No Spring Chicken #9
Was that a clean bill of health? Well, yeah, but wait until the bill comes due! And not with respect to the cancer, either.

Wednesday I had two medical appointments, one with the Urologist (remember the enlarged prostate?) and one with the physical therapist (did I mention the back problems?). They both gave me clean bills of health. In both cases they had achieved more than the goals.

Urologically, I can now "go" for hours without a trip to the bathroom to "go", so the prostate has shrunk considerably. Along with that the flow rate and volume are both up. As is the ease in starting. Also completion is easier (you old dribblers know what I mean). For all those of you without any idea what this is about, just pretend I'm talking about menstrual flow - or better yet, imagine 8 months pregnant, then suddenly not. And the bladder is emptying just fine and some nights I can sleep through the night without a trip to the restroom, despite the gallon of water I'm drinking each day to flush other elements from my system. All that is really good news. Better news still is that he decided not to stir things up by doing another finger test. Smile when you say that, pardner! Oh, he did. He smiled the entire time. You gotta like a guy who enjoys his work, no matter how perverted that is. Kinda like the old dungeon torture expert who whistled while he worked or hummed a happy little tune. Anyway, I don't need to see him for another year! I got a hearty handshake when I left and we both smiled. BTW, for any male with this problem I can heartily recommend the wave therapy treatment. It was pretty much painless (outside of the catheter and erotic dream combo) and surely is effective. I'm told that it is only a 75-80% success ratio, so you might want to look into why and if it applies to you. But I had the easiest transition I could imagine.

Physical Therapistically (yeah, I know, pretend it is German where you can add two words together to make new ones any time), my back doesn't hurt any more, I have full range of motion, I can sleep on any surface (of my body) without problems, and I have no trouble sitting in my favorite chair or car any more. Whew. That is such a relief. I hadn't even really noticed some of it because I don't get out or off the couch much any more, but there it is. All of those goals met, too. Shucks! Why shucks? Well, Jeanene was doing deep tissue massage on my stiff/shrunken tendons that were causing the problem. Hey, at my age it is quite a thrill when a good looking young woman plays with your butt, no matter what she is doing or how painful it is! Now that we are all done Jeanene is going to catch up on these emails and then follow them as time goes by. For now, I got a hug from her, too. After this paragraph I'll probably get a slap the next time I see her.

You may remember that Jillian hugged me when she gave me the news about the cancer. Now Jeanene. Hmm. Maybe this cancer stuff isn't so bad... Nah. Scratch that. It would be easier to open a hugging booth at the next county fair. Sure, not so many good looking women, but the down side wouldn't be as bad, either. Even when Spike, the biker in leather, wants a hug. Besides, I get the best hugs at home, and plenty of them. But you can never get too many.

This last week has been weird. I go from feeling great to getting up and suddenly feeling faint and weak. I feel good, but there is no energy reserve to fall back on. So I'm having troubles staying warm enough most nights (we've quit opening the window at night, again) and early mornings. When I feel good I want to get up and do something. Like the day we went down to Silverdale for the doctor's appointment, and decided to visit Barnes & Noble while we were there. Then I thought it would be fun (since neither of us was ready for lunch yet) to go by Best Buy and check out the newer Mac Minis (Janet keeps complaining about the speed of the old one she is running). So I'm looking at the Mac Mini, then the new Macs, then the iPad, then a bigger monitor for her, then the TVs (because that is what people are doing for monitors bigger than 24" these days, since tvs are HD and most come with video input plugs. Anyway, by the time all that walking around the store was done, then twice more looking for Janet, I was too tired to stand up while waiting in line at the cash register. So I squatted down and rested using balance, not muscles, to hold myself up. But you know you are tired when you are too tired to stand up. And we are only talking about 30-40 minutes of standing and walking. Plus, I've got this niggling cough that won't go away and won't produce anything so it seems like there is no reason for it. I went to the doctor about it on Monday and they took chest xrays and found nothing in my lungs, and no obvious problems so it is written off as side effects of the chemo.

The visit to Mike & Jan worked out fine, but we basically just sat and talked. Not that that is bad. We have a lot to catch up on. We even started making plans for Jan taking up flyfishing so I have someone to fish with. You know a guy is your best buddy when he loans you his wife as a fishing partner!

It occurs to me that I haven't mentioned the plight of my older brother. All of our lives I've been one-upping him. I grew taller, graduated college first, and myriad other things long those lines. This fall he was diagnosed with diabetes. Does he get much sympathy? Nope. Within a month I'm diagnosed with lymphoma. Then he gets his deviated septum fixed just before we come down, and is in lots of pain and weak and sickly, but still not enough worse than my chemo-wracked body to garner much more sympathy. Poor puddy smud! His nickname, as a fat little baby was pudge. But when I cam along I couldn't pronounce that at first, so he became puddy smud. I won't tell you what I was nicknamed by the same sick parents. Well, maybe I'll relent there, since it wasn't my parents' fault, it was mine. You see, I was jealous (it goes both ways with brothers). His name had two "f"s in it, but mine only had three letters, no doubles. Then I noticed that the "m" has two humps and somehow managed to think that was two things. So I told my mom my name was spelled "T-O-Yum-Yum" and it stuck. Good God, what we do to our kids with nicknames. Hey, I was like 2 or 3. They could have let it slide and I'd never have said it again. I've been warped ever since! Warp factor 10, Mr. Sulu, and keep the pedal to the metal!

The trip to Portland has gone well. We got down here in pretty good time until we hit the Portland rush hour (at 2 pm on Wednesday). It then took us 1:45 to go the last 25 miles. They must be almost as bad as Seattle for traffic. But we make it to Colleen's 85th birthday party (I think I left my water jug there!) and got to see a lot of family, although that did wear both Jeff & I out pretty bad. Then we got to spend a day gaming and conversing and having fun with Joe, Jeff, Olga & Pat. And I get to look forward to bowl games today and two more days of gaming and chatting. Maybe even catch up with Rod & Linda some more, too. Sitting around playing games is pretty relaxing if you take the game easy enough. Besides, Jeff & I did some DBA yesterday and should be doing some Wings of War today. And Pat plays WoW (not to be confused with World of Warcraft), too. What could be more fun than shooting your brothers down?

Hang in there, you all.

Tom the Ham who Upstages