A Note From Hook AGAIN

The Good Professor Speaks:

HDU_HealthyGuideWell it looks like I’ll begin the final leg of my cancer treatment – back to a six week regime of chemo infusions. That entails chemo once a week for two weeks then a week off (party week!).  This treatment is normal after surgery to make sure if any cancer cells have escaped they can be dealt with.  Last time I went through this my body seemed to handle it quite well so I’m hopeful it will be similar this time.   Indeed I actually gained about 20 lbs over that time period which also included radiation and chemo in the form of a pill.  So I’m hopeful I’ll again put on some pounds.

Hooks for Hook was a nice success with students (and faculty and staff) raising about $300 purchasing these hooks for anywhere from $1-$5.  They sell these hooks at tackle stores that can be attached to fishing caps.  Remarkably I’ve been seeing students still wearing their “hooks” to school.  Anyway the money raised will go to fund one student per semester to conduct research at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.  Our goal is to create an endowment large enough to use the interest to fund the students.

Finally I need to thank all of you that are wishing me well in a diversity of means and ways, and especially my wonderful wife.  All this support has made my job of getting completely well again so much easier.

Editor’s Note:  Hooks for Hook has raised over $800 so far.   Unexpected and heart touching to us both.

Regime, Regimen, Regiment

I had no idea there wHDU_Regimenere so many spellings for regimen which I’ve always spelled regimenT (militant) but which Hook spelled regimeN (training) until spell check suggested he use regimE, the original French spelling (political).   Since Hook is half French and since I often feel the need to politic my way through his medical appointments, regime it is.

I missed this last appointment with Hook because I thought it was another routine visit like his last one with the surgeon when all the sugar propaganda was shared.  When I attend any of Hook’s appointments, I write out my list of questions in advance, laying a strategy of when and what to ask so we get all of the information instead of only the information the doctors willing share.   Maybe Hook’s decision to agree to the additional chemo may not have changed even if I had been there to fling questions at the doctor until he cried, “uncle,” but I know I would have understood more of what I understand very little of at all.   What can I expect of myself when I didn’t even know there were three spellings of regimen.

For today, I’ll resist the urge to continue writing my misgivings about this latest diagnosis.  Instead, I’m satisfied to have Hook’s contribution to this week’s blog.  I hope you are, too.

MichAGAIN Program

HDU_MichAGAIN

SXSW 2013: Dave Guzman, Mary Joy Guzman, Hook, and me at the MichAGAIN event.

It’s SXSW (South by Southwest) week in Austin, Texas, and during the interactive portion of the festivities, my brother, Dave, & his wife, Mary Joy, and Hook & I, all attended the MichAGAIN event sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development group.  It was part of the Pure Michigan campaign to entice former Michiganders and wannabe Michiganders to give the great state of Michigan a try, employment-wise.   If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a Yankee, a Michigan girl born and raised.  For those outside of the U.S., you like to call all Americans, “Yanks” or “Yankees.”  Inside the United States, only people who live north of the Mason-Dixon line are considered Yankees.

March 2013 marks the 24th anniversary of my debut onto the Austin scene from Michigan.  Someone should alert the press.  Even so, on the way to the MichAGAIN event, Hook and I talked about the possibility of moving to Michigan for a few years.  It was just an idea, one that I’ve toyed with on and off for the last 24 years except now my roots have grown even deeper in Austin.

Editor’s Note:  Hook hails from the great state of  New Jersey and has been in Austin for 28 years as of 2013.  He’s also a Yankee. 🙂HDU_PureSaginaw

On behalf of my home state, give Michigan a try especially if you’re a career changer.   The Michigan Economic Development group created a program called Michigan Shifting Gears and Shifting Code which supports new and seasoned talent with the career shift they need and want — a new beginning in a new state.  The beauty of Michigan can only be experienced by dipping your toe in one of The Great Lakes, walking in fresh air surrounded by evergreens, or responding to HIs and HELLOs from strangers because, well, that’s the Michigan way — very friendly — kind of like Australia

Michigan’s economy is becoming healthy again just like Hook’s body is becoming healthy again.

MichAGAIN.   HookAGAIN.   AusAGAIN (Hook’s return to Australia).

Austin to Australia in August is still on.

p.s.  Right hand over my heart and scout’s honor:  Hook’s “wonderful wife” quote was a surprise to me, too!

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His and Her Dreams

I’m a dreamer not in the John Lennon sort of way but in The Cranberries’ Dreams sort of way.  My dreams are never quite as they seem.   Sometimes in my dreams, I watch what I believe is my own life except the main female character doesn’t look like me and the main male character doesn’t look like Hook.  But, they act like us, using our mannerisms, saying what we would say.   As the non-me female lead, I feel what she’s feeling.

HDU_DreamingWhen I have these dreams, it usually means I’m worried about something or I ate too many bread products just before going to bed.   I do recall shoving baked potato chips into my mouth that I’d discovered in the pantry the night before.  Hook’s been trying to sneak snacks into the house which is fine so long as he sticks to our silent agreement to hide all snacks from me so I won’t eat them.  He’s also supposed to hide all junk food in general so I won’t nag him about eating stuff which will make his digestive system work harder than it needs to.

Too many chips meant not enough sleep and too many dreams.

Hook’s Dreams

Hook doesn’t dream often but when he does it usually includes throwing a bug net around or fishing with friends.  He’ll wake up on any given morning and say he dreamt he was on the coast and caught a red fish or that he had been in the field collecting.  He never seems to wake up frustrated even though sometimes he doesn’t catch anything or wakes up just before he’s going to catch “a big one.”  If there were other people fishing or bugging with him and he can identify them by name, I’ll always ask, “Could you see their faces?”

This question confuses Hook.  He replies that if he couldn’t see their faces, how would he know it was them?   In his dreams, the people are clear and real and the places he goes to actually exist.  While Hook’s dreams are exact and definite with a lot of action, mine are fuzzy and indistinct with a lot of feeling.   In Hook’s dreams, he’s doing things he wants to do again.  In my dreams, I’m feeling things I don’t want to feel anymore.

Dream Lessons from Freud

Do our minds continually send us back to learn a lesson that we did not learn the first time it was placed before us?  That’s my question not Freud’s.

Freud said that we are all of the characters in our dreams.  In order to understand the purpose of a dream (wish fulfillment or resolving conflict), we have to decide or figure out which character we represent or if we represent all of them.  Sometimes, we’re not even who we think we are in our own dream.  My Rosemary character in my dreams may not actually be me but represent someone else or something else that is unresolved or unfulfilled.

I’d visited Freud’s house in Vienna, Austria, back in 1995.  The house had what Americans would call, “a comfy feeling to it.”  The furniture was decorated in velvet burgundy giving the impression of intimacy and warmth.  Book shelves crowded Freud’s analysis room so that it felt cozy like all good reading rooms should.  Definitely a place you’d want to lounge around in while chatting over Vienna coffee and pastries.   I doubt Freud fed his patients anything but his bizarre analysis but I’m still going to guess what he might have concluded from our dreams:

  • I’m confused about what is next for us.  I say, “Austin to Australia in August,” because that is what Hook says but I know we’ve no way of knowing if it will be 100% certain until we’re about 30 days away from departure.   It’s that known unknown again.
  • Hook needs to go fishing.  He also needs to swing a bug net around and catch something interesting and exciting.  He did not get out of the country last year at all when normally he would have been gone for an entire summer in Trinidad. The man needs to catch some fish so he can come home excited which will in turn help his body to heal faster.

Hooks for Hook

Hook’s university started a scholarship fundraiser called Hooks for Hook.  They asked students and faculty to buy a gold hook like a jewelry hook with a clasp that pins to a lapel or a hat.   The fundraiser kicked off the Allan Hook Wild Basin Scholar which will be awarded to one student a semester who will study at Wild Basin Preserve in Austin, Texas.

The fundraiser sold out of the initial 100 Hooks for Hook, but in anticipation of your question — Can we still donate? —  why yes you may because there is no end date to donations.   If you click on the Hook Wild Basin link above, it’ll take you directly to the donation page.

St. Edward’s students and faculty were the original donors to the fundraiser with an average donation of $5 per person.  I was a little leery about using this blog to $olicit moola, but I was both touched and impressed that Hook’s department thought up the idea after his students said they wanted to do something nice for him because of what he’s been through.  When I told Hook I was going to add the donation link into this blog, he said, “You’re dreaming if you think people are going to donate.”  Then he said not to tell you the average donation was only $5 in case you wanted to donate more.   What a fundraising hog!

I can think of other dreams I’d rather be having.  I want Hook’s dreams, the kind where you’re in action, doing things you love, excited at the challenge ahead of you.

Maybe we all need Hook’s dreams.   Or, maybe we just need a couple of shots of good Vienna coffee.

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