All things considered, I did pretty well today. I got my Neupogen shot and then went on to the dentist. It’s been over a year since I was at the dentist. My oncologist wanted me to stay away for fear I would pick up an infection. I went this morning just to get an inspection. The dentist said he would like to have me come in for a cleaning. I’ll check with my oncologist.
I got into the office about 11:30 am. I was feeling really tired. I finally decided I really needed to rest. I unfolded the chase lounge the Vorlon Wife had brought in for me, layed down with my blankey and succumbed to the need for a nap. I slept about an hour.
When I woke up, after the grogginess left me, I felt a little better.
In the afternoon, I got some things done and I did pretty well. When it came time to leave, I suddenly felt really tired.
Now I’m just looking forward to going to bed.
I’m up and moving very slowly. I WOULD stay home, but I just have too much to do. I expect to make it into the office by about 11:30 this morning.
I have no pain, I’m just tired.
I’m pretty tired tonight. In fact, I’ve felt tired all day today. I took a nap in the afternoon and that helped a little. I have no pain of any kind I’m just tired. I think my taste buds are starting to recover.
This week is a busy one for my oncologist. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I get a Neupogen shot to keep my white cell count up. Then I get another treatment on Thursday. Then I get a Neulasta shot on Friday. I expect that next weekend will be another weekend resting.
I’m off to bed.
I did pretty well today – although I didn’t move very much. In fact, I took a nap in the morning and a nap in the afternoon. My stomach felt pretty good. The chemo is really numbing up my feet.
I solved a small problem with my iPod. One of my complaints was I couldn’t fast forward to a specific place on an MP3. On the advice of a friend, I went to the Apple iPod website and on their support link, I found out how to do it.
I’m feeling tired again and I’m off to bed.
I’m a little tired today, but I think I’m doing better than expected. More importantly my stomach is feeling quite a bit better than yesterday. We’ll see how I do as the day wears on.
I did OK today. I felt somewhat tired all day, but I got through it and actually got something done. I did not have to retreat to my blankey.
But I’m feeling pretty tired now and am off to bed.
I’m up and heading to the office. I’m feeling a little slow this morning.
Last night I thought I was going to up-chuck so I got up and retrieved a small bucket for the event, but the feeling passed.
I’ve taken something called Emend this morning. The oncologist prescribed it. I’ll take one more tomorrow morning. I’m also taking some more ginger capsules.
If I get real tired at the office, the Vorlon Wife has a chase lounge with a pillow and blankey so I can lie down and take a nap, if necessary.
They warned to make sure I stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Well, since yesterday I have gained 2 Lbs. However, I still feel thirsty. I’m stopping by Wawa for some bottled Lipton tea, which I find I like. They suggest drinking some Gatorade. I’ve not tried it before, but I’ll get a bottle and see how it goes down.
I’m off to the office.
I had my chemo treatment today and it went well – although it took over four hours. They have warned me that this chemo may make me more nauseous than other treatments. I get another treatment next Thursday. I told the nurse that since my current white cell count is about 4,900 and we expect it to drop, wouldn’t it make sense to be proactive and do something ahead of time so I would not have to postpone my next treatment due to a low white cell count.
I told her I was a first-born type A personality pain in the neck and I didn’t want the schedule to be delayed. She talked to the doctor and they have me going in three days ahead of my next treatment for Neupogen shots. I am pleased with that plan.
My stomach feels a little uneasy from time to time. I felt a little uneasy, when I came home, but I ate a big meal anyway as I wanted to pack on as many calories as possible before my tasted buds degenerated. I actually felt a little better after I ate.
Then I took some Ginger capsules. On an episode of Mythbusters, they tested various motion sickness solutions. In their testing with real people, they found that ginger pills were effective against motion sickness.
They gave me a prescription for some additional medication to take tomorrow and Saturday that is also supposed to help.
It’s late and past my bedtime. I’m off to bed.
I'm feeling well, but tired. tonight. I'm off to bed.
I saw the oncologist this afternoon. I am going in for treatment tomorrow morning. It’ll take over fours hours and I’m told it may not be a pleasant experience. On of the chemicals irritates the vein on the way in. I’ll have which chemicals tomorrow.
The oncologist confided that his quiver is running out of arrows.
I’m feeling well tonight. The Vorlon Wife and I went on a 2-mile walk and it was a brisk walk.
Now I’m off to bed.
I stopped by the lab and got the results of my CT Scan. It is disappointing. You can view the report here.
The project went well today and I held up well. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up, but for the most part, the project is about done.
I used my iPod almost all the way up and back. It was about a 1.75-hour drive in each direction. The iPod did well, until I got within about 5 miles of the client’s office. Then a radio station overwhelmed it and I turned it off.
It turns out the 14 hours of time you can play it is dramatically reduced when using the iTrip transmitter. With about 3 ½ hours of playtime, the battery is about shot. Time to recharge the unit.
I’m feeling pretty tired about now and am off to bed.
I’m up and going. I’m just going to catch something quick for breakfast, probably a Boost as it is quick, and then I’m head’n out.
I’ve got six hours loaded into my iPod for a trip that is about 1 ½ hours each way. I’m well prepared.
I’m doing very well tonight. I went out on a 2-mile walk with the Vorlon Wife. I think I could easily have done 3 miles. But I didn’t want to over do it.
The client upgrade was successful. I’m driving up there tomorrow morning to finish the upgrade on all the stations and make sure everything works correctly. I will be back home tomorrow evening.
My only problem at this point is the impending poisoning scheduled for Thursday. Whenever I’m feeling really good, it means I’m due for a treatment.
Oh well. As the saying is, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I just need to knuckle down and do what I gotta do. It’s just that sometimes the tough is a little slow to get going.
I came across this story about a small dog that helped a young girl with her cancer and thought I’d share it with you. The girl recovered from her cancer. But now the dog has the same cancer the girl had. I guess you could say it is a good news/bad news story. Click here to read the story.
I came across this letter. It was written during the civil war by a slave that had escaped to the north and joined the army.
My Dear Wife it is with grate joy i take this time to let you know whare i am i am now in Safety in the 14th Regiment of Brooklyn this Day i can Address you thank god as a free man i had a little trouble in giting away but as the lord led the Children of Isrel to the land of Canon So he led me to a land whare fredom will rain in spite Of earth and hell Dear you must make your Self content i am free from al the Slavers Lash and as you have chose the wise plan Of Serving the lord i hope you will pray Much and i will try by the help of God To Serv him with all my hart i am with a very nice man and have All that hart can wish But my Dear I Cant express my grate desire that i have to See you i trust the time will come when we Shal meet again And if we dont met on earth we will Meet in heven whare Jesus ranes.
I'm doing very well today. However, I'm scheduled to be poisoned on Thursday.
I’m in the process of upgrading a client’s software. Do to some confusion, I’m attempting to upload over 460MB to my FTP site and then download that same 460MB to the client site, so I can start the upgrade process.
I THINK I’ve got the whole CD on my FTP site and I am now downloading it to the client site.
UPDATE: The Vorlon Wife dumped 2" out of the rain gauge Friday night. This morning I dumped another 5 1/4" out the the rain Gauge. That's 7 1/4" in about two days. I guess I won't have to water the grass for then next two weeks.
We went to Ocean City, as you can see in the photo. We walked up and down the boardwalk and some in the sand. I did pretty well. I’d say I got two plus miles in and with some in the sand, that’s a pretty good workout. I did stop from time to time to rest.
We left after a time and as we approached Vineland, it started to rain. Then it rained harder. It is still raining. I’ll see what the rain gauge says tomorrow morning.
Now I am off to bed.
What with the rain, we’re staying in today. It rained yesterday. Last night the Vorlon Wife dumped 2 inches out of the rain gauge. I looked today and there was another 3 1/4 inches in the rain gauge.
Fresh vegetables are coming in. We went to the local farm market today and got fresh corn, green beans, some beautiful tomatoes and yellow watermelon. Yum.
I’m tired tonight and looking forward to a good sleep-in tomorrow morning.
My CT scan went without a hitch. I asked the tech how up-to-date the machine was and she said it does 16 scans with each revolution. The most modern ones do 64 scans per revolution. But those are being used to find blockages in the heart. Scanners on the drawing board will do 256 scans per revolution.
I found out the person who reads the scan works on-site. I wondered if they sent them out. Since they are stored digitally they could be sent anywhere in the world.
In my iPod world, a friend sent me an email and I spoke to an audio guy that does audio for cars and they both have the same solution. Apparently, I can get an adapter that plugs into the antenna connection in the back of the radio. Then it uses an FM transmitter that plugs into the connection as well as the antenna.
Since I’m plugging directly into the antenna connection, interference from any radio stations is thing of the past. On top of all that, it’s not very expensive. The radio DOES have to come out for the installation however. That pushes the installation cost up, unless I want to attempt it myself.
I’ll go through the repair manual and see how difficult that is.
I’m off to bed.
I’m up and doing well. I’m hungry. I checked my weight and I’m at 154 Lbs. When I left, I was at 149 Lbs. I could probably stand to gain another couple of pounds.
I am scheduled to get scanned at 12:45 today. I call it a trip through the spin cycle. I won’t get the results until next Tuesday.
On the way home, I listened to my iPod. The FM transmitter has got to go. I just don’t think it practical.
I did catch an interesting turn of phrase on something I had downloaded off the web. He said we do not have souls. We are souls that have bodies.
I’m home now and feeling rather tired. What can I say?
I’m off to bed.
I’m doing well this morning, albeit a little tired. It just wears on you after a bit.
I’m coming home tonight. It’ll be good to get home. Friday is my CT scan. I really looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday morning.
Today was another good day. I faded a bit about 3:30 – just like everyone else does. I forgot to get an extra cup of coffee at lunch.
My only real complaint is still my feet. Walking is a bit uncomfortable.
Still, as I like to say, I doing a little better than can be expected under the circumstances and attempting to exceed expectations.
That said, I’m off to bed.
I've had breakfast and I’m having my coffee now. I’m doing well.
I just gave my client a call at home, and I’m coming home tomorrow night.
I’m feeling well and plan to stay well caffeinated throughout the day.
The weather looks like it’s moderating a bit.
I did well today. One thing that helped was a tall coffee I bought at lunch and brought back to the office. I really fueled me through the afternoon.
I’m feeling a little stiff. The back of my head is sore where the muscle attaches to the base of my skull. I also have some stiffness through my lower neck and shoulders. Some of this my be do to sitting in front of a PC all day. If I was back in Vineland, I might contact a massage therapist I know and have her do me. I had her give me a massage last year, when my left shoulder was very stiff and I had limited motion.
She hurt me good. But when she was done, I had a much better range of motion in my shoulder.
I’m feeling tired and I’m off to bed.
I’m doing well the morning. I’ve had my breakfast and coffee and I’m heading out the door.
I would say that today went well. I started to fade about 3:30, but EVERYBODY fades about that time. I think is part of our circadian rhythms.
My taste buds are about 90% recovered.
I’m off to bed.
I see that gasoline futures for delivery in August closed at $2.28 a gallon today. Take a look at the price graph. If this were a stock would you buy it in anticipation the price would go higher? Or would you sell it short in anticipation that it had peaked and would soon head south. Anyone want to place a wager on how high it will go before it peaks and heads south?
I’m up and drinking my coffee. I’ve already had breakfast and I’m feeling a little groggy, but good.
I hear, aside from the world going up in flames, that it going to be pretty warm today. I have a high tolerance for heat, but I will be in an air conditioned office.
I gotta go. Billable hours await.
I’ve plugged my cell phone and Palm Pilot into their chargers. Much to my surprise when I bought it my two or three years ago, my Palm Pilot has become my right hand. I know the day will come when I’ll have to replace it with a Pocket PC, but as long as it still works, I’ll keep it.
A little bit ago, I was really feeling tired. Now, I’m still tired, but quite as bad. However, I ate and drank well today and hopefully put on a little weight.
I’m off to bed.
I cannot seem to stop trying to get what I want from an interface between my iPod and Dasher-1. Here’s something I’m thinking about. Dasher-1 has a CD/AM/FM stereo system. I could buy, if I wanted a factory cassette player to go with it. Blue Velvet came with that option. In fact, it was defective and the dealership had to replace it.
Here’s what I’m thinking. I’ll bet there is a connector in the back of the stereo unit that lets the cassette player plug right into it. If I can find the wiring diagram for that connector on the back, perhaps I can wire the iPod directly into the cassette player input/output line.
In retrospect, I wish I had kept the defective cassette player they removed from Blue Velvet. I could use the connector to ease my design.
It’s the engineering training. I just can’t stop designing when there’s a problem to be solved.
I came across this night-time satellite photo of North and South Korea. We hear how economically poor North Korea is. They say a picture is worth a thousands words. Perhaps this is one of those pictures.
The difference between North and South Korea is startling.
I’m back in my hotel room. The upgrade on all the stations went well. There were no real challenges. That’s the way I like it.
I felt pretty strongly and the client and went out to lunch, when I was done.
I’m feeling quite good, although that seems to vary every couple of hours. Right now, I’m just relaxing in my room. I’m dong a little surfing to find a better solution than the iTrip for my iPod.
I found this fm transmitter from Belkin. It uses the 3.5mm audio port. Then I found this 6-Ft extension cord that also uses the 3.5mm audio port. It appears my problem may have been resolved. The only trouble with using the FM transmitter method is on long trips, like yesterday, I would need to periodically change frequencies. That’s a pain the butt. For now, it seems that my best solution.
By the way, a friend tells me the reason I find the iPod so difficult to work with is that the recording industry forced Apple to make it very difficult to steal music off a CD and the result was very cluggy software.
I’m watching the news and it pretty depressing. The world appears to be a tinderbox and the Syrians and Iranians are throwing lit matches around.
However, there was a potential money-making note in the news. They interviewed someone about how high the price of oil is really going to go and, of course, he didn’t know. But he DID say something that I found interesting. He said the current price of oil is NOT drive by supply and demand. It is driven strictly by speculation.
Believe it or not, I found that to be good news. If it is speculation from all the bad news in the world that is driving the price of oil, then we know that at some point, the price will come down. And when it comes down it’ll come down fast. Just as the US Stock Market tanked in 2000, the oil market will tank.
The world is going through some bad times right now. But, just as the good times don’t last forever, neither do the bad times. At some point, the crisis will be over.
Those that are shorting oil futures will make a killing – so to speak. The only problem is timing. No one can know when this will happen. But those that are quick will do well.
I’ve been thinking about two recent postings I made about mice and cancer, there this one about tagging cancer cells so that the body’s immune system can recognize and destroy them. Then there is this study where they found a “super” mouse whose immune system was able to detect and destroy cancer.
I wonder if the two aren’t similar. The super mouse’s immune system was able to detect cancer cells and then it destroyed them. In the other case they were able to tag the cancer cells so normal immune system could detect and destroy them.
In both cases, it is the immune system doing the work.
UPDATE: I just sent an email to the main researcher for the immune study to see if he would to a telephone interview.
I’m up and feeling OK. I just had the hotel’s breakfast of scrambled eggs, hashed brown potatoes and sausage with some orange juice. It seems my taste buds are still not 100%, but the food went down pretty well. Then I treated myself to heavily glazed doughnut. That DID go down well. My weight is on the low side, so I really can use all the calories I can lay my hands on.
I’m scheduled to meet with the client at 9:30 this morning. Presuming we don’t run into any hitches, we should be done in a couple of hours.
I am safely ensconced in the Residence Inn in Wayne, New Jersey. The drive up was uneventful – that’s good.
My little iPod worked OK until I got about hallway. I had set the iTrip to broadcast at 105.1 FM. That worked until about Exit 8A on the turnpike. Then I encountered a radio station broadcasting on that frequency. It swamped my iPod so I shut it down.
On the way up, it occurred to me, that if I could find some kind of extension cord between the iPod and the iTrip, then I could put the iTrip in the back window of the car, right next to the radio antenna and the iPod could be in the front seat with me.
Obviously the better solution would be to somehow hardwire the iPod directly to the Dasher-1’s radio. I’ve seen a few solutions for that, but they’re very expensive.
Right now, I’m feeling pretty tired. Although I did well today, I’m out of fuel and ready for bed.
Tomorrow, I’m working with the client. I think we’ll only be together for two to four hours.
I am about packed. I have checked tire pressures on both Dasher-1 and Blue Velvet INCLUDING the tiny spare. On the regular tires, pressures were just a tad on the high side. I knocked them down to factory specs. What with high temperatures being predicted, I don’t need the pressure TOO high.
On the tine spares, both were in the 40-psi range. I pumped back to their 60-psi spec. Its bad enough getting a flat. But to discover the spare isn’t correctly inflated just adds to the misery.
I will refuel in route as will as fuel in Vineland is much cheaper than in North Jersey. I should be able drive up there, do my commuting and return on a single tank of fuel.
All I have to do is load my stuff into Dasher-1 and I am clear for lift-off.
Well I got the iPod to work in my car through the iTrip. Although it DOES work, it’s far from a perfect solution. I found a frequency that my radio can receive on. But I’m driving to North Jersey today. What are the odds that frequency will be clear all the way up?
Plus, the antenna for my radio is built into the rear window of Dasher-1. I find the iTrip works a lot better, if the iPod is in the rear seat. That’s not particularly good.
I’m going to do a little digging and see if my radio has an auxiliary input. Then I would wire the iPod directly into the radio. That would be a much better solution.
It’s just never easy.
My recent Science News had this little tidbit.
By altering a salmonella bacterium and rigging it to produce a protein found predominantly in cancer cells, scientists have devised an experimental cancer vaccine.
Researchers created the vaccine by making a nonvirulent form of Salmonella typhimurium and adding a gene for the tumor-cell protein NY-ESO-1. When mingled with human white blood cells in a lab dish, the vaccine elicited the formation of an army of immune T cells that recognize and target cells producing NY-ESO-1.
When fed to mice that had cancer, the vaccine caused regression of the cancer, the researchers report in the July Journal of Clinical Investigation.
NY-ESO-1 is present in several malignancies, including cancers of the lung, ovaries, blood, breast, and skin. In contrast, the protein isn't produced much at all in normal tissues, says study coauthor Sacha Gnjatic, an immunologist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in New York City.
Cancer vaccines aren't like traditional vaccines; they're treatments designed to alert the body to the presence of established cancer and to prompt the immune system to attack malignant cells. Most such vaccines have shown only modest success to date. This new one might be tested in people within a year, Gnjatic says.
This sounds extremely promising. Perhaps I’ll try to contact the researcher and get more information – like what is the downside.
I’m up and feeling quite well. Well as good, as anyone feels right after they roll out of bed.
I plan to prep the Vorlon Wife’s car, “Blue Velvet” as she is going to a funeral this morning – not mine. I just want to check the tire pressures.
Then I’m going to prep Dasher-1, do my packing and head north. I expect to leave about 1:00 pm.
Hopefully I’ll have gotten my iPod sufficiently figured out, that I can play it on the way up.
I did pretty well today. I got a real psychological boost when my blood test results came in. My appetite continues to be good even if my taste buds are not totally recovered. I had fresh blueberries for desert tonight. I got them down, but they weren’t particularly tasty.
I’m dropped about 5 Lbs in the last few days. I have found that to happen a few days after a treatment. Hopefully I can start to gain it back.
I still have the “rash” in my mouth. I can’t tell if it’s the same or getting better. It tend to affect the texture and taste of food. But it’s not that bad. Hopefully it will abate over the next week.
Right now I’m feeling pretty tired and I’m off to bed.
I bought an iPod today along with an iTrip so I can use it in the car, my main point of use. I got an iPod 1GB Nano.
So far, I’m rather unimpressed.
I had hoped it would just show upon my computer as another disk drive. Then I could just drag and drop what I wanted on to it and be done.
Wrong. I can't even see the iPod in Windows Explorer. They have all this fancy software that makes you jump through all these hoops. In addition, when I installed the software off the CD, it had me reboot my computer. I thought Apple didn’t have to reboot.
I’ll get it, but it’s NOT simple. That’s a little frustrating when Apply advertises how simple there stuff is. They lie!
news! My white cell count is a little over 9,000. I’m good to go. The ONLY thing in my blood test that was low was my platelet count. Not dangerously low, but low. I will endeavor not to bleed.
I am a very happy camper.
I’m feeling a little something in my throat that I cannot properly describe. I hope I’m not getting anything like strep throat. I just get the feeling things are not good. I don’t feel badly, just tired. But I am a bit worried.
I did well today, although I am worried. I spent about five hours between two client sites. I prefer getting out at the client site. Although I moved rather slowly, as the day wore on I seemed get a little better. When I returned to the office, I was feeling pretty well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any lunch until about 3:30. I was pretty hungry by then.
I’m concerned that my white cell count has fallen to very low levels. I have this rash like inside my mouth and I’ve noticed some redness where the IV was. I had the same symptoms before when my white cell count was very low. I probably should have gotten a blood test for white cell count sooner. As it is now, I am scheduled for 8:30 tomorrow morning.
I’m hoping they have something they can give me to boost my white cell count, but it’s only been a week since my Neulasta shot and I don’t know if they can give me a booster shot. The Neulasta is supposed to be good for two weeks.
If I have to unwind my schedule, it won’t be pretty.
In case you can’t tell this is close-up of one of the Vorlon Wife’s lilies. This plant is really starting to flower profusely. This morning it probably had a dozen blooms. It’s sad they only last a day. I guess that’s why it’s called a day lily.
I really like the bright lemon-yellow color of these flowers. I know, I've said that before.
I went into the office late and did pretty well. I stayed the whole day. Moving around proved to be problematic as it very quickly tired me out. So I moved as little as possible.
My taste buds continue their very slow recovery. Some foods I want to eat still don’t taste that well, but I’m able to get them down.
I have a pretty tight schedule over the next couple of weeks. This Saturday I’m driving to North Jersey and expect to be there through July 20. Then I have appointments July 24 and 25.
I do have a concern. I’m going for my blood test this Friday. My worry is, if my white cell count is very low, them my whole schedule unravels. That would not be a good thing. The reason I bring this up is that I have a feeling inside my mouth that I recall having when my white cell count was down to 1,000.
When I did my chemo, my white cell count was 20,000 and I had the Neulasta. So I started with a high count and got re-enforcements. But, the chemo may still have overcome everything. I sure hope not.
On the photography front, the toys for my camera arrived today. They look just like the photos on eBay. So far, they are exactly as advertised. Unfortunately, it’ll be about 10 days before I get a chance to play with them. I’m hoping the Vorlon Wife and I can go to the shore July 22.
I’m heading off to the office this morning. I’m moving very slowly, but I’m moving. It seems that a feel pretty good upon arising. But a couple of hour later I really start to fade.
Well I’m going into the office and will stop to get a tall Wawa coffee on the way.
I met with my oncologists this morning. He tapped on me like determining if I was a ripe watermelon and listened to my breathing.
For the first time he said he can hear the difference between the left and right side of my chest and he can tell that, I don’t inhale as much on the left as on the right. I think he has always heard this, but never told me. Sometimes it’s so hard to get all the data.
He said I seemed good and wished me luck on my CT scan a week from Friday. I’ll get the scan 7/21, but won’t have the results until 7/25. Depending on the results of the scan, I’m due to get poisoned again on 7/27.
I stayed home again today as the fatigue still has me hammered. I’m really hoping I can make it to the office tomorrow. The good thing about staying home is, I can easily lie down and take a nap, when I fade.
Right now, I’m just tired and my feet are still the same. My taste buds are making a very slow recovery. I ate half a bowl of fresh black cherries. They weren’t the tastiest, but I got them down. A few days ago, I wouldn’t even be able to eat more than one.
I spoke to a client today. She had a 6-year old nephew that recently died. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumor. Apparently, they gave him chemo therapy. It so hammered him that he acquired a severe infection and died a few weeks ago. I cannot imagine how distraught the parents must be.
It turns out there is a lot of suffering in the world.
I’m reminded of this passage from the Bible, Luke 9:1:
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
From this, I take that it is our job as Christians to help those who are suffering and thereby show the glory of God.
I took a photo of the Vorlon Wife’s Daylily last night. This flowers every year and, you know how I like yellow flowers. I prefer to take photos of it in the evening as when the sun shines on the flowers, the extreme contrast makes difficult to get a nice photo.
I pretty much just sat around the house today. I as able to do a LITTLE work, but not much.
Tomorrow I have an appointment for the cursory exam by my oncologist. I don’t expect much to happen.
I’m rather tired tonight, no surprise there. I’m experiencing some neck pain where the muscles in the back of my neck attach to the base of my skull. This seems to be a consistent effect of the chemo. It will eventually fade away.
I’m still battling with my taste buds. From previous treatments, I know they will have a slow recovery.
The chemo is REALLY hammering my feet. They are just really numb. It makes walking problematic.
I’m off to bed.
A blogger relates his experience of using salt water to attack his Cystic Fibrosis. Amazing good news.
I’m up, but moving very slowly. I think I’m staying home today.
I made it through church today, although I stayed seated the whole time. As the day wore on, I wore down. As it is now, I’m just looking forward to bed.
My feet are really bothering me. Shortly after each chemo, the numbness in my fee increases. It makes walking rather uncomfortable.
Food is still iffy. So far, potatoes and beef seem to go down pretty well. Sweet stuff doesn’t. This whole chemo thing as about ruined my sweet tooth. Maybe that’s for the better.
If I make it into the office tomorrow, I’m tempted to order a cheeseburger and fries for lunch. They should go down well, but I don’t know about the ketchup. Maybe my taste buds will have recovered enough to eat that too. There’s a fast food place about a mile from my office that I can get a cheeseburger, fries and 20-oz drink for $4.55. Not a bad deal.
I am hoping my wide-angle adapter will eliminate my need to stitch photos together and get a better shot. We’ll see.
Actually, this came out better than I expected. I hand-held all three photos and I was rather shaky from my treatments. I had forgotten to take my monopod.
I went searching on eBay to see what lenses I could get for my cheapy (now) Canon PowerShot A60. My Canon is only a 2-megapixel camera with a 35mm equivalent of 35mm to 105mm zoom lens.
My frustrations with my camera were two. I wanted a wider-angle lens and a higher ISO. My camera maxes out at ISO 400 and when I use that setting, I get quite a bit of noise. I find that ISO 200 seems to shoot OK.
I have never really needed more than 2 megapixels as I very rarely print photos, but post them on the web. When I post them on the web, I knock them down to about 100K. Otherwise, it takes too long to download them.
I found these lenses on eBay. The deal was one wide-angle adapter, one telephoto adapter and three filters (UV Filter, Polarizing Filter and Fluorescent/Daylight filter) for $65. There is $10 shipping.
The wide-angle adapter should give me the 35mm equivalent of a 17mm focal length lens – Yes! I have been lusting for a very wide-angle lens for some time. The telephoto adapter held little interest, but it comes with the kit. I am also intrigued with the Polarizing filter. It’s something I thought might be interesting to play with.
I ordered them. When they come in, I’ll shoot some photos and you can see what you think. The only drawback is, well two drawbacks actually, I’ll be forced to use the little screen on the back of the camera, as the viewfinder cannot know about the lens I will have attached. The other drawback is I’ll have to get a larger camera bag to carry all my stuff. I’m not looking forward to become a pack mule.
I’m still doing OK. I seem to be at my best upon arising in the morning. Then I fade as the day wears on. Still, I’m doing betting than I had expected.
Last night I woke up about 12:30 feeling like I was going to throw up. I tell you that’ll wake you up. I got up and sat for a bit and it seemed to subside. Then I wandered around the house and got one of my Kytrils (anti-nausea medication) and took it.
This was a surprise as it’s been 2 days since my chemo and I haven’t had to take a Kytril for months.
My stomach settled back down and I went back to bed. I can’t say I slept terribly well, but the chemo is still messing up my sleep patterns.
I’m feeling hungry, but still afraid to eat. I’ll start with my 360-calorie Boost Plus. Then I’ll test nibble on a few things. I’m also feeling thirsty. I’ll have to see what goes down well. It’s been 48 hours, so I hope my taste buds are starting their slow recovery.
So far, I have not experienced that debilitating fatigue that I get. But we’ll see when I go to church. Will have enough energy to both stand and sing at the same time.
Today wasn’t as bad as I feared – although I am moving very slowly. I’m able to get some food, besides Boost Plus down, but it’s a hit or miss proposition.
I have no pain to speak of I’m just tired.
I’m ready for bed.
I’m feeling pretty good this morning. Much better than I had expected. However, I usually feel best upon arising in the morning. Two hours from now, I may feel like going back to bed. We’ll see.
I’m up early on a Saturday morning as the chemo messes up my sleep patterns. I zonk out quickly, when I go to bed. Then I wake up about 4:00 am and toss and turn for the rest of the night. Oh, if I feel tired, I’ll take a nap.
I did OK today. I didn’t feel real bad and I didn’t feel real good. I got my Neulasta shot this afternoon. I’ve been taking my 600mg ibuprofen almost every four hours to knock down the muscle pain from the Neulasta and the chemo. I find the muscles in the back of my neck where they attach to the base of my skull, seem the hardest hit.
I’m back on my diet of Boost Plus. I’m not particularly fond of it, but it is 360 calories and I can easy get it down. I experimented and found I can still eat blueberries. I had a small bowl. They weren’t as tasty as LAST night, but they weren’t too bad.
The photo is one from last weekend’s visit to Ocean City. You may recognize the scene from a previous photo – the one with the shadows. In this one, I used the zoom to isolate just the heavily encrusted pilings. I like the colors.
I’m off to bed.
I’m in the office today. I’m feeling; well, like I’ve been poisoned. Food is unpalatable, but I can get down a Boost and it’s has nutrition. This afternoon I get my Neulasta shot, which reminds me, I need to take my 600 mg of ibuprofen in preparation for the Neulasta.
My face is flushed. I’m not sure if it’s from the chemo or the premeditation I had to take before my chemo.
My only trouble is when I’m feeling like this, my brain doesn’t seem to work as well as normal. A friend called it “chemo brain”.
The Vorlon Parents have recommended I get handicap-parking permit for my car. So far, I refuse take this step.
One disappointment is that we have a whole bunch of fresh blueberries in the frig. I ate as many as I could tonight knowing they I probably won’t be able to eat them tomorrow. And they are very tasty blueberries. We have someone that sells us the blueberries right from the blueberry farm directly.
As I was leaving the oncologist’s office, they gave me the upcoming schedule. That tends to bug me a bit. I hate just being handed a schedule instead of approaching the schedule as a collaboration. I’ll review it and tell them what I can and cannot make.
The photo is from last weekend. The birds you see are young Herring Gulls. The don’t get their adult plumage until they’re a couple of years old.
I’ve notice that my camera seems to be taking photos that aren’t as sharp as I would like. I bought some lens cleaning cloth in the hopes that my sharpness is due to some dirt on the lens.
I’ve been thinking of sending the Vorlon Wife to get a CT scan. Since my condition was a complete surprise and I had few symptoms, and she has been exposed to many of the same environments as me, I think it makes for a wise move.
One problem is, I’m pretty sure the insurance company will not pay for it. That’s means I would have to foot the whole bill. I happened to see how much the radiology lab charges the insurance company for my CT scan. It was $800. While that’s quite a bit of money, particularly for the Vorlon’s at this point in time, I’ve paid more than that to get my car repaired.
Then I got to thinking. Suppose the CT scanner costs about $2 million. In economic terms we call that fixed costs. That machine cost them $2 million whether they do one scan a month or 10,000. Obviously they would rather do 10,000 a month. The more they use the machine, the more money they make. As readers of the blog will remember, I never begrudge anyone honestly making a buck.
Now let’s look at the variable costs. I can see three, the electricity to run the machine, the tech that performs the scans, and the tech that reads the scans. Getting a scan takes about 20 minutes. If the tech costs the radiology lab $60 per hour, then that 20 minutes cost $20.
The tech that reads the scans probably gets a higher rate, and it may take longer. I’ll guess he/she costs the radiology lab $100 per hour and takes an hour to read the scan. Then the cost to read the scan is $100.
Electricity – let’s put the cost of the electricity to run the machine for the 20 minutes at $10. That’s probably more that required.
Add them all up and the radiology lab’s out of pocket expenses at $130.
Now follow my logic carefully here. If I offer to buy a CT scan from them for anything over the $130 out of pocket costs, it money towards their fixed costs they wouldn’t otherwise get. However, this ONLY applies if the machine sits idle for any period of time. There are many businesses that have a cost structure like this. Since I know they charge the insurance company $800, I have the potential to buy a CT scan at somewhere between $800 and $130.
Fortunately there are two radiology labs in town. That means I have the potential to get them to bid against each other.
Now it may well be that the make so much money, they could care less if they sell me a CT scan or not.
There is one indicator that my whole scenario will not work. Both radiology labs are only open during the day and closed on weekends. If they really wanted to maximize the profits on the CT scanners, they would be running them 24x7. Since they don’t it indicates to me, they’d doing very well just running on the limited hours they do.
But it could also indicate they have spare capacity. They may not have enough business to run for more hours than they do. Those $2 million machines may sit idle for some part of the day.
I think it’s something I’m going to explore – after I clear the concept with our doctor. If he says OK, perhaps I’ll start taking bids.
I got chemo’d today. It went well, if a little long. This time I got 145mg of Taxotere, as before, and 1940mg of Gemzar. The Gemzar is a harder hit than before. Tomorrow I’m due for a Neulasta shot. Between the chemo and the Neulasta, tt will likely be an unpleasant weekend.
The Gemzar hurts while it drips through my veins. I had them start with a slow drip. After it aches for a while, the site kind of numbs up and then I can have them drip it faster.
While I was just sitting there, I opted to type my vital signs into an Excel spreadsheet and plot them. Every morning I take my temperature, blood pressure and weight. You can see the graphs by clicking here. I thought the graphs were interesting. I only have data going back to November 20, 2005.
I’m feeling OK at the movement. I think tomorrow morning should be OK, but by the afternoon, I will start to fade. But we’ll see. I have found my condition is not 100% predictable.
I just returned from my Toastmasters meeting tonight. I haven’t been there in months. I wanted to go tonight as I’m not sure when I’ll be able to be there again.
I’m feeling quite good tonight, but I am ready for bed.
I’m in the office this morning and feeling pretty good.
I just spoke to the oncologist’s office. They have me scheduled to be poisoned tomorrow afternoon and then a Neulasta shot Friday afternoon. They have nothing else schedule until the start of my next cycle. Although that means next week will be very unpleasant, it means I have almost three weeks free!
I need to schedule my CT scan to happen in a couple of weeks, but that’s not big deal to do.
I have already sent an email to my client to see if he wants me there the week of 7/17. Although I have the week of 7/10 available, I’ll be just too beat to do much.
I just sort of vegged out today. I did sprinkle some Shake & Feed on the Vorlon Wife’s flowers and some snail killer on her Petunia’s. It seems we have snails that love Petunias. These are not slugs, but hard-shelled snails with the typical snail shape. I put some down a couple of weeks ago, and the Vorlon Wife commented on how many dead snails she came across. One Petunia apparently didn’t get enough snail killer and there is only a stem and small leaf left.
The photo is from out trip to the shore last Saturday night. It was low tide and I was intrigued with the green rocks. They are completely covered at high tide.
No shadows this time.
I’m ready for bed.
On this day 230 years ago, our founding fathers signed this document and the world has never been the same.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
What was unique is the idea that rights come from God not man. Also unique was that we give up some of those rights to let the government exist and function.
I was a couple we haven’t seen for a while. They recently lost their 40-year-old son to a drug overdose. It happened while they were on a trip in Europe. But they seem to be holding up well.
I’m off to bed very soon and looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning.
By the way, the flower you see is the Vorlon Wife’s Prickly Pear cactus flower. They grow wild in South Jersey. In the winter, they look dead. But they quickly come back in the spring and will overrun one’s flower garden, if you let them.
You also need to wear gloves when working around them, unless you want to get stuck. Their stickers are pretty nasty. They are very tiny, so you can feel them, but they’re hard to see. It sort of like handling fiberglass installation with bare hands.
The flowers themselves only last one day, so if you want a photo you have to be quick. They are pretty flowers, but do to their aggressive growth and their prickliness; I would rather not have them.
But it is the Vorlon Wife’s flower garden. What she wants in it, she gets.
I happen to be watching a TV show about China building the Three Georges Dam. The program sort of highlighted how fast the Chinese economy was growing.
It occurred to me that the Chinese economy would not grow forever. I wonder what’s going to happen when their economy takes a hit.
I remember the go-go days of the US stock market in the late 90’s. Everyone assumed the market would go up forever. They talked about the “new economy”. It turned out to be a bubble.
Since the Chinese economy has been growing for so many years, it will be a huge shock, when it happens. At this point, I have no idea when it will happen; I only know that at some point it will.
I’m in the office this morning. I don’t feel quite as bright as yesterday, but yesterday I got over 10 hours of sleep and last night I got a little over 8. I think, given a choice, I could sleep a LOT more than I do.
My Wawa coffee is starting to wake me up now. Time for some work.
The Vorlon Wife and I went to two cemeteries so she could plant flowers on the graves of some of her relatives. We do this every year, but it’s been a bit late this year because of my physical condition. We figured today was as good as any as I’m getting chemo’d on Thursday and will be worthless for a while after that.
I buzzed with my weed whacker and dug holes for her to plant her flowers.
On the way, back we stopped at the Deptford Mall. We went into the Sports Authority to inspect a chaise lounge I’m thinking of putting in my office. I figure with that with a blankey and a pillow; I can lie down and take a nap, if I need to.
Alas, although the chaise lounge I looked at was OK, I have seen it cheaper in Lowe’s online.
That took all of five minutes. Then the Vorlon Wife wanted to look at some workout clothes. She spent about 20 minutes looking and we purchased nothing. I think I’ve been down that road before.
I’ve attached a photo from last night. Part way through posting it, I noticed what I missed while taking it. My and the Vorlon Wife’s shadow. Groan.
Well, I thought I’d post it as a lesson to my readers. Double-check your shadow.
We decided to take a trip to the shore tonight as you can see in the photo. No portraits this time.
I could walk for a bit, and then I had to rest for a bit. I feel like I’m 110 years old. Still it was nice to get out of the house.
I had a good meal at the shore, but brought some of it home. I just can’t eat a lot at one sitting. I fill up quickly.
Now I’m ready for bed.