Received a great text from a dear friend of mine the other day which read: “Haven’t seen any new blogs recently, you okay?” … not only do I love the fact my childhood friend is staying in touch with me through this blog from across the country, but also taking the time to find out if I’m okay. ¶ I need not go into just how important I consider friendships. They are in fact difficult to maintain, but the good ones will outlast all the bad we ever confront, and I’m blessed to have so many people I consider “great” friends. ¶ I have been busy with minimal postings and one of the reasons for this has been Bonnie’s multiple doctor appointments. Our special girl is currently out on short-term disability preparing for her Oophorectomy on the 1st of October. Her team of doctors has all concurred with the removal of her ovaries, so there’s been a shift in her meds as well as a number of tests. ¶ Tests are one thing, but when you hear the word “cysts” there’s of course immediate panic. An ultrasound this past week found two cysts on her ovaries which each measured at 3cm apiece (rather large), though we learned yesterday there is little to worry about with either of them! Whew!! ¶ Another test she recently had completed was the CA-125. This type of test is most frequently used for ovarian cancer detection. Approximately 90 percent of women with advanced ovarian cancer have elevated levels of CA-125 in their blood serum. The phone call I received moments ago from Bonnie was to let me know her CA-125 levels were 9.5% which is inside the “normal range” of 0-35. A higher number would have created a reason for a completely different post. ¶ I have learned that 1 out of 55 women will get Ovarian or Primary Peritoneal Cancer. The symptoms for each are an abdomen that rather suddenly enlarges with constipation and/or diarrhea. Further research on the CA-125 test indicates all females should regularly insist on the CA-125 blood test every year as part of their annual physical exams. ¶ So that’s where we are today … Bonnie is at home relaxing for the first day of her short-term disability as her agenda has been slammed with doctor visits M-T-W, and fittings for her upcoming modeling session at the To Celebrate Life “Stepping Out” this Saturday evening at the Marin Civic Center. ¶ When the whistle blew yesterday afternoon I met with the organizers of the Catwalk for a Cure event to be held in Santa Rosa on October 5th … as the facilitator of the Men’s Cancer Support Group, I’ve been asked to be one of the guest speakers at this annual cancer fund raiser. Over a beer on the deck of the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa yesterday I was able to read my speech to the organizer and share a great number of laughs with the other guest speaker; Paul who I met at our Men’s group. He’s going to be an extremely tough act to follow, but you can bet the farm I will give it my best.