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“Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.”  Psalm 107:23-4

Dear Family and Friends,

Easiest day yet.  Radiation took about 20 minutes, so I didn’t even get to offer up any pain.  I was ready, though, and still got prayers in for all of you and your intentions.

I went with the Sea Shanties playlist on Spotify in honor of the kids’ suggestion, and hence the Psalm 107 quote today.  I decided to fully embrace the ocean theme and went with St. Patrick in the sock department.  They arrived from my mom & dad yesterday just in time.  Thanks, Mom & Dad!  What does St. Patrick have to do with any of this?  When tough-guy Irish brawlers indicate that they are going to settle something with knuckles, they’ll sometimes dedicate one fist to St. Michael and the other to St. Patrick in order to get the added boost necessary to vanquish the other besotted opponent.  I’ve got some tumors that needed a 1-2-3 combo, so the final punch was entrusted to St. Patrick.  Also, he’s perfect for the sea shanties music because he was captured and enslaved in Britain, taken across the sea to Ireland, and changed that country forever.  He learned the language of his captors in order to carry out his mission.  I imagine his learning of the Irish language began with sea shanties on the boat that was carrying him over to Ireland.

Another great offering from

When I told the technician my music selection he said, “That sounds sketchy.  I’m not sure that’s authorized for a hospital environment.”  His response didn’t miss a beat and was my style of deadpan, which made for a funny moment.  When I explained that the kids wanted it, we got into a nice discussion of kids and family.  Kendra was there and astounded them that she’s carrying baby #10.  It turns out that one of the two guys who has been taking care of me is one of 11 kids, and he was really excited to hear about our family. 

They strapped me in to the mask and then Kendra and the guys left me there while she showed them pictures of our kids for a while.  Hey, brain tumors over here!  Hello?

Here I am 20 minutes later with the mask, which I can take home as my parting gift.

I’m going to entrust this to our artistic son Bobby for customization.

The shirt is an important one, too.  Kendra sewed it for me for our rehearsal dinner, a fantastic luau generously thrown my my parents.  I’ve worn the shirt over the years for some very special occasions.  Last day of radiation seemed like a good reason.

We waited around UCLA afterward because my new drugs – pills I’ll take daily – were to be delivered to my oncologist’s office today.  We picked them up and then had another lunch date, celebrating the end of radiation at In-N-Out.  Then we headed home. 

I started my pills tonight.  I’ll be taking 12 pills a day, 2 different drugs.  One drug identifies and attacks the particular genetic mutation in my melanoma, while the other attacks a related molecule.  It’s called targeted therapy, as distinct from chemotherapy or immunotherapy.  My drugs are specifically called BRAF-MEK inhibitor targeted therapy for those of you scoring at home.  This therapy is FDA approved and many people are on it.

Okay, that’s the wrap-up.  It will be a while before I get CTs and MRIs to see the effects of the drugs and radiation.  Until then, I’m assuming best case scenario, praying a lot, and hoping any side effects are manageable.  Thanks for your continued prayers and messages.  It means a lot to all of us.

With fortitude and prayers for you,