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Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Friday, March 09, 2018

Is It A cold Or Just Spring Fever?

Dear Diary,

I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. Thought at first it was a side effect of trying my wife's CPAP nasal pillows instead of my usual full face mask. Lo and behold, at the end of today, it's still there.
I've been feeling kind of "off" for a few days now with a really stuffy, runny nose. I've been trying to blame my wife, spring fever or at least, the two cats but now I think something else is afoot. Hmmmm!

We went out to lunch with one of our close friends today and (of course) stuffing ourselves to the very gills. Now I'm gonna feel like a beached whale for the rest of the night!
Probably gonna skip supper and just have a little soup later.

The weather's starting to turn cloudy again for the next few days and I may be feeling the effects of that as well.
It's a good night to retire early and read in bed with a kitty on my chest. I'm so glad I have that luxury! It's not all bad being dirt poor! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, February 16, 2018

Back From The Abyss...I Hope

Dear Diary,

Well, I guess I've survived the past two weeks of hell. That last post reflects the side of me that rears it's ugly head when I screw up my meds! I'm feeling better but still can't focus properly. I have a lot of trouble making simple choices. The high dose of sertraline helps me cope with the OCD but there is something else going on here as well. I'm still suspecting the Lupron.

Referring back to the last post, I was serious, living in metro Phoenix really does suck and dying here takes the cake. Arizona is beautiful but Phoenix has really turned into a hellhole of pollution, crime, and a major preponderance of assholes.
I swear if it wasn't for my wife, our two kitties and our little backyard sanctuary with its population of feral cats, raccoons, squirrels and various birds, I'd be in a 'rubber room' by now!

*nips on a glass of bourbon*

If I could only manage to get off these damn diuretics I'd be a lot happier. Do you have any idea what it's like to constantly piss all day long? I'm between a rock and a hard place with that. If I take them in the morning, I can't go out for the rest of the day without piss running down my leg. If I wait until the end of the day, I just piss all night in bed!
If I totally stop taking them, I will most likely re-develop pulmonary edema which would most likely land me back in the hospital for a week or so.

*another nip...slightly bigger*

I frequently ponder the question of how long I have left. Do I really want to know? I can't even make up my mind on that! Doesn't really matter though since nobody can tell me anyway.
Lying in bed at night, I often wonder what the status of the myxoma growing in my left atrium is. It's weird having something ticking away in your body that you can't feel and causes no symptoms yet could kill me abruptly, any day, any hour, any second.

One of my favorite followers just emailed me, just before I started to write this. Susan, I will get back to you real soon. I miss hearing from you too! Don't panic, things are cool.

Back to the blog. I can't really think of anything more to write about tonight so I'll log off with a pic of my co-authors. They are where the talent really lies! ;)


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Friday, February 09, 2018

Life's A Bitch...Then you Die

Dear Diary,
Woke up in a foul mood this morning after sleeping about 2 hours late. Wife's gone to work, no coffee made and my back hurts like hell
Pissing all over the floor trying to get a goddamn diaper on has gotten old long time ago!
I've got so fucking much work to do around this place that I'm totally overwhelmed
My weight is still out of control at 282 and I can't seem to do anything about that either.
I want to get mad and take out my frustrations by punching a wall but I can't even do that because I have no testosterone left.

I have no motivation to do a fucking thing.
To make matters worse, my wife has become so absorbed in her latest project that I rarely have a sounding board bounce things off from. Looks like I'm going to have to seriously look into a physical support group.
Maybe, with any luck we can find a good one and I can get her to at least occasionally go with me. Maybe that will help.

Now I find out that Medicare is going to cost me a lot more than I thought it was. It's going to be just a shade under what I'm paying for my current health insurance and there's no guarantee that it's not going to go up in price. So, if my wife should lose her job we're up shit creek without a paddle because I won't be insured at all.

I'm considering taking this diary offline because nobody reads this garbage anyway. I really don't know why I ever thought of starting it. I used to get a little feedback now and then but that stopped a long time ago.
I don't care, I really fucking don't give a flying shit!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Another Fine Day...

Dear Diary,

Well, it's another fine day in this miserable,  godforsaken hellhole we call home.
Seem like nothing is going right today! 

I was almost killed by some dimwitted, asshole motorist who nearly sideswiped me as I left the grocery store after dropping the wife off for work.
I'm cleared on my left two lanes and am paused at the median checking the right. Thought I was all clear so I move out into the southbound lane and here comes this prick doing about 75 mph in a 45 mph zone and probably on his fucking cell phone.
I had at least 1000 feet clear on right and he comes straight at me. He could have easily changed lanes but instead, chose to lay on his horn and swerve around me with about a second to spare!
Just a typical scum of the earth asshole. Where the hell is my gun when I need it?

To top it all off, I'm out of sertraline and have been for about a week. The doctor was very late approving and faxing in a refill to Wal-Mart.
Consequently, I'm going through some SSRI withdrawal which includes some mild paranoia, tremors, and heavy tinnitus. I've been down this road before and it isn't pleasant!

I'm getting scared that I'm gonna die abruptly and leave my beloved wife alone.
She works so hard to keep us afloat for very little money. I owe her my very life.

So... how's your fucking day going?


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Almost Feeling Normal Again!

Dear Diary,

It's Thursday night and the wife has tomorrow off. I'm feeling almost normal again.
The fatigue and depression seems to be lifting for a while. I am now convinced that these symptoms are from the ADT.
My feet and lower back are not bothering me too much either which really improves my energy level and mood.

The good news is that I'm drinking a lot less alcohol. I now only imbibe when the wife is home and we can drink together.

More good news. It is possible that I've found a reputable source for free or very low-cost dental care for both myself and the wife. There are a number of clinics offering 'donated' services to children and the elderly who cannot afford insurance and private care.
I'll be posting more on this as information becomes available.

As far as the weight problem goes, I'm giving myself a target of this coming Monday to get back on a proper diet. One thing I've gotta do is quit penalizing myself for overeating.
I guess it's a matter of finding something else to do besides eat!

Time to chill out and eat a little Mango ice cream. Lol!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Not Quite As "Blah" As Yesterday!

Dear Diary,

So...I'm not feeling quite as bad as yesterday but there's still a lot of mental fogginess and fatigue.
I'm about 99% certain that the ADT is the culprit. If this doesn't get too much worse over time, then it's liveable. There are still no hot flashes but I am getting more aches and pains than I used to.
Who knows, maybe it's all just the process of getting older. :(

Lots of lower back pain lately due to my increased weight. (279 up from 260) I seem to have become a carbohydrate junkie again. I just can't face going back on my keto diet right now!

Along with all this nonsense comes depression. When coupled with OCD, that can be a tough pill to swallow. I find myself thinking a lot about death lately and when and where this might occur. I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with it but it does cross my mind every day.
I suppose that is to be expected, given my age and a long list of medical issues.

I think I forgot to mention that I am now using a cane to facilitate ambulation. I picked one up at the local thrift shop for under $10 and it was exactly the right length! I find that using the cane virtually eliminates the sciatica pain that I've been having. My left leg is about 3/4" shorter than my right so it causes me to have a decided limp which, of course, aggravates the sciatica.

Well, it's high time I went to bed! Maybe tomorrow will be better.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Dear Diary,

We went out this morning to get my Lupron injection and now, at the end of the day, I feel like I'm crashing and burning. Heavy fatigue and depression.
Lately, I've felt totally unmotivated and foggy minded. I can't even remember to take my meds and when I do remember, I find it hard to get up the ambition to take them!
Thank goodness for my wife as I'd be a basket case without her.
I am definitely losing control of my life. 

It feels like I'm observing life from a remote point rather than participating in it. I sure hope I'm not developing some kind of dementia in addition to everything else.
I find myself reviling the world and most of the people in it. It seems like humanity has gone stark, raving mad and is getting worse on a daily basis.

We both took a nice long nap this afternoon but it didn't seem to "reset" things for me the way naps usually do. I guess we'll just have to wait until tomorrow and see how I'm doing then.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Cold Depressing Saturday

Dear Diary,

It's a dreary, cloudy cold Saturday afternoon. Even the two cats are cuddled up together in their corner of the clothes closet. It looks very cute!

Yesterday's aches and pains seem to have subsided a little bit, at least enough that I didn't t need to take anything for them.

Got out this morning and took the wife to work them went to WalMart to pick up some groceries and prescriptions. Made it home safe despite the nutjobs on the road!

Feeling really sleepy now. Thinking of taking a nap. I think the cold weather has a lot to do with it.

Did anybody see the Space X launch from Vandenberg AFB last night around 1900hrs? Awesome!
I was coming home from the store and saw this weird smokey streak across the western horizon at an elevation of approx. 40 degrees. It moved slowly due south until I lost sight of it behind a nearby mountain.
I managed to record a short video of it on my cell phone. I didn't find out what it was until several hours later.
Here's a link to my video: Poor quality but you get the picture. (pun intended)
Space X Launch

OK...time to change my diaper! Life is good!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Paradise Is Cold!

Dear Diary,

So it's been really cold here in Paradise for the past few days and I'm really feeling it! The generalized aches and pains are about the same as they usually are but it's the lower back pain that's really getting to me.
Sometimes it's so bad that I can barely walk around the house without feeling like my left leg is going to give out. My left leg is the one that's 3/4" shorter than the other.
I should have been wearing a lift all my life but I didn't and now I'm paying for it!
I've been told that wearing a lift at this point in my life wouldn't do any good so when it flares up I rely on good old acetaminophen.
Hopefully, I won't trash my best and only liver any more than it already is.

Got the results back from Monday's routine labs. All is well. :)

Still not back on my diet. My weight seems to have stabilized at 276 lbs. I've gone and gotten used to eating carbs again and that's contributing to my water weight gain.

The booze is pretty much under control. I now only drink when the wife is home on her days off so that's 5 out of 7 days I don't drink. Quite a change for me. LOL!

So much for Thursday night. I wish there was some football on!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Morning

Dear Diary,

It's Sunday morning and it rained last night here in Paradise. I wanted to get out and enjoy the weather a bit but my sciatica is really bad today. Having a hard time getting around, I am.

Watching New England vs Pittsburg and they're tied 7-7 right now. Don't even know who to root for since I like both teams! LOL!

Despite the ADT fatigue, I haven't experienced any of the nasties that guys are always complaining about. It's been nearly six months already and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I have been feeling mentally foggy lately but I've attributed that to too much booze but maybe that is another side effect. Well, I'm not gonna stop drinking just to prove it!. :)

As I said in another post some time ago, I'm going to try to post a little more often to try and share some of the smaller things that occur in my life day to day. Hopefully, it won''t be too boring!

Incidentally, I am very depressed about my diet lately. It seems I have very little willpower!
More on that later.

I'm also depressed because my Seahawks are getting CREAMED by LA! :(

The old body is starting to hurt so I'm outta here for now.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Ramblings

Dear Diary,

So... I'm sitting here outside the grocery store on Friday night waiting for the wife to get finished working so I thought I'd use this time to catch up on a few things.

Truthfully, there really hasn't been much to blog about over the past month or so.
As I mentioned before, I'm not really big on posting content just for content's sake.

We spent part of the day yesterday at St Joseph's getting another 6-minute walk test done. My performance was even better than the last time, much to my surprise!
I was able to walk just a shade under 400 m in 6 minutes so they were pleased.
I also had another cardiac ultrasound with bubbles like I had previously. I'm really not quite sure why. Dr. O, the pulmonologist wanted to repeat that specific test as the first one I had was negative.
They have decided to increase my diuretics based on the results of the last right heart cath recently.

Since they increase the diuretic dosages, I have been experiencing really wild weight swings, almost definitely related to water retention.
I'm also having quite a few nocturnal leg cramps which may be related to an electrolyte imbalance.
They've decided to have me get blood work done every two weeks for a while to monitor the electrolytes.
Hopefully, there isn't a problem as the diuretics are quite obviously helping the pulmonary hypertension when used in combination with the sildenafil.

I'm currently feeling alright most of the time with periodic bouts of fatigue which probably attributable to both my intermittent weight gain and loss and the side effects of Lupron therapy.

I'm still trying to stay as true as possible to the low-carb lifestyle but I admit I do find myself frequently cheating which is not in my best interest.
With this water weight issue going on, it is quite difficult to determine what my actual true weight is as it tends to fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 6 or more lbs. everyday.

It's now Saturday night and I'm sitting in the same place I was last night waiting for the wife to get off work so I decided to finish up this dictation.

I went way overboard on the diet again today but at least when I did, I kept the carbs to somewhat of a minimum.

Last but not least, I am clean and green to transition to Medicare this March!
This will remove a huge financial burden from the wife and me, especially as the continuing medical bills keep increasing down the road.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cardiac Catheterization Update

Dear Diary,

Well, we had an interesting day yesterday.
Spent nearly the entire day in the St Joseph's Hospital cath lab.
We went in at 1 p.m.for what should have been a 20 or 30-minute procedure at 3pm and wound up getting out around 7pm.
Apparently, they had several heart attacks come in on an emergency basis so I was sort of left to last.
When I finally got in, I had the best suite they had available. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes and it was no more traumatic than getting a dental cleaning.

The real good news, however, is that the pulmonary artery pressures are down, significantly from the last procedure in January.
The pressures in January were in the low 70s and they are now in the low 40s which is very good. We still need to get them lower but this shows that the sildenafil is definitely working.

They did some special testing to find out whether the pulmonary vessels were reactive or nonreactive. Apparently, they were at least mildly reactive which gives me the possibility of being able to use different medicines if necessary.
At any rate, the wife and I are both very pleased with the results, so pleased in fact, that we stayed at the hospital and had dinner at the cafeteria.
We almost never go out to eat you see! :-)

The other good news is that the wife's hands are healing perfectly and the numbness in her fingertips is going away much faster than we expected. She is ecstatic!

All this excitement is being posted a few days after the fact due to server issues with blogger. Anyway, the wife and I are now back to sitting out on the front porch in 100% wonderful weather so I really don't give a rat's ass!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Odds & Ends

Dear Diary,

Well now, let's see. What's been going on here in Paradise lately?
Not too much which is why I haven't posted anything in a while.

The wife and I just got a nice, free, pre-owned Serta queen size mattress to replace the futon mattress that we've been sleeping on since we came to Arizona in '94. (no, it didn't come with pee stains)
We've both been sleeping better since. "Beggars can't be choosers".

Our 2002 Chevy S-10 just started leaking oil from the rear differential a couple of weeks ago.
Took it to a brand new garage that we just discovered. Turns out the pinion seal was bad. They had it fixed by the next day because they had a problem finding the part.
So, we got that fixed and finally got the oil changed (it's been a while) for a very reasonable price.
We will be using them from now on for anything I can't do.

Health wise, no noticeable side effects from the ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) that I am on to slow or stop the progression of the cancer. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but so far, I'm feeling fine with the exception of a little transient fatigue now and then.
I guess the more severe stuff comes on after months of treatment. I can wait! ;)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I succeeded in losing 49 pounds over the past six or seven months. I've started cheating quite a bit lately, probably due to boredom with the menu, which bothers me. I've gotta get it under control soon before I start gaining again.
It's not an issue with quantity this time but more with what I eat.
Ketogenic dieting works but it is difficult. You really have to stick to the plan.

The bladder problem has at least temporarily resolved. There has been no pain or bleeding for several weeks. I'm still 100% incontinent but that will probably never change. It's just really nice to be able to take a vacation from blood clots and catheters for a while.

I can't really tell if the new stuff (sildenafil) is having an effect on my lungs or not. If there are changes, they are very subtle. I really need to remember to ask Dr. O what he expects as far as effects on the O2 saturation and what time frame we're looking at.
Regardless, I continue to very gradually improve which is unusual for arterial pulmonary hypertension. It's usually just the opposite.

*sips on a bourbon*

On another note, the wife has now signed on with my cardiologist (on my advice) for a baseline evaluation. She just had a Doppler ultrasound of her carotid arteries which was recommended by our optometrist. She has a 60% occlusion of the right carotid. Probably not a serious issue but why take the chance? We want to see how much this increases her risk for stroke.
She also has fairly severe carpal tunnel syndrome. We saw an orthopedic specialist today for an evaluation and she got a set of wrist braces. She will have a nerve conduction test in the near future and, depending on the results of that, be evaluated for possible surgery.

And with that, I'll sign off with one last comment. It is very obvious that we, (the world) are in the so-called 'end times' and we are very grateful to be on the way out and not on the way in!
Does that smack of religion? Not to this old boy! It smacks of reality.
We don't need religion or blind faith to see the obvious!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Feel Like I'm Falling Apart

Dear Diary,

The past two or three weeks have been pretty rough. My lower back is acting up again to the point where sometimes I can barely walk. It seems to be a pinched nerve (possibly sciatic) that is causing all this pain and numbness in my feet. I'm currently trying a daily regimen of 1300mg of acetaminophen chased with 50mg of Tramadol three times a day.
It's a good thing we kept that walker from a year ago because I'm really concerned about falling, especially when I'm here alone.
It's unlikely that the pain is associated with the cancer as I've had it off and on for many years.
It gets very wearing though, after a few weeks.

I've also been dealing with untreated dental issues including a huge cavity in one of my front teeth. The tooth finally broke off today. I need two extractions. At my age and income, restoration is not an option. I'm looking into local dental schools who might be able to do it for discounted prices.
Turns out, In America, the health insurance industry considers basic dental care a "privilege" and not a necessity. Therefore, they get away with not having to offer it in basic health plans. Sux!

I'm into day 4 of hormone therapy for the rising PSA. No side effects as yet except the strange urge to dress up in my wife's clothing and hang around in ladies' lingerie departments.
No...wait, that's not a side effect, I've always done that!   ;)

*takes 7 pm meds with water, not bourbon*

Last of all, a shout out to my son Chris, in Italy. Your Daddy's trying to reach you on FB but I get no response. Been awhile since we talked. Call me.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Joining The 'ADT Club'

Dear Diary,

A brief update to my last post.
Saw the Uro today and am now officially in 'Club ADT'.
Took my first dose of Casodex 50mg and have a follow-up appointment in 30 days.
At that time, we will start Lupron as well. I hope this will 'reign in the horses' for at least a good while.

As far as the bone scan, he agreed that there was nothing there that was obvious at the present time.
We talked about the merits of additional scans and his opinion was that yes, we could do that, and we would have additional information, however, the
treatment would be the same regardless of the results. Opinions?

Lupron will be about $1500 per injection twice a year. Insurance shouldn't have a problem covering that...I hope.
If they do, we will have to resort to bilateral orchiectomy to hopefully achieve the same goals.

It's not confirmed yet but it's apparent that I have graduated to stage 4 and there is no stage 5 so you figure it out.

* sips bourbon*

All I can really hope for now is that something else takes me out before the cancer does.

It's been a trying week as I am also suffering from excruciating lower back pain unrelated to the cancer. Got some Tramadol from the Uro so maybe that will help. The pain is wearing me out!

*sips more bourbon (no Tramadol involved)*

On the good side, my weight is closing in on 260lbs which is wonderful. I look and feel so much better. Even the wife notices! LOL!

Nothing more to say until I get depressed again.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Urologist Appointment Update

Dear Diary,

Just got done with the appointment with Dr.F. He spent a lot of time with us and was encouraging but he agreed it is time to act.

He wants to start with a full body bone scan which I will have on the 8th.

Based on those results, we will then look into more sophisticated imaging.

He is a little frustrated because, as always, he has to go "toe to toe" with the insurance to get this stuff authorized.

If the bone scan is positive, we will initiate ADT. Casodex followed by Lupron.

If it is negative, we will have to make the decision of whether to start ADT anyway or to watch the PSA a little longer.

I imagine this is where the MO (Medical Oncologist) comes in. I flat out forgot to ask him if he felt it was time to bring one in!

The options regarding more sophisticated types of scans/imaging are all on the table as far as he is concerned. It's just a matter of getting them paid for.

If there is no visible spread and the disease appears to be still localized, I am interested in taking this to the next level to try to locate and isolate the active area(s) and possibly looking into HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to try to clean up whatever is left.

I don't know if that will be an option for me in the future but right now I want to concentrate on proving what exactly is going on in there and treating it accordingly.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Suspenders With Diapers

Dear Diary,

Did I mention that I've taken to using dress suspenders to hold up my diapers? It works quite well until they get so saturated that I can't sit down without making a mess. (at least it's usually just pee!)

Admittedly, it does feel a little weird, especially when I feel obligated to explain to folks the reason I'm wearing dress suspenders on my bare skin under my shirt, but they seem to get the point rather quickly. 
I started using suspenders after having my shorts drop off and slide down my legs a couple of times in the middle of the grocery store! Not the best way to meet new potential friends!  Lol!

If any of you have what you think might be a better solution, I'm all ears.


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday News

Dear Diary,

Today, I start the new drug, spironolactone, for the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It will probably take a few days to a couple of weeks before it becomes clinically active.
The docs, especially Dr. O, seem to feel that I'm nor fully "dried out" yet so this is another diuretic to be taken daily in conjunction with Lasix™. We'll see what happens.

I have an appointment set up for a routine PSA blood draw on 5/15 and one on 5/16 to see my new optometrist. It's been forever since I last had my eyes checked and I can't see worth a shit so I guess it's about time.

Tomorrow, I'm going to call my health insurance company and see if they can tell me if my annual deductible has been met. I find it hard to believe that it has but certain providers have not been charging the usual $50 co-pay that applies to specialists. One even said that it had been met.
If it has been paid, this would be a financial windfall for us this early in the year. I have a lot of large medical expenses coming up and that would greatly offset the financial hit.

General overall health is not remarkable so far. No disasters. (knock on wood!)

I'm sort of dreading this coming month. Our '72 S-10 is due for emissions testing and this year, it has a leak somewhere in the system. If they pick that up on inspection, the truck won't pass and the repair costs will most likely tap our coffers big time! We are trying very hard to save a little bit here and there for just such emergencies but it's very difficult on an income of SS + 1 part time job.

Oh well, I guess that's what growing old in America is all about nowadays!


"Every day above ground is a good day".  -- Scarface