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Well,

I’m very unhappy to say that my good friend Chuck has won a cancer t-shirt. It’s not something I would wish on anyone. It seems he has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, Kidney Cancer. Sometimes mother nature can be a real bitch.

He’s still in the early stages of diagnosis, tests, and the general “Oh F#ck! what does this mean?” stage.

What’s really strange, to me at least, is I don’t know what to say to him or Lynn. I’m so use to dealing with it from a personal level that I don’t really know what to say to them.

All I know is that this really sucks. I have my fingers crossed that they’ve caught it before it’s metastasized.

I’ve had a couple of comments in the “WTF are you?” category. And it has been quite a while since I’ve done much with this web site. Believe it or not this web site has been around almost 10 years now. It’s been abused, ignored, updated, moved, and it just keeps going.

I can’t post any pictures right now since the cable to our old Sony camera has run away to the hinterlands some where. Which is a tad frustrating. I know, I know, we need a new camera, but there is always something that comes along that takes precedence.  On the upside, we’re still running around doing things, we’re just not documenting it very well.

So, what’s going on with us? All three girls are now teenagers with all the teen drama surrounding that. Molly and Nora are following Megan’s footsteps and attempting to fail every class they have. They just don’t fit the 1950’s mentality of Pacific Grove Middle school. Megan, since she’s been in independent study has been doing great. She got lazy so she won’t graduate a year early, but she’s on track to be done ahead of time. And since she basically started independent study almost a year behind because of all the classes she failed at the regular school means she’s doing pretty good.

Roberta has survived 2 1/2 years so far and is still kicking. She has a lot of pain at times but seems to be handling things okay. She’s still working part time at SeaHarvest and getting out and about.

We’re looking to take the trailer out soon. Probably up to the Redwoods above Santa Cruz. It’s almost totally done and I’ve ordered a hitch for the Caliber. I still need to repack the wheel bearings, put new tires on it and tie down the propane tank. Most of the rest is small cosmetic items. At some point I’ll put a water tank back in it and make the water work, but for now it’s not needed. We get quite a few comments about it from people walking by and wanting to see the inside. I guess a 1958 Shasta Corvette trailer is kind of a rare item. When I get the camera fixed or a new one I’ll post some pictures of it.

As for work. Well,on the up side I’m on a contract that’s good until February of next year. I’m now officially a cable monkey, oh I mean Systems Installation Specialist. Even though I still do all of the work as an HPC Systems Engineer and nothing else really changed. It’s just the way the contracts work. Roberta and I keep talking about moving on. We’re just watching for that right job in the right location. It’s hard to be serious about moving on when we live in such a pretty area. Expensive as hell, but pretty. One good thing about working where I work is that I do get experience on a lot of different odds and ends. I’ve been teaching myself VMware installation, configuration, tuning, etc. I doubt I’ll ever put it on my resume, because then someone might want me to actually work on the stuff, but it’s been interesting none the less.

What else? Living large on the California coast. Tourist season is starting already. Which means all the fairs, MotoGP, car shows, Bach Festival, etc etc, is coming soon.

One of those email chain letters that I actually enjoyed reading.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend…

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.  I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.  I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.  So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.  As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore…  I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).

I’ll try to refrain myself and only say this once. F@#$ng Insurance Companies are pieces or rotting S%@# sucking worthless m@#$%f@#$ing a$$f$@&%#$!

Enough said. For now.

As some folks know, the state of California has deemed the level of drugs Roberta is now on fighting cancer, is such that she is no longer eligible to drive a motor vehicle safely. As such, she’s been grounded from driving.

Others are also aware that Megan turned 15 1/2 this week. As such, she can now sign up for drivers education and get her driving permit.  Well, today on the way to get some lunch Megan pops up and says “I need to practice my Morgan Freeman voice!” What? Why?

Remember the movie “Driving Miss Daisy??” That’s going to be us! (She unwisely says to Roberta). I’m not sure how I keep from crashing the car we’re driving due to laughter over the image in my head and Roberta’s dire threats of violence on our daughter.

 

 

I usually don’t post much about Roberta’s cancer. I let her do most of that.

However, today I’m going to make a post. As some who have followed our ordeal know, we debated long and hard about doing another round of Chemo. The last time she tried it she ended up fighting pneumonia for 2 months. This time we figured it was gonig to be a roll of the dice. A chance it could kill her, a chance it would do nothing, a chance it would let her live longer. There is no cure, but we might be able to buy more time.

She was supposed to do 6 rounds of Gemzar this time, but her liver enzymes shot up after the 3rd and they pulled the plug after the 4th round. So, she’s sick as hell, still has hair, but didn’t finish the course of treatments.

She had an MRI on Tuesday to see if the Gemzar had helped at all.

Comparing to 4 months ago ALL tumors are either the same size or smaller. All of them. So, luck was with us. She’s better than she was 4 months ago.Now we just need to keep her from getting pneumonia again and this will be a complete win. (ignoring the pain, vomiting, etc).

Now a few weeks to a month of recovery from the chemo, a month or so of breathing, and then we talk about doing it all over again.

Roberta has been working at SeaHarvest, our friends restaurant, for over a year now. She’s had to cut back to just one part time shift a week. Tuesday 11:30 to 3. It was all she could really handle lately. So, every Tuesday I’d go have lunch at SeaHarvest.

Today, I went to a crappy conference on Cloud Computing over at the Naval Postgraduate School. I didn’t get a chance to go to lunch.

Today, Roberta quit working. Today ended up being her last day. I had thought I had another week. It is not to be.

Never again will I get the chance to pinch my waitresses butt as she walked by. Pick on her by asking if the fish was fresh or the beer warm. Ask if the fish was local or on the sustainable fish list. All pet peeves. No longer will Tuesdays be my day to go get Clam Chowder and a diet Pepsi. Chicho wouldn’t even ask, (he’s the bus boy/helper on Tuesdays), he’d just go grab my soda and a glass of ice. Then I’d give my waitress a ration of crap if it was slow, or just a hello if it was busy.

I suppose all things come to an end. It’s just not easy sometimes. Tuesdays won’t be the same again.

FYI. Cancer fucking sucks.

I’ve been doing some research into the Medical Marijuana card and the more I research this, the more I’m wondering. Should we get a Medical Marijuana Card for Roberta? It seems obvious at first that we should. But only at first.

Pros:

  • She can have up to several ounces legally.
  • Fairly safe from police prosecution.
  • Ability to buy legally. (not sure if it’s cheaper or more expensive than illegally)

Cons:

  • $200 plus renewal fees.
  • Depending on the police officer, you may have your marijuana “confiscated” and not returned while card is being verified.
  • Drive up to San Jose or San Francisco to get card and Marijuana legally.
  • Put into a searchable database that has been used in the past by the DMV to deny Drivers License renewals. Rumored to be used by law enforcement to investigate possible “other” criminal activity.
  • Possible loss of job because I hold a security clearance. Marijuana is still not legal Federally. And if she’s in the database it Will come up on my next security review.
  • Her pain management doctor will not prescribe due to fears of losing his license to dispense narcotics. Pretty much the same with her Oncologist. So, we’ll have to go see a doctor with all her records up in Santa Cruz (closest), San Jose, or San Francisco.

So. I guess the question is, even though it’s possible to get the pot card, should she?

Oh ya. Why smoke pot?

  1. Pain: relieves her pain without putting her to sleep or making so fuzzy brained she can’t function. Still feels the pain, but is disassociated from it. Her pain doctor will give her any narcotic she wants in basically any quantity she wants. If she wants to be unconscious and dysfunctional.
  2. nausea:relieves nausea without putting her to sleep like the anti-nausea drugs do.
  3. appetite. Helps her keep from losing weight as badly as she was.

Having fun yet?

What do you get when you take one teenager who wants to go to L.A. now, one cranky wife with a “I’m not too sick to do nothing!” attitude? Said wife drives said teenager to L.A.

Now, how does this equation end?

Pneumonia and said wife flat on her back staying at home doing NOTHING until she gets better. Either that or doc will commit her to the hospital on Monday.

Told you so!

Sometimes the simplest words have new meaning when you’re dealing with Cancer.

My buddy Darrin spent a week with us. He lives in Tennessee now. He left this morning and plans on coming back in late July for the MotoGP races at Laguna Seca.

Anyhow, his last words to Roberta as we left the house for the airport this morning.

“Be here when I get back.”

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