Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Another idea I had, seeing some of the bands that are considering reunion shows for Cy, is putting together a Reunion-fest. The set-up would be similar to the cover-up, each show featuring more bands doing shorter sets, as opposed to one or two bands feeling like they need to carry the entire night. If you'd like to get your old band together OR you have an non-existent local band you'd like to see reform (Teasing the Korean and Finger come to my mind!), please let me know.
Or maybe, we should just combine the ideas and have current local bands cover former local bands!
Write me directly at glennATlocal506DOTcom.
Cy Has a Posse
All proceeds go to the Cy Rawls Benevolence Fund
you can email poster ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or print them yourself and deliver them to Glenn at the Local 506.
Tannis Root/Kung Fu Nation have Cy t-shirts ready to go. We will be selling them at benefit events starting Friday, 8/1 at Slim's. Also, if anyone wants to buy one over the internet, they can email me at email@example.com and we can take payment through Paypal and ship to them from our office. The image is below and the shirt will be available in various colors. We hope to have some stickers and buttons available soon as well but those won't be done in time for Friday's show.
Friday, August 29th
at the Cat's Cradle:
BIRDS OF AVALON
Here's a blurb about it: http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A261732
C'mon out, folks; let's rock.
CY RAWLS BENEVOLENCE FUND
The Cy Rawls Benevolence Fund has been established through the State Employees ' Credit Union.
You can make a donation to this fund at any State Employees' Credit Union office within in the State of North Carolina.
Please make checks out to the Cy Rawls Benevolence Fund.
You may also send checks to the following address:
State Employees' Credit Union
2401 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
Attention: Mrs. Candace Bulebush
Online donations will NOT be accepted.
Frank and Susan Rawls
4317 Dutch Garden Court
Raleigh, NC 27613-2014
Home - 919-782-7793
Cy's dad wanted me to post this request to the blog to see if anyone could help with transportation to Cy's radiation therapy. On Friday Aug. 1 and Monday Aug. 4, Mr. Rawls has doctors appointments and won't be able to help Mrs. Rawls get Cy to his appointment. They just need someone to meet at their house at 9:30 am to go with them to the appointment and provide support to Cy in getting from the car into the office and back to the car, in case he needs it. They said they should be back home by 11:00.
Please contact Mr. Rawls at 782-7793 if you can help.
Monday, July 28, 2008
In general, Cy was more Cy-like than when he was at Duke. He's getting his appetite back and is walking around with a walker. He tells us that he is having chemo treatments until the middle of August. His eyesight isn't so hot, so he can't see the TV so well. We realized that a laptop with an Internet connection would seriously help him pass the time - since he can't get upstairs to his computer. Anybody have a spare laptop and wireless router he could borrow for a month or so?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
As most of you know, CY will resume radiation therapy at Duke RaleighHospital tomorrow, Monday, July 28 @ 11:30 PM.We are asking everyone to please follow this request:12:30 PM - 4:00 PM - Quiet Time for CY This time span will apply for Monday - Friday only until all treatmentsare finished. This will allow CY time to be with his home care nurse,eat lunch and rest time.Thank You for your cooperation.
Frank and Susan Rawls
4317 Dutch Garden CourtRaleigh,
Home - 919-782-7793
Now that CY is home he still needs his rest. Per his home care nurse she is asking that visits be staggered, so that everyone is not here at the same time. Because of his radiation therapy treatment he needs to be in a germ free environment; therefore, she is also asking if you have the sniffles, cold or under the weather in the past several days please plan your visit for another time. CY enjoys seeing everyone as do we and we are certain that with these few restrictions we can work this out. It would be most helpful if you would call before you visit... that way we can plan accordingly.Thanks again for your continued care, concern and support for CY.
Frank and Susan Rawls
4317 Dutch Garden Court
Raleigh, NC 27613-2014
Home - 919-782-7793
Here is an update I received from Cy's dad:
Cy came home yesterday afternoon around 4:30 PM. He had a good rest of
the afternoon and night. The home service nurse which will work with us
met us here around 4:40 PM. She is wonderful.
He will continue his radiation therapy as an outpatient going to Duke
Raleigh Hospital (old Raleigh Community Hospital).
It is hard to put into words how we all feel about you because all of
you are very special.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers and thoughts.
God Bless you!
Frank and Susan Rawls
The Merch has made some posse t-shirts for Cy. They donated the shirts and their services. The shirts are $20 and can be purchased from Tim Ross (tim at tubafrenzy dot org).
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Also, his nurse said it is probably a good idea to have a ramp built over the stairs to make it easier for Cy to go outside. I'm going to work on getting a plan for a ramp on Monday but if anyone has building expertise and wants to help, please let me know.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Rawls' house on Google maps
Rossi and I saw Cy last night & had a good long visit, along with several other folks. Love that fancy corner room, with room for lots of visitors at once! I think there were 7-8 people in there at once. It felt pretty festive in there considering we were in a hospital. Though if things go according to plan, Cy might be going home today (Friday). He's been handling chemo & radiation pretty well this week. Seems like some nausea & those damned hiccups are the worst side effect so far.
We helped Cy's parents load their car up with a giant tub of DVDs, a trash bag full of stuffed animals, and some other bags of magazines & gifts. That wasn't all of it, either. They left in the evening to go prepare the house for Cy's arrival. We asked if they needed help at the house, but they say they have it all worked out. Someone from one of the local Hospice organizations will come and help set up a hospital bed & they have a place ready downstairs at their house where they have had a bed before. They decided the hospital bed would be easier because it's so important for Cy to be sitting upright while he eats. I think they will be going to the hospital in Raleigh for treatments once they're set up in Raleigh. Cy's dad said they'd just turn on the porch light and we can all come and go. Hee hee. I'm hoping that once they get things settled at the house that we can work with the family to visit often. I told them to let us know about the Rawls house visiting hours.
Can someone else post or comment on Friday to let us know when/if Cy finally leaves Dook?? Thanks! -Mary B.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I asked if he liked this ward better than the last. He said he did mostly because there wasn't all the yelling. In the neuro ward, the doctors and nurses yell very loudly to the patients to keep them focussed and on task during tests like moving limbs or blinking.
He's had a couple sessions of radiation and he's been taking the oral chemo meds. The treatments are making him a little nauseous. I heard from his folks that the hospital served him mystery meat for dinner tonight. They thought it was meatloaf. When I asked Cy, he said he thought it was pork. When I laughed, he said, "I threw it up anyway." So nausea is clearly the order of the day. As Cy's folks were leaving, he said that today had been a pretty good day.
That reminds me! Frank e-mailed me a few hours ago with the following request:
Please ask everyone for the moment to stop bringing Mexican food and milk shakes (dairy products) for Cy. We think this might be causing some of the nausea.
Any help in this matter would be appreciative.
Once again, thank everyone for their support to all our family.
God Bless you!
Frank and Susan Rawls
Back to my story.
As we were on our way out, Rob K. showed up with his cooler of Locopops. Cy was as happy as he could be. He dove right in.
Dave and I are in Wilmington until Friday night, so anyone with updates should post them!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Dr. Steven Curley, in this video, is currently treating my Aunt for liver cancer. According to my aunt "he is even cuter in person!" Ok.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
If you play music, donate a song! If you know people who play music, get them to donate a song.
I have set up a primitive placeholder site at http://www.cytunes.org/. News and instructions will now appear on that page instead of on this blog. Please go there for any further updates.
We are forging full steam ahead. Thank you to everyone who has responded so far.
Courtesy of the Slim's MySpace page:
August, 1, 2008 : Benefit for Cy Rawls w/ Devour and Grass Widow.
227 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Monday, July 21, 2008
I saw Cy this afternoon and was able to talk to his doctors a little bit about next steps in his treatment. He's looking great and he definitely has his appetite back. He should be starting his chemotherapy today (which is administered orally) and should start his radiation treatment tomorrow. As with any treatment of this kind there will be some side effects that may make him tired and not feel well sometimes but the doctor conveyed that they really won't be as bad with this treatment as many people think of when they think of Chemo. There will be good times and not so good times but Cy is tough and I know he'll "power through it".
He should also be checking out of the hospital in the next couple of days and he's got to be excited about that. I'm sure his doctors and nurses are giving him great care but I know he'll be glad to get the hell away from Duke and back into frendlier confines.
Once he is discharged he'll be going back to his parents house to stay. But for tonight and probably most of the day tomorrow, visitors are welcome!
If anyone has any more specific questions, feel free to give me a call at 323-4876.
I have an idea for fundraising for Cy. Both the scope and the time line are -- of necessity -- very aggressive. We can only do this if other people agree it's a good idea and volunteer to help. Please contact Janette Park if you would like to volunteer, offer advice or give feedback. Her e-mail address is jparkesq at the same domain as all of the other gmail users. I apologize for this obfuscation, but she only wants human beings to be able to read that. No spambots, please.
CyTunes.org will be a web store where people can purchase songs that have been donated by bands and artists who like Cy, or whom Cy likes or who are just awesome enough to participate. All songs must be original works and must be exclusive to CyTunes. As we have seen, Cy has very many friends, many of whom are talented musicians. Some of these have been or currently are in bands that have achieved national and even international notoriety. By selling exclusive works by bands that are not just of local interest -- but who are potentially also known regionally, nationally, or internationally -- we can draw a wider audience and bring Cy's story to the entire world, reaping greater rewards on behalf of our dear Cy.
In addition to the fundraising angle, the process of writing and recording these new works by people who know and love Cy, regardless of how well-known they are currently, gives the community an opportunity for unity and healing. We all know that Cy is a huge music fan, and most of us know Cy because of this shared love. What better way to show our love for Cy than through music?
I can get the ball rolling on this immediately by starting in on the programming for the website and online store. I will also offer up use of my studio and my services as a recording engineer for free to any band that wants to record a song for CyTunes. I have already bought the domain name 'cytunes.org' in anticipation of this effort.
Purpose of Fundraising
On Monday, Cy will embark on an extensive course of chemotherapy. If the chemotherapy goes well, Cy will be released from the hospital and continue treatment without having to be confined to a hospital bed. When this happens, Cy will not be in any position to work but will face a galaxy of expenses: the basics like rent, food, and utilities on top of doctor's visits and medications, which will be frequent and expensive. The aim of this fundraising is to allow Cy and his family to enjoy their time out of the hospital and take advantage of Cy's treatment options without having to worry about day-to-day expenses. Of course Cy has also incurred an enormous pile of medical bills from his hospitalization at Duke. These bills, however, will likely be dealt with later and are not the highest priority at the moment.
Immediate Action Required
I cannot overemphasize the extent to which time is of the essence. If aid is to reach Cy when he needs it most, we must act immediately. Just as the tumor in Cy's head is very aggressive, and his chemotherapy treatment will be aggressive, our efforts to get this site up and running and populated with great music must be equally aggressive. There is no time for contemplation. If you want to be a part of this, don't think about it; just do it. Obviously, one thing we need a whole hell of a lot of is music. The more songs we have the more songs we can sell. Have you ever wondered whether you could write a song on a deadline? Now's your chance to find out! My hope is to have an initial launch of the site within *two weeks*. That is ambitious, but -- with a show of enthusiasm from others -- I will be working on this as my full-time job for the immediate future. I happen to be uniquely positioned to do this right now.
Guidelines for Submissions
All songs must be original. We cannot use cover songs because they bring legal complications. Also, in order to attract people to our site we need to have songs that are exclusive to our site. Existing unreleased material is acceptable. We do not need to own or control your song in perpetuity. After a suitable period -- a year or so -- you'll be free to release your song elsewhere. We don't want to own your song -- just to be the exclusive distributor for a year. After that it's yours again.
I cannot do everything. This will only be possible with a dedicated team of talented people. If you are currently underemployed, you might be a very good candidate for some this. These are the positions I see an immediate need to fill:
1) Legal Adviser -- preferably a bona fide lawyer. We will need someone who can negotiate the dark realm of entertainment law and make sure that we're doing what we need to do in terms of licensing music from bands to sell--dotting i's and crossing t's kind of stuff.
2) Graphic Designer -- I'm a computer programmer and recording engineer. I only do graphic design under duress and I am very slow. We need someone super talented who can create a beautiful site concept and generate HTML templates for every page on the site. You must also be able to work with an aggressive deadline to get the site launched.
3) Band Wrangler -- We need someone who can find bands, contact them, and persuade them to record songs for us. This person will also need to follow up with bands who have agreed to record and make sure they follow through on time. This person must be willing to nag as needed.
4) Publicist -- This could possibly be the same person as the band wrangler, who could start doing mostly band wrangling and gradually transition into publicity. This person will need to spread the word about all of the kick-ass music on CyTunes, far and wide. This will include calling and e-mailing newspapers, magazines, online publications, blogs--anything that can get the word out. Someone with some marketing or PR experience, especially in the music industry, would be ideal.
5) Project Manager -- I can probably do this, but we might all be better off if I can concentrate on the technical challenges of getting the site going. The project manager would be in charge of communicating with everyone else who's working on this, keeping track of what's going on, helping to set priorities, identifying roadblocks and helping to overcome them. This person should be driven and focused but have good social skills. He or she must be highly organized and have a good understanding of what everyone is trying to do.
Finally, everyone involved must keep the nature of the project in the forefront of their minds. This project will go forward if we can get enough people power to make it happen. Please contact me immediately if you can help. This isn't about personal glory. It's about Cy. So ... let's rock!
ADDENDUM 3:43 pm:
We could also use some general purpose volunteers. People who don't mind being asked to perform some random task every now and then. If you don't think you can do one of the jobs above or just can't commit that much time, but would like to help out, let me know and I can put you on a list of general volunteers.
ADDENDUM 5:52 pm:
I have no idea if that two week figure is at all realistic. Either way, it seems to have caused some confusion with bands, for which I apologize. My goal is to have the web store up and running as soon as possible, two weeks if we can swing it, with some music already ready to go. I figure we need at least 30 songs to launch. It is not my expectation that all bands will have their songs completed and submitted in two weeks. I figure once we get going we'll be adding songs as we go. Obviously, though, the sooner the better. We do need great content, fast. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far!
-- Chris Rossi
Contact Janette Park. Her e-mail address is jparkesq at the same domain as all of the other gmail users.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Rachel and I went to see Cy around noon today. When we came in he was sitting in a chair beside the bed. He looked good and appeared to be breathing pretty well. We talked for a while, and he seemed to be in pretty good spirits. While obviously tired and a little groggy, he had no trouble confirming how many times Ric Flair has been world champion.
Dave and I saw Cy this evening around 6:00. Damn, it was good to hear that kid's voice! He still has the feeding tube going through his nose to his tummy, but that's no big deal. I heard that someone brought him a Gatorade, which really made him happy. He was being "fed" while we were there. It was pretty rad: the nurse fills a giant syringe with some nasty liquid meal and then just forces it into the tube that goes through his nose. We asked if they could add some Mexican seasonings or something so the kid could get a real meal.
Nicole Triche and Traci were in there with us. We had a grand old time! Cy was talking and laughing and goofing off with us. We accidentally took too long and forgot that there were about 20 people in the waiting room trying to get in. (Whoops. Sorry, guys. )
Thanks to all the people who came to see Cy Saturday. It was such a great joy for him. People just kept coming along to see him. It was awesome. He has had NO time to read his magazines or watch his DVDs because he's just had too many visitors, but he wants us all to keep coming. He's begun to decorate his room with autographed photos of Tarheels as well as pictures, art, and the rad bowling poster. (Tim Ross, you gonna get the football team to come by or what?)
Cy's parents have been fabulous. They've been sitting out in the waiting room accepting guests and food and being so gracious. They really love seeing all of Cy's friends coming to see him and showing how much we love him. His dad said that we help keep him strong.
What lies ahead in the immediate future? Well, if Cy can breathe strongly on his own through tomorrow, he will begin chemotherapy on Monday to shrink the tumor. Please keep coming by to see Cy on Sunday to keep him strong. We love you so much, Cy.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
I know so many of you have been inquiring about ways to set up paypal accounts or other accounts for the money that will be raised for Cy! I have investigated how to open an account and here is the scoop.
No individual should open a checking or savings account in their name for funds to go into. I had thought about doing that because it would make things easy for a paypal account to be set up but it turns out it it's not a good idea. Myself or any individual who thought about doing that could open it easily but, if audited soon or later in life could face many problems with the IRS and it would be a paperwork nightmare. A helpful fellow at Wachovia told me this information today. He also said the money should not go directly to Cy's parents because they could also face the possibility of major auditing issues.
So, my friend at Wachovia recommended this course of action (which has been done many times through their bank since they are in such close proximity to Duke). A non-profit can take the lead on opening a trust checking account, which will be for Cy's medical bills. The non-profit has to provide their "articles of incorporation" and their tax id number. Cy's social security number and a copy of his driver's license has to be provided also. The selected non-profit, hopefully Cy's parents' church (yep it can be a church), will then name a custodian from within the church (usually the church treasurer) to look over the account and funds which will help to alleviate the burden of the incredible medical bills.
I talked to Cy's parents' pastor today about this when I went to the hospital. He is speaking with the church treasurer on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed that this works out. The pastor is going to call me on Monday to let me know if they are going to proceed. This would be the best way for the fund raising account to be set up. If it does get set up I can get the account information so we can set up a paypal account to link directly to the main trust checking account.
I'll keep you posted on what I hear.
Tomorrow is a big day. At 10am, the doctors are going to remove Cy's breathing tube. If he can breathe on his own, they will move forward with a very aggressive course of chemotherapy immediately. Cy's parents want as many people there to visit Cy tomorrow as possible. We lift his spirits and keep him focussed. Don't feel the need to bring anything, but your presence is requested. If you have not felt comfortable coming out yet, now is the time for you to find your Cy zone. He needs us now more than ever.
I made a Google spreadsheet that anyone can edit. It is just a shell. Feel free to add columns or rows or ideas or names. Whatever! If you want to help organize, just add your name and contact info. Some folks are most comfortable typing out addresses like this: geartilter at gmail dot com. This keeps spammers from collecting your addresses automatically.
Here are the ideas and offers we have so far. At Jessica's suggestion, I will try to put together a Google Document (???) with all of these ideas and people who want to create committees for organizing (Ben D's suggestion) can sign on and get connected.
- Ash B is interested in participating in a fund raiser rock show.
- Tannis Root is interested in offering their services to make shirts (A "Cy Rawls has a posse" shirt perhaps?--Nicole Triche's idea)
- Ben Davis is organizing a Run for Rawls
- Some folks want to do an eBay sale of stuff for Cy
- An art auction has been discussed
- A craft sale was discussed
- A popular member of a popular band on a popular label in the area (hawhawhaw---sssssssseeeeeecrets) has offered to try to put a show together.
- Frank and Glenn are looking at dates for shows at the Cradle and 506 respectively.
- Cy Rawls tip jars at the businesses he frequents
Fundraising info I have gleaned from others:
- No accounts should be put in Cy's or his parents' names as that would be considered assets by bill-collectors and The Man.
- We need to make sure Cy's monthly bills are paid to keep his credit in check. I'll mention that to his folks today.
You guys are absolutely incredible. Please keep visiting Cy. He needs to positive vibes in there.
More as we know it.
Also, Kristie Porter is looking into collecting donations for Cy's folks. She wrote:
You can let folks know that soon there will be an electronic way to make general donations for his medical bills. It's all just yet to be figured out.
I'll let you know how that turns out.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
What I wanted to share was a site on the Duke site where you can send Cy cards for free. They'll print them out and deliver them within 2 days.
I am just back from a long day at the hospital with little to tell. The situation is not good and foggy at best. Cy's parents have not yet really explained what happened today and what will happen next. I sense they're still trying to understand it themselves. Here's what I know.
Cy went in to surgery at 3:15, and the surgery was aborted at 3:45. His parents were summoned to the OR at that point. They were down there for almost an hour. While they were down there, Cy was brought back to his room. At that point, we received the update you read earlier today from the Rawlses' pastor who was with them downstairs. That update now seems to be a little confusing. When Cy's folks came back up from the OR, they went back to talk with Cy and the docs. Once they returned, they remained pretty quiet for the rest of the evening, intermittently crying and welcoming guests.
From others, I have learned that the tumor is not a compact unit as they had earlier believed. They have discovered that it has fingers that are invading the brain. This complicates the situation considerably. Surgery would not be as much of a help as first expected. It might actually make the situation worse. A plan for treatment has not been determined, but it could consist of aggressive chemo and radiation.
We saw Cy for a bit. He was lucid, a little sleepy, but happy to see us. He laughed at some jokes and funny stories. He is no longer speaking as he has tubes down his throat. No hiccups, though, so that's good news. He did give us a pretty accurate drum roll to a Rush song that was on the iPod. (Many thanks to Mike Rohe for providing the iPod and the DVD player.) Bjorkback was able to get him some paper and a pen so that he could communicate better. Bjorkback apparently commented on Cy's rad hairdo, to which Cy replied by writing "skullet" on the page. Awesome!
He says he is in no pain whatsoever, but he knows what is going on. The meds make him nauseous, so he gets more meds for that which make him a little groggy. He is clearly a little scared and teared up at one point. He needs our prayers and well wishes now more than ever.
Cy's parents have indicated that they need us to move FULL-SPEED AHEAD on benefits and fund-raisers. Rockers: get in high-gear! We have confirmed that he has no health insurance. He was actually in the process of getting it reinstated last week. Suck. Can someone also set up some sort of fund that folks can donate to online?
There's something else I'm supposed to mention. What is it? Oh, yeah! For those who bring food, Rossi asked about their food preferences. Cy's dad said that he does not care for Mexican food, Greek food, Asian food, or eggplant. ?????? We had a good laugh about that. He prefers Southern food and good old meat-and-potatoes kinds of meals. They have not been sleeping well and are clearly mentally and physically exhausted. Please keep them in your prayers, too. They need our strength right now. They reiterated again how much they appreciate seeing all of us. It lifts their spirits to know that we are all there for them and for Cy.
Sorry this is so scatterbrained. I hope to have more information soon. As Cy's dad said, "We really need to pull together right now, y'all."
Cy's surgery was canceled for the time being, but he is awake and accepting visitors. He seems a little nervous and is welcoming well-wishers.
(I haven't seen him today; I get this news from Kerry on the telephone. Heading out there now...)
The surgery was cancelled shortly after it began. When the doctors got in there, they apparently found several lesions on Cy's neck that would jeopardize the surgery somehow. The doctors have decided to instead begin a very aggressive course of chemo and radiation. His parents are in with the doctors now. More as the situation develops.
Mary Brunnemer left this update in the comments, but I thought it should go here. I have not called the hospital yet to see if surgery went ahead, so if anyone knows, please let me know.
Wednesday's late night update:
Just left the late shift visiting hours. I didn't get to see Cy, but hung around for a bit. Apparently, there was a little setback this evening. The MRI results from late today showed some issues that could possibly cause them to rethink surgery tomorrow. They put the breathing tube back in, concerned that he'd have issues in his sleep, but from what I understand, that seems to be a precaution to avoid any kind of emergency situation. Right before they did that, he was groggy, but passing tests such as identifying numbers & sticking his tongue out on command. He seems to be very groggy from all the wear & tear, not to mention the drugs they are giving him.
The docs are planing to wake Cy up every hour & check his ability to do things like identify numbers, etc. We got one update right around 11:30ish when his parents went back to check on progress. Things seemed OK, but surgery may or may not be back on. The docs will decide in the morning. IF they do the surgery, it should still be around 12:15 tomorrow & last about 3-4 hours. If not, they may take other action, but seems certain that some kind of treatment will happen ASAP.
If anyone that was there tonight can fill in any holes in my info, please do. And for anyone going over to visit in the morning, please post the latest so we'll know whether or not the surgery is taking place!
Till then, Cy, you are in my thoughts--me and countless other friends, family, loved ones, & dare I say, fans. If we start the Official Cy Rawls Fan Club now, I think we can turn any future musical benefit action into a full-fledged festival, right? :-)
XO, Mary B.
I was thinking about it last night while I was in bed (since Cy's all I can think about--every dream I remember last night was about Cy), and I had a strange realization.
Cy's situation is an amazing opportunity that I wouldn't ever wish on anyone. How many people get the chance to find out just how much their friends love them? Cy has spent his entire adult life showing us how much he loves us. He shows up at our parties so quietly, makes sure we know he's there, and then slips out without fanfare. He crosses the country for our rock shows. (He often does all of these things in one night. ) He always takes the time to say hello and tell us how well we did at whatever we're doing. Who does that?! Cy does that.
Now, we're getting the chance to show Cy how much we love him. What a strange, unfortunate gift. I don't think Teddy Kennedy had as many visitors as Cy has had.
Don't wait for brain tumors: tell your friends you love them.
Read these reports for more info:
At 6:21pm, Aaron Smithers wrote:
Montgomery and I went over this morning and showed up just about the same time as Carrie Shull and we all had a nice visit. He was awake and responsive, a little uncomfortable because the feeding tube had been removed and I think his throat hurt. Still, Cy was in good spirits and we joked around a little bit and it was nice to see him laugh.
He has WXYC playing regularly it seems and I couldn't help but wonder what some of the doctors and nurses think about some of the music.
Got to visit with his dad and another gentleman whose name I cannot remember and we got to share some stories with them as well.
At 7:25 pm, Skip Elsheimer wrote:
Michael Pilmer and I visited Cy at around 5:30pm or so. His parents have gotten good at identifying who is visiting Cy. His dad noticed Michael Pilmer's Van Halen shirt right off.
Cy was in good spirits when we saw him. Still tired. No hiccups though. He's weak and bored but still Cy - cracking jokes, etc. He has an ipod and a portable DVD player setup. Cy has requested to see The Wire. He says he wants to see it again from the beginning. So if anybody has that on DVD, he'd really appreciate watching it.
I'm told he's scheduled for surgery tomorrow afternoon. After that he's going to be recooping for a while. I asked Cy's parents when he might be up for seeing visitors. They thought it might be late Friday or Saturday though he'll probably be in rough shape - tired, etc. We may want to confer with family to see when its good to visit Cy. He appreciates the visitors but it is exhausting for him.
The parents have been very touched by all the friends visiting. Cy's cousin told the parents about the blog and all the comments. I told the parents that Cy is beloved in the Triangle music scene.
Chances are Cy and his parents are going to need help paying for all of this. So we might want to start passing a hat or something...
Carrie Shull wrote:
If any of Cy's out of town peeps need a place to stay or bathe, I live pretty close to Duke Hospital. Very close to where Anderson St runs into Chapel Hill Rd. I could give up my bed, I have a couch, or I have plenty of room for an air mattress.
1919 Ward St
Durham NC 27707
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I went today at lunch. Cy was asleep, but looked to be resting comfortably. I talked with his parents. They were telling me about how people have continued to come out and visit. They were waiting to give Rossi his dishes back from the dinner that he brought them (so sweet!). I asked if they had any likes/dislikes for food and Mrs. Rawls said they were pretty easy going on that end of things. They looked like they were anxious and said as much because they are just waiting to hear when the surgery will be.
After I left, Jennifer Fuller and Heather were over there. This is news from Jennifer:
Cy was awake and the nurse was doing several tests, follow the finger, push with your feet, squeeze my hand...and Cy was passing all of these tests. She said he had his sense of humor "They gave me a bad haircut" and seemed to be feeling ok. The hiccups were still going on.
Here's the news that Jennifer heard. I'm not sure if this has been confirmed, but thought I should pass it along. The nurse said that the doctor would be returning this afternoon and may actually plan the surgery for tomorrow at noon. If that is the case, anyone who wants to visit him tomorrow should come before 10:30 am.
Feel free to post this or parts of it on the blog. I will be keeping up with it as much as I can today.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Cy's mom also suspects that Cy has no health insurance. She was not completely sure, though. I told her that people had been asking me about that, and she was very open with saying that she thinks Cy let his health insurance lapse. They are going to be applying for Medicaid for Cy this week. I do not want to be responsible for coordinating anything on that front, but when I said that I thought there were some people who wanted to help out and the likelihood of some benefit events, they were very pleased by the idea. So if you are interested in taking on that sort of organizing responsibility, let me know and I'll gladly make you a poster to this blog.
James Hepler will be posting soon about an idea for buying Cy a portable DVD player and some DVDs, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
When I went out after work today, I dropped off a couple of metal magazines. Cy has plenty of magazines to read at this point! He had a big stack of them as well as 4 stuffed animals. From all accounts, the reading material is very welcome as Cy is getting a little bored of sitting in one place. He looked good, but he is a bit groggier than last night. I understand he's had a LOT of visitors today and is on two anti-seizure meds to keep things in check. I have no idea what else he is taking.
Cy got to have his first meal today since Saturday. The feeding tube was removed earlier today, so when I got there, he was trying to push down some fish sticks and mashed potatoes. He was almost too tired to eat, and it didn't look all that appetizing anyhow. I heard there had been a cookie earlier that had made him pretty happy.
I also dropped off a printout of the comments that folks have left for him so far on this site. I reformatted them in Word and reduced the margins. It was still 13 pages long! I asked Cy if he had heard about the site and he nodded mid-fish stick that he had, but he was clearly a little skeptical about it... until he saw the packet of comments. He was really pleased and surprised about that! He looked exhausted, but he was still requesting that people keep on coming in. In the hour that I was there, there must have been at least 20 people there to see Cy. His parents were thrilled. There were so many of us that the receptionist just kept the two guest badges on the counter.
I asked about the outlook for Cy. His folks said they were waiting on the oncology report to know what the tumor is for sure. They had been mistaken about the location of the tumor. It is further back toward the middle of the head on the right. When his parents showed a bit of nervousness about the surgery, someone in the department said, "Oh, it will be fine; we did 15 of these surgeries last week." That really made Cy's mom feel more at ease. The main doctor is out of town today and tomorrow; he will be back on Thursday to set a firm plan for Cy's treatment. So his future is in a bit of a holding pattern right now. I'll certainly provide an update when I know one.
I don't think I will be able to go by tomorrow, so if anyone else does, please let us all know if there is any new news.
This message came to me from Chris Rossi an hour ago:
Nothing terribly new or informative, except his parents indicated that they were waiting on a pathology report that they hoped to get tomorrow. Based on the pathology report they will come up with a plan of attack. So they don't really know yet if they're going to be operating or what the plan will be.
Richard and I saw him around 1pm and he seemed to be really tired and ready for a nap, so we were only there for a minute. It was good to seem him talking and moving--he shook our hands. He was clearly not feeling well, though. And he still had the hiccups. I think Cy definitely appreciates all of the attention, but all his visitors had worn him out and it was time for him to rest.
We headed out to the hospital and got there at about 10:40 p.m., so there was not much time left for visitors. We checked with the nurse to make sure he was awake. "Oh yeah, I was just in there. He's just reading a magazine," she said.
When we got in, she was right--he had his nose in a Fantasy Football magazine someone had brought by today. He was really happy to see us. He is breathing on his own and talking. He is no longer hooked up to the EEG machine at all, so he's just rocking some scraggly beard work and a semi-shaved head resembling Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was a little groggy, but mostly just tired. He also had a nasty case of hiccups that was causing him some discomfort, but the nurse had called for some magic drug or wand or pixy dust that was supposed to take care of that. Those hiccups were really making Cy frustrated.
I asked him how he felt about being at Duke hospital, and he responded, "I'm not happy about it." Then, really softly under his breath, he muttered, "Fuckin' Duke." I said that it sounds like this is the best place for him to be right now, and he responded, "I guess so." Someone apparently brought him some kind of Tarheels paraphernalia to keep the balance. (We should keep that coming.) I told him that I had heard from Bo Williams, and he responded, "Bo Williams?! What? How does everyone know?" I told him everyone knew because he was Cy Rawls, and who doesn't love some Cy Rawls, you know what I'm saying?
He was really happy about all the people who had come by to see him so far and all the well wishes we relayed to him. Contrary to what some might have expected, Cy was really psyched to be hearing from so many people. He said it was really cool that so many people know and are coming to visit.
The nurse said that they are working on getting him to a point where he can sit completely upright instead of relatively reclined. They will hopefully have him eating real food by tomorrow night. Right now, he has a teeny feeding tube through his nose. All in all, he looks awesome for someone who had just had the shittiest 36 hours ever. Those who visited him on Sunday will be relieved to see his progress. As far as I know, Carolyn's update about Cy's surgery being Thursday or Friday is still the plan. He had an MRI this morning that came back fine, so the brain appears to be doing just what it's supposed to.
Please continue to visit. He is still in room 4215 at Duke Hospital. Because he is in the ICU, he cannot yet receive flowers, but his parents are taking the flowers that have been sent. He really enjoys seeing everyone. Dave and I will likely be going back tomorrow, so we can print out the messages you all are posting below unless someone else beats me to it.
Man, what can you say? It's Cy Rawls!
Monday, July 14, 2008
A group of us went at noon today to see Cy. He's doing so much better. He was alert and seemed to recognize folks. He can't talk because he has the breathing tube in, but he raised his arm to say hello and good-bye to some visitors. He also smirked at something said to him, so he's responding well to his treatment. I wasn't there yesterday, but I understand this is a great improvement. The doctors will do an MRI this afternoon to look at how things are progressing and the doctor hopes to plan the surgery later in the week.
The nurse told us that when we visit to try and keep him calm and not to get too animated. If he gets too active he becomes uncomfortable because of the breathing tube. They hope they will be able to remove that today, so let's keep our hopes up that his progress continues.
His parents have a card with them that we are signing, and it is nearly full, but I know they have appreciated the visits from his friends. Visiting hours are as Kerry mentioned in her last email, and you should be prepared to wait a bit when you come. Bring a jacket--it is cold in that hospital.
Cy is a fighter and he's working hard to beat this. He's in the best care at Duke as they have an incredible neuro-oncology devision. I have heard great things about his doctor, Dr. Sampson. I know that he'll do everything he can to help Cy recover. Please keep your hopes up.
I figured I'd start this blog to keep folks updated on Cy without having to worry about e-mail addresses and whatnot. Anyhow, below is the message I sent out last night about Cy:
Dave and I went to the hospital to see him today. He was asleep the
whole time we were there, so we spent a little over an hour with his
parents and the other friends who came by to visit. Cy had a pretty
bad day, but he seems to be improving. Here's what we know:
Cy was being prepped for surgery to do a biopsy on a mass growing in
his brain this morning at 3 am when he had a seizure on the table that
nearly killed him. The amazing doctors saved him. The biopsy was
completed but all the results are not in. The tumor in Cy's brain is
the size of a golf ball and is located on the right front corner of
the brain. It is an aggressive (rapidly growing) tumor that needs to
and will be removed soon. Everyone is hopeful.
Cy's folks were told early today that Cy had no brain activity, but
that has changed; Cy is not fully conscious but is able to respond to
some commands from doctors like "Move your left leg, Cy. Move your
thumb. Now, lift your left arm, Cy." This is incredibly good news.
When he is awake, Cy is showing some recognition of people, but he's
still pretty out of it. "Baby steps" are the words of the day,
according to his folks.
Cy is taking a while to come out of the coma, but this is not
surprising considering the insults to the brain caused by the
seizures. The seizures were being caused by pressure on the brain
from fluid, which has now been alleviated. Doctors cannot remove the
tumor, however, until the brain swelling has stopped and Cy's brain is
stable. He is currently intubated because he cannot breathe on his
own. Once that is over and he is breathing on his own, the doctors
will go in there and get this thing out of our boy's head.
Cy's childhood friend Mike was there with Cy's parents. Mike spent
the night there with Cy last night. He wants us to get the word out
to all of Cy's friends and to tell them all to come visit. He wanned
Cy to know how many people are thinking of him as he battles this
thing. He is at Duke Hospital in room 4215. This is in the ICU, so
only 2 people are allowed in at a time. The woman at the front desk
will give you a business card that lists the hours when people CANNOT
visit. In general, these are the time when you DON'T want to go over
there: 7-8:30 am, 2-4pm, and 7-8:30 pm.
This is all that I know...and it's certainly more than I ever wanted
to hear. If I learn more, I'll let you know, and I hope you'll do the