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Thread: I'm baaaaack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Ingleside, IL

    I'm baaaaack

    Been a long couple of years since I was active here. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Went thru 9 months of chemo which reduced the size of the tumor to a point where I could have the Whipple surgery - I'm reminded of the line from Little Big Man where Jack Crabb says "they're whittlin ya down pretty good there, Mister Merriweather." I went from 210 pounds to 115 pounds, in and out of the hospital, and was in surgery for 10 hours last March and am just now getting some semblance of strength back, and am all the way back to 140 pounds, which I think will be my fighting weight from now on. I do not recommend this disease to the faint of heart. On top of all that, we moved from Indiana to Illinois 4 months ago, and most of the packing, movers, etc fell to my incredible wife Julie - all 4'11", 100 lbs of her. What a dynamo! Love that woman. We went from a 3500 sf house to a small 1300 sf house near my daughter and new grand daughter in the chain of lakes area in northern IL, with all my shop stuff in storage until the spring when I can finish fixin up the one car garage. (my shop space will be cut in half from the old one in Morocco.) Seems like as I shrink, everything else does to. LOL.

    But considering that 85% of the folks who get this disease die from it, I fell pretty dam lucky to be typing this. My last 2 cat scans showed that I'm in remission, and I'm feelin pretty god dam good, all things considered. I think once the shop is set up I'll be making children's stuff - chairs, toys, etc - small things that will fit in the shop, and that won't be so heavy I have to call for assistance from the Dynamo.

    So I'll be pursuing the forums and dropping my 2 cents worth every now then, and it's worth every penny. Also looking for sawyers/mills up here where I can get some decent q-sawn white oak if you know of any. Cya around.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  2. #2
    Bill, You are a tough guy. Glad you got “outa there alive”. I’m aware that in order to get the Whipple surgery you have to promise to
    not “Squeeze The Charmin” . I know it’s not easy. Try to make yourself content just “doing crafts” with the complimentary cardboard tubes.

  3. #3
    Congrats Bill. We welcome you back and hope the shop gets set up soon.
    Dave Anderson

    Chester, NH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Good to hear from you, and especially with good news!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    Good to hear you are in remission, do all you can to stay there.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your toy builds.

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Wow, that's wonderful news about your health battle. I've had several friends in the 85% bracket you mentioned.

    I don't know any sawyers in your area but I think Woodmizer still keeps a list of people around the country who want to share their contact info. You might also try It's been years since I've sawn any white oak on my little sawmill.

    I'll be watching for some of the children's stuff you mentioned! If you don't have a lathe one can fit in a small shop space. I used to keep two lathes, a bandsaw, and a few other tools in 1/2 of out 2-car garage.

    Hey, here's a great little project for small kids - I made this after my oldest son was born, about 50 years ago. It's been through three sons, two grandkids, and a score of visiting kids. It used to have nice perky leather ears, bridle, reins, and braided leather tail!

    rocking_horse.jpg rocking_horse_exploded.jpg rocking_horse_plans_med.jpg rocking_horse_grandsons.jpg

    I made this from a 1x12 pine shelving board from Home Depot. My shop at the time was a jig saw, hand drill, a cheap plane, and outside on the porch a 24x36' work "bench" with a vise and a Craftsman radial arm saw (complete with sanding drum for curves).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    Bill!!! So happy hear you have turned things around! I have been following you frequently, seeing that you have been checking into the forum even if not posting.
    I always appreciated your contributions and your philosophies. Time to tell my wife about your victory!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
    Welcome back Bill. It's wonderful hear that you are winning the battle.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.
    - Carl Sagan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho

    You are extremely blessed to have survived pancreatic cancer! I worked in hospitals and clinics for 34 years in radiology departments. I noticed that pancreatic cancer patients seem to succumb to the disease often in just a few months. I asked a radiologist one day why that is so. He said it's a silent killer in that by the time most patients have symptoms it's already spreading to the rest of the body.

    Congratulations! You have a lot to celebrate, wife, family and life in general!

  10. #10
    Congratulations and welcome back Bill!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    “If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Goleta / Santa Barbara
    Bill, great to hear your success in fighting to stay alive. Congrats on that and the newest grandchild. Patrick

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Glad you have came through it and still have a sense of humor. Such a nasty disease. My SIL had throat cancer. It was a tough go for him and he's about the same. Lost over 100 lbs and now just doesn't have much appetite. I know there are some saw mills in that part of the state or some a little farther north in Wisconsin. Maybe this link will be helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Congrats on the great news Bill. Best wishes in your continued recovery!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Cheers to your continued improvement, sir.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Bill, welcome back! And you are indeed an amazing fighter to come out of that particular issue as you have. It's one nasty thing. I hope to be reading about your new projects as you start moving some along.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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