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.
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!
I’m quietly resting on my laurels, thinking the ‘chores’ (a word from childhood I loathe!) are completed, when the lady of the house says to me,
“We have more plants to move in the back yard so the painters can access the walls.”
But, it must be done. After all, if we don’t move the stuff, the walls won’t get properly painted. And, I’m certain, the HOA would try to fine us for noncompliance with the bylaws. (Being a townhouse H.O.A. and all!)
So, it’s back out into the yard for us! Sigh.
Fortunately, we didn’t have THAT much to do. Mostly pry a large, overgrown yucca from it’s perch and move it about six feet away from the wall.
Using a shovel, hand truck and brute force.
(Note to self – Yucca are SHARP!)
BUT, we accomplished the task. Here is a picture of the side of the yard, showing about half the plants, tools, cacti and succulents we moved:
And, of course, once the painting, exterior maintenance and noise are completed, we will get to move everything BACK!
As my Dad used to say, no rest for the wicked!
Part of my ongoing, imperfect move toward self-improvement is to learn to ‘let go’ of others negative actions in the past.
And my own. As for me, I’ve been making amends. Mostly.
Other folks, well…
My roomie has been watching some comedy on our satellite TV network. Apparently everyone is in it – so she recommends I watch it.
One of the noted cast members is J*** F****!
You remember: that traitorous bitch actress who visited NORTH Vietnam while were
at war engaging in a ‘police action’ against them, demoralizing our own efforts and (in my opinion) giving aid and comfort to the enemy!
I’m sorry. She can rail against the capitalist system, all while making millions selling movies, and work-out videos. And continue to appear in films and TV shows.
I’ve no problem with that. (Hypocritical though it may be…)
Giving aid and comfort to the enemy, for me, is beyond the pale.
Then, there’s that (then) 23-year-old guy who broadsided my daughter Molly and I. (in 1995) I’m unable to forgive HIM, yet, either.
Frankly, I’m more likely to forgive HIM than Ms. F****. He was speeding, rushing to get to his job when he ran the light and T-Boned us. Accidents happen. (A co-worker reportedly said he bragged about ‘getting away with it!’ He paid an $800.00 fine. Stupidity and youth and all that.)
That traitorous bitch visited a country with which we were at war, actively supported them against us. There are even stories of her betraying POWs she visited to their captors – although theoretically those stories have been debunked.
Regardless, if she had protested at home, as many good Americans did, I’d have no problem. Protest is a fine American tradition.
Hollywood has produced some amazing talents. J*** F**** and Sean Penn amongst them.
Sean Penn hugged Hugo Chavez. While ridiculous and reprehensible, we are not at war with his country.
She should still be in Leavenworth. At least. The car guy should have served time for vehicular manslaughter, and would probably have gotten out by now.
She did issue an apology years later.
He has not, except a mumbled “I’m sorry” in court.
Accidents are, sadly, accidents. Treason is treason.
I’m still not watching that show.
Obviously, in the area of forgiveness, I’ve still work to do…
Doppelganger (n.) a duplicate person, as in someone who looks exactly like __________.
I never used to believe in such a thing. I mean, each human being is an individual, there is no one else like them, right?
I have seen three in the past 20 years(!)
About two months ago, I was grocery shopping at the closest market to home. Not because it was my favorite, but because it was close. (Laziness? Heat?)
I’m standing in the checkout line, and five or six folk ahead of me was a familiar guy. Tall. Large. Built familiarly (if that’s even a word?) He turned to push out his cart of groceries, and I almost yelled out his name! He resembled strikingly BOB, my former PI and gun store boss! Except the previous week I was informed by the original Bob that he just has had the lower part of his left leg amputated. And I knew there was no way he would have been across the Valley, 30 miles from his home, and so ambulatory right away. And this guy had more hair, a goatee and a pony tail! Nope – not Bob!
But certainly closer looking to him than his brother!!
Another time, we were in a Mexican restaurant. Because it was cheap, not because it was good. And we were seated by the back door, and could see folks seated outside on the patio. And there was Marla, a former girlfriend. Same figure, same face, same laugh and mannerisms. Except Marla passed away in 2004 – I have a copy of the obituary!
And there was my first observance with a doppelganger. In 1995, about 4 months after the accident. You know where I’m going with this…
The ex and I were window shopping at a large mall, largely because it was late Summer and air conditioned. And a couple walks by with three children. And number-two child looked exactly like Molly, except with blond hair!!!
I’m not normally the kind of man who faints, but I leaned up against the wall and closed my eyes to keep from losing consciousness. And to keep from screaming and crying. And my ex (who obviously had not seen her) asked me what was wrong.
And I nervously pointed. At air.
There was a couple with children. TWO children! And neither resembled our daughter.
To only be able to see her again…
I’ve been prowling this Internet thing since the early 90’s. (Remember dial-up? *shudders*)
It still amazes me how it can connect people from all walks of life, from all over the world.
I remember surfing bulletin boards on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and found some guys in Finland. They found out I was American, and told me to go away!
I posted a few days ago about yet another medical adventure. This time with my upper GI tract. Seems I have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) – aka acid reflux damage to my esophagus.
I chalked it up to getting older and poor diet. Whined about it and forgot. (I’ve a tendency to post stuff, then forget about what I posted – as if I needed to get it out of my head. Must be a writer(?)
The other day, I get a gift and nice note from a regular reader (who knew I had those?) whose reason was we both suffer from the same affliction!
Other people have sent me – and even brought me – gifts of money, ammo, and even single malt Scotch!
Sometimes, I feel unloved and forgotten…
FRIENDS, and the Internet are wonderful things!
(I always imagine similar post titles being announced by Merrill Heatter or John Cameron Swayzee. Youngsters, ask your parents or grandparents.)
Many of you know I try to begin my daily routine with Email, blogging and reading the Ref Desk Almanac page. Sometimes, a confluence of births, death and historic events seem to have happened on the same day.
0121 Marcus Aurelius 16th Roman emperor (161-80), philosopher
1808 Louis-Napoleon [Napoleon III] emperor of France (1852-71)
1889 Adolf Hitler Braunau Austria, dictator of Nazi Germany (1936-45)
1896 Senor Wences ventriloquist (Close the Door)
1940 George Takei Los Angeles CA, actor (Sulu-Star Trek, Green Berets)
1769 Pontiac Indian chief to Ottawa, murdered
1912 Bram Stoker Irish theater manager/writer (Dracula), dies
1992 Benny [Alfred Hawthorn] Hill comedian (Benny Hill Show), dies of a heart attack at 67
1993 Cantinflas [Mario Moreno] Mexican actor (Pepe), dies at 81
1775 British begin siege of Boston
1799 Napoleon issues a decree calling for establishing Jerusalem for Jews
1841 1st detective story (Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue”) published
1853 Harriet Tubman starts Underground Railroad
1871 3rd Enforcement Act (President can suspend writ of habeas corpus)
1965 People’s Republic China offers North Vietnam military aid
1993 Uranus passes Neptune (this occurs once every 171 years)
1999 Deadliest school shooting in US history at Columbine High School, Littleton CO, 13 killed, 23 wounded
1943 In Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The lovely and brilliant Tamara reminded us again of basics. And reminded me, as well:
I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it. (Duh)
Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it? ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…
When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety? Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?
AND, appropriately lubricated?
How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)? Clean and functional?
And the ammunition? When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff? Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly? Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth? Or seated the bullet farther inside?
How about the function and maintenance of the holster? When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage? And the belt…
AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise? Including a reload or two?
And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?
Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day. When was the last time you checked the tires? The oil? The transmission fluid? Your brakes? Reviewed the traffic code?
Do you always wear your seat belt? (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)
But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.
I need to, more religiously.
I’ve never liked referring to myself as disabled. Or the politically-correct differently-abled. Even now that the State and my private insurance have labelled me as such. I’m just uncomfortable so doing.
I haven’t even bothered to get one of those disabled license plates or mirror hangers. Other people need them more than I. :-)
I’m just me.
But, there are some things difficult and nearly impossible for me to do without some kind of assistance.
One of my ‘problems’ having a fused right hip (and imperfect right knee) is putting on socks. I have been known to perform a kind of modified hurdlers stretch, bending my leg back and reaching behind me with a sock one-handed.
Believe me when I say doing this isn’t quick, easy or comfortable.
Enter The Sock Thingy 2.0. This is the name I’ve given it.
One curls the black part into a sock, which holds it open, then dangles it to insert the foot in the opening, and pull up on the straps – viola’!
My only complaint is Sock Thingy 1.0 was made of thin plastic and terrycloth, and eventually broke. It was quite comfortable, but replaced with the 2.0. The 2.0 model is hard plastic. Much more durable, but less comfortable, too.
At least it helps!
(It occurred to me while dressing this morning that some others of you might have a need for such an aid(?)
FTC – neither Amazon or Duro-Med have given me anything. Put on your own socks!
Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire. We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.
Especially, in matters of the heart.
Sometimes, we must let them go…
When love is good, it’s very, very good.
And when it goes away, it sucks.