Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015


  I have about 2 more weeks before I have the follow-up with Rathfoot to see if that 20mg of Prednisone worked. Also on the same day I see Bushkell on the Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma for my follow-up, we postponed it so that both doctors would be the same day and eliminate a drive to Knoxville U.T. I'm not sure how either will go, hoping that things get better but right now, it ain't looking good. I've been vacuuming up and burning leaves on and off the last 2 weeks, something that will go for at least another month. Living with woods on 2 sides heavy and the other 2 sides quite a few trees, we have our share. That being said, I wouldn't want it any other way. I love our trees. This year I planted a few, about 15 so far.

  For all my grumbling about being on Prednisone this long (10mg for almost 2 years now), the skin gets like paper and tears easily. I bleed easily and for the first time in my life, bruise. I am so use to bleeding that when I see blood I think nothing of it. Usually I wear camo and it just blends in, lol. But it may have served an unseen purpose, something I totally unexpected. For the 3rd time in my life I got a bite from a Brown Recluse Spider. My 1st time, I was 23 or 24 and had never heard of them, and almost lost my arm. The 2nd time was on a knuckle and I saw that happen and got medical attention fast, lost very little meat and a small scar, nothing like my elbow though. I did lose some lymph nodes from cleaning aquariums at the pet store. Lesson: water that is good for fish is not good if it gets in our body. It entered in the hole left from the spider. This time was the armpit. We've had a rash of prowlers and I grabbed a jacket (it was chilly) and headed out. I waited a few days, probably 2 or 3, then went to Schindler who gave me antibiotics, which I'm still taking. I have 4 days and if it isn't better I have to go back. Already the pain has went down so they are working.

  So tonight I showed Denise, she wanted to see it, and she wasn't too impressed. She put the ointment on it, plus I have pills to take 4 times a day. 2000 mg Keflex. The center is developing a hole down in my armpit, basically the meat is dead or rotting. It probably looks worse than it feels, some pain but not bad. I expected this, the venom rots or kills the flesh it comes into contact with. Now the funny thing is, rather than use pesticides in the garden bug control is accomplished with spiders and Praying Mantis, which I never get a bite from either. I probably mash him (or her) when I put the jacket on, these are not aggressive spiders. So basically... my bad. Tonight is a little rough so I will take the Tylenol Extra Strength, and probably Excedrin. Tomorrow they call for rain and if it is pretty long enough I will work on the tractor I swapped Big Ugly for. I think I will dissemble the body parts to get to the engine parts easier, plus beat some of the dents out of it. It isn't a trailer queen but for a 1968 farm tractor it is ok. Denise don't think it will spear, lift, and carry a roll of hay, I think it will.      

Friday, October 23, 2015


  Well the extra 10mg of Prednisone is finally over so now I go back to 10mg. Thank God. Taking 20mg of it I gained even more weight plus was getting a little hateful and short fused. A good example of that was when I was leaving Lowe's and came to the red light. The car in front started quickly when it turned to green, then slammed on his brakes. Thankfully UPS driver training you wait a second or two before starting after the car in front starts, just in case. I threw up my hands, no words, no horn, just tossed my hands in the air like I was saying what... Apparently the guy in front saw that and we ended up side by side at the next red light. My windows was down, a/c quit on the truck, so the guy rolls his window down, looks angry and says, "Hey... you gotta a problem?"  I looked over and said, "Actually I do. I'm wondering, did you just not like that shade of green or did you wake up stupid."  I think it caught him off guard and he quickly turned his head and rolled his window back up. We were about the same age, he maybe was a little younger, and I think he was playing with his cell phone. Normally I wouldn't have done that.

  Another side effect of Prednisone (according to Denise), besides weight gain and irritability is thin paper like skin. I get cut and bruise over practically nothing. It is so common that while everybody freaks out I pay it little attention. I wear camo a lot and can wipe the blood on my pants or shirts and what doesn't come out blends in, lol. People ask me if I'm going hunting and usually are puzzled when I tell them I don't hunt. I get dirty and bloody and this hides it, looks like it is just part of the design, lol.

  I almost made Denise proud a few days ago, Big Ugly I waved good-bye to as it went to the new owners. I told her I could part with stuff, just not as she imagined. Matthew (long time friend) needed a truck to haul scrap in plus pull things. He has an old 1968 Massey Ferguson tractor he don't need. It needs a few things but is fine as it is. I don't really need another tractor but he needs a truck and Big Ugly has mostly sit for the last 2 years. It was a little hard to see her go but now she can do what she was meant to do. I bought the truck when I was selling real estate off Craigslist for 550.00, to pull the hay float. Blackie (F150) just was having a hard time and overheating bad. It wasn't long before I got sick with the throat cancer. While taking chemo you have days you feel better than others, but not really good days, just not as bad days. I found a steel flatbed on Craigslist and William took his trailer and me and I bought it. Cody (now Megan's boyfriend) came and I paid him to fabricate it to fit and make a headache rack. Later I found a seat and William installed it. After the treatments Big Ugly was the first thing I worked on, taking the top of the engine off plus distributor down and replacing the electronic parts and hand cleaning the Plentium.  Denise went with me to look at it and when I bought it dad followed me back. A lot of good memories. I'm not sure I can work on stuff that much anymore. So far he has Big Ugly but I haven't seen the tractor yet. The last 2 days he was suppose to bring it but something came up and he couldn't. He will bring it when he can, I have faith he will.

 (note to Denise) I know you will read this. You look at the cars and trucks I once collected and I know you see junk, but I see potential. JFK once said, "Some sees things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask why not." Will I live or my health last long enough to even fix one more? I don't know, probably not. They give me hope and something to aspire to be able to do again. The proverbial carrot in front of the horse thing. If you remember back, they told me to walk in the Mall after my heat attack. I did walk as they suggested only I went to junk yards and walked. I done that so much that the guys at Romines and Sonny's sent people to me to ask if they had a certain car or part, lol. It was nice of them since they knew I couldn't afford to buy anything and still allowed me to walk. I thank them for that. My whole thought process is, what if I can. They continue to be worth more so if I can't you can do as you need to do with them. I have lived my life reaching for the stars, knowing I will never touch one, but also knowing I won't end up with a hand full of dirt while reaching up. I had to adopt that growing up. You were blessed with a "normal family", your mom and dad. I grew up living between houses and with 8 different people, each great, each different, plus my parents who visited from time to time. They were young and dumb, so I don't fault them for leaving. You had stability, rock hard and firmly planted... I did not, but I was loved. Funny, all 8 were poor, honest, hard working people, and when you have nothing you have everything you need. Faith and hope abide with those who have little material junk. All we own, all we can touch, is fleeting at best and in time is gone from moths or rust. This stuff serves me now and when I am gone if it does not serve you then get rid of it.    

  Also I read on the Lymphoma Board, then went to the article, a new treatment is being experimented with to treat T Cell Lymphomas and similar blood cancers. For a moment I saw light at the end of the tunnel, then  I saw price. If it is approved, it will be years before it is released. I saw and read how it works and it sounds a lot like Robert (Bob) Beck's way except the take out the blood, just as he said they wanted to years ago. Still, it is hope. I have sores in my head and my skin looks like I've took a bath in battery acid in many places. It has advanced lately, and that is ok too I suppose. None of us get out of this life without dying. We are dying with that first breath, each breath brings us closer. Some of us are fortunate to know this, but the real blessing is something else that we know. It isn't the breaths we should count but the moments that happen between breaths. There, the miracles are found, we just have to notice. People come back from death with some profound knowledge and while I didn't have all this many things, one thing I did and remember well. "Be it good or bad, no moment lasts forever. Therefore endure the bad and cherish the good... knowing this too shall pass."  That simple things was a life raft when I was in the battle with the Throat Cancer.             

That was long... now I got to do some chores. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Follow up in 09-2015

  Forgot that I hadn't posted this up. I put a note on Facebook and then got distracted. I'm old, lol. The last follow-up with Rathfoot went both good and bad. Good that when he scoped me he saw no evidence of the throat cancer. Bad that the swelling has returned. For now we are trying 10 days of 20 mg a day of Prednisone, then I got back to 10mg. I've been on 10 for over a year now. I go back I think the 17th or something like that to check and see if that has helped. If it hasn't then he said maybe injecting that stuff again, which equates to surgery and or more HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen) treatments. Radiation... the gift that keeps on giving. It did explain why I am short of breath, especially in the heat. I started out good with the garden but the heat prevented me from continuing good. It did ok though all things considered. We got what we needed and was able to share, so I'm good with that. So far, I can see a slight improvement I think on the higher dose after also a week on it. I really don't want to do the surgery, an open hole in the throat came back to mention, which I will not do. That is my line in the sand. HBOT, I'd rather not. Those trips to Knoxville are long and tiring. I'm not much on that chill pill either than helps with claustrophobia, some kind of anxiety pill. What will happen is what will happen though. We cross that bridge when we get there.

  Charlie meanwhile they determined does not have cancer. William said it was just scars and these places on his lungs. I have those too. Actually, it is sort of a trade mark here in east Tennessee. Those born here or who have lived in this area for a while develop these things in their lungs and the doctors don't know why. TVA? Oak Ridge? Who knows, but apparently they are harmless. I guess Tina and Charlie know William will tell everybody because they have never actually said.

  Meanwhile, Cody (Megan's boyfriend) and me have worked on the boat. Our first trip out it was embarrassing to say the least, funny to say the most. We noticed 2 men in a Canoe paddling to our right close by the bank. Was he passing us? Yep, they passed us and we were wide open, lol. The next trip we got up to a whopping 11 mph, going down stream, coming back... not so much. That test made us search out why a little more effectively. We changed the prop, put new plugs in, clean the carburetor, set the timing (better). Cody scared the do out of me. We actually passed Bass Boats that were going fast. They are letting the lakes down so a lot of what was water is now land with unannounced hills and debris that are located in places you'd not think about. We got it fixed just in time for winter to be winterized, lol. Come spring though, we will be ready. I bought me a fishing pole (man those things are expensive), a cheaper one, but I'm happy with it. I plan to fulfill (God willing) my goal to fish again after 30 years. Some of my fondest memories are of us all going to the lake with a skillet, cornmeal, salt, and pepper and frying up what we caught right there when I was small. It seemed like it happened a lot but maybe it was rare, either way left a good impression.

  This will be one thing off my bucket list. The next is to see the Ga Guide Stones, maybe see out west once. I may sell one or two of our old cars (Denise, if you read this, key word is "may") and buy an A Model. So far, thats my bucket list.

  This is my 1000.00 boat with Megan and Cody getting ready to launch. Not new, now fancy, and still needs some work, but it will take us fishing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


   Charlie got his PET Scan back, it is cancer in his lungs. The doctor told him he would get with another doctor and maybe do a biopsy to see if it is the fast kind, or the slow kind. Either way though, surgery is not an option, it is too advanced.

  Throat cancer can follow what they call "the tree", that is the brain, throat, lungs. So while Charlie's throat cancer is gone (I think), his cancer isn't. It has just migrated. We've lost several in or family to cancer and it has been our experience that when it comes back after chemo and radiation, there is little to no resistance. As the doctor explained to me before my treatments started, "It like dropping a nuclear bomb on a battlefield. It kills the enemy but also kills the good guys too."

  Please remember Charlie in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


   Things go good then bad, intermittently... right now in a bad phase. I think it is something in the garden that has my sinuses, throat, and breathing shallowed. I noticed Megan after being in the Green Bean area doing much the same. Still, it leaves one to always wonder if this stuff migrated. I guess that goes with the territory. It seems I don't sleep much anymore, waking up several times in the night and hard pressed to get to sleep to start with. That translates to not getting a whole lot done. Right now I say I wouldn't do nothing except let the doctor keep me out of pain if it returns, but I am reminded of what an old Indian Chief once said. "Its easier to be brave at a distance".

   Today and tonight I find myself still troubled after today's news. Charlie's cancer is back and into his lungs. I remember the doctor telling us it follows the "tree", which was throat, lungs, and/or brain. Charlie and Tina are devastated. Tina said the doctor said he had it for a while and it is inoperable. The only thing they can do is see if it is the fast kind or slow kind. I guess that will determine how long he has.

   One of my best friends I worked with at UPS who battled cancer, he and his wife, she died a couple of days ago. Hers came back and after a valiant battle for 2 years, he trials are over. They were married 30 years. How does one recover from the loss of a partner after that many years? Danny is strong and a good man, his faith is strong as was Kathy, his wife. We know there is no such thing as good-bye yet that does little to actually ease the pain. For Kathy I rejoice but for Danny, I am sad.

  But is all hasn't been a bad year, I grew (with help), 2 small gardens. Like last year though I couldn't keep up with them, I guess those days are gone. It was a weird year for gardening and we managed to produce enough, so it wasn't a waste. Like Charlie, I can't do this heat. The important thing though is I try and as long as someone tries, they never really fail. I also bought a boat, yep, a boat. We really don't have the money to spend on one but I got this super cheap. Me and Megan's new boy friend have worked on it. Did you get that? Megan's new boyfriend. I like Cody, he is a fine young man and treats Megan with respect and works hard. We are planning on doing something I have anted to do for the last 30-40 years... go fishing. Last weekend we attempted to put it in the water but failed. It leaks and needs 2 new seals, which I promptly ordered. I really want to get it in the water just one time at least before they let the lakes down too low for it to work. Yep, I bought another boat that needs fixing. The other one I never quite got it to run.  Our hay for the year is done.

   Denise just shakes her head when I do junk like this. She is patient with me when I do something like that or take a while to do something slowly. I have come to know that patience is a gift from God and something to work to obtain. He is patient with us, so imitating His virtues is just one way we show our devotion. She knows I wear down easily but she also knows I will try as hard as I can. I am at that stage in life where I would like to enjoy a little, not much but a little. I want Denise to enjoy with me. I'll never be able to afford to take her on an expensive vacation. Seldom am I ok to ride the bike, it gets more rare every year. But I can take her boating and fishing. It is not the motorcycle but just as much fun. I did shoot a Buzzard (Vulture) that was one of 16 that attacked and killed our new born calf. We may get reimbursed, so I submitted a claim. The guy said they were Federally protected. What was left of the calf was in the field and over in the distance was a dead bird. I smiled and told him that one wasn't as protected, lol.

  So in a nutshell that has been lately.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015