02 November 2009

Reality...Intrudes...

When I began writing this blog it was in part an effort to refocus my mind on my life as a potter. Running an art center and trying to be a potter at the same time often leaves me feeling discombobulated. It was never my intention to get too personal here, but rather to share some of my passion for clay and connect to more of my fellow travelers.

So, now I'm breaking my own rules here...It's not easy to share this with you all, but this Friday I'm to be operated on for colon cancer...while it is a serious surgery the outlook is very positive and my expectation is to be back in the studio by the new year. If you know anything about cancer, mine has been identified as T1-0. That indicates that I have the lowest level (T1) and that no lymph nodes are involved. This is all good. I have a great surgeon on my side and he intends to try to do this laproscopically, which means a much less invasive procedure. I also have an extraordinary community of friends who are rallying to watch out for me and help me get through this.
I may be off line here for a bit, but rest assured I will find something to go on about before long.
One bit of preaching...if you are approaching a certain age (I'm 54) call your physician and make an appointment for a colonoscopy. That's the only reason I found out and I count myself lucky to have learned this early on.
As an amusement I've included a photo from 1969...8th grade graduation. I've been a geek for a l-o-n-g time!

37 comments:

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing with us about your surgery. So sorry you must have this disruption in your life, but if you must have cancer, this is the kind to have. It's great that you've caught it early and I just feel that the dr will be able to make you good as new, however good that is! Sending good thoughts your way. You have many "friends" from blogville who will be lifting you up in prayer.

Mike said...

Good luck and I hope you have a quick recovery!

Michael Kline said...

Dan,
Thanks for sharing this with us, your friends and readers. I was just making an appointment with my doctor for my yearly checkup. I have had too many friends battle with cancer in the last couple of years. I wish you all the best and our prayers are for your speedy recovery. We'll be in touch. Much love to you.

Michael Kline said...

BTW, I guess you hadn't started growing your beard by the eighth grade?!

potterboy said...

Dan - we're all thinking of you over here - good luck with the op.

doug Fitch said...

Much love to you Dan, will be thinking of you

Larry G said...

Hang in Dan and keep on truckin.

shadow may pottery said...

sometimes these life trials are what will bring the best work of your life, probably the best everything..good luck to you

John said...

I want to add some pithy comment about glazes not really shining until after they have been through the fire, but will leave the silly analogies to the poets and simply wish you balance, which was what helped me during my 'firing' in 2002.

Denny Howard said...

Dan, wishing you the best! I've been in a similar place - prostate cancer - caught early and surgery was successful. It definately changes your out look on life. Here's to a speedy recovery.
Denny

Mike Huff said...

Wishing you well from Tokyo, Dan. I've got one of your bowls in the center of the table in front of me, now filled with fresh walnuts from Aomori, sometimes filled with apples from the north of Japan. Everyday I see that bowl, and I might think of you for a moment. Now, I'll be thinking of you more often, hoping for your speedy recovery, every morning when I grab a walnut or piece of fruit from that bowl. Get well soon.

Aaron Sober said...

Dan,
Best of luck in the coming weeks. People everywhere are wishing you the best of luck and strength as you move forward. Keep us updated and don't be shy. Lot's of love.

Jerry said...

Best of luck and a speedy recovery from a long time reader. I'll be thinking about you up in Maryland.

Dennis Allen said...

Smooth sailing Dan.

Dennis Allen

Alex Solla said...

Good luck for a sucessful recovery! I hope your hospital stay is as short as possible. The clay will be waiting for you.

jimgottuso said...

sorry to read about your surgery... i hope the operation goes perfectly and you're as good as new as soon as possible.

Hollis Engley said...

No worries, Daniel. You've got people around the planet pulling for you. And you've got that great community in F-burg. You'll be fine come January and in the meantime, enjoy being taken care of. We're with you.
Hollis and Dee

ariel freeman said...

"About suffering, they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood, It's human position; how it takes place, While someone else is eating or opening a window, or just walking dully along." WH Auden.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I also struggle with (and often loose) detailing personal insights. It is difficult to separate art from life. I have taken care of many of Dr E's patients after surgery and you are in extremely good hands. Dream of clay and pots and planning your next kiln firing; it will help distract from the discomfort and "institution" of the hospital. See you soon and warmest regards.

kimba said...

Dan, we'll be thinking of you on Friday and through your recovery. Rest and get better!

Larry Watson said...

I've had a cancer journey, so I can relate my own experience. My sister told me over and over, when I would get frustrated or tired, "Your only job is to get well."

One thing I learned is that the "ironic gifts" show up in surprising and subtle ways. My advice is to keep your eyes open for all the little miracles. . .

Daryl said...

When we pour coffee for each other at our house, it's preceded by a question: "A Finnegan?" We don't really need to ask. Of course, a Finnegan.
You're in our thoughts, Dan. Be well.
Julie and Daryl

Yvonne Cooper said...

Cancer is not a death sentence anymore. There are many of us, survivors out here. You've just joined a new family. Just like making pots is a process; so is healing. Huge healing hugs from a 6+ year survivor of leiomyosarcoma and fellow ceramic artist. Yvonne

forgelady said...

Dan,
The Sullivan clan from King George
holds you close during the next few months. You'll be up before you know it and throwing pots for your next show.
You are in our prayers for a speedy recovery.
Melissa and Ross

edan said...

Hi Dan,
I'm sorry to hear about the cancer. I hope you recover quickly and well!

I'm a little bit closer to Fredericksburg now (Cincinnati) -- I'd love to come visit you sometime!

Edan

Bill Harris said...

Sending our love and support to you, Dan.

Best,
Bill & Karen Harris

Anna said...

Im glad you know your freinds are here to support you! Good luck Friday. We'll all be thinking of you.

Mark Hewitt said...

Best of luck Dan.
Thinking of you.

Front Porch said...

Dan
Prayers. Thoughts. Good vibes. It's all there for you from boatloads of people. God bless.
Rob, Virginia & Alexis

Debbie Williamson said...

Fireworks in my head and stomach, Not knowing what I'll find or do next. Hopefully, I will get used to it, Let it become a new part Of my exciting, everyday life. First Day by Mattie Stepanek. You had your 'First Day' with cancer ... we look forward to your 'First Day' without. Much love - muddy hug.

Nitsan Stern said...

good health. many years of creating, happiness and well being.

paul jessop said...

Hi Dan, I will be thinking of you on Friday, hope all goes well.

Incognito said...

Hollis is so right about the Fredericksburg community holding you in our collective hands during this time. We love you and care about you deeply.

I will be with you tomorrow in spirit (don't worry, I won't look!). Peace, Dan, and let me know when I can bring some veggie loaf over. ~ Ruth

Matt Grimmitt said...

Dan we've got everything crossed for you. So sorry to hear this news. We are both thinking of you.

Hannah said...

Hi Dan, Sorry to hear this news, the good thing is you seem like a tough bugger, you can fight it if anybody can. Thinking of you. xxx

John said...

Dan Finnegan update (#2= Saturday afternoon): Dan is in good spirits and is up and walking (he has done a lap of the ward twice now), doing his breathing exercises and keeping the back of his gown closed (Thankfully!) He is in excellent humor and was quoting the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats: “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

Russ Hopkins said...

Hi Dan, Russ Hopkins here. I just got the news through Toff so I found your blog & entered the new world. I hope everything goes well with the upcoming surgery, I'm sure you're in the best hands. The family are doing fine & Ollie knows his uncle Dan as 'the man with the big beard & funny voice who knows how to draw'. Wishing you all the best of luck & I'm sure the spirit of Eddie will be with you.

draigstudio said...

My thoughts, hopes, and prayers( or what I pass for as prayers ((beer)) are with you.) Get better!