Tuesday, July 08, 2014

First post-cancer-treatment update

Well, it’s been a very strange day.  After eighteen years of self-employment I found myself in a cubicle signing papers to become an employee.  I must admit:  I never thought that would happen!  A few weeks ago, when they (Beta Machinery) first asked me if I had any interest, I said “the work you have for me right now is interesting, it looks like you have some interesting work for me coming up, the people and the company seem great from what I’ve experienced so far (I’ve worked for them off-and-on for several years), but I can’t imagine you can give me the kind of flexibility and wage that I am accustomed to as a contractor.”  Apparently I was only partially correct.  Yes, I’ll be taking a pay cut, but not nearly as much as I expected.  I’ll still get lots of flexibility in terms of work hours and location (I’ll likely do quite a bit of my work from home), I’ll get a reasonable amount of paid vacation time and statutory holidays (which I was never disciplined enough in the past to budget for appropriately, so it was always a little tense when I wanted to take more than a day or two off), paid training (which was a significant chunk that came out of my personal company previously) AND I’ll get short-term and long-term disability AND a good life insurance policy, which I assumed I’d never have again in this life.  It seems God is providing for me in ways I just never expected!  So, we’ll have to see how it goes.  I get the impression that this company will make it as easy as I can to be an employee.  And, of course, I’ll continue to do some contract work on the side (I can’t help myself).  To be honest, I doubt I’d have taken this job had I not had a family, but it seems to have given Sue a bit more peace-of-mind, so that’s a great thing.  And here’s a piece of trivia just to show what a small world this is:  this company bought a piece of software that I had a large part in writing back when I worked at my last employee job (back at Nova in the late 80’s)!

And there’s more good news.  June was my first full month of work since June 2013.  That certainly was a good feeling.  I’m feeling more and more “normal” every day. :-)

My physical stamina is taking a while to come back.  A few weeks ago I spent some time fixing Sue’s bike and then did a few minutes of weed whacking.  It felt good to be doing some more normal activities, but even that bit of physical activity did me in – I spent most of the next day sleeping!

I mentioned in my last update that we’d hoped to take a family trip.  Well, not only did it work out, it was a wonderful trip!  Yes, there may have been a little more shopping than I’d have liked, BUT..  I got to go to my beloved Cape Meares, have a banzai burger at Red Robin, and have some clam chowder at Ivar’s. Life is GREAT!!!

Then, for the July long weekend we got an invitation to join some long-time friends (from our time in Edmonton) at a lake north of Edmonton. It was great to catch up with so many dear friends.  AND I was able to play some tennis and even try some wake surfing!  Of course, I gave some of them a bit of a scare when I jumped into the cold water and closed my eyes for a while to overcome the shock and let my mind take over my body again – everyone in the boat thought I’d passed out.  I really noticed the lack of strength in my legs, arms, and fingers, but it sure felt good to be able to give it a try anyway.  As I said, I’m feeling more and more normal as time goes by.

It looks like, between Sue’s work and Brodie’s hockey, our summer will be very busy (probably won’t get a trip to Manitoba until September), but I do have one more trip in my near future to look forward to. Brodie got an invitation to go to the Vancouver Giants rookie camp.  Brodie is pretty excited and intimidated at the same time.  We’re not expecting much this year, but we think it will be a good experience for him in preparation for a more realistic shot next year.  AND, I believe it will be the first hockey he’ll play that we don’t have to PAY FOR!

So, as I said, LIFE IS GREAT!!!  My spirits have been higher the last few days than they’ve been in quite a while.  God is good!  I’m not going to overgeneralize, but I think there is something to be said for the idea that it’s tougher to appreciate the good without some bad in life.  Now if I can just REMEMBER this stuff when the memories of the bad times fade.  I’ve been spending a fair bit of time thinking about Deuteronomy 8 lately. Check it out and perhaps you’ll know what I mean.

Oh, and one more thing.  I guess cancer/surgery/chemo is rejuvenating me.  When I was young my hair was curly. As I grew older it straightened out.  Now it’s the curliest it’s ever been!

Until next time….

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