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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Road to Wellness

 First radiation treatment today. Monday, I saw the medical oncologist. He'll be overseeing my hormone therapy. I've started on two pills every day and an injection starting on the 13th every three weeks. The injections are for three years. 

The side effects of radiation treatment is tiredness.

The side effects of hormone therapy are hot flashes, high blood pressure, weight gain, fatigue, lowering muscle and adding fat add on cardiovascular disease and mood changes.

Talk about cured but dying from the cure!

I Keep thinking back over the doctor I had for five years. He managed my diabetes but didn't do a physical or prostate exam. Then the last three years was during covid, and I only contacted him by phone for year and the other was with my new doctor that did the blood test that led to this.

I'm trying to keep a positive mental attitude, but with such a gloomy forecast it's not going to be easy. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Fight of my life.

 February 29, I have my first radiation treatment. Five days a week for eight weeks. The information packet says the main side effect is tiredness. Usual doctor sugar coating what's going to happen. Fatigue is what will happen. Barely able to get out of bed while going though it and possibly for months afterward. At my age it takes time to heal.

Then hormone treatment. Estrogen and Androgen injections to kill testosterone. It seems T is what the cancer feeds on. 

I know I'm not alone in this fight. My wife is with me and will be driving me to and from the treatments and when I get as week as a newborn puppy tend to my needs. Married 45 years we've been there and done that many times. I also know from past trauma that the Holy Spirit will be my comforter. 

Jesus didn't promise us paradise on Earth. He said He must go so the Holy Spirit could come and be a guide, advocate, and comforter. 

I went through a divorce which ended my dream of being a missionary. It was a very painful experience, but the Holy Spirit saw me through my pain and depression. I wasn't alone He was there.

I picked up the pieces, remarried and considered my classroom a mission field, no to preach, but to teach them to read and write, to understand history and to do research which, if they learned would stand them in good stead in their lives.

 I've experienced the loss of my parents and my younger sister. He gave me solace in all the pain.

I know He will be by my side through all of this. I'm walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and I know He will comfort me through it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

NYC's Biggest Secret


Republicans Just Laid Bare One Of New York City’s Biggest Secrets

And you know what? It’s about damn time.

By Ossiana Tepfenhart


A couple months ago, I got a phone call from my friend Eli*. Eli is extremely housing insecure and does walking deliveries for a living. After eight years of sleeping on couches and in the street, he finally got his Section 8. He lives with his brother, Jason.*

Too bad SNAP doesn’t pay enough for food on a regular basis.

“Ossiana, is it alright if me and Jason come by?” he asked. “I haven’t had much food lately. I’m really hungry and I feel like if I don’t get serious food, I’ll faint.”

The answer, of course, was a resounding yes. We cooked him and his brother a turkey dinner, had them spend the night, and then let them raid our pantry. Then, we wrapped up the rest of the turkey and sent them on their way.

That dinner was a sight most people will never see. You see, Eli, Jason, my husband, and I all were homeless at one point. And yes, all of us squatted in New York City. So, we all get it.

Lately, I’ve been watching the Migrant Crisis unfold. And it was one of the most telling things I’ve ever seen in my life.

For those not in the know, the Migrant Crisis is a GOP-fueled crisis where they bus migrants to New York City.

The Republicans do this allegedly to prove a point that we need to secure the border. In reality, the GOP recently turned down border security bills. It’s a song and dance to upset blue states and flex their power.

But, I digress.

The Migrant Crisis is a real crisis. Over 100,000 migrants have arrived in New York City over the past year. This led to a multitude of emergency shelters, over $14.5 billion in spending for food and shelter, and a full overhaul of the schools.

Most of these people are trying to seek asylum, but the truth is that they don’t have much of a chance and the system is backlogged. Asylum is not for economic reasons. It’s for political persecution that has to be noticeable and proven.

Many of the working poor in New York City are livid about this — and rightfully so.

It’s not that New Yorkers don’t want migrants here. It’s that the Migrant Crisis put on a huge show about New York’s “humanitarian” side while proving that they had the means to shelter the homeless people in the city.

The hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see.

Prior to the crisis, there were 100,000 homeless people in New York City. Many of them were rejected for permanent shelter, denied food, and denied medical care that could have helped them get back on their feet. How do I know? My friends and I lived it.

We were told to “get a job,” despite no one wanting to hire a homeless person. The shelters themselves have about 100,000 homeless people sleeping in them.

Many people don’t want to sleep there because they are SO DANGEROUS. People rape you and steal your shit there. It’s happened to my late friend several times until he decided he preferred sleeping in the subways. Meanwhile, migrants often get their own individual rooms in hotels. What the fuck.

Schools have shut down to house them, hotels were converted into shelters, and many permanent buildings are now being planned for them. So, what the NYC government is telling me with this is that they could have done this all along for the homeless that desperately wanted safe shelter. They just chose not to.

Migrants are getting free daycare while New Yorkers have to pay for it. Fucking really? Even daycare?

New Yorkers who are working poor that struggle to keep a roof over their head with rising rents get to watch people who are not even from here get discounted rents, freebies, and job placement. The average rent in Manhattan is around $4,000. That’s not tenable for two people earning $50,000 each — and that’s very bad. NYCHA is backlogged and reasonable rents are done by a lottery that can take years to get.

It’s really, really bad in New York for the average person. There are tons of apartments that are sitting vacant because landlords don’t want to rent them out at a reasonable price — thousands, even.

 My friends who are in New York right now? They want to leave because they are fed up with getting slums for $3,000 a month and I can’t blame them.

Legally speaking, New York is bound to shelter migrants due to the 1981 “right to shelter” mandate, but that doesn’t explain the double standard.

New York is legally bound to shelter people who apply for shelter in the city, period. I get that. And I also get that these people are fleeing bad situations in their home countries. I also understand that.

But why is it that this city’s stupid-ass politicians are so okay with an increasingly cramped and stressed-out middle class? Why is it that people who were born here have to struggle to find SAFE shelter? Why is it so hard to find affordable healthcare?

More importantly, if New York really cared about the housing crisis, why the fuck does the city not stop developers and landlords from charging these ridiculous prices? They could. They absolutely could do that if they cared.

They don’t care. They haven’t cared for fucking decades.

As long as New Yorkers are willing to pay taxes and pay exorbitant amounts for apartment living, they will ignore the elephant in the room because these fucks profit off it.

For the longest time, New York was able to quietly ignore that double-standard. The politicians could quietly scuttle all the complaints of locals under the rug as long as they did the “we care” song and dance.

The Migrant Crisis? Yep, it’s forcing them to put their money where their mouths are. And Eric Adams is facing a world of shit because it’s time to pay the Pied Piper.

Newark is a prime example of a city that is working hard to remain affordable.

High-key, I love Newark’s politics. When I lived there, Newark was a lot more dangerous. Today, the city has turned around and despite that, the area still remains one of the most affordable in New Jersey.

Newark is currently giving working-class families homes for $1 as long as they agree to fix up the homes and live in them. The city also has one of the best-run social services net I’ve personally seen in a city that size.

This is one of the only cities where my friends can afford to live and still do their artwork. It’s also one of the only cities that seems to welcome working-class people and immigrants with open arms.

Newark is an example of what New York City used to be. Is it perfect? Nope, but I can tell you from personal experience that Newark is a lot more poverty-friendly and a lot more capable of upward mobility than the Big Apple ever will be again.

It used to be possible to go to New York with $20 and a dream, and somehow make it into an apartment. You can’t do that anymore. People are furious at New York’s housing crisis and the double standards they’re seeing.

This will reach a breaking point soon and I’m not beat for it.

There. I said it. New York City earned the veritable shitstorm it’s dealing with because it gave into every fucking whim of end-stage capitalism. There will be a point where you won’t find people willing to work minimum wage jobs in the city because it will make no sense to do so.

I mean, why work if you can’t pay the bills that way? Why work if the chance at having a roof over your head is a big fat zero? You might as well enjoy the permanent vacation or go to a place that’s not as fucking awful to you.

While I would still never vote for the party that took women’s rights away, I absolutely know of people in the Big Apple who switched political parties over this shit. And you know what? The political machine of New York has no one to blame but themselves.


Friday, February 02, 2024


 Met with oncologist today. I have a PET scan on Wednesday, the following Monday I start radiation. Five days a week for eight weeks.

Then hormone treatment. Prognosis is good that the cancer has not spread, and this will take care of it.