Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Rock

 I was doing just fine until she handed it to me ...


This past Friday was my last Radiation visit.  Radiation deserves to be capitalized here.  I don't know how Radiation works or in my case at this time - if it does works.  Friday was my 42nd trip to Baylor Scott & White Oncology Radiation - desk XT - Nine weeks it has been.

Here is how it works.  You find a place to park out back and waddle up to the building.  The glass doors slide open admitting  you to a foyer with appropriate masks.  Put on the mask (sigh).  Walk through another sliding glass door and turn right.  A very nice lady - receptionist if you will - greets you with an appropriate greeting.  She asks if you have any new covid symptoms.  I try to beat her to the question explaining that I have no new diseases at this time.  For some reason that seems to bring a chuckle.  There are two ladies at this "kiosk" - you get one or the other.  Both are sweeter than pecan pie.

[ Side Bar:   Leaving Thursday, I stopped at this desk to ask a question.  I notice our young lady had a painted rock on her desk area.  I started to point at it and comment - I like painted rocks - and my hand grazed her pictures lined up beside the pretty rock.  I set off a clatter of disorder.  Things calmed, and I told her that I liked her rock.  For such a simple mission, I caused such a loud commotion. ] 

Once checked in, you sit and wait.  The room has various folks - sitting - waiting - nobody really talks.   Some I recognize from previous visits; but, there are always new people waiting.   If a nurse comes out and calls a name, that person arises and follows.  If the person is accompanied by 2 or more others, it must be their first time to see the doctor.  Everyone wants to hear what the doctor has to say.  I know when I first arrived months ago, my family went to the back room with me and met the doc.  I'm guessing it is a tradition for scared people and their scared families.  

In my case, I await the "Rad Tech" to come for me.  "Mr. Metze," is called; I walk through the door;  pleasant greetings and small talks are exchanged as we walk down the long hallway; my birth date is requested and checked on the computer --- "11 - 4 - 40," I respond.   Into the ambient lit room I go - my small backpack is deposited on an awaiting chair - and, I climb upon my metal table which has been covered with a white cloth.  

A block is placed between my feet as they are tied down.  A longer block of wood is slid under my knees.  A small wood block awaits my head - yes, a head rest for a block head if you will.  Next, a small white cloth is placed over my stomach - I affectionately calls this my "modesty blanket."  I slide my hands under the cloth and lower my shorts.  This exposes me to the machine. Finally, a small 6 inch round hoop is given to me to hold.  It helps me keep my hands planted on the chest, out of the way.

The young ladies {RadTechs} adjust the machine and the table before leaving out a door which is slid shut. The rest is just staying still as the big ole white machine rotates over me.  The machine first checks to see if I have gas in the intestines - if so, back the young ladies come and a tube is used to remove the gas - not my favorite thing.  This happened 3 times in my 42 days of zapping.

Obviously, when completed, the process is done in reverse.  The young lady walks in and says, "All through."  Never fails.  I dress; speak a departing salutation; and, yes, all through.   Tomorrow comes - same thing.

**On Thursdays, as I leave, the doctor and I discuss how it is going.  It is always going okay.

**On Mondays, before I leave the girls remark my tattoos with a big pen.  Tattoos are explained in a previous message.

But, on this last day, Friday, after I was zapped; I met with the doctor's great nurse who explains what happens next.  She & I walked out to the lobby to be greeted by my wife - my daughter Laura & her husband Tom - and a small collection of other nurses and staff who have followed to watch me ...


A large bell hangs on the wall.  The message says something about ringing the bell 3 times to signify one has completed his treatment.  With Laura's camera whirling and to the applause of the gathering, I RANG THE BELL.  Doing what I do, I bowed.  I explained to them that is had been merely an endurance test.  All was going well.

We started to leave.  I stopped by the receptionist desk and pointed at the rock on her desk.  I wanted Laura to see it.  The young lady smiled - picked up the rock and said she wanted me to have it.

I don't know why, but this got to me.  I could feel the emotion rising up in me: Attacking me.  I feel the same thing right now as I type.  I couldn't talk other than to mumble something like "no, it's yours."  She insisted and I waved my crowd out the door.  I couldn't even reply "Thank you."  I made it through nine long weeks of zapping and being uncomfortable.  And a stupid little rock broke me down.  Who'd a thunk?

So, I close.  Our plan is to wait 3 months.   I take a blood test.  Then, we will know what is needed next.  I do try to be optimistic and tough about all of this.  You can see that toughness in the others who share my waiting room - waiting.  They do what they have to do and smile.

But, a little painted Rock took me down.



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

shorty note: 3 more

 I have 3 more radiation treatments.  If you have read below, you know.   

42 total radiation treatments.  3 to go.   What more is there to say?

The doc told me - when these are over, we will wait three months; then, we will have another PSA test.  That will determine what happens next.  It seems that with treatment, hurry up and wait is the catch phrase.

more later

shorty note over


Thursday, September 15, 2022

82 is just 28 spelled backwards

Today - the 15th of September - my wife turns 82 years of age.  When I was younger, I had no desire to live with an 82 year old female.  It is interesting that one's visual perspective changes as we age.  Now, I cannot imagine living with anyone younger.   Soon, I will turn 82 and join the spouse.  She has always lived with a younger man.

So we go to the old  82 spelled backwards is 28 concept.  They had a commercial on TV with this concept last year.  I can't remember the commercial or the age of the old coot.  It makes turning a new age just a tad easier - albeit not a heck of  a lot easier.

So take the age that you have and make the best of it.  You will never get any younger unless you believe in reincarnation; but, that is a whole different ball of wax.


Now, let's discuss Putin.  I am surprised that someone has not eliminated that cretin.  That might not be the right word.  I don't care to look it up.   Do You?   And, no, for our govt who is watching my every move and comment (who says paranoia doesn't pay?) - no, I am not suggesting that anyone eliminate the guy.  No, I am not going to finance this either.  I am just surprised.


Just for the record.  We now have a brand new freezer.  No more digging through the small freezer on the side of the frig.  It is a beautiful white color.  My preference.  It has a little green light that shines on the garage floor indicating that we are freezing.  I understand it has an alarm which rings if the door is not closed.

This month we added a Bosch 800 something new dishwasher.  We love the new dishwasher.  40 dbl of noise at the most  We cannot hear the machine running.  It is a good thing it has (1) a red light shining on the floor indicating it is working   and  (2) we bought a big magnet thing which we change at has four setting:   Running, Clean, Dirty, & Empty.  Obviously we have been much too dumb to be able to figure these settings for ourselves.

And, finally,  a few months back our dryer quit.  We have a new set of Washer/Dryer.  Gorgeous, big, quiet, and - most importantly - it works.


time to go out and do a birthday festival.

take care - I shall return


P.S.  Today is my 7th radiation treatment.  After today, only 6 more treatments - zapping if you will.