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What About Bob?, Part Tres’

I heard back from Bob this morning.  He remains hospitalized, and frankly, things are not good.

From the Man, himself:

I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  (Apparently the leg amputation was simply a warm-up.)  I will begin three months of radiation and chemotherapy, soon to be followed by surgery to remove the lower third of my esophagus and upper portion of Mr. Stomach.

Prognosis is guarded.

I am attempting to remain positive and as upbeat as possible.

Can you believe this guy?!  Positive and upbeat?  I’d be a puddle on the floor…   :-(

Please keep Bob in your thoughts and prayers.  He is a voracious reader (and likes paper media, eschewing the electronic), so I’m bringing him copies of Brigid’s two fine books, when he allows me to visit.

Youth Is Wasted On The Yutes

I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine:  shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…

Waiting for the stopping point.  When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in!  Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.

Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters.  From SITTING for chrissake!

AND, I already took medications!

And I remember being young.  Well, younger…

Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip!  And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.

Well it did in my 30’s.

But alas, no more.

And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.

And even thinking it was funny.

Karma IS a heartless bitch!

And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…

Gratitude, my friends, is the key!

Good Thoughts, Please!

Bob (my former PI boss and favorite gun shop manager), recovering handsomely from having part of his leg amputated, is facing another challenge.

He has been having difficulty eating and drinking.  So much so he has lost a lot of weight.  Today, he is being scoped (a camera down the throat, as was done to me a while back) to determine if the problem is related to acid-reflux.  He does have an apparent esophageal stricture.

Or perhaps CANCER! 

He is a good man, is a father of two fine daughters, and has a terrific wife.  He is 61(?)

Please keep him in your thoughts, and if you pray, please do so.

This Just In – Bob informs me he does have some variety of throat cancer!  No other information at this time.

♫ Angie…Angie…♫

Will the blockage disappear ?

(with apologies to The Stones)

Probably before you read this blog post, my roommate J, good friend, landlord, and hairdresser extraordinare, will  be undergoing an angiogram.  That is exploration of the heart muscle via a tiny camera.

It seems doctors think she might have a blockage, making half of her heart not work as efficiently as the other half!

The good news is that, unlike in days of yore, the current procedure is mostly outpatient.  If a blockage is located, either medication will be prescribed to dissolve it, or a stent will be implanted during the angiogram.  This is all dependent on the size of said blockage.  If a stent is used, she will be required to stay overnight.

Once again, I get to play dog wrangler.  This is not a problem.

We (the critters and I) are all  anxious for her return – either later today or tomorrow.  Logistics involving our cars made it impossible for me to drive her.  A good friend is there for her during the procedure.

Please keep a good thought.  If you are a praying kind of person, doing so would be appreciated! 

This just in (0930 MST) – J. is awake and talking.  No blockages found and no stents placed.  The poorer part of the heart is functioning @ 55% instead of the previously thought 40%.  The next step is to find out why, and what to do about it – but NO blockage is GOOD!  

She can come home after three hours!

I Had No Idea…

such persons existed!

A friend of a friend recently contacted my friend regarding retail values of some of the firearms he owned.  It seems he was a little short and wanted to make some quick cash.

This friend was referred to ME, as I’ve been around firearms most of my life, have owned and shot them.  And even sold then retail, and privately.  It was thought I might have some idea.

(Now comes the weird part)

This gentleman is a professional, well-educated in his field.  Not some idiot.

But, not only did he have no idea how to search the Internet for possible values on many of the firearms he wanted to sell he had no idea what models he owned!

“Yeah, it’s a Smith & Wesson revolver, but as to caliber, model, finish, frame size, I’ve no idea!”

This made making an estimate difficult over the telephone.  It was the same way for the Colts, the AR-15, and a number of others.

I just thought most gun owners would be into their firearms enough to have some clue as to specifics(?)  Obviously not.

I guess it’s like car guys.  I know I have an Olds 6-cylinder.  But cubic inches, etc., I’ve no idea.  And some guys like Scotch – but don’t know single malt from chocolate malt!

I can look it up on the Internet, however!

(And, yes, he did sell them!  Don’t ask.  If only I’d had some money…)

Pain, Pain Go Away!

and don’t bother to come back another day!  :-(

To be honest, pain is only part of the equation.  Most of the problem is annoyance!

Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands.  Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so.  And arthritis.  I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.

If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!

This morning, I had pain upon awakening.  While still horizontal.  Before opening and closing my hands.

And my knees were throbbing.

My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!)  But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good!  I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.

Can’t have everything!

I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day.  This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks!  Along with my prescription pain meds.

And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat!  To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.

Or if any cancer is present.  (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)

And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.

Which, on my disability, I do not have.

The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.

Annoyances.

Sigh

I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations.  Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.

Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!

THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem!  :-)

Radical Religious Escalation

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

–Winston S. Churchill

There was a time when a President, the military and the population of The United States (by and large) stood tall and fought for the rights and lives of others.  World War Two would be a good example.  Japan had taken much of the Far East, and Germany much of Europe, and parts of Africa.

And was systematically exterminating Jews, gypsys, cripples, intellectuals and homosexuals.

Now I’m not all about being the World’s policeman.  I would much rather be isolationist and let the rest of the World solve her own problems.  The problem with that ideal currently is radical Islamic fundamentalists have brought the battle to us.  It’s not just about 9-11, it’s about England, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Spain, and anywhere persons are being religiously persecuted to the extent they are being raped, burned alive and beheaded.

The Nazis didn’t start with thousands of death camps, train schedules, IBM tabulating machines, and giant crematoria. They started small and worked up. It wasn’t until Kristallnacht in November of 1938 that they got organized enough to kill 91 Jews at one time.

ISIS has kidnapped 90 Assyrian Christians this week. They beheaded 21 Christians last week. They’re a new government, recently formed. They’re starting small and already talking about working up.

We can wait. Unless some miracle happens, we will wait. But we shouldn’t expect the outcome to be anything other than the obvious. It’s the same evil manifesting itself under a new name.

It will be the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, the intellectuals, Muslims from different sects and any one who doesn’t go along. They will die, deaths by every mutilating, degrading means, wiped out along with the ideas, thoughts and dreams they had. They will be erased. And when it gets rolling, we will not be able to say we didn’t see it coming because they are proud of it and they are posting for the world to see. (WARNING! Graphic images).  (Borepatch)

And our President claims it’s fundamentalist American Christians who are more dangerous than ISIS !

Now, I’m not a fan of those whack-jobs who protest at military funerals.  Or their fellow travelers.  And they claim to be fundamental Christians.  They even announced a protest at Leonard Nimoy’s funeral!

But, I’ve not seen any of then burn someone alive or behead them on International television.

It’ll only get worse before it gets better.

And offering them employment isn’t the answer, Mr. President!

Life Is Loss, Part Two – A Lesson Learned

I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.

Hardly an upbeat read.

However, Life is not just loss.  Life also gives us lessons!

Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him.  We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.

Nothing.

I feared the worst.

So, I took it upon myself to call him.  Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition.  And attitude.

And I ended up leaving messages.  And this concerned me.

Bob returned yesterday’s message last night.  I needn’t have been concerned.

Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits!  YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg.  And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.

But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!

Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy.  And not the most spiritual.  But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.

And not wallow in his losses.

He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters.  And his brother.  And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.

AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!

Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”

And his is and has.

And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons.  I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences.  And I have wallowed.  Or more specifically whined.

I might lose some benefits.  So what?  Big boy panties are available for the wearing.

Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.

Starting now.

Life Is Loss

From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things.  Food, warmth, love…stuff.  It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.

yin yangThe Yin to the Yang.

And, most of us don’t understand or like that.  In fact, most of us hate it!

And, it becomes a matter of degree.  That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book.  The dog that died.  The high school girlfriend who moved away.

And we choose to suffer for our loss.

But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.

If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.

My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated.  He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe.  Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him.  I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.

And grief over the loss of his foot.

Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty.  A blister, a bunion, a corn.  Calluses.  For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip.  And, I too, am diabetic.

I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though.  You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!

Molly 1986 2Today, is my daughter Molly’s 32nd birthday.  I spent most of her 12 years on this planet operating with the assumption that, as nature intends, she would outlive me, and would suffer with my passing.

I was wrong.  And I survive here to do the suffering.

I love you and miss you, Molly.  And sometimes grieve over you.

But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you.  I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths.  Because of the yin and yang.

And I’ve my memories to keep.

Forever.

Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them.  Because you never know.

And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.

Medical Procedure

Nope, not mine!  :-)

My roommate, J, is having a medical procedure done today.  Early.  While not life-threatening or surgery, she has need of someone to accompany her.  I am happy to do it, as she was there for me when I had my bouts with lymphoma and carcinoma, as well as many other times and ways.

I hope to blog something of a less personal nature later.  Or not.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Guffaw

THIS JUST IN – Subject is resting comfortably.  Procedure seems to have been successful! 

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

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