In our last episode…
My friend Bob (of the many friends named such) – my former P.I. boss and gun store boss – was losing weight and on a feeding tube due to the inability to eat due to esophageal cancer (!)
And he (and we) were awaiting approval from on-high (his health care insurance) to begin chemotherapy and radiation for the throat cancer.
And the insurance company was balking at beginning treatment, as he had yet to gain any weight (or to save themselves money – you decide!)
I heard from him yesterday, as I reached out to him for the Thanksgiving weekend. He has been receiving ‘treatments’ going on three months, with the last one scheduled for this coming week.
THEN, we will see the prognosis…
He says he is very tired and is maintaining (mostly) a good attitude.
Please keep a good thought, and pray for him (if that’s what you do).
As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.
I don’t know why, exactly?
Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans). And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.
On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!” I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon. And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.
I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars. I didn’t see what they were. I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand. It was the very least I could do.
After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran. Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older. A larger man, with silver hair. With his wife.
After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them. I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service. He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.
Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.
I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.
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 was able to communicate with one of the many Bobs in my life last night. (Long-time readers know I’ve many friends named Bob and Dave. One childhood friend was even named Robert Davidson!)
The dear friend with whom I was a private investigator, and later worked together in a firearms emporium.
The one who lost the lower 12″ of his left leg due to diabetic complications. And almost lost his life.
Fortunately, things are going well as can be for him.
He’s been using a prosthesis now for about six weeks! He still has need of a wheelchair or a walker for some life activities.
The most important thing is he is active, continuing to test his limits, and has a terrific attitude.
One daughter is preparing to graduate from a local university; the other from Northwestern.
He is most proud.
I’m proud of him for his ongoing attitude. I’ve my own health issues – And he continues to show me that attitude is everything.
Thank you, Robert!
Lotsa folks opine on the Internet, Facebook, blogs, et al.
One of the best things about this Nation is our right to free speech – to speak our mind, regardless.
Witness those vile Kansas ‘church’ folks who protest military funerals, or the Klan, or the New Black Panthers.
I tend to gravitate toward folks on the Internet like-minded to me. That makes sense, because I’ve enough blood pressure issues w/o stroking out after reading WaPo, or the Nation, or other collectivist crap.
But, having no military experience (not for lack of trying) in these issues, I defer to folks who have some. Sometimes we agree, sometimes not.
One of my go-to guys is AmericanMercenary. Not just a rank-and-file grunt (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but an Army Ranger!
He recently wrote regarding the ongoing issue of women in military combat elite units. My understanding is some other nations have tried it and kept it, some eventually rejected it (in combat roles).
While I understand the whole equal rights thing, I don’t think political correctness is a good reason for policy change in this instance.
But my blogfriend(tm) American Mercenary disagrees with me!
My friend Borepatch recently brought up a primary technique in self-defense.
That of avoidance.
I remember being a callow youth, and one of my friends suggested (on multiple occasions) we visit a bar in a ‘bad part of town’ to start fights! To show how tough we were.
Now, my disability aside, when I was in my 20’s, I was thinner, faster, more imbued with testosterone, perhaps – but I wasn’t stupid.
And, I wasn’t tough. So I demurred.
Now, of course, life’s lessons have made me much slower, in more chronic pain, and less hormonal. I AM tougher, though. And maybe a little smarter.
Which brings me to my point.
I used to go ANYWHERE in The Valley. At any time. I was the real Travis Bickle. I don’t know if it was a death wish or stupidity, or simply ignorance.
NOW, I think “would I really want to be THERE, at that time, alone (or unarmed)?”
But these flash mobs and knockout squads aren’t just appearing in ‘the bad parts of town’. They are becoming ubiquitous. And, being disabled, I cannot just cross the street – quickly.
This is one reason I carry almost everywhere – and Condition Yellow is my code.
I can take care of myself, given the chance. I just hope I can see the opposition coming.
First, of course, the quintessential D*** NIXON. (for whom I did vote in 1972!)
Followed by all others.
Cases(s) in point…
We are ready to have our local primary. Here are three of the many candidates being promoted:
I’ve no idea what either of these gentlemen’s politics are, but am using them to promote my thesis – ALL POLITICIANS ARE D***S!
Even if they are named David or Susan…
Popular wisdom would say they are either strong and wise belying their years, due to years of verbal abuse about their names. Or they are borderline psychotics running for public office…
And, lest we forget…
An 83-year-old Houston woman has foiled a would-be robber by tossing a pot of boiling water on him.
McClendon, who’s lived in her home more than 50 years, tells Houston television station KTRK she wasn’t going to surrender. She fought off the intruder by grabbing a stick and tried to hit him.
And when that failed to dissuade the goblin, she grabbed a pot of boiling water off the stove and dumped it on him.
[Pauses for cheering to subside]
A gun is not a magic talisman. It is simply the most efficient tool with which one can defend one’s self from outside aggression.
h/t Jay G.
AMEN, Jay! Preparedness is largely mindset. Prepare to be a victim, become one.
Now watch, some I-love-government-control fool will propose regulating quantities of water above a certain temperature in households. Or at the very least suggest persons of a certain age not boil water because they are old, feeble and undoubtedly a danger to themselves.
I’ve always liked character actors. He is among one of my favorites, although I was only four when he passed away. Thank goodness for old film nights on TV, and VHS/DVD recordings!
Petrified Forest, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, The African Queen, Sabrina. The Big Sleep. If you’ve not seen these films (and many others) you’ve missed something.
He was politically incorrect before such a phrase existed. A smoker, drinker and brawler, although thin and 5’9″, he was married four times. The last time to Lauren Bacall, 24 years his junior. They had two children.
Lauren Bacall as ‘Slim’ to Bogie in To Have and Have Not:
“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
He died of esophageal cancer. His wife placed a gold whistle in his cremation urn. It reads, “If you need anything, just whistle.”