Tuesday, February 02, 2016

It's All in The Timing

I’ll admit that I’ve never been very good at math. Word problems in particular give me a lot of trouble. I was okay when my new doctor made an appointment for 10:50 a.m., but then his office called the next day and said they wanted me to arrive 30 minutes early. Add the time needed to get to his office, about 45 minutes, and then add a few more minutes in case traffic is heavy, and then a few minutes extra so my wife can get her act together before we leave the house.  My mind just went into shutdown mode when I tried to figure out exactly what time we needed to head out. We ended up leaving about an hour earlier than we needed to. Then I didn’t get in to see the doctor until about an hour past my appointment time.

I think perhaps the confusion might be linked to my cancer or the medicine I’ve been taking. I seem to be having some trouble with short term memory such as remembering lists of things to do. For example, if I am at a fast food drive thru window and need to order for myself, my wife and the two grand-kids, I struggle to get the entire order correct. I'm also noticing more problems than usual remembering words when I'm trying to explain or describe something. It seems to be more prevalent when I'm under stress.

What was I saying? Oh yeah...anyway, I begin immunotherapy treatments this Thursday with a CT scan a few days later. They said the side effects of the new medicine are typically mild, I’m hoping that will be the case with me. My particular cancer isn’t curable, but the new treatment is supposed to extend survival rates by a couple of years for around 25% of the population.  I’ve been binge-watching an old TV show on Netflix lately, The 4400. Part of the show plot was that a free medication was made available that had the potential to give anyone who received an injection of the stuff a random “super power” of some sort; mind control, telekinesis, invisibility, et cetera. They could also become a walking death trap for everyone around them. Plus there was a 50% chance that the injection would kill them, yet folks were lining up to get the shots. That’s sort of how I feel about this new medicine they’re about to put me on. A 25% chance it will work is lousy odds, but hey, what have I got to lose? Oh, and this medicine isn't free...try $6000 every two weeks on for size. It pays to have good health insurance, folks.

I’m still feeling normal, if I hadn’t seen the CT scans, I’d not realize anything is wrong with me. I see other folks suffering from cancer who are so weakened by treatments they are barely able to get around, suffering from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and all sorts of other things, and I wonder why I’m feeling as well as I am. Perhaps that stuff is still down the road for me.

In other news, the “Blizzard of 2016” wasn’t as severe as predicted, but it still dumped about eight or ten inches of snow on the ground. It was quickly followed by warmer temperatures and two days later the snow was mostly gone except for a few piles here and there. Unfortunately, due to the warmer temps, the limestone we had put on our driveway this past summer has mysteriously disappeared to be replaced with slippery muddy ruts.

My car was making some ominous whining and grinding noises a couple weeks ago, so I took it in and had the power steering pump replaced. When I picked it up, the mechanic said there was still a little air in the lines but the noise should go away after driving it for 30 or 40 miles. Two weeks later and the sound has been getting progressively worse. I’ll be dropping it off at the garage again tomorrow for a follow-up to see what the problem is.

Well, that’s the dirt from this neck of the woods. I’ll tell you more when I have something else to complain about.