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Glen Allen, VA 23060

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Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad

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The Napkin Notes Blog

Day 2028 & Remembering Day 1663

WGarth Callaghan

Celebrating all that is Boba Fett and the upcoming Mandalorian TV show.

Celebrating all that is Boba Fett and the upcoming Mandalorian TV show.

Yesterday was another Star Wars shirt day. I was in a foul mood going into my appointments. I decided earlier in the week that I should have moved them to the following week. I had too much on my plate and on my mind. We had moved Emma back to college over Labor Day weekend. That was a physically exhausting day. It was a short work week and frankly, I had too much to do and to take a day off for chemo/immunotherapy irritated the hell out of me. Cancer was still intruding on my life.

I normally try to be that cheerful patient, the patient who is grateful for treatment. I really am thankful because I know this treatment is the key to being alive. I told the phlebotomist first thing that I was grumpy. That was a mistake. I am sure this was completely unrelated, but I had to get stuck twice because the first one wasn’t securely in a vein and I needed that line for treatment later.

We visited with the oncologist and everything is still working according to the plan. I’ll have some new imaging done next month and confirm that we don’t see any growth or spread. Afterward we had to work with the schedule for my next sets of appointments. I needed to move my infusion appointment up since there was a four hour gap in the day, and I didn’t really want to sit in the waiting room watching Netflix all day. She commented that she was at the mercy of the infusion center for scheduling but that she’d do her best. I leaned in and asked, “Would it help if you told them I have cancer?!?” The doctor sitting behind her stifled a laugh.

Even my lame attempt at humor wasn’t cheering me up. This week I am just over having cancer. I’ve been in continuous treatment for 2028 days. (2029 if you count today.) 2028. That’s over 5 1/2 Rent songs!


Sometime during the course of the day I also realized that it was the one year anniversary of my brain surgery. I knew that it was around this time last year, but it was actually that day. Wow. It was a scary morning for me, but we got through it pretty quickly and were being ushered out the door before we knew it. I still have brain MRIs every 90 days. We still see the spot/tumor/lesion. It’s not growing. It’s not spreading.

My Brain Surgery Experience

It is still there, inactive.

I have had three surgeries. I can’t remember how many biopsies I have had. I think I have had around 80 scans.

I still don’t have enough Star Wars shirts. :)

The halo only looks like it hurt. It was only embedded 1 mm into my skull, that’s all.

The halo only looks like it hurt. It was only embedded 1 mm into my skull, that’s all.


I received one of the most awesome text messages that morning. My brain surgery happened to fall on Emma’s first day of class. I really didn’t want my health to overshadow Emma’s college experience. You get to have one first day of college and I was ruining it.

Lissa and I were sitting in the pre-op room. I was nervous. No, I was scared. Out of the blue I receive a text message from someone at Washington & Lee.

Mr. Callaghan, this is from W&L. Sending light, love, and healing thoughts to you and your wife today, and my mission today is to find Emma either in person or virtually to give her a big hug. We’ve got her, I promise.
Screenshot_20190907-103554.jpg

I still tear up a bit when I read this message. This person wasn’t exactly a stranger, but I didn’t know how much she was involved in my family. What a fantastic feeling to have someone support Emma and me in our times of worry.

So, it’s been way too many days that I have had to deal with cancer. I want to be over this foul mood, and I know what I need to do.

Thank you for continuing to be here for us. We couldn’t walk this path without you.