Monday, August 8, 2022

Monday - #34

 Monday - the 8th.

Not much to report.  Just returned from the radiation treatment...only 33 more to experience.  I don't know if I have mentioned it; but, the treatment process is the same - day after day.   I arrive 15 minutes early (usually I'm there about 20 to 25).  The lovely lady at the front desk asks my name and date of birth - why they do this is, not sure.  Why would anyone walk in and use my name or date of birth?  Maybe it is to make sure the techs don't zap my liver instead of the prostate.  I'm not sure.  Answer:  it is part of the procedure.  The front desk lady has learned my name.  Now, I just have to verify the birth date. 

I sits in de waiting room.  Me name is called - slowly, I am educating the staff that the "E" on the end of my name is silent.  It really doesn't matter.  I put my cell phone in my bag and follow to "the" room.  Once I have arrived, I climb up on the skinny table.  You'd think, as much as this radiation machine cost, they could afford to make the table 4 inches wider.  But, no.

I do have a question.  They have great big doors that close when the radiator is generating.  I wonder if the walls are made with the same heavy metal stuff - what about the floor - and, then, there is the ceiling.  If radiation could go through a wall and zap the tech staff - couldn't it go through the roof and zap a low flying airplane - or, a bird?  Just wonderin".

Once I am on the table, they throw a small cloth over my groin area.  I pull down my garments to thigh level.  They strap my feet together on the table and adjust me on the table.  Little green lasers are everywhere.  I am moved to meet their specs.  I am given a 6 inch ring to hold with my hands on my chest.  When nobody looks, I pull my mask down in order to breath.  The rest of the story is below in one of the other blogs.

When finished, I get up and leave.  They try to be upbeat and say goodbye,  All over till tomorrow.

I have quit drinking carbonated beverages and using a straw.  They say these are the two biggest culprits for admitting gas to my intestines.  But, then, they have not seen me eat 2 big bowls of beans.  Friday, this week, I plan to cook beans and cornbread for supper.  ?The Instant Pot is terrific for that.  Let the petroleum products flow.  Not eating beans and drinking diet coke - these are lifetime changes for me.  33 more sessions and things will revert back.


We bought a new Sleep Number bed back in early July.  It is to be delivered tomorrow.  Do I know the exact time of day?  Of course not.  They implied I would be contacted early.  That didn't work.  Delivery type folks do have a problem, generally speaking, in being punctual.  Go ahead.  Tell me I'm wrong.  This will be a brand new adventure for us.


non-local people may be unaware about our Texas weather - hot streak.  It has been a miserable summer.  Thank your Deity for A.C.  When I lived in the Panhandle as a kid, we did not have central air.  Instead we had swamp coolers.  A big machine which blew air over water soaked panels.  The air was cold.  A window had to be open somewhere to let the airflow escape.  We truly slept with a window open every night.  Nobody tried to sneak in the house and steal all our jewelry.  Well, we had no jewelry to start with.  Those were good times.  We didn't even know we were handicapped without central air.  My father bought a 1957 Chevy 4 door and installed a floor air cond unit.   It was the first air cond. car we ever had.  Glorious.   It was still unbearably hot in the car - but we had air.


Almost time to feed the dogs.  More rambling soon.


Friday, August 5, 2022

60 years, a ....

 shortest entry yet.   today is our 60th anniversary.  No, I was not 60 years, a slave.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

June - that was the month that was

 AND, here it is, the last day of July.  I suppose that month of July passed swiftly.  I am trying to forget a bunch of it.  But, July ( I like to pronounce it Hoo-lie ) has been 31 days of sameness and newness.  Let me cite a few examples.

Our garden has pretty much stopped producing.  Surprisingly to me, the cantaloupes keep putting forth little fruit.  To start, they were regular size - now, we get little ones about 2 to 3 inches across.  Yummy, they still be.  Tiny, they are.  My watermelons never have seemed to make it this year.  

Now tomatoes and peppers have been good.  Here in central Texas, I can now plant a fresh crop of tomatoes and peppers.  It won't be long till they'll put on fruit.  Our corn crop yielded about 5 good ears of corn.   Potatoes were somewhat of a joke.  I suppose Okra was the most surprising star of them all.  We learned that Okra should be picked when it is about 3 + inches in length.  Any longer and they become too hard to chew after cooking - yes, we fry our Okra.  Who, I ask you, "Who" can eat that slimy okra stuff that shows up in soups?  Certainly not me.


Back in June - yes, back in June, we ordered a new king sized bed.  It is a sleep number something model and cost way more that I should have spent.  The bed is actually 2 twin sized, extra long beds tied together to give the appearance of one enormous bed.  The head and the foot areas - both - can be raised and lowered.  Our old sleep number, regular size, bed has been with us since before the beginning of time.  My side has begun to lose air daily.  I realize Sleep Number people would make it work; but, I really felt that we need this (what I call) medical type bed as we lunge into our older age.  I can visualize one or both of us being bed ridden for certain periods of time.  This should make it easier.

Oh, forgot the point of this entry.  The bed will be delivered on August 9th.  I roll my eyes.


Son Roger and wife Penney plus Grand-girls came through on Hoo-lie 23rd or there-a-bouts.  Our Dot Christine joined them as they went to San Antonio for the DCI competition.  DCI stands for drum corps international.  It is a drum and bugle competition.  They dropped off their 4 dachshunds for us to dog sit.  We had a fairly good time with the dogs; I'm not sure our Sadie appreciated the company.  A good time in San Antone was had by all and the Blue Devils won.


Let's move on to the gross medical things.  In addition to our wellness visit (where our doctor says "hmmm") plus my wife's 3 visits to the dentist {had to go back the 3rd time because their air compressor died 2 hours before we arrived } - my radiation treatments began this month.  I didn't think they were ever going to get here.  I write this because there might be someone out there who'll have to do this in the future.   I will have 42 sessions of radiation.  They are are aiming at my prostate, I believe.  I have this philosophy: don't ask questions - just do what I am told.  My doctors seem confident and skilled.

/////an aside: my cancer doctor (Jhavar) was raised in India.  He had a vacation and flew back to India for the time.  It took 38 hours to fly - each direction.  I believe I have that number right.  He said it was tiring and thanked me for asking about the trip.  I like this doctor. /////

So for my first session, I had a short visit with my doctor (Jhavar) prior to the zapping.  I had just given blood on a different floor of the facility to be used in a heredity study being done by someone to see if I have a certain bad gene that caused this.  We'll see.  I was sitting in doc's office with my diet coke bottle on the floor.  He pointed at it and explained that I wanted to give them up until treatments end.

Before I continue this forward, an apology to my ex-students and others who might know me.  I am going to produce an image which some may not want me to share.  Imagine some of your past teachers lying naked on a metal table.  It is somewhat revolting.  

Now - get this - it seems that I have to have a bowel movement prior to the zapping.  The doc has prescribed Milk of Magnesia for me to facilitate this occurrence.  That, I assume, is to make the bowels empty for zapping.  At the same time, I am to come with a full bladder.  To me, these are contradictory.  But, if there is a gas bubble inside me, this is wrong.  Before zapping, they must roll me over and insert a tube (guess where) to let out the gas.  Tube goes in - Gas comes out.  You can hear the whooshing noise.  Cokes seem to be the biggest contributor to gas.  Who knew?

I am called into the room.  They make me put on scrub bottoms.  My regular pants have zippers and buttons and belt buckles and a knife and a cell phone and ...  I am escorted to a long metal table.  Lie down.  My feet are strapped to a block;  a longer block is placed under my knees;  I am given a 6 " plastic hoop to hold on my chest;  under a small / tiny blanket, I pull down my pants to the thigh; and, I am left alone - just me, a metal bed, and this enormous white machine.  I left off the part where they slide me back and forth and up and down until the green laser light is properly adjusted to my new tattoo.

They start. The bed slides under the machine.  The machine begins to rotate around me.  I believe there are 4 different arms on the machine - each different.  As warned, the machine rotates one way then the other then back and then back again.  Then, nothing.  Then, I lay in silence.  [ This paragraph has way too many "thens" ]   A voice speaks into my left ear.  "The doctor is always right."  I rolled my head his way and said, "Really?"  It was Jhavar.  Out came a tube - I laid on my left side and a procedure began.   Hisssssss

Back on my back (cute expression).  The machine rotated again and again.  Now silence.  Apparently the first rotations are to see if my innards are prepared properly for the zapping.  They were.   The  radiating began...I felt nothing.  With eyes closed and horrible rock and country music playing through the P.A., I was zapped. 

Wed. Session #42 was over;  only 41 more sessions to attend.  My other doctor (El Tayeb) was the one who used a device and removed parts of my Prostate 3 months ago.  He told me that 90% of the prostate had been removed.  You know how that 90% left my body.  It left through the other portal - like that word.  This means they are zapping only 10% of my prostate.  I suppose.  What do I know.  I have a degree in music education.

Thurs. Session #41 the next day was a replay of  #42.  This Session's numbering system has nothing to do with our President's number in office.  Coincidental, that's all.   In #41, I had the same gas problem.  The doctor was not there this time.  The technicians performed the dirty deed.  Interestingly, as I rolled over and listened to them talk, I figured out that one tech was a newby.  The other tech showed "her" how to insert the tube, etc.  I am close to losing all of my modesty.

Fri. Session #40 was different.  I bought a pair of shorts with no zipper - no changing into scrubs.  The night before, I swallowed a gallon of milk of magnesia - making me get out of bed at 3:30 a.m. for a quick trip.  In the morning, I swigged  half as much around 8:30.  I took a Gas-X Extreme pill after lunch.  I moved lunch back one hour closer to zap time.   I had no problem.  The FEMALE nurse said, "whatever you did this time, continue doing it."                      

I won't drink carbonated drinks again until this is over in September.  I won't eat beans or sauerkraut or ?? again until  September. I no longer have milk with my breakfast (milk is another trouble maker).  


For the rest of the month.  I see a doctor in about a week to get shots in both knees.   I get another "anti-hormone" shot in about 2 weeks.  My eye doctor appt. is coming up.  The new bed is coming soon.  And =

let's make that a big  A N D ....

My wife and I will be having our 60th anniversary on the 5th.  I need to plan a festival for that.  It would be nice to be able to see our 70th together.

over and out,

love you (sure),

send money,


Monday, June 27, 2022

I'm getting a Tattoo - but wait....

It is true.   I am getting a Tattoo.  I've held out for all these years while others were making black ink marks.  Not me.  I truly don't understand tattoos.  I once new an elementary P.E. teacher who had a tiny little butterfly on the outside of her right ankle.  I suppose it was lovely.  I didn't understand it then; I don't understand it now.  Someday that young 20 year old will begin to put on weight - or her ankle will swell up.  That cute  little butterfly will enlarge to be a large vampire bat.  But it was her ankle.

Follow this:  I am getting ready to have radiation treatments for 5 days a week for 9 weeks.   I muttered "That would be 45 treatments."  The doc jumped right in and said, "Only 42."  I suppose I am blessed.  I have a cousin who had 40.   Soon, I will report to the Baylor Scott & White cancer institute and they will zap me 42 different days.  I have been told that I will never notice it.  

The problem is:  the Big Zapper does not know where to zap.  They don't just take aim at you from 20 paces and let fly a jolt of uranium.  Nope.  Doesn't work like that.  Tomorrow I go in for a scan.  During the scan they will place a couple (who know, maybe 10) marks on me   in an appropriate location of course.  These will be tiny tattoos - so I have been told.  

No, I do not intend to take photos of the tats and post to Facebook.  I'm thinking, down in the area where the prostate and bladder are located, that might create a photo which would lean towards the Porn side.  Don't want to go to no jail for having my tats shown to some 11 year old child.  If they want to see my Tats, they'll just have to wait until they hit "OF AGE" and, then, pay me a lot of money.  I mean a lot of money.  I don't just show my tats to anyone.  I have standards.

Well that is it.  The prostate cancer saga continues.  One cancer doctor lady said I probably have 2 to 5 years or so.  I liked her.  She went to school at Dallas Skyline and played the flute.  Band kids will be my saviors.

As I close, my little girl Sadie is sitting at my door giving me the eye.  We are close to supper time.  She has "that" stare.    "Look into my eyes.  Now!  Come into the kitchen. Find my bowl.  Fill the bowl.  Don't forget the good stuff.  NOW!!!  You will not be sorry."



Sunday, June 26, 2022

She came back to see me...

 I don't know if this is a sad or a happy bluggy  (translation:  blog).  In some ways, it made me happy.  Then, later came the sadness.   Some days you just can't please anybody, including yourself.

As  you can see by looking down the page, this is not a real long entry.   

(I prefer to pronounce that word:  " AUHN-TRAY "  not  "In-tree."   "In-tree" just sounds so nasal.}

I had a dream.  Mine was nothing like MLK's.   His was dipped in goodness and fire.  Mine was merely sprinkled with "me-feel-goodness."  They say you can never remember a dream.  Usually, I would agree.  Once I am awake, the memory of that last dream vanishes.  Poof!  

ASIDE:  At Tech, I had an Education professor who constantly told us about his dreams.  I suppose it beat listening to education drivel that would make no difference in our future teaching careers.  He recited how a pencil and pad were kept by the bedstead.  When he awoke, the pencil was grabbed and he wrote about the latest dream.  I am sure this professor made someone a fabulous grandfather - assuming he had been able to find a wife.  But, as for teaching education, that's another story.

This morning I was jostled awake by my Sadie girl barking at something she saw out the front door.  We have a storm door on the front door - quite substantial door made of a big piece of glass.  Sadie watches "TV" by looking out the door glass and yelling at anyone or anything that should cross her line of vision.   At 8:20 this morn, she let loose her pent-up frustrations on someone passing by.  We have a lot of joggers in Amityville who pass by --  being walked by their dogs.

Sadie barked, I woke up - and at that moment I remembered the dream I was having.  Magic, it was.  The dream (all I can remember of it): I was inclined on a bed - twin bed size I believe - when I swung my tootsies to the floor into fuzzy slippers.  As I stood, from around the corner of the bed, Greta came prancing in.  Beautiful Greta.  I bent over, picked her up, and held her close.  She was still as soft and sweet as always.  The dream ended right there before I had time to talk to her.

Seeing Greta is the happy part.  The dream ending early?  That was the sad part.  When I told my wife later, I started to choke up a bit.   Even now, I am bothered.

Greta was our first wire-hair dachshund.  Dripping wet, she might have hit 10 pounds.  Greta was born in 2000.  She had a twin sister which we should have bought too.  I introduced Greta to some of my students soon after.  Sharisa was a French Horn player who had lost both of her parents and lived with her grandparents.  That is a wonderful story to be told later.  What spirit, drive, and determination.  You have to respect a young lady like that.  {She is an elementary Principal today.)

Sharisa got her grandparents to take her north where she got Greta's sister:  Harmony.  What a great name and dog.  The two dogs spent their first birthday together eating dog cake.  Fun time.

Greta was blond - wheaten, if you wish.  She was a soft coated, wire-hair doxie.  She was beautiful.  Sometimes I would just sit and look at her.  So pretty.   But don't get me wrong.  Greta was a fireball.  Nothing scared her.  She was what we called our snake dog.  It didn't matter what kind of snake - big or small - Greta attacked.  She was fierce.  My favorite story was when this 4 or 5 foot long snake came up on our back porch.   I'm sure it was probably a big rat snake.  It didn't matter; a snake is a snake.  

She was down in the yard when it was spotted.  I grabbed a shovel and pinned the snake's head to the ground.  Greta would have nothing to do with that.  She grabbed the snake by the tail and pulled it free from the shovel.  Together, we fought that snake till - well, until it was over.  I threw the dead snake over the fence and Greta tried to climb the fence.  She was a terror.

Nobody wants to hear other people's dog stories.  I miss Greta very much as well as all of our dogs who have moved on.   Her heart grew too big for her insides; and, she died on the kitchen floor one morning.  She had lived for 18 years.   Eighteen Years.   Her ashes are up here on a shelf.  I have requested that all dog ashes accompany me when I go.

It was nice to hold Greta again, even if it were only for a few moments.  

I wonder if this is a sign that I am having psychological problems.  Maybe.

See ya guys later, Mike  

Saturday, June 4, 2022

I was honked at today

 I was honked at today - it wasn't some carload of females commenting on my beauty amd charm - This morning, the spouse and I drove up to Waxahachie to take daughter Laura and hubby Tom to lunch.  They have an anniversary coming up.  Those two are different.  They will have a special day planned for their anniversary - a different, special day.  Those two are not always normal when it comes to celebrations...signs, music, planned outings.

So, naturally, the spouse & I wanted to do our best to celebrate with them before the actual day arrived, 17 years of marital bliss.  Nobody wants to get in the way when they do their thing.   Never have two people been better suited for each other.

We drove to Waxahachie, loaded them into the car, and headed for their choice of  food.  I don't think I can spell it correctly:  Johnny Carinos  or something like that.  It was good food and a good time was had by all.

We drove away and stopped at a traffic light.  I was the first in line to make the left turn.  It was a long light.  Highway 287 where it crosses old Hwy 77.  If you have ever been to that intersection, you KNOW how long the light is.  The light changed.  Less than 3 seconds, the guy in the big black Chevy pickup behind me - honked.

We don't honk in Texas.  Must be a Yankee or from California.   Honked.  Of course that meant that I had to stop and look in the mirror.  His honk slowed my reaction time.  Finally, I took off - edged slowly across the street as I turned left.   Still, I was ahead of the car in the other turning lane to my left.  As soon as the big black Chevy truck was able to get around me - he gave it the gas and, you guessed it,  he honked the entire time he was passing me.

I was honked at.  In Texas - I was honked at.  Dumb cluck.

Carino's report:   service was slow - friendly, but slow.  Normally we go to Olive Garden for Italian food like this.  Carinos gives you a basket of 2 small loaves of bread and a saucer filled with oil.   Break the bread and dip the oil.  It was tasty.   The food was good and hot.  It took forever to get served.   In all fairness, they had a sign outside advertising for help wanted.  

If given the choice, I'll go to Olive Garden next time.  I love their bread sticks and big the guy who puts extra cheese on your plate.  The bread and oil was nice; but the bread sticks and salad trump.  Cost is about the same.  Enough of that.

After lunch, we went to Braum's - ice cream.  I don't get to eat normal ice cream.  The wife had a one scoop vanilla cone - the guy behind the counter seemed to like her and filled the cup up to the brim - well, way past the brim.  My wife loves vanilla ice cream.

Long story shorter.  It was a good day.  We stopped in West, TX on the way home for sausages.

Just so you know, a Kolache is a bread thing with fruit on it.   A Klubosnik is the same type of roll with meat/cheese in it.   We bought the latter.  This topped off our trip (with a loaf of jalapeno cheese bread and a loaf of raisin bread.  All yummy but way over-priced for a reitred bandman.

see ya,


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

short praise

 Out new washer/dryer were delivered and installed.

The two guys came from Best Buy.  Geek Squad?    They were fast and efficient.   I don't know their names or I would praise them by name. 

This is not an exciting blog today - UNLESS you are us - the items were ordered over a month and a half ago.   The wait was hard.

Think about this.  They were ordered, scheduled for delivery, delivered, and installed.   How often have you had this happen.  

Maybe tomorrow's entry (if there is one) will be rolling in laughter and news.