Wednesday, October 31, 2012


  We went to the Ophthalmologist today at UT Eye Surgeons. Dr Rouse was nice but either I'm getting old or doctors are getting younger. I don't think I've ever had that complete of an eye exam. He even looked in the back of my eye ball, which I'm still trying to figure that out. I come out with a Ray Charles looking eye wear on my glasses, took until about 3 o'clock until I could stand seeing the daylight. All that and I still have no idea what is next or if anything is next, but he was complete in the exam and took his time. I had never heard that kind of doctor before now, thought all eye doctors were the same. The term sounds like it is a positive person, lol. Optimist.

  Denise never ceases to amaze me. He and her talked what sounded like a foreign language, I listened but didn't understand a lot of it. He is going to talk with whoever read the CT Scan and maybe order blood work. I did read the report from Dr. Panella on interrogating the CT Scan. One thing on the report that wasn't a shocker is that I'm overweight, or under tall, depending on the perspective. Some loss of hearing and I think that is blamed on the chemo, but I believe it's also a possible side effect of the H Bot Therapy. It seems I'm losing and have lost some control of a muscle in the left eye which is causing the episodes of double vision. He saw a muscle curled? The fix seems to be placing a Prism in my left lens, which takes away clear vision. I have no idea what I do now. See Dr Panella, call Dr Rouse, get blood work done, or wait. I know I have to go back in 4 months.

  Now this is weird. There is a possibility it could be Thyroid problems. It was understood that the Thyroid was in the line of fire with the radiation and would get burned up. Last check levels were within normal range and it's almost been 3 years. Thank God for that. It was expected to be dead a long time ago. I ended up at a little after 3 picking about 1/2 bushel of Chili Peppers for Denise to take to Jo, Rama, and the girls. Picked about 1/2 bushel of sweet peppers. Probably the last of the peppers this year, its suppose to frost tonight. The garden is one place I can go and the world looks better, my escape. I checked the cows while I was out too and took them some salt blocks, counted and petted a few. I love to watch the calves run and play. I think maybe when winter hits I'll play with one of the cars, maybe put the bug back together and put the new top on it. If it ain't a bad winter we have the old lumber from the front porch. Me and Megan could build a me Peacock Aviary and a Duck Aviary for her. I think the new term is re-purpose the lumber, but I call it using what you have and not wasting it.          


Friday, October 26, 2012

10-26-2012 CT Scan Results

  I got a call from Ruth today at UT on the CT Scans on my head, neck, and lungs. All Clear!!! Thank God. I had not heard Ruth's voice in a while and hearing her talk was like music to my ears. Ruth is stern and even though she shows strength she has a big heart and an excellent nurse. But lets face it, all the ones who worked on me are excellent. I have some excellent support from family and friends (especially Kim), who was and is a life saver. With all of this though I'll have to say prayers and well wishes are the strongest medicine. So that was good. I still go to the Optometrist (think I got that right) next week for the double vision and sometimes dizzy spells. I've had my arteries checked in my neck and they're pretty clear, I think one had 20% blockage, not enough to worry about. I'm still wondering about sinuses.

  Today me and Megan took off the trash and burned some piles of old wood and weeds, plus a few leaves. I took the lawnmower and vacuumed up the leaves here. I got it running but something just ain't quite right. I tilled the ground again where the Garlic will go, it still needs tilled with the sphagnum moss in it. Nov 3rd the signs will be in the breast so Denise is wanting to do it then. Me and Megan took a roll of hay to the cows. They didn't seem to interested in it. We were there about 30 minutes counting, kept coming up with different numbers, lol. Finally we both come up with 32 twice each. I transplanted a cactus tonight using the roll it in newspaper method, aka splinters. I read that somewhere, must have missed some major point. Knowledge is what you obtain from reading, observing, or listening. Wisdom is what you obtain right after you needed it. I also figured out real fast that cactus needles must shed in the soil. Found that out poking my fingers to tighten the soil in the new pot. :)

  Despite the lack of sun exposure, my Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma is staying fairly stable. I got one tumor in my arm, had it quite a while now. I may get it took out one day. I've a few patches, but nothing unusual. Denise has Apples again... more Apple Butter coming up. She done good the last batch.

  We also started burning out a spot for all those tiny trees I bought, they were cheap. Mostly Almond and Pecan Trees. Funny, I wasn't sure I would ever taste a nut from them but now it looks promising. I bought them like I did all the other fruit trees, bamboo, and plants knowing that if I never get to use them hopefully those left behind will enjoy them.

  I'm not sure if Panella reads this anymore, or the ladies and gentlemen at UT who have worked on me. Or Rathfoot or Smith and their crew. I'm sorry I'm not a good patient but please know that I do listen. I have you all, UT, and St Mary's held at the highest esteem, the greatest respect. You all have been great to me, and I thank you. I didn't expect to get this far and through you God has gotten me way beyond my expectations. I think over time you figured out I don't fear death, at the same time though I don't fear life either. God has allowed me more time through your care, and I thank Him and you all for that. I get to badger my kids, grandkids, and especially Denise, whom I would not be without her.

  As for many more, some say I've seen a lot, and I have, but some see more everyday. I have a residual of Lyme's Disease, Heart problems, high BP, 2 cancers (1- I still have), arthritis (from Lymes and ignorance), Pernicious Anemia, COPD (coughing up phlegm dammit),  neuropathy, sleep apnea, and just plain ignorance... just for starters. Filling out those forms to see a doctor is like writing a Biography. :) I still say I am the most blessed man alive. I have a great wife, my kids are clean and good, grandchildren that are wonderful and fun, mom that has a massive heart and an optimist. I have so many friends, some I've met face to face and some not... and some I don't know yet. Like most I have ways I'd rather not die, but at the same time I would rather not live any other way that I have, for through that I am surrounded by great people. In my lifetime so far, God has provided me far better than I deserve. Just wanted you all to know that.               

Monday, October 22, 2012

See Ya Later Russell Means

  Today God called Russell Means home today and today the world lost a little light. We never met face to face but over the years we became friends. He had throat cancer and got better, then I changed my email server and lost his email. I kept saying I was going to find it, but I waited a bit long. Denise called to tell me from her work that Chief Means died, I considered him a chief and a hero. He was 72 the last time we talked. Please pray for his family. We will meet him one day in a better place. For now our hearts are heavy. Please pray for his wife and family that their pain be eased.   

Go well my brother.

Friday, October 19, 2012

10-19-2012 Follow-Ups

  We went to UT Cancer Center and my first appointment was with Dr Rathfoot. We got there early though to know where Dr Panella and his crew had gone too. They got the new cancer center open. No more Chemo Hut, now it's Chemo Cove and set up nicely. We ate some french fries at the cafeteria and I kept an open eye for Jackie (my cousin), but I haven't a clue what or where she works.

  So we head to the appointment with Rathfoot and he scopes me regularly then to see if he sees where the blood is coming from, he goes to or through, I think just to, the voice box. I got a lot of yeast in my throat and on my vocals. The absence of saliva glands (1 works partly sometimes) had also lead to drying the throat.  The fatigue is also a possibility from this stuff.

  A bit of a surprise  came from he noticed the arthritis has increased in my neck. He said radiation has sped it up a bit.  He ups the Ralaflen (spelling?) dose.So now it turns our to help the damage swelling and bones as well. He wasn't sure about the double vision I've had on and off lately.

  So then we head to Dr Panella. Panella said it was officially the 3 year mark since the cancer, and this was to be his last. He said they'd forgotten to check again on the nodules on my lungs from 5 months ago, but with the double vision attacks he has ordered a CT for my chest, neck, and head. He also ordered an eye doctor see me, one that is high up and does surgeries. He wants to rule out the possibility of it following what they term the tree it sometimes follows. After  I have the test we go to the eye dr then to Panella. I've learned to not ask about the neuropathy. They are moving pretty quickly on it. Hopefully it is just another side effect, the hearing loss, double vision, eyesight loss. All this starts next week.            

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


  I go this week for 2 follow-ups, Rathfoot & Panella. These are less than an hour apart but both are at UT. I look forward to especially Rathfoot and his scope this time. I have been having to clear up blood each morning this week, except yesterday it was just tinged. Denise seems to think the blood and bleeding is from yeast in my throat again. It takes quite an effort to get it all up each morning and depending on just how much is how or if my throat is sore or not. I've never quite got back on track from the last bush hog event. I have a lot to go but I'm almost afraid to do it. Denise also says a yeast infection would be a part of my fatigue and body pain. I hope she is right.

  Today me and Megan went on the hill to make some fence repairs, set 7 posts and reattached the wire on some of the old ones and attached the wires to the new ones. It will need more work but that will do for now. Neuropathy once again comes in handy, from the briars I look like I got in a fight with a cat and lost, paper thin skin. I'll be looking for festered spots as the thorns work themselves out.  Megan is a lot of help in doing things these days. Still haven't finished the Sunroom molding, may not get finished again this year. I've also got to fix the lawn mower again, if nothing else it is a lifesaver taking the feed to the chickens. And I still haven't put the new roofs on the buildings, maybe soon though. I have to work around the neuropathy, weather and add to that lately double vision at times. Shame it doesn't happen when I'm looking at a dollar. :)

  I fell off the Gluten-Free diet this week too. Denise is sticking to it, lost 13 lbs so far and Megan says she won't come off it either, her sinuses have cleared up, acid reflux gone, weight down, and energy up. None of us bloat either. The chickens and dogs have enjoyed this diet from time to time when I try a new recipe that don't turn out. White sandwich bread is what we like though and seems the hardest one to imitate, but thats covered now. I want to try a French Loaf (long one) and have herb and garlic on it. The chocolate chip cookies though have been the best so far. I sort of lost heart for a while after seeing the Paleo Diet, I think that is a bit much and a bit in excess. Moderation is usually the key to things, which seems to be lacking these days in everything. I will have to admit though that I think gluten is the key to many problems, especially acid reflux and weight.

  So after the visits this week I'll be posting again on the results, be that good or bad. I figure we have a certain numbers of breaths God gives us from the time we arrive. What we do with those breaths He leaves up to us. As was once said,  "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away." - Hilary Cooper 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


  This month starts the check-ups again and today a new test. They checked the Arteries in my neck for blockage. The left showed some blockage but not enough to be alarmed or worried about, the right was clean. I have to go to Dr. Panella this round and have a chest X-Ray before going for the visit. Throat cancer he said can follow a tree of lungs and brain, but no brain scan or x-ray is scheduled. I have confidence that he wouldn't order anything I don't need and orders what he thinks I will. Dr Rathfoot comes I think right before Dr. Panella, hopefully he will do the scope. I never thought I'd ever say anything like that but it's strange how one can get use to something and learn to look forward to a little discomfort for security and confidence. Yeast infection again and so I had to do the Flukinol (spelling ?) to get rid of it.

  I haven't mowed the yard at either house in a month, didn't bush hog again either. It almost seems I can't quite get on top of it. The Acid Reflux has went way down since we started limiting the Gluten. We try as much as we can to do Gluten-Free in our foods, seems to be working out for all of us, but sometimes we stumble and tonight I fell off a bit. :) Denise has lost 13lbs and I've lost 10, though how I have no idea with all the cookies. I seem to rest better at night too. It makes it a lot better just eating your food once I guess.

  Everything is a push right now. The hay is in, though 120 rolls and already we have 31 cows and calves total. If it's a hard winter that may not be enough. Frost is going to set in here they say this weekend so the field back here Mark won't get cut in time to bale, that also means an early start to feeding. That equates to finishing the trim and 2 planks in the Sunroom before we bring the Banana Plants and Palms indoors. Winter proofing some stuff too. I use to do this stuff without a second thought in a day or two. At  night I research recipes and stuff, print them out and put in a notebook. Misty baked her 1st successful loaf of bread. If they come down this weekend I told her to pick one of the bread machines out. She's baking regular wheat bread and we have the two, older but like new. We only need one and I usually oven bake now. Baking wheat bread I'd rather use a bread machine. She does her blog on Autism and so far has a good response.

  Speaking of, Misty, here is the Cookie Recipe from the final tweaking you and the kids like. 

 1/3 Cup Millet Flour (I mixed 1/2 the last time. :) )
 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour (light)
 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
 2   Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract (or a bit more give or take)
 1/2 Cup of Butter
 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
 1/2 Cup of White Sugar
 1/4 Teaspoon Salt (non Iodized)
 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
 1 Egg
 1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

  Mix all the dry stuff together well, the start by adding the Brown Sugar and head for wet. After you have it mixed well then add the Chocolate Chips and let just mix in enough to mix in.

They do better as far as not running if you let the dough chill in the fridge or freezer for a little bit. For thinner cookies though just place them directly on the baking sheet. I put ours in little balls on a butter greased cookie sheet or pan.

  At 375 Degrees F on the average they take 10-12 minutes, but sometimes....