Saturday, December 31, 2016

A pretty down New Year's eve

It is new year’s eve, an evening I don’t usually celebrate and this year’s event seems even less of a positive experience. I am in Meridian, Mississippi at an O’Charleys just about to eat. I am on my way home (I should be there on Monday and then Tuesday I go for the Renal biopsy. Dr. Pant decided that I had better head home immediately so I had to skip Big Bend, which was a great disappointment but Pant’s talk of dialysis and quick kidney failure certainly worked. I had a tough time getting to the Microtel (which I switched to since they had an exercise room) and narrowly missed a couple of accidents. I had been talking to Dave (and he was very positive about things) and I got off without knowing where to go and that was dangerous. When I got to the Microtel, I did work out on the stationary bike for 40 minutes and then watched the second half of the Washington /Alabama game, which Alabama won pretty easily. I then napped and did my exercises and watched the first half of the Clemson / Ohio State game, with Clemson dominating 17-0. I am kind of down but fortunately I only have about 630 miles to get home and though tomorrow will have more rain, I only have to drive a little over 300 miles. I am very lonely and I certainly am wondering about my choice not to be in a relationship. It would be nice to have someone to be with tonight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

feeling pretty down

It is the day after Christmas and I am watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions at a Chili’s in Weatherford, TX. I got a very nice bike ride in at Weatherford College, then a nap, and then most of my workout. My plan to see Dave in Arizona fell apart because Dave had already committed to driving his wife to an eye doctor on the day we were going to get together. Too bad but it will save me a lot of driving and some money. I was hoping to head straight to Big Bend, but everything is sold out so I will have to stick with my reservation for the 30th, 31th and the 1st. I can drive tomorrow to Carlsbad Caverns and do a self guided walk on the 28 but I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow. I feel a bit down that I won’t be seeing Dave and also annoyed that I can’t head straight to Big Bend. Anyway, I will get home in plenty of time for my renal biopsy on the 10th, and still have a week to get everything ready for classes. The trip out was okay, a lot of driving and good exercising and biking but the main goal was Big Bend. I don’t plan to camp out much if at all but I have enough money to stay in motels (I have been staying in Comfort Inns and they have been nice and the Quality I am staying in tonight is a little run down). Knowing myself as I do, I realize I will feel much better in the morning. I could also drive to San Antonio but I may wait for the trip back. The extra synthroid is definitely kicking in and I am less tired. I think I will be able to handle the three courses. I am in Monahans, TX staying at a nice comfort inn after a decent day of golf and two long bike rides (even though the high schools I rode at were in pretty poor neighborhoods. I guess I am depressed even though I have a decent plan for the next two days before I get to Big Bend. I am going to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow and then I will drive some of the scenic roads on the way to Big Bend and I will visit Marfa and Alpine. I think my long driving trips are over. I thought this out earlier and figured I would stay within 800 miles of Ironto and that plan sounds better than ever. I am pretty tired (even with the higher synthroid) and I really want to get home as quick as possible after Big Bend. The weather has been very good and I have done a lot of biking and golf but I am not enjoying this trip that much.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

More bad news

One good day and things have soured. On Wednesday I went to the Kidney Doctor and it didn’t go too bad. She as concerned but not too much after she finished a thorough review of my medical information. She did take a urine sample and told me she would have the results the next day. I felt pretty good and then took Maddie and Claire out to dinner at Mellow Mushroom and then to Moana. Dinner was very good and the movie was very decent. Maddie tried to teach Claire and I how to whistle and neither of us could but we got a good laugh out of our attempts. I slept pretty well, getting up at 5:30 and doing some exercising and a wash. I took a walk to the orchard and then took a nap on my return. When I woke up I finished all my exercises, my weights and yoga and 20 minutes of stationary bike. I then headed out to meet Claire Hall for lunch and just before I got there I checked my voicemail and I had a message from the kidney doctor to call her and when I got her she told me that the urine sample had a lot of protein in it and that is bad. She told me to get my bloodwork and an ultrasound done tomorrow and that I would need a CT scan and a renal biopsy when I returned from my trip on the 9th. I got pretty upset and she mentioned that I might require chemotherapy (a milder form than cancer) and perhaps dialysis and that just freaked me. She did say it might not be too bad but she needed more info to really give me an opinion. My lunch with Claire was okay but I was not happy and after it I went to my office to take care of the TIAA beneficiaries, which I did. Then I decided to go play nine holes of golf and I shot a 48 from the forward tees, and playing was pretty distracting. Then I went back to my office to do some work and I talked with Cathy, Kelly, and Gyorgyi. I then did some errands and ended up at Our Daily Bread for a delicious duck dinner.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Good, good news

I wasn’t looking forward to heading home last night but when I finally got home I was okay, watching TV and ending up in bed at 12. Amazingly, I slept right through to 7:30 and then I started my exercises. I looked at my phone and I saw that Rob had called so I drove down to the pasture and got really good news. Rob had talked to McCoy and he didn’t think I had multiple myeloma, and what a change occurred. I called Cathy, emailed my kayak friend, texted Claire, and spoke to Gyorgyi. Then I went home and did more exercises and when it had warmed up a bit I went for a long hike, pushing up to the orchard twice, and napping hard when I returned. Then I did some practicing, washed the dishes, did my weights and yoga and finally headed out at almost 7 for a really good lobster dinner. Then I headed for Macado’s in Bburg for a dish of ice cream, my Lumosity training, my 310 outline and rules and then my blog. My kayak friend is taking me out to dinner on Friday and tomorrow I take Maddie and Claire out to dinner and a movie and my mood for that should be great. I still have to see a kidney doctor tomorrow (my functions are a little off) and Rob put me on 50mg more of synthroid and wants to work on getting my bp lower. He hopes both things will help my anemia. A very good day.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Multiple Myeloma is a possibility

A hard day and still not over. I slept until 5:30, then went back to sleep until 8. I did my knee exercises, then went for a walk up to the orchard. After a bit of lunch and a nap, I did some straightening up in the house, weights and yoga, and a 40 minute bike ride. I went down to the pasture to call Cathy, email my kayak friend, and check out some info on the Mayo Clinic site about multiple myeloma. It is treatable but not curable and there are a number of treatments. The darkest news was the median life expectancy for stage one (62 months), stage two (44 months), and stage three (29 months). If I have it I guess I won’t have to worry about nursing homes. I called McCoy’s office to get some more info and to see if I shouldn’t take my trip right now. His nurse called left a message and I hope to talk to her tomorrow. I talked to Rob for a few minutes and he can’t really say anything until he gets the results. He did mention that I might need a bone marrow test, and I could take a lot of valium and pain killers but it sounded awful. I went to see Rogue One and it was very good, but after it I was very down and though I watched Duke handle Tennessee State, my heart wasn’t into it. A very tough evening.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

No Western trip it seems

I can’t say the last two days went well, but I am not dead yet so that is a positive. When I got up on Saturday, I decided to take a walk and that was calming. But I also realized that I wanted to get away for a while (Rob had responded sure to my request to take a 10 day or so trip) so when I returned home, I packed up and got going by 2. As I drove I called Cedarbrook near Elkins and the course was very playable so I was able to get there by 3:15 and played nine holes (51). I drove on to Charlotte to my room at the Wingate where I rode the stationary bike for 40 minutes then went out to P.F. Chang’s for an excellent meal of hot and sour soup, steamed shrimp dumplings, and broccoli and eggplant in garlic sauce. I then drove to downtown and had a very nice walk and I appreciated all the people. I got back and talked to Dave and told him that I was definitely going to try to make Big Bend and then try to do Las Vegas. I was feeling pretty good and I thought Sunday would be a long drive day when I fell asleep at 12:00. However when I awoke at 1:30 my legs were swollen and my left foot really hurt. I finally dropped back to sleep but soon enough I awoke in pain again and this happened 6 or 7 times. This was the result of the change in meds (and the swelling and constipation were things that Rob warned me about) but it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able travel a long distance without having the rights meds. When I got up it wasn’t raining so I rode my bike around the Wingate, took a nap, did all my exercises, weights and yoga and left right at 12. It was not raining so I went on a walk around the fourth ward, then starting driving home. The rain began and I thought that my outdoor exercise day was done but by the time I got to Statesville, the rain had let up and Cedarbrook said the course was open and no real rain was predicted. I got there around 2 and played the back nine for the first time and it looked like I wouldn’t come close to breaking 50 but with a 6 on the second par 5, a great sand shot on the par 3 which led to a par, and a 5 on the last par 4, I ended up with a 47, very rewarding. I drove to my office, took a long nap, finished all the rubric forms, did all the grades, and had a fun time texting with Maddie. I am planning to take her and Claire to dinner and to Moana on Wednesday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cancer Scare

Not a good two days and tonight I was so desperate just to talk to someone that I drove to Macado’s in Blacksburg just to be able to chat with Jake the bartender about sports. Pretty desperate. I guess I’ll back to last night when Rob called me at dinner and after going over some of the blood test results, gave me his opinion, backed by my oncologist’s partner, that there it is likely that I have a type of treatable bone marrow cancer. As I type this my hands are shaking. I almost called Claire Hall up to see if I could join her and Luke for dinner but Luke has been away for a week so I doubt either of them wanted a dinner guest. I think I may call Kelly to see if I can come for a visit after the holidays. I spoke to her this morning and she was very supportive. I also spoke to Lucia this evening, wishing her a happy birthday and she was sweet on her eighth birthday. Last night after Rob’s distressing call I called Cathy and I was very upset and she was very calming. I decided to go home since I hadn’t done any of my exercises (I left at 7 am because I had a test to give at 12:30 and I wanted to get out early in case a tree had fallen and I would have had to cut it). I did almost a full set and that relaxed me some and when I finally went to bed around 12, I actually slept till almost 5 and then went back to sleep until 8. I called Gyorgyi after I spoke with Kelly and she was also very supportive. I went back to the house and did all my exercises, yoga and weights and then headed for lunch with Claire Hall. She was very kind and after we talked about my health, she updated me on the house search. My big point is that if she finds a house that both she and Luke really like, it will be worth going into a little more debt to purchase it. She wants to pay off the house in ten years but if she buys a house that she is uncomfortable with after a few years (especially if she has two children, as planned) then she will have to move another time which is costly and very frustrating. Anyway she was very calming and I went back to my office for a long nap and then some grading, then a couple of walks on the 4th floor, then a frustrating phone appointment with the Tile people (who treated me like an idiot), then a ride to Blacksburg for dinner. I did get to chat with Jake and that helped, but I have chosen to lived an isolated life and on a night like tonight being surrounded my friends wouldn’t be a bad place to be.

Monday, December 12, 2016

First Final

I am in the midst of giving my first final and I still have over an hour left. I finished my lumosity training and I got things done in my office so the rest of the week shouldn’t be too bad. I go to see Rob tomorrow about my tiredness (from my anemia), my increasingly feeling cold, and the odd taste in my mouth. I hope he can figure it out because it is starting to worry me more and more. I did a good workout this morning, all my knee exercises, 35 minutes of biking, weights and yoga but no piano. I picked up my other package at UPS then stopped at Gourmet Pantry for a treat, some aged gouda and some bruschetta crackers. I got the address mixup fixed with Fed Ex so I should have my new phone tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

weekend in Charlotte and Columbia

This will be a pretty big catch up entry. It is Sunday night and Cathy is continuing to recover although she has some pain when she is swallowing food. I just got back from a three day trip to Charlotte and Columbia and it went very well overall. The start was shaky as my phone broke on Thursday evening and I had to buy a temporary one at Cellular Sales until my replacement phone comes on Monday. That should only cost me about 35 dollars. On Friday I played golf at Birkdale on the way down, shooting a 51 and then rode my bike outside the hotel. I ate at P.F. Chang’s and that was first rate. On Saturday because Monday wasn’t looking good weather wise, I decided to head to Columbia and hike at the Congaree National Park and that hike, over three miles was lovely. I ate in town at Old Chicago Pizza and then rode my bike on the USC campus because the river trail was closed. I walked in downtown Charlotte in the evening and had dinner at a sushi place that got a 4.4 rating but turned out not to be anything special. On Sunday I drove to Mallard Creek and the construction is done so I went along the old trail and then over to the UNCC campus. I also played golf at Cedarbrook and shot a 49/49 and the real 49 was a great ending. I needed to shoot a 4 on the par three eighth and hit my drive right to the top left fringe of the green. It was a very tricky downhill curving putt and I hit it just a little too hard and it rolled and rolled almost thirty feet from the hole and that left me another tricky putt curving and uphill, and I three putted from there for a 5. Now my only chance was a par on the difficult ninth, and after a fine drive, I hit my hybrid just off the green on my second shot. I needed a sensational third shot and it was okay, about 12 feet from the hole. It was a curving putt but I sunk it for an exciting 49. Then I drove to my office to do some work, my lumosity and my blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

one more day of classes

Wednesday went pretty well. I was up part of the night and finally got to work at 8. I did some exercises, got rid of the compost, straightened out the truck (after the tire change yesterday), replaced the trap in the kitchen, did some piano work and washed the dishes. Maddie asked me to come earlier and that was no problem. We had a good chat and I may not have to take her next Wednesday. I went to play golf after dropping Maddie off and I shot well, a 45 from the reds. I emailed my kayak friend and I’m hoping to be able to do something with her over the break. I did find out that I will only be teaching 3 courses in the spring, which is great news. I am still very tired but it doesn’t seem to be getting much worse. Cathy is home and recovering slowly.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cathy's operation is a success

It is Saturday night and the best news is that Cathy Gallo is recovering slowly but reasonably well from her diverticulitus surgery. I saw her yesterday hours after the operation and she was out of it. Maddie was there and we had a nice time chatting and joking for over two hours. I got home pretty late and slept reasonably well. In the morning I took a fine hike to the orchard (doing more pruning, now about half done) and then took a nap. I did some house straightening and everything looks pretty good. I watched Tiger Woods play for the first time in a year and a half and he ended up minus 8 for three rounds, not too shabby. I drove into town and was going to ride my bike but it turned out that it was better to visit Cathy at 4, which I did. I chatted with Claire for a few minutes and then she left for dinner with her dad and Maddie. Cathy and I then had a decent chat although she was in a lot of pain and hadn’t eaten anything since Tuesday and still couldn’t drink any water. It was painful to watch her and I had the same kind of surgery so I really know what she is going through. After my visit I went to Walmart to pick up supplies and then headed over the Eats to get Wheatgrass. Then it was over to Macado’s for soup and salad and my lumosity training and my blog.