Thursday, December 31, 2009

Greg: "Let's go."

Them guys:"We can't"
Greg:"Why not?"
Them guys: "We're waiting on scans that glow." - with apologies to Samuel Beckett

















Heard from the hospital and I am scheduled for a meeting with the doctor on Monday at 10:30AM to discuss the scan results. When they call you and tell you that they want to meet with you, that can be a call that generates a "Oh #$%@" reaction. However, they did state that I wasn't to be concerned that the doctor wanted to meet with me.

They said that it was because he hadn't had a chance to review the scans yet and would do so in person on Monday.

I'll make peace with it over the weekend.

I'll get back to you Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nuthin' Yet

For your patience in waiting with me...


An 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, die in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years, mainly due to the wife's interest in health food.

When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite with Jacuzzi. As they "oohed and aahed", the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

"It's free," Peter replied, Remember, this is Heaven."

Next they went out back to see the championship golf course the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges every day, and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on Earth. The old man asked, "What are the green fees?"

"This is heaven," St. Peter replied. "You play for free."

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisine's of the world laid out. "How much to eat?" asked the old man.

"Don't you understand yet?" St. Peter asked. "This is heaven. It's free!"

"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?" the old man asked timidly.

"That's the best part...you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."

The old man looked at his wife and said, "You and your stupid bran muffins. I could have been here ten years ago!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PET Scan-Done

Finished with it this AM.

Now, just waiting for the results from the Doc.

I should receive that info tomorrow morning.

When they asked me prior to the scan if I was diabetic, I replied, "For at least a week after Christmas, I imagine most everyone is."

I promise to wait patiently for the phone call tomorrow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Greg - 1, Polyps - 0

No polyps to cause concern in the colon as per yesterday's colonoscopy. They even said that I didn't need another one for 10 years.

While waiting for my ride to pick me up, I had a western omelet bagel at the bagel shop in the hospital. How great it was to eat again.

Seriously folks, I know the whole prep thing for a colonoscopy can be dramatic and exhausting for some folks. I did OK. Wasn't crazy about the initial taste of the Go Lytely, but I made peace with it after the 3rd glass. As far as the intended results of the beverage of choice, chemotherapy gives you a spectrum of bowel movement side effects, so the effects of the Go Lytely to me were "been there, done that."

What I want to say is, some of the drama that is associated with a colonoscopy can prevent others from getting this procedure if the stories of your own personal experience are presented in dramatic fashion. We don't need that. Please remember, your reactions to a medical procedure WILL differ from another person's reactions. I have friends, who have had colonoscopies in the past, that shared their stories. Their demographic is made up of a wide range of folks, from a male in his 20's to a female in her 70's. They recounted that it wasn't that awful of an experience. Funny, the most dramatic stories came from other acquaintances that were mostly healthy males who take pride in their physical appearance and work out regularly. Tough guys......

I was speaking to a nurse yesterday that has not had a colonoscopy because she's uncomfortable with her colleagues gazing at her backside. I promised her that I would tattle on her to some other doctors so they would motivate her to get a colonoscopy.

I went with the understanding that I would be "out of it" during the actual procedure. I wasn't. I was able to see the screen the whole time. It was a bit uncomfortable, but it really didn't last that long. Folks that I talked to afterwards, who have had the procedure and were out of it during the procedure, responded with, "Seriously, was it awful?" It wasn't the happiest ride in the park, but it wasn't the scariest thing that's ever happened either. The great news about not being out of it was that my recovery and release time was shortened. I was in and out (no pun intended) in less than 2 hours.

Again I will say it. I don't intend to minimize or trivialize anyone else's experience. I empathize if it was difficult for you. However, if yours wasn't all that bad, don't tell fish stories.

I really believe the most medical professional are altruistic and are guided by "Primum Non Nocere."

Wouldn't hurt to make it universal across humanity.

BONUS INFO:

1) It's cool to run into some of the caregivers I've met, in a setting other than the clinic or hospital, and have them say, "You look great." What's cool about it is the ability to look back at them and say, "It's all because of your work!"

2) I bought a bottle of wine today for a friend and got carded. That's really cool!


"And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight"
- John Lennon

See you next week sometime....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Powerful

A friend of mine told me yesterday about a family from my church that I know about, but with whom I am not acquainted.

In her freshman year of college, their daughter Lindsey was diagnosed with kidney cancer. You can read her story here.

Last weekend, they received news that their son, Robbie, suffered a stroke while living in Florida and he passed away on Monday of this week.

My friend passed on this comment: "Even now, Gail (the mother) states that in Robbie’s death, others will be experiencing Christmas miracles as his organs are being donated."

This family truly knows how to present their best gifts to the world. Even in the midst of their grief and tragedy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Like Rasslin



Yesterday was a very active day with communication back and forth between myself and MCV.

The surgeon that I met with last week has, in addition to tomorrow's colonoscopy, ordered a PET scan and a unltrasound guided biopsy of the lump that he noticed last week.

I spoke to the oncologist at MCV later on in the day and he feels based on the details of last week's ultrasound of that lump, that there is no cause for concern and that in this case, "sometimes a lump, is just a lump," like the ones that are all over my body.

However, since I now have a history of NHL, the surgeon wants to check it out. If it were located elsewhere on my torso, it may not be so much of a big deal, but since it is near the lymph glands in my neck, hence his concern.

The PET scan is scheduled for the 29th and the biopsy is yet to be scheduled. Another effect these tests have is that my surgery for the 30th has been postponed. The reason for the postponement is not that the tests are taking up the short amount of time between now and then. Rather, it's because if the tests show that the lump is cancerous, then we would need to address it with treatment options, and the surgery would not be as high priority for now. When I heard that news, I was bummed out because I just want to get all this stuff over with. However, it may have been the perfect pill that I've been needing.

Prior to be notified that the surgery was being postponed, I was having a discussion with a friend about this stuff making me weary mentally. He replied, "Greg, you need to understand that everything you are being tested and scheduled for is preventive. None of these thing are because you HAVE cancer." Wise words.

After thinking about his words, I realized this is like them REAL live professional wrestling matches where the hero starts out strong, starts getting roughed up and then in a miracle finish, comes back to win the match in heroic fashion.

Guess it's time to step back into the ring. I promise you that I won't put on one of those silly ultratight spandex costumes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Wond'ring Aloud"

Picked up the "magic solution" for the colonoscopy prep on Saturday from the pharmacy.

The pharmacist told me that when they called it in for insurance company approval, the insurance company disagreed with the dosage amount. The pharmacist said she had to spend time convincing the insurance company that the dosage amount was correct and proper for my particular situation.

She said it was a very frustrating call.

So.....a colonoscopy is a procedure that could eventually prevent the payment thousands of dollars for the insurance company and they are fighting with the pharmacy over a difference of about 60 dollars worth of diagnostic medicine. If you work for an insurance company and can explain the logic of the conversation that the pharmacist had to have with the insurance company, I would appreciate your input.

I'm not disputing, I'm admitting my ignorance.

Trust me, I'm not excited about ingesting 4 liters of a solution that is intended to do what it does. However, if it saves grief down the road, "Thank you, please may I have another."

By the way, I may not be all that conversational tomorrow evening after 6PM and then Wednesday after 6AM.

"Wond'ring aloud --
will the years treat us well...
..And it's only the giving
that makes you what you are."
- Jethro Tull

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Wish You....

I take walks through my neighborhood - usually in the morning after I wake up and before I go to work. I did that this morning.

I also walked tonight when I got home from work. Just as the snow started falling and dusting the ground and road surfaces. Just after people had turned their Christmas lights on for the night. Just as I put my headphones in my ears and started listening to one of my favorite Christmas albums on my IPod - "Christmas Adagios." It's a collection of "quiet" arrangements of familiar tunes. One of my favorites on the album is a version of "Amazing Grace" that blends into "Silent Night."

It was during that tune, while only a clarinet was carrying the tune, that I heard these words in my head:

"I wish you Christmas.

Not with resentment over the way you think a retailer wants you to observe Christmas.

But with the soul of a single parent who works a second job at that retailer to make extra money to wish their children Christmas.

Not with the pressure to find the perfect Christmas tree at the "cut your own" farm that will make the house smell just right and will fit in the room like it was designed for that space.

But with the joy of taking the cold air into your lungs and feeling it awaken parts of you that have laid dormant over the summer. Then, after seeing the tree in the middle of the field, wondering why even though others have cast eyes upon it, it was never chosen, though it is truly perfect.

Not with the solitary possession of the holiday as if it is yours to own.

But by being universal with distribution of grace that comes from knowing that the holiday has taken ownership of some secular traditions throughout the years, thus enhancing it's glory.

Not with the concern in hoping the Department of Transportation clears the highways of the fresh fallen snow so that you can finish your pre-Christmas day chores.

But with the wonder that in the total amount of the snowfall spread over the entire region, no two individual contributors to the wintry blanket are the same.

Not with the melancholy that follows the calendar day after, in mournful acceptance that Christmas is over.

But with the mirth of Christmas morning in knowing that you've received a booster shot of Christmas to carry you for the next year.

Not with the concern of selecting the perfect present.

But with the wisdom and peace of knowing you've presented your best gift.

I wish you Christmas."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Thank You, Doctor!

I did say that today, but not to a doctor. I said it to a radiologist who was doing an ultrasound of the lymph node areas around my neck. During the ultrasound, she also looked at my thyroid and while looking at it, she said, "Let it be known, you have a pretty thyroid!" There you go! Shame I can't post a picture of it here.

I've made peace with the surgery thing and understand the benefits of it vs. radiation. Radiation could cause some toxicity issues and do damage to surrounding organs (namely, intestines) that could be difficult. Surgery will require a portion of the small intestine to be removed, but the surgeon is assuring that it's not a real issue.

Everyone, doctors and nurses that I have talked to agree surgery is the best option.

I had made my mind up that if the surgery was able to be scheduled sooner than later (i.e. within the next week or two), I would consider it Providence and move ahead with it. As it is scheduled, I am scheduled for surgery on December 30 sometime most likely after mid-day. Then, I will be in the hospital for 3-5 days and then a recovery time at home of about 7-10 days.

In addition, the surgeon requested that I have a colonoscopy before the surgery and it is scheduled for December 23rd. So...we'll have that out of the way and I understand that there is lots of drinking the day before...so Merry Christmas!

The reason I had an ultrasound today is that while the surgeon was examining me, he had concern about a bump near my left clavicle. He ordered an ultrasound on it and it came back clean. What they were looking for was to see if there were any blood vessels feeding into the bump. If there were, that would be a bad sign. However, there weren't any blood vessels feeding it. He still may give a closer look at it before or during the surgery if it is still of concern at that time.

I do have several lumps like that all over my body. They have never shown cause for concern during any of the CT or CT/PET scans. I remember my maternal grandfather and an uncle on the same side of the family having their own personal collection of them. Crazy.

That's today in a digested form. I'm doing much better stress wise this evening than I have in awhile, but I'm sure the anxiety will start to perk upward over the next couple of weeks. A month from now, it's in the past.

I told my friend that went with me today, "This ain't what I bought a year ago."

"...Into the woods-
You have to grope,
But that's the way
You learn to cope.
Into the woods
To find there's hope
Of getting through the journey.

Into the woods-
Each time you go,
There's more to learn
Of what you know..."
-Stephen Sondheim

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"All That You Do, All That You Say...."

Title lyrics today from "Eclipse" on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" album.

Until I have news on Thursday afternoon after the consult with the surgeon and doctors, I got nothin. Kind of like when the Apollo astronauts were on the dark side of the moon and couldn't communicate with NASA.

Hope you have great days between now and then - and then a bunch after that.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Worth Sharing

The pastor shared this story as part of his message at church yesterday. I'll let it speak for itself:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Take 2 Anxiety Parts....

...Got rid of two in the last few days. Found the Seasonal and H1N1 shots and got both of them. I did have anxiety about not being able to get them in time.

Also, the antibody blood titer test was taken on Thursday when I was in for my "booster juice" infusion, so I should hear soon about which vaccines I get to retake.

If you want to take a shot at me, now is the time. Platelets are low - high enough to drive and do physical activity - but still at a level where bleeding doesn't stop as quickly as it does at the normal level. The gentleman that gave me the H1N1 shot noticed that. I also noticed there was more blood on the bandage that they put over port after the infusion on Thursday. What the doctor recommends when I'm working in the yard is to wear gloves and not leave any area of skin exposed to cuts, etc.

As I understand it, even though the last chemo treatment was in July, the body will still take up to a year to recover from some of the side effects.

Warning, I am probably a little crankier now than I been in awhile. The crankiness should start to subside later on in the week as the news and information roll in, but I do get annoyed pretty easily - not at everything - just at some things. To comfort you so that you know I haven't gone over the edge or anything, here's a story for you.

I was using my mower to clean up some leaves in my backyard yesterday. I hit a tree root that was sticking up and it stopped the mower and bent the blade. Normally, I would have run to the hardware store and bought a new blade and finished the job. Instead, I said, "I take it as a sign that it's time to stop." The yard isn't finished. I'll finish it someday. But for now, if someone doesn't like the way my backyard looks, they can clean it up for me.

I guess there is a lesson in there somewhere about not rushing to judgment or getting cranky too quickly.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This May Work

When I was talking to the doctor the other day about surgery, I said, "Just another scar to add to the collection."

She replied, "Yes, and it will be the biggest one on you, so it will be the most impressive."

I asked her if she thought I should make up a story that I received it from an injury while playing the 1979 NCAA Football National Championship Game.

She said, "Go for it if you can make it work."

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Because, Because, Because, Because, Becauuuuse...."*

Had a good conversation with my regular oncologist yesterday about the whole "surgery vs. radiation" thing. Let her review my list of questions.

I asked her why she thought surgery would be a better option than radiation. The overwhelming reason for it is that it would present less danger for damage to surrounding organs (mainly the intestines) than would radiation.

She spoke very highly of the surgeon and said she felt comfortable that if he said it was a good option, she trusted his judgment. Since she was the one that initially raised a flag about surgery, I'm comfortable with her assessment now that some time has passed. Now, it's just a matter of grilling the surgeon next Thursday.

Booster juice infusion went OK. No side effects this time.

Spoke to the doc about the infernal cough. She suggested that it might be a sinus drip and recommended Claritin. Told her I had no congestion, but she said that there is a reason I am coughing and that it most likely is a chemo created sinus drip and that is why I have the worst coughing fits when I lay down to go to sleep. Hope it works. Frankly, it had gotten to the point where it was beyond annoying.

As I was finishing in the chemo room yesterday, I noticed a new patient entering the room. I would guess she was in her early 60's. She came into the room with her husband and son and then sent them out into the waiting room to wait for her to finish. She was troubled by what was to come. The nurses did a great job attending to her to make her feel comfortable. She's in good hands. She just doesn't know it yet. I wish I had taken some time to talk to her, but it would have interrupted what the nurses were doing. However, at the same time, a couple of other nurses and I were cutting up in front of her - not to ignore her, but to show her the "other part" of her treatment. I wish her well.

* - Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Booster Juice" Day

Today, I go in for the second IVIG infusion. Will be interesting to see how I react to this one. Last one, had some cold chills that they stabilized and I was fine. However, since it was the day after my biopsy, I was still feeling woozy to a small degree and felt out of it for a few days following. That's why I scheduled nothing until Sunday this time.

Also, will chat with the doctor about my surgery questions and will talk to her about this stinkin' cough that just won't go away. I'm losing my patience with it.

Called a friend yesterday to catch up. She had some serious medical issues herself a few years ago. She called me a couple of times this summer and I hadn't had a chance to talk to her lately. When I called, her husband answered and after I asked for her, he told me that she had died on Monday from lingering complications related to the difficulties she experienced the other year.

Bless her soul.

As I told another friend yesterday, it is the grace we experience from others that teach us to create "spaces of grace" around ourselves so that we can pass it on.

Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei,requiescant in pace. Amen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What The Heck

A friend of mine sent this to me via e-mail. Thought it was too good not to share.

Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business..

Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

She made a mistake, however, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon.

She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that every one seeing it there
WOULD KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING !

Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house ... walked home .....and left it there all night.

"And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." What Mildred forgot...BE NICE.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Secretly Whining

There are some things that go through the mind that I will not post here. I can say I'm taking the compassionate route and not laying stuff on you that could be difficult. Mainly, it's because once I say it, it's out there and I'm not sure I'm correct in some of the conclusions at which I've arrived.

"Very often find confusion in conclusion I concluded long ago-o." You are correct, that's a repeat from a blog post from last year.

I will tell you that I am not as fired up at this very minute about being a volunteer in some form for cancer patients in my future. I will be later. Just not right now. The folks I talked to in the early going about the grand things I was going to do once I was finished with all of this would say, "Wait at least 6 months after things get back to normal for you and you have time to adjust before you start immersing yourself in any activities related to your cancer experience. If you start too early and you bail out, you'll let some people down." Wise words.

One thing I did conclude, and this is a very candid and honest statement, came from a question someone had the courage to ask of me in the early stages of all of this. They asked, "Have you thought about whether or not you may die from this and what are your thoughts on that?" I replied that I had given lots of thought to it and although I am not afraid of dying and I look forward to the day I die, I wasn't ready to do it right then. I expressed that there was still more stuff to do. That remains my position.

As far as why I'm not afraid of death, I think of Tim Russert. I had the opportunity to see him live on 3 occasions at The Richmond Forum. He was a very gracious, down to earth and humorous individual. When he died, I was saddened by his passing, but I rejoiced for him. My statement on his passing was, "Tim Russert finally knows 'the secret.'" In my mind, his first words in the afterlife were, "No Kidding!"(edited for the PG rating)

I was talking to the pastor at my church yesterday and told him that even though I was a bit weary mentally, I know that I have seen and experienced lots of things that are true miracles in the past year. Had you told me on October 27, 2008 what was ahead of me and the people and things I would experience, I may have replied in the same manner as Tim Russert.


“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who know it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out can”
- Albert Einstein

Monday, December 7, 2009

"...With A Thousand Million Questions..."*

In no particular order....

If you have questions of your own, please post them in the comments section. I may be able to use them.

When would this surgery happen?
Will it be general or local anesthesia?
What are the general risks (i.e. internal bleeding, affecting other organs, etc.)?
Statistically, what is the likelihood of relapse without the surgery?
Statistically, what is the likelihood of relapse with the surgery?
What is the hospital stay time frame?
What is the recuperation time frame?
What does the insurance company have to say about all this?
Why is surgery the more preferred option vs. radiation?
Is there enough of a likelihood of relapse before my next set of scans (in February) to do this now instead of waiting until then?
Since it is lymphoma, is there the possibility of a rogue cell breaking loose and getting into the lymphatic system and starting a "cell division party" elsewhere?

"But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose." *
- The Moody Blues

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Betwixt and Between

Still working on them questions.

Here's the deal. I read my blog post from a year ago and shake my head at the energy, and maybe a little determination and resolve. Then I realize that at that time, I was thinking it would all be over by spring. It ain't.

That plays with the head.

Yesterday, I slammed a skillet against the counter top because it wasn't coming out of the dishwasher as easy as it should have. I threw something else down on the ground because I could feel it slipping out of my hands and I decided if it wanted to be on the ground, I would be a catalyst for it.

I'm keeping a close eye on the whole emotional and mental part of this and I already know what resources are available if it gets out of hand. I don't think I'm close to that yet, but I want to assure you that I am in control of that.

Then...I read blogs and stories from other patients who have dealt with cancer issues that are more traumatic and spread out over more time.

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where In The World?

If you are reading my blog and notice some comments that make you say "Huh?", it seems that there are some folks out there that read blogs with less than noble intentions. I noticed a comment early yesterday that was posted by someone from Taipei and it was simply a series of links to buy apparel with athletic logos. I guess once I hit a certain number of posts and reach a level of visitors, the trolls go fishing. The beauty of this being MY blog is that I can delete those comments at will...and I did.

I saw Skippy yesterday and thought I would post some pictures for you.

This one is of his feet on American soil (actually asphalt):










And this one is of he and I greeting each other:










He returns to Baghdad next week and then will be back in February to go on a cruise with his family.

Tomorrow, I share some of my thoughts about the upcoming surgery consultation. In some ways, one wants to move ahead quickly with things and in other ways, it's good to have time to "process" things before you need to make a decision about something like this.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting To Know You

December 17 at 9:30AM, I am scheduled to meet with the Oncology Surgeon at MCV for our discussion.

He has a pretty impressive approval rating from his fellow doctors. Last year, he was selected as the top Oncology Surgeon in the city of Richmond by his peers. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

After he and I meet, I then will meet with the folks from my "2009 Summer Vacation Spot" for some discussion with them. Not sure how my vote will go that day.

I'm going to talk to my regular oncologist next week when I go in for my IVIG infusion about my questions that I will ask that day. A concern she had - and I may be repeating myself - when the last set of scans came back was that the surgical option my cause a rogue cancer cell (if there is one hiding in there) to go on it's way through the lymphatic system and create havoc somewhere else.

And until now, I thought buying a house was a big decision.

It makes me tired sometimes. This is the first week since the house arrest lifted that I have been in the office or meeting with clients for the entire week. I'm getting pretty tired. I'll be alright. No alarm will be set on Saturday morning.

"And oh, when I'm old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds that will blow right through me
" - Alan Parsons Project

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"...Clip, Clip, Here. Clip, Clip, There..." *

Short on time this morning, but I will tell you that I talked to the MCV folks yesterday and they are recommending a surgical option. Waiting for a call to set the appointment for the consultation with the doctor down there in which we'll review my scans and then I'll barrage him with a load of questions.

I will tell you that the surgery option is not a done deal in my mind. There will be plenty of discussions after I meet with the MCV doctor including a discussion with my regular oncologist.

I'll give you more details and things that I'm thinking about in the next post.

A friend of mine had an observation yesterday about all of this. She said, "This has to be frustrating. It's like taking your car in for an oil change and then being told you need new breaks and a transmission replacement."

Funny.

* Songwriters: Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg

Some Of The Greatest Hits

No word yet from the MCV folks. Will contact them soon.

A little medical information for you. I heard about the possibility of this and am finding it to be true. I thought that since I had a 100 day "house arrest" period and was taking a 2 mile walk on almost a daily basis, I would not have any issues. However, I must confess, I do get fatigued by day end. Nothing too awful and I sleep well at night. It's just going to take a little while longer to get back to full steam. Pending the doctor's recommendations for further treatment and what that treatment is, the time frame may stretch out a little longer.

What I'm doing is not extending myself beyond what I think I can do. I'm not scheduling everything I can on my calendar and letting the chips fall where they may. Instead, I'm scheduling sensibly. So...if I tell you I will do something and be somewhere, most likely you will see me. However, if I ask for a "rain check," you get the picture as to what I'm doing. Don't worry, I'm not "falling down tired" or anything, just working on getting back to using all of the pistons in the engine. It's all good.

It's interesting to look back to last year's blog posts and see what I was doing a year ago. I was attracted to the comments left by others. Here are some from last year that I thought needed sharing again.

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." - Buddha ...

"The secret of health for both mind and body is extra spicy chicken wings, beer, televised sports, and a semi surly soccer playing waitress."

"All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."

"I know I'm not a doctor, but I'm not sure I can agree with the prognosis that you are mentally ok. I think I need "ok" defined." ;)

"First day checking out the blog and comments...your friends are funny." =)

"...don't they give you a house in Michigan if you agree to stay in the state now?"

"...a site listing causes it said that lymphoma had a "twenty year history linking it to black hair dye"! Does it have to be Amy-Winehouse -shoe-polish-black or does that also apply to medium golden brown?"

"Getting tossed out of a chemo ward might be a noble goal indeed. Good luck with that."

Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets; then can come the best of benedictions - "If I had my life to live over again, I'd do it all the same”
- www.thinkexist.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bad Form On My Part

After I read my post from yesterday, I realized I wasn't very clear. By reading the post, one could fairly assume that the MCV folks may have detected some residual cancer still in me. There isn't.

The reason for the potential treatments or surgery is to lessen the chance of relapse in the existing scar tissue (i.e. calcified tumor) area.

As of the time of this post, I haven't heard back from the MCV folks yet and I'm good with that. Not that I want to delay anything. To me it means that they are taking their time and doing good study on the situation. That sits well with me. This week, at some point I've already designated, curiosity will take over and I will call to follow up. It's part curiosity and part "being a patient taking an active role in their care."

Below, snow video as promised. It was taken on Friday, November 27 just west of Friendsville MD (where I spent Thanksgiving).

"I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow, snow, snow, snow, snow"
- Irving Berlin

video