Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 381 Lighting A Candle Instead of Cursing The Darkness and More "Lost" Before Pictures

Day 381

Lighting A Candle Instead of Cursing The Darkness and More “Lost” Before Pictures

After starting the day with a 200 calorie cheese omelet, Irene and I was off to pick up JoEllen and head for her urgent doctors appointment in Oklahoma City. I took a personal day today for the trip. Irene could have made the trip without me, but since she had worked a twelve hour shift right before and was without any sleep at all, I wanted to make sure they arrived safe and on time.

JoEllen was in incredible spirits considering she’s just been diagnosed with thyroid and brain cancer. To make a bad situation worse, she’s also developed blindness in both eyes over the last several days. And still, she was finding humor in her situation. She was smiling. It was wonderful to see her brave spirit. I don’t think I would have been as chipper under the same circumstances. We had moments when she would bring up the topic of death and we quickly insisted on a subject change. And she occasionally showed a mixture of fear and frustration over the blindness. She’s a strong woman.

The medical team working with JoEllen will start chemotherapy in a couple of weeks. They did say that the brain tumor seemed stable. Hopefully the chemotherapy will kill it completely. In the meantime, the doctors number one concern is saving her vision. The pressure from the tumor is severely hurting her optical nerves and that has caused this sudden blindness. They must perform an emergency surgery in the morning to relieve the pressure on her optical nerves before she becomes permanently blind. JoEllen is resting tonight at our house. Irene is getting off at 4:30am, she’ll get a few hours rest, then she’ll take Jo to the surgery center in Oklahoma City for the procedure that hopefully will bring her out of the darkness.

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments of prayer for JoEllen. Irene didn’t want to leave JoEllen’s side, but at a certain point, I had to insist that she try to sleep in the car while I stayed with Jo in the doctors office. While we were waiting for them to schedule the surgery, I shared your comments with her. She was amazed that so many people from all over the world were thinking of her. It really lifted her spirits, so again, thank you!

I have to say that I’m really learning something from watching JoEllen handle this horrible situation. Something life threatening like this can quickly put things in perspective. Most of us are very lucky, and sure, I can come up with a long list of things I’m not happy about or frustrated over on this journey, but what’s really important? What matters? Not giving up matters. Family love matters. And finding reasons to smile even in our darkest hour---that really matters. I did good today considering it was the first time I’ve ever led someone around who couldn’t see. I only ran her into one chair and one wall, not too bad really.

You know what today was? Weigh day!!!! Can you believe I missed a weigh day? I did. As we were headed into town late this afternoon, I declared that weigh day was postponed until Thursday. I can weigh tomorrow. This isn’t the first time weigh day has been postponed by one day. But it is the second---I’m pretty sure! I’ll be cool with whatever the scales show me tomorrow.

Play rehearsal was awesome tonight. It’s really coming together. I wish you could come and see this show. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful role for my stage debut.

I’m including some “Lost” before pictures in tonight’s blog, I hope you enjoy them! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and…

Good Choices,

Nearly 17 years ago. I was doing two morning shows at the same time. One Classic Country and one Soft AC, I just alternated. Crazy kid!!

At a station sponsored event. About a decade old, this one.

My mom and little brother Shane on one of Shane’s prom nights! He attended several!! We lost Shane in June of 2001. He was 24.

Irene and the girls several years ago. A really bright picture—but just adorable anyway!!! I love these young ladies!

PhotobucketA full body before picture with Ryan Diamond of KPNC. We were at the OAB Awards Banquet. Ryan won for radio personality of the year on that night. He was over 200 pounds in this picture and I still make him look tiny! I have a history of making people look little in pictures.


  1. Wow on the pictures, you don't even look the same. You look like a completely different guy. I know your still the same inside. Did you feel trapped ever. I did. Like I was in there and it wasn't really me. Oh, and your sister in law. I know everyone wants to be positive and there is good reason to be positive. We should speak life, but if jo ellen wants to talk about death, maybe someone should talk with her about it, about what comes after. My brother has Aids, he has good days and some bad. Sometimes they just have fears they need to let out. You guys sound like a good and supportive family. Just thought I would throw that out there.

  2. I hope the surgery is able to give JoEllen her sight back. She has to do with so much right now and doing it in the dark would be so much more difficult.

    I'm praying for her.

    Love the pictures. You've come a long way. You look like a totally different person these days. Congrats on your transformation.

  3. Why were you doing 2 morning shows at 12:35? Were you late......... again?

  4. Sean, my husband's sister has been fighting Ovarian cancer since 2002 so we know how you feel and what you'll be dealing with. I have no advice except pray and hang in there with her. You are a good husband and brother-in-law to bless them like you did yesterday. As always, the photos reinforce your dramatic transformation!

  5. The author of this blogOctober 1, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    The studio picture was staged. The photographer didn't show up until the noon hour! Does that answer your question Potssie?

  6. That was so good that you and Irene were there for JoEllen. I hope her eye surgery will go well today, I'm praying for her. I loved seeing the pictures. I'm sorry you lost your brother. Hope weigh-in goes well today.

  7. I will pray for your sister in law and I hope the surgery will go well and regain her sight...

    Those pictures are really shows how much you have accomplished and your doing great!! You are an inspiration!

  8. You have a lovely family and I'm sorry to see that you've lost a brother. Man, you guys have really went through it! I'm praying for JoEllen now. I read this blog and believe she has all the reason to hope because she is lifted up by her family. Irene is a great sister! And I see that her brother-in-law ain't to shabby either! May God bless JoEllen, Irene, you, your children, and whatever you turn your hands to. May you be "the lenders and not the borrowers" and the portrait of perfect health!!!

  9. Buddy, you're a completely different person that the one in those photographs. Congrats on all your success!

  10. Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother...and still praying fervently for JoEllen's health to be restored completely. Keep your gaze lifted skyward friend. :)

  11. Hi Sean. My thoughts are with you and your family at this very difficult time. Hope the surgery goes well. It's great the amount of support you are able to give JoEllen and Irene.

    To see the photos of you is always amazing. Really it is like looking at another person.

    Best wishes to all of you,
    Bearfriend xx

  12. Still keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers and special love to Irene, she must be really feeling it.


  13. My thoughts are with Jo Ellen, Irene, you and your whole family.

    Thyroid cancer is the easiest cancer to treat, though this brain tumour seems to have thrown a spanner into the works.

    My mom had thyroid cancer in her 80s, but she lived to age 90 and died of something else.

    The sister of a friend had thyroid cancer which spread to her spine. That was well over 30 years ago and she's been fine for many years now.

    We can always hope, though I have to agree with cmoursler. Sometimes, it's just as important to talk about death too, if that's what Jo Ellen wants.

  14. I want to hear more about Shane and his story. I would love to work with you on a stage play to honor him. You are doing AWESOME work with the play ! I can't wait to see the review. Did I tell you she will be there MONDAY !

  15. Still praying for JoEllen...and family, trust she will get her sight back....

  16. LOL I can't believe you ran poor JoEllen into the wall! LOL By the way....she's still in my prayers as are all of you! You have really made some changes over the years! I remember Irene's hair cut like that....I loved it on her!


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