Greetings, I am LMWDP #614, happy to be here.
I've been an avid coffee person for many years, the last 5 or so have been more interesting though as I started down the rabbithole of espresso, espresso machines, grinders, roasting and all the other little avenues that act as wonderful distractions along the road of life.
Lately life has been more challenging. My mother passed away in January of head and neck cancer. This happened while my marriage of 21 years was coming to an end. If that wasn't difficult enough, shortly after my mother passed away I learned that I, too, had head and neck cancer (not genetic as far as we know). My mom's was due to metastasized sun damage on her lip, mine was a result of HPV+ cancer at the rear of my tongue that metastasized to my lymph nodes. So my life sort of really unraveled in front of my eyes over a very short period of time. I'm 50 years old, have always been healthy, take good care of myself, live a very clean lifestyle, and by all measures should be the last one to get cancer. As we probably have all learned by those close to us, cancer is indiscriminate and often not very compassionate about its targets. I quickly formulated a plan and moved to Texas (home of MD Anderson Cancer Center) from California, bought a house, and went through cancer treatment while starting virtually all parts of my life over again.
Fast forward a few months later - I'm now finished with treatment. My house is coming together nicely, and I am now a happy lever owner alongside a lovely Monolith Flat SSP. These are gifts to myself for getting through some tough times in life and reasons to stick around a bit longer and keep fighting.
So witness a few new friends on my counter: Londinium R, Kafatek Monolith Flat with SSP upgrade, and all sorts of other little toys to go with them. I only hope my barista skills can match the goods in my kitchen
If there's anything I'd like to impart to my HB friends who have helped me along the way, its that this HPV+ head and neck cancer is hitting us hard. Its said that its the cancer that middle aged healthy men that have never smoked get. That's me - never smoked, rarely drank beyond appreciation of fine beers and Scotch in moderation, and working out to a fault. Now, PLEASE READ THIS AND TAKE HEART: If you are a middle aged healthy man, and you develop anything odd in your neck/throat area and it doesn't resolve within a few weeks - GET IT CHECKED! In my case, it was a small swollen lymph node on one side that swelled up and after 3 months I had it checked - and it was stage IV metastatic cancer. Guys - LISTEN! Take this seriously - its an up and coming epidemic and we're all potential targets. Please, please, please, get yourselves checked out if you fit this picture - it may save your life. My prognosis is good because I found it early and it appears to have cooperated with a very aggressive treatment - time will tell but my doctors are encouraged.
Looking forward to many more years of lever action!
Jeff in Fort Worth, TX - if you're around me, look me up and lets share some espresso!