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What a Difference

Started by Mojo, July 14, 2012, 04:19:51 pm

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Wow. What a difference a few months make. It is a little spooky to walk into my Up Shop and see all of my clipboards empty. It was just a few months ago I was sewing day and night 6 and 7 days a week to try and keep up with orders. Now I have nothing on the books.

It all worked out well though as I just started another run of chemo a couple days ago. By the time my body gets adjusted to this stuff I will be back to orders flowing in. It looks like this fall is going to be another busy one. I have numerous orders booked for this fall when the snowbird RV'ers start heading down here and typically over the winter is when I get backlogged 6 - 8 weeks out. I also have a big rally to do in Myrtle Beach in October and that will produce more business.

Until then I am going to enjoy the peace and quiet from the lack of work, do the daily chemo regimen and take alot of pain pills, drool on myself and watch old movies. :)



Hey Chris,

I'm able to drool on myself and watch old movies without the help of chemo and pain pills.

I do wish you a quick recovery. I've never had chemo but I know folks who have. I can't think of anything that I've ever experienced that could relate to what they talk about.

My wife and son get migraines. I thought I understood what they were talking about until about 8 or 9 years ago I had a migraine. Wow. I wasn't even close on imagining what that pain was like.

I've been told that a side effect of chemo is having no energy. Good think drooling and watching old movies don't take much.

I watched "Inherit the Wind" last night. That's a good old movie.



Seems like your a bit ahead of me on buisness. Chris. Ive got 3 nore bosts on the books and a couple quote/maybees. A couple ijust finnished were done with the snowbird. Ustomers out of town. Do you find your work is basicly snowbirds? What about the normal RVers up north who sre using them now to they get tue work done early while tour snowbirds are here in town?



I hate to even try and give an estimate because I could be wrong but I would say that probably 60 - 70 % of my sales are all out of State and that probably 90 - 95 % are done over the internet. Rarely do I ever meet the customer or even see a picture of the coach. I get the measurements, coach color combos, awning or slide topper manufacturer model numbers and then go from there.

Snowbirds make up a decent share of my orders but I still ship out a huge number to other places. This last month I had no orders in Florida they instead went to Michigan, several to California, 1 to Wyoming, 1 to Washington State and the rest to various other States.

I have two sets of snowbirds, 1 in Florida and the other in Arizona. California, Florida and Arizona remain my big sales States. I ship a lot of toppers and customers to these sunshine States. I just hope and pray carefree keeps manufacturing their toppers using Poly thread. The day they go to Tenara will probably be the day I go out of business. :)

Alot of my customers park their rigs for the summer and then head out for the winter months. That is when they typically start calling. After last year with me being booked out 8 weeks at one point they now are calling earlier to book their orders so they do not have to wait a couple months over the winter. Some need to have their orders coordinated with their travels. So when they are coming my way I have to have their order ready to go for installation at the local dealer.

Things should start picking up in September and then the rush will hit in November. The bad months are January and February. I get clobbered and that was when I was sewing during the days and into the night 6 and 7 days a week to keep up. I am hoping I do not get that busy this coming winter as I would like an even pace.

It took a year to build a reputation with the two coach owners associations and business was minimal. Thankfully the head honchos of both organizations believed in me and my product and really pushed it to the members. Now I am well known and thankfully I enjoy a great rep with them. But breaking in with them was very difficult. They are very skeptical of tradespeople or anyone new in the supplier ranks. :)




It may sound strange but you get used these chemo runs. I am one of the lucky ones because after a few months it puts me back into remission. But the journey there is a rough one. I have been doing these chemo runs since 1999 when I was first diagnosed. They gave me 5 years then. I really enjoyed proving that they were liars. :)

I manage the sickness with limited doses of pain meds while also using ginger tablets to manage the nausea, cranberry juice to flush the kidneys when they start hurting and milk thistle to manage the liver toxicity from the chemo. Both work good. But without the pain meds I would be in a world of sh** as the pain can be excruciating in the bone marrow and the joints.

The pain meds allows me to rest a little and have some pain free days. Otherwise it would be to much. I would have probably ate a 9mm slug a long time ago if I had to endure the pain and sickness without pharmacological help. :)

When your dealt a hand of cards you play them to the best of your ability. That's what I do, I play them and let the chips fall where they may. I typically only drool during two events 1.) When taking pain meds 2.) When at Hooters staring at the wings and things.



Sounds loke a diffedent market for sure. I e seen neighbods with r s who are gone with them all summer or maybe they sere birds eho sold there northern homes and kept the winter place and park there rigs with there kid in the summer?  And i can see a Mi resident wanter the product in fime for  summer use.  Either say your slow in the summer like me. I like it when i dont feel
Like working in the heat i can take it slow. Trouble is i havnt been relaxing on the water ive been remodeling my kitchen as money allows today im finnishing the  kitchen counters   Just  the floor toled left.
This is somthingi was going to do before but was slowed down with  health.
I hope your feeling OK.


Mojo, I think your ability to manage the sickness has a lot to do with your attitude toward life and your work ethics. I hate when doctors give patients a time frame as to how long they will live. How could they possibly know. To many times I've seen friends and relatives receive one of these diagnoses and curl up onto a ball and just die. Exactly like the doctor said they would.

I can't even imagine the journey your taking but I know your a tough old bird and if anyone can beat this thing into remission you can.

Glad to see your doing the holistic thing along with the meds.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Hey Chris, I'm sure someone around here has a sewing machine and could make you a bib :P  Seriously, take it slow while you can, recover, and stop in here to let us know how it's going from time to time.  We're pulling for you.

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


Thank you June. I would be afraid of the bib this gang would make for me. Probably a big pink one with yellow borders and flowers sewn on in different areas. :)

Been going to drop you an e-mail to see how things are going for you over there. You been busy ?

Ed: It is all mind over matter. I don't mind and the Doctors don't matter. MY secondary Oncologist here in Florida ( my lead oncologist who steers my treatment protocols is in Seattle ) told me a few weeks ago during an office visit that he has never seen a patient use the chemo drug I have at such massive doses and for as long as I have. Most he said call it quits after a few months. I laughed and said " Goodie.......do I get a frigging medal for that or any monetary pay out ? ". His comment was - Just life smart ass. :)

I refuse to give in. I refuse to give up. I admit there have been a couple times where that 9 mm sitting on my bed side stand looked like an inviting alternative but in the end I appreciate life to much, enjoy life to much and will continue to fight. I also would never leave my family in the wake of heartache and a lifetime of sadness because I got selfish and off'ed myself.

Attitiude...Gratitude......You never miss life until you no longer have it. Life is always worth fighting for. Always.

Thanks to all of you for your support. That is part of what helps me remain in this fight. The support from family and friends keeps that fire lit inside me to beat this thing. Thnk you guys and gals.



"I had no shoes and complained.....until I met a man who had no feet"

Chris, you make it hard for the rest of us to come on here pissing and moaning about our candy-ass little aches and pains.

I bow to you......wait....never mind.....my back hurts.

Take it easy every chance you get.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

Gregg @ Keystone Sewing


Great to hear from you!  Keep us in the know, and do what you can/want to.


July 18, 2012, 07:25:47 am #11 Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 09:44:33 am by lowbudget
I can relate to your post, a person just has to hang in there and do it.

I signed up for the clinical trials figuring what the hell did I have to lose. I did heavy doses of FU 5 and Oxaliplatin in the pump while I did radiation. I did ok with the chemo by eating the anti nausea pills. The next round was the pill Xeloda. I did ok with this until the Pharmacist gave me 2 extra rounds. I lost my toenails and my hands cracked so bad I couldn't use them. I called my Oncologist and figured out how many cycles I had been through and stopped eating them which solved my hand problem. It turned out the pharmacist wasn't watching the refill numbers.  

I think the radiation was worse then the chemo. That is when I ate my pain pills and drooled.

I have been cancer free for almost 2 years now! Hang in there as it will get better.



Mike congrats on your 2 year anniversary. Every win is sweet.

I have been battling this rotten disease for 13 years. No cure except through a risky bone marrow transplant. I am just waiting for the bottom to drop out and then I can go for a stem cell transplant and a possible cure. They are waiting for the advanced stages of the disease to do the transplant. I have already been typed and they found numerous matches but I am not quite at the end stages yet.

I consider myself very lucky. My prognosis was very poor from the start but they never considered the Marine Corps factor. :) Still standing and still kicking butt daily. :)

Thanks everyone for the support.



You've got a great attitude which I think is the most important thing besides believing in yourself.

Keep it up.