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I think not.

It is with much sadness that I post here, the passing of Christopher Ritchey. His almost 2 yr battle with Lymphoma ended yesterday Dec 3rd 2009.

His mother/Loraine; an inspiration to many, has suffered the worst loss any human can imagine, the loss of her 29 year old son.

Hopefully one day she will recount the long battle they both fought against this horrendous disease, but in the meantime our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Visitation Boyer Cool 5th St                     2-7 PM Sunday Dec 6th

Memorial Service St. Mary’s 8th St       11 AM Monday Dec 7th

I asked about starting a Memorial Fund (statue, carving at Settlers Watch etc) but Loraine has requested donations be made to St. Jude’s.

Please respect the privacy of the family at this time of mourning.

Thanksgiving is two weeks away.

Now more than ever, we need to be reminded:

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.  ~W.J. Cameron

My sister helps St. Joseph’s on 16 th St. each year with their Thanksgiving dinner (needs 60 pies). Please contact me if you know of anyone that can help.

I’m sure there are many agencies that are helping the hungry, homeless and needy this year especially. (Please help one)

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us,

much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart

 as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

The Holiday season is coming soon and we will be preoccupied, overwhelmed and time starved.

But Please Remember:

If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.  ~Robert Quillen


It’s by Randy Pausch, professor at Carnegie Mellon and a Pancreatic Cancer victim (3% survival rate).

I finally gained the courage to read his best seller. I learned he was originally in Pittsburgh and thought to myself I hope he was able to work with our Team at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Zeh.

And sure enough into his book I saw that he was a patient of Dr. Herbert Zeh and then went onto M.D. Anderson (another GREAT facility)

His book is an easy read, reflections of his past and wishes for the future, a vehicle to share those with his three children when they grow up. But it brought back a lot of memories for me as well.

A few of the thoughts especially struck me.

  • Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
  • In review, “I don’t think we ever said to each other: “This isn’t fair'” We just kept going. We recognized there were things we could do that might help the outcome in positive ways.. and we did them. Without saying it in words, our attitude was, “Let’s saddle up and ride.”

We learned this after our Journey with Pancreatic Cancer and find it interesting he did as well:

  • Time must be explicitly managed, like money
  • You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.
  • Ask yourself: are you spending your time on the right things?
  • Develop a good filing system
  • Delegate
  • Take a time out, “Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.”

In our experience and working with other cancer patients, hope is key.

Randy mentions, “My personal take on optimism is that as a mental state, it can enable you   tangible things to improve your physical state. If you’re an optimist, you’re better able to endure brutal chemo, or keep searching for late breaking medical treatments. Dr. Zeh calls me his poster boy for “the healthy balance between optimism and realism: He sees me trying to embrace my cancer as another life experience.”

I also was glad to see he mentioned he and his wife received counseling while going through this experience and wished he could go to every oncology patient and tell them to seek help/support as well.

Randy died July 25, 2008, only 47 years old leaving behind a wife and three young children.

Two organizations that are dedicated to fighting this disease:

We have a friend who lost his father to this hideous disease, his yearly tribute is this Sunday.

I was attending an event recently and was talking to a friend who has a friend who’d been diagnosed with PC.

Recounting a little of our experience I saw Frank in the crowd (we had gone separately), realized I could have been without him for 7 1/2 yrs now…. the tears welled up and I had to excuse myself.

I just emailed our healthcare providers at UPMC and thanked them once again:

“I’m still amazed at what I continue to learn from this awful disease, the worst of times has brought to us the best of people. 

If kindness were a cure…. this disease would be long gone…”

I remember seeing pictures of the Indians games in Cleveland during the 30’s-40’s, all the men wore hats and suit coats.

They looked so dressed up compared to today’s attire at a ballgame.  But there are exceptions.

“Former San Francisco 49er Coach Mike Nolan fought to wear a business suit on the sidelines during football games. One of the reasons for this was that he wanted to make it easy to spot the man in charge. The men’s suit, whose heritage stems from military garb, was designed to highlight a man’s strengths.”

Positive assumptions
Well dressed people are given a leg up in many respects


Charles Schultz’s Philosophy : People Who Really “Make A Difference” In Our Lives


The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the world-famous “Peanuts” comic strip.  You don’t have to actually answer the questions below.  Just read straight through and you’ll get the point.
1)  Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2)  Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3)  Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
 4)  Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5)  Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6)  Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
  How did you do ?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

    Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one :
1)  List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2)  Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3)  Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4)  Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5)  Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
 Easier ?
The Lesson : The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.
   “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” (Charles Schultz)!FC4C191A8F51F272!266.entry

America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

Perception, not possession is 9 tenths of the law.

Don’t argue with a fool. The spectators can’t tell the difference. – Charles j. Nalin

It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. -Corrie TenBoom

Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead. – Thomas Paine

Be careful whose toes you step on today, they might be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.

What a great day, what a fantastic crowd.
It truly was a celebration.
Of this green space and Eric’s life.
I found this on one of the attendees, it said it all.

Thanks to Tracy Isenberg for this photo.

If I knew it would be the last time 
that I'd see you fall asleep, 
I would tuck you in more tightly 
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep. 
If I knew it would be the last time 
that I see you walk out the door, 
I would give you a hug and kiss 
and call you back for one more. 
If I knew it would be the last time 
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise, 
I would video tape each action and word, 
so I could play them back day after day. 
If I knew it would be the last time, 
I could spare an extra minute or two 
to stop and say "I love you," 
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do. 
If I knew it would be the last time 
I would be there to share your day, 
well I'm sure you'll have so many more, 
so I can let just this one slip away. 
For surely there's always tomorrow 
to make up for an oversight, 
and we always get a second chance 
to make everything right. 
There will always be another day 
to say our "I love you's", 
And certainly there's another chance 
to say our "Anything I can do's?" 
But just in case I might be wrong, 
and today is all I get, 
I'd like to say how much I love you 
and I hope we never forget, 
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, 
young or old alike, 
And today may be the last chance 
you get to hold your loved one tight.. 
So if you're waiting for tomorrow, 
why not do it today? 
For if tomorrow never comes, 
you'll surely regret the day, 
That you didn't take that extra time 
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss 
and you were too busy to grant someone, 
what turned out to be their one last wish. 
So hold your loved ones close today, 
whisper in their ear, 
Tell them how much you love them 
and that you'll always hold them dear, 
Take time to say "I'm sorry," "please forgive me," 
"thank you" or "it's okay". 
And if tomorrow never comes, 
you'll have no regrets about today

*** From what I have been able to find out, most of this
poem was written in the 1930s or 1940s by one of two authors.
Two ladies claim credit for it and then was more recently adapted by
another writer, a teenager. Will give credit to all three in the future.