No Spring Chicken #12
The good news is that I'm feeling better. The bad news is that Janet is showing her heritage.

Most of you know Janet as a quiet, perhaps mousy, woman who is just so sweet and nice that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. But I was feeling better so she asked me to find something for her. As soon as I had WOOHA kicked in. Now, you are probably one of those innocents who has never heard of WOOHA (yes, pronounced just like you might expect, even with a cowgirl twang and the sounds of a whip cracking in the background). More power to you if you've never heard of them. You see, Janet (you know, the sweet innocent one everyone thinks I pick on and bully around) is one of the founding members and principle guardians of the strictures of WOOHA. What, you may ask, is WOOHA? It is the acronym for Wives Ordering Old Husbands Around, and it has had a big place in our household for a number of years. Probably since I was old enough or married long enough to count as an old husband. Truth be told, it probably existed before that, but in a less formalized state.

So, how did WOOHA come into play today? As soon as I delivered the papers she asked for she commented on a couple of cupboards that needed cleaning out, then a couple other chores I could partake in, and by the time she was done I was tired just from listening that long, let alone doing any of it. Like I hadn't exhausted myself finding the papers she needed. OK, I wasn't really exhausted, but I do get tired pretty quick right now. Although, my appetite is coming back again.

In my last missive of the spring chickens tale I told you of praying to Ralph. Fortunately, the medicine that they gave me has kept that under control. So I'm beginning to master the schedule. Friday & Saturday I get the treatments and don't feel like eating much after Friday's breakfast. Sunday and Monday I eat almost nothing and don't feel like even thinking, let alone doing anything. Tuesday and Wednesday I begin to eat a little bit, but wear out very quickly. About Wednesday evening or Thursday morning I begin to get hungry again and start to have some energy that will last a few minutes at a time. I can do light work (like sitting and folding clothes or driving, but anything that takes physical effort is right out. My energy level picks up again as I begin eating and by the next Sunday I'm pretty well back to normal if I don't try to go for longer than 30 minutes of effort. I'll still wear out quickly and don't really begin to gain stamina again until about three days before the next cycle begins. What all this means is that not only is singing valentines right out the window for me this year, but I'm not even going to feel like answering the phone that day, so I won't be able to help there, either. This will be the first one I've missed since the early 90's.

I had an interesting experience Wednesday night. I went to the Washington Board of Rowing Stewards meeting. There are a couple of people on the board I wanted to get reacquainted with. Neither of those guys showed up, but three of the guys I rowed with did show up. Georges Naden, who was a lightweight one year behind me, and Teasedale, who was a year ahead, but was still hanging around when I graduated, and Malcom Lindquist, who was the guy I never quite managed to push out of the 5 seat in the first boat to get myself in there. It was fun to talk to some of the old crew guys. Malcolm says there is a network of the guys from back then and gave me his card so I can get plugged into it. I'll do that in just a bit, when I sit back to see what I've written here. I also got to talk to the head coach, Bob Ernst, and get confirmation that I can go ride with him in the launch any old practice I'd like. I've got his card, too. Another email when I break from writing this. Now, I wouldn't have gone to this on my own because I wear out too easy right now. But Bill M. was going, so I got a ride from him. We went to dinner at a Greek restaurant/deli in the Greenwood district (just around the corner from where American Eagle used to be, so I know the neighborhood), and that is where my appetite began to come back. I saw the yeeros on the menu and remembered having them at home and my mouth started to water with real saliva, not the bile I got last time it started to get wet. So I had one and it was great. Bill had been in town for a trial, anyway, so he picked me up at the ferry terminal. This must be my rowing week, though, because tonight is the Bainbridge Island Rowing annual meeting and potluck. So I'm looking forward to seeing my crew and how they are doing after a winter of no rowing. There is a group of the ladies who dedicated themselves to a race in San Diego in the spring, and they've been doing a strength and conditioning class with ergometer work this winter and should come back ready to hit the water in fine shape. We'll talk more about having a masters meeting some time in the coming weeks, too.

The plan, at this point, is to have the third set of chemo in February, then on the day of the March chemo to set the treatment for later and have me come in early for the Pet Scan. Blasted Barium Sulfate milkshakes! Then do the chemo. The pet scan will tell us if these treatments are poisoning the lymphoma as well as they are poisoning me. Then we can decide what to do. I guess the doctor will peruse the scan results and compare to the originals to see if we stick with the same treatment or go to one of the older (harsher but proven effective) chemicals. Just what I need - worse poisoning. Ah, well, I could still be in the sand box with my sister pounding on my knee with a rock (she claimed she was trying to hit the sand castle about 2 feet away but she couldn't see straight).

Speaking of good-news/bad-news, there is one more bit of new that comes with both sides. Due to my lack of appetite I've been losing weight. I was down to 195 yesterday after lunch. Now that is good news because I've been trying to shed that extra ten pounds for a while, and here it is gone. The bad news is that now that I'm under 200 lbs I'm light enough to get up on the metal roof and clean it. They say no one over 200 should get on a metal roof so they don't bend it. Sigh. When WOOHA hears about this there'll be another item on the honey-dew list. That dang mellon patch keeps getting bigger!

Tom the Whipped