee, I feel like a million bucks. I really should go back to work." Then when push comes to shove, you realize that you're not quite as ready to go full-bore as you thought you were while sitting around at home. It just takes a while for the body heal, and fatigue sneaks up on you in surprising ways. Thankfully, Derek's co-workers and clients are all very understanding of this and are just as good at watching out for him as I am ... if not better. They've covered cases on days when he couldn't, they've sent him home on days when he's looked tired, they've loaded his truck for him when instruments are too heavy for him to carry, and they've asked him about his appointments.

Life hasn't stopped for me either. I spent the first week at home with Derek. I remember that first week after my appendectomy & how nice it was to have someone around to do things for me - the thought of moving around was enough to send you screaming for pain meds. In the weeks since, I've been to his appointments with him b/c it's tough to absorb all of that information on your own, especially when they're tossing out scary words like "cancer." My bosses have all been exceedingly understanding and given me the flexibility to come & go as needed. Amongst all of this, I've been preparing the kids at church for their musical, which finally goes live this Sunday, and likewise preparing for my own May recital. There's certainly been no rest for the weary, as the saying goes.

Needless to say, the world hasn't stopped turning. I just haven't really felt in the mood much to write about it. But never fear, I have all kinds of good material saved up just for you!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

First Oncology Consult

First things first, after receiving the written copy of the pathology report, the urologist we spoke with on Friday reiterated to us that he believes we can take the "watch and wait" approach to Derek's cancer with strict monitoring through various scans and bloodwork. This was/is excellent news and certainly what we've been praying for!

Yesterday, we went to Derek's first oncology consultation. (Once a biopsy confirms cancer, it's SOP to send the patient to an oncologist.) We had some expectation of what we would hear at this appointment. The urologist we spoke with Friday was sure to prepare us, and we would have otherwise been surprised had he not done so. "Keep in mind that an oncologist is accustomed to treating cancer from a chemical perspective while urologists are more apt to take a more wholistic, big-picture approach and thus are not as quick to jump to drugs if there are other options available."

The oncologist confirmed that Derek's cancer was contained to the testicle that was removed and that all other tests showed the cancer has not metasticized. Derek is also fortunate in that his particular type of tumor produced a hormone that can be monitored with regular bloodwork. Unfortunately, non-seminomas are a bit more aggressive and thus have a higher rate of recurrance in the first 18 mos. post-op. Now, that is not to say that his type of cancer is a run-away freight-train. Not by any means. In fact, testicular cancer is one of the least-aggressive cancers. What it does mean is that of all the types of testicular cancer his is in the category most likely to recur (10% chance specifically).

According to this oncologist, we have two options. Neither one is better than the other. He was very careful to emphasize that the line of treatment is a matter of choice not of necessity. Option 1: monitor very closely for the first year at a minimum with monthly bloodwork and quarterly scans; chemo only if a recurrance is found. Option 2: take a round of proactive chemo; this leaves no doubt that any remaining abnormal cells, if any, are dead.

The oncologist's advice was to consider the chemo. But you must remember that he would rather treat the disease chemically - that's what he does. And secondly, because of the general age of the patients he sees with testicular cancer, he does not always see good success with the "watch & wait" regimen because these young men are not vigilant in keeping their follow-up appointments. So as a rule, he advises the chemo b/c he knows that is successful and it leaves no room for apathy/irresponsibility in follow-up.

Before going to yesterday's appointment, we had talked at great length about waiting vs. proactive chemo, knowing that this would be our likely pair of choices. Naturally, we believe that waiting is the better option for us. Why batter the body with chemicals when it may ultimately be completely unnecessary?? Additionally, it does not decrease the chance for successful treatment later on should there ever be a recurrance. Derek is committed to the strict regimen of testing that will encompass the next year or so. And to me, that's the only answer we need.