Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sweet Victory!





I've never seen the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance". However, after a quick perusal of IMDB.com I have come to learn that his movie details a particularly inspiring performance by Rannulph Junuh. Apparently this round of golf (based on a true story) is well equipped with drama, failure, redemption and success. Some would argue this was the great game of golf every played.

But I say nay.

Others may argue that Tiger Woods' US Open match on a torn ACL was the greatest game ever played.

But again my friends, I say nay.

No, one Karl Krass played the greatest game of golf known to man on December 25th. Yes, my friends, Karl Krass won the Annual Krass Invitational! He defeated Shannon! The streak is over!

Let me paint the picture: Karl was leading by two strokes going in to the ninth hole. Shannon plays the hole BEAUTIFULLY and evens the score. The game would then be settled by a one hole playoff. The hole started in the corner of my mom's front yard, beyond the ditch (which was full of water) and ended on the other side of the driveway just past Shannon's car. Karl's first shot landed in the driveway (water hazard). His second shot...one inch from the pin.

Epic.

I tip my cap to you, Karl Krass, to a job well done. If you look real close at the trophy you will no doubt realize that the spoils of winning the Krass Invitational is indeed the Timothy Award from AWANA. I'll give someone a nickel if the can correctly guess what member of the Krass family won that award.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I think the Krass family did (at least I did).

Switching gears a little, I know this blog has somewhat "veered" from simply updates on Karl's health. The reason for this is that Karl's treatments haven't varied much over the last few weeks. But I do promise you that if there are any updates I will put them on this blog.

Please keep praying.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mid-Season Report Card and The Annual Krass Invitational



As of today Karl is half way through his first cycle of radiation. I have gone with him the last few times. It's pretty wild. Karl goes, scans his card, flips through two to three people magazines, is called into the back and fifteen minutes later he reemerges. That's it. Its pretty wild.

Because we are at the half way point I thought it would be appropriate for me to give a midseason report card (a la Sports Illustrated or ESPN).

Mother Krass: A+
These last three months have obviously been very difficult for my mother, but she has been more than resilient. Put plainly, my mom is just one tough son-of-a-gun. Never have a heard my mom complain and she has had the same attitude as she did when my dad died. This is the hand we were dealt, now what are we going to do about it. Her entire demeanor has been very inspirational.

Karl: A+
Everyone keeps saying things to me like, "I can't even imagine how tough this has been on you (referring to me)." They are right, it has been difficult. But think about how tough this has been on Karl (a point my mom brought up two nights ago). Karl has maintained a very level head (no pun intended) despite these less than ideal circumstances.

Kaylee: B-
Kaylee is my mother's dog. And now my mother is mad at me for giving Kaylee a B-. Kaylee ate an entire subdivision of ginger bread houses this morning. She's lucky I didn't fail her.

Ethan & Kevin: B+
Karl's nephews. They make everyone smile. If you ask Kevin who is favorite uncle is he says "Kar-All". And yes, when 1.5 year-old turn one syllable words into two it is adorable.

Ok, that's it for now because Karl asked me to share about one of the Krass family's Christmas traditions.



Every Christmas we have our annual Krass Invitational. This invitational is a golf tournament (usually in the snow) which consists of Karl, myself, Alan and Shannon. The course is all over the back and front yards and if the weather cooperates on the pond in the backyard. Whoever wins the hole (which usually mean's hitting something with your ball) that person throws the object to the next location and we play on. Here's the real kick in the pants: a Krass a never won the invitational. Shannon ZAWADA (Kari's husband) rails on us every year. He's won like five years in a row. Well no longer my friends. Tiger's "transgressions" have motivated me to bring back the good name of golf. Shannon, you're going down.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mas Nieve Por Favor! (More snow please!)


I love Christmas (and Hanukkah for that matter). What I don't love is loosing to an inferior opponent in Fantasy Football but that's for another day. Back to the matter at hand, we are currently getting 1-3 inches of snow right now in God's Holy Land (Illinois). And I love it. Think about it, how many Christmas movies have you seen WITHOUT snow? Let me answer for you. Zero. Well, I'm as happy as a Georgia peach today.

Karl very kindly reminded me last night that I may have missed out a few details about well...err...Karl in my last post. He reminded me that the blog was actually about him. Touche.

About two weeks ago Karl had his pick-line removed. The pick-line was used to administer the antibiotics for infection that Karl picked up in the incision from the surgery. This means that the infection is gone. Right now the piece of the skull that they originally had removed is still not back in place. Karl has a doctor's appointment in January and hopefully by the end of January they will be a metal plate in the place of the skull.

I can think of several reason why this would be advantageous

3) At 6'9" with a strong head, Karl will no doubt be called up to the national team in time for the world cup. Can you say corner/free kick specialist?
2) Haven't YOU always wanted to headbutt someone and have it not hurt?
1) Karl want have to wear his helmet anymore.

I went with Karl to get his radiation yesterday. He told me that basically its like an X-Ray machine. He can't feel anything while its happening but he did say that he can taste metal in his mouth afterwards. I think this is because the radiation treatments are really the government performing a an experiment on Karl and grafting anamantium to his skeleton. To understand this consult Alan or watch X-Men Origin: Wolverine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Live Free or Blog Hard


I'm back. After a somewhat lengthy hiatus I am returning to the world of "blog" and like Rocky in "Rocky IV" or Bruce Willis in "Live Free or Die Hard" I may not be as quick and squirrely as I once was but I'm a little bit wiser and perhaps even a little bit more skilled at my craft. And since it snowed in the Midwest, I can put together a sweet training montage of me carrying oxen and cutting down evergreens and before you know maybe I can defeat Socialism too.

But I digress. Yes, this is my promise to be more diligent with the blog. In fact, although it isn't quite new year's just yet it is my new year's resolution to update more frequently. Just think of all the great ideas that have been swirling in my head for the last two weeks. Its actually kind of frightening.

OK, first an update on Karl. Currently he is in the state of Indiana (Side note: Indiana claims to not only be the "crossroads of America" but also "the childhood home of Lincoln. Listen Indiana, Lincoln belongs to Illinois. Period. That's like Bill Wennington and Stecey King taking credit for the Bulls six championships. You don't know who Bill Wennington or Stacey King are? Exactly. And the whole crossroads of America? Don't push your luck Indiana. You're just ahead of Connecticut right now and that's just because you produced the greatest movie of all-time. Ruth Rosentrater feel free to chime in and defend your state if you can think of a good rebuttal).

But I digress...

Karl, Alan, Jennie and Kevin are heading back from Michigan after spending the last few days with both sets of grandparents and my aunt, uncle and nephew. Its always good to see family, particularly when its close to the holidays. Overall Karl did pretty well but I think the drive was a bit much for him. I'm hoping to convince him to either go Christmas shopping with me tonight or to go see Avatar. They had to leave early this morning to make it back for Karl's treatment.

Just for the sake of review, Karl takes two chemo pills (named temodar) seven days a week. Five days a week he receives his radiation treatments. We don't know if the treatments have been "effective" just yet. Karl will get a slew of tests and scans when the five weeks is up. Today is the beginning of his third week.

Please continue to pray for Fiscally Gator (Karl's nickname. Long story...)

OK now for just general musing. Many of you know that I consider Bill Simmons to be one of the greatest readers of all time. He is. It's science. Anyways one of the things that I enjoy most of reading William is that every so often he has a mailbag. Readers are invited to email Willy their questions. So here is the launching of the karlkrassupdates.blogspot.com mailbag. And yes, I'm giddy. You can email your questions or comments to keith.krass@gmail.com or leave a comment on this blog. They can be questions regarding Karl and his treatment or how I would rank the top ten states in the US (and yes this list does exist in my head). Basically the questions can be about anything.

Before I leave, I would like to list my top five Christmas songs. Some of them are obscure, some not. All of them are awesome. Boom.

5. All I Want for Christmas if You - Mariah Carrey
4. Anything from the Nutcracker - (Saw it last Thursday. Awesome Every time. Thanks Steph!!!!!!)
3. Silver Bells - Sleeping at Last
2. Go Tell it On the Mountain - Aaron Espe
1. Oh Holy Night - Josh Groban (can we just make Josh Groban President of Christmas and grant him a monopoly on all Christmas songs?)

That's it for now. Adios.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas from the "Mitten-State"



I apologize I haven't updated the blog in awhile. I must be honest with you all. I was holding out for more money. You can only do this pro bono thing for so long. I mean, lets be honest in the words of The Joker in "The Dark Night", "If your good at something, never do it for free." My agent talked to Karl's agent and we settled on three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a player to be named later.

Right now I am in Port Huron (every time my Grandma Krass says this I laugh. She pronounces it Port Ur-rin. C'mon that's funny), Michigan visiting my Grandpa and Gramda Jamison. Actually I'm sitting on their computer right now writing this. Karl, Alan, Jennie and Kevin (Yoda) just got to Milan, MI where they are visiting my Grandma Krass. Later tonight I'll head back their direction.

So yes, Karl is feeling well enough to take a car ride 5 or so hours from the Chicago area to the Ann Arbor area. He also hasn't been vomitting since the first few treatment. He does however get easily fatigued unfortunately.

Again, I apologize for the lack of "posting" these past few weeks but I hope to really kick it into high gear during this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Story




Warning: In the following post I tread very closely to the line of "nerdy English major." I will however, not apologize for this fact. I merely feel the need to warn you all. I also realize that by writing an entry that doesn't include pictures and becomes "Englishy" I am removing all likelihood that Alan my older brother will read this entry. Alan reads, but only if the word "novel" is preceded by the word "graphic", as in comic books. Sorry Alby.

So I've been thinking a lot over the past few months how life is really this great big story. It includes characters, protagonists (think Luke Skywalker Alan), antagonists (think Darth Vader Alan), climax, plot development, etc. I think subconsciously we are all waiting for some sort of "rising action" something that will either "improve" our story or in some cases just change the direction of the story. This rising action comes in a lot of ways, getting married, having kids (I know everyone says this but my nephews are actually the cutest kids on the planet. If you disagree you are actually incorrect. Your opinion is wrong), changing jobs, moving, etc. And in some instances the rising action comes as a result of some really unfortunate situations, ie Karl's health.

What is interesting to me is that all of humanity is connected and invested in the "big" story. What I mean is that when "the plot thickens" (or bad things happen to good people) every person on this planet wants the good guy to win. And we all invest in the story and empathize with its "action".

And I think this is because people just really like good stories.

Think about someone like Lance Armstrong. His story was good because he won like 37 tour de Frances. He story became GREAT when he did it after being diagnosed with cancer. I think this is because we all NEED to believe in a story. We NEED to believe that there does exist this really qualified author (there is by the way) that knows just how to rope in his reader. Like any good story, we have no idea how the thing will end but the more we know about the character the more we know about his struggles the more we want him to "win" in the end.

Right now my brother's story is reaching a point of tension but I know the Author has got something up his sleeve. Maybe more than "knowing" that he has something up his sleeve, I BELIEVE he has something up his sleeve.

Which obviously begs the question, if Karl is Luke Skywalker, who is Darth Vader...

I had to include a picture for Alan.

I think what got me thinking about all this was an email that I received from a friend of mine. Instead of me retelling what happened I just included it below. Its a pretty cool story.


My Dad had talked about Karl in church awhile back to put it on everyone's "prayer radar." Anyway he was in Wal-Mart yesterday and a sister of some regular attender asked how Karl was doing. My Dad updated them I guess on what he knew from the blog ( I have no clue who the person is). Anyway the woman had a daughter or family member with brain cancer (or at least that's my understanding) and I guess opened up her wallet and gave my Dad the $20 she had in there and asked that it gets to your brother. So, its just a little bit, but I will have twenty dollars for you to bring to your brother. I know not much, but something.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, and musing on Psalm 138

Although I wasn't able to attend, I've heard from numerous sources that last Saturday's fundraiser went really well (though I did hear reports SEVERAL people were dissatisfied that Karl's interpretive dance never happened). A huge THANK YOU to all of you that attended and were able to support Karl financially. The most recent figure that was relayed to me was $6,000 raised. THANK YOU SO MUCH! My sister supposedly took pictures. Once I get those from her, I will put them on the blog.

I was reading through Psalm 139 this morning. What a reassuring and "peace-giving" Psalm. Particularly as it pertains to my brother's situation. God not only created my brother, but he created him exactly how he wanted to. I do not believe that it is God's desire for people to become ill, but I do people that God is in control. I understand that the belief that God is ultimately in control is the road block for many people but if we can get to the point where we are willing to say, "God I don't understand what you are doing, but I trust you", he gives us such peace. This Psalm speaks to that peace. I can't really explain it, but knowing that God knew what he was doing when he created me, you and my brother just offers me a little reprieve from the anxiety.


1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ahoy!




Below is an email from Karl. I edited it slightly. Just make sure you read until the last line. I literally almost fell out of my chair laughing. I haven't heard how the fundraiser went last night. After I talk to Karl I'll update the blog.

Today I got up at 5am and did the IV (for the infection) in bed until 8am. Then I had oatmeal and toast, took a shower then took the chemo pills. Micah [Karl's friend] took me to radiation and chemo radiation. It was ok. The mask wasn't as tight and took only 15 minutes. then we went to chemo and sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes. Then I went in and talked with the nurse and started to feel queezy. I laid down on the table the doctor gave me a Iv drip and some medication mixed in. Then I moved into the chemo room were there was lazy boy chairs and other people doing iv chemo.

Then i got home and showed Micah were the ingredients for home made bread were. Micah made me some toast. I ate one piece before i saw it again. Next I showed the chimney sweeper where the fireplace was then sat down and watched tv. I puked but it was mostly dry heave because i didn't have any food in me. Then I cleaned up the garbage can and just stayed in my chair. Kari came over and hung out for a bit Ethan was Ethan, grabbing everything he could reach. I started to watch a movie. Yes a drama on netflix then mother came home and mother made me some grilled cheese and I ate some apple sauce and a chewy bar. Now i am watching the Bulls and waiting till 9 to do my drip and go to bed.

Sorry very random but very detailed so that was my day.

I think my day was ok because i used old spice swagger in the the shower.
Thanks.

-Karl Krass

Friday, December 4, 2009

As promised, guest blog entry #1

Below is the first I what I hope is many guest appearances in this blog. Just to note, yes I bike in spandex but I wore shorts over them. That is unless its cold out, then I wear spandex pants. That is true. I'm so freakin weird..

Thanks for the contribution Jerome.







Initially I was not really sure why Keith asked me to guest blog. He’s definitely not out of material. When I asked him for some ideas, he promptly rattled off about twenty different ones (including this gem: inexplicably, Kyle Orton is Karl’s favorite Chicago Bear—the picture above should make him rethink that terrible decision). It’s also not because I’m some kind of medicinal genius: when it comes to science, I’m about one notch above Ron Burgundy (“You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science.”). And it’s not because I know Karl super well. Big Bear and I have broken manna (a.k.a. Chicago style pizza) together, but beyond that I do not possess a cache of Karl stories like the normal author of this blog. The only thing I really know that has relevance to this blog is Keith himself.

And then it hit me. Keith, the selfless brother that he is, has worked tirelessly on this blog for some time now, and like any normal runt of the family, he needs some attention. So, I’d like to use my brief bit of space to focus on Keith. He is a wonderful friend, brother, son, etc., but here’s what you should really know about him:

1) Keith is actually not from Illinois—he is a Wisconsinite.

2) Keith’s favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon; every time you read this blog from now on and see a semicolon in the text, you should know that it made him smile to use it.

3) Keith roots for the Michigan Wolverines, who have not beaten THE Ohio State Buckeyes in football in 2,204 days. Read that number again. It’s large.

4) When Keith fake runs (you know, like when you’re coming out of the game and you should hustle off the floor but you don’t want to sprint because then you’d look like a nerd or Sammy Sosa, neither of which is very flattering), he looks like a deer bounding through the woods. I say this because Keith makes fun of my fake run, and it’s high time I strike back.

5) Keith likes to clean the living room when he gets nervous about Michigan games. This was always a win-win for me because by the end of the game, I’d have a Buckeyes’ victory and a clean apartment.

6) Keith bikes in spandex. Questionable.

7) Keith has an arch-nemesis named Edward Cookson.

8) Finally, if Keith were to stumble upon a magic lamp and be granted three wishes, here’s what he would choose: Karl’s health, a Cubs World Series crown, and a pumpkin spice latte. Since we know that one of those will never happen, make sure to keep praying for Karl’s healing and if you see Keith, treat him to some Starbucks.


Evil Chicken Nuggets

Karl received his first treatment of chemo/radiation yesterday. We are not sure if it was because of the treatments itself or a bad six-pack of chicken nuggets but Karl threw up quite a bit yesterday. Obviously chemo/radiation has a nasty reputation of causing people to "loose their lunch" but Karl wasn't sure it was not the nuggets. He is meeting with the oncologist today and he is going to ask about dietary concerns during his treatments.

Just to clarify, he takes the chemotherapy pills one hour before radiation. The radiation process itself takes only about 15 minutes but the process of getting the mask on takes quite awhile and the mask itself is rather uncomfortable. It extremely tight so Karl is unable to move his head around but it basically very uncomfortable. The only positive is that once Karl has the mask on his body becomes very "rubbery" and he can do things like swallow grenades, make fake guns come out of his hands and date Cameron Diaz (if you need help with this one follow the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110475/). A picture of his mask is below.
So a normal day for Karl is to get up and take his IV drip (for the infection) around 5:30am then he eats breakfast. He can't eat an hour before or after taking the chemo pill so he has to take the pill by 9:45am so he can have his radiation treatments at 10:45am. He will have radiation five days a week for four or five weeks.

We hope to see you all at the fundraiser tomorrow!

I just texted the guest blogger. I know you are all eager for his post...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Day




I talked to mother Krass this morning and got the full scoop. There is lots to report so I shall now enter into the sacred land of "the bullet point". Before I begin I would like to raise a glass to the individual that invented the bullet point. You are a god among men.

-Karl had his first treatment of radiation and chemotherapy today. The chemotherapy pill has to be taken 1 hour prior to or 1 hour after his radiation treatments.
-Karl was denied a free subscription of the chemo pills. There are a couple of different routes my mom is researching but please continue to pray that we can find a way for Karl to receive these pills for a reduced rate.
-I was inaccurate yesterday in my statement that Karl was going to see Hans Gruber today. He is actually going to see Dr. Metta and Dr. Metta. No I am not a charter member of the department of redundancy department, Karl's oncologist is named Dr. Metta and his radiologist is named Dr. Metta. I have attached pictures of them to avoid confusion. I know only about 7% of you get this joke, but it was funny to about three of you (its not a joke that Karl has two doctors that share the same name).

He also is going today to get his helmet refitted. He has been having more headaches of late but Karl seems to think its just because his helmet doesn't fit right. I attached a picture of Karl and Kevin (Kevin is Karl's nephew) each sporting their helmets. Karl is the one on the left...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Radiation Starting Tomorrow















Apparently Karl was slightly displeased with the "banter" that was my last post. About 46 seconds after I told him I blogged he texted me with additional information.

Tomorrow Karl will start his first treatment of radiation (from Marvin the Martian's gun), get refitted for his helmet (to compensate for his growing intellect) and meet with Dr. Nicholas , the oncologist (ie Hans Gruber. I can't remember if I gave photo evidence before so here it is).

I just called Karl for a little more information regarding his first treatment but he didn't answer. He's probably practicing his interpretive dance. When I talk to him I'll update y'all a little more. I do know that the treatment will take place in Gurnee in one of the Greenleaf offices. For all of you that are not from the Holy Land (Illinois) Gurnee is about 15 minutes from la casa de mi mama. Sorry I don't have a ton of information at this point.

I received two emails from people regarding my Connecticut comments. They are below.

"I am kind of excited at the prospect that Connecticut is the most overrated state. I didn't even know we qualified to get into the argument. Outside of Fairfield County being bloody rich, 84 west of Hartford being a black hole, and turning out incredible basketball teams (I know we lost to Duke who is, ahem, overrated. But still. . .), Connecticut is pretty unremarkable for better or worse. I mean, we lost the Whalers to North Carolina!"

This is true.

"...Connecticut the most overrated state...i have some words for you..."

I must apologize to all of you that call or once called Connecticut home. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Connecticut sucks...

We still haven't heard if Karl will qualify for the free chemo pills. Please continue to pray for that.

Oh and one more thing, I'm exploring with the idea of a guest blogger on Friday. Lets just say that this person once professional wrestled as a famous pharaoh, was named defensive player of the year in the TCCC, placed third in the 2008 Gordon College Bromley Olympics, thinks he's a giraffe, cooked over 250 strawberry pancakes in one day and knows the lyrics to every DC Talk song. It should be epic.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Helmet and Waiting for Radiation

I apologize I haven't blogged in awhile. I was in the wonderful land of Maine over Thanksgiving and did not have access to the internet. First, I would like to retroactively wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving consisted of food, sleep and watching about 35 episodes of the TV show Friday Night Lights. I'm not even kidding.

Just to remind y'all there is a fundraiser for Karl on December 5th. Not only can you win a date with Karl you can also watch Karl perform a rather moving dance interpretation of Phil Collin's "In the Air Tonight." Information for the fundraiser is below.

Date:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Time:
4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:
Bee Street 3077 Sheridan Road Zion, IL 60099

Karl received his new helmet yesterday but unfortunately it didn't fit. I keep suggesting helmets but they won't listen to me...I think its because Karl is getting smarter by the day and his brain is expanding. If you are ever flipping through the channels and you come across a special on how the Straight of Gibraltar was built and you think to yourself "Gee I wonder who actually watches these shows." Karl does. Seriously. Ask him, I bet he could even tell you that Gibraltar means "Tariq's Mountains" in Arabic. With the amount of "down time" Karl has, I bet he's learning a lot about useless information.

Karl requested that I post on the blog that several of his friends are not pregnant. He gave names. I will not. You're welcome friends of Karl.

This a little do to with Karl but I have some post-Thanksgiving thoughts that I need to get off my chest.

9: I read in an article yesterday that the Silverdome (previous home of the Lions) sold for 583K. What?!?!?! If five of my college buddies dropped of out college after our first semester and saved the money we would have spent on tuition we could have bought the Silverdome. Just think about that for a second. We would have renamed it "The Awesome Dome".
8. In an unrelated story if the Silverdome was sold for 583K how much would the Lions go for? $29 is my estimate.
7. Better question, do you think Lion's fans even like watching the Lion's on Thanksgiving? Are there still Lion's fans?
6. Having spent four days in Saco, Maine I have deduced that Maine is the most underrated state in the Union
5. Connecticut is the most overrated
4. Delaware shouldn't even be a state
3. Sweet potatoes are too good to be a vegetable
2. Settlers of Katan is the greatest board game of all time
1. God bless a day where it is appropriate and actually expected to eat 5 pieces of pecan pie for dessert.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Bachlor: Zion, Illinois Chapter


Today Karl is going to the doctor to receive his new helmet as well as to be fitted for the new mask. Just by way of review, the mask will be used to protect Karl during the radiation treatments and the helmet will be used when Karl goes hang gliding. Unfortunately I was not consulted to design either the helmet or the mask. Apparently the "medical people" must think that my proposals were not "practical" enough. Hogwash. If Karl had the helmet I suggested not only would he not have to worry about falling and hurting his head he could also live free from the fear of the Persians invading Beach Park, IL. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Wouldn't YOU want to be protected from the Persians! Alas, another good idea of mine falls by the wayside...

Kari, my lovely sister, recommended that I announce on this blog a fundraiser that is taking place for Karl. There is a facebook page with all the details but I understand there are probably like 3 or 4 of you that don't have facebook (I am now facebook friends with my 9 grade science teacher and my mother. If Mrs. Krass starts "tweeting" I'm not coming home for Christmas. That is not a threat. That is a promise). The name of the facebook page is "Fundraiser for Karl Krass". They also didn't like my suggestion of "The Karl Krass Fund for People That Can't Read Good and Want to Learn to do Other Stuff Good Too." What's with people? I feel like my wit is tragically being unappreciated. Here are the details for the fundraiser:

Date:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Time:
4:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:
Bee Street

There will be an auction for some items, a raffle, Karl will perform his spot-on rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" and other various entertaining things.

Probably the best of all though, if you decide to attend you can participate in the auction for a date with Karl Krass. That's right ladies. You've heard of the bachelor, this is the bachelor Zee-Bee style. Oh and ladies, there is more to Karl than just the fact that he is really, really good looking...FYI I superimposed Jesse Palmer's face onto Karl's body in the picture above. And on a side note, Jesse Palmer is a horrible college football analyst. He should go back to just being "really, really good looking."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Prayer Request

Karl met with the radiologist yesterday. My mom said the meeting went really well. The doctor spent almost three hours with my family. Unfortunately we later learned that the chemotherapy pills that Karl needs are ummmmm...well....really, really expensive. Here's the prayer request, this morning my mom wrote a letter to the company requesting that Karl receives the treatments for free. Apparently this particular drug company provides medicine for patients if they can prove that they are unable to afford the treatment. Unless Karl becomes a professional cow bell player I don't think he will be able to afford the treatments.

Please pray that the drug company will approve Karl as one of the individuals that receive the treatments for free.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I NEED MORE COWBELL!!!!!!!!!!!!


I just got off the phone with Karl. He's awesome. He went to youth group last night and per junior high youth group tradition, old big bear played the cow ball with the worship team. I want you to actually stop and think about this. If you're at work close out of your email program, if you're at home turn off the TV and visualize this. Karl, all 6'9" of him, on the stage at the church playing cow bell to some Chris Tomlin song. In a word awesome. To quote Chris Tomlin, "indescribable."

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, follow this link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PTvr755V8s&feature=fvw

After listening to this song I want you to try to figure out where the cow bell fits. The answer? Anywhere. The cowbell is not bounded by meter, measure, time, gravity, space or science; especially when big bear is it's master.

Now for a more "medical" update: The dreaded insurance company as returned to the scene like Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze-stronger and much more "pointy". See the picture above. I'm exaggerating a little bit, but we do have to wait for the insurance company to approve of Karl's treatments and the new mask and helmet etc.

Right now the plan is for Karl to be fitted for the mask next week and start radiation (from Marvin the Martian's gun) after Turkey Day.

He is still receiving the antibiotics for the infection via his IV.

On a side note, the Fighting Scots are 1-0. www.gordon.edu/athletics.

On a second side note, this is the second time that Shredder has appeared in this blog. How many blogs do you read that include Shredder? I mean seriously...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dr. Evil?


I apologize that I haven't updated the blog in several days. Mid-November brings a slew of things (including pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. Mmmmmm...) including the start of the basketball season. Our first game is tomorrow night (broadcasted live at 7pm eastern time at www.gordon.edu/athletics and yes that was a shameless plug) so I have been uber busy.

Karl visited with the plastic surgeon today. In Karl's words, "He was a nice man. I shook his hand like 45 times in 10 minutes." That's awesome. I don't know why but that's awesome. According to this doctor, the incision was looking pretty good and the antibiotics seem do being doing their job. The doctor also mentioned that he would talk to Dr. Yamini (Karl's neurosurgeon who is better known as Adrian Brody) about putting the piece of Karl's skull back in. Karl met with another Doctor but Karl described him as arrogant so I refuse to discuss him in this blog. Maybe this excommunication will teach him a lesson. I attached a picture of him above.

If I understood my wonderful mother, Karl is meeting with the radiologist tomorrow.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doctor Updates and Darth Vador


Last night, around 9:30pm, I talked to my mom and she gave me all the updates from Karl's doctors appointment yesterday. At 7:00am this morning when I woke up I realized that I forgot a majority of what she said. As the day has progressed I'm beginning to remember more and more, and I'm hoping that writing this blog will further jog my memory. My excuse, I was driving a Rabbi from Logan Airport (Boston) to Gordon College at 1am. Seriously. I'm not going to tell you what I do for a living. I'll let y'all's collective minds wander...

Ok, so Karl first met with the radiologist. He was a very nice man but it was decided that if Karl can receive the same treatments in Gurnee, IL there is no point in him driving to U of C. They said that this is in fact the case. Thus this meeting was very short. Karl will meet with a radiologist next week. During that initial meeting they will hopefully fit him for the "mask" he will have to wear during the treatments. The mask, as far as I understood, is to block the gamma rays (from Marvin the Martian's gun) from hitting the healthy spots of Karl's brain. The doctors proposed the mask pictured above. For the longest time we thought that it was problematic that Alan (Karl's older brother) collected comic books and "nerd" paraphernalia. How fortunate are we that Alan already has a Darth Vader mask! That should save us a couple hundred bucks!

I'm kidding by the way. Not that Alan has a Darth Vadar mask (and cape). He does. But Karl's mask and new helmet will probably look a little different. Oh yeah, and Karl is also getting a new helmet. That's not a joke. He is actually getting a new helmet.

Karl then met with his neurosurgeon and he was very pleased with how the wound was healing and he thought that Karl looked great. Good news obviously.

Then Karl met with his oncologist (i.e. Hans Gruber). To put in simple terms, Hans is awesome. My mom (I'm not quite sure how. Perhaps she used her ninja skills) was able to steal a glance at his schedule for the day. Apparently he set aside an hour to meet with Karl. That's pretty cool. These guys meet with like 46,000 people a day but he sat there and answered every single one of my family's questions. That's pretty cool.

So Karl's radiologist will be in Gurnee, but he will keep the same oncologist at U of C.

Lastly, the doctors mentioned again that in a lot of cases patients that come down with an infection actually have more successful radiation and chemo treatments. Apparently the infection works with the body to fight the cancer. Pretty wild. So, yes it stinks that Karl had to delay his treatments but at the end of the day it may actually turn out for the best.

One more word on Alan, it was his son that dressed up as Yoda for Halloween (consult Halloween posting on this blog). Are you noticing at theme emerging?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Routine

Having been home for a couple of days now, I now fully understand Karl's routine. Every eight hours he has to take his antibiotics by way of a thirty minute IV drip. So every day he wakes up at 5am, then he takes it again at 1pm, then again at 9pm. He's able to do it himself but it can be somewhat of a hassle.

On Wednesday he goes back to the University of Chicago to meet with the oncologist, neurosurgeon and hopefully the plastic surgeon. While Karl was in the hospital we figured he should get some work done on his nose. Just kidding. The plastic surgeon was involved in the third surgery and restapling of Karl's head. Hopefully they will be able to take the staples then. They are actually probably the most painful aspect of the surgeries.

I think that's it for now.

-Keith

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pizza, Pirates, Ninjas, Thanksgiving and a full weekend


I'm sitting at my mom's kitchen table writing this post. So yes, I am back in Illinois for the weekend. Not only did I want to get back to help mi madre around the house and give her a little bit of a break, I needed to see Karl. Everyone has been telling me he was doing really well and moving around much more but I needed to see him with my own eyes. They were right. He is doing really well. He's getting around quite well. He's not quite to the point of running a triathlon but he is definitely doing well.

Just to recap, this was our weekend.

Ginos East
First I must apologize that this is written in bold. I can't turn it off. I don't know why. But yes, we went out for pizza last night. 80% of me wanted to come back home to see my family, 20% is always reserved for Chicago style pizza. I love Boston, seriously I do. Pizza in Boston is atrocious and actually laughable. Stick to seafood. You're embarrassing yourself. We went to the Gino's East in Lake Geneva. Pizza was very good. Here's how you know you're eating pizza in Wisconsin though, the couple next to us were eating salads and the family behind me ordered three flat crust pizza.

Seriously. I'm speechless. I'm not a smart man, but ordering a salad at Gino's East is like going to Texas and saying that George Bush wasn't a good president. Both can be hazardous to one's health.

Here's a question that came up during dinner. Why is Gino's East, Gino's East. Alan suggested that it is because you go east to get there. True, I suppose. But that's kind of like saying you can get to Boston to Chicago by going west...for like 10million miles...Please feel free to educate the Krass family on this one.

Pirates and Ninjas
After pizza Karl and I went to a post-Halloween, Halloween party. Ninja and Pirates theme. Karl's costume was the best. Its tough to compete with a 14 inch scar.

Church
I went with Karl to church today. Karl always gets in good spirits when he's going to church and I think this is a good thing. It was pretty cool for me to go to Immanuel as well. It was a blast from the past as Bonnie Brook Baptist Church (my dad's former church) was a church plant from Immanuel in the 50s 0r 60s. The church I go to in Massachusetts is a church plant as well (insert shameless plug: www.the-harbor.net) is also a church plant and its just cool for me to see how the church grows, moves, adjusts, adapts but also perseveres.

After church we watch the Bears. Yeah...At least the Packers lost. Oh Packers fan, you are aware that the Buccaneers were winless right?

After watching JV football we had family Thanksgiving. I won't be able to make it back to Illinois for Turkey day so we figured we should have one this weekend. I'm 87% sure that the manna God sent down to the Israelites was actually sweet potato casserole. Mmmmmmmm...

I think that's it for now.

Oh one more thing. I have now been asked by about 6,770 people if I studied English in college. As a matter of fact I did. I take that question as a compliment. Do you still think I deserved that B- in intro to English Dr. Frankwitz?

Upward and onward.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Low carbs and the life of a "legend"


Karl had a pretty "full" day yesterday. He was able to go to church and watch some friends play basketball. He told me that it was exhausting but really good to hang out with friends and get out of the house for awhile. The nephews also came over yesterday. If you haven't seen Alan's son, Kevin, then let me just say you will never meet a more active kid in your life. I think Kevin, as a 16 month old, is actually in better shape than me right now. Karl also mentioned that he someone brought over a rather tasty meal last night (whoever that someone was, thank you). Lance Corley has been coordinating meals for Karl. Thanks Lance. I did get a good chuckle though from Karl's email though because apparently Lance requested that the meals be of the low carb variety. I love it.

The absolute best part of Karl's email? This is how it concluded: "
anyways that's a day in the life of a legend."

Unbelievable.

Over the last month I've found lots of encouragement through song. Below is a link to a song called "Desert Song". The lyrics from this song are also below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J15BpBs3Qk4

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

Chorus:
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

Bridge:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Home and "the one arm man"

Karl made it home yesterday. I talked to him last night, and he was very tired. The drive home took a lot out of him. He has to be on an IV drip a few times a day to receive the antibiotics for the infection. Its not a huge deal, just another "annoying" thing.

I promised Karl I would include something that happened during his second surgery in the blog and I have forgotten until now. No mas.

Immediately after the surgery Karl talked to Adrian Brody (ie his doctor) and asked if they were able to do something (I don't remember what) during the surgery. The doctor's response, "No, because I only have two hands and the other doctor only has one."

?

Not to be a jerk or anything but doesn't it make sense for a doctor that is performing a highly complicated brain surgery to have two arms! Is that asking too much. I just envisioned the one-arm guy from the fugitive performing the surgery and Richard Kimbal bursting into the operating room and screaming, "I didn't kill my wife!" Karl then logically would say, "I don't care!"

It was later explained to us that the doctor only had one ROBOTIC arm. Ohhhhh....That makes a little more sense.

In my "research" I couldn't find the hospital that Dr. Richard Kimbal (Harrison Ford) practiced at in the movie. Does anyone have this information? If its the University of Chicago...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Under Pressure

Any time one can include a picture of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury in any sort of writing, one should always include a picture of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury in said writing. You may be asking, "What do Karl and David Bowie/Freddie Mercury have in common?" Well hopefully not a lot, but much like the song collaborated on by these two artists entitled "Under Pressure", Karl's head is somewhat "under pressure". I learned that the count my wonderful mother was referring to is the inter cranial pressure (ICP) count. The spinal tap was taken to test this pressure. Obviously its not good for there to be this much pressure. But with that said, Karl was released today to go home so they clearly aren't too overly concerned with this count.

So Karl should be home any minute now.

On a side note, Vanilla Ice you are a thief. You stole something that did not belong to you.

If you don't know what I'm talking about follow this link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtrEN-YKLBM

Andrien Brody and "The Count"




Since I made my ridiculously accurate comparison between Hans Gruber and our oncologist, Karl has requested that I find a similarly stirring "look a like" to our neurosurgeon. This one was slightly more difficult but after much thought and prayer I have decided on...

Adrien Brody.

Again, not flawless, but I'm not displeased either.

If you are asking yourself, "Who is Adrien Brody?" Shame on you. He won an academy award for The Pianist.

I talked to my mom last night about the results of the spinal tap. It was a pretty comical conversation in that the spinal tap showed that Karl had a high "count". Logically I asked my mom what "count" this was referring to. She had no idea. Just that his "count" was high. Ok...Well, Karl's "count" was at 27 yesterday. Normal is anywhere from 1-15. This could mean a couple things but it probably has just means that the infection is still present. The plan right now is for CT scan early in the morning at 4am, drugs at 9am and hopefully then home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spinal Tap


Unfortunately, this blog as very little to do with the band. Karl had a spinal tap this morning. They needed to figure out if the brain itself has become infected. To determine this they took a spinal tap to test some of the fluid from Karl's spine. As I understood it from Karl, the fluid in the spine is the same as the fluid in the brain. Therefore, they were able to test for infection without aggravating the brain itself. I asked Karl if they had the results from this test yet. I believe he said no, but I'm not quite sure because his lunch came as we were talking and lets be honest some things just take precedent.

Another "one more day" and yippie kay ya


Karl's CAT scan this morning revealed that one of the veins in his brain has become enlarged. This is either because the brain is naturally expanding into the space voided by the removal of the tumor, or because the vein is reacting to the infection.

Either way they want to keep Karl at the hospital for a few days. Apparently the nurses wanted encore numero dos of the Karl Krass show.

A few additional updates regarding Karl's treatment. He will meet with the oncologist on November 11th. This has little to do with his treatments but the oncologist really looks like Alan Rickman. Rickman is more commonly known as "Hans Gruber" from the film Die Hard.

I'm just waiting for the doctor to say "Yippie kay ya, stupid tumor".

Originally we were told that Karl may qualify for a clinical trial. Because Karl has an infection this is no longer the case. However, in blioglastomas they have found that radiation/chemo actually can be more effective after an infection. Apparently the infection works as a catalyst to fight the tumor. Karl will be able to receive his treatments at Northwestern Hospital, which is a blessing for the Krass clan since Northwestern is on the north side of the city. Karl will receive his chemotherapy by pill form orally and his radiation through Marvin the Martian's gun : )

Obviously his plan for treatment may change when we meet with the doctor on the 11th but that is where we stand today.

I have another idea for Karl's helmet. What if Karl was rewarded a sticker every time he does something awesome, like in college football. He goes for a walk, he gets a sticker. He says "Presbyterian Episcopalian" flawlessly, he gets a sticker. He beats Kari in chess, he gets a sticker.

I like...

Monday, November 2, 2009

One more day...

They decided that Karl needed to stay at the hospital for one more day. They said it is only precautionary and that they want to make sure the swelling is down substantially before they release him. This could be true, but I have my thoughts.

4. They still can't believe how huge Karl is and need to "observe" him to see if he is indeed 1/2 giant.
3. After going 3-2 over the weekend in chess, many believe Karl is the new chess master- champion. The U of C wants to call "shotgun" on his genius mind.
2. One of the nurses has developed a crush on Karl and can't bring herself to say goodbye.
1. They will just flat out, 100%, just miss Ol' Big Bear.

I spoke with Karl last night on the phone and he is just sick and tired of being in the hospital. As I have mentioned before he is just really, really bored. Hopefully he will be home by tomorrow. Feel free to send Karl stickers for his helmet. The $ thing was kind of a joke. Though I do think the funniest sticker should get a prize...

On an unrelated note, I was wondering if it would be ok if I shared something with you all? And there you have the beautiful thing about a blog. I can say whatever I want! You can't decline!

Anyways...

At church yesterday we sang a song by Matt Redman called "You Never Let Go". The bridge goes like this:

"And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth"

When we came to this bridge I kind of lost it. Yup, I started crying. There was just something very powerful in that moment of cooperate worship. I suppose there was renewed hope in that moment. But unique hope in that it speaks to something that transcends life on this earth. This song reminded me of Job 1:20 when, after hearing about a series of super crappy things happening to him, Job responds by worshiping. Job also shaves his head and rips his robes. I think God lavishes grace on us to mourn which eventually frees us to worship.

Thanks for bearing with me. And yes, I will now subsequently be made relentlessly by my family for admitting in this blog that I cried.

If you want to hear the song, here's a link to the youtube page:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ifTTuL4XI

Sunday, November 1, 2009

5 really good things happened today

As the title indicates, five really wonderful things happened today. They are listed below.

5. The Bears defense gave me 26 points today in Fantasy Football.

4. Karl beat Kari in chess today.

3. They removed the "drain" today. The "drain" was an IV-type thing that was being used to literally drain the swelling from Karl's head

2. Karl will have a CT scan tomorrow. If the scan looks good he will be discharged home.

1. I received a pledge today from someone to buy a sticker for Karl's helmet. I believe the Harbor Church has solidified the back, right-side of Karl's head.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat?



Karl attempted to go trick or treating tonight, but the nurses wouldn't give him any candy. He even wore his custome! By custome I of course mean his helmet. I just hope we can get extra, extra large Yoda ears so he can look like his nephew. How adorable are Ethan and Kevin? Fact: Very. Ethan (Kari's little un) is the giraffe and Kevin (Alan's little un) is Yoda.

So not only was Karl denied his God-given right to trick or treat I also found out that in the children's ward they are given stickers to decorate their helmet! Age discrimination!

Karl really appreciates all the visitors these last few days. One of my mom and dad's old college buddies even came by. I thought that was pretty cool.

The antibiotics are still running their course. Karl is doing well but ready to be out of the hospital. He tells me everyday that he takes a walk to go visit Author. I finally asked who Author is last night. Yeah, its the painting at the end of the hall. I thought Karl was making new friends in the hospital. Whoops...

Pray that these antibiotics will kill the infection quickly. Karl's surgery went really well in that they were able to remove a lot of the tumor. With radiation/chemo they could hopefully get rid of the rest. But, again, they can't start treatment until this infection is gone.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Best idea ever!


Karl has a few updates he wanted me to pass along but I'm really tired. But, I did just get off the phone with Karl and we agreed on something rather extraordinary. Epic if you will. So here's the situation: Karl's helmet is rather bland. Now there is a chance he's going to have to wear that thing for awhile. Solution? Turn Karl helmet into a Nascar car. That's right, like prime real estate we are selling of the decorating rights to Karl's helmet. For example, the center front is going to cost you a pretty penny whereas the rear left will definitely be more expensive. If you do purchase a piece of helmet you are free to take creative liberties (stickers, markers, etc.) We just ask for nothing Krass (get it?)...

We'll start the bidding for front and center at $20. Do I hear $20? We'll use this blog as the auction house. Post if you would like to bid.

The rear will go for $15, and the sides will go for $10.

You can get the top of the helmet for $5. Very few people see the top of Karl's head.

Let the bidding war begin!

This is awesome...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The funniest thing you'll see today, I promise



Before you all start scoffing at me for being a terrible brother, know that Karl granted me permission to "playfully" comment on his new errrr..."helmet".

I suppose I have a few thoughts, but the most substantial one that is banging around in my head like a pinball is if Karl is paying the University of Chicago some ungodly amount of money couldn't they at least give him a helmet with a smiley face sticker or something on it? Now don't get me wrong, from a functionality standpoint I'm sure this is tip top but it kinda looks like one of the helmets you buy your 1st grader when they attempt to ride their tricycle for the first time. I guess what I'm saying is the helmet is more "roller-derby circa 1972" then Spartan soldier.

After a pretty rough night in the ICU, Karl has slept farewell the last few days. Rose (the same nurse from our first U of C stay) hooked up Karl with, in my mom's words, "a big boy bed". Karl will hopefully be home in a couple of days. The doctor took a look at the incision and said that as soon as the plastic surgeon releases him, he can go home. And yes, Karl has now seen a plastic surgeon. You thought I was joking about Karl following in the footsteps of Tom Brady and marrying a supermodel. The plastic surgeon was brought in to stick up the incision.

Karl has also requested that I throw his email address on here so feel free to email him words of encouragement or ideas for how to decorate his helmet.

karlw44@aol.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Foot Clan, Shredder and Karl after his third surgery



I spoke with Karl last night. He was a little groggy but for the most part pretty coherent. To be honest, I was pretty shocked how "with it" he was. I mean, he wasn't giving me a proof of the quadratic equation but he felt well enough to watch TV and a movie for a little bit as well as to write me an email.

As it turns out he will have to wear some "headgear" if he decides to go out and about frolicking around town. Sure at first we all thought this would suck to have to put on a helmet every time he goes to the bathroom at 2am. But then I had an epiphany. What if his helmet was like the one pictured above? That way not only would he the sweetest brain cancer patient of all time but then he could spend his Sunday afternoons battling the English department of U of C! It's brilliant!

But I digress...

To summarize, the skull was actually not infected. However it is the doctor's belief that replacing the skull "piece" would actually slow the antibiotics and at this point we need to get rid of the infection asap so Karl can start his treatment.

It appears as though Karl will be in the hospital for at least a few days so if you have some free time I think he would really appreciate visitors. Below is an email from Karl. The English teacher in me wanted to correct all of his misspelling but given the fact that he was probably typing with one figure and it was about 3 hours after a THIRD BRAIN SURGERY I thought I would cut him some slack. I'm not sure if "foot gifts" are 1) gifts for his feet, 2) something to do with the foot clan or 3) supposed to be "food"gifts. I'm pretty sure Karl is a member of the Foot Clan, a proud follower of the Shredder. Read below, last line...

God Bless.

i was thihnkning (i hjave a thimg 0on my rigjhjt index fiimnger sorry
the surgery was stucssessful they took out some bone
i have a stint by my ear to collect the fluid so i dont swell
dr yamini stopped by before he left and was happy wioth how it got cleaned
its all wrapped up but i guess its ouit of shape so i hjave a divit in my head
before the surgery i was really abouit them taking the bone out and more going wrong
i also didnt want a cathetire i hate those
my recovery this time was better because my throat wasnt sore and i could talk
i was awake a few miinutes aftersurgery and talking to the nurses in the icu
my room is in a hall withj opem windows to tje nuirsing station so its not real dark here lets see if io get any sleeo
prayer reqiest
i get some sleep last night my roommater needed a lot of attentkion
my head ache is constant
moms stress level and energy
praises
all of my addorroing fans and friemds thanks you guys so much you are so supportive thanks for all the foot gifts and love

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surgery Update

Sigh...

The bone is infected. Ok, I will do my best to relay all the information I just received from my mom as accurately as possible. Because the bone (part of his skull) is infected, they will leave it removed because at this point it is most important that they begin treatment (ie radiation and/or chemotherapy) as soon as possible but they cannot begin treatments until the infection is gone from his body. Putting the bone back in would mean that it would take longer for the antibiotics to take care of the infection.

So they removed the parts of the skin that are infected. This of course is problematic because stitching him up is more difficult with less surface area to work with. When it rains it pours I suppose...

Karl will have to stay at the hospital for a few days as the antibiotics run their course.

A few months ago I played at a worship service with a couple of friends of mine. The theme of the mini conference was "our eyes are upon you" taken from II Chronicles 20:12. In that passage Jehoshaphat's army was about to be overtaken. What he says is that "God I have no idea what to do, but our eyes are on you." I think that's kind of how I feel right now...

waiting...

Still waiting. No new news. Mom is getting impatient...

Explanation of Picture

I forgot to include the reason for the picture in the last blog entry. That wrestler's name is apparently Brutus.

I'm sorry for the confusion, I'm sure most of you assumed that was a picture of Karl...

Surgery and the other Brutus


Karl went in to surgery today at 9am central time. I haven't heard any updates but mom is there at the hospital and I'm assuming she will pass them along to her favorite son (me if you're playing at home). I spoke with Karl yesterday evening. He sounded tired and frustrated. I think he's just fed up with seemingly having to do things over and over again. I'll let y'all know as soon as I hear anything. The biggest prayer is that the skull is not infected. Hopefully they can just go in, clean the incision and be done with it. He will be "put completely under" for this surgery so he will be pretty groggy today and probably a little bit tomorrow as well. The will more than likely keep him in the hospital for a few days for observation. I think he is looking forward to this the least. If you missed yesterday's post, Karl started showing the signs of infection last Friday and yesterday they went back to the hospital where they confirmed that it was indeed infected.

In an attempt to be egalitarian and unitarian (yes, I am quite aware that neither of those words actually fit what I'm trying to say but I'm home sick with the flu and thus a little "loopy") I have decided to include in this blog an email from a friend of mine defending his beloved Buckeyes and their murderous mascot. See below. Thank you for the contribution Jerome Lupin...

1) I'm pretty sure that if Laurinaitis and Hart are on the field, we both know who
won the game. Need I remind you that the Sweater Vest is 7-1 against
Michigan, or that it's been 2,165 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State on
the gridiron? Read that number again because it's really high...and
embarrassing...for you.

2) Secondly, Brutus didn't kill Caesar. Caesar killed Caesar, with his arrogance
and complete disregard for Roman social, cultural, and ethical norms. Sounds a
bit like Rodriguez, doesn't it? However, I am not going to slander Caesar with
such a comparison. Anyways, Brutus the Buckeye is definitely named after the
guy in the photo that I've attached. And also, for the record, I'd like to submit
Hitler, John Wilkes Booth, Voldemort, and Jack the Ripper as the top four most
famous murderers in history, all ahead of Roman Brutus)

3) Wolverines can't eat poisonous nuts--this is kind of like rock over scissors.
What is paper you ask? Apparently the Boilermakers, who ran over my beloved
poisonous nuts quite effortlessly.

Monday, October 26, 2009

U of C & Another Surgery

First of all, does it take away some of the legitimacy of your higher educational institution when you have to insert an "of" between the two vowels? If you're not UC, does that make you any less of a college. I only ask because apparently the trendy way to say "The University of Chicago" is "U of C".

And yes, these are the things one learns when one spends a 25 consecutive hours at a hospital. Oh, and one learns that certain individuals (just going to throw it out there, they probably belong to the English department at "U of C") also have medieval battle reinactments on Sunday afternoons. Seriously. You should have seen the Samaria...

But I digress, Karl is on his way back to the hospital. Probably in the ER as I am writing this. It appears as though his incision is in fact infected. What this means is that Karl will have another surgery tomorrow to clean out the wound. There is a chance that the infection is actually from his skull. If that's the case they will have to remove the part of the skull that they removed. They would not replace that part for a couple of months because anything they put in would likewise become infected. He would have to wear a helmet to protect his head until the infection has left his body, which would then let them put a plate in.

So, yes, another surgery...Karl will have the surgery tomorrow and will be there overnight at least for tonight.

If Karl has to wear a helmet I suggested we get him a Bear's one. Karl also wanted me to remind all of you that Tom Brady's knee became infected after surgery. If Karl stays true to Brady's precedent he will struggle in the first few games of his PE class but by week six will be killing those 7th graders for six touchdowns.

Oh, and he'll probably marry a supermodel. That is, again, if he stays true to form...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Brutus?

For all of you that failed ninth grade English, Brutus killed Julius Caesar...

How Karl's head is like Big Ten Football

There is a saying that people used to use to describe Big Ten football, "Three yards and a cloud of dust". Now this has somewhat shifted over the last few years with the emergence of spread offenses and coaches named Rodriguez. However, any true Big Ten fan knows that to win in November and December on the road in Iowa you have got to be able to run the ball. The thing about "Three yards and a cloud of dust" is that you don't get anywhere very fast. In fact, there are times when you think to yourself that the offensive coordinator may be taking too many fish oil pills when on 3 and 8 you run a draw play to the fullback. Undoubtedly, this unnamed offensive coordinator would probably respond by saying, "This is big ten football. This is how the game is played". Touche.

At this point you are probably thinking 1) Keith has lost it 2) Did you see Michigan put up nine touchdowns against Delaware State and 3) what does this have to do with Karl? Allow me to systematically address all three of these queries.

1) I ranked Karl's nurses based on their awesomeness. Need I explain this comparison?
2) It was Delaware State. Seriously. It was Delaware State. Karl could rush for a TD against Delaware State.

and...

3) Karl is like Big Ten football because right now we are just plotting along taking what the defense gives us. Honestly, not too much has changed over the past week. He is getting a little stronger each day, and he is able to do a little more each day. But we are not in a position to bomb the ball downfield just yet. We need to soften the defense up a little more first (translation, allow for Karl to fully recover from surgery before he starts radiation).

This whole analogy makes sense to about 17% of you all I'm sure. Sorry.

There has been some continued problems with the incision bleeding. They aren't sure why this is continuing, but as long as it is not the brain it shouldn't be a problem. My mom is calling the doctor's at U of C tomorrow to makes sure that there isn't anything else we should be doing. I talked to Karl today and he said the only thing the doctor told him was to be sure the fluid wasn't clear. Apparently clear fluid could be spinal fluid.

I think that's all for right now. Again, if you would like to visit Karl you can email Kari (our favorite sister, and its not even close) at karizawada@hotmail.com

PS I'm pretty sure Laurinitas is tackling Mike Hart after a 22 yard gain. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Buckeye fans. Oh yeah, did anyone ever tell you that your mascot is a poisonous nut and your mascot is tragically named "Brutus" which just so happens to be the same name as the most famous murderer in history?

PPS Karl wanted me to add that "The Red Wings will win" and that Lovey Smith will not be coaches the Bears at seasons end.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Night

Karl sent me an email earlier today and apparently it was just fluid in his head. They were able to drain some of it (yes...that's gross...) which helped a lot to reduce the swelling and make Karl more comfortable. I'm not quite clear if the incision is still bleeding but Karl's email seemed to suggest that a lot of it was just general fluid. I haven't been able to speak to him directly yet.

If you would like to spend some time with Karl during this upcoming week that would be great. He's just really bored at home with nothing to do. You can email my sister at karizawada@hotmail It may be easier to email her to set up a time since I'm back in Boston now.

Saturday, October 24























You could say that Karl's Friday was somewhat of an adventure. You see, the incision on the top of his head started bleeding. Now its important for me to say that this is the "outside" of his head that is bleeding. Not beneath the skull; the brain is NOT bleeding. However, its obviously problematic if Karl's dome continues to bleed. So Fiscally Gator (Karl's nickname. Think Karl --> Carlton --> Carlton Fisk --> Fiskally...and I don't know where the gator came from) had to take three trips yesterday to the Zion clinic to get this thing figured out.

They tried putting another "headdress" on Karl but that didn't work, they tried cauterizing the vein of his head that is bleeding and that didn't work the first time but when he went back a third time they were able to stop the bleeding. Karl did just send me an emailing saying that it was bleeding again last night but not too bad. We called the surgeons at U of C and apparently this isn't abnormal. It becomes cause for concern if Karl bleeds a pint of blood.

Fiscally didn't sleep very well again last night. He was up at 4:00am and 6:00am because his back was hurting so much.

Karl's college football picks. Not very detailed but again, give the guy a break. He had brain surgery!

penn st over mich
ohio state will loose
illinois will loose

If you needed visual evidence for the conception and evolution of Karl's nickname I attached pictures...