Stop the Insanity!

Posted on June 26th, 2009 in Life by Quinn

Wow, this past month has just been an insane roller coaster.

The good news is my Sharon is doing almost 100% better now. She went back to work yesterday and seemed to get through very well. Though, we’re not out of the woods yet.

As probably with most of these things you really have no idea how bad something was until after the fact. Apparently, her cancer was allot more aggressive than originally thought. As a result the Chemo treatment is also going to be allot more aggressive than originally planned. In addition she will also have to do a couple of months of radiation treatment as well.

When that’s all said and done there is still one more step. The particular kind of cancer that Sharon had was estrogen receptive. Basically feeding off the estrogen her body was producing. So to keep the cancer from ever coming back we have to stop her body from producing said estrogen. Which means possibly another minor operation and for certain a hormone treatment she will have to undergo as well.

The good news is that we have tallied up the time frame and we should be done with this some time in March of next year, right before her 38th birthday. So I’m going to make it an extra special birthday celebration for her….shhhh, don’t say anything. It’s a surprise


To add to this adventure, things at work for me have been crazy. We’ve had lay-offs,  restructuring, increased work load, increasingly more difficult to get parts, and nit picked over every little thing. With all the work I’ve been doing my one hope was that my pay checks would be at least the good part, but sadly, no. I think it may be time to move on because at this point there is very little hope of moving up in this company.

Well, I think I’ve bloviated enough for now.

Notice how there wasn’t one mention of the death of Michael Jackson….Oh crap…nevermind.

My Sharon’s battle with breast cancer

Posted on May 31st, 2009 in Life by Quinn

Her surgery is this week on June 3rd. However due to her being diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age the doctor wants her to go through Chemotherapy simply to make sure the cancer is completely gone.
The Chemo might make her loose her hair so she decided to get it cut short in order to minimize dramatic effect of the hair loss.
Her excess hair was donated to locks of love.

I think she looks gorgeous with her new short hair.

Sharons long hair

Sharon's long hair

Sharons with short hair

Sharon's with short hair

dramitc lighting artistic shot

dramatic lighting artistic shot

Side swiped

Posted on May 27th, 2009 in Life by Quinn

Sharon and I are now dealing with something that we never thought we would have to deal with. About a few weeks ago my wife Sharon woke up in the morning with a painful lump in her breast. We didn’t panic, but she did quickly see her doctor who then ordered a mammogram. Shortly after they called her in for a biopsy and then, this past Friday we received the results from the surgeon.

She has in fact been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Fortunately, it is the most common type of breast cancer and therefore the most treatable. Unfortunately, that treatment is rather extreme which involves surgery in the form of a mastectomy proceeded by a few months of chemotherapy.

At first we were in shock and scared. However, we’ve had a few days now to digest, research and understand what is going to happen and the bottom line is she is going to survive. The treatment is going to suck, but the end result will get the cancer out of her body and we will go on to live a happy and full life together.

This thing came out of nowhere. Sharon has no family history of breast cancer and we didn’t even know it was there until the tumor was at least two inches. It just goes to show you that something like this can happen to anyone at anytime no matter what the circumstances.

Sharon’s surgery is next week and after that we will know some more about the extent of her treatment because there are some unknowns right now as far as if the tumor has spread and some other issues.

I will certainly keep everyone up to date and I thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and support.

To Vegas and Back

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 in Blog Blurbs,Life by Quinn

I hate Las Vegas! I really do. No offense to those who live there or those of you who may enjoy going there, but I can’t stomach the place.

Honestly, I feel a bit funny about complaining because there are so many of you out there who are suffering from the current economic recession and are without employment. My heart goes out to you…it really does…I know how difficult it is because I’ve been there too…several times.

I am incredibly grateful I have a job, don’t get me wrong, but damn! I am getting to old for this shit!

So, Tuesday morning I was getting ready for another typical day of work and then out of the blue I get a service call that’s all the way up in, yep you guessed it, Las Vegas. My first thought was “Oh hell!”, but then I started thinking well it’s still early…I’ll drive up there, give about an hour to work on the machine and turn around and drive back. Ya, it’ll be a pain in the ass but hey I’ll be home around 6 that night and I’ll get a few hours overtime.

I should have known better…

I make the drive and get up there around 2 o’clock in the afternoon and the machine is complete FUBAR! . It pretty much takes me the rest of the day to figure out how to fix it and determine that we need to replace a part, a part for which I do not have in my van…of course!

So guess who gets to stay the night in Las Vegas? Without any change of clothes, without any idea where I’m going to stay, or really any of the typical preparations one might make for an overnight stay.

Well, after buying a change of clothes, some basic supplies and not sleeping very well in a hotel that was found at the last minute, I fought the machine the next morning tired and disheveled and it fought me back every step of the way. Finally, around noon, I had won the battle and got the damn thing fixed. Grabbed lunch and made the four hour drive back yesterday.

Again, I am thankful I have a job but this job is turning out to have most of the criteria of which I do not desire to do anymore in my future career. I’ve been in field service since 1996 and I’ve paid my dues. I’ve had previous jobs where I spent a good deal of my time traveling to Vegas,  Sacramento,  Mexico, etc. etc. and I thought I was done.

This kind of situation does not fit my personality type so as such I hate it…I hate it with a passion. Sure, it was fun and adventurous at first but it gets old real fast. However, I do it because it pays the bills.

I suppose the solution is to “bite the bullet” and start looking for employment that would better meet my criteria. But of course that’s increasingly difficult with fewer jobs available and increasingly more people competing in the job market. It’s all a bit frustrating so in the end I tell myself  “at least I have a job, right?”.

I know this sounds incredibly trivial for those of you suffering from unemployment right now and I apologize. Like I said, I’ve been there several times myself and I know if I were reading this during those times I would have shrugged this off and said “Shut up! You big whiner!”

I guess if I could offer up something productive from this rant for those of you out looking for employment is to always keep in my mind the bigger picture.

If you have responsibilities to take care of, a family to provide for, bills to pay etc. and you are offered a job that you may not like or even hate, by all means take it. Trust me, you are going to make more money and be quite a bit happier than you ever would be collecting unemployment checks every week. However, just because you found a job doesn’t mean you have to stop looking for something you would enjoy more. Which brings me to my final point.

When one is looking for a job, and I am certainly just as guilty of this, it’s easy to get caught up in the whole minutiae of it all. What I mean is we get caught up in how our resume is worded, how our cover letters look, what to say and do on interviews, how much we get paid and all of those things are important. However, don’t miss the opportunity to take some time and analyze what it is you are really looking for in a career. In other words, what is it that you would enjoy doing? What are you honestly looking for in a job? Not just in pay scale, though that certainly is important, but what kind of work situation would you enjoy working in?

We all have unique and different personality types and therefore we all have different work situations that are more conducive to our overall happiness. Let’s face it, you will spend most of your time at work so if your not happy at work your un-happiness will spill over to other aspects of your life. Your family, your health through increased stress and so forth.

With that in mind I will leave you with this exercise. Make up two lists. In the first list write down everything that you liked about your current and past jobs. Then next to that list write down everything you disliked or hated about your current/previous employment. Be as brutally honest as you can and don’t leave out any of the details even the most insignificant.

In the second list write down everything you have ever done in each of your jobs you’ve ever had in your career. Again, be as detailed as you possibly can. With these two list together you now have a fairly detailed idea of what you could be looking for.

Take these two lists and start looking at job descriptions on any of the job sites online. Keep an open mind about what you see and compare them to your lists. I think you might be surprised by the number of different possibilities you may never have thought of before. Once you have found some postings that you find interesting write them down or print them up.

Now you have your two lists and some job descriptions to work with. You have a good picture of what you want and don’t want, what you have done and what you can do, and finally what employers are looking for. Do you see what I’ve done here? This would be an excellent point to now build your resume.

So, there you go. I started off with a rant but left you with something useful that will hopefully help you out.

Yep, I’m that good 😉

Oh Crap! on Day 5

Posted on March 5th, 2009 in Blog Blurbs,Life by Quinn

First of all I’d like to thank everyone for your support through this “quitting smoking” deal of mine.

So I’ve manage to go four days without smoking! That’s a huge accomplishment for me. However, here we are on day five and for some reason the urge was just too overwhelming and in the spirit of full disclosure the scene this morning was… about 6:30 am the patch got ripped off the arm…a pack of cigarettes was purchased…all before my three son’s were almost strangled…and Sharon’s head was almost ripped off her shoulders… ~sigh.

Now I’m just overwhelmed with guilt. Not only for giving in to my temptation but for also being such a grumpy bear to the ones I love the most. Not to mention letting everyone down.

I don’t understand how I can go 4 full days and then all of a sudden get totally side swiped.  I thought it was supposed to get easier the longer you went without it. I guess not! I have to admit, this has got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I guess the good part about all this is that I’m so riddled with guilt now, the patch is back on and I’m not going to give up! NO! I’M NOT GIVING UP! DAMN IT!

This was only a set back, right? I mean, I did manage to go 4 days, almost 5, without a cigarette. I think I was just unprepared this time. So, I lost a battle today, but I will win the war!

The Battle Continues…

Okay, That’s It…I Quit!- Day One & Day Two

Posted on March 2nd, 2009 in Blog Blurbs,Life by Quinn

The only reason I’m posting this is to possibly elicit some sort of accountability…I guess.

I am now in my second day without a cigarette! Yes, that’s right I’m finally trying to quit smoking. Though this time I’m trying for real and using a Transdermal Nicotine patch program. Which, for the most part seems to be working.

By “working” , I mean it seems to be staving off the bodies desire for nicotine which surprisingly does help to a degree of actually kicking the habitual parts of smoking.

However, it is still a battle. A battle that I’m deep in the second day of fighting. The first day, yesterday, wasn’t actually all that bad for me. Aside from a couple bouts of temptation…(it’s just too damn easy to run to the gas station and buy a pack)…and the sudden urges to sit outside on the patio. I managed to keep myself occupied with other things to keep me from giving into those temptations.

Day two however, has been a little tougher battle thus far. The morning cigarette with coffee, the one after breakfast, the one while I’m preparing for work, the smoke I have while I think of things to write on the blog…etc. etc. etc.  Wow!, I didn’t actually realized how much I smoked until I stopped.

On the positive side, I am learning other ways of dealing with stress. Smoking was a stress relief and relaxation tool for me, so now I have to retrain myself. Yesterday, both my mother and my sister taught me how to knit with needles , as opposed to a loom which I have often done before. I trekked down to Michaels and bought some circular knitting needles and some yarn and knit until my fingers were sore. I’m actually about halfway finished with the simple baby cap I’m making.

First needle knit cap

I know, real manly , huh? But hey! I drink beer, I work on my cars, hell! I fix complex electro-mechanical crap all day long!

Anyway, getting off track.

Today is going to be tougher because I have to work today, which involves my greatest temptation to smoke and that’s driving. Usually quite a bit of driving.

I just need to get through today and I’ll be alright I think.