THERE were six or seven there for coffee but not all at the same time. Surprisingly, there was nearly no complaining or gossip today. Maybe others are getting tired of hearing it also.
DAY 84°. Partly cloudy this morning then clearing. Breezy and much warmer with highs in the lower 90s. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph becoming West 15 to 20 mph this afternoon. NIGHT 53°. Partly cloudy. Much cooler. Less humid with lows in the lower 50s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
I SPENT sometime this morning refilling my pill sorters for the next several weeks. This way I don’t have to think about my medications for at least a few weeks at a time
THE other chore I took care of was balancing the”check book”. Good news, nothing went into the red. I still need to put this month’s information into the monthly budget book.
I SEASONED a flank steak with salt and pepper then placed it unwrapped in the refrigerator to dry age. My plan was to have it for lunch tomorrow. However, this afternoon Heather called and said she’d like to come visit and bring lunch. So I’ll cook the steak for Sunday lunch.
RADIATION DAY 34. 75½% DONE
TRAFFIC was better than yesterday. It took 47 minutes to drive the 22 miles to the doctor’s office. It took 26 minutes to drive the 22 miles return trip.
I’M sitting in front of the door to the machine. The sign above the door reads “BEAM ON”. That means that the guy ahead of me is getting zapped right now.
ELLA had lunch nearly ready when I arrived home slightly ahead of my estimated time of arrival.
ON Thursdays the patients complete a survey about our pee and poo experiences for the past week
HERE is an enhanced version of the same photo. The background is blurred to accentuate the foreground. And the skin tone livened a little. This is my self image of how I look – all healthy and rosey cheeked. It just isn’t quite true.
45 MINUTES travel time got us to the radiologist at 11:59. My appointment is officially 12:10. At 12:11 I was called into the treatment room. After the treatment Ella and I go to a consultation with the doctor. Today I asked what follow-up to expect at the end of radiation. The doctor printed out a summary of the after-care. I forgot to pick it up at the reception desk.
DAY 72°. Areas of drizzle this morning. Patchy fog this morning. Cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the upper 70s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
I ASKED Ella what she wanted for lunch: beef, pork, fish, or fowl. She said, “Fish.” I did a Google search for Long John Silver’s and found one about two miles from the doctor’s office. I ordered the fish and shrimp. I know it ain’t gourmet, but I like it.
IT was necessary to pick up prescriptions for Ella at Walgreens.
NIGHT 67°. Cloudy with a slight chance of showers. A slight chance of thunderstorms after midnight. Lows in the upper 60s. South winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
THEN it was a stop at Dollar Tree for bingo prizes.
WE arrived at 8:25 for our annual Wellness Checkup this morning. We were done at 10:32. We had forgotten to bring in the paperwork they had given us a week ago when we did the lab work. That meant that we had to complete the forms them before seeing the doctor. I WAS pleased at the weigh-in. I weighed 270 pounds even with all my clothes on. Which means I actually weigh less than 270 pounds. BOTH Ella and I passed the cognitive evaluation tests easily. Short-term memory also passed. MY blood work indicated that I need to take an iron supplement. ELLA is too begin weaning herself off of Tylenol and two of her prescription medications over the next week or two. WE met the new physicians assistant, Kimberly. Her husband is in the military and stationed nearby. Their plans are for him to retire within the next five or six years and remain in this area. She is very pleasant.
DAY 66°. Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms this morning then a slight chance of showers this afternoon. Highs in the upper 60s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph becoming Southeast this afternoon. Chance of rain 40%.
DAY 32 of radiation treatment. 71% complete.
THE sign posted on the door declared that I needed to wait before going down to the patients waiting area. DUE to traffic it took twice as long as usual to get here from home. I HAVE to arrive with a full bladder. Today I arrived with an uncomfortably full bladder that I knew wasn’t going to hold until after the radiation treatment. I went into the bathroom and partially emptied said bladder. HAVE you ever tried to stop mid stream and hold it? It is a skill I have had to learn recently. I then drank a large glass of water and waited.
HERE I am waiting. The lady at the reception desk said, “Mr. Williams they are waiting for you down stairs.” I pointed out the sign. She said, “Oh, sorry. I forgot to prep that door open again.” WHEN I got down stairs they were ready for me to get into the machine. TODAY I entered my final phase of treatments where the radiation is fully focused on the prostate only
NIGHT 58°. Cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.
I WENT to Golden Chick on the way home and purchased twenty fried shrimp. Ella had made cheesy potatoes along with corn, applesauce, and bread pudding.
ELLA had an 8:30 appointment with the urologist. All tests look good and she doesn’t have to go back for a year.
DAY 63°. Cloudy breezy cooler with highs in the upper 60s. North winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
THE table talk today was about the new coffee system. Evidently one pot s too cool and one was too hot. I suggested taking a half cup of each. The rest of the talk was still about one of the residents who has done something to irritate most of our coffee group. Personally I’ve never had a problem with her.
DAY 31 of 45. I’m 68% of the way done with my radiation treatment.
ELLA began planning for lunch before I left for treatment. Looks like chicken and rice with broccoli cheese sauce will be waiting when I return home.
IT turned out so good I forgot to get a photo until the last bite.
THEN she made some bread pudding for dessert. Her bread pudding are always so good.
NIGHT 50°. Cloudy. A slight chance of showers with isolated thunderstorms after midnight. Lows in the lower 50s. North winds 10 to 15 mph chance of rain 20%.
LET’S TALK ABOUT MY CANCER JOURNEY I’M two thirds of the way done with the radiation treatments for prostate cancer. That is, if things continue being on track. I have no reason to think that there will be any surprises over the next few weeks. PEOPLE from the very beginning of the announcement that I have prostate cancer have asked me how I’m doing. Usually with a certain tone of voice that I’m unable to demonstrate in writing. It is a voice of concern and sadness that you might use on someone who just lost a family member or a close friend. THE fact is, I’m not feeling any great loss. Nor am I feeling fearful. I’m in no pain. I had no symptoms before being diagnosed and I have no symptoms now. ALLOW me clarify that a little. I have no symptoms of the cancer. I have no symptoms from the radiation treatments. I do have symptoms from the medication used to shrink the prostate. My testosterone levels are low to nonexistent and I’ve been having hot flashes since I started on the medication. THE other symptom (if it can be called that) is general tiredness. I’m on a daily laxative to keep the large intestine clear during the radiation. Taking the laxative means I only get a couple of hours of sleep at a time. I don’t have enough time to fall into deep sleep before I’m awakened with the need to go to the bathroom. ANOTHER consequence of the cancer treatment is that I’m missing a lot of the social events that I truly enjoy going to. Because my treatments take a couple of hours (mostly driving time) right in the middle of the day, I’m unable to attend some of the morning events that I previously did. Nor am I able to attend some of the afternoon events that I’m used to doing. GOD willing, I’ll be able to mostly resume a normal routine after April eighteenth, my last day of radiation.
DAY 72°. Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
ELLA had lunch ready and on the table when I arrived home from the doctor’s. She warmed the leftover goulash and added some cheese. There were sides of green beans, sliced peaches, and tapioca pudding.
BECAUSE I’m not eating breakfast on radiation days (Monday-Friday) the pills I normal take with food in the morning I am now taking around 1:00 to 1:30. I’m also eating a light supper or skipping it alright for the same reason I don’t eat breakfast.
TOMORROW morning Ella has a doctor’s appointment. Wednesday morning we both have appointments for our annual Wellness Checkups.
NIGHT 55°. Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
OUR coffee group is decidedly smaller today. The main topic of discussion was about people who aren’t coming to coffee any more. The lesson here is, “Join the discussion or be the topic of the discussion.” And by discussion, I mean gossip.
DAY 80°. Cloudy with a chance of showers this morning then mostly cloudy this afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph becoming West 15 to 20 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain 50%
DAY 29 of 45 (64%) RADIATION and all is going as expected.
ABOUT a week ago I downloaded the Whataburger app. It promised a free burger. Today I received the above email. I stopped on the way home from treatment to get my free burger and was surprised to also received fries and a drink.
ELLA had goulash, peas, and fruit salad ready to go on the table when I arrived home. I split the burger and fries with her also.
NIGHT 53°. Clear. Much cooler with Lows in the lower 50s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.
THIS afternoon, after lunch, I wanted to go for a long, peaceful, and unstructured drive to nowhere in particular. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to share it with my Cinderella. • I took some anti diarrhea medications to counteract the laxative I’d taken yesterday afternoon. • I soon realized that it didn’t work soon enough. I began circling back toward home. I needed to make three stops along the way. • My long pleasant drive turned out to be only 24 miles with multiple bathroom stops. Bummer!
I ARRIVED too late for morning fellowship. Ella was the only one left. Friends and donuts were gone, save one, my best friend and bride.
DAY 77°. Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s. South winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
RADIATION DAY 28 OF 45 62.2% DONE
THIS is week 6 of 9 and I’ve moved from phase one to phase two and soon, I’m told, I’ll move to phase three. In each phase the field of radiation will become more tightly focused.
WE made a trip to Home Depot for a 2ft x 4ft shelf board. It is to go onto two of my styrene chests of drawers. The tops aren’t study enough to hold even a little weight without bowing under the pressure. I’m hoping that this board will stop that from happening.
LUNCH at China e Buffett. This is the first Asian buffet that to which we’ve gone since the beginning of the pandemic.
THE food was generally very good, at least what Ella and I took. I was somewhat disappointed in the General Tso’s chicken and a similar chicken with jalapenos and red chili flakes. Both were okay but lacked the OMG spiciness I had expected. The Chicken On A Stick (not BBQ chicken on a stick) was extremely satisfying.
NIGHT 68°. Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Lows in the upper 60s. South winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
WE drove past A&L’s new home. Nice. Real nice. I forgot to count the chimneys, Adam
ELLA called bingo tonight while I stayed home and near the pot. The Miralax does it’s job with a vengeance sometimes. Today is one of those times. I hope that all that good food I had at lunch had time to impart some nutritional value too my system before it is flushed away.
DAY 76°. Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of drizzle this morning. Not as cool with highs in the lower 80s. South winds around 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
RADIATION TREATMENT DAY 27 & day 2 of a narrower field of radiation. Now more completely focused on my prostate
•WE stopped at Walgreens for Ella’s presentation. However, they were all at lunch. •SO we went to Dollar Tree for Ella’s shopping enjoyment. I don’t know for sure but I think it was too pickup some prizes for bingo. •WE then returned to Walgreens to await the pharmacy staff’s return. Even after returning it took us 25 minutes to get the meds.
NIGHT 66°. Cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s. South winds around 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
FROM Walgreens to Walmart. I had a shopping list sorted by the item’s aisle location. So, while I purchased those items, Ella was free to engage in shopping therapy.
BEFORE going home we drove through Dairy Queen. It was a reward for a job well done.
AFTER arriving home and putting the groceries away, we lay down for a late afternoon nap.