Oh Somehow I Don’t Think This Is The First Time

Hillary has written quite a lot of fiction before.

But, hey, at this point what does it matter?

A PSA About, Er, PSA

About, oh, twenty or so years ago our Dad was found to have prostate cancer. One of the “good” things about prostate cancer is that it generally progresses so slowly that one will usually die of something else before it gets you (such was the case with Dad); one of the really bad things is that there are no real discernible symptoms for a long time, so, while it doesn’t trouble you so much while you are busy dying of other things, which is good, if it does trouble you ‘unexpectedly’ then you’re pretty much done for (such was the case with Frank Zappa). As Dad’s was pretty benign they decided to treat it with the trending treatment at the time, a seed implant: they take a little piece of radioactive matter and stick it in there to gently bathe the sucker with some of Mr. Roentgen’s finest emissions to slow the progress even more, and as I mentioned that seemed to have done the trick.

But, of course, me being me, it seemed that for the following Christmas the only possible gift I could get Dad was a chestnut roaster. I think he got the joke…

Fast forward a few years, and I always make sure to get my PSA checked with every physical. It was hovering around the “let’s take a closer look” line for a few years, and this past October it crossed it, so I got the required approval from the Insurance Gods to see a urologist. Based on the family history and blood work he suggested that we do a biopsy, and that was done right before Thanksgiving. Ah, a prostate biopsy…how to describe the joys of such an event in a family-friendly way?

I can unequivocally state that if they instituted mandatory prostate biopsies at Guantanamo Bay terrorism would disappear around the world overnight. No Doubt. I’d probably best leave it at that, other than perhaps adding an allusion to “whack-a-mole”. Two weeks later I had the follow-up with the doctor, and he said that magic word that we all long to hear: “cancer.”

Well, isn’t that special. Sure, one’s mind plays tricks, especially my mind, and of course I went into this thing expecting the worst, but did he really have to confirm it? I don’t mind being wrong; I’m quite good at being wrong; now was not the moment when I wanted to be right. But there it was.

So what to do, how to fight this part of me that was planning to slowly, methodically, stealthily kill…me. Were I 15 years older it would be a different conversation, as, again, it “tends” to move slowly enough that chances are something else would take care of me before this did. So here I was, just a month shy of my 57th birthday, being told that I was Young Enough that something more aggressive was in order, to fight and hopefully turn back this barbarian which had already breached my gates…something, but what?

There were 2 basic paths to go down that we discussed: radiation and surgical, each having a set of advantages and disadvantages. In a way it reminded me of a t-shirt that I bought Daughter in late grade school when she wasn’t quite focusing the way she should: “Hard Work pays off tomorrow; Procrastination pays off today” (I’m proud to say she got the subtle hint). Anyhow, radiation, “cyberknife” or whatever marketing declares it this week, pays off today: a series of outpatient visits over more or less a week that zaps the little bastard and hopefully kills the bad cells and stunts their growth. But there are downsides. Radiation is, well, radiation after all and can potentially have side effects in the future, unpleasant ones. And, at the end of the day, the prostate is still inside me, like some 8,000 lb bomb fallen from the belly of an Avro Lancaster and embedded in the mud of the Rhein since 1943. Could it still go off? Yep. And I’d be thinking about that, expecting that boom every moment of every day for the rest of my days.

The other path was surgery, robotic surgery using a “daVinci” machine where the surgeon never actually touches me: he sits at a computer console a few feet away and manipulates the tools using 3D monitors to delve into me and remove the prostate, reconnect the plumbing, and minimize damage to various nerve bundles. As the t-shirt said, this pays off tomorrow: the prostate is gone, that little cancer-spewing cauldron won’t be able to send any of its deviant little spawn out to wreak havoc in my bloodstream, but the hard work, the side effects, oh those are definitely front-loaded.

I chose surgery.

The next week I was back at the urologist and we scheduled the surgery for January 26th. When one, well, when I at least, think of folks heading into major surgery it follows some sort of trauma, right? Something happens, there is great pain and discomfort, symptoms desperately crying out for a solution. It just didn’t seem plausible that I was feeling great, with no symptoms whatsoever, heading for a date with a scalpel-wielding robot. I had a batch of pre-admission tests scheduled for the Friday before the surgery, including of course a Covid test, so I spent that month basically isolating at home, desperately hoping that the test would be negative so the surgery would happen and not get kicked back a couple of weeks. It came back negative, so I was set to be at the hospital at 6 am on the 26th.

At this point in time, Covid is clearly the tragic event of the 21st century, and not just because of the deaths it has caused; the response to it has been the vehicle for incalculable damage to the physical and mental well-being of literally millions of people. When we arrived at the hospital my Bride had to dump me on the curb. I got out of the car and walked alone into a small, constrained entrance to the hospital. She was not allowed, no one but the patients were allowed. I was only in the hospital for about 32 hours, so ok I can deal with that, but I could not help but wonder at the terrible toll this takes on children, on the elderly, on folks who are already suffering from depression on top of other maladies; what a scary, horrific, and at times deadly additional consequence of this disease.

They tell me the surgery went well (I was knocked out), and I was discharged the next afternoon, and for the next 9 days life was more or less miserable due to the catheter. Painful? No. Uncomfortable? Yes. Depressingly miserable? Yes. I had a date emblazoned on my calendar: 10 days after the surgery I had an appointment with the urologist, where we would go over the pathology of the prostate (now that the sucker was out and the lab technicians could slice and dice it for a complete analysis). I was both looking very much forward to this, for it would also be when the catheter was taken out, and I was also dreading it, for it would be when the catheter was taken out, and I imagined that to be an amazingly unpleasant experience. It actuality it wasn’t that bad.

The report from the lab gave me an upgrade on the tumor, kind of like more legroom in coach on United: my cancer was now Stage 2, malignant, but there was no evidence that it had spread beyond the prostate. I have some bloodwork scheduled in a few weeks, and if all goes well my PSA levels should start dropping to zero. That good news, combined with the removal of the catheter, made a difference of night and day in how I feel. Each day I get more energy, and am able to move around more and drift back to a normal life. Oh sure, there are still some issues with my re-arranged plumbing, but they are healing over time. With the love and care of my beloved Bride I’ll even be returning to work next week, just 3 weeks after the surgery.

The moral of this rather long tale is yeah, the world is a shit pot at the moment, but you can’t afford to ignore your health. Cancer doesn’t quarantine. Go to the doctor. Have your check ups. Get your blood work done…and follow-up. The sooner you catch things, the greater your chances to beat them.

All Our Todays Have Blue-Checked Fools

and tweets by idiots

Yes, Yes, A Thousand Times Yes

Birthday Breakfast Done Right

Words You Won’t Hear In DC Next Week

“With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan ~ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Blow Me. Next?

Macy’s window.

My ass.

Your lips, Dr. Fauci

Fauci, speaking on Thursday at Washington National Cathedral with other top health experts on the pandemic, noted that it is a bit unfair to compare the United States’ coronavirus response with other countries. The United States isn’t an island with five million people that can easily be shut down, he notes. So suppressing and controlling the virus is a lot more of a challenge.

“I was talking with my U.K. colleagues who are saying the U.K. is similar to where we are now, because each of our countries have that independent spirit,” he said on stage. “I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told.

In Her Darkest Hour…

America finds a New Hero

An Idaho Falls man and two others were in hot water after being found with cooking pots and two chickens in a thermal area of Yellowstone National Park.

A ranger received reports on Aug. 7 that a group was hiking toward Shoshone Geyser Basin with cooking pots, a park spokeswoman told EastIdahoNews.com Friday. The ranger responded and discovered two whole chickens in a burlap sack sitting in a hot spring with a cooking pot nearby.

Minkia!

2020 once again says hold my beer

The Danish government has ordered the slaughter of all farmed mink in the country after the reported discovery of a mutant form of coronavirus in the animals. It has already spread to humans.

According to a report in the Danish newspaper Berlingske, 207 mink farms have seen infections of coronavirus. The authorities have failed to contain the virus, and all 17 million farmed mink in Denmark will now be culled, said Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen at a press briefing on 5 November. Denmark has the world’s largest mink industry.

The Danish prime minister described the mutated virus as “a serious risk to public health and to the development of a vaccine”. However, health minister Magnus Heunicke told the press briefing that there is no sign yet that the mutant virus causes more serious symptoms of covid-19.

Some areas of northern Jutland – the region of Denmark that connects to the European mainland – will be isolated to stop the spread of the virus in humans. Frederiksen said a “mutant” virus has been identified in five farms and 12 people have become infected with it.

That’s pretty scary how it can go between mammals…and mutate.

19 Years

Murdered as their life was just beginning.

Kathy Kinsley

I was so very shocked and saddened to get a text message from THS that Kathy Kinsley had died.

She was a long time commenter here, and she’d always keep checking in during those times when we had some gaps in posting, and always with grace and class.

She will be missed, and we are very, very sad.

RIP

It’s A Crazy World

Yeah, I’m still here. Been working from home for a month now, and frankly it’s a lot harder than being in the office, the work day never ends.

I hope and pray that all of you are doing well. Whether you are religious or not, the analogy of Easter holds, especially now. We find ourselves in a tomb, don’t we? Whether it be by demand of the government or by problems in life that keep us entombed between our ears, and these days a lot of us are dealing with both, now is the time to roll back that rock at the door and emerge to live anew. You can do it.

God Bless, Dear Friends.

O Holy Night

Où l’Homme Dieu descendit jusqu’à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.


Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!

May the blessings and love of our Lord fill you and yours with hope this Christmas time.

Peace, true Peace from our home to yours, Dear Friends.

If You Actually Read The Report

You see what it really says, as opposed to what Our Betters assuredd us it would say

Oh Joe Joe Joe

Not sure this was *quite* the phrase you wanted

“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger, other than self-defense and that rarely ever occurs,” he said. “So we have to just change the culture. Period.”
Then he maybe took it too far, adding, “And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it,” making matching punching motions with his fist.

This

This This This this

The big takeaway from Impeachment Theater is that American voters have influence over a much smaller portion of the federal government than they believed. Washington is a feudal bureaucratic empire with a small suggestion box.
Last week American voters were introduced to the idea that the elected President of the United States can be accused of “undermining” foreign policy determined by the permanent bureaucracy, which spends billions of our tax dollars but is not even slightly interested in our input.

Read all of it.

It is 100% correct.

Don Cherry Fired

How dare you say such things

“You people… love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”

The Truth shall set you free…of your job, it seems.

He’s 100% correct, and so of course has to go.

Just Because

“Capitalism Is Killing Me”

So I’m walking back to my office and I see a young lady doing a slow, writhey sort of dance in front of the Old Federal Reserve building on Wall Street, right below the statue of George Washington.

I noticed that she had a large cardboard sign that says “capitalism is killing me.”

Everyone else seemed to only notice the fact that she was topless (and lacking tan lines).

Who knew capitalism targeted shirts first?

There Are No Words

And certainly not enough alcohol

I’ll Never Forget

And I’ll never forgive

Rest In Peace, Al Haynes

A model of heroism and professionalism, the Captain of United 232 died Sunday.

Read the cockpit transcript, and the story of one he saved.

Cockadoodledone

I’m thinking that leaving rice cookers in a subway station is the least of his problems

According to police in West Virginia, Griffin was charged in 2017 for showing a video to a minor that involved him having sex with a chicken. The case is still pending.

You know, every now and then you read one of those sentences that you just could never imagine reading.

30 Years

We just got back from a simply lovely weekend in Cape May, where we celebrated our 30th anniversary. Can’t believe it.

Who Dat Burfday Boy?

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