Saturday, October 24, 2015

God is Great, Beer is Good, People are Crazy

Well this last week was hectic and weird, but ended with good news from my oncologist. 

On Monday I went in for a PET scan. This was to determine how the treatment is affecting the cancer nodules in my lungs. After that Vicki and I went to brunch at Village Inn where I managed to leave my favorite ball cap. (I am wearing them now till my hair grows back) We went back on Wednesday but no one had turned it in. It was a good looking ball cap from one of my builders back in the 80s. Oh well, I have a bunch more I can use.

Tuesday was a very strange day. It was the reason for the title of this post. Our company is currently a mess. The new owners are struggling to understand our business and how much it differs from their other plants. We are the only one that has a large installation and service  operation and they are having trouble getting their act together. In the interim the first symptom of this is the parking issue for employees. It has gotten so bad that many people are having to park off site. Worse than that, in the morning when I get in the service vehicles have all been pulled into the parking lot. These vehicles block access to parking and even use some of the few available spaces. SO.....this particular morning, in frustration, I parked in one of the two handicapped parking spaces. The other was being used by a company service vehicle. Someone at our company called the Tempe police complaining there were no available handicapped slots. The cops were at the company by 8:00 AM. I was notified by our HR dept around 10:30. Too late to do anything and left with a $475 ticket and only 7 calendar days to respond. 

My solution was to take half day off on Wednesday and get the paperwork done for a temporary disabled parking placard. First I downloaded the form from the MVD, then took it in to my oncologist office and had them fill out their portion. Next, since my chemo was on Friday I went for blood work. That accomplished we went to MVD to get my placard. It went surprisingly well there. We were in and out in 30 minutes or so. So now I had the disabled placard. But I was not done. The ticked required I go to court and show them the placard to dismiss the ticket. 

We got word on Tuesday that our middle daughter Jamie was in the hospital out on the 60 and Higley. It was around 3:30 by then so we headed on out to see her. She was having tests for a heart irregularity. They found a birth defect that had never shown up before (she is 42 now). She is home now with more than strong recommendations from the doctors to change her diet, quit smoking and take nitro pills as needed.

My only option for a court appearance was Thursday morning. Friday would be my 4th chemo and I had no idea how I would feel on the following Monday or Tuesday, the last days I could appear without a penalty for being late. The court is on Fifth street in downtown Tempe. I got there around a quarter after 8:00 AM. The court is protected by guards and a metal detector. I flunked the metal detector part. My brief case had a kit for nails with a clipper, a nail file and worst of all tiny scissors destined to land in the neck of the judge should the case go against me. The guards dutifully took these from me and returned them when I left. Next I went to a bank of windows where I was asked to give them my ticket, my driver's license and my temporary disability placard. The clerk entered all the data from those items and sent me to courtroom 5. 

Courtroom 5 was approximately half the size of my living room, with 3 rows of shiny black benches in the back of the room and the court clerk and the judge sitting on a raised platform in the front. I was told to sit in back of the room till called. The counter clerk electronically transferred my info to court clerk's computer, who then sent that info to the judges computer. Now she knew my name and my offense. I was then called to the bench where she looked at my ticket and my placard. She asked me one question; who was the placard registered to? I answered to me and the ticket was dismissed. We chatted while paperwork was produced and I doffed my ball cap (did I fail to mention I wore a ball cap to court?) telling the pair that I was in my third round of chemo and if this was the worst thing I had to do today I was good with it. I then thanked them for their quick service and commented on the intimacy of their courtroom. I told them I felt quite special being in their boutique courtroom, which got a good laugh.

Friday was a doctor visit first before chemo. I learned my PET scan showed a small decrease in the size of the four nodules in my lungs. This means I will have another 3 treatments then another scan. If that one is good, then perhaps a few weeks rest before radiation for the spots left. All in all great news.

It was a very hectic week. The PET scan news was God being great, I had my last beer with pulled pork barbeque and it was good. The whole parking thing at work takes care of the people are crazy. So there you go.

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hair today Gone tomorrow

My hair started falling out last week. It was a mess to get off my pillow, so I had my oldest daughter buzz cut my hair after this weeks treatment. She got it down to fuzz and then my wife and I finished if off with a razor later that night. So at least I won't have to worry about the pillow issue any more. 

This was my third treatment is this cycle. The Oncologist wants another scan before my next treatment, so I should be going in for a Pet Scan in the next couple of weeks. 

I am still working 4 days a week and hope to be a able to work 4 days this next week. It all depends on how I feel when I get up. Some days I can do it and some I can't.

Vicki is hanging in and helping me get through this as always. I would not be able to do this without her.

That's it from here.

Hope all is well with you.