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

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Final Countdown


Springtime and the flowers are coming out.

Friday, I lugged my hundred-foot garden hose from the back yard to the front yard. Took the wind out of my sails.

There's a handy man neighbor that I'm now paying to get the yards cleared of weeds that have gone crazy with all the rain we had last month. I think I can handle the watering, whenever the wind isn't blowing a gale.

Today I have only 5 radiation treatments left. The real chore is having to drive 12.1 miles every day for a 15-minute treatment and then back.

The side effects so far have been Dysuria, that's a UTI without the infection, and diarrhea. It's a pain having to run to the bathroom so frequently. It hits me the hardest on Sundays. I've missed a number of Sundays at church, but I'm fine for Tuesday when I teach a class at 7:00 to our men's study group. We're going over Acts, then have breakfast at Wecks, a local diner.

This last Sunday I woke up with my heart racing at 116 to 121bpm. By the time we got dressed and wife drove me to urgent care it was back to normal. A side effect of the dysuria, dehydration.

The surprise was my doctor was a young lady with the last name Sandoval. I had to ask, "Do you know an Anthony Sandoval in Los Alamos?"

She's, his daughter. I told her I used to run against him in high school. He scratched out of the mile at state meet to try and set the state record in the 2-mile. That opened up for me to be state champion in the mile and got me my scholarship to college. That night when the 2-mile was run the winds were 40mph. He ran a 9:19 a couple of weeks earlier the state record was 9.32, but without competition and the wind he fell short.

She told me he closed his cardiology practice in Los Alamos and is an instructor at UNMH here in town.

Side note: Tony Sandoval finished 4th in the Olympic trials in 1976 in the marathon. He won the Olympic trials in the marathon in 1980, the year the U.S. boycotted the Olympics in Moscow.

When I walk into the cancer center there are check in clerks. One of them is a former student. She always greets me with a smile and waves as I come and leave. I gave her one of my books.

There are two men in I'd say early thirties that are the technicians for my treatments. I'm using a cane now and bought a golf chipper and got a pro shop at the golf course near me to attach a four-footed tip to it. I get a lot of comments on it, everyone thinks it's a putter, but today the putters are shaped too square or look like the Star Ship Enterprise and come with an extra wide grip. Both of the guys are golfers and that gives us a bit to talk about while they get me positioned and check to see if my bladder is full enough for the procedure.

Every Thursday after the treatment I meet with Dr. Garg where he asks me how things are going. (When I learned my doctor's name was Garg I mentioned to some people at church if he had ridges on his forehead. Those that laughed I knew to be Trekkies.)

Dr. Binder is my doctor for my long-term treatment. He's placed me on two powerful drugs, one I take four tablets a day for 1,000mgs. I can only get it by mail, and it comes in a bag with a hazard warning to not let women or children touch it. I'll be taking these drugs for at least a year and up to three years.

Then I get a chemo injection every 12 weeks for a year. The first one didn't seem to affect me and the only thing the pills have done is turn my normally oily skin bone dry.

I went to my dermatologist Monday, and she prescribed an oil I put on three times a day to clear up the Eczema that developed on my hands and arms. They're clearing up.

The one side affect the doctor's harp on is weight gain. I can see if you're fatigued and in bed most of the time you'll put on weight, but my energy level is fine. I've even lost 15 pounds. Seems my Ozempic is countering the weight gain and maybe why oncologists are now prescribing it.