A Little Break in the Burgh

Greenwood Village / Centennial, CO – Took the Sunday night redeye last week from DIA to JFK, then a connection that got me to Pittsburgh by mid-morning on Monday. Now I’m back in Denver, getting ready to start school tomorrow and plot some potentially serious changes. More about that later.

Over the last week, I did not touch a computer or watch any live television. I did read a few newspapers and went through my e-mail on my cell phone. Other than that, I was largely removed from the “virtual” outside world, spending a lot of quality time with Leslie and her girls.

Pittsburgh has been an interesting place for the last few months. The upcoming G-20 Summit and its planning process have been the focal point of local government and emergency services since June. Part of this includes preparing for extensive and well-coordinated protest movement that plans to descend upon the city as well.

The visit was definitely something I needed, and not only because I miss her very much. My immersion in technology and information is at times not healthy, and being with her brings that point to bear in a very significant way.

We ate Greek food, went to one of the best farm markets anywhere, and enjoyed a double feature at the drive-in. I did a couple of repair projects for Leslie, and observed some of the things she has to deal with as a parent of a cancer kid.

Leslie’s daughter Michaela, who I’ve written about previously, is now participating in the clinical trial of a cancer medication that appears to be impacting her tumors in a positive way. She receives the medication every three weeks; this is followed by one week of IV medications and fluids to address the biggest side effect of the medication, that being vomiting and dehydration.

Friday night was the first night of this one-week cycle. I watched as Leslie mixed three different medications with saline in three different syringes, each to be delivered over a 15 or 20 minute period via an infusion pump. She then has to put a bag of fluid on a different pump that is infused over 12 hours. Michaela carries this in a backpack when she is walking around.

This protocol, which includes other IV and oral medications during the day, appears to be working well; Michaela’s episodes of vomiting have been drastically reduced. She is able to go to school. She wants to be a normal second grader, and is growing tired and frustrated with her illness and its effect on her ability to be active.

One thing that I find gratifying and somewhat humbling is that Michaela likes it when I am there. In the wake of the changes that our collectives lives have seen over the last few years, it feels to me that it is time to embrace that change a bit. That’s what I’m starting this week.

I’ll be taking a six-week course at the Jeppesen headquarters near Centennial Airport south of Denver to obtain my FAA Flight Dispatcher license. I hope to take this training and licensure and obtain a job somewhere within the aviation sector.

I’m keeping an open mind, have committed to maintaining a positive attitude that comes with any new venture, and am clearing my calendar and email in-boxes for the next few days to get acclimated to the routine. I plan to return to Grand Junction on the weekends, but will also try to take in some of my favorite things in Denver if I have time; the Rockies, Rapids, lots of movie choices and good Mediterranean food are a few of these.

I’ll also be remaining active on this blog, if only to post observations at times, but I have several collections of ideas that will be out there, if more infrequent in their posting while I’m at school and afterward.

There’s plenty going on out there that is relevant to both my past and future which I am heeding the call not only to write about, but to act upon. The woman I love, and the skills that I have been given, are both big action items in this scenario. How this evolves is the adventure that well-lived lives are made of.

Have a good week ahead.

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