Thursday, May 31, 2007

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Isaac got a good report on Wednesday. His blood counts are responding very well to the treatments. The doctors feel like by August or September that we will not have to come back up there except for check ups. Right now they are transitioning to have some of his treatments in South Carolina. We will still be up there some of the time. Hopefully though, within the next three or four months, we will get to be down here for good. The doctors cautioned us not to get to excited because things could change depending on how he responds. It was encouraging news though.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In the Nati

We got in late last night to Cincinnati. Everything went smooth travelling wise. No new tales to tell. Isaac has infusions at the hospital today. Nothing much new to report right now until we hear from the doctors this afternoon. We should be back to South Carolina sometime tommorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Random Stuff

Today was pretty relaxing. It was the first time in about a month that we haven't had something going on. No doctors, no driving back and forth to Cincinnati, no home health care nurses. Since we had the day off from stuff, we decided to take Isaac to Franklin,NC and let him look for gem stones. He has a huge rock collection and it made for a fun and relaxing day trip through the mountains in the Jeep.

Tomorrow, Isaac's home health nurse will be here at 8:30 a.m. and as soon as she finishes up giving him his IV infusion, we head back up to Cincinnati. We will be there for a few days for his weekly infusions up there. In the past two weeks we have put more than 2700 miles on the car going back and forth. Basically, I haven't had to unpack my suitcase for the past two months and I just wear the same thing over and over.(I do wash my clothes between wearings)

I have had some folks ask where they can find my message from yesterday at Marathon. You should be able to watch it Here on Wednesday or Thursday. Just click on the watch this week's message. You can also check out Bryan's message from last week on here as well.

Yesterday went really well at Marathon. The band did an awesome job and I was really surprised by the size of the crowd yesterday. Most churches are usually down attendance wise on Holidays but there was a great crowd at Marathon yesterday and they were really responsive during the service. Overall it was a great day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Redneck Racing

Redneck racing made its once a month debut at the Lard in the Backyard. Merge Motor Speedway was the host site for some fast and furious 5 Cart racing. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The racing was awesome. There were several cautions. Some were mechanical in nature and a couple were for wetting the track. There was only one serious accident when Sean was turned head on into the chain link fence as he and Craig made contact coming out of turn two. The kart and the fence were a little worse for wear reducing the field of karts from 5 to 4. Both drivers walked away and were treated in the infield care center/swingset. Check back for our next race date coming up in a few weeks.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Big Names in the Back Yard

Sunday night is race night in the back yard. So far we have had a couple of big name racers( in their own mind) commit to taking part in the back yard brawl. Racing action kicks off at 3:00 p.m. So far we have several folks that are going to be duking it out dirt track style. If you plan on coming be sure to bring the following: clothes you can ruin, a fresh change of clothes, whatever food item you want grilled, and kleenex for crying in after you lose. Charlotte has the Beast of the SouthEast and we have the Lard in the Back Yard(no Bryan I am not making fun of you, but rather it's our nickname for the speedway). I'll be sure to post some pics of this Monthly event.

In other news we got back from Cincy his evening. I spent all day yesterday going over my message for Sunday Morning at Marathon. I will be studying sme more tommorrow and Isaac and Melissa are going to the mountains. We have Monday off with no doctors visits. Tuesday, Isaac has an IV infusion here and then it is off to Cincinati once again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Driving Makes Me Fat

We arrived back in Cincinnati this evening. Along the way today, I discovered something. After the past few months driving back and forth between home and Cincinnati, I have finally discovered the reason for the increase in my girth and breadth(that means my level of fatness). Every time we stop at a gas station it looks like we have just made a grocery stop at Sam's club. For some reason, I never hardly eat sweets and snacks at home. But, once I get on the road I turn into Mr. Hyde. Actually Mr. Fatty McFatty Hyde.

Seriously, we leave South Carolina and I eat my way to Cincinnati. Some of my trip favorites include Skittles, Chewy Spree, Peanuts, Nerds, Cow Tails, Bubble Gum(I chew a new piece every couple of miles), Combos, Peanut M&M's, Pork Rinds(I never eat these except when I am driving and I only eat the Barb B Que Flame ones), Pecan Logs(Stuckey's stays in business selling these. Once again I never eat these except when driving.), Peanut Butter on Cheese Crackers, Slim Jims, Orange Circus Peanuts(The marsh mellowy looking things.), and lots more. Now this is just the snack food. We usually stop and eat twice on the way up which we did today. But today was different, we topped it off with ice cream at McDonald's when we got here. Oh, for all the health nuts out there, I did have an apple for my late night snack.(Along with several frozen lemon treats with absurdly large amounts of calories.)


This weekend was awesome. The past few weeks though have started to wear us down and we don't slow down anytime soon. We got back from Charlotte,NC this afternoon and took the afternoon to kind of decompress and absorb everything in and try to get some stuff done around the house. Isaac's home health nurse comes at 8 something in the morning. As soon as she leaves we are off to Cincinnati. We should get there around 8 or 9 tommorrow night. Isaac's day hospital visit is on Thursday. Friday, we will get up and head back home. We have Saturday to kind of rest(Isaac and Melissa will be resting, I will be going over my notes. I will be speaking at all three services at Marathon on Sunday.)

Sunday afternoon offers a respite in the form of backyard go kart racing. The go kart racing kicks of at 3:00 at Merge Motor Speedway(Yes, the backyard speedway now has a name. We just signed a 7 year sponsorship deal that gives Merge the naming rights for the backyard and it's associated racing venue.) The racing will all come to an end once the Nascar race in Charlotte begins on Sunday evening.

Monday we will sleep and then it's back to Cincy all over again on Tuesday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Pics From Isaac's Meeting With His Donor

Isaac with Courtney and Pam(These are the two ladies who made it possible for Isaac to meet his donor. A very special thanks for all that they have done.)
Isaac, Bob, and Shirley at Hendrick Motor Sports(Shirley is the one who introduced us to Courtney and Pam)

Bob and Linda showing Isaac the Harley store

Isaac Showing Bob some of his trains

Isaac talking with his new buddy Caleb (He is Courtney's Husband and part of Jeff Gordon's Crew)

Isaac seated by Bob's friend Linda

Our Family with Bob and Jeff ( He is the President of The National Marrow Foundation)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Simply Amazing

Tonight was simply amazing. Tonight we met Isaac's Bone Marrow Donor for the first time. His name is Bob and he is originally from New York but currently lives in Texas. It was an incredible evening. Bob gave our son the gift of life. We cried, we laughed, we smiled. About a minute before I was to speak, we were told his full name for the first time and at the end of my talk I introduced him for him to come forward for us to meet for the first time. Bob received a standing ovation from the entire audience. There is nothing we could ever do to repay him for all that he has done for us. A very special thanks to the entire Hendrick operation for making this night possible. Special thanks to Courtney and Pam for everything and to Shirley for introducing us some three months ago. Along with everything that took place with us meeting Isaac's donor, the banquet raised more than $1 Million for the National Marrow Foundation. I'll llet the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


We're just one day away from Isaac's big day. I looked over the itinerary last night and it is as follows. We arrive at our hotel in Charlotte tomorrow at 3:00p.m. The event starts tomorrow evening at 7:00 at the Ballentyne Resort in Charlotte. Dinner is at 7:15. Rick Hendrick will be speaking at 8:00 followed by a presentation by Levine Children's Hospital. After that we will be introduced with a video featuring Isaac and then I will be speaking. At the end of me speaking, I will get to introduce Isaac's bone marrow donor. The donor will then join us on stage and we will meet for the very first time. We will post pictures as soon as we get a chance. We will spend Monday and Tuesday in Charlotte as well.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Feel Pretty

We got back into Easley late this afternoon. For the past month I had been putting something off and today I finally had to do it. No, I didn't get a pedicure. I had to do something that I absolutely hate. I had to go shopping to get my new "Sunday Go To Meeting" clothes. For some of you that may not have heard that saying before, it is basically a southerner saying that they had to get all gussied up. For those who didn't understand what gussied up meant, it basically means that I had to go buy some new slacks and shirt and tie. Some of you may be saying why would you need new clothes?

Well, Sunday is the big dinner in Charlotte where Isaac is the guest of honor and we have to be presentable. And seeing how it seems as though my clothes mysteriously shrunk while we were in Cincinnati, I had to go get some new ones. I promise to post a picture of me feeling pretty in my new Sunday Go TO Meeting Clothes sometime later in the week. I just hope I remember how to tie a tie. Maybe I should have gotten the clip on after all. Oh well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

In Cincy

We made it up to Cincy with no major problems. The Internet was down because of some storms up here. It is cold up here right now. It's midday and it has only gotten up to 55. We have already got used to having warm weather. Last night was low 40's and we packed only summer clothes. Sunday is the big day for Isaac to meet his donor in Charlotte. Our schedule for the next three weeks is hectic. We will be in Charlotte for three days, Cincinnati for 9 days home for a few days and I will be in Myrtle Beach speaking at a youth ministry retreat for a week. Posting will be kind of spotty. I will try to post some pics of Isaac's donor meeting as well as some of the goings on around our household.

And speaking of goings on. On Sunday May 27th we are going to have a shin dig in the back yard. We are going to have an afternoon of go kart racing beginning at 3:00 pm for all interested in trading paint.It will be our first official NAGKAR event. I 'll post more details in the next week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just Plain Cool

Today was a pretty cool day. I was up at Marathon Church this morning for a video shoot for my message on May 27th. Kip, thanks for stepping up. You will live in infamy. After that I hung out with Bryan and Chase for a little while and then went to lunch with some folks from Marathon.

This afternoon I worked around and the house and did some ebay.

Then late this afternoon my neices came over to play outside with Isaac. He was wanting me to get out a go kart that I have been building for him and I was finally able to finish it up. This was his first time driving it for himself. Last year we weren't sure that day would ever happen and just seeing him drive around the backyard was just plain cool. My insides were smiling.

It's back off to Cincy in the morning and then this weekend is our big weekend at the Hendrick Marrow Dinner where we meet Isaac's donor. What do you say to someone who gave your child a second chance at life?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sad Day

Today has been filled with mixed emotions for our family. We are thankful Isaac is doing ok but we are sad as we learned that one of our friends in the BMT unit has passed away this weekend. We got to know this family probably better than any others as we lived right above them in the same apartment complex while both of our families faced the same battles while the children went through their Bone Marrow Transplants. Their child was only a teenager and it seems so unfair that their child is gone. Please keep their family in your prayers.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Maybe I'm Just Not The Man

Ok so I told you earlier today that we had snakes under the front porch. The office sent out two of the men that work at the apartments and houses. One guy was just like me, he didn't care for the snakes and he managed to stay a good distance away. The other guy just went after the snakes. Not with a shovel, or gun, or a cascade of gas and fire, he decided just to pick them up with his hands and put them in a bucket. He caught two and and at least two got away back under the porch. They were each about two feet long. The reassuring news he gave me was that the snake skin he found wasn't from the ones he caught. No he said the snake skin came from a much larger snake that apparently is still lurking about around the front door. Maybe I'm just not the man but I have no intentions of catching snakes with my hands.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Where Do I Start?

Today's journey to Cincinnati started off easy enough. That all changed however when our car decided 3 1/2 hours into our journey that it didn't wish to continue with us. And it just so happened that our car came to this conclusion right at the point where there is no sign of civilization for about thirty miles. And when we did find civilization I am not so sure we really found anything. The car made it to a town called Jellico,TN travelling the interstate at speeds in excess of 42 MPH. Once there we stopped at a Napa Auto Parts store.

I could have literally fit the entire inventory of the store in the back of our Explorer. They didn't even have duct tape. As I sat in their parking lot I was able to diagnose part of the problem. It seems as though this little vacuum hose sensor had decided to just fall apart. The guy inside NAPA told me he could order me one but it might take two or three days. Sorry but I have seen the movie Deliverance and we weren't about to stay in Jellico if you know what I mean.

So, Melissa had some medical tape and I was able to tape up the hose and sensor enough to get the car up to 45 MPH. I called my friend Ryan at Norris Ford in Pickens South Carolina(Which happens to be the number 1 Ford Dealer in the Upstate) and he located the closest Ford Dealership for me. 10 miles and 30 minutes later we arrived just a few minutes before closing. I got the part and headed to a auto parts store to buy some tools to put it on with.(The dealership could have put it on but it would have been a few days before they could get to it.)

I got the part on and away we went. As of right now the part apparently isn't on just right but we did manage to get up to 60 MPH and sometimes 70 going downhill. We arrived late this evening only 3 hours later than expected. Tomorrow morning I will be out looking for some professional help with the Explorer.

In the beginning it was not fun but in the end we were laughing. Isaac said we should have had the go kart with us then that way if we broke down we could go for help.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I've been doing some reading

Ok so I know the title of this post surprised quite a few of you who think that reading is something I only do when trying to order my fast food. And....... I would have to say for the most part that you are correct. I hate to read but I have found that reading does help my learning. I know the last sentence doesn't sound that way.

But anyway, lately I have been reading in the book of Matthew. I have been reading this in a couple of different translations and a couple of weeks ago I started reading it in the Message paraphrase version just to help me get a grasp of what was being said.

A couple of days ago I read Matthew 5 and verse 5 really stuck out to me. Verse 5 in the Message reads this way. "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are---no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

That's what I want to be, Content. For years I tried to win peoples approval, make people happy, put on a performance, and try to be someone else. And for what? That people may think that I was a great guy, amazing youth pastor, someone important or a guy that knew the answers.

I quit. I quit trying to be someone else that is. Roughly, two years ago when Isaac was diagnosed with his disease, I quit trying to pretend to be who people wanted me to be and over the last two years I have began learning to be content with who I am. Would it sound good to be known as Sammy Clary ___________________(You fill in the blank)? Maybe so on the outside and for a moment but on the inside it would have nothing to do with who I am. A few years ago I wrote this poem or thing that kinda of sums up what I am trying to be.

In actuality I am nobody
In Jesus' eyes I am somebody
In Heaven we'll stand equal,
Because whether or not I am "somebody",
He died for me.

We often place emphasis and praise
on people who have social standing,
fame, wealth, or power.
We may think we are a "Somebody", but
in relation to God we all fall humbly equal.

What are my motives?
What are my reasons?
Is it the praise of men or to hear
Jesus say "well done".

Am I striving to be "Somebody"?
Am I striving to be God's Child?

somebody or "Somebody"?

Author Sammy Clary

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Great Job Guys

I just got back from Church. Today, Marathon's Youth Band led Worship and they did a great job. The cool thing about their band is that it consists of all students and I would put them up against many main service bands I have heard. The one thing that I can say about Marathon is that really spend time on developing new musicians and giving them guidance. I hear all the time about churches looking for musicians and trying to hire someone when they probably already have the talent there but they haven't taken time to develop that talent. Kudos to Chase, Bryan C , Bryan H for helping these new musicians along the way and giving them a venue to play. It's a really cool thing to see young musicians being discipled and trained instead of auditioned.

Oh yeah, Bryan did a great job speaking. Just remember to check your mic after you wipe. Some of you will get that about lunch time.

Friday, May 4, 2007

I like Cars

I decided Thursday evening that I really am thankful for Cars. Not the movie, although I liked the movie but rather the vehicle I travelled 420 miles in last evening/this morning.

I tried to imagine what it must have been like to travel back in the days of the horse drawn wagon. It must have taken forever to go 420 miles. If I had of been around back then, I have already decided that I would have probably driven a chuck wagon. A kind of drive thru restaurant on wheels. I would have been the most popular person too. People would pull up next to me on their Palomino Horses and ask me to cook them some cabbage and wild raccoon.

I would tell them no way I was busy driving my chuck wagon up to Cincinnati. Then they would say things like "come on, please cook us some cabbage and wild raccoon" I would say no again and then they would open up their leather saddle bags on the side of their horses and give me exorbitant amounts of gold that they had panned from the French Broad River. Then I would stop and cook them some cabbage and wild raccoon.

When their food was ready I wouldn't have one of those sissy triangle dinner bells. No I would fire off a couple of shots from my Winchester Repeating Rifle. My Rifle would be all the rage. Except mine would be for peaceful purposes like sounding off some "dinner's ready" shots. And it would be for any skirmishes that I got into with Indians. Mainly though I would use my Winchester Repeating Rifle for killing small otters to make myself a genuine otter skin hat. My otter hat would be warm in the winter and it would be all sweaty and smell like otter innards in the summer. In the spring it would smell like fresh strawberries. That's because I would use it as a fresh strawberry pouch in the spring.

Oh well, I guess for now I'll stick to driving my car.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Extended Stay

Yesterday, we found out that they are going to extend his weekly treatments into June. So for the next couple of months we will be staying 3 days at home, 3 days in Cincinnati, and 1 day on the road. We are leaving tonight to come back home after he finishes up his treatment. We should arrive back home sometime in the early morning hours of tommorrow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Couple of Things I Don't Understand

Today we made our weekly trek back up to Cincinnati. Along the way, I came across two things that I just quite don't understand.

1. Big Foot Long Jumbo Pencils with a state name on it. I mean, what the crap? You went to a foreign land and the only thing that you could get me was a foot long pencil with Tennessee "The Volunteer State" engraved on the side. Who uses that? Better yet, who buys that? Somebody must because every gas station from South Carolina to Ohio sells them, along with every other cheap trinket they bill as souvenirs. My favorites have to be the beach scene sand snow globe thingys that say Tennessee on them. There are no beaches in Tennessee. They should have like a snow globe with some deer poop in it. You shake it around and it turns all brown.

2. The second thing I don't understand is how they can build a house that will travel 75 miles per hour down the highway. Seriously, today we got passed by a house taking up two lanes almost and it was travelling more than 70 miles per hour down the interstate. Oh well, whatever works.

Anyway, we are in Cincy. We are scheduled to be back home some time in the wee hours Friday Morning. That's about it for tonight.