Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I'm getting word, again, that posting comments to this Blog is becoming a problem. I have to tell you that I've looked at that problem every way I can think of, so I don't know if I've fixed anything or not. The way it's supposed to work is as follows:

1. You write your comment and click "submit" or "send" (I'm not sure what it says).
2. Your comment is sent to my email address for approval. (I don't disapprove any but I do get to read it.)
3. I click approve and it's posted to the blog.

If it doesn't work that way and your willing, keep trying!


Surgery Isn't the Answer

Of course, the hope was to surgically remove the abscess and the tumor and be done with the whole lung problem. But, conditions had to be perfect for that to work out. When are conditions ever perfect?

The infected area was too big, connected to too many things and too close to the tumor, and the tumor was too close to arteries feeding blood to the lung. So, any attempt to remove anything by surgery would have killed me; or at least the odds were in the 80 and above range. Whew! That'll make your face pale. We stepped back for another assessment.

Never the less I ended up in surgery today for a biopsy of the offending infection. It was an identical procedure that I went through in November to get the biopsy of the tumor, except this time Dr. Ho went through the front. "They" said that I wouldn't be totally anesthetized (damn that spell checker is great!). But, I was put to sleep because I didn't feel a thing and didn't want to. They even said I coughed. And, if I coughed without knowing it, then I was totally anesthetized. You have to experience one of these coughs to know that it racks your body and you grow to hate them.

They kept me around long enough to make sure the procedure hadn't left any unwanted holes in my lung, and that my lung was going to seal up on its own. Then, they sent me home. So, now we will wait again for the identity of the infection so we can feed it its medicine, make it go away and then get on with chemo. The rate we're going, we may start chemo in March. Chris is having fits at how slow Kaiser is, although you can't really blame them, and she's nagging me to death when there's nobody else around to complain to. If you hear of an old man jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll know the chemo problem is solved.


Monday, January 23, 2012

And, My, How Tings Change...

I no sooner finished today's blog than my doctor and I traded a few emails. We decided to wait until my lung infection is figured out and cured before proceeding to chemo since the cancer is growing so slow. In fact, there had been no change (first I heard it) in the scans taken.

Then, another suggestion came up: Surgery to remove the entire lung. That would take care of the lung cancer and infection and eliminate the need for chemo for a good long while. So, I'm now awaiting an appointment for a surgeon consult. We'll see.


My, How Time Passes

Well, it does and it doesn't. Some days I can lie down for a nap, feel like I've slept for an hour or more and be surprised that only ten minutes have passed. I'm usually disappointed that the tv program I wanted to sleep through is still playing.

But, for those who look to this blog of updates and who have been waiting since January 1st, yeah, I guess time passed. Sometimes I just can't get motivated. Hope you understand.

Actually, on January 1st I was on hold, waiting for my doctor to make a decision about chemo, and whether or not to start it sooner, later or never. On January 3rd in an appointment with him, I learned that he favored the latter two, the later or never options. I objected and overruled him and we began getting ready for chemo. By January 10th, I had a lab blood workup, a CT Scan of my upper body, a brain MRI, a one-hour visit/tour with the chemo clinic Pharmacist Manager, a two-hour chemo orientation and a second opinion with another Oncologist. It was a busy seven or eight days but I thought I was set for chemo.

Oh, and about that new MRI. It showed that that tumor that wasn't effected by the early December Radiation Therapy was suddenly over 50% smaller! Hooray! So, the Radiation Therapy was having an effect after all.

Then, someone saw something else from that CT Scan in my lungs other than the cancer. They saw a lesion, a hole. And, my annoying cough was getting worse, had I noticed the change, and my appetite was changing as quick as the wind. I was scheduled for an evaluation with the Pulmonary Med Department. That began a whole knew set of blood tests, sputum cultures and a Bronchoscopy to get "a wash" of the inside of that lung to see what was going on. "They" were thinking that my 1970s Tuberculosis might be coming back to haunt me. Meanwhile, my cough got so bad that my rib and diaphragm muscles were in pain, I couldn't get a moments sleep and nothing helped ease the cough. My appetite disappeared to the point where I ate nothing for four days and had to force feed myself. I dropped 10 pounds in one week.

And so, on January 23rd, I'm still waiting on chemo, my cough has lightened up enough that I can get a few hours sleep at a time, and I seem to be able to eat a bite or two at a time. It will be a week or so before the full results from the Bronchoscopy are in.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

I knew that...January 1st, 2012

I knew it wasn't an exercise thing all along. I tried to tell everyone that. But, I've had to listen to "you need to walk" for two months. In fact, I think Diane brought that up first, and I agreed at first, but quickly found out that walking didn't help. I kept walking and my legs kept getting weaker.

Since I stopped taking the wicked pill over two weeks ago, and I am walking better, everyone suddenly expects superman. So, yesterday Chris says, "you're walking better! See? Exercise helps." I didn't respond. It doesn't do any good to respond. And, yes, I am walking better but the real test is getting up from low sitting chairs or out of low car seats. I have to be careful where I sit because I don't have the leg strength to stand up from low seats and no amount of exercise helps.

Nope. I'm still helpless close to the ground. I no longer feel any effect from the pill, but it apparently is still working on my system.

Fifty-eight years ago today on January 1st, 1954, between eight and nine minutes past midnight, a baby was born in Gibson County General Hospital. A few days later he came home with tons of gifts from the county and businesses wishing the New Year baby well.

All I could see was red hair; more red hair than I'd seen on anyone. And, as I recall, very blue eyes. In ten to twelve months he began developing a sense of humor, a dominate feature of his life-long personality. He found nearly everything funny and it took very little effort to get him laughing, then giggling. It was when the morning playing began that I began having school problems. I was frequently tardy. "Playing with Dan," I told dad, which was true, but it was the giggles that caused the tardiness. We laughed so hard we forgot school. On other days when dad took us to school, I made it on time, but perhaps not fully dressed. There must have been a dozen days when I'd forgotten my shirt and wore only my undershirt. Dan had that way with us. I remember the embarrassment at the time, but I also can't help but laugh at the memory of that infectious giggle. Happy Birthday, Dan.


Monday, December 26, 2011

A Rare Bird

CA initiates state protection for rare woodpecker:

I've been watching this woodpecker in our backyard for a few months now. He seems to be happy and oblivious to silly human endeavors. We've been having morning coffee together at first light for a while now. He has quiet a project going and I enjoy the company.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Redemption, Repentance and Salvation; But, first, a Status Update


1. I'm tailoring off of those wicked pills, now down to twice a day, verses four a day. Doc said I might see mood swings, but I don't seem to be. A little less sleepy too.

2. I can't seem to get the hang of smoking pot. It's stronger than I thought. I suspect a poor choice of the "tool," a pipe. I haven't given up, but I may go find one of those "starlight" shops for better ideas on paraphernalia, maybe a bong. The advancements in pot smoking has apparently taken new turns in recent years, where before it was more like a tobacco, it is now a cake of sorts that must be cut with a cutting tool to grind it down into a finer blend. Geo is advising me on finer smoking of pot. I'm trying to get it.

3. Dan and Kim are here for a visit after a long day on the tarmac. They were delayed in Salt Lake City on Delta. I told them to take Southwest. We had dinner at Bancheros, a six-course dinner, and they walked away pretty full.

4. I'm thinking that I like the changes at KGO Radio, Doug McCyntire, The Redeye Special, has taken over the night shift. At first, I thought he was another right-winger, another voice of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to the great beyond. Instead, he seems to have grabbed the limelight from Ray Talialfaro, an ultra-left liberal, who was getting monotonous. 

None of that dampens my spirits, it seems. Of course the great debate between Eastern Philosophy and Western Philosophy has always been the idea of Redemption, and whether it is relevant. Millions of Eastern Tibetan Monks would disagree with the idea of Redemption. They would strive for transcendental meditation that attained a level of peace and harmony in the cosmos, a new Being, a Buddha, but they wouldn't call it Redemption. It would simply be a level of self achievement, to be sure, but one of striving on their own, limited to their own achievement. It wouldn't be whole.

I know a woman who is a Pillar of her Community who can summon the peace and tranquility of the universe with a whisper. Her prayer reaches her entire Fortress, and frequently she stands with another of like power who keeps watch over a different Fortress, one of Justice. The one keeping watch over the love of community and the other over those special protected who trusts her. She will be successful. They will be protected in the fortress she's built, an astonishing Bulwark from boarder to boarder and coast to coast.

And so, it's sad to see the lost souls of Limbaugh stand in the Republican booth criticizing the community and with each slash of Limbaugh's tongue, a cut to the throat of Owensville's jugular, or at least an attempt to cut it's throat. I noticed, however, that an accusation didn't seem to work, that the taunting "She's a Republican," didn't really get the response desired. It came across like a graceless and unwanted bucket of cold water.

Redemption comes with the grace and power of repentance, of simply turning around to accept one's place in the Angels of community. How can Limbaugh touch a hair on these Beings' heads?