Happy new year everyone! Wanted to give you an update to what has been happening. Its been a bit of a whirl wind but things are starting to take shape with the non profit. For those of you that don't know, its called Strap In For Life. David Tuck, Mike Daniel and myself have partnered up and have gotten this thing off the ground. We incorporated January 9th with the CO Secretary of State as a non profit and in the process of putting together all the necessary information on submitting and acquiring 501c3 status! Exciting and daunting at the same time. Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/strapinforlife . We did a soft launch at Dew Tour and had very good response. Gave out some Hoodies, Tee's, Beanies and stickers. Im going to be making an appearance at x-games and give out gear and also get some riding in. We are also going to the Snow Industries of America (SIA) trade show at the Colorado Convention Center January 31 - February 3rd. Since we are starting from scratch we have put together a mini fundraiser for that expense and help Dave battle Pancreatic Cancer. The goal is to get roughly $2000 together for the show, doing a small mixer on Friday for Dave and for filing fees for the IRS to acquire our 501c3 status! Were almost halfway there. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Go to http://www.whenyouwish.com/ProjectDetails/Home/1120 and donate a buck or two!
Hey everyone, sorry it's been a while since I updated my blog. It's been a bit hectic in the old Franzen world but such is life.
September 27 marked the two-year date since my stem cell transplant. I cannot begin to explain the gratitude and feelings that have gone along with having a second chance! Two years of reflection have help me understand myself and my surroundings. What is important and what is not. The time has gone by quickly juggling work and family. I constantly think about my treatment and time spent in the hospital. Health wise, things are good. My blood counts are looking good and don't have any scans planed till the beginning of December. Im tired of the scans, they create so much anxiety. Work, Family Illness. Its been tough watching my father get sick. A couple weeks ago, my father was diagnosed with a unknown lung fibrosis. I know there's no explanation, but I still keep asking the question why? Im wondering if his years in the excavation trade has something to do with it. All the dust and dirt? I've been following in his footsteps for the last six or seven years now and starting to wonder if its worth it. From a health standpoint, I've already been through a huge battle, and i'm a bit paranoid that excavation and construction work is going to lead me down a similar path as dad's. From a construction standpoint, its not worth building anything in this town since there is so much red tape. Hypocritically speaking! The development project that I have been working on has only proved that to me. In other words, Stress. Breckenridge is and has a really good small town community and that was prevalent during my fundraisers. I am having to start from scratch financially, and i'm in a industry that has such high overhead, especially from a mechanical standpoint. Ive seen my payroll taxes go up, liability insurance go up, unemployment insurance go up all while making less and less money. Is it worth it? I think Im leaning towards no. There has to be a better way! So in this endless quest to deal with finances, I feel like my future opportunities involve winter work that has nothing to do with my passion, snowboarding. Which is the hole reason why I never left Breckenridge. Breck has always been home, but as of recently its not feeling very home like. There has been so many changes and challenges here that my love for this town is wavering. And since it is harder to enjoy my passion, I feel Breck isn't offering what it use to. Im starting to feel that bigger change is coming down the pipeline. The Family is doing well, Rayna is loving SHS Rugby and looks like they have a good JV team brewing. They haven't been winning a hole lot but playing seven person division 1 varsity teams, What a great experience! I don't know much about rugby, but this is pretty cool. Kalina just finished up SMS intramural soccer. She is such a chatter box on the field. Its too funny. Im very proud of both of them. Erika's doing well, her birthday is Friday. Looking forward to getting out of town!
Sorry about not updating the ol' blog lately, its been since May since I wrote last. It has been a very challenging last half year. Everything was very uneventful until the last week in July when my dad and I went to British Columbia for a fishing trip on the Charlotte Queen. Caught a bunch of fish to fill up the freezer. Aside from puking my brains out the first two days, dad started having some breathing issues on the third night but seemed under control. Two days after we got home, thats when everything got complicated. Dad was rushed to the Hospital and eventually was taken to St. Anthony's in Denver due to respiratory complications. He was moved into ICU and ventilated. He unfortunately was not able to be at my wedding that comming Saturday. So a day that was suppose to be happy and full of cheer and optimism, was filled with thoughts and prayers for dad. To add to the madness, my grandmother pass away the following day after my wedding. Fortunately my grandmother had lived a great full life and I can only hope to be as fortunate! With dad in the hospital and and my mom grieving about her mom passing, it was decided that we still go on our honeymoon. Dad was ventilated for about six days, pretty much while my family and I was in Florida. He was released a couple weeks later and came back up to Breck. A couple days later, mom called 911 because of a heart attack and dad was rushed right back to denver. He was intubated again and when he stabilized, they did an angiogram and angioplasty on his heart (two stints). He was released again after a few weeks and did not come back up to altitude. A family friend Charlie let us use his apartment down town since he was visiting friends in California. About a week or so after he was released, he collapsed eating at the Palm about a block away from where he was staying. His O2 levels dropped to the low 60's and was rushed back to the hospital. He was again intubated and I got down there as the sedation was kicking in. I have never seen my father so desperate and helpless and that memory is burned into my sole! That time did it for me. The reality of him potently passing was very real and hard to comprehend. The pillar of strength in my life was fighting for his life and I couldn't do anything about it. The emotions were of helplessness and sadness. Mom was loosing it and Chris was five thousand miles away and to get last minute tickets from Sao Paulo were financially out of reach. But we did get him and Noah up here towards the end of September to see the family and just hang out with dad. It had been almost three years since he was back in the states. I did my best with a development project and put my nose to the preverbal grindstone to get through the political, HOA and construction issues that have been bestowed upon this project. Ill save that for another entry. Fortunately dad is doing well and is looking forward to getting to Destin and recovering at sea level.
So what a year right! September 27th was my one year since my transplant. When I look back, I'm in a bit dumbfounded with everything that went down. It has been a roller coaster ride of events up to now. I got a lot of snowboarding in right after I got out of Brents Place to get back into shape and it turned out that it was one of the best seasons in Colorado in close to a decade if not all time. Work became steady enough in March to give my self a little breathing room. Summer hit and things seemed to be moving along smoothly with the exception of dad. Honeymoon in Orlando was the ticket with the girls, made Universal Studio's the goal. It was really nice to get out tof the mountains and into some heat. Although a heat index of 110 was a little much. But I finally felt like I thawed out.
I started a little snowplow business this fall to keep me busy through the winter and spending time in the office getting year end stuff done. Christmas was great and the girls are in AZ hanging with their other side of the family. Lucky girls get two christmas's! hahahahah
Went to an NRA dinner with my dad Saturday night. Good times and saw a bunch of old friends. But the best part of the night was dad picking up a new Kimber Gold Match 2 out of one of the raffles. A very nice pistol. So were going to go fire it off soon.
The duplex is dried in and siding is going on, masons are laying stone, roof is dried in, plumbing is roughed in and electric should be done by Thursday. I took this photo last week...
Thanks for being patient with me. Today is day +221 since transplant...
Since the doc's gave me the ok to start working, ive been busy in the field and office working on building a spec duplex building out by the Breck golf course. Doing the book keeping and payroll ends up taking up a bunch of time too. So I've been slacking on getting in here and writing. Throw in a little computer failure and blog writing gets put on the back burner...
Yesterday I had a scheduled PET scan. It was a long day and my anxiety levels were a bit on the high side. Ill tell you it doesn't get any easer! I guess that is why I have been working a lot. Helps keep my head focused. But this one was tense. This was the first scan with out being in the middle of treatment. All the doctors say that the chances of reoccurrence are greatest with in two years after transplant. So when it come time for the PET scan to come around I get strait up scared! I had a bout a two hour wait between my scan and oncologist appointment. Didn't want to smoke weed for anxiety as I wanted to take the news completely sober. Fortunately the scans showed no signs of the Lymphoma! I had quite an emotional release when I got to my car!
So for the first time since I can remember, I wish the ski season wasn't over. I know I can go to the Basin, but, tough seeing it closed so early. I remember it staying open till some time in May. I guess with all the snow... I was having a lot of fun this season. I need to ask the forest service about a special use permit after the season ends. Could have had two extra weeks of powder! Don't get me wrong, i'm ready for summer. Ready to play golf and be in shorts. Living up on Boreas Pass with easily five feet of snow in the yard...
Ok, A politics rant. Don't Run... So we got UBL! Ill tell you what, I would have pulled the trigger myself if I had the chance! Im also glad that out president made the decision by not releasing the photos. It shows that Americans are a better people and that we have class! Unlike the middle east bastards that drag our troops and reporters through the sand and dirt after decapitating them. It also shows that the USA is the best country in the world!
For the record, I don't agree with pretty much any of our represented politicians! Demarcate or Republican! None of them care about the little guy and the little business. I just saw my tax rate increase for my business, and frankly I don't have the money to pay. Let alone the certainty of work! Add retarded fuel prices and you got your self the perfect recipe for bankruptcy. Im not going there yet, but I looked at a monthly snap shot of my finances and 38% is going to fuel. Fucking great! Heres a link from The Heritage Foundation on our current budget levels. In other words, i'm tired of politicians making big decisions that affect my life with out my opinion! They are making everyday life more complicated! I thought my vote means something?
If you want a good book to read, Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt. A good read and makes you think! I especially like the chapter Why drug dealers still live with there parents! It got me a bit more interested in economics and how it all works together.
Its been a little over a month since my entry. What can I say other than I feel great! The counts from my last draw keep showing improvement. Since diagnosis, I have lost 30 pounds, have about twenty days riding and work has been steady enough to take care of business! The doctors are very pleased with my recovery and family life is pretty badass! Throw in my birthday the beginning of March and I cant begin to explain how fortunate I feel right now! But im humbled by the memory of not knowing what was wrong with me two novembers ago. I have a PET scan set up the end of April. Which will be 7 months since transplant. Time sure does fly. Day + 179. It feels good to be alive!
We got working on a duplex out by the Breckenridge Golf Course. One of six. We started the Excavation in January. And last week, started framing the third floor. If weather cooperates, two weeks from now the roof will be on. Got some garage slabs to poor too. Ground heaters are in there doing there thing and if the plumbers can get in there on Monday or Tuesday, I should have it prepped and ready to poor a week from tomorrow. But most importantly, its out by the golf course!
Quick story, Breckenridge has been having one of the top three years that I can remember. 95 was one too and 84 when I was eight. I remember that one being waist deep for spring break. But dont think I was six foot at the time either... And 95 was the year that Jay Nelson, Shawn Ebbinghaus and I jumped the west wall cornice at A-Basin as far as we could go. Two feet the day before and three feet over night. My second Jump was over a skier traversing under the cornice. Idiot! Did quite a bit of hiking behind the house and Blue River this year. A bit on the resort too. Quality has been high! I am pissed that they put a gate right on top of peak ten directly getting off of the Falcon. Now everyone and there mother goes into Ballroom's! Fortunately most go to the top! Patrol should have asked us where to put it. There is a perfect spot on the south side. Over by Cimmeron starting shack. Could have helped control the rift raff! Oh well...
Things have been relly good. The doctor gave me the ok to start working. I was getting on the hill for a little bit but started hiking behind the house with the holidays in Breck going crazy. A couple weeks ago, we got the biggest snow of the year and damn near the most snow in a decade. Epic to say the least. That kept me busy with the backhoe for about two weeks. Gettingnback to work has been great mentally. Not having any work for over a year and battling cancer can take it's tole on one's psyche. It's not a lot, but everything helps. I'm pretty stoked, it looks look I have a bit more work for the forseeable future. Throw the books of four companies on top of that and it's hard to keep up.
I've been judging the Aspen Open since they started it about five or six years ago. It's a fun event to come to. Aspen is a great host and really know how to do an event. Hell they have x-games to thank. But this year, attendance is way down for the snowboarders. Dew Tour and Rev tour are happening at the same time. Scheduling issues are unfortunately driving this event into the ground. There were eight competitors in pipe. Four men and four women. Unfortunate. Slope is a bit better with finals today. Should be about fifteen in finals. Aspen needs to get affiliated or somthing. I wish there were events like this when I was growing up. The good part of the low attendance was the first day , there was no qualifiers. Got the day off. So I went riding with some friends, Adam Longnecker, Angus Morrison and Ryan Lougee. We took three runs. Epic! Check it out.(Click Here) Thanks guys for showing me around. I've been waiting to ride Aspen like that!
As for tests and medical, I have another PET scan torwards the beginning of May. I'm expecting a good outcome for that. I can only base it on how I feel day to day. Today is day +139 since transplant and I feel great. I have to be carful though. I got that crud that was going around Breck and it floored me for about two weeks. Getting sick now is much worse than it use to be.
I don't go out really any more. Haven't drank since October of 09 and the girls keep my free time very busy. And we got a puppy. A Begal mix. There is just not enough time in the day! Hahahaha