Sunday, October 15, 2017

Simple Pleasures

In spite of the continuing fatigue even though I am in my off week we had a fire in our fire pit tonight. I had a stogie and a couple of whiskeys as well. These are the simple pleasures I miss so much.

Vicki and I sat in our backyard around the fire pit and reminisced about times we spent camping with the kids on our boat on Apache Lake. The fire brought back a lot of great memories. We talked about her parents, her high school years and lots of other stuff. I treasure these times. There are never enough of them.

My "Off Week" has been somewhat disappointing. For what ever reason I have not gotten my strength back this week. I struggle getting out of bed and feel too tired to do much of anything. Just splitting some wood for the fire wore me out tonight. Never the less we had a great time and I enjoyed a good cigar and some good whiskey. 

There are 2 more days left before I start taking pills again. I intend to enjoy them as much as possible.

On Tuesday I will get a scan as well as some blood work at the Mayo clinic. I am hoping for good results.

That's it from here.

Hang in there.

Here is this weeks' contribution for the new normal,

The Answer

In time 
I found the answer
to the question
life had put to me

nothing big and spectacular
just what it meant to “be”

Our very mere existence
a miracle so rare
we take for granted every day
we just can’t see it there

Yet if you’ll heed what I say
perhaps you’ll come to care

That God is in the living
the here and now and you
Believe it if you feel it
come to know it’s true

Be thankful for every little bit
of water green and ocean blue

God’s in everything you see

Observe and get a clue


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Peach Cobbler

The last 4 pills of cycle 4 of the clinical trial went down tonight. I celebrated with the last of the Peach Cobbler that Vicki and I made last week. For some reason I had a craving for cobbler; peach, blueberry, or whatever other kind of cobblers you can make.

Cooking with Vicki is one of the joys of our being retired. I look forward to  cooking many more dishes (mostly desserts) with Vicki. Food is still important to us, though we are having to change our diet to more healthy offerings. She ordered a book for pre-diabetics that contains a lot of new recipes we can try. 

This next week I hope to get back some energy, start walking in the mornings and just generally feel better. I feel like I have aged past my chronological age during these last few years of chemo and cancer treatments. It would be great to be able to get back in to shape, if even just a little bit.

We are going to our daughters' for haircuts on Thursday. That will probably be the only time I get out this week. Maybe we'll stop by the cigar store on the way back and pickup a cigar for me. The nights are getting cool enough for a fire and smores. We can hang out in our back yard and I can have a drink and a stogie. 

I know, the excitement never stops, huh?

That's about it from here.  

Since we're talking about food, here's this weeks' offering.

The Crockpot

On those Sunday mornings
when my wife puts beef or pork
into her crockpot
I find myself transported by the smells
which for me are like hyperlinks to past times
and my childhood

On this morning with hands in dishwater
looking out the kitchen window
at Robin and squirrel and solitary finch
the aroma of the crockpot wafts me back
to family homestead and country life

a small rural Alabama town
Boiled peanuts and largemouth bass 
my first motorcycle and my first kiss
when the world was still new to me
and I to it.

Hang in there,


Sunday, October 1, 2017

More New Normal

It's Saturday night and I'm watching the premier episode of Saturday Night Live. I miss the good old days of John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Jane Curtain. The weekend update is still pretty good most weeks, but the sketches these days are lame. 

The yard is looking great thanks to our gardener, Ryan, who takes great care of all the plants and trees. I have 9 days left in my 4th cycle of the clinical trial and then I should feel good enough to have whiskey and a cigar in the off week. It's very pleasant to sit on the patio and view the yard in the cool of the evening.

These last two weeks have went pretty good, though we did go to a funeral service for Vicki's Uncle Clint last Saturday. He was 79 and contracted a fatal infection in his spine after receiving an injection a few months ago. He was a nice guy and a good Christian man. 

On the way home I got caught by a red light photo camera at an intersection on Arizona Ave. I went into the intersection under 40 mph on the yellow but it turned red when we were halfway through. Vicki says they won't send me a ticket, but I am doubtful. State law says if you enter the intersection on yellow it's legal, though I think they will send a ticket anyway and I'll have to fight it. We'll see.

Speaking of Vicki, she went to her Doctor this last week and they are changing her Thyroid medication to help with her aches, pains, and fatigue. I am hopeful.

In keeping with the "New Normal" here's this weeks' contribution.

I live with a Woman
I live with a woman who I Love
When snuggling we so tightly cling
And fit together like hand in glove
That between us there can be no thing

After all these years, hours and days
Many kids, jobs, houses we have had
Still I prefer her special ways
Of being like a second skin clad

Of moving with me, against me slow
Then warming needing space and time
Yet knowing when the need does grow
Back into my arms and sphere to climb

I make time and take time 
If needs I push and shove
To clear the deck for mission prime
To live with the woman I love

Hang in there,


Friday, September 15, 2017

My "Off" Week

This Monday was the last day of my third week in cycle 3 of the Clinical Trial. I will not have to take any pills till next Tuesday. While I have this time without Stivarga in my system I hope to be able to enjoy some different foods and maybe even a Cigar and a Whiskey.

It takes a few days for me to bounce back and each time I bounce back it's a little slower than the time  before. I held off on taking Marinol today  because it makes me tired and I am tired of being tired. There were a couple of errands that only I could do that needed to be done(just one really, getting propane for the grill) and I gassed up the car as well while I was out. That was a major event for me.

We had some sad news this week. My wife's uncle Clint passed away earlier this week. They have a big family and it will take some time to get the whole family together. His service will be on Saturday the 23rd. Vicki has just one surviving Uncle now who lives in South Dakota.

As I said in last weeks post about my new normal, I have some writing from 10 years ago that I am adding to my posts.

Here's this weeks' contribution,   

Life & Death

Love is such a powerful 
force for good 
or bad
I blush to think of what I’ve had
and wasted, trashed and thrown away
thinking there’s always another day

Friendship is so
wonderful and
Simple pleasures you can share
when someone fits into your life
is there in pain and bitter strife

Breath in the
Delights of
existence Grand
Rejoice in those who take a stand
to live as fully as they will
take the cup and drink their fill

For pain and suffering 
will surely 
It’s up to you to add the sum
of life’s sweet blessings into the mix
Knowing that fate will play its tricks

And stand and fight for all you can
Make the best of your maker’s plan
Live with Passion to your last breath
Your story’s told between life and death

There it is, 
Hang in there,


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The New Normal

I am well into the third month of the Stivarga Clinical Trial at Mayo. My strength and stamina are slowly getting better on most days. If I am to continue to take this drug for the foreseeable future it will take some adjustment on my part.

I must be willing to get up off my ass regardless of side effects and do something, anything really, other than laying around in my easy chair and wishing I felt better.

While I may not be up to great physical exertion quite yet, I am going to attempt some intellectual muscle building at least.

I have held off commenting on our current political status and hope to continue in that mode. Instead, I dug up some writing I did in another time and place. At one point my wife and I moved to a small town in North Carolina and bought a fixer upper in a semi-countrified community just north of the town on a lake.

During the almost 2 years we spent there working on the house I had a few months of inspiration and found myself awake at 2 in the morning writing poems. I am going to add one of those to each of my blogs till I run out of them.

Here's this weeks contribution.


Anybody can write anything these days
And post it on the Internet
Not really dependent on older ways
Of finding audiences with interests met

I know this factually to be true
of course the deed I've surely done
not willing or able to wait on you
just writing like I'm the only one

who has got the magic words
to tell the world it's troubled state
and not giving the reason why 
it's coming from this old reprobate

Fortunately or unfortunately for my reader this is but one of 50 or so I penned during my period of inspiration a decade ago. Be warned, more will come. This is my new normal.

Till next time,
Hang in there,


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Results Are In

We had a full day yesterday going from my early morning appointments at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale to my afternoon appointments with my Clinical Trial Coordinator and my Oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

The results of the lab blood work were good with a couple of exceptions. My platelet count is still at 81,000. I would like to get it higher to control some minor bleeding problems the low platelets cause. The rest of the numbers were either just a little low or good. 

The scans of my head, chest and abdomen were mostly good. There was no evidence of any neurological reason for my headaches, so that was very good. We had to check because my father died of an aneurysm in his brain at 67.

The chest scan showed that the 7 small tumors in my lungs had not increased in size and no new tumors were discovered. That's very good news. The Oncologist and I discussed what to look for in the next scan which will be in 2 months. At that time it could be possible to see some change in the tumors.

The not so good news is that I must continue to take the maximum dose which can be quite debilitating.

It's a small price to pay for continued survival, it's just that I want to be more active. I need to get to work on the RV and help Vicki around the house.

So that's it from here. 

Hang in there,


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

I got my dates mixed up on the 2nd cycle. I actually finished taking the pills on Monday the 14th, but won't get my scan till the 22nd at Scottsdale Mayo. I am easily confused these days.

Went to my cardiologist today for another 6 month check and all was well. I have been running on my bypass for 4 years now. I see him every six months so things don't get out of hand with blood pressure and other heart stuff.

I worry that all the drugs I've been given will damage my heart or my one kidney. I was told by my hemo nurse that the current drug I'm taking is processed out of my system by my liver. That's another organ to worry about.

I may get to take a smaller dosage of Stivarga in the next cycle. It depends on the scan results. They think I shouldn't be as tired as I am from the drug. We'll see. I want to be more active.

No more news from here.

Hang in,