Que Syrah Syrah 

Que Syrah Syrah, whatever will be will be, the future’s not up to me, so I sip Syrah, so I sip Syrah.

Santa brought little Jimmy a new T-shirt and a new Oregon Ducks watch!

As we approach the end of the holiday season, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.  This year was a rather eventful year for us, with both good and bad events.  One of the good events is that the doctors finally discovered why I was having unintended weight loss. Unfortunately the reason for the weight loss, Stage IV Colon Cancer, was not the best news of the year.  After the initial shock filled with “I’m going to die” thoughts, I focused on living.  Focusing on the quality of life, living for the moment, and not worrying about longevity is very liberating.  I am liberated from fear and worry.  I don’t ignore my future.  I still focus and plan my cancer treatment,but I don’t worry about CT scans or PET scans.  If it’s good news, we celebrate.  If it’s bad news, we evaluate options and move on.   I also plan for vacations and my budding artist career😄.  I have a future, one tempered with great uncertainty, but a future nonetheless. My goal for 2016 is to continue to live life to it’s fullest.

I want to thank you, dear reader, for helping me realize my goal in this stressful year.  Your love and support cannot be overstated in it’s benefit for Lee and I.  And don’t get me started on all those yummy baked goods.  Cookies, cake, bread, biscotti and pie….Oh My!!!  After my surgery in April I left the hospital tipping the scales at 148 lbs, today I weighed in at 183.  Pat yourselves on the back, job well done!

With the current medical practices, my Stage IV cancer cannot be cured.  Average life span after diagnosis  is under two years, only 8% make it to five years. But there are new treatments on the horizon. One of them is immunotherapy.  Since cancer consists of mutant cells from within the body, our immune system does not consider cancer a threat and ignores it. Immunotherapy changes that and unleashes the immune system to attack the cancer cells. Ninety year old Jimmy Carter used immunotherapy to eradicate malignant lesions within his brain in only two months. This therapy is in its early stages of development for colon cancer, but if I can hang around long enough I might be able to use this therapy too. A good immunotherapy omen presented itself to us last week.  Lee sold a painting on her Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/AsbellArtStudio ) and the purchaser requested to pick up the painting.  When he arrived we discovered that he was a grad student at the Universty of Arizona doing reasearch in immunotherapy.  The painting was to be a gift for his mentor who was leaving to continue research in Europe, he was also leaving to continue his research. He was very positive about the future of immunotherapy for colon cancer. I take this as a good omen.

Lee’s “omen” painting

Along with enjoying festive activities with friends and family over the holiday season, I had the “pedal to the metal” creating Christmas presents.  I felt like an elf in Santa’s workshop doing paintings of loved cats and dogs…and one giraffe.  What fun, creating happy loving images that will one day be happy memories.  Below is my Christmas menagerie for your viewing pleasure.  Happy New Year!!




28 thoughts on “Que Syrah Syrah 

  1. Jim, thank you for your inspiration, it has been such a blessing sharing your ‘blog’ with friends needing encouragement, me included! Bubo loves her painting, she sits and admires it often. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just keep on sippin’ that syrah, chuggin’ that cab, pourin’ that pinot …. you get the idea. We’re really looking forward to a get-together or two in 2016 — especially in Maui!.
    Keep up the good work.
    P.S. I remember 148 — that was my weight the day I was discharged from the Army. Almost 50 years since those days. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JIM YOU CRAZY GUY! Your portrait of Charlie was the HIT of our Christmas, no contest. And you did so many others, too – what productivity! Ring the new year in right. All the best to you and Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ” I have a future, one tempered with great uncertainty, but a future nonetheless” is so true for everyone. we would all be happier and smart to follow your example. see ya soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s true for everyone. Life is a terminal condition. But certain situations “help” you focus on the here and now and appreciate life and living. Either that or those situations ending up enclosing you in a blanket of fear and aniexty, destroying what time you have. We are excited to se you soon, an omen of your upcoming visit was a brief snow shower this morning.


      1. is that a ‘first’ for you there in the desert? I don’t remember you or lee ever mentioning snow there before. actually a brief snow shower is all we have had too here in new York. yes. a diagnosis like yours snatches away denial as a coping mechanism and your left with having to deal with reality. you’re doing that like a champ!


      2. This was a new experience for us here. We get snow flurries occassionally, every couple of years. Sometimes it even will stay on the ground for an hour or so. It supposedly is beautiful, but it hasn’t occurred in our three years.
        We’ve had a much colder December than the prior two years, but it’s sunny and the hot tip is set at 104!


  5. Thank YOU Jim and Lee for the lessons you have taught me about patience, acceptance, love, gratitude, and welcoming each day as an opportunity to live…in wonder and awe, finding the light and all the good stuff that’s right here in front of us, in the form of family, friends, food and yes, wine.
    Love to you both and blessings for good omens and outcomes in 2016.
    See you soon in the dessert!
    Love from Oregon,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year Jim! Rex and I think about you all the time…Thank you for the Christmas card… 🙂 I have a new kitty cat… I will email you some pics.

    xoxoxo Cathy

    P.S Snowing here in Salt Lake City

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jim I am always happy when I read your Positive take on Life I have learned from you and Lee
    how good it is to look at things from the positive perspective.I need to practice it a bit more..Sending you wishes for a most positive new year and always …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have a great attitude, beautifully expressed, Jim. It’s expressed in your words and your art (the latter makes me smile). I believe those statistics about life expectancy for us stage IV colon cancer guys are a bunch of outdated hooey. I think the gains in immunology research for us is close upon us. Other treatments are already being used.

    Sooo your cats, dogs, giraffes, my wife Mindy (who follows your progress) and I—all of us–wish you Happy New YearS.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jim,
    What a great post, your positive attitude is amazing and inspirational. The “Omen” painting is beautiful and your paintings are improving by the day! Those little kitties are so cute! Very well done, my friend.
    May the New Year bring hope, peace and serenity.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. And our wish to you for a continuation of the life you live and give to others. You and Lee are a breath of fresh air to so many of us. May we all be blessed with you caring & affection for life.


    1. Not much new on the site. My last eight paintings were commissioned and I still have 6 more to do! All are pet portraits except the one baby giraffe. Pretty crazy! Have a great new year!


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