Sunday, August 31, 2003

Will upgrade to BloggerPRO once they get it available and back online. This will allow me to answer the most common question, "how many hits are you getting?" I simply do not know.

Saturday we were going to take it easy. Then realized, watering the backyard is a time comsuming PITA that is sucking the lifeblood out of us. I'm convinced the couple that sold us this house spent their entire lives watering the yard.

So we went to the farmer's market in Willow Glen to look for more plants. and veggies, and bought some samosas from an Indian food vendor.

Sara and I made the run. To OSH. Bought some PVC pipe, a few adapters, some bits and pieces, and put together a very lo-tech, above ground sprinkler system that waters a little more than half the backyard. Simply hook up the garden hose, turn it on, and it sprinkles, bubbles, and distributes water to most of that part. With not too much ugly white PVC. If we get really excited, may toss some wood chips on it.

Then I hung up christmas lights along the underside of the patio cover. It gets all sparkly at night, without the heavy floodlights that used to blind folks. While I was doing this, Sara was out pulling plants we decided we hate, and she put in some Mums! Mumariffic! Mumderful! Mum-a-lama-ding-dong! Mums! we got Mums!

Saturday night I heard the model airplane was not from Kate, it was from Mr. & Mrs. Roedl, Sara's folks. Kate helped send it along though, so she still gets thanks. And even more thanks to her folks. Wow, great, thanks for thinking about me.

We tried to watch the movie "Ran" by Akira Kurazawa, but my grandmother's console TV is just not up for the task. It has been getting worse and worse, I am afraid it is on it's last legs, and we will be forced to go buy a new TV. BOO! It's not that I do not want to buy one, It is that I hate TV, and except for south Park on Wednesday night, and occasional movies, we both HATE watching TV. There is just so much more in life.

Except I am probably gonna be forced to watch a lot of TV over the next few months!

Dilemma! What to buy? Why? What is cool? What can I get without buying a monster home video theater system 2000????

So we watched Ghost Dog instead. Forest Whitaker as a modern black Samauri? fun.

Then slept.


Sunday morning got up and began answering emails. My realtors have TWO possible offers! woot! Yay Alan! Yay Michele! So I am answering emails, and Sara suggests we water the lawn. I reply that I would like to finish what I am doing, but she pushes, so we have a mini-argument, I break, we water the lawn. But she is moody. I know I am gonna get yelled at today.

After watering the lawn, which isn't really a lawn, it is a collection of exotic plants and ferns, odd trees, etc. I climbed a ladder and took the DISH Network satelite dish off the back of the house. We wil not have sat TV, and less junk is better! Still had energy, climbed on the roof and took down the old school TV antenna. Less stuff! Especially less stuff that could fall over in a storm.

Hung the antenna in the garage, tied it to the radio on my work bench, which now gets great reception. And it makes a lot of space to hang airplane models....

Sara made eggs for brunch, using peppers from our yard. It was delicious, and unfortunately gave me more energy.

So I crawled under the house, and re-routed the cable modem jack from one bedroom wall to another, then routed the ethernet cable that had been layin on the floor to sara's office under the house. I had to have her help me with this, one person below the floor, one above, moving cables and passing things through the walls.

I love Sara more than life itself. But we do not work well together. She gets a look on her face as if I shat in her breakfast cereal, and then she looks like she is gonna cry every time I speak. Wneh you are on your back, in the crawl space under the house, and cannot hear much, and there are scary spiders lurking around, you do NOT use the 'quiet voice'

it just got worse and worse, till we were done.

Love, yes. Ability to work with? no.

but made it happen. And she did clean up everything in the house after all was done.

Now, there are no cables stapled to door frames, no cables running down the hall. all is tidy.

And me? I am bonked. No strength, no energy, nap time.

We might MIGHT! try to go to the new IKEA store in Palo Alto, to see if there is any proper furniture, or temporary furniture. Need to do something aout a comfy couch, and a chair or two in the living room. Maybe even a table, but I hope not. It is a nice, large, open room. Just needs more space to rest, and a T.V. made in this decade.

Laura Ackerman, thank you for the books!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Called the Chemo Doc on Thursday. Sara pointed out that Monday is Labor Day, am I sure that is my appointment? So I phoned, and said "Hey, this is Charles, I have an appointment on Monday, and want to confirm" The receptionist said "Yes, you do. Monday, the 8th." So I replied "but will you be open Labor Day?" She said "Nope, we will be closed" I ask "how can I have an appointment then?" She said (very nicely) "You must be confused, the 8th is a WEEK from Labor Day." I replied "Oh, yeah, sorry, thanks" then we both giggled. I am losing my mind. So No Chemo doctor till the 8th.

Hmmm. Dinner with Robert last night, Sara & I broght some of Robert & Linda's stuff back, and it has been in our garage for a while, so he came to get it. We all went to Aqui's, and talked about racing too much, I am afraid I bored Sara. Then we discussed the effects of aging. Why is it hard for me to remember simple things I used to be able to do with ease a few years ago. unhhhhh... cause I am getting older! Got home and watched a net-flix rental "Adrenaline Drive" in Japanese, it was sort of, well, different. But Sara did rent, and I should be happy she likes me. It DID have car chases and explosions, but no boobies.


Work this morning, and I was wore out form the moment I woke up. Just fatigued. bad. Got in late, could not focus, left early. for me, even. Dang. BUt did accomplish somehting. While I was there, i had some IM conversations with Paul Sommerville, a pal from SF, who is partners in Moto Java Coffee & Motorcycle shop. Paul is fighting off some cancers of his own, and has much experience with the fatigue part. We chatted about this for a while, and he had a brilliant idea.

Since he is always telling his girlfreind "i am tired' they decided to put a numeric scale to it, so she has an idea. Example. 3 - today I feel okay, but a little winded. 7 - it is hard to keep my head up. 10 - I need to lay in bed with a pillow over my head.


By putting this scale together, he is able to convey more than "i am tired" so she gets signal, not just noise. She can quantify what it means.

I am trying to do same for Sara, and come to a mutually understood scale, so instead of saying "I'm tired" I can say "I'm #4 Tired" and she will have an idea of what I mean.

We then chatted about calories, and how strange it is that some days the calories you eat seem to go to energy, other days it is all going to fight the cancer. So you never really know what it will be like form one day to the next. But we agree on one thing. it sucks.


Got home, took a nap. Did some computer stuff, boutgh a synch cable for my phone. It can now talk to my computer. And save all the address book, etc.. But I think they are talking about me behind my back. "Does he hit your keys too hard?" "Sometimes he treats me like an appliance" that kind of stuff.

Then the mail came. Woo Hoo! Sara's sister Kate sent me a cool model airplane. It has an electric winder for the rubberband. I've never seen anything like it. Made by "Lyonaeec" corp, it is the same as the model pictured on the link in the top left corner. A F-2b. Absolutely coolness. If energy permits, I will try to fly it tomorrow.

I am also working on a Guillow's Lancer out in the garage. Old School, stick & tissue. My hope is to regain my building experience, and start building tiny, indoor, electric RC planes. But will see.

The kit from Kate was grand. Cheered my day. Woo Hoo!


Sara went shopping and bought some cool stuff for the house. Then we went to dinner at Goombei in Japan Town with my pal Eileen, her husband Jim, and their kiddo Ryan. I had some extra toy motorcycles, that I thought he might be able to help me out with. It worked. He liked them.

Dinner was tremendous, Eileen has a great family. Sara did not speak Japanese.

and I got a little tired, but it was a great time. Then! on the way out, they gave me a present.

MINI Bagel Dogs!

Can you BELIEVE it? Mini Bagel dogs. Oh my! woo hoo! They do not have MINI Bagel dogs at MY grocery. oh, I gotta find them

these are not Dr. Stein's either, they are Best's Kosher. Oh yummi! wheeee!

I have GOT to find an outlet for Kosher Bagel Dogs.... mmmm drooolllll..... mmmmm


Looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and not doing much. will see if it happens. MUST SELL CONDO!







Thursday, August 28, 2003

Yesterday we went to dinner with my pal Ravi, who is visiting from Chennai. And Alberto's Restaurant was CLOSED! for electrical problems. But should re-open. We went to Pizza Jacks instead, it was yummi, I had a small clam & garlic pizza. mmmm. small pizza, not small clam.

Home, sat on the porch, chatted, had peppermint ice cream, (on sale at safeway right now! yummi yummi) and generally had an enjoyable evening. Realized I have an appointment with the Chemo Dr. on Monday. Monday is Labor Day. I need to call and confirm.

Then got sad email from my pal Rebecca, who had some personal stuff that I will not discuss here, but we can say I care for her, so I called and tried to be a good friend. Wanted to take her ice cream, but could not take the drive to SF.

Came in to work today and got good news from Stacy, that I also cannot discuss here.


Okay, so I will talk about MY poops, and sperm banks, and troubles. BUt really I try not to bring my friends personal junk in here too. And it is even harder with Sara, cause her life is so much a part of mine. BUt I really do not want ya'll to think I will just blabber any old thing.


uhh, sidetracked. back.

work is good today, got some stuff done, but forgot the Chemo Dr.s phone number, will call tonight or tomorrow.

and got this WONDERFUL joke from Sara's folks.

>>>>
Texans

Gabriel came to the Lord and said, "I have to talk to you, I have some Texans up here in Heaven who are causing some problems.

They are swinging on the Pearly Gates; my horn is missing; barbecue sauce is all over their robes; chicken, sparerib, and ham bones are all over the streets of Gold.

Some folks are walking around with one wing. They have been late taking their turn in keeping the stairway to heaven clean. There are watermelon seeds all over the clouds. Some of them aren't even wearing their halos. They say they prefer their 10 gallon Stetsons.

The Lord said, "I made them special, as I did you, my angel. Heaven is home to all my children. If you really want to know about problems, let's call the Devil.

The Devil answered the phone, "Hello? Hold on. Wait one minute," and puts the Lord on hold.

After 5 minutes he returned to the phone, and said "Okay, I'm back. What was the question?" The Lord said, "What kind of problems are you having down there?" The Devil said, "Man, I don't believe this..... hold on, Lord".

This time the Devil was gone for 15 minutes.

The Devil returned and said, "I'm sorry Lord, I can't talk right now. These Texans have put the fire out, and are trying to install air conditioning!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I cannot believe the folks made me cry yesterday. It was just horrible.

I woke up this morning ON A MISSION! I will take charge, 'manage my treatment' as everyone keeps telling me. First I went to Dr. Andonian's office to pick up the paperwork. Saw a beautiful V12 Jag e-type in the parking lot.

Spoke to Dr. Andonain's nurse, who was shocked at the bahavior of the BASTARDS at the Fertility Institute, [(408) 356-5000 2516 Samaritan Drive Suite A, if you happen to be driving by with a bag of dead rats, please feel free to throw them over their fence....] She said service is usually very good with them, but... She did have the lab paperwork ready, and suggested I use UniLab, right across the aisle from Andonian.

Since I MUST get the bloodwork done, might as well do it there. 4 vials. FOUR! eeek, needles. But gave the blood samples, then wandered out to my truck, ready for work. Got in the truck, then woke up slumped over the steering wheel, apparently, I got a little light headed and passed out. And sat there, for a couple of minutes. Hmmm, that's not right. So I went across the street, had some orange juice and a pumpkin empanada.

When I was positive I was feeling better, I drove in to work, and commenced to try to do good things.

And thought more about this sperm bank thing. There HAS to be better facilities, that do not make me cry. Last night Sara sent me some suggestions, so did my good pal Lionel Hall, and a few other folks had ideas.

The BEST thing that happened was an email from my sister. Go Sherry Go! She shed some light on the whole thing:

"The people at the BANK sound very unprofessional...but they work with giz all day long. They're either going to be weirdos or irritable."

and that got me giggling. Then she wrote a but about Ladybird the Wonderdog and Bob the Cat at the vet's office:

"I chuckled about the description of Ladybird at the vet. "No! Nooooo! Not THE SPOON!" She would stand there, perfectly still....thinking about chomping until she felt bones splintering in her jaws. Damn good dog. Bob Katz was actually worse. He would grab hold of the vet's hand with both paws and bite while humping the vet's arm. Once, he would be still for a moment and lull everyone into a false sense of security before taking another swing."


Yeah, I miss my pets, and love my sister.


So with renewed strength and vigor, I began calling. California CryoBank in Palo Alto! Only a little north of San Jose, and Cindy on the telephone was kind, compassionate, and all about business. She explained I would need an initial consultation visit (Tuesday, Sept 2, 9:30 AM) They would do some blood work, then I could make some popsicles.

I feel SO much better about them. JUST from talking to the receptionist. Yes, it IS all about customer service.

Now I need to go home and have a nap.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003

ARGGG DAMNED SPERM BANK BADNESS

Okay, I have to call a fertility clinic to freeze my semen and store it.

Just thinking aobut and writing this makes this North East Texas Boy queasy.

BUT the chemo MAY make me sterile, and if I EVER wanna have kids, this is the way to do it.

So Dr. Andonian gave me the name of a sperm bank, Fertility Physician's Institute (408) 356-5000

and I called them today.

And it was the WORST 20 minutes of my life. Ya know how I keep saying I like it when I feel comfortable talking to my doctors, and how the staff is good, and all that. Well, these guys are the exact polar opposite of everything experienced so far.

I felt HORRIBLE when I got off the phone with them, I wanted to cry. I was sad, depressed and angry.

First, a receptionist with attitude. What do you WANT? Why isn't your DOCTOR call-ING? hold puh-leze!

Second, a technician. What is your name, who referred you? how is your name spelled? hold please.

Third, the lab manager. What is your name? Who referred you? Why are you calling?

ME: I am calling because I want to bank sperm before I have chemotherapy for my cancer. My doctor suggested I phone your company. What do I need to do to make this happen.

LM: have you had "THE blood work, you know" "And do you have written doctor's orders?"

ME: "No, I do not know, or have orders, do I need to get something?"

LM: "Well, without doctor's orders, we cannot do anything."

ME: "I will GET doctor's orders, on my way to see you. What do I need?"

LM: You need these tests:
RPR
Hepatitis B Surface Anogen
Hepatitis C Antibodies
HIV 1 & 2
HTLV 1 & 2

AND written orders from your doctor.

ME: "okay, I can do this, and bring it to your clinic. When?"

LM: "Thursday between 1 and 2, but not after 2"

Me: "Ok"

LM: "Now you know, the blood tests are gonna cost about $500, then the initial Sperm freezing is an additional $450. Plus $350/year contract you need to sign to store it. We do NOT take insurance, you will need to bring money. We cannot do anything without Doctor's orders"


And now I am scared. We are still paying for BOTH houses, the condo is still for sale. I am dipping hard into my savings for this, and here is more money. But if I want a kid, I gotta do this. So what is money. But why Is she so damned snotty?

Is there another place to do this?

So I call Dr. Andonian's office, and speak to Sharon, in the front. She writes down all these things, and will get a letter form Dr. Andonian. But she says it is irregular, and that does not sound right. But come in tomorrow morning, we will have a letter.


Then I hang up, go backinto my room, lay down in the GODDAMN sweltering heat, and just cry.

I have CANCER! It is cureable, but I am SICK. WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE BEING ASSHOLES?

I cannot rest, so I look on the internet for sperm banks in San Jose. I am tired and hot and frustrated. I cannot find a goddamn thing. I am screwed.

I should have asked for Dr. Andonian, but you need to understand, my brain is not working quite at 105MPH how it usually does.

I feel horrible and helpless and sick.


I will solve this tomorrow. I will go to his office to get the letter, and try to find out if there is a better place to store my sperm. Cause I do not want to do business with these BASTARDS.


C



My pal Krista posted this link, for "which X-Men are you most like"

and for me?

professor x
You are Professor X!

You are a very effective teacher, and you are very
committed to those who learn from you. You put
your all into everything you do, to some extent
because you fear failure more than anything
else. You are always seeking self-improvement,
even in areas where there is nothing you can do
to improve.


Which X-Men character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla



which is wierd, cause I always wanted to be RACER X! a misunderstood man of mystery who ran away from home!

go speed go!

News Flash from Dr. Colburn. He left a message on my machine, Stanford is currently recommending Chemo as the #1 treatment. Cisplatin. He will call UCLA, and work with Dr. Scates.

Next Step: Sperm bank
then Dr. Scates

Cancer Interlude, Quick Math Lesson, & Iraq

On my way in to work this morning, I was listening to National Public Radio. There was an interview with Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq. He claims it will take billions of dollars for post war reconstruction. And this set me to thinking.

How many people are in Iraq? About 22 million.

How much is a million? It looks like this.

So we do a little Math. Mrs. Ray, my third grade math teacher, who could not explain fractions to me, might approve of this.

1 billion dollars=$1,000,000,000
divided by
22 million people = 22,000,000

EQUALS? A plethora of happy Iraqis.



So, we cannot afford to send our kids to school, the east coast blacks out every so often, a huge gas pipeline to NM is broke, the State of California is broke, we have homeless in the streets, medical costs are soaring, no one is getting raises (but happy to have jobs) and we are sending BILLIONS of dollars to Iraq.

Why?

can't we just send $25,000 that's a shitload of dollars to each Iraqi, then spend the rest on Americans, at home?

Just my 2 cents.

Till someone can explain this to me, I am still against the war.

(thanks Dale for correcting my math! )

Monday, August 25, 2003

Sunday was great, got up, watered the yard, trimmed some plants, Sara and I worked the leaf vacuum-blower thingey, then I bonked, went inside and took a shower. Trooper as always, she finished the tasks to her specifications, came in and had a shower. We had a light lunch at Aqui's, a Cali-Mex restaurant in Willow Glen. What is Cali-Mex? Well, it's like Tex Mex, but expensive as hell, and you sometimes may be hungry when you leave. Chuy's Comida Deluxe in Austin is still the comfort food KING!

Back to the house for a quick nap, then over to Dale & Joan's for dinner with them & Jack. I will keep repeating this, having friends is my #1 strength. woo hoo. In bed early, Monday is a big day. Joan got a job at Ducati North America. Yay Joan! Dale just got back from Japan. Yay Dale. And Jack? always YAY Jack. He told us a story about his mother, who says her front room is lit up light the airport at night, from all the colored LEDs on things. DVD, VCR, TV, etc. etc. I asked him to tell her, I have placed squares of electrical tape over every LED in my bedroom. Nothing lights up to annoy me. Sure, it looks odd, black tape over devices, but I have tried to make it look like racing stripes. And Dark. did I mention Dark? :) (Howdy Mrs. Walshe)

Wake up with sunlight, shower, shave, and off to work. There are a few more things I think I can do, and want to handle them. Work on a few projects, then Keith comes in. He has just returned form a sailing vacation to Belize, looks tanned, relaxed, and happy. We chat about work for a bit, and he reminds me I MUST make lists of accomplishments. It is not enough to DO the good stuff, you gotta report what you did. Okay, I will work on this.

Larissa is supposed to be on vacation in Mexico, but her flight was cancelled due to hurricane or something, and she is at her house, dialing in and working. GRRR! I told her "vacation, it means time off and not working." She won't listen. I suggest she go to santa Cruz to the boardwalk, or shopping for frivolous clothes, or anything, not work.

Today I recieved many emails from freinds I have not heard from in a while. I need to return emails, and phone calls. My list keeps growing. Thanks for the emails Sara, James, Mig, Christos. Thanks for the calls, Evvy & Mike, Cindy, Lawrence, Louis & Dirty Steve. I will try to get replies out ASAP

So I leave the office and head to see Dr. Colburn at O'Connor. He is the Radiation Specialist. Have I mentioned I am kinda scared about all this? I mean, I KNOW what is coming, I KNOW this type of cancer has a 98% survival rate. But I am still scared. Will they Zap me? Will they Juice me? Both? Neither? Either? What is gonna happen??


As always, I try to get to the hospital/doctor's earier than my appointment. I already have my insurance card and ID ready. They photocopy these everywhere you go. Smile, be nice to the lady in the window. They ARE on your side.

After a few moment, I get to meet Joyce the Nurse. She is wonderful, cheerful, takes my temp, blood pressure, quick history interview, and chats with me a bit about what may happen, and what I should discuss with the Doctor. Really, I have always liked nurses, they give so much. Hmm, Lance started a charity to help cancer research, maybe I should start a charity to help buy nice things and smiles for nurses....

Anyhow, Nurse Joyce sets the tone for the visit. Things will be good. .... then she mentions I may have a prostate exam!! OH NO!

Sidetrack> Years ago, I would take Ladybird the Wonderdog to Dr. Greg Biehle in Austin. He is a great vet, who really has a good way with both animals and their pet humans. Every so often, Dr. Biehle would need a stool sample from Bird. He'd use a long white sample 'spoon' From the moment the spoon entered Bird's backside, she would freeze, absolutely motionless. Like a statue.

Till the exact moment the spoon came out. At that moment, she'd turn into a wild demon, trying to bite anyone near her. I never really understood why she remained absolutely motionless. Till my first prostate exam. Once you know what is happening, you want to remain as still as possible, to prevent ANY extra or unnecessary motion back there. Laid over a table, when it was MY turn, prostate being examined, I was absolutely motionless, till the offending instrument was removed. Then I tried to bite the doctor. Years ago.

Back on Track.

I have had extremely wonderful luck with medical staff. Dr. Nguyen my GP is great. she almost always has time to see me immediately, and really takes care of me. Dr. Andonian, who did the surgery is president of the staff at O'Connor, has a wonderful attitude, amazing mental rolodex, and dispenses advice well.

Dr. Greg Colburn. Radiation Oncologist. Good Guy. I like this man. He spent nearly an hour and a half talking with me, explaining things, discussing posibilities, and making suggestions of what to do next. I felt like I was interviewing him for a job, which, really, I was. And I would have this guy on my team any day of the week. I was impressed.

So much happened, I will try to sum it all up.

First, My questions:
A) Teamwork & Timing: You will need to work with Dr. Steve Scates, I have an appointment with him next Monday. Is this too far away? Should we try to see him sooner? Is there anyone you would rather work with? How do you formulate a program for my treatment?

B) When do we start, how long does it take?

C) How bad is the treatment?

D) Should I get a second opinion? Who would you recommend? Everyone tells me I need to "manage my treatment" what suggestions would you give a guy like me to do this effectively? I do not have time to put myself through medical school. What do I do?

E) Should I be taking any drugs, change my diet, add vitamins? Are bagel dogs the perfect food?


His answers, somewhat diluted through my filter, for time.
A) Dr. Scates is a great Medical Oncologist, and we can easily work with him. Monday is not too far away, it is just fine, you are not in any danger. Plus it will give you time to bank sperm, you are doing that, right?

You are a Stage II-B patient. this means the cancer has progressed out of your testicles into a few nodes in your left abdomen by your kidneys. It has gone far enough we need to consider the proper treatment. It may be Chemo, it may be Radiation, it may be both. But the cancer is not in your lungs or brain. We have time to catch and treat it. Cancer is not cured. You do not cure cancer, you survive it. You are in great shape to survive this one.

If radiation is the therapy of choice, we can do that here. However, it may have some effect on the bone marrow, so if it fails, chemo would be the next step. the issue is, if the bone marrow is weakened through radiation, you will be weak going into the chemo. So we may opt for chemo first. We need more research on this.

B) You need to meet with Dr. Scates next Monday. After you meet with him, we will contact each other and discuss this. Until we decide what treatment to use, discussing times and lengths is jumping the gun.

C) It is different for everyone. Depends on what we do

D) Great question. In our discussion, I think you hit the nail on the head. You need to find a doctor you are comfortable working with, who knows latest treatments. You should be comfortable with this doctor, or team of doctors, and they should be able to explain everything to you. Learning does not mean you have to know all the details. But you should learn some options. If you want second opinions, or other physicians, I will be glad to give you some names. You are really lucky, we are so close to Stanford, you are literally a few miles away from one of the country's leading cancer research hospitals. I work with them constantly to keep up to date. My thought is to call some freinds there, and see what treatment is thought best at the moment

E) multi-vitamins, but NOthing with 'oxidant' or 'anti-oxidant' they can hamper the radiation or chemo. A good balanced diet, high in protein, we have dieticians on staff to help with that. You need to eat well to rebuild energy and blood cells during treatment. No comment on the Bagel Dogs.


>>>

then we discussed my health, motorcycle racing, effects of treatment, and more on this 'contacting stanford' business.

That boils down to: The cancer I have is VERY treatable and survivable. Usually the treatment conflict is about what can be done, and can it be survived. Is the treatment worse than the disease. However, in my case, there are SO MANY effective treatments out there, the conflict is chosing and tailoring the correct treatment for me.

We also discuss fatigue. It is perfectly normal for me to be this tired. I should listen to my body and rest. Okay. I kinda knew that. But validation is great. He examined my incision scar, which is healing nicely. The muscles are sore, but in an appropriate way. My focus and attention problems are also normal, I need to stop thinking about this so much.

We discuss my web-log, and attempt to diary all of this. He says lots of people start, but they glaze over the treatment part, cause it is a difficult time. But do it, it is good stuff. Most people can tell what happened to THEM, but not in general. As long as I remember, this is MY cancer, and not what happens to everyone. But the idea of trying to put together a list of what happens, and stories as it goes, is probably a good idea.

I like this. I feel much better. Sure, nasty things are gonna happen, BUT, I will survive them.

Oh, and NOOOO Prostate exam! woo hoo!

NEXT STEP! bank sperm

After that? Meet with Dr. Scates next Monday, have HIM examine me, then they will both discuss, and we will start working on a treatment, assuming I like dr. Scates as much as I like Dr. Colburn.

I think I will try to have Sara come with me to Chemo Dr. Scates, just to ask more questions, and, of course, in case he says "yes, bagel dogs ARE the perfect food"


Other Business> Many MANY of my friends have made wonderful offers to speak with their doctors, freinds who have had TC, Chemo, etc. and Joe, who's folks neighbor is BIG Dr. at John's Hopkins has offers for discussion.


I am going to wait till I have 2 doctors, on the team, making decisons and suggestions, THEN I will begin chatting with folks. Like Jack tells me, one step at a time. One Step at a time.


In closing, it is DAMN hot in San Jose. Why is it this damn hot? I know, not TEXAS hot, but Damn Hot.






Saturday, August 23, 2003

Just this morning, I was advising a friend to write every day, as a way of tracking life events, and not forgetting stuff. Then I realized, I need to be doing this as well. So I will try, very hard, to post daily.

Woke this morning, next to a really pretty girl. it was cool. She smiles at me, and likes me. I am mighty lucky.

cooked some eggs for brekkies, then ran some laundry, then hung a bunch of my model airplanes form the rafters in the garage.

Amazingly, I needed a quick nap. Why is this stuff wearing me out so hard?

Got up and met with Kevin, we went to the park at the end of the street, and he showed me his electric Radio Control Park Flyer. These are smaller model airplanes, lightweight, flying electric power. Very VERY cool. I need to learn to do this, then start trying to convert some of my stick & tissue kits to RC. Woo Ho
Lunch at the Taqueria, chatted for a while, then back to the house, and had another nap. Sara took her DRz for a ride. YAY Sara!

I slept most of the afternoon, then we went to her pal's house for a BBQ party. Which I think I fell asleep in.

My dear pal Joe caled. His folks Neighbor is a good freind with the doctor who handled Lance Armstrong, and would be wiling to speak with me.

Wow!

So my plan is to speak to the Radiation Doc on Monday. See what he says. Find out if he has a better suggestion, or could speed the schedule of the Chemo Doc. Once I can get BOTH radiation & chemo to chat, and formulate a strategy, I plan on discussing with every expert I can.

Cisplatin. This is the stuff! More on that later.


YAY Joe!

Phone Call Bastard: I am horrible, I cannot stand talking on the phone at the moment. I REALLY need to return calls to Greg & Cindy, Mike & Evvy, and Krista, But I am just too wore down. Will try tomorrow.


I almost lucked into a 1964 Honda CB 77 305cc Superhawk today, but at the last moment, the owner decided it was worth more than I think it is. Oh well. Still an object of fantasy.

Tomorrow I am gonna try to sit on one of my bikes. Not ride, just sit.

time for sleep

Friday, August 22, 2003

Last night I soaked off the "steri-strips' used to hold the incision together. Now I can take a shower without duck tape. YAY layin in bed, itchey, pulled on something, was some suture! OMG, did I just open something up? Whew, nope, it is okay. Suture looks like fishing line.

I had to go to work this morning, it was neccessary, I got what I needed done. Nailed! a big WIN! yay. Then, to make it better, Larissa 'IM'd' me that she was released form the hospital, is feeling better, and on her way to Mex for a week vacation. Ah, youth. (IM = AOL Instant Messenger, cool communicaiton medium at work)

The nurse from Dr. Colburn phoned me, we chatted for a bit, and got setup for Monday's appointment. She has a nice phone presence, and seemed to really care. that, form my point, is a BIG STINKING HUGE PLUS! Oddly, my main question for Monday is not "what do we do with radiation" it is more "so, why won't the medical (chemo) guy see me till NEXT monday, can you pull strings? do you know someone better?" I am impatient.

But I bonked early, ran out of all energy, and was home by 2. I had nothing left. I napped. It wasn't really a POWER nap, just layin around, wondering what the heck is going on, drifting in and out, till I got a little energy up. How did I expend this energy? Sorting through my clothes, getting together for a run to goodwill. Did I really wear this in 1985? Why in the HECK do I have 28" waist pants? I can barely fit a 34" now? Do I REALLY need those worn army BDUs?

I sorted, I looked, I culled, I TRIED to get RID of clothes. the pile is not as large as it should be. But I am trying. Then? bonk again. Nap. this time longer. Got up, answered the phone. I do not know how to express how sorry I am when people call, and I just am wore out. I got nothing to say, I am wore OUT. and I feel bad. People call because they care. and I am mumbling, and drooling, and cannot articulate.

Why am I so dang tired? I have the energy to get up and go to work, but why does social interaction just put me away?


Okay, back on track. Sara comes home, we talk, we decide to go out. Yes, I need to take her on a date. I do not want her to forget how important she is to me. How special. How nice, a date. A movie. She picks out a movie. No, no action. it does NOT have the THREE KEY COMPONENTS to a good movie: Car chases, explosions and boobs. Sara always picks 'art' movies that play at the 'art movie house'.

I love her, really, truly, with all my heart. But I really want to sit in a chair for an hour and a half, and see some formula crap that does not stimulate or make me think. Bring on the Guns, Knives, Firetrucks and Whooo-ers!

Nope. Art flick.

Now don't get me wrong, some of the art flicks she has dragged me to have turned out to be pretty darn good films. and I have even liked some of them. And sitting in a dark room holding her hand, man, that is nice..... Couldn't there be just ONE car chase?


We saw American Splendor. Described to me as "some guy from Cleveland makes a comic book about himself and gets famous" Okay. Comic books! I know that. Car chases, Ka-POW! boobies sometimes.....

The name rings a bell. My pal Christopher Null, the WORLD FAMOUS movie critic (whose web site is currently unreachable) this is the guy Harry Knowles WISHES he was,....... Anyhow, Chris mentioned something aobut this in a past email about my blogger and cancer. But as usual, I paid no attention to the harbinger of culture....


We go to the NEW Pruneyard Camera Cinema! Yuppie Heaven, next to the Microbrewery, in the shcmancy shopping center, sits an art movie house. New, Modern, full of smelly art movie junkies. hello, guess what? I am wearing Lounge Pants in Public, I know, I have FUCKING NUT SACK CANCER! But at least mine are BIG. Oversize. These folks are wearing TIGHT lounge pants. EEEK!

I do not need to see that guys "junk" and her cameltoe is scareing the crap out of me. (if you do not know the toe) We make it past the pony-tailed, unwashed masses, and asian guys on cell phones, into the theater, grab a seat, and WOO HOO! Previews!

LOVE the previews. Like little movies. quick little snippets of adventure. woot!

Then the flick. American Splendor, a movie about Harvey Pekar, this angry guy from Cleveland who convinces his pal to write a comic book about his life. the life of the ordinary man.

Okay, this is alright. No boobs, no car chases, but an okay story.

and I am having a damned hard time sitting still in the theater. It is too long in one position. My abdominal scar is hurting. Then, the bomb drops.

He has Cancer!

He writes a comic book about it

He documents it

He has stolen MY thunder. He has done what I am doing. He has described what happened, in comic book form

uhhh, damn.

they briefly glaze over the chemo, and move on to how great his life turns out, end of film.

And I am thinking "comic book form, maybe I am internet form?"
and also thinking "my guts hurt, I need to be horizontal"

and thinking "woo hoo! and I got a MUCh cuter gal with me!"

we go home. I lay flat. I read some email. I write this. I am about to go lay in bed.

this still feels really therapuetic and good for me, so I am gonna keep on writing, even if it has been done, in comic book form.

Tomorrow, I may need to go see Tomb Raider or Charlie's Angels, ya know, to make up the car chases.....




finished reading Selkirk's Voyage last night, wow, what a great book. What a man of iron. Though Ms. Souhami does seem preoccupied with the fact that he fucked goats on the Island, she mentions it more than a few times. I thought it was very interesting that on his return home, he got into an adulterous affair, then married, left her, married someone else (while still married) died, and did not really give a damn what happened to all the women.

In Austin, and through most of the southern US, there is a tradition of "mojo"

Mojo is an object a friend gives you for good luck. It can come in many different forms. Lately, like everything else, it has been commercialized, and you can buy mojo in stores, even online. However, for it to be real, and for it to work, it should be a gift of meaning, from a good friend.

Mine has been received in the form of a Moslem bracelet from the Sinai desert, from a friend.

Thanks to my friend Israel, from Israel.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Years ago when I worked for the political consulting firm, part of my job was producing reports from polling data. One of the most important parts was the "executive summary", a 3 or 4 line paragraph explaining the next 500 pages of data. Cause really, no one wants to look at 500 pages of data. Especially busy candidates.

So here is the executive summary, followed by the details.

Executive Summary
Charles Statman, August 21, 2003 Visit to Dr. Andonian:
I still have cancer, it progressed to the lymph nodes by my kidneys, but is not in my lungs. I need to meet 2 oncologists, who specialize in radiation and chemotherapy. We will work as a team, to determine the best treatment plan. I will also 'bank' sperm for the future, mine is viable. My cancer is treatable, and not spreading rapidly.


Detailed Explanation:
I went to work this morning, wondering how bad it will be, and how much of a hurry to be in. One of my direct reports (Larissa) called from the hospital, she is having some digestive tract issue. I told her this is NOT a competition.

At 1, I spoke to my aunt, then left to meet Sara at Dr. Andonian's office.

1:45, we met with Dr. Andonian and got some news. I do still have cancerous bits in me. It has progressed out of my now removed testicle up into the lymph nodes by my kidneys. Scary but controllable. It has NOT spread to my lungs.... yet.

The next step is to meet with 2 oncologists, and begin developing a team and treatment plan. This is not something to put off, but I will not be admitted to the hospital tomorrow. So that is good. Pressure, but not OMG Pressure. More on the oncologists in a moment.

To insure that Sara and I could have children in the future, we need to find out if my sperms are still viable. If they are, I will need to bank some in case the chemotherapy makes me sterile. apparently, putting them into a dixie cup in the side-by-side freezer does NOT count, or work. :P But we knew that. It's just me trying to keep positive attitude.

Viability. Got to get a sample for the doctor to look at. Sara goes into the waiting room, and I am sent into an exam room with a cup. Uhhh, and bright, flourescent lights. And 'happy' office music. and absolutely nothing else. Have I mentioned before that Dr. Andonian's office is very nicely decorated? In a homey, stylish, country, maybe Maine, -east coast style? I mean, sure, it is a doctors office, but the rooms are nice. Too nice. Way too nice for any 'stimulating' thought. It feels like you are trying to wank in your freind's grandma's kitchen.

Oh my, what if nothing happens? What if I cannot make it work? Okay, we are talking about cancer, and my fight against it. Sometimes this is not a pretty story. Some times the stuff I talk about is gross and disgusting. But I am gonna write it anyhow, just so I remember what happened.

I am sitting on a nice wooden kitchen chair, with a blue ruffled seat cushion, in a well light exam room, next to an exam table, with pictures of ducks and labrador retrievers on the wall. I can hear the receptionist booking appointments. I have my pants around my knees, and I am trying to masturbate. This is not easy. I do not like masturbating. Period. No matter where I am. It is too damn messy. I know, bad reason, but it is true. I try to be fastidiously clean about my body and environment, and this is just messy and icky.

BUT! Focus like a laser. this is to make sure we can possibly have kids in the future. As my pal Rudy used to say, "I would hate to deprive any woman of the privlidge of bearing my children" Okay, there are a ton of people out there praying and thinking good thoughts. I can do this.

Eeek! all these people are thinking about me. Oh god, and here I am in grandma's exam room, trying to pull one off? My cousin Andrew once claimed his mom told him he should not masturbate because all his ancestors were watching. His thought was "well, then I better do a good job" And that was my goal too.

calm down. I have cancer. this should not be so traumatic. I HAVE done this part before. c'mon, think. Concentrate.

Whew. I managed to make some. Will they be swimmers? dunno. As instructed, I leave the sample cup on the table, and go out to the waiting room to join Sara. Who says "that was fast!" fast? oh, no, it felt like an eternity. Then she asked me what I thought about. and you know, this is the sad part. I had to clear my mind. I had to concentrate on ONE thing. This is fantasy stuff here, right? you don't exactly think about your fiancee. And I cannot really get anywhere thinking about super models, or movie stars, or anything. I have a good pal who is "in the business" she's a knockout, and makes photos and all that stuff, but no, that's like, MY FRIEND. Oh, this will never work! FOCUS!

Sad but true, I concentrated on one of the ladies I really want. I thought about sleek flowing lines, gentle curves, graceful shapes. And it worked.
I know, sad. but the 1964 model in black would be my choice.


Finally Dr. Andonian called us in, we looked in the microscope. My boys are SWIMMERS! and LOTS of them. Whew. So I will phone the proper clinic tomorrow and begin banking sperms for a potential future kid.


Oncologists.
Definition: The study of the causes, properties, disease progression and treatment of tumors and cancers.
Oncology is a discipline of medicine studying the cause, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

I need to meet with 2. One who specializes in Radiation treatment. In my case, Dr. Greg Colburn, at O'Connor Hospital. We meet this Monday at 1:30pm. The other specializes in Chemotherapy. Dr. Steve Scates, who I have an appointment with a WEEK from Monday. They will meet me, then speak with each other, and figure out what to do. I am hoping Dr. Colburn will call Dr. Scates and say "Hey man, a week is a week wasted, see this guy asafp"

will know more monday. But it is prjected that I will get both, nuked and juiced. Whee!

I feel I should do more research, and learn more about the doctors, but at the moment, I am too tired, too worn out, too beat down. Still have positive attitude, just need more rest.

Remember to tell people
Sara heard the results with me, so she knows. When I got to my truck, I phoned my folks, to let them know. Then I called my main man Jack, who has stood beside me through all this. Then I went home and took a nap. My dear friend Rebecca phoned around 5, but I was tired and did not make much sense, I hope she understood. Okay, sorry this took so long, but now ya'll know what I know.

My next 2 Steps are concurrent: Sperm bank and Oncologists.

More as it develops. I will beat this cancer! But I may lose some weight and hair on the journey. Thanks again for all support and kind words and thoughts.

C


1:15, and I am leaving my office to head over to doctor Andonians. More later.

eeek

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Sara and I went to dinner at Krung Thai with some pals from work, and some new pals, and it was a swell evening. When we got home, I checked emails, and now.....

YAY!

I know who sent the bagel dogs! A dear and close friend who shall remain nameless, except to me!

So I was writing an email to this dear and close friend, and really thought it was good stuff, and I ought to share it. It started as a reply to "what the heck do you SAY to one of your pals who gets sick?"

and here is what fell out of my brain.

>>>>

So I got sick, and they cut out one of my balls, and I am probably going to have a bad few months of chemical nastiness, depending on what I find out tomorrow. But I WILL survive this, and I will still love you.

Cancer sucks ass. When you hear it, you think about old dying people in wheelchairs, or sad little girls, bald from chemo, fighting to stay alive.

When it strikes too close, when it is a friend of yours, a child, a spouse, a lover, you are at a loss, you don't know what to do or what to say.

Generic phrases, like, "I care about you", or "I am scared" or "I am here for you" when those words come out, they may FEEL meaningless when you say them, but I promise you, looking at it from this side of the cancer, they mean a HELL of a lot.

Every time a friend of mine says something like that, in that uncomfortable stutter, that wierd, hard to push out, words that don't seem like enough, Guess what? I KNOW what they mean. I KNOW they are frustrated, and I KNOW they care.

So really, that's enough.

Cause every time one of my friends says something like that, it helps me fight, it gives me strength, and it reminds me how damn lucky I really am to have friends.

tomorrow at 2pm I meet with the doctor to learn what they found.




After yesterday's fluid-episode, today was somewhat calm. I slept late even! Sara and I stayed up watching "Lagaan" last night, a particularly wonderful movie, especially if you are white folks, but want to learn what the Indians are singing during those brilliant dance numbers....

I was not able to keep any solid foods in, due to the contrast still in my system? But finally around 10:pm sara brought me some ice cream, and it managed to hang around long enough to count.

When I woke this morning, it was to a loud expellation of gas. You may remember me quoting Fred about such matters in a prior food poisioning incident, needless to say, I was not "farting with confidence" yet. And after hearing this expellation, I realized, I needed to get out of bed, and go 'check on things' as they say.

Well, the nicest way to put this is "And then I got into the shower."

Clean, feeling nice, off to the office. Trying to make my life feel normal, I stopped at Diamond Cleaners on hwy 87 at West San Carlos, to drop off some dry cleaning, then to wal-mart to return an air pump I do not want to discuss, and into the office at 9:30 for meetings.

Still not feeling like eating, I had some juices. You'd think I would be turned against apple juice after yesterday, but no, I still like it. Drink a little juice, do a little work. My pal BethW came by to drop off a DVD she got from JimRanes in Austin. He made a short out of clips he filmed on his trip to Tashkent, Uzbeckistan for Herb the International Playboy's first wedding.

It was just amazing seeing video of Jim & Herb. Felt like I was right there, well, okay, maybe not RIGHT there, but was good to hear/see pals from Texas.

Went to a few meetings, actually did some good business, then hit a wall at 3. Absolutely no energy. Of course, cause I cannot keep anything IN me. The hospital staff did warn me it could take 24 hours for all the goo to run its course. So I made for the house.

Using my NEW verizon LG-VX4440 cell phone, I called Mr. Ranes to talk to him. I have good freinds. We chatted all the way home. But I was bonk-city when I got home.

Lots of packages at the house. My last order from amazon arrived. A cover for the Weber grill Dale, Joan & Jack got us for housewarming, and Diana Souhami's book "Selkirk's Island, the true and strange adventure of the REAL robinson crusoe" My boss Keith mentioned it in passing, and for some reason I could not get it out of my head, so I bought.

I also recieved ben Schott's "Schott's Original Miscellany" which someone apparently ordered FOR me, and did not include gift card. It looks tremendously interesting, but I wish I knew who sent it.

So now I have a: Pirate Hat & Eyepatch, a book, a dozen bagel dogs with Lik-M-Aid that I have NO IDEA who sent me. And it is starting to freak me out, cause I feel bad about not sending thank you notes.....

Tonight I have dinner plans with some of our engineers (who are freinds) visiting from Israel. So I needed to get some nap time in.

Tomorrow at 2 we (sara & I, not the royal we) go back to Dr. Andonian's to learn what we learned form the CT scan, and find out what the next step is. I am feeling okay, but tomorrow will make a huge difference in what the next few months look like.

To quote Tweek from South Park "Oh man! That is WAY too much pressure!!!"


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It has TRULY been an interesting morning.

Arrive at O'connor hospital at 7:45am. The CT scan is scheduled for 10:45, but I have to arrive early and drink "contrast". This is a nice, innocent name for 8 cups of seriously nasty radioactive DYE that courses through my bloodstream and attaches itself to icky bits. The 8 cups come mixed with cranberry and apple juice, 2 at a time, every 30 minutes.

I drink the first 2 at 8am, and sit in the waiting room. waiting. Oddly, my left collarbone starts aching. then my lower ribs. then my wrist. I think this stuff is attaching itself to every previous break in my body. So I sit, read and wait.

With the second round, I try to be cheerful, asking the nurse if I could get a vodka shooter with it. She smiles, and tells me the "contrast" will induce serious diarreah, the bathroom is down the hall to the left. But she appreciates my positive attitude.

By the third round, I am 'peeing out my butt' as a roommate used to say. At 9:30, I am totally empty. I have cleared my guts, all my old breaks ache, and I think I am seeing a pale bluish tint on everything. I no longer want Vodka. I want a nap, and some soft toilet paper.

10:00am. Early! I get in EARLY! YAY! totally unheard of, but nice. Change into scrubs, go lay on the table, the nice tech explains everything to me. The contrast I drank cleared my system, as well as making it all glowing. However, to be sure, they will put a second dye in me, through an I.V. drip. He explains it should feel warm, but other than that, no problems.

He will run me through the machine once without the IV. Then put in the IV, and run me through 2 times. Pull the IV, and run me one more time. This is a giant, round, expensive, humming XEROX machine for humans!

First run, no problem.

Needle in, and I manage to be a 'big boy' and not cry. (but I still really hate needles, and did have to stare at the cieling and think HAPPY THOUGHTS! I can feel the solution running through me like liquid fire. Warm? no, more like hot. Is this what "hot flashes" feel like? Can I commiserate with menopausal women now?

Second run with the IV. As I slide back into the machine, he asks me to take a breath and hold it, and I feel it coming. Just like on the 50 Mile Canoe trip with Mr. Rollins and the Boy Scouts. It will not stop. I am laying on my back, and a gentle warm stream of apple juice-colored clear vomit comes bubbling up and out and coats the inside of the CT Scanner. And my chest. BARF! Blech! Chuck! Earp! Ruth! Earl! and it will not stop. I have visions of rock stars dying in hotel rooms, choked on their own vomit.

Years ago my dad made a joke that I would die of something so silly they could not say it aloud at the funeral, cause everyone would laugh. Choked on his own vomit! Yeah, that is pretty funny. and I start laughing. and it clears my throat and I can breath! Thanks Dad! You saved my life, ... again!

I start apologizing for making a mess on the machine, but the tech hollers to be still. He is STILL shooting pictures through this! YAY!

He gets done, and says he got the right shots. He brings me some towels, and covers my chest. Then pulls the IV. He says about 1 in 1,000 patients react to that contrast. Wow! I feel special.

We do one more run without the needle, and he helps me get up and to the bathroom to clean off. Did I mention I still have diarreah?

This is a total poop & puke fest. Great stuff for guy stories! Bad stuff for fiances and moms to hear. Why DO guys think bodily fluids are so hilarious?

I get cleaned up, and the nice receptionist suggests I take an extra towel, just in case, for the drive home. HOME? I gotta go back to work lady! I have things I NEED to do there. Fight Fight! Never give up!


I leave the hospital, and drive back to the Verizon shop. Kevin, remember, the competent fellow who helped me out with the Audiovox phone last week? is there, but he is swamped. I wait, turning down assistance from 3 other clerks, praying he can finish the lady in front of me before I have to poop again.

He does, he remembers me, we swap the cute, but not functional Audiovox for the LG VX 4400. This is a newer model of the phone Sara has. We will HOPE it works at the house. If it does not, I am at a loss. But at this point, I am VERY sure I need a strong working phone at the house. It feels like I will be spending a lot of time there.

Leaving the store, I check voicemail. Our pal Joan has called, she landed a job at Ducati North America. Wonderful, and I bet they have no idea how lucky they are to have landed such a wonderful person.

Then I called Sara to tell her about my poop & puke. Ya know, it is just amazing she puts up with me. Amazing. I am a very lucky guy. She is going for some well deserved self-spoiling. YAY!

I got to work, had a few quick meetings, and I am feeling very drained. literally, so I will go home and rest. and eat bagel dogs!


Monday, August 18, 2003

Well, my pal beth from work got to spend time in Austin, and apparently had fun. YAY! I love Austin.

I went in today a little later than planned, and spent a little more time there than planned. Remember how I said I had about 2 hours up time for every 2 hours down time? well, it seems a skewed number now, but I seem to need more rest now.

Spoke with my bosses boss, who was wonderful and offered support. I think we can manage this from the work perspective.

Got home, napped, then Eric's Sister-in-law, and my pal, Tara came over to work on her "fire fairy wings" for Burning Man. I'd helped build a big old industrial looking set of pipe fittings and valves to channel propane out of a bottle, through a regulator, through 2 sets of valves into 4 tubes, 2 tubes per side. top tube will have many holes, and be a burning "wing" bottom tube will be a pilot light at the end of the wing.

We managed to shape them, attach everything, fab a harness, and get them working before 10PM. And her husband James came by to help, he took Sara to drop off rental car from this weekend, it was BIG help!

tomorrow Tara and James will finish sewing all the connections on the harness that we just pinned together. James will drill the tiny holes for the tops of the wings, and Tara will attach wire mesh to make them more wing like.

Me, on the other hand, I will go to the hospital and have a CT scan to look for the rest of the cancers. wish me well. Won't know results till thursday.

good night

My good pal Margaret just sent me this semi-medical funny. I hope it makes you smile

The Wal-Mart Computer

One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Wayne says to Carl, "My elbow hurts like hell. I better see a doctor." Carl replies, "Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money. There's a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars.. That's a lot cheaper than a doctor."

So Wayne deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart. He deposits ten dollars, and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits. Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout that says, "You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks."

That evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Wayne began wondering if the computer could be fooled. He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and masturbated into the mixture for good measure then hurries back to Wal-Mart, eager to check the results. He deposits ten dollars, pours in his concoction, and awaits the results.

The computer prints the following:
1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener.
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with an anti-fungal shampoo.
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Went away for a long weekend. It was very neccessary. I am not sure when I will be in good enough condition to have time away with Sara again, and I felt it was extremely important.

Good part? Very relaxing.
Bad part? I missed a close friend's wedding.

Good part? he is a good friend, and he BETTER understand.
Bad part? I read the Lance Armstrong book.

Sara ordered it from somewhere, and stayed up a few nights ago and read it. I read it this weekend. It scared the hell out of me. I am VERY much trying to keep the 'positive mental attitude' but reading his chapters about chemo scared the living bejesus out of me.

I am not afraid of much in this world. 2 things really, spiders and needles. Both along the same lines, both suck blood out of you. I really dislike them. Oddly, snakes don't bother me. I mean, I do not like them much, or keep them as pets, but I do not freak out and run around like a wild mohican when I see one. But spiders? I squeal like a wee tiny girl.

and needles. blech. Make me lightheaded and faint.

if I do have to undergo chemo, they may implant a catheter in my CHEST, for like, three months. I will pass out every time I see it. Not to mention pumping all the radioactive poision into me.

What will happen with work?

I can probably never get life insurance again.


My 3 best friends in Austin have all offered to come out whenever I need. My sister is burning "lucky flame" candles for me. I still do not know who sent me the pirate hat, or dropped off the bagel dogs. My pal Missy sent me some very wonderful and cheering goodies. Jack, well, Jack is so here for me, I cannot express it. Sara stands beside me through all of this. She is my pillar, I hope I do not strain her with my leaning.

When we sleep together, we hold hands. And have, for a long time. I am very lucky.

Next week, Tuesday, we go for Cat (referred to as CT now) scan of my lymph system to see how bad this is. Am I stage 2 or stage 3? how far have these nasty crabs spread in me? We should know something by Thursday, or at least begin discussions with oncologists.

Thanks to everyone for the encoragement, I am sorry to those I have not returned calls or sent thank you cards.

I am feeling more and more tired lately, the surgical scar seems to be healing, the muscles are sore, but the tired part is worrysome.

Will keep on. thanks

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Woke up to a bad day in the making. Sara stayed up almost all night for work. When she is "on call" she has to do work, and sometimes these folks are insistent it happens, late at night. When she does not sleep, she gets all freaked out, so in the morning she was harumphing and not NOT NOT in a good mood. But I tried to be nice and pet her head, and say nice things.

Then I went to work. Answered a veritable flurry of questions at work, made tons of decisions, then went for lunch. Todai! All good things are at Todai. www.todai.com Today is the last lunch before one of my engineers goes back to Chennai, so we went to TODAI for all-I-can-eat sushi.

Guess how much sushi I can eat? not much. my belly hurts, so I was at a minimal sushi intake. Today, they made their money on me. But lunch was fun.

Back to work. Answering more questions, and wondering, why don't people think? I do not feel I am particularly super smart. But I can look at something and tell: beginning, Middle, end. Just like on sesame Street. But there are MANY MANY MANY people in my company who want to know END! before a beginning is set, or a middle is planned. So I try to convince these people (we'll just call them macaroons to be nice) that if they wait to see what the higher up managers decide for the BEGINNING, then we can adequately project the middle and end. But to project the END, before a beginning, well, you'd have to be a MORON, err, macaroon to try that.

it makes my guts hurt.

Then I met with Lisa for HP. We discussed prices, and a good strategy to make some stuff happen. I will not be around for the meeting, but tried to get her up to speed, and ready to go. I think she is, I think we have solution. And she gave me a swell shirt.

Left to go home, because I had far exceeded my time at work. Stopped at the hospital on the way home, I am supposed to pick up some 'goo' to drink before Tuesday's scan. However, they cannot give me the goo till Monday. Even though the doctor told me they could, they cannot. Besides, the goo costs $100/bottle. Uhhh, Hello? I do not know any market paying for nasty cat scan goo. I promise I am not looking to sell it.

We agree I will come in early Tuesday, drink the goo, then sit and wait for the scan. MMMM GOO.

Drive home, am tired. no, hot and tired. Need to rest. But we need to run an errand too. DAMNATION.

I almost did not notice the VERY pretty flowers my pals Aparna and Ravi from Chennai sent me. YAY Aparna and Ravi! Happy Flowers!

We run the errand, come home, and there is a bag of a dozen bagel dogs, and 2 Lik-M-Aide candies on the doorstep. No note.

Hmmm. More mystery gifts? Pirate hats & Bagel dogs.

Thanks. Whomever you are, thank you for the yummilicious bagel dogs & Lik-m-aide.

Sara stopped at her favorite taqueria, Guadalupe's, on Race Street by the old condo. She broght home a veggie burrito. Lupe put Sour Cream on it. Sara HATES sour cream. she was yelling about it. BUT, she still maintains he has the best taqueria, and will not patronize the Almaden Taqueria bu the new house. Oh well, sour cream is yummy too. And she was complaining the ice maker in the new fridge is not icing as much as it should. I think she needs to call Sears. I need a rest


I need sleep now. Chances are very high I will not post again till sunday night, no worries, I will just not be computing. I'll jot notes, I will be resting. thanks! woot! More later.


finally, sense in the california recall election

http://www.amiannoying.com/(dt5loe551hehloueqehwtivk)/collection.aspx?collection=1321

everyone back in Texas knows Arnold is running,

but finally, a fresh light.... Father Guido Sarducci is running! YAY Don Novello!

YAY!


Today was better, but I still wore myself out. Sara slept late, the dark blinds in the master bedroom are wonderful, and she needs her rest. Putting up with me is probably more difficult than any challenges I could think of.

I, however, was up at 6:30, tossing and turning and pacing the floors. Last night I spent a little time researching and learning about treatments, and it could be some nasty stuff. Like Jack says, focus on the positive, worry about the NEXT step, not 3 steps away. But still, nightmare city

Eventually I got out the door and off to Verizon. I figured the earlier I went, the more chance I stood of a fresh, hard working, early rising sales associate who is alble to work with me, instead of jamming to the latest techno-funk beat, yo yo yo

On the way in, I used the dying Motorola to talk to my dear pal Chris "Biffy" Thomas. He is a big muckity-much at Verizon in Austin. Well, maybe not Big, but in my mind, he will be running the company in 5 years. "Which handset do I get?" I researched for hours, ... well, maybe minutes, on the web last night, and I cannot make heads or tails of it. I do not want bells and vibrators, I just want to connect from my damn house.

Chris is laughing, he apparently just left a meeting with 3 director-types, all asking the same question. His advice to me is look at Audiovox or Kyocera handsets. they have the least service calls, and in his mind, the best radios. This is what I need to know. Who has the best radio. I do not give a rat's ass about 17 different polyphonic ring tones, with downloadable game apps and installable techno beat tunes. I just want to be able to talk on the gosh darned phone. Audiovox, Kyocera.

Armed with my inside knowledge, and nothing else, I wander into the store to meet Kevin, fresh faced, not hung over, with a semi-normal haircut. He recommends the LG VX440, same as Jessi-CA from yesterday. says they do not sell a lot of the Audiovox or Kyocera models. But okay, I am the customer. He shows me the 2 legitimate offerings they have, the Kyocera looks like something from a gas-station vending machine, and the Audiovox has a BIG pull out antenna.... for me to break off cue Triumph the Comic Insult Dog... "For me to poop on!".

But I go with the audiovox and a guarantee that I have 15 days to bring it back for full refund if I do not like it. Well, I will play with it, and take it home after work to test out. I go out to the parking lot to drive to work, but I am very tired, so I sit in the truck and, rest.....

Build up energy and drive to work. Answered up a bunch of email, then wanna guess? took a rest! I cannot stand how tired this is making me. But I am napping like a fiend, trying to build energy. Did a little post-purchase research, the Audiovox CDM-8300BA apparently has really great reviews, in CANADA! But they say it works. the sound quality in the speaker sucks ass, but with a remote headset, it is a great phone. I have a remote headset, I will try.

Jack, who has wonderfully supported, advised, and been a friend through it all, got the "after" photos I emailed him. Now he has before and after shots on a small, hidden section of his web page. I keep thinking about posting the link, but really, does anyone NEED to see my balls, or lack thereof?

Stacy, who works with me, drove us to lunch in his wife's convertible BMW. I like motorcycles. But since I cannot ride, I gotta tell you, seat time in drop top car? woo hoo! wind, sun, life, speed. Oh, it was grand. We went to Lina's Place in Milpitas. My cousin Steve introduced me to in, now Lina's is a favorite.

Ate yummi yummi Chile Rellenos, and could not stop staring at the youngest waitress' exposed junk. She was wearing low rider black pants, and some white string bikini (not thong) drawers, with red trim, but they were not easy to see, .... under her over-hanging gut! Please do not get me wrong, I very much like this bar/restaurant. It is obviously family owned and operated, and she is probably the grand daughter, and ALWAYS friendly and nice. But that outfit would not lhave looked good on her 30 pounds and 5 years ago, it has not gotten any better with age. Kind of like a train wreck, or the fat lady in spandex at Wal-Mart, you do not want to look, but human nature forces you to.

Anyhow, lunch was fun. very fun! wheee!

Drove back, had a few meetings, did a little resting, drove home.

Stopped at Phil's barbershop across from the old condo on the way home, and had a trim. He suggested letting it grow a little, as the back is all mashed up from laying in bed too much. So it is trimmed, but a little long-ish. And feels great. I do not know what kind of tonic barbers use on your hair, but I really like the way it smells.

Sit in the truck and rest. then drive home. slowly.

Sitting, then standing, then sitting, is making my belly-incision very sore. When I sit for a while, it is difficult and painful to make the transition to standing. but going from standing to sitting is fine. Hmmm. Ya know, the last time something hurt and I delayed in calling the doctor, I had FUCKING CANCER!!! so I learned my lesson, I picked up the phone and called Dr. Andonian's office. yes, no, yes, yes, there is no seepage? no odd colors, the colors are fading? yes, it is absolutely normal, keep icing it.

Then I make 2 more calls. the phone seems to work! I am not 100% convinced, but am trying.

I set up some of the sprinklers to water the yard, I talk to the neighbors, who are wonderful. Then Sara comes home, and I go inside and rest. Well, and program numbers into my new phone. There are a BUNCH of my pals, who I do not have modern phone number/addesses for. If you are one, pls email me your new stuff. thanks, I'll update my stuff.

We sit around, we chat, we discuss cancer, we sit around, she is wonderful. I am a very lucky guy.

then my guts really start hurting, so I lay down. for a few hours, apparently. We have dinner, we chat, and Sara mentions my schedule understanding is off. I think Cat scan thursday. Nope, she says Tuesday. Of course, she is right.

Cat Scan Tuesday next week
Dr. appintment to discuss results of cat scan, and plot next step = THURSDAY.

I need to go to hospital tomorrow to pick up the icky goo I have to drink for Tuesday morning's activities. Poot.

But thank heavens for Sara, or I would have blown it again.

I wonder if my brain is affected?

Got more wonderful emails from pals, thanks. woot. ick time to sleep more. I can ALMOST roll onto my side for an hour, but still turtled most of the time.





Monday, August 11, 2003

Is Charles Taylor from Liberia any relation to Chuck Taylor from Converse?

Overdid it today.

I woke up to hear Sara watering the lawn, then got dressed, chatted, the home depot installer guy came and installed the new room darkening shade in the master bedroom, it looks great, and dark.

Then I went to work. Did work stuff, had lunch with my pal Beth, did more work stuff, then ran out of steam. So I sat quietly in my office for about 30 minutes, to rebuild and rest. Went to the othe rbuilding, talked to 2 guys on my team, sat in my truck and rested, then left work.

Drove to the Verizon store, to TRY to get them to make my god-DAMNED cell phone work. The kid played with the RTps or something, and said "this might help" I really do not want "might help" I want "wow, something is wrong, a new phone will fix it" or "we have bad coverage there, try company X" or anything. Not "might help" But? what can you do? right?

So I sat in my truck with the AC on, and rested.

Then drove to Wal Mart. I cannot wear jeans or Khakis, they are too hard on the healing incision. Fortunately "lounge pants" are semi-acceptable well, for sick guys. By lounge pants, I mean pajama bottoms with a button and pockets. Unfortunately, Wal Mart only had "SpongeBob Square Pants" Lounge pants. and no matter how cool you try to be, and how lounge-y you say they are, if they have Spongebob, ... they are pajamas.

I did buy an inflateable air mattress and pump, for a possible upcoming trip that may or may not happen, and a pair of shoes to replace the velcro sneakers that smell so bad I cannot stand to pick them up.

Went to my truck, and sat and rested for about 15 minutes, then drove home.

At home, I tried the cell phone. Guess what? Does not work worth a damn. No change. I need to point out here, Sara ALSO has verizon, and her phone works. Hmmm.

She phoned, it did not work, so I got on IM, and tried to ask her what she needed, and my desktop crashed, then got on the laptop, finished the discussion, and thought I would take a nap. But really, I was steamed. I mean, I am paying almost 50 dollars a month to have this cell phone. A cell phone that does not work? How useful is that? To me? It is as useful as tits on a nun. That's how. You can look at 'em, but you cannot use them.

And I got all riled up, and drove to the Verizon store south, by me. And talked to some chipper young woman named Jessi-CA with not a brain in her head. The obviously hired her for the way she filled out her dress, which, I must say, is not gonna look so good in 3 years when the tortilla bomb goes off. She was teetering on the bring of having someone hit the "inflate" button, but that is a different story.

So Jessi-CA looked at my phone, and said, "Oh, it is old. and almaden, it is hard to get signal there, maybe you should get a different phone. Hmmm, yeah, according to the computer, you could do that now"

Great! Oh, Jessi-CA, I would LOVE to get a new phone, which one recieves the best, and let's do this now and I am outta your hair.

"oh, NO, like, dude, uhh, I am not like, a sales-PER-son, I like, totally cannot help you, Duh! you need to wait in, like, that line over there, with the 18 screaming vietnamese kids, o-KAY?"

Thank you, drive through please. I wait in line till I got tired, then I went out to my truck. Guess what I did? I rested for about 15 minutes.

Then I looked, and all the screaming kids, and their mom/sister/nanny were still in line, so I left. I will try the store on Montague again tomorrow. The guys there at least looked like they might be able to turn down the techno-hip music enough so I could hear them, and sell me a new damn phone.

HOWEVER, I will not be buying unless I have a WRITTEN GUARANTEE that if it does NOT work, and I bring it back the next day, I CAN cancel my service, as I need a damn phone that works.

okay, where was I before I turned left and went to rants-ville? Oh yeah, resting.

And got ready to drive home, remembered I was 3 blocks from target, where all good things are, and bought 3 sets of lounge pants that do NOT have spongebob on them.

THEN! withouth resting, I drove home.

As I was getting out of the truck, the bandaged bits on my guts really hurt. Like, just going from sitting to standing. It was sore, as I have not been sitting in so long. So the bending hurt.

I got in the house, cleaned up a little, and am now laying in the surgery bed with a bag of ice down my old lounge pants, about to go to sleep for a while.

Tomorrow, trip to Verizon on the way to work, work half day, no matter what, and go home.

Woo hoo.

and time to rest, more later.

Who sent the damned pirate hat, it is driving me nuts! I gotta know?


I am feeling pretty damn good this morning, I showered last night, and it was very yummy. When you can't shower for a week, you remember how nice it is, and how easy it is to take for granted.

i have been awake for about 20 minutes, and strangely, I need a quick nap. My plan d'jour is to try to drive to work and stay for a half day. You must understand, my wonderful, supportive boss recommends I stay home, but I really, REALLY want to try to go in.

If nothing else, to prove to myself that I can.

well, i could not stand the smell of myself anymore. dr. Andonian told me not to shower till the 'steri-strips' fall off and my incision has healed.

But, I smelled like the south end of a nothhbound mule. ... on a hot sunny day. ... in mexico. ... hauling a load of stinky things. ... up a steep mountain. ... you get the hint.

Sara and I watched Jackass on teevee before bed, and Steve-O had his butt cheeks pierced, together. and I thought, what a dumbass. but I smell bad. hmmm.

Duct tape!

I put duct tape over the bandages over the steri strips, over the incision, and I took a shower. Warm, with tons of soap. I scrubbed my hair, I washed my face, I shaved, I showered, I washed my stinky, stinky junk.


and I feel much better.

Came out, dried off, and slowly, painfully, pulled the duct tape and bandage off, leaving the dry steri-strips and incision okay.

Dried off, used some schmancy cotton pads with alcohol to wipe down and duct tape residue, dried off very well, slapped on some "old spice" over the shaving, felt VERY manly, and put on a new bandage.

I feel a million times better. but tired out.

Duct tape!

Sunday, August 10, 2003

What is the next step? A bunch of folks keep asking. Here it is, as I understand:

In 1.5 weeks, I will have a cat scan of my lymph system. the doctor figures that will be enough time to recover from the surgery, and not 'cloud' the cat scan results with swelling from the surgery.

Once they do that, we will meet with Urologist and oncologist, to discuss how far the cancer spread, and what treatment options are. Radiation, Chemo, mix of both, or surgery.

Then will begin one of those treatments.

I am lookng at a fun few months.



In positive news, I slept in the master bed with Sara for a few hours last night. that was nice.


Saturday, August 09, 2003

I woke up very tired today. I just have no energy, and I keep forgetting, just cause the testicle is gone does NOT mean the cancer is gone. I still have those damn crabs in my lymph system, and my body is still fighting it. So I am still constantly tired and cranky. Sometimes it makes it more difficult to keep positive mental attitude.

Sara just left to go pick up her new desk. Jack is gonna help her move it. I am gonna stay here, and focus on the insides of my eyelids.

thanks again for all the good wishes, and if anyone sent me a pirate hat, it arrived, but with no card. I am perplexed and wondering who sent it. It is making me crazy. er.

Friday, August 08, 2003

someone mailed me a pirate hat. but no card. so I do not know where it came from.

anyone?

I found them!

http://www.21stcenturyfoods.com/index.html

Dr. Stein's Original Bagel Dogs

And Melvin Paul's Energy Bars Well, I have not had the energy Bars, But Dr. Stein's Bagel Dogs are the BOMB!

Friday is the Doctor’s Visit
And I can barely think or move. I am really tired. I did not sleep well last night, and we woke up very early this morning to get my folks to the airport and on their way home. Bye mom & dad! Love you, need to sleep more.

It is quite difficult to express to the people you love that you just want to lay around, and are really wore out, but will be okay. Even though you won’t. But don’t know/ It’s all so confusing, and just makes me MORE tired.

But Sara took the folks to the airport at 7:30 am this morning. They are on their way home. I snuck another lemon into my Mom’s purse. Sorry, fun joke, see what airport security will think.

Talk to Jim and Joe
2 of my best pals, Jim Learmonth and Joe Galletti are still in Austin. I have been trying to get in touch with Jim off and on for a few days, to return his call. Finally I get him, and they are both in the car. We chat about my missing testicle, and possible prosthetics. Which I am not going to have. But they hear about my ‘mini-magic-8’ ball idea. Then suggest large brass, as a possibility. Or even better, magnets! What? Magnets! Motorcycle tank bags are made with magnets in the bottoms, so they stick onto motorcycle gas tanks. There is a satisfying “click” as you put on a tank bag, and the magnets hold it there.

So I put magnets in my scrotum, and CLICK! I am stuck on the gas tank, and will not fall off as much! I love these guys, this is some of the humor I need. I still will not have any prosthetics.

Rent Car
While my folks were here, I rented a car, just to make it easier. It seemed like $289/week from National was a good deal. Then something happened, I am not sure, exactly, but I am out $390 on the credit card. Well, I don’t care, in the scheme of things, it is just fucking money. And they had a car, and we were able to get around easily during the week. I’ll make it up somewhere.

So we get the rent car to the airport, and get it all dropped off, and like, there is this one more weight off my shoulders. I do not have to think and worry about one more thing. It’s like, I can’t juggle all this, I have fucking Cancer! Can I take a nap? Why won’t people leave me alone!

Condo Interlude:
On the way to the doctor, we stop at the old condo to check for mail/packages/angel of death wanting more of my money and blood. Nothing there. But run into some realtor, so I smile, and say how wonderful it is, and yeah, there IS a 2 car garage. So it is still for sale, www.mlslistings.com listing# 340519 if you know anyone looking.

Doctor
So we leave the rent car place, and drive to Dr. Andonian’s office. This is it, this is the scary part, this is what we have been waiting all week to find out. He sends Sara back into his office to talk, and pulls me into an examination room.

My remaining testicle and penis are deep purple. With yellow and black, and some orange and tan bruising. He says this is normal, WHEW! I was afraid it was infected and gonna fall off. I simply MUST get Jack to take some photos, it is amazing colors.

But he grabs the removed testicle, and really mashes it around to look. And I am not screaming! I am not doubled over in blinding pain. There is no big, cancerous, infected blob in there anymore.

He looks at the scar on my abdomen from the surgery, and says it is healing okay, I should put more ice on everything. Which I have been doing religiously, I will keep on it.

Then he tells me the lab results are 100% Seminola, or something, and it is 98% curable. And we walk back to his office (I pulled up my pants first) to talk to Sara.

A bunch of thoughts are running through my mind, mostly being “Seminola? Is that an Indian tribe, or a kind of flour for making pasta?” I was wrong.

Semolina: Pasta Flour
http://eat.epicurious.com/dictionary/food/index.ssf?DEF_ID=3798

Seminole: Indian Tribe
http://www.seminoletribe.com/

Seminoma - A type of testicular cancer that arises from sex cells, or germ cells, at a very early stage in their development. Seminoma is the most common testicular germ cell tumor, accounting for 30-40% of all such tumors. Pure seminoma is very sensitive to radiation treatment.


Doctor’s Office With Sara
Sara forgot her notebook with questions, but after we found out I did not have wheat flour in my balls, I was pretty happy. She was all agitated that she forgot her notebook and 8 million questions, that she tried to get off some.

My pop made the observation while he was here, that some people are Process oriented, and some are Results oriented. I am results. I just want to get to resolution, and move on. Sara is process, and wants to know every little detail about every little thing. Example: shopping for a chair. Sara wants to know if it matches the room, and if it goes with the other chairs, and what kind of wood is it made out of, and were any indigenous tribes booted out of their native habitat to harvest the wood. And me? Does it fit my ass?

Well, she was concerned about process, and I want to know the next step.

The Next Step
CT Scans. My cancer did not all come out with my testicle. It was bulk Seminoma, and some of it decided to adventure out to my lymph system. At this point, we need to find out where all it is. So we will have a CT scan at the hospital, and look for it.

After we find it, and find out what kind it is, we meet with the Oncologist, who will discuss treatment options. There are 3, that can be single, or combo-ed up.

Radiation, Chemotherapy, Surgery.

Our goal is to avoid surgery. That would involve cutting out all the sick Lymph nodes, all over my body. EEEK! Wicked ugly scars., and more surgery.

Dr. Andonian seems to think Chemo is the next step. Sara asked him about radiation, but he seems to believe with the type and amount I had, chemo is the answer.

BUT! No use worrying till the CT scan. That is set for 2 weeks from now.

Sperms
Am I still making guys? We do not know.

And at the moment, I don’t care if Brittney Spears shows up with Sophia Loren, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Faith Hill, ALL of the Dixie Chicks, and Connie Selleca (1970’s tv starlet and early crush) anyhow, if they all showed up nekkid with a 55 gallon pump drum of margarine, claiming they was gonna wrassle me out of my drawers, I would not be able to assist.

I am purple and in pain. We ain’t finding out nothing. Doctor Andonian says that we’ll do some sampling before we start any chemo, and if we are headed down that path, and I I am making guys, we’ll put some in a bank, just in case.

Also, I cannot fill a Dixie cup and put it in the freezer, it does not work that way, please do not even suggest it.

Desk
So we leave the doctors office and go to a furniture shop on Meridian, where Sara has picked out a desk she wants. We buy it, one more consumer decision gone. It is very pretty, I hope her monitor fits on it. Jack will help her pick it up tomorrow. She has agonized over this for about a month and a half. I hope it is the right one.

Office
We run by work, cause I have this one email that is choking my work email, and I want to send it form the office. We get there, and the place is crickets. Totally deserted. No one. But the lights are on in Keith’s office, so I know he is there. Maybe out at lunch.

I call, he is on his way, I’ll speak to him. I cannot find anyone else on my team. So I sit in the office, send my email, and wait around.

I meet with Keith. He is great, he is incredibly supportive, and really helping me out. We transfer some information, I clear some things I was worried about. His gout is under control, all will be well.

I am really lucky to have this support.

No Lunch, Home
Sara is very tired. She is cranky. She does not want lunch, she wants to go home. So we do. And she takes a nap. My cell phone is ringing, and people want stuff, and the mailman is at the door, and I just want to sleep too. But I eat a bagel dog instead. Bagel Dogs are the perfect food. I love them. But cannot find them on the web, so no link.


Then I take a nap, consider seminola, then write this up to send out. At time of sending, the scar on my belly is burning pain, and I have a splitting headache.


No real sleeping last night. We went to my cousins for dinner, and I ate a little too much (for me now) and stayed out a little late (for me now) and was very worn out. Got home at 9pm, took some meds, then layed in bed and thrashed around with feverish sweats all night. It was not very restful at all. I think part of the problem is I am not next to Sara, holding her hand.

However, I need to sleep with my legs elevated on a pillow, and I am VERY tender and sore, so it is kind of easier to sleep in the twin bed. I do not know, need to solve the sleep issue soon. Maybe the body is building resistance to the pain meds.

Sara just took my folks and the rental car to the airport. They have a 9am flight, but with all the new rules, you gotta be there very early. Once she drops them off, she'll come home, and we have appointment at doctor's at 11:45. We'll return the rent car after that, and I may try to talk her into letting me stop by the office to download this one email that is giving me issues.

I will know more about my problems this afternooon. But for right now, I really, really want a shower. But will need to wash my hair in the kitchen sink, and try to take a sponge bath. I am pretty wore out.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

So tomorrow I go back to the Doctor. We will get lab results, and it is the next "Step"

Jack tells me to think of this as a series of steps. you make a step, you make a decision, you take an action, you see what the next step will be

Well, they removed the testicle. and are biopsying it.

I find out tomorrow what we know. Then we make a decision on what is next.

Is it okay? if so, they do a CT scan, and look over the rest of my body.

If it is bad, they do a ct scan, and look for possible cancers in my Lymph system.


so till tomorrow, I do not know the next step.


BUT! I am keeping a positive mental attitude. and laying in bed a lot, resting.

I can get out and about, for about an hour, then it takes about 2 hours of laying around to make up for it.


Another frustrating thing is my damn cell phone.

When we moved, we decided Cell ONLY, no land-lines. No phone solicitors. No annoying calls at dinner time.

and Cable modem works GREAT
BUT! in the part of the valley we are, my Verizon cell phone has crappy reception.

So when people call, I am trying to talk, and the conversation is all "oops, can you hear me, ooops? sorry, what did you say"

and it makes me crazy

So I have a big list of people I need to return calls to, and apologize to, once I get to work, or out of the house and have better reception.


Much thanks to all who email, and all the support and caring.

It really makes me smile and think positive, to think about all the beautiful women in the world, who are thinking about my testicle.

tee heee! :)

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